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MLB Washington Nationals

Five Reasons Why Bryce Harper Will Be the 2013 NL MVP

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Why Bryce Harper Will Win NL MVP in 2013

Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Who kicks off 2013 MLB Opening Day with two consecutive homeruns? Bryce Harper does.

While some will see this as an overreaction, Harper’s two homeruns in the Washington Nationals’ season opener have brought up the idea that this could be the year one of the most highly-touted baseball players in recent history takes home the heaviest individual hardware at season’s end.

Yes, I’m talking about the 2013 NL MVP.

Sure, let the angry opposition ensue. I’m sure we all have our own opinions on Harper, and that’s part of what makes sports so great. From my point of view, though, it’s hard to find a significant knock on the kid.

There are some issues with his attitude; he has been known to throw temper tantrums when the call doesn’t go his way. He also carries himself with a bit of arrogance, but what 20-year old superstar wouldn’t? For his age and level of baseball prowess, it’s understandable for Harper to still sway a bit to the immature side from time to time.

Let’s put the petty nitpicking aside, though. Put simply, Harper is a once-in-a-decade type of talent. He’s as well-rounded as they come, possessing a monster bat, tremendous glove work in center field and outstanding baserunning (the guy stole home plate). There’s not a single thing he’s bad at right now, and he’s only going to get better.

You’d be wise to jump on the Harper bandwagon now, because it’s picking up steam in a hurry and will leave doubters in the dust.

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His talent and potential are off the charts

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At every level of baseball that Harper has played at, he’s been a complete stud. After premiering with the Nationals, the rookie made an instant impact and helped them make the playoffs for the first time in club history. He proved in his first MLB campaign that his baseball IQ is immeasurable and he has the gifts of a five-tool player. While it’s still early and he has yet to produce at the highest level, there’s no denying that his potential to be a superstar makes him a reasonable MVP candidate.

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Harper started the 2013 season with two homeruns

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At one point this season, Harper’s batting average was 1.000. His slugging percentage was off the charts and he had two at-bats with a total of eight bases. Put simply, Ricky Nolasco was not a happy camper. While those numbers will obviously balance out as the season matures, starting the season in that fashion cannot be overlooked or shrugged off as coincidence. With a monster rookie campaign already under his belt, Harper is set for an explosive 2013 season and showed it on Opening Day.

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Harper is only 20-years young

Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

You think that Harper has shown glimpses of greatness now? Well stay tuned, because he hasn’t even peaked yet. At only 20-years young, there’s still plenty of growing and improving left in Harper’s future. Expect plenty of that maturation to occur this season as he builds off of a 2012 season that the Nationals are still having a hard time believing came from one of their players. No one ever thought someone so young could make such a profound impact in the MLB, but Harper brought a swift end to any doubt and appears ready to deliver more of the same with another year under his belt.

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Harper has the drive to outwork his opponents

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As the old saying goes, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” But what happens when elite talent works harder than anyone else? That sounds like one of the great athletes of all-time in the making to me. A major factor in determining the success of professional athletes is their dedication to the game off of the field, and Harper ranks among the top in honing his skills when he’s away from the diamond. He came into camp this offseason with 20 pounds of extra muscle, and it has already paid off. Coupling that with his unparalleled talent means Harper is bound for greatness in 2013.

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The Washington Nationals need a hero

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Harper is so easy to root for, and a big part of that is the fact that he plays for the Nationals. Washington is a team that annually finds themselves near the bottom of the NL standings, and wasn’t a franchise worth noting until Harper came into the mix last season. With their future outlook growing exponentially brighter, the Nationals must put all of their eggs in the Harper basket. He’s young, unbelievably talented and the type of player that can be the face of the franchise for the next decade. If the Nationals want to write their own laughing-stock-turned-champion narrative, it starts with Harper. And voters love Cinderella stories.

Gil Alcaraz IV is a Content Planner/NFL Featured Columnist for Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.