CLICK ON PICTURE ABOVE FOR HARPER PICS FROM LAST NIGHT...SCOTTSDALE AZ - OCTOBER 20: Washington Nationals prospect Bryce Harper #34 playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions bats against the Mesa Solar Sox during the AZ Fall League game at Scottsdale Stadium on October 20 2010 in Scottsdale Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
AFL Update: Bryce Harper's first AFL AB came after a leadoff double in the Scorpions' second by Giants' '07 1st Round pick, and Harper's teammate, infielder Charles Culberson, but it ended quickly as the Nats' top pick in 2010 popped up to short left on the first pitch Phillies' right-handed pitching prospect Josh Zeid threw him, and apparently it went high enough to into the AZ sky to draw rain from the clouds. 1-1 game in the third...In the fourth, Culberson came up with two on and no one out, but grounded into a DP that left a runner at third with two down for the Nats' 2010 no.1 overall pick. Harper swung at all three pitches from RHP Kyle Smit, a 23-year-old '06 5th Round pick by the Dodgers who was dealt to Chicago in the Ted Lilly/Ryan Theriot deal, and Harper lined out to center on the third, though the Nats' official Twitter, (@NatsTownNews) said that Harper, "scalded [the] 2nd pitch, but lined out to CF."
Harper took the first pitch of his third at bat for a strike after having swung at the first four pitches he saw, but he went after the second offering from 24-year-old Cubs' '08 3rd Round pick Chris Carpenter, grounding out to third to start the sixth in what was, at that point, a 3-2 game. A two-out single by the D-Backs' '09 2nd Round selection, IF/OF Marc Krauss and a two-out walk by Culberson brought Harper up in the seventh with the bases loaded, and the 18-year-old outfielder finally came through with his first AFL hit, an opposite field ground rule double on the first pitch he saw from Pirates' right-handed pitching prospect Brian Leach, that scored two runs to make it 6-2 Scottsdale in what ends up a 6-3 Scorpions' win. Reactions:
@NatsTownNews: "Harper's 4th plate appearance (bags loaded, 2 outs): ground rule double, 2 rbi. Went opposite field. Only question was would it go out.
@AdamKilgoreWP: "Harper at-bat No. 4: Bases-loaded, 2 out, first-pitch ground-rule double to left. Smoked. Scout: "He's got the fastest bat out here."
In a post game interview, Harper, at 18 the second-youngest player to ever appear in an AFL game, told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez, as quoted in an article entitled, "Harper makes splash in Fall League debut", that he, "...felt really good at the plate and I was not really jumpy at all. I didn't feel overmatched at all." 1 for 4 with a two-run ground-rule double that almost went out for what would've been a grand slam in his fourth professional at bat. Can't wait til Saturday...Scorpions win, 6-3 final.
(ed. note - "The Nationals Enquirer.com found video of Harper's hit from the Youtube.")