Joey Gallo has been working out with Bryce Harper regularly for the past three or four years in Las Vegas and has noticed something different this offseason.
"At the workouts, he's as focused as I've ever seen him," Gallo told MLB Network Radio. "He always is, but I mean, he's going through those workouts like nothing now. He's really focused, he's hitting and just the way he's talking, you can tell he's really prepared."
Harper altered his training programs a year ago, adding 15 pounds of muscle before Spring Training. In 111 games, he posted a 1.008 OPS with 29 home runs and 4.7 Wins Above Replacement. If it hadn't been for a left knee injury, he might have been a candidate to be named NL MVP.
He might also have other motivation. Harper is entering what is set to be the final season of his contract with the Washington Nationals.
"He's just a competitor," Gallo said. "I think, this year, I've never seen him as focused and as ready to play as I have, and I've trained with him [for] 3-4 years, so I'm really excited to see what he brings to the table this year."