Don't count the Nats' '10 1st Round pick Bryce Harper out of the Arizona Fall League just yet. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
• Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore reported earlier this week in an article entitled, "Bryce Harper heads home, for now, as Arizona Fall League begins", that the Nats' '09 no.1 overall pick Bryce Harper would not be participating in the Arizona Fall League (just yet, it remained a possibility). Shortly after the College of Southern Nevada catcher signed with Washington, the agent for each of the Nationals' last two top picks, Scott Boras, told Sirius/XM's MLB Network Radio show "The Power Alley" hosts Kevin Kennedy and Jim Duquette in a radio interview, that the first step after signing was, "...to get Bryce into instructional league," so that, "the organizational baseball people get a chance to look at Bryce and then I think they're going to make some assessments and it's very likely that he may be far enough along to play in the Arizona Fall League." While Harper, who turns 18 on 10/16, impressed in his first taste of pro competition, he was home in Nevada when the AFL season started last night, but MASNSports.com's Byron Kerr (@bkerr32), who's been following Harper closely since he started competitive play in the Florida Instructional league, wrote on Twitter last night, that he has a feeling (or a hunch) that Harper might just make his way out to Scottsdale to join his fellow Nats' prospects before too long: "Got a good feeling Bryce #Harper heading home to celebrate 18th birthday Saturday then off to @azfallball? #justahunch #Nats."
• In the AFL opener last night, the top catching prospect in the Nats' system, '07 4th Round pick Derek Norris, was behind the plate, and '07 1st Round pick, outfielder Mike Burgess was in right as the Scottsdale Scorpions started the fall league schedule against the Peoria Saguaros. Norris, who missed out on Arizona Fall League action last year when he suffered a broken hamate bone in his left wrist, continued to show his trademark patience and power at the plate™, walking in his second AB in the fourth and scoring the Scorpions' first run on SF Giants' '07 1st Round pick Charlie Culberson's RBI single to make it a 2-1 game an inning before Norris hit his first AFL HR in the fifth, a two-run blast off the Minnesota Twins' '04 1st Round pick Kyle Waldrop that went out to left after Norris fouled off a few two-strike pitches then straightened one out, going deep to put the Scorpions up 3-2 in what ends up a 4-3 Scottsdale win. Burgess was 0 for 3 with a walk, and Nats' pitching prospect Brad Peacock completed 2.0 scoreless frames on the mound in which he gave up just one hit and struck out 4, two looking and two swinging on 30 pitches, 17 of them strikes. Norris ends the night 1 for 2 with a HR, 2 runs scored, 2 walks and 2 RBI's.
• Here's the MLB.com game report by Robert Emrich.
• The second AFL game of the season is this afternoon at 12:35pm MST, 3:35 EDT when Scottsdale heads out to Peoria for the road half of the home and home with the Saguaros.