Bryce Harper already in midseason form for Phillies | Baseball


CLEARWATER, Fla.  — Bryce Harper launched an opposite-field shot for his third homer in two days, prompting a few fans to yell “M-V-P” as he circled the bases.

It’s only spring training but expectations are high.

“I’m OK with it,” manager Joe Girardi said after his star right fielder after the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 on Thursday. “He’s been doing it for a long time. He was 16 when he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He’s had a lot of practice. He has a personality where he’s able to stay focused on what he needs to do and he doesn’t get caught up with what’s going on around him.”

Harper embraces the pressure and says he loves playing in Philadelphia because fans hold him “accountable.” He told a Philly radio station before the game that he wants “to run through a wall for this city.”

The 27-year-old slugger is entering his second season with the Phillies after signing a $330 million, 13-year contract last year that was the richest in baseball history until the Mike Trout got a record deal from the Angels few weeks later.

The Phillies are counting on Harper to help them end an eight-year postseason drought. The…

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