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What Can Nationals Fans Expect From Bryce Harper In 2014?

March 25, 2014

Predictions for how Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper will perform in 2014 are dependent upon whether Harper will stay healthy all season, which is hardly a given. 

Nationals 2012: Bryce Harper (batting)
Photo Credit: Mitch Stringer/PressBox

One interesting question about Harper is what is the best spot for him in the Nationals' lineup? The Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell touched on this topic during spring training

Harper is flexible enough to hit anywhere from one through six in the lineup. But what spot is the best to take advantage of his talents? His speed allows him to hit in the leadoff and second spots, and a left-handed hitter in the No. 2 hole would help open up the right side of the infield with a man on first.

But if the Nationals are going to excel, it makes sense for Harper to be in the middle of the lineup and driving in runs. If Harper stays healthy and hits most of the time in the three, four or five hole, there is no reason why he can't reach at least 30 home runs and 90 RBIs.

Those may not seem like staggering numbers for a player as touted as Harper, who will turn 22 in October. But they would be an improvement from last season, when Harper hit .274 with 24 doubles, 20 home runs and 58 RBIs in 424 at bats during 118 games. 

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