‘I played 1328 games in the outfield…’ 4,300 Billion Man, position change in 12th year ‘an unfamiliar challenge’

Correspondent Sanghee Lee] Bryce Harper, 31, of the Philadelphia Phillies, is taking on an unfamiliar challenge in his 12th year in the big leagues. He’s switching positions from outfield to first base.

“The overall reaction from league officials to Harper’s conversion to first base has been positive,” the Philadelphia Inquirer recently reported.

“But Phillies infield coach Bobby Dickerson said, ‘Harper has yet to make a difficult throw from first base to another base. We need to see how strong and accurate he can throw in a situation where he has to make a throw to another base. He still has a mountain to climb before he can make a complete transition to first base.”

Philadelphia manager Rob Thompson, 60, expressed a similar view. “It’s only been a couple of games since Harper’s transition to first base,” he told local media, “and as he gets more experience, he’s going to be on first base every day. But we’ll have to see how he does in a pinch-hit situation where he has to throw to second or home,” he said, making it clear that Harper’s move was not just a fitness or injury precaution.카지노

Harper touches the base for the out after catching a grounder down the first base line during a game against Cleveland on April 24. /AFPBBNews=News1
Harper, a right-handed hitter from Nevada, was selected by the Nats with the first overall pick in the first round of the 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. The former No. 1 overall pick broke into the major leagues in 2012 after just two years.

The speedy debut was remarkable, but he batted .270 with 22 home runs and 59 RBIs in his first year, winning the National League Rookie of the Year, signaling that Harper’s time was coming. Since then, he has developed into one of the league’s most dominant outfielders, winning seven All-Star honors, two National League Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, and the National League home run title in 2015.

His career big league numbers, including this season, include a .280 batting average (5217-for-1463), 290 home runs, 849 RBI, and a .906 OPS in 1459 games. He became a free agent in 2019, signing a 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies.

Harper (right) at bat. /AFPBBNews=News1
However, after tearing the medial collateral ligament in his throwing right elbow during last season, he was limited to playing designated hitter instead of his natural position in right field. He underwent Tommy John surgery in November after the season ended to repair the ligament in his elbow.

Harper, who has been rehabbing ever since, was expected to return to the field around the All-Star break this season, but rejoined the team in May. However, he played only as an offensive designated hitter to prevent a recurrence of the injury. He has only played first base in nine games, including Friday’s game against Kansas City.

Prior to last year, Harper had played 1,328 games in the outfield and 106 games as a designated hitter. He’s only played first base in two games (2018 and 2021), and those were as a pinch-hitter, not a starter.

Bryce Harper. /AFPBBNews=News1
Dickerson said, “Harper’s decision to make the transition to first base is looking good so far. He is working tirelessly on the field every day to adjust to the new environment (first base) and so far it hasn’t been a problem.” “Harper has played third base in the past in the amateur ranks and has great athleticism, so he should do well.”

“Coach Dickerson has been working with Harper on the field every day to help him successfully transition to the position, drawing out different situations on the field, such as how he should position himself between first and second base and how he should prepare for and react to bunt situations,” the media outlet said.

“But practice is not the same as game day, so it takes a lot of practice and a lot of game day experience to develop a solid first base defense,” he said, noting that Harper’s transition to first base won’t be a quick one. In fact, Harper missed a grounder sideways while playing first base against Pittsburgh on March 31 and fumbled the ball while trying to retrieve it, eventually giving up an infield single.

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