Nationals

Quick Links

Bryce Harper home run tracker

harper_homer.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Bryce Harper home run tracker

Chicks dig the long ball, and so does Bryce Harper.

There are few things in life as violent, and simultaneously majestic, as a Harper moonshot. The Nationals slugger has always had prodigious power, even going back to his Sports Illustrated-cover days as a high schooler. That power has seamlessly translated to the pros, where a healthy Bryce is as good a bet as any to lead the National League in round-trippers. Over a week into the season, he still had more home runs than 5 full MLB teams.

It's hard finding the time to watch every pitch in a single season, so we've made it easy to find, watch, and re-watch several times every single Bryce Harper home run in 2018. Enjoy.

RELATED: 2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS

Home Run #1 - April 1st

Harper launches his 1st home run of the season against Reds pitcher Sal Romano, a solo shot in the 6th inning to give the Nats a 3-0 lead.
 

Distance: 397 ft
Exit velocity: 108 mph
Angle: 34°

Home Run #2 - April 1st

Harper doubles down with his 2nd solo homer in the game, this time off Raisel Iglesias, extending the Nats lead to 6-3 in the 9th.  Oh, and this bomb came after a fan chanted "overrated."
 

Distance: 425 ft
Exit velocity: 109 mph
Angle: 28°


Home Run #3 - April 2nd

The Nats took it to Braves starter Sean Newcomb, and Harper got in on the party with a 3-run shot to give the team an early 5-0 lead. 
 

Distance: 425 ft
Exit velocity: 108 mph
Angle: 30°


Home Run #4 - April 3rd

The Nats lost for the first time, but it wasn't for lack of a Harper home run. The slugger cranked a solo shot to right to cut the Braves lead to 8-5 in the 3rd inning off frequent victim Julio Teheran. 
 

Distance: 367ft
Exit velocity: 95mph
Angle: 32°


Home Run #5 - April 7th

Few players in baseball can match Harper's raw power, which allows him to drive balls out to the opposite field with ease. He gave the Nats a 6-inning lead with this beauty, while becoming the first player to reach 5 home runs in 2018.
 

Distance: 405 ft
Exit velocity: 108 mph
Angle: 23°


Home Run #6 - April 8th

Harper wasted no time blasting his 6th homer of the season, taking Matt Harvey deep in the 1st inning on Sunday Night Baseball. This bomb extending his league-leading home run count, as no one else in baseball has more than 4 at this point.
 

Distance: 368 ft
Exit velocity: 102 mph
Angle: 35°


Home Run #7 - April 15th

Mike Trout tied him for the MLB lead in home runs on April 14th at 6 apiece, so Harper promptly clobbered another one the next afternoon in his first at-bat. This was an absolute moonshot.
Distance: 418 ft
Exit velocity: 109 mph
Angle: 28°


Home Run #8 - April 16th

Harper stunned everyone by shattering his bat while hitting a home run to right center field. This thing was pure strength, and the sluggler took off to first base still holding what was left of his bat — which wasn't much. Also, the majority of his bat went flying.

Distance: 406 ft
Exit velocity: 99 mph
Angle: 30°


Home Run #9 - May 1st

Harper came into this game hitting leadoff for the first time since 2013. It worked! 

Distance: 416 ft.
Exit Velocity: 110.5 mph
Launch Angle: 33°


Home Run #10 - May 2nd

The Harper leadoff experiment has been a raging success through two days. Here's Harper hitting the first leadoff homer of his career:

Distance: 416 ft
Exit Velocity: 109.1 mph 
Launch Angle: 32°


Home Run #11 - May 4th

The leadoff experiment for Bryce is working, here is the second one of his handful of starts from the top spot. 

Distance: 367 ft
Exit Velocity: 104.0 mph 
Launch Angle: 25°


Home Run #12 - May 4th

The second one in a game? Yessir. And this one was crushed for the longest one of Harper's career.

Distance: 473 ft
Exit Velocity: 112.1 mph 
Launch Angle: 23°


Home Run #13 - May 13th

Harper hits his 13th homer on May 13th, which is kind of cool? A tiny bit cool? Not totally uncool? It's something. 

Distance: 449 ft
Exit Velocity: 115 mph 
Launch Angle: 25°


Home Run #14 - May 21st

On a night where Juan Soto took the spotlight, Harper made everyone remember that he can play a little too. 

