Praise for Harper as solid debut winds down

Praise for Harper as solid debut winds down

PHILADELPHIA -- Davey Johnson says Bryce Harper would be his National League Rookie of the Year Award winner, and the more milestones the youngster continues to rack up, the better the case he makes.

Harper has become the first teenager to hit at least 17 home runs (he has 20) and steal 17 bases in a season, eclipsing Ken Griffey Jr.'s 16/16 feat. Only Tony Conigliaro has hit more home runs (24) before his 20th birthday. Harper turns 20 on Oct. 16.

"I like those 93 runs a lot better," Harper said of his home run milestones. "Getting on base for all these guys, just getting on base and letting them get those RBIs and whatnot, and get those Ws. As long as we get those Ws at the end of the night, that's all that matters to me. And as we get deep into October, that's huge also."

More than becoming a 20/20 player, Harper said, he'd like to reach the 100-run plateau. The only player to score more than 93 runs in a season as a teenager was Buddy Lewis, who scored 100 with the Washington Senators in 1936.

"Nothing really amazes me with him," shortstop Ian Desmond said. "Regardless of all the home runs, the great throws, things like that, he impacts the baseball game every single day, whether it's on the basepaths, everything. Nothing surprises me with him. I think he's got the brightest future, and he's a good kid. That makes it so much better."