Bryce Harper went 11 for 20 (.550/.667/1.200) with four doubles, three home runs, seven walks and four Ks in six games and 27 plate appearances over the last week, enough to earn acknowledgement as the NL Player of the Week.
Harper’s big week left him with a .400/.524/.815 line, six doubles, seven home runs, 17 walks and 13 Ks in 18 games and 82 PAs this season.
Harper, who homered twice in 14-4 win over the Braves in Atlanta earlier this week, talked afterwards about his approach at the plate regardless of which pitchers he is facing after he knocked Julio Teheran around again in SunTrust Park.
“Just try to see a pitch and try to drive it the best I can and hopefully good things will happen.”
So far this season good things have happened for the 24-year-old slugger.
As Dusty Baker noted, however, Harper got off to a strong start last season as well before struggling at the plate.
“He started out great last year as well,” Baker said. “I think he was the Player of the Month last year in April, now the secret is to keep him strong and keep him healthy.
What’s working for Harper early this season?
“The main difference I think is that he’s not missing pitches,” Baker said. “He’s not fouling them back.
“Last year, he was fouling back a lot of pitches that ordinarily he would put in play.”
“He’s taking what they give him,” Baker continued.
“He’ll take a single up the middle and he’ll take a double down the left field line and so he’s using the whole field I think is the difference.”
As a press release on Harper winning NL Player of the Week notes, Harper currently leads all major league hitters in on-base percentage (.524), average (.400), runs scored (22) and walks (17) and he’s second in slugging percentage (.815), RBIs (20), and home runs (7).