The Early Lead: Bryce Harper takes batting practice at Nationals Park

By Cindy Boren
Thursday, August 26, 2010; 3:45 PM

About time he earned his paycheck.

Bryce Harper, the Nats' 17-year-old phenom, is taking batting practice at Nationals Park, ahead of his 5:45 p.m. press conference. Here's the twitter-to-blog conversion:

First swing? A long fly ball to center, off the warning track, one-hops the fence (via Mark Zuckerman).

Harper hit a ball in the third deck in right field (via Bill Ladson) and ... What a shot! It was an Adam Dunn-type home run

And an eye-witness summary account from Dave Sheinin:

He bunted first pitch then took a bunch of pitches the opposite way. Then on last swing of his turn, he cranked it up. Third deck in rf. About a half dozen Nats players, plus Boras, Rizzo and Riggleman were out there watching.

In his second round of BP, Ladson tweets: The kid did "Nothing special." [He's a has-been already!]

This just in (Ladson buries the lede and I guess I do, too): Bryce #Harper is wearing a Mohawk. It reminds me of John Riggins, when he was with the #Jets.

Harper's on the comeback trail: Bryce #Harper hit a home run in his third round of batting practice. (via Ladson)

He's gonna break the HR record today at this pace: Bryce #Harper hit four home runs in his fourth round of batting practice.(via Ladson)

He's in a slump: Bryce #Harper hit one home run in his fifth round of batting practice. (via Ladson)

He's back! Harper belts three straight home runs in his last round of BP (via Gene Wang).

In case you're wondering who else is taking BP, the answer is: Kevin Mench (via Adam Kilgore). I'm sorry, but no one is tweeting about his performance.

BH's BP ends at 3:30. He hit something like a jillion home runs and didn't whiff once. And he has a Mohawk. Sweet.

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