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Staten Island, New York – A sharp memory isn’t required to be a reliever.
No, that’s poison in the well that relievers drink from. They let that last one go and know that, all that matter, as Roberto Clemente once said, is tomorrow’s game.
Nationals prospect Bryan Harper is learning to pitch at the professional level, but he’s also getting the hang of forgetting.
“Yeah, I mean, you know, obviously it’s going to take a toll on you,” Harper said earlier this week. “You want to go out and perform really well. So when you’re not doing well it does take a toll. You’ve got to have a short memory. You have to move on for the next pitch.”
The twenty-three-year old is having it rough and that attitude serves him well. He knows where he’s gone wrong to result in a 14.34 ERA in 10 innings of work for the Class-A (short season) Auburn Doubledays.
“I’ve been elevating the ball too much. I know I need to work down. It’s just trial and error.”
He was drifting too much, meaning he wasn’t keeping his weight back enough, something his pitching coach, Sam Narron. has worked on with him, as well as trying to be more aggressive toward the plate. He’s given up 10 walks this season.
In his first full-season at the pro level after being drafted in the 30th round in 2011, Harper has learned new ways to make him feel he’s heading in the right direction, despite any struggles. The team philosophy is key.
“Getting on a routine. That’s a big thing they always preach. That’s helped me in getting back to performing well.”
There’s always some mystery involved when a talented player is just not finding his way. Helps to solve it quicker. Harper has worked hard on mechanical issues, but, according to him, there’s nothing causing him to feel shaky on the mound.
“I don’t think [I”m uncomfortable] out there.”
Back to those walks. He knows what he has to improve so as not to allow guys to get on base by waiting for him to make a mistake. He’s trying to throw strikes more consistently.
“I’ve always really battled with walking a lot of guys. I’ve really tried being around the zone. It might be elevated and not where I want it to be, but as long as I’m in the zone and not walking guys. I want to be pitching better [overall]. But the one big thing is not walking a lot of guys.”
Topics: Attitude, Auburn Doubledays, Coach Sam, Game, Heading In The Right Direction, Mechanical Issues, Mystery, Nationals, New Ways, Pitching Coach, Poison In The Well, Professional Level, Roberto Clemente, Sam Narron, Short Memory, Staten Island New York, Talented Player, Team Philosophy, Trial And Error, Walks