Q&A: Binghamton's Brett Harper

Q&A: Binghamton's Brett Harper

Since joining the Binghamton Mets on June 29, slugging first baseman Brett Harper hasn't missed a beat, hitting .323 with five homers in his first 19 games back at Double-A. He joined Inside Pitch's Bryan Hoch for a chat this week. (Premium Content for IP Online Subscribers)

You really haven't seemed to have missed a beat since being called up to Double-A. Do you feel as good here as you did with St. Lucie?

I actually feel better. I'm making better contact and getting my base hits, and I'm hitting for a higher average. I'm only thinking about getting my pitch and putting my swing on it.

This was the place you felt you should have started the season. Was there any sort of validation in finally getting re-promoted?

No, you can't necessarily control things. Those are things you can't control. You can only just go out there and try to hit the ball hard and go out everyday trying to do the same thing. If you hit the ball and play hard, and whether you're at this level or not, if you do the same thing you'll be OK.

With the numbers you put up at St. Lucie, what do you feel you've accomplished this year?

Up to this point, I feel like I've established that I'm a power-hitting first baseman who can hopefully contribute in the big leagues one day, and put up the same kind of power numbers. I think I can hit for average as well, not just be the power guy. I'm working on being a good contact hitter.

Have you proved anything?

I haven't proven anything, because I've always known I can hit. I know what I'm capable of doing. Up to now, realizing what I can do and what I'm capable of, I think I've shown that last year wasn't a fluke. It's not that, 'Oh, he had a great year.' I'm here and this is what I can do.

You've been a designated hitter a lot since joining Binghamton. Do you have a preference of where you'd rather be, at first base or DH?

Both. Whatever they need me to do, as long as I'm hitting in the lineup. I don't mind DHing but I enjoy playing first base. But I know that in the National League, there's no DH, so you've got to be able to play a position. First base is my position.

Is that more of a challenge, to stay loose as a DH when you're not playing the field every half inning?

Not really. Hitting is hitting, once you get up to the plate, whether you've been on the field for eight innings or not. It's the same approach, because you're still just going up there and trying to get a good pitch to hit.

There's something strange with your splits at St. Lucie; you were a far better hitter on the road than at home (Harper hit .354 with 13 HR in away games; .214 with 7 HR at home). Did that have anything to do with Tradition Field?

I don't know. It's just a bunch of things. I know I hit great last year at home, so maybe it's just coincidence. I'm not really sure. It's one of those things you don't really know. I loved hitting there, but I had a couple of rough games at home.

Now, you're familiar with this park (Binghamton's NYSEG Stadium). What kind of ballpark is this for you?

It's a good hitter's park, and the wind usually blows out. It's got a good background. I like hitting in this park.

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