That comes with the territory sometimes when Sports Illustrated puts you on the cover at the age of 16, anointing you the “next big thing.” It’s hard to always stay humble, too, if you’re selected by the Washington Nationals with the No. 1 overall pick.
But, Harper’s talent has won out and since his entrance into the league, he’s become one of the most well-known players in baseball.
In his earlier years, Harper gained a bit of a reputation for the way he carried himself. Along with wacky hairstyles and overly aggressive eye black, Harper very clearly marched to the beat of his own drum. He didn’t care what other people thought because he was too good to care. He knew he was better than his competition and he wasn’t afraid to show his disdain for opponents.
Other than a few minor hiccups on his way through pro ball, however, Harper has behaved himself. He didn’t make a big fuss after Cole Hamels admitted that he threw at him and his trot around the bases after hitting his first major league home run was one of the fastest this season.
Being only 19 means that Harper is still immature and will do some things that will show his age. But there’s no doubting his ability. He’s shown that he belongs in the majors from a talent standpoint, even if he sometimes rubs people the wrong way.