Matt Williams wants to help Bryce Harper grow as a baseball player

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Williams discussed how he plans to help Harper fulfill his potential.

Newly introduced Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams discussed a number of topics at his introductory press conference, including the future development of two-time All-Star Bryce Harper.

Williams believes that his experience as a player will help him relate to Harper and help the outfielder unleash his potential, telling Chase Hughes of Nats Insider:

"I'm here to help him. I'm here to help him become the MVP and a Hall of Fame player. I want that for him. I want him to be that guy. I want him to be our leader. I want him to be the star that everybody wants him to be."

The former third baseman made five All-Star teams in his career, winning four Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards during his 17-year playing career. Williams also realizes that Harper faces unique pressures and is viewed with an unprecedented amount of scrutiny:

"You just have to understand it, and that's my job: to understand what Bryce does, understand the microscope he's under. It's not easy being Bryce Harper. Who wouldn't want to be Bryce? But it's not easy. I understand that side of it for him."

Harper has impressed during his first two major league seasons, batting .272/.353/.481 in his first 1094 plate appearances. The 21-year-old, however, was hampered by injuries during the season, which he aggravated by running into walls attempting to make difficult catches.

Williams wants Harper to be smarter about choosing when to run into a wall, but does not want to temper his aggressiveness, stating:

"Now can we be a little smarter sometimes? Sure. And not necessarily run into that wall? Of course. But the kid's 21 years old. Let him go - this is a stallion. This is a guy that is ready to just explode. We're  going to try to give him the game plan to do that."

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