Bryce Harper the baseball player did what he usually does during the 2019 MLB season, hitting 30+ home runs and 100+ RBIs while providing fans with the energy that he’s brought to the diamond throughout his career. This all occurred while Bryce Harper the person went through some major changes this year. Over the offseason, he left the Washington Nationals after agreeing to an historic contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, and in August, he became a father for the first time.
Things weren’t perfect on the diamond, as the Phillies missed out on the postseason in year one of 13 on Harper’s deal, but the former NL MVP is optimistic about the future in Philadelphia, as he was sold on the organization’s commitment to winning in the longterm when he put pen to paper on a deal. He was still productive, though, and is the rock on which the Phillies will build for the foreseeable future.
Uproxx Sports caught up with Harper through his partnership with ACUVUE to talk the big changes in his life this year, the 10-year anniversary of his first Sports Illustrated cover, and how throwing out a running compares to hitting a dinger.
You’re known for your ability to hit for power, but you also have one of the best outfield arms in baseball, leading the NL in assists. What gives you a bigger rush, hitting a homer or throwing out a runner? Why?
They both feel pretty dang good, but I’d have to say throwing out a runner. It’s such a momentum changer for both sides.
Is there ever something of a cat-and-mouse game with baserunners who you want to get to run on you or do instincts just take over in that situation every time?
It’s usually such a bang-bang timing thing, so instincts usually take over, but there’s something extra about throwing someone out that tests you or doesn’t think you’re going to throw.