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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Harper, Strasburg Are The New Faces of the Washington Nationals

It’s no surprise that the Washington Nationals chose 17-year-old prodigy Bryce Harper with the first overall draft pick on Tuesday, but it was exciting to finally see it happen. Last year, the Nats chose pitcher Stephen Strasburg with the same pick and he’s already set to make his major league debut Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates. If you’re a Nationals fan, you have a couple of legitimate reasons to be excited about the future. Heck, if you’re a Washington sports fan in general we gave you a list of reasons why you should be optimistic just a few weeks ago.

I think it’s awesome how Harper and Strasburg have yet to play a game for the Nats and they’re already becoming the faces of the franchise. The only concern could be that these two kids will have a lot of pressure looming over their heads. I’m personally not concerned because I believe this duo is phenomenal, but making the majors is something that every little league player dreams of. When it finally happens, there’s added pressure to be the best — especially when people are already calling you the best.

Strasburg has been outstanding in his minor league starts with a record of 7-2 and an ERA of 1.30 with the Nats’ Double-A and Triple-A affiliates. Oh yeah, and he’s only 21-years-old. His debut game is sold out and has caused “Strasmas in June” in Washington. It’s a good thing Steve Phillips isn’t the Nats GM, because I highly doubt the anticipation of  Roy Oswalt taking the hill would call for a sell-out crowd.

As for Harper, he can knock the long ball out of the park with ease. It’s been said that the 17-year-old can hit home runs as long as 550 feet. That’s pretty impressive for someone who’s not even a legal adult yet. The Nationals have already improved themselves over last year (which isn’t hard considering where they’re at) but these two young faces are going to make them a contender. I can envision the Nats and the Philadelphia Phillies battling it out for first place in the next year or so. So get up and cheer Washington fans –you’re looking at your first wave of excitement since the Washington Redskins won the Superbowl in ’92.

Stephen Strasburg Minor-League Statistics & History [Baseball Reference]
Slugger Bryce Harper Goes No. 1 to Nationals [AP]

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