Distance: 449 ft
Exit Velocity: 98.6 mph 
Launch Angle: 37°


Home Run #15 - May 22nd

And for the second straight night, Bryce Harper takes one out. 

Distance: 433 ft
Exit Velocity: 110.1 mph 
Launch Angle: 31°


Home Run #16 - May 27th

Distance: 398 ft
Exit Velocity: 108 mph 
Launch Angle: 30°


Home Run #17 - May 29th

Harper got right back at it during the Beltway Series, taking Orioles ace out to right-center field in the top of the 1st inning.

Distance: 299 ft
Exit Velocity: 101 mph
Launch Angle: 33°


HOME RUN #18 - MAY 30th

Harper continues to crush the O's, kind of like he continues to crush every other major league team. 

Distance: 376
Exit Velocity: 100 mph
Launch Angle: 31°


HOME RUN #19 - JUNE 9TH

Harper put on a show for the visiting Washington Capitals absolutely crushing a 437-footer to right center. 

Distance: 437
Exit Velocity: 109.1 mph
Launch Angle: 25°


HOME RUN #20 - JUNE 29TH

Harper's first home run in nearly three weeks was a 402-foot dinger to put the Nats up 10-0. Sounds good. 

Distance: 402
Exit Velocity: 105.5 mph
Launch Angle: 34°


HOME RUN #21 - JULY 2ND

Harper clobbered his 21st homerun of the year into the upper deck in right field to pull the Nats within one of the Red Sox.

Distance: 439
Exit Velocity: 112.1 mph
Launch Angle: 32°


HOME RUN #22 - JULY 9TH

Harper got the Nats within three runs, crushing this one over the bushes in center field. 

Distance: 443
Exit Velocity: 109 mph
Launch Angle: 24°


HOME RUN #23 - JULY 12TH

Harper gave the Nats much-needed insurance runs, crushing a two-run bomb to right field in the seventh inning. 

Distance: 382 
Exit Velocity: 105 mph
Launch Angle: 35°

Quick Links

Nationals Spring Training Preview: Rotation workload an important factor

Nationals Spring Training Preview: Rotation workload an important factor

The Nationals will enter the 2020 season boasting one of the best rotations in baseball, just as they have every year since they rose to contention in 2012.

Each of the top four spots are a given. Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin and Aníbal Sánchez are all coming off strong seasons and will hope to replicate their success after pitching deep into the postseason.

At the back end, three pitchers will be given the chance to compete in Spring Training for the fifth-starter role: Austin Voth, Joe Ross and Erick Fedde.

This is the second installment of a Spring Training preview series, broken down by position group. The first story focused on the outfield, which you can find here.

Here’s a snapshot of the Nationals’ starting rotation as they prepare for the trip down to West Palm Beach.

All ages listed are as of Opening Day.

No. 1 Starter – Max Scherzer

Age: 35

2019 Stats: 27 starts, 172 1/3 innings, 11-7 record, 2.92 ERA, 2.45 FIP, 1.027 WHIP, 243 strikeouts, 33 walks, 18 home runs allowed and 7 hit batters

Contract: $35,920,616 million salary in 2020, free agent after 2021

At the start of last season, Max Scherzer was heralded as one of the most durable starters in the sport. He’d made at least 30 starts in 10 consecutive years, one fewer than the Chicago Cubs’ Jon Lester for the longest active streak in the majors.

But back and rhomboid strains limited him to just 27 starts in 2019, his fewest since making just seven (16 total appearances) as a rookie in 2008. Then neck spasms forced manager Davey Martinez to scratch him from his World Series Game 5 start, only for him to return three days later after receiving a cortisone shot.

It was the first injury-plagued season of Scherzer’s career. And at 35 years old, he must now prove he can still fend off the aging curve while keeping his body healthy for the course of a full season—something he's done with force to this point of his career. Speaking at the Nationals’ annual WinterFest event on Jan. 11, Scherzer insisted that he feels great as he revs up for the new season.

“Now that the calendar has turned to January, I’m feeling actually really good right now,” Scherzer said. “Throwing and running and doing everything I need to do. My body is in a pretty good spot considering how late we played last year.”

The Nationals will likely be cautious with Scherzer, focusing on making sure he’s healthy more than anything else by the time they get to Opening Day.

