Look at Bryce Harper’s swing

(Alex Brandon / AP)

There was a photo of Bryce Harper looking humongous while holding Girl Scout cookies that got passed around the Internet on Wednesday, so that led me to look through many wire photos of Harper taken this spring. In none did he look quite so massive. Also, in none was he holding Girl Scout cookies.

But that search led me to a series of photos by the AP’s Alex Brandon, showing Bryce Harper’s swing, step-by-step, during Wednesday’s game against the Mets.

Now, this ground has obviously been traveled before, including in The Post, where Adam Kilgore and others put together an incredible package on Harper’s swing last May. The step-by-step photos, though, were from a slightly different angle, and a year has passed, so here’s yet another step-by-step look.

And, if you’ve forgotten, here’s Kilgore’s description:

Harper starts every swing in the same stance, his feet slightly open and his hands cocked behind his ear. When he was younger, in order to keep his hands back for off-speed pitches, Harper raised his hands literally as high as he could above his head. As he aged, he gradually lowered his hands.

Harper contorts his neck more than most hitters in order to look at the pitcher with both eyes. He discovered he is left-eye dominant, and so he wants his left eye to be in front of his right eye. The extra turn in his head allows him to recognize pitches and see the ball earlier.

As Harper begins his swing, he starts by picking up his front foot and turning his ankle in, loading weight backward and starting to transfer energy from the ground to his hands. The key to his power comes in synchronized movements. As he twists his upper body, Harper separates his pelvis from his hips — if viewed from above, his shoulders and hips would form an ‘X.’…

As he begins to bring his hands forward, Harper stiffens his right leg to create what Schu called “leverage” — using his front leg as a fulcrum to move force from his lower body to his upper body. All these actions happen simultaneously, calibrated to a split-second.

(Alex Brandon / AP)
(Alex Brandon / AP)
(Alex Brandon / AP)

(Alex Brandon / AP)
(Alex Brandon / AP)
(Alex Brandon / AP)
Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.



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Dan Steinberg · March 6, 2014