What's buzzing:

Big League Stew

Bryce Harper adds to highlight reel with impressive outfield assist (Video)

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

It doesn't matter who the Washington Nationals have thrown in center field the past two seasons, that player has possessed an above average-to-cannon like arm.

For most of 2011 that job belonged to Rick Ankiel, who may have the strongest and most accurate outfield arm we've seen in the past ten years. Jayson Werth has also seen some time out there, and he certainly brings a right field arm to the position.

Well, now the center field job belongs to rookie phenom Bryce Harper, and as we've already seen several times this season, his arm doesn't take a backseat to anyone. If you don't believe me, perhaps you'll believe Ryan Braun, who became Harper's latest victim on the basepaths in Brewers 4-2 win over the Nationals on Friday night.

The great throw happened when Braun attempted to score on Aramis Ramirez's single in the fourth inning. The ball slowed down considerably once it reached the outfield grass, allowing Braun to round third before Harper even picked up the ball. But 19-year-old's arm strength more than made up for the lost time and Braun's decent speed, as he fired an absolutely perfect live drive strike to Jesus Flores, who caught it and applied the tag at the exact moment Braun reached home.

View photo

.

(MLB.TV)

The distance (short center field) may not be as impressive as many outfield assists we've written about, but the velocity and accuracy certainly were. Especially considering the urgency of the play that left Harper with little time to analyze the situation.

"I just picked it up and threw it," Harper said. "I didn't even know where Braun was. I was just trying to throw him out."

Much to the appreciation of starting pitcher Edwin Jackson, Harper did just that.

"That was a great throw," Jackson said. "I felt like that was the play that left it up to me to finish the inning strong. They score that run, it's a tie game. It's a different situation. That play was huge for us to definitely keep the momentum in the game."

Unfortunately for the Nationals, their bullpen couldn't keep the momentum going, allowing three Brewers runs in the ninth inning. But as Jackson said, it would have been a different game a lot sooner without that throw by Harper.

And as Adam Kilgore wrote for the Washington Post, the most impressive thing about his game-changing throws — rookie best eight outfield assists — and already elite outfield defense is that he spent his high school and junior college years catching.

Think about that and just admire what you're witnessing. It's pretty darn special.

Looking for more baseball chatter?
Follow @bigleaguestew, @Townie813 and check out the BLS Facebook Page

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Video: Baseball teams that need a playoff push
Pat Forde: Mike Krzyzewski owes it to Duke – and himself – to investigate Lance Thomas' jewelry purchase
Eric Adelson: Uniform rotation revolutionized by Oregon Ducks has jumped the shark
Shine: When to buy discount plane tickets

View Comments (489)
  • Defending champion Sharapova, 4th-seeded Berdych advance to 2nd round at French Open

    Defending champion Sharapova, 4th-seeded Berdych advance to 2nd round at French Open

    Maria Sharapova was unfazed by the boos she heard when leaving the centre court of Roland Garros on Monday without treating the crowd to a post-match interview. Battling a cold that her coughing at times during the match, the defending champion was … More »

    The Canadian Press - 5 minutes ago
  • Coric leads teenage assault on Roland Garros

    By Martyn Herman PARIS (Reuters) - Croatian Borna Coric and Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis led the teenage contingent in the men's draw at the French Open on Monday but American Frances Tiafoe's debut proved a brief one. Coric, who plays with a … More »

    Reuters - 9 minutes ago
  • Reds' Mesoraco to DL, Cueto examined

    The Reds put catcher Devin Mesoraco on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a sore left hip that limited him to pinch hitting and filling in as an interleague DH for the past six weeks. Mesoraco hasn't caught in a game since April 12. Mesoraco … More »

    AP - Sports - 12 minutes ago
  • Tennis-Coric leads teenage assault on Roland Garros

    By Martyn Herman PARIS, May 25 (Reuters) - Croatian Borna Coric and Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis led the teenage contingent in the men's draw at the French Open on Monday but American Frances Tiafoe's debut proved a brief one. Coric, who plays … More »

    Reuters - 14 minutes ago
  • Stokes leads England to dramatic win at Lord's

    Stokes leads England to dramatic win at Lord's

    By Ed Osmond LONDON (Reuters) - Ben Stokes took two wickets in two balls to inspire England to victory over New Zealand by 124 runs on a pulsating final day of the first test at Lord's on Monday. The fiery all-rounder dismissed Kane Williamson for … More »

    Reuters - 14 minutes ago