Mar 2, 2012, 9:09 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Bryce Harper leads off first base during today's game against Georgetown.
VIERA, Fla. — Bryce Harper ambled to the plate for the bottom of the third inning, staring down Georgetown sophomore right-hander Jack Vander Linden, as a crowd of 1,341 at Space Coast Stadium watched, hoping to see Harper swing his mighty bat and see the baseball soar into the Viera sky.
And what did they get from the 19-year-old Nationals phenom? A drag bunt. Yes, a drag bunt. Not a terribly great one either. Vander Linden managed to corral the ball to the right of the mound and toss to first base a step ahead of Harper.
This is what everyone was waiting for? The game's best power-hitting prospect trying to beat out a bunt?
"Just a bunt," Harper said later, downplaying the whole thing. "I bunted a couple times this year. Just trying to work on things in spring training."
Perhaps it's the surest sign yet of Harper's new-found maturity. He could've swung for the fences, tried to hit the ball a country mile andRead more »
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.
- Desperate Braves sign Santana for $14 million
- The good, the bad and the ugly of Nats camp
- Zimmermann perfect against Sabathia, Yankees
- Fister could be ready for season's first week
- Zimmermann leads Nats against Yankees' Sabathia
- Injuries highlight the importance of rotation depth
- Gio Gonzalez starts strong, but Astros top Nationals
- Bryce Harper repping new eye black company
- Gonzalez faces Astros under the lights in Viera
- Should Desmond be the Nationals' No. 2 hitter?