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Bryce Harper smacks RBI single in first pro plate appearance

Apr 7, 2011, 11:05 PM EDT

Bryce Harper Reuters

For Nationals prospect Bryce Harper, adversity has not been a common life theme.

The Las Vegas native was drafted first overall in last summer’s MLB Amateur Draft at the age of 17 and inked a seven-year, $9.9 million major league contract in August. Then this winter, without an ounce of professional experience to his name, Harper was ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the entire game by Baseball America.

Harper is going to hit speed bumps. He’s human, he’s incredibly young, and baseball isn’t an easy sport for anyone. But that theme of everything-gone-right continued on Thursday evening for the youngster.

According to the Associated Press, via NBCSports.com, Harper went 2-for-4 with an RBI tonight in his debut for Single-A Hagerstown. It was his first game of professional ball.

He smacked a run-scoring single to shallow center field in his first pro plate appearance and then bunted his way on in his next at-bat. Harper was retired in his final two looks but Hagerstown pulled out a 3-2 victory.

The 18-year-old should have no trouble posting massive numbers at the low level of minor league baseball. If things go right, he could be in consideration for a big league roster spot by the summer of 2012.

  1. florida727 - Apr 8, 2011 at 8:09 AM

    Drew, thanks for the update on him. I hope it’s not the last we’ll hear of him, and am also hoping we’ll get brief periodic updates about his progress from you going forward. It’ll be interesting to see how he moves through the Nationals system.

    • Drew Silva - Apr 8, 2011 at 11:45 AM

      That’s the plan.

  2. Jonny 5 - Apr 8, 2011 at 8:39 AM

    And the Who’s down in Whoville say “his head grew three sizes that day”.

  3. Detroit Michael - Apr 8, 2011 at 8:43 AM

    Seems odd (although I know it’s conventional) to say it’s his first professional at bat considering he played in the Arizona Fall League and in spring training.

  4. thevandalen - Apr 8, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    $9.9 million contract contract

    • Drew Silva - Apr 8, 2011 at 11:46 AM

      Agh, thanks.

  5. trevorb06 - Apr 8, 2011 at 9:49 AM

    Any news on how his defense was? I’m assuming they’re sticking to the plan and leaving him as an OFer. For a bigger dude this kid has some wheels to be getting bunt singles. If he continues to tear thru the minors I’ll bet the Nats open the circus, try to sell some tickets and give him a september call up just for the hype of it.

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