That Tuesday's game didn't unfold as he would have planned was no big deal.
His team won, just as it had in its first four games of the season.
"We're 5-0 and it's always good to start off well," Bryce Harper said after the Hagerstown Suns defeated the Lexington Legends 5-1 at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. "We've got a lot of good guys on our club that can swing it, and we've got our pitching going."
Harper, the most highly regarded prospect ever to visit the Legends, struck out his first three at-bats. On his fourth, he drove a ball just shy of the warning track in left-center. Thanks to a nice catch-and-throw by center fielder Daniel Adamson and a base-running blunder by Adrian Sanchez, the near-homer became a double play.
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The No. 1 pick in last year's draft, Harper had legendary status even before appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated — two years ago, when he was 16 and had just completed his sophomore year of high school.
As Tom Verducci penned in the accompanying article: "Golf has Tiger Woods, basketball has LeBron James, hockey had Wayne Gretzky and military history had Alexander the Great."
Harper is the prodigy dubbed "Baseball's Chosen One" by the magazine.
There are tales of a 570-foot home run and a home run showcase in which he hit six consecutive blasts that averaged 469 feet; of throwing 96 mph fastballs and, as a catcher, picking off runners from a kneeling position.
A 3.5 student through two years at Las Vegas High School, he bypassed his junior and senior years by earning a GED. That enabled him to enroll at the College of Southern Nevada and become draft-eligible a year earlier than would have happened otherwise.
Legends shortstop Jiovanni Mier, a 2009 first-round draft pick, also hails from Las Vegas. When he was a senior, he played on some showcase teams with Harper the sophomore.
"He brings a presence to the field that not a lot of other players do," Mier said. "It's pretty unique for an 18-year-old to do."
Last year, Harper led junior college sluggers with a Southern Nevada-record 31 homers, hitting .443, with an on-base percentage of .526 and a slugging percentage of .987. He also stole 20 bases in 24 attempts and won the Golden Spikes Award as the nation's top amateur player.
No surprise that the Washington Nationals called his name first in the draft.
"He wasn't drafted No. 1 just because of looks," Legends Manager Rodney Linares said. "He can swing the bat. I saw him in instructional league and saw him a little bit in spring training. ... Everything I saw, I liked."
Harper signed for $9.9 million, including a $6.25 million bonus.
"He's a great player," Mier said. "I know you don't get drafted and get all that money if you're not going to be worth it."
At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, Harper bats left and throws right.
The Suns have him playing right field.
Through five games, he was hitting .211.
"I think he's done great," said his manager, former big-leaguer Brian Daubach. "There's a lot of attention put on him, and that's part of the deal. But he'll learn from it. There's no question (about) his talent. He's just a little anxious right now, but he'll relax and he'll be fine."
In a league where media at games usually includes the radio broadcasters and maybe two or three others, the Suns have more than 40 (and counting) requests for credentials to their home opener. At Rome and Lexington, team director of communications Bryan Holland has had ground rules in place — no interviews until after games, in a news conference situation, with Daubach present.
(Tuesday's brisk weather limited media attendance at the "conference" to the Herald-Leader, but Legends employees listened in and dozens of fans waited nearby for Harper to board the team bus.)
Harper obligingly answered each question. Perhaps trying to keep distractions to himself and his teammates to a minimum, maybe guarding what little privacy he has, his answers said little other than he's on a good team that plays hard and wins.
What has he learned in his first week as a Sun?
"Just go out there and play hard every day and have fun, and take everything with a grain of salt," Harper said. "Go out there and, like I said, play hard. Everybody's going to go out there on our club and we're going to play hard and we're going to win. You know, that's what we do. We go out there and we play hard.
"We don't always have to rely on me to go 4-for-4 or 2-for-4 or whatever. We've got a great club of guys, and everybody knows how to win on this team."
On dealing with the attention and pressure: "Like I said, we have a great club and we have a great group of guys inside the clubhouse, and they make it easy for me. We have a fun team and we've got a relaxed team. It's fun to go out there and play every night and, like I said, it's fun to go out there and win. And that's what we've been doing, and that's what we're going to keep doing."
Harper's most effective communication is his play.
In the opener of Hagerstown's four-game sweep at Rome, he went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base. Both hits were singles, one a bunt.
He finished the series 4-for-15 with three RBI, two walks and four strikeouts.
In the second game, already on first base, Harper beat an attempted double-play force at second. When the batter beat the relay throw to first, a couple of infielders argued. Harper stealthily continued to third base.
Daubach says the rest of his players "get a kick out of" the attention Harper brings. "They actually think it's kind of funny. In the long run, it's going to be a good experience for these guys, too."
Playing experience is what Harper is soaking in, intent on steady improvement.
"You can always get better, no matter what," he said. "And I'd like to succeed wherever I go. ... It's going to be fun with this team."