No. 2 Starter – Stephen Strasburg

Age: 31

2019 Stats: 33 starts, 209 innings, 18-6 record, 3.32 ERA, 3.25 FIP, 1.038 WHIP, 251 strikeouts, 56 walks, 24 home runs allowed and 10 hit batters

Contract: $35 million salary in 2020, free agent after 2026

Contrary to his teammate alongside him at the front of the Nationals’ rotation, Stephen Strasburg doesn’t have the reputation of being healthy all year. Yet, Strasburg led the NL with 209 regular-season innings then went on to throw another 36 1/3 in the playoffs.

It was by far the biggest workload of his career. In fact, before last season Strasburg hadn’t even reached the 200-inning threshold since 2014. So heading into 2020 with a World Series MVP award added to his résumé and a seven-year $245 million deal secured, Strasburg will look to prove that his injury history is well behind him.

“I think [my body] kind of reverted to what I’ve done in the past and I think it’s feeling good,” Strasburg said at WinterFest. “It’s feeling strong. Some stuff [was] tweaked as far as the lifting and everything. Kind of tapering off of that to start, allowing the body to recover. A lot of the adjustments that will need to be addressed is going to be through Spring Training and managing the workload, building up.”

Strasburg will also look to continue expanding his pitch selection with less of a dependency on his fastball. According to Brooks Baseball, Strasburg threw his four-seamer a personal-low 28.7 percent of the time, down from his career average of 49.6 percent. Meanwhile, he threw each of his sinker, changeup and curveball more often than he ever had.

No. 3 Starter – Patrick Corbin

Age: 30

2019 Stats: 33 starts, 202 innings, 14-7 record, 3.25 ERA, 3.49 FIP, 1.183 WHIP, 238 strikeouts, 70 walks, 24 home runs allowed and 3 hit batters

Contract: $19,416,667 million salary in 2020, free agent after 2024

In his first season with the Nationals, Patrick Corbin pitched exactly as advertised. His wipeout slider dominated lefties, he racked up strong strikeout numbers and put together a strong enough season to earn a vote on an NL Cy Young ballot.

Corbin also proved prone to stretches of dominance mixed in with the occasional dud. Only Corbin and the Cleveland Indians’ Shane Bieber had at least 24 quality starts (six innings, three earned runs or fewer allowed) while also posting five or more starts with at least five runs allowed.

When he was struggling, Corbin told reporters that the biggest key was to keep his fastball down.

Corbin often used his fastball to set up his potent slider with two strikes. Per Brooks Baseball, on fastballs in the top three quadrants of the strike zone, hitters posted a .475 slugging percentage—struggling in particular with pitches on his arm-side. For reference, Paul Goldschmidt slugged .476 last season.

So in order to avoid turning opposing hitters into Goldschmidt, Corbin will need to work on keeping his fastball down in the zone and setting up his renowned slider.

No. 4 Starter - Aníbal Sánchez

Age: 36

2019 Stats: 30 starts, 166 innings, 11-8 record, 3.85 ERA, 4.44 FIP, 1.271 WHIP, 134 strikeouts, 58 walks, 22 home runs allowed and 4 hit batters

Contract: $7 million salary in 2020, $18 million team option with $6 million buyout for 2021

In Aníbal Sánchez, the Nationals have yet another starter on a quest to prove he can stay effective with age. The veteran right-hander’s fastball velocity dipped down to a career-worst 90.7 mph, but he also pulled back on his usage of it and relied more on his wide array of off-speed pitches.

Sánchez stumbled to start the year before sitting for two weeks with a hamstring strain. But after he returned, he regained his form and put together a 3.42 ERA with an opponents’ OPS of just .668 the rest of the way. Despite his age, Sánchez showed that the work he put in to resurrect his career with the Atlanta Braves in 2017 was no fluke.

“Right now, [I’m] sore,” Sánchez said at WinterFest. “Everything is sore right now. I’ve been working out for two months already and I start throwing in three weeks…I’m not 22, I’m no [Juan] Soto right now but I’m going to be fine for Spring Training.”

Like the rest of his rotation mates, Sánchez was relied on deep into October. It was the first time he’d pitched past a division series since 2013, so his body wasn’t accustomed to that kind of workload coupled with a short turnaround the following year.

