The Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper had a pretty impressive first season in the major leagues. He was selected to the All-Star team and won the National League Rookie of the Year. The honors didn't stop coming this offseason — Harper was one of seven players in the running to be on the cover of the new MLB13: The Show video game. The other players were Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants, CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees, Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers, and Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Harper ended up finishing fifth behind the winning cover athlete, McCutchen, but since Harper is still only 20 years old, there is plenty of time for him to make it on the cover in the future.
SI Kids caught up with Harper to find out what he thinks about the new game. Check out the interview and see Harper's videos for the new game after the jump.
Q. Have you gotten a chance to play the new version of The Show?
A. I was just playing it about five minutes ago. It’s a great game; it's as real as it gets. The faces are unbelievable. The batting stances, the pitching mechanics, it’s an unbelievable game. I am just happy to be involved.
Q. How does Bryce Harper in MLB13 compare to you? Does he look like you?
A. Maybe the batting stance is a little off, but the hitting, the throwing, the pants, cleats, the faces; it’s pretty unbelievable what they can do. It’s as close as you can get to the real thing, so it’s a great game for the fans.
Q. Is there anything you can do well in the game that you struggle with in real life, or vice versa?
A. I’m not sure. I think it’s pretty hard to throw somebody out at the plate from the outfield, but it’s probably harder to do in the game than it is to do in real life.
Q. Do you always play as the Nationals?
A. I usually do random teams when I play with my buddies, so it's not some great team facing some terrible team. When I play the Road to The Show mode I just try to get drafted, and then you play for whoever you end up with.
Q. Were you a big gamer growing up?
A. When I was growing up I always played PS3, well I guess it was PS One back then. We played The Show, and MLB Slugfest, and Need For Speed and of course Call of Duty.
Q. Do you play with teammates?
A. We play Call of Duty a lot. We don’t play much of the baseball games during the season because when you are doing baseball 24-7, it is sort of like playing work.
Q. Who is the best gamer on the Nationals roster?
A. Oh man, that’s a tough one, I’d probably have to say [Stephen] Strasburg. Maybe [Tom] Gorzelany, but he’s with the Brewers now so I guess he doesn’t count.
Q. What would it mean to you to be on the cover?
A. It’s been my dream since I was younger. Growing up playing games and stuff, everyone looks at magazine covers and video game covers and that kind of stuff. It’s a pretty cool deal. Little kids dream about that, and they dream about getting to the big leagues and having these kinds of opportunities. I’m really excited to be up for this and to have the chance to do this is pretty special.
What do you think of Harper and MLB13: The Show? Tell us in the Comments below.