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Bryce Harper goes 1-for-3 in Grapefruit League debut

Mar 3, 2012, 8:39 PM EDT

harper ap AP

The Nationals are said to be open to the idea of top prospect Bryce Harper opening the 2012 season in the major leagues. So while most spring training stats don’t matter, Harper’s numbers just might.

According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, the 19-year-old outfielder went 1-for-3 with a single and two sharp groundouts Saturday in the Nats’ Grapefruit League opener against the Astros.

After the game — a 3-1 loss — Harper addressed the rumblings that he has a chance of breaking camp with the big league club:

“I don’t even think about it when I go out there,” Harper told reporters. “If I play my game and do things right, I’ve got a shot. I’m not going to try to do too much. I’m just going to roll with what I get. … I’m just out there playing. Just trying to get at-bats, trying to see pitches.”

Harper has compiled a .297/.392/.501 batting line, 17 home runs, 24 doubles and 26 stolen bases in 109 career minor league games. He’s been named Baseball America‘s No. 1 prospect two years in a row.

  1. bleedgreen - Mar 3, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    No. 1 prospect means nothing. Just ask Dom Brown.

    • paperlions - Mar 3, 2012 at 10:24 PM

      You are right. If an organization insists on screwing around with a prospects playing time instead of just writing his name in the lineup every day, letting him learn/adjust, and trusting in the talent you have seen him display….the rankings (and the talent) mean nothing. It is hard to get better sitting on the bench.

      • metalhead65 - Mar 4, 2012 at 12:37 AM

        he is so lucky dusty baker is not his manager or he would be 30 before he got regular playing time.

    • jwbiii - Mar 4, 2012 at 4:33 PM

      They don’t all grow up to be Chipper Jones or Alex Rodriguez, but very few #1s who are position players would be considered busts. Ben Grieve, things don’t look so good for Delmon Young.

      Dom Brown peaked at #4.

  2. tropboi11 - Mar 3, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    I cant wait for this kid to make to the Bigs, he makes baseball fun to watch

  3. 49ersgiants4life - Mar 4, 2012 at 4:25 AM

    Harper is a tool I hope he fails miserably be humble and appreciative for your freak ability instead of a stuck up jerk

  4. phillyfanmatt - Mar 4, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    I am really not impressed with what this guy has done as of yet in the minors. Maybe he will be great someday in the bigs. Maybe not. But everyone needs to remember how many minor leaguers can have great numbers in the minors and just can’t cut it in the bigs. Before anointing him the next great one, which I have heard some people do I say let him produce on the big stage.

    • paperlions - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:27 AM

      Yeah, dominating leagues in which you are the youngest player is totally over rated. I don’t know why all of these guys that are paid to evaluate talent think he’s good….it isn’t like he’s young or anything…he’ll turn 20 in just 8 months.

  5. phillyfanmatt - Mar 4, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    So the stat line the author of the article put is dominating? They are very good but are they against pitchers like Roy Halladay, Tim lincicum, Clayton kershaw or the like. No they are against a bunch of guys who may or may not make it to the big leagues. And granted he is young and he may prove to be a beast in the bigs. However, all I am saying is let him prove it in the show before we anoint him the next great one based on what he did on the minors or in junior college is all I am saying

    • paperlions - Mar 4, 2012 at 11:56 AM

      Last year he was an 18 yr old in the minors. Please explain how you are not impressed by someone clearly being the best 18 yr old in the world at something. In addition to being very good, his rate of improvement has been steady. Harper is far better at 18 than Halladay or Lincecum or pretty much anyone else was when they were 18.

      No one is saying he should be a starter for the nats this year; he shouldn’t be…but to say you aren’t impressed with his performance so far is 12 shades of ignorance, stubbornness, stupidity or some combination thereof.

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