Originally posted on The Nats Blog old  |  Last updated 1/31/13
Throughout the offseason, The Nats Blog will look back at every player’s 2012 season to summarize and analyze his performance, and we’ll look ahead to his possible role in 2013. We’ll go from #1 Steve Lombardozzi all the way to #63 Henry Rodriguez until Spring Training. Enjoy. A player like Bryce Harper is going to be recorded in baseball history as a special player, regardless of how he performs the rest of his career. People argue that he is over-hyped, and maybe to a degree that’s true. But the numbers speak for themselves, and they show that Harper is a great athlete, who played a huge role on baseball’s winningest team of 2012, and whose rookie season should not soon be forgotten. So just in case you need to be reminded how awesome Harper’s accomplishments last season were, keep reading. Despite urgings from General Manager Mike Rizzo that Harper would not be rushed to the majors, when Ryan Zimmerman went on the disabled list on April 28, Harper’s time had arrived. He went to work right away, going 1-for-3 with an RBI in his debut, and earning NL Rookie of the Month for May, when he put together an offensive slash line of .271/.355/.505 with four home runs. That was just the first award of many that Harper collected in his first year in the majors. He won NL Rookie of the Month for a second time in September for hitting .330/.398/.651 with seven homers and four stolen bases. He then went on to earn NL Rookie of the Year, as well as the Nationals Heart and Hustle Award, and an invitation to represent his team in the 2012 All-Star Game. Harper finished the season with a slash line of .270/.340/.477 and 120 strikeouts. He nearly made it to a 20-20 season with 18 stolen bases and 22 home runs, and he ranked best on the team with his nine triples and 98 runs scored. Compared with other 19-year-old major leaguers throughout MLB history, Harper ranked first in walks (56) and doubles (26), and second in triples, home runs and stolen bases. When you think about the fact his name was being mentioned in the same sentence as names like Mickey Mantle, Ken Griffey Jr. and Babe Ruth, you realize there’s a reason they call the kid a phenom. And even though constantly being reminded of Harper’s teenage phenom-ness got a little old after a while, it truly is remarkable to step back and think that he achieved these incredible accomplishments, which some players don’t earn in their entire careers, when the average player his age was a college freshman with a vague dream of being drafted in the next few years. Take away all the awards and the great performance, just his ability to play in the postseason as a 19-year-old is enough to make any college player faint with jealousy. In addition to his fantastic numerical contributions to the team – Fan Graphs gave him a 4.9 WAR value – Harper’s presence on the team added much to the narrative of the Nationals’ thrilling rise to excellence. Stealing home off Cole Hamels and prompting Rizzo to make some animal references, the unparalleled amounts of eye-black he painted on his cheeks during day games, his involvement with the benches-clearing brawl against the Chicago Cubs, running around the outfield with blood streaming down his face, his feud with Ozzie Gullien, and chasing the teenager home run record, all kept Nationals fans supremely entertained in 2012. With a personality and mindset toward the game like Harper’s, Nats fans are pretty much guaranteed another long list of memorable Harper moments in 2013. And for the people who wonder, can he do it again? That’s a clown question, bro. Next Year: Harper will play left field in 2013, and will have a place in the Nationals outfield for many years to come (he doesn’t become eligible for arbitration until 2015). It’s exciting to think what he is capable of producing at the plate with a whole year of major-league experience under his belt, especially if he is hitting third or fourth in the lineup. Up Next: #35 Craig Stammen
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Giants’ Victor Cruz cleared to practice

PETA sends Warren Sapp vegan lobster following shark bite

Report: Josh McCown has looked better at times than RG3

Mike Trout does David Ortiz impersonation

Suspended Steelers WR Martavis Bryant set to help coach HS football

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tickets for ‘Monday Night Football’ game in Mexico sell out

Kevin Durant says he never told Russell Westbrook he was staying in OKC

God Shammgod hired by Mavericks as player development assistant

Soccer player terminates contract after being attacked by stray dogs

Todd Bowles confirms Ryan Fitzpatrick is Jets starting QB: ‘It’s his job’

Carmelo Anthony shocked Dwyane Wade left Miami for Chicago

Giants acquire All-Star Eduardo Nunez from the Twins

Vikings QB injured trying to kick open door

Josh Gordon thankful for support from Browns

Report: Seahawks DE Chris Clemons retiring

Denard Robinson blames falling asleep at stoplight for pond crash

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Hue Jackson: Browns will give Josh Gordon a fresh start

Diamondbacks nearing Daniel Hudson trade

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

What would George Costanza have traded to get Bonds and Griffey?

Gabby Douglas can make USA Gymnastics history at Olympics

Week 3 will determine the Big Ten's reputation this season

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker