New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez knows how it feels to get a ton of hype. Rodriguez was once one of the best shortstop prospects ever. He has been compared to Harper in terms of numbers that Rodriguez had at Harper’s age of 22. Rodriguez has heard all about them, and he has even became a fan of Harper’s game as a result of the comparisons.
“The pressure that he’s under doesn’t even compare,” Rodriguez said. “His is so much harder, so much more challenging than when I came up. We didn’t have any of the social media stuff. I give Bryce a lot of credit for how he’s handling everything.”
“As an 18-year-old in the big-leagues, you have limitations,” Alex Rodriguez said. “You can’t even walk into a local bar with your teammates; you’re still two or three years away from being able to do that. Those kind of challenges were the toughest for me. I don’t think there’s anything that can prepare you as a kid in high school for being in the minors or majors.”
“I like how relentless and how aggressive he is; you don’t see that often these days,” Rodriguez said. “Most people want to play it safe, but he goes for it every time.
“That’s very admirable.”
Alex Rodriguez does have a big point. When he was coming up he didn’t have to deal with the media pressure and fan pressure on social media like Bryce has.
“I love everything about him,” Rodriguez said. “I like players that play hard. He wears his emotion on his sleeve, he’s a gamer and he’s a winner. As a fan of baseball, I would pay big money to watch him play — especially to watch him hit.”
Harper has finally broken out of his shell this season. Harper’s 14 home runs lead the National League and he is on pace to have a historic season.
“His home runs don’t tell the whole story,” Rodriguez said. “His body language, how he’s carrying himself, his plate recognition, the balls he’s hitting all over the field. He’s not just hitting home runs; he’s hitting home runs, he’s walking a lot. He’s maturing right in front of our eyes and you love to see that.”
“He’s just so damn explosive,” Rodriguez said. “For me, growing up watching Darryl Strawberry and guys like that, when he came to the plate, the stadium stopped. Same with Harper. If I’m a fan, I’m not going to the concession stand when he comes to bat. I’m going to make sure to watch his four or five at-bats because he’s that type of talent.”
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