- The Washington Times - Monday, April 9, 2018

Bryce Harper has gotten off to an enviable start this baseball season, but that’s not why his name started trending on social media Monday morning.

Harper commented on Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant’s Instagram photo in snowy Chicago, which drove Cubs fans nuts.


A post shared by Kris Bryant (@kris_bryant17) on Apr 9, 2018 at 8:19am PDT

A Chicago Tribune columnist also decided to imagine an April 2019 Cubs lineup card with Harper in it (when there’s an entire season of baseball still to play in 2018, first).

Harper’s contract with Washington is up after 2018, and he is expected to become the highest-paid baseball player of all time with his next contract, whether with the Nationals or another team in free agency.

For now, Harper’s dingers count for Washington. In a week that saw the Nationals get swept by the New York Mets and lose five straight games, Harper smashed four of his six hits for home runs and leads the major leagues in that category with six overall. He also scored seven runs and drew 11 walks with just five strikeouts during the week.

Harper’s six home runs this year is a higher total than five major league clubs have thus far: the Los Angeles Dodgers (four), Tampa Bay Rays (four), Miami Marlins (three), Detroit Tigers (two) and Kansas City Royals (two).

And ESPN Stats and Info reported that only two other players in major league history recorded at least six homers and 12 walks in their teams’ first 10 games of season: Barry Bonds in 2002 and Jim Thome in 2006.

• Adam Zielonka can be reached at azielonka@washingtontimes.com.

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