Barry Bonds on Bryce Harper: “He is a beast. [But] he doesn’t compare to me yet.”

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Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is sitting on 99 career home runs. At 23 years and 177 days old, the defending NL MVP could become the eighth-youngest player to reach 100 career homers. Harper, the first overall pick in the 2010 draft, has had quite a good start to his career.

But Barry Bonds, baseball’s all-time home run leader, doesn’t think comparisons should be made between himself and Harper. Per MLB.com’s William Ladson:

“He is a beast. [But] he doesn’t compare to me yet. He has a long way to go [in order to be compared] to me. He is not even close to me. But he is one hell of a ballplayer. I watch him, I admire and I look at him and I’m in awe. You don’t see that often.”

To Harper’s credit, he responded to Bonds’ comments with praise. Via James Wagner of the Washington Post:

For what it’s worth, Harper has arguably had the better start to his career, at least offensively. To match Bonds, however, he’ll need to keep it up for another 18 years. A comparison:

Age

PA HR SB AVG OBP SLG

WAR

Bonds

21-24

2388 84 117 .256 .345 .458

23.4

Harper

19-22

2143 97 37 .289 .384 .517

19.8