Bryce Aaron Max Harper is an American professional baseball right fielder and first baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies. He was a highly regarded draft pick and made his MLB debut at 19 years old. Harper won the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2012 and tied for the NL lead in home runs in 2015. He was named the NL Most Valuable Player in 2015 and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2018. Harper won his second NL MVP award in 2021.
In Las Vegas, Nevada, Harper studied Las Vegas High School. The magazine Sports Illustrated compared Harper to Lebrun James by referred to him as his sport’s “Chosen One” in a cover article in May 2009.
Bryce Harper, a former Major League Baseball player, is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a baseball player. He grew up in Henderson, Nevada, with his father, Ron, an ironworker, and his mother, Shrilly Harper. Harper’s older brother, Bryan, also played in the Washington Nationals organization. He played alongside Joey Gallo and Kris Bryant as a youth. Harper was engaged to Kayla Varner in 2014 but their wedding was postponed. They got married in 2016 and have two children. In 2018, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation renovated a baseball field in Washington, D.C., and named it Bryce Harper Field.
In 2010, 17-year-old Harper earned his GED and was eligible for the Major League Baseball (MLB) draft. He enrolled at the College of Southern Nevada, where he played as a catcher. Harper’s 31 home runs in 2010 broke the school’s record and were named the 2010 SWAC Player of the Year. In the 2010 NJCAA World Series, Harper went 6-for-7 with five RBIs and hit for the cycle. However, he was ejected from a game due to disputing a called third strike, leading to a two-game suspension. This ended his amateur career and Southern Nevada lost their next game, eliminating them from the tournament.
Harper was drafted by the Washington Nationals as an outfielder in the 2010 Major League Baseball draft. He agreed to a five-year contract worth $9.9 million, including a $6.25 million signing bonus and eight semesters of college tuition. Harper dominated the Arizona Fall League (AFL) as a member of the Scottsdale Scorpions taxi-squad, batting.343 and slugging.729. He began his minor league career with the Hagerstown Suns and hit.480 in his first 20 games after receiving contact lenses. Harper was selected to represent the United States in the 2011 All-Star Futures Game and was promoted to the Harrisburg Senators of the Class AA Eastern League. However, he injured his hamstring in August 2011, ending his season. Harper began the 2012 season with the Syracuse Chiefs of the Class AAA International League.
Before being selected by the Nationals, Harper played two seasons of baseball with the American U-18 team in 2008 and 2009.
Along with coworkers Phillies J. T. Realm to and Tree Turner, Harper declared on August 12, 2022, that he would play for the United States national baseball team in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. However, he was unable to participate since he was recovering from surgery.