"I'll help out for sure," Harper said. "After losing LaRoche, I have to step up a little bit. I have to do what I need to do. Our pitching is going to take us to the top, hopefully, but we still have to have offense. We have to do the things we need to do. I'm ready to go. I'll be feeling good."
Harper said the key to his success in 2015 will be sticking to his approach and not trying to overdo it.
"I have to see what [pitchers] are going to do to me, see how they approach me, really just working my pitch and not go out of my comfort zone," Harper said. "If I can do that, stay within myself and have a little bit of fun at the plate, that will go a long way."
Harper lost weight during the offseason, reporting to camp at 204 pounds. He was able to work on his entire body during the winter, which he couldn't do last season due to a knee injury. Manager Matt Williams was impressed, saying Harper is in "fantastic shape."
On top of that, Harper said he's focused on playing smarter in the field in order to avoid an injury. Harper missed a large chunk of the 2013 season after running into the outfield wall, and it seems he'll do a better job of being more careful this year.
The 22-year-old hit .273/.344/.423 over 352 at-bats last season.
When asked if he'll need outfielder
Harper, 22, was primarily the No. 6 hitter last season for the Nationals. He has played
77 career games at the No. 3 spot, 20 at cleanup and 13 at the No. 5 spot. Last season, he hit .273/.344/.423 with 13 homers and 32 RBI over 352 at-bats. He has appeared in only 218 games over the past two seasons due to an assortment of injury issues.
The two sides were scheduled to have a grievance hearing Tuesday before coming to terms on a two-year, $7.5 million contract, sources told Heyman. Harper will make $2.5 million in 2015 and $5 million in 2016.
Harper was set to make $1.5 million in 2015 due to the contract he signed as a first-round pick in 2010. Had he been eligible for arbitration, he would have likely made about $2.5 million, according to The Washington Post. Harper and his agent, Scott Boras, believed Harper had the right to opt out of his deal and enter arbitration.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|10/7/2014 vs San Francisco|
|vs San Francisco||12||3||1||.250||.583||.250|
|vs Alvarez (Career)||15||8||2||1.000||.588||.533|
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