Skip to content

Werth, Harper share the spotlight

Feb 22, 2011, 10:23 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth shared the spotlight today at Nats camp.

VIERA, Fla. — Sign the 14th-largest contract in baseball history, and you’re probably going to be the center of attention on your first day with your new club.

Unless, of course, one of your new teammates is the most-hyped 18-year-old in a generation.

Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper shared the spotlight Tuesday on the first day of full-squad workouts at Nationals camp, the $126 million veteran and the prized prospect spending plenty of time together in the outfield and each looking perfectly comfortable in his new surroundings.

“It’s definitely a new beginning,” said Werth, a three-time division champion with the Phillies suddenly starring for a Nationals franchise that has escaped the NL East basement only once in six years.

“I had a lot of fun out there with everybody,” said Harper, who should be starting his senior season in high school right now yet found himself Thursday on the same field as future Hall-of-Famer Ivan Rodriguez. “We had a blast.”

Read my full story, including plenty of thoughts from both Werth and Harper, on CSNwashington.com.

  1. Not Werth It - Feb 22, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    "I swear he's 18"

  2. Doc - Feb 22, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    Why shouldn't Harper believe that belongs in the Bigs—that's what competing is allll about!I'd also be in favor of him wearing his signature Kiss eye black, but I guess he's had better advice on that issue!

  3. Cwj - Feb 23, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    In all seriousness, what if Harper absolutely clobbers minor league pitching this year? Would the Nats even consider calling him up in September? Or would that just be premature or even harmful for such a young guy…Curious what you guys think.

  4. Good Quote - Feb 23, 2011 at 2:55 AM

    "We're going to do some things that most people think are impossible or that we can't do," Werth added. "I love that position."

  5. Joe Seamhead - Feb 23, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    You gotta love this kid! Not to mention Werth. What great attitudes. By-the-way, I'm convinced that even without Saint Stephen, the Nats are going to be dramatically better this year. Many of the crappy pitching stats of the past several years would not have been anywhere near as bad if they had any kind of decent defense behind them. There were so many times when LF's Willie Mo, or Dunn, or even Willingham, though not charged with errors got poor jumps and reads and had balls fall in for hits that would have been outs with MLB caliber talent out there. And then, how many times did the likes of those guys, along with Millidge, Dukes, and Morgan play routine singles into doubles?Or Guzzman having his feet glued to the ground while a double play ball went for an RBI instead? Not to mention Donkey Boy with his inability to jump just a little bit to cover Desmond's ass on a few of those throws to first? And as much as I love Pudge, he's in the fading twilight of an incredible career. How many times can one guy ground into double plays? I expect either Flores or Ramos to be the main man behind the plate by the break. As to Nyjer, I would have given up on him last year. It's amazing that two years after he single handedly improved our team dramatically, that he is now seemingly the weakest link on the diamond.So my point is that though Rizzo didn't land us an "A" starter, the rest of them will look better with the supporting cast behind them. Prediction? Harper will be a September call up, to put fannies in the seats, and the Nats will finish ahead of the Mets and Braves with a .500 record.It's springtime, a new dawn, and let's play ball!

  6. Socrates - Feb 23, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    It is good that the Nats have two right-fielders so that one can play while the other rests. It is not good that most of the rest of the Nats players are not so good.

  7. Knoxville Nat - Feb 23, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    Seamhead,I like your optimism but I think the Nats passing the Braves would be a long shot. I'd be happy if we could pass the Mets and the Marlins this season.

  8. Harper_ROY_2012 - Feb 23, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    I know most people do not enjoy such an attitude but why shouldn't Bryce WANT to make the big leagues out of camp!? He is right he has always exceeded expectations and then some! Why should he think that now hen has been drafted that he better lower his expectations!? VIVA Bryce!

  9. Tcostant - Feb 23, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Worth a read for all:http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AoTE5ltmxU6vCdOfrXYKY6YRvLYF?slug=jp-harpernationals022211Good stuff, can't wait to see this guy later this year in Potomic and DC in late 2012.

  10. John C. - Feb 23, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    I would expect that Harper's goal is to make the team. I find all of the speculation on his arrival in DC inevitable but rather silly. Maybe we should wait until he actually has some actual at bats in games against big league pitchers? Just you wait, one 0-4 with 3 K's day later, and a lot of the "Why isn't Harper on 1/2 Street NAO!" crowd will be parroting "DEH BIGGEZT FLOP EVR!!" Every day will swing between Hall of Fame ("Baseball's LeBron!") and the Hall of Shame ("Baseball's Ryan Leaf!"). I'll be surprised if we don't have whiplash before it's all over.

  11. Harper_ROY_2012 - Feb 23, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    Mark – Am I reading other blogs right that the Nationals have restricted access to all players forcing fans to line up behind ropes to get any authographs or to take pictures with players??? Tell me this only pertains to Strasburg and Pudge like it did last year because a less fan freindly environment is not good to an already decreasing fan base.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 78 58 -- 19
ATLANTA 72 66 7.0
MIAMI 67 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 74 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 63 74 15.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Braves at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter