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Bryce Harper not included in Nationals’ first round of cuts

Mar 11, 2011, 2:19 PM EDT

bryce-harper-nationals AP

Today the Nationals made their first batch of spring training cuts and somewhat surprisingly 18-year-old Bryce Harper was not among the 11 players reassigned to the team’s minor-league camp.

That won’t impact his status for this year–Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com writes that he “has no realistic shot of making the Opening Day roster”–but it does show that he looks like he belongs in big-league camp and the Nationals’ coaching staff wants to get some more looks at the No. 1 overall pick.

Harper has yet to start a spring training game and struck out twice on just seven total pitches in his debut, but he’s 6-for-14 with three doubles since then and has also gotten some positive reviews for his outfield defense. He’s expected to officially begin his pro career at Single-A.

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