Bryce Harper became the first MLB player since 1965 to put in two 20-home run seasons before turning 21, and he joins former Red Sox outfielder Tony Conigliaro as the only two major leaguers to ever do it.
Harper, with 42 career home runs, won't touch Mel Ott's record of most home runs (61) before age 21. Harper hits the legal drinking age on Oct. 16. But no one in the game right now can say they were doing, at his age, what Harper's been doing these last couple of years. And the older guys in the league played in the Steroid Era's primetime.
When Harper was a rookie last year, and even this season, he saw his fair share of criticism. Having an up-and-down, injury-riddled season while the Nationals have struggled hasn't helped matters much.
Manny Machado, Mike Trout and Yasiel Puig stole Harper's shine. But this guy is still the real deal.