One of my favorite movies of all time stars a fictional 70s newscaster in a certain southern California city. In the movie, all of the action focuses around the birth of a brand new, baby Panda at the city zoo. Worlds crash down, careers are challenged, and epic collapses take place. And in the end, Lin-Wong finally has its baby panda, the world turns back right-side-up and all becomes well.
While pondering this, I realized that this is exactly where the Nationals stand in their history. The fans are waiting, very patiently mind you, for the birth of a legitimate franchise after getting a delicious taste of it last year for 12 glorious starts. Right now hi-jinx are ensuing everyday, with nosebleeds and torn muscles and goofy giant presidents, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel; our very own panda watch.
That's right. Bryce Harper is a San Diego-on Panda.
You saw the stories around three weeks ago. The future right-fielder was over-matched by the older pitchers, struggling to hit the breaking balls, and seeming to be lost at Low-A Hagerstown. Then he went to the eye doctor, got some contacts, and started a tear. On April 18th, Harper was hitting just .231. Now, just 3 weeks and 19 games later, Harper is hitting .371. Not bad for 3 weeks work.
His best game so far of his streak was without a doubt April 22nd, where the Phenom went 3 for 3 with a single, double, homer, and 2 walks - knocking in 6 runs in the process.
During said streak Harper has only gone one game without a hit, and even in that game (back on the 25th) he still walked.
2011 Stats thus far:
28 Games. .371 AVG. 11 2B. 7 HR. 24 RBI. 16 BB. 22 K. 5 SB. 2 CS. 1.161 OPS (!).
With Harper tearing up the South Atlantic League look for him to get a promotion to High-A Potomac around June 1st, maybe just 1 year before we see him in a curly W. But not before Capitol Baseball gets an up-close look at him...
That's right, folks. I'll be in attendance Tuesday morning to see the Panda... err, Phenom in action; where 60% of the time, he works every time.
You stay classy, CapBallers.