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Big League Stew

Bryce Harper’s journey to baseball stardom chronicled in ‘Bryce Begins’ documentary

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

In some ways, it seems odd that there's already a documentary about Bryce Harper, considering he just finished his first 162 game cycle in the big leagues. In other ways, it doesn't. He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated at age 16, being lauded as the "chosen one" and baseball's version of LeBron James.

We know enough today to say that wasn't superfluous hype. Harper is still only 20, but has already won a Rookie of the Year award and is showing MVP potential in his second season with the Washington Nationals.

Seeing Harper's journey from huge-expectation teenager to legit major-league star is the point of "Bryce Begins," a documentary that debuts Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN. It's the work of 3 Penny Films and MLB Productions.

"Bryce Begins" starts with his famous 500-foot home run, talks about the SI cover, has footage of him playing in the minor leagues and even has Bryce reading from an old Big League Stew post when people thought he was a "jerk."

It also includes behind-the-scenes footage with the Harper family, like the clip above of Bryce's father, Ron Harper, at his job. Plenty of experts, coaches and players — from Cal Ripken to Terry Francona to Ryan Zimmerman to Scott Boras — weigh in too.

We can't end this without pointing out that the title "Bryce Begins" makes us think of Batman. That's fitting. Harper's got quite a tool belt. And given the trajectory of his career thus far and his age, it's a pretty safe bet that we'll see a couple sequels.

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