In his sixth AFL game, playing Friday instead of the usual Wednesday and Saturday schedule with the AFL Rising Stars Game to take place tonight, the Washington Nationals' 2010 no.1 overall pick, Bryce Harper, was 1 for 4 with a walk and 2 K's in the Scottsdale Scorpions' 10-0 win on the road over the Phoenix Desert Dogs last night in Phoenix Municipal Stadium. In his first at bat in the second, the 18-year-old power bat worked a seven-pitch full-count walk out of 24-year-old A's RHP prospect and Desert Dogs' starter Travis Banwart, but after Scorpions' catcher Caleb Joseph flew out to left in the next AB, failing to advance the runner, Harper tried to move himself up and was caught stealing, thrown out by 22-year-old New York Yankees' '07 2nd Round pick catcher Austin Romine.
Baltimore Orioles' infield prospect Ryan Adams, a 23-year-old '06 2nd Round pick, singled off Banwart to start the Scorpions' fourth, and Bryce Harper followed with a single of his own, only to be forced out at second on a double play grounder from Caleb Joseph. Adams was stranded two batters later when Rockies' infield prospect Thomas Field's groundout ended the frame. Adams singled in front of Harper again in the sixth, but Harper K'd swinging against Atlanta Braves' right-hander Benino Pruneda, a 22-year-old '07 31st Round pick who pitched in Class-A Myrtle Beack and Double-AA Mississippi in 2010.
In the seventh, Harper took a strike, missed a pitch from 24-year-old Oakland A's left-hander Lