Williams: Nats want to make amends for 2013
Late in the 2013 season Bryce Harper made a statement about his plans for the winter, putting it bluntly how he wanted to "get as big as a house." It was his way of saying he wants to bulk up for 2014 and gain weight.
Now Harper has a specific weight in mind. He told ESPN recently he hopes to report to spring training at over 240 pounds. Harper weighed around 218 pounds near the end of 2013 according to the same article. [Editor's note: This originally said Harper spoke to ESPN "this week"]
"I want to go into spring training about 240, 245," he said.
240 pounds? That's bigger than anyone currently on the Nationals besides Ross Ohlendorf who is an inch or two taller than Harper. If he were to reach 245 pounds that would put him at Michael Morse's size, at least based on his Baseball Reference page.
Harper's reasoning is that he will lose weight over the course of the year, as much as 20 pounds he told ESPN. As the temperatures heat up, and as he plays games every day, he'll start to slim down. Mike Trout came in to spring last year having visibly gained weight, and he was just fine with another MVP-caliber season.
The extra weight could help him reach his power potential, but it may also put more strain on his left knee which was recently surgically repaired. We'll see how it affects his abilities. Either way, look for a much bigger Bryce Harper come NatsFest later this month.