Q&A with Brett Harper

Mets first baseman Brett Harper was named as the 2004 Sterling Award Winner for the St. Lucie Mets. The award is given out annually to each minor league team Most Valuable Player. Harper talked to NYFansonly.com before being honored in a pre-game ceremony by the Mets. Find out what Harper thinks of the great honor, why he had such a successful season and his plans on improving for the future.

NYF: It was be a great honor for you today being named the Sterling recipient of the Binghamton Mets.

Brett Harper: It is a great feeling right now. You work hard all off-season for an honor like this, and it is a great honor for me.

NYF: What would you say is the strongest part of your game right now?

Brett Harper: I have come a long way with my hitting, and I feel that is the strongest part of my game right now.

NYF: You had a solid season for St. Lucie this season. What do you attribute that to?

Brett Harper: Working hard and getting physically stronger. Just working on the little things of my swing that I needed to work on to get better. I put in a lot of work this off-season and the payoff showed for me this season.

NYF: You were given a promotion to Binghamton this season, however struggling a little with them. What was the adjustment period for you going from A to AA?

Brett Harper: I think I got a little physically tired and physically wore down. I was not seeing the ball very well. I don't think it was that the pitchers were so much better than me. I just think it was more of me personally, and I just got a little wore down at the wrong time.

NYF: What part of your game do you work on the hardest?

Brett Harper: I am working extremely hard on my defense right now and trying to establish myself as a first baseman, and show the Mets that I can play first base everyday. Here in the national league you can't DH so I realize I need to work on my defense to get better, and have a better chance of making the majors.

NYF: What is the feeling for you today being here in Shea Stadium?

Brett Harper: To come out here and see what it is like to be in the big leagues, it absolutely motivates me, and it motivates me to go home right after this and continue working hard again and duplicate the season that I had this season.

NYF: Will you be going to the Arizona Fall League next month?

Brett Harper: Yes, I will be going to the Fall League and will try to improve myself facing better pitchers in a more consistent basis and take good swings and make contact.

NYF: What is your outlook for next season?

Brett Harper: For me next season begins this season. Just work hard all winter and then come into spring training and try to have another successful season and not have this season be sort of a fluke. I want to prove to the Mets that I am every bit of the hitter I was this year at St. Lucie.

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