Thursday, October 21, 2010

Harper doubles in AFL debut

Bryce Harper nearly capped his first appearance in the Arizona Fall League in truly grand fashion. In the end, the Nationals' 18-year-old phenom had to settle for a two-run double and not a grand slam that would have turned his already-hyped Fall League debut into something really spectacular.

Facing some premier older prospects who are one step from reaching the major leagues, Harper went 1-for-4 tonight in Scottsdale, Ariz., helping lead the host Scorpions to a 6-3 victory over the Mesa Solar Sox.

Batting seventh and starting in right field, this summer's top amateur draft pick was hitless in his first three at-bats, though two of the outs came on hard-hit balls. But his final at-bat of the evening, with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, proved to be his best.

Harper smacked the first pitch he saw from right-hander Brian Leach, a 24-year-old prospect in the Pirates' system, and sent it down the left-field line, bouncing it over the fence for a ground-rule double that brought two runs home.

For more details, please read my story on
Link now includes video of Harper's double.


Big Cat said...

Thatta baby Bryce!

Start in Potomac for 2 months....burn that weak Carolina league up, then head to Harrisburg for a couple months....tear it up there also, get a Sept call up to Washington and start in RF opening day 2012

Harper_ROY_2012 said...

...and so it begins on what would have been Mickey Mantle's 79th birthday the next hitting legend takes his first steps!

Let's go 3-4!

Mark, Bryce cannot hit a home run every time.

Who were the other pitchers he faced and what is the prospect potential on them!?

Anonymous8 said...

See, Bryce Harper just proved that you don't have to play for a few days and come in and play hard and make the best of your situation.

I used to laugh when people would say Justin Maxwell was so bad because he didn't play every day.

Bryce Harper knows he may play at most (for now) 2 days a week and is as stoked as can be!

Way to go Bryce!

Anonymous said...

Keith Law says one if his BP HR's went 500 feet! AMAZING!

Pilchard said...

Strong like bull!

Hilarious that last week; someone here attempted to already call Harper a bust.

JD said...

Everyone; please calm down. He is still most likely to start in Hagerstown and move up to Potomac midyear. No way he makes it to DC before Sept 2012 and that would be quite a stretch.

Les in NC said...

J.D, I guess we'll see.
My guess is, Harper will make a run at the MLB HR record for a teenager (Tony Conigliaro ,19 hit 24). With his talent level, I would put him to be on par with Posey and Heyward right now!

Everything we fans say about him is meaningless though until he actuallu gets his shot at the bigs.

Harper_ROY_2012 said...

@ Les in NC

Agree it is up to Bryce to play that game at a level that makes Rizzo and company notice, IMHO he will arrive at Nats Park Opening Day 2012 but that is easy not knowing his health status etc between then and now.

Just happy he gets to play in the AFL, even if it is only 2 times per week.

In watching Posey last night I was thinking of Bryce and Bryce is almost 5 years younger, baseball has not seen anyone like this at the cusp of greatness at such a young agein a long time.

Steve M. said...

I say the earliest we would see Bryce in a regular season game at Nats Park is June 2012.

For him to do that I believe he would have to be in Harrisburg by the end of 2011.

I also agree with Anon8 that it is good to see that he took some good hacks while only playing a couple times a week.

His bat speed and the way he centers the ball on the sweet spot is amazing. Just wait until he fills out his frame.

Much to be excited about in Washington! BTW, GO GIANTS!!!!!!!!

Steve M. said...

Here's a YouTube video from a fan. Can't see the ball land, but the pop on the bat and trajectory of the ball is great!

Steve M. said...

Bryce Harper signs with Topps baseball cards!

Looks like Bora$$ is busy with the Bryce Harper endorsements. They did the same with Strasburg last year. I am not a baseball card guy but they have produced some cool Strasburg cards.

Anonymous said...


Bryce's hit would classify as a rule book double, not a ground rule double. The rule book explicitly states that any ball that bounces over the fence is an automatic two base hit.

Listen to the great Jon Miller - he never calls it a ground rule double. Instead he calls it an automatic double.

And the funny thing is, I actually heard Rob Dibble once correct Bob Carpenter on this very subject.

Thanks for your work, not trying to be picky.

Big Cat said...

Hell fire boy!....start him in right next year! The kid has the mentality to do it. Crazy you say? Lets see how he does the rest of the way in Arizona. If he hits .350 or more there, then I bring him to big league spring and let him battle for a job. I can here Bob Carpenter now: "Back door slider.....LONG DRIVE TO RIGHT!....THIS HAS A CHANCE!!.....SEE..YOU..LATER!!!!!!!"

Les in NC said...

What if he "only" hits .260 and hits 6 HR's in ST?

If he does well in the big league camp this spring, it wouldn't be prudent to bring him straight to the bigs. He should play at least half a year somewhere in the minors, IMO. He could play the ENTIRE year on the farm, and be brought up first thing in 2012 and still have a shot at the HR record for a 19 year old!

Tcostant said...

I still think Sept 2012 callup is much more likely, with a full-time gig at the start of 2013.

Les in NC said...

You think they should wait no matter what his stats say, if he plays 1/2 a year at AA? Lets play a what if...

Bryce totally dominated his college league with a BA over .400 and 30 HR's. So what if his stats fall a bit at AA and he "only" hits .340 with 23 HR's? Should the Nationals keep him in the minors with that kind of prowess?

JD said...


You have to remember that he hit .400 in JUCO not college; as a comparison Dustin Ackley who is 22 years old and dominated real college hit .263 in A ball last year; oh and he's hitting .455 in the AFL.

Harper is a wonderful talent but let's see him hold his own against top notch older players in 'A' ball before we print his ticket to Cooperstown.

Les in NC said...

Dustin Ackley hit with an aluminum bat! There is usually a significant fall off when going from aluminum to wood, right? If I understand it correctly, a good hitter with aluminum easily over matches a good pitcher. But when a good pitcher faces a good hitter who is adjusting to an aluminum bat, he tends to have the advantage, no?
B.H has already adjusted to wood, so all he has left to do is adjust to the level of pitching (oh, and learn major league OF defense). I don't see him having a problem with it. He may fall off the earth, but I doubt it with the way he swings. Although injuries may prove otherwise.

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