When Stephen Strasburg (almost) met Bryce Harper

Adam Kilgore
Copyright 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011; 4:41 PM

Stephen Strasburg has not yet had a chance to speak with Bryce Harper, the player who will find himself in roughly the same space Strasburg occupied a year ago, a supreme talent and sport-wide fascination. Harper is due to arrive tomorrow, and maybe they will speak then. While they haven't formally met, they have briefly crossed paths before. In 2007, during Strasburg's sophomore year at San Diego State, Strasburg randomly decided to attend a game for the travel team he once played for. On that team was a 15-year-old named Bryce Harper. "They said, 'Oh, you got to check out this kid. He's 15 years-old playing against 18-year-olds,' " Strasburg said this afternoon. "So I saw him throwing 93 off the mound. And I was like, 'OK, I'll remember that name.' Sure enough, it looks like we'll be teammates sometime down the road." No one knows better what Harper, the 2010 first overall pick, is in store for this spring than Strasburg, the 2009 first overall pick. Strasburg is confident Harper can handle it. "They're going to make sure he gets acclimated to the situation. You can't really expect much right now. Obviously, he's extremely gifted. He's going to turn some heads. From what I hear, he's a hard worker, and that's something he's got to hold on to for his entire career - never be satisfied."

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