No. 5 Starter – Austin Voth, Joe Ross or Erick Fedde

Austin Voth

Age: 27

2019 Stats: 8 starts (9 appearances), 43 2/3 innings, 2-1 record, 3.30 ERA, 3.79 FIP, 1.053 WHIP, 44 strikeouts, 13 walks, 5 home runs allowed and 3 hit batters

Contract: League minimum in 2020, arbitration eligible in 2023, free agent after 2025

Joe Ross

Age: 26

2019 Stats: 9 starts (27 appearances), 64 innings, 4-4 record, 5.48 ERA, 4.59 FIP, 1.672 WHIP, 57 strikeouts, 33 walks, 7 home runs allowed and 4 hit batters

Contract: $1.5 million salary in 2020, arbitration eligible in 2021, free agent after 2021

Erick Fedde

Age: 27

2019 Stats: 12 starts (21 appearances), 78 innings, 4-2 record, 4.50 ERA, 5.34 FIP, 1.462 WHIP, 41 strikeouts, 33 walks, 11 home runs allowed and 2 hit batters

Contract: League minimum in 2020, arbitration eligible in 2022, free agent after 2024

One of the biggest competitions the Nationals will host this spring, the fifth-starter job is once again no sure bet as the team prepares for Spring Training.

Erick Fedde faces the longest odds to win the spot, as his lack of substantial service time at the major-league level over his first three seasons created a rare fourth minor-league option. This will give the Nationals the ability to shuttle him back and forth between the big-league club and their farm system as needed throughout the year.

Austin Voth and Joe Ross, however, are out of options and must make the team out of Spring Training or else be forced onto waivers. This makes them the two leading candidates to nab that fifth spot, with no clear front-runner heading into Grapefruit League play.

Both pitchers will need to produce positive results on the mound during Spring Training, a requirement only of players fighting for roster spots. Although they both still have plenty of chances to impress their coaches in practices and bullpen sessions, their statistics from game action figure to weigh heavy in the minds of Martinez and his coaching staff.

The man who falls short will likely then be moved to the bullpen, serving as the team’s long reliever. Regardless, both pitchers should benefit from going into the regular season with a set role. Voth, Ross and Fedde all alternated back and forth from the rotation to the bullpen and back again, a process that can be difficult for inexperienced players to adjust to.

But with Fedde likely remaining stretched out as a starter in the minor leagues as the next man up if an injury arises, both Voth and Ross can go into the 2020 season knowing the role they’re in will be theirs to keep if they find success in it.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

New Mets manager Luis Rojas has several ties to the Nationals' organization

New Mets manager Luis Rojas has several ties to the Nationals' organization

The New York Mets formally announced Luis Rojas as their new manager on Friday, and the 38-year-old has several ties to the Nationals franchise.

Rojas is the son of Felipe Alou, who managed the Montreal Expos from 1992 through 2001. Alou's 692 wins with the club are the most in Expos/Nationals history.

Alou was a long-time minor-league manager before he was given the Expos job at age 57. While Rojas is getting his first big-league managerial job at age 38, he credited his father for much of what he knows.

"My father has been my college, my university of baseball," Rojas said during his introductory press conference. "He's helped me a lot throughout this process and before the process. When I was growing up, I grew up in a Big League clubhouse when he was the manager. I got to see a lot of things, the way he operated, collaborated with staff, he also interacted with his players. I was grateful to see that.

"[He] taught me the game of baseball," Rojas continued. "He taught me the game of baseball and life, and helped me balance it throughout this journey. He was my example to follow the whole time. Still will be."

The new Mets skipper's half-brother, Moises Alou, played under his father Felipe for the Expos for six seasons. Moises was a two-time All-Star with the Expos and finished third in MVP voting in the strike-shortened 1994 season.

Moises was unable to attend Friday's press conference, but Rojas thanked him for all his help, too.

"To my brother Moises, you were very impactful in my career," Rojas said. "Our discussions led to great ideas. That's helped me a lot throughout my career."

As a player, Rojas spent five years in the Nationals' system. But after his playing career ended, he was hired by the Mets as a coach for the Dominican Summer League Mets. Rojas, a Dominican native, worked his way up through the Mets organization.

In 2011, he got his first managerial experience with the Gulf Coast League Mets. Rojas joined the Big League staff as a quality coach in 2019, his first experience with the parent club. With the dismissal of manager Carlos Beltran following the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal, Rojas was promoted to manager of the Mets.

"This is a dream come true," Rojas said. "To become the New York Mets manager, that was my dream."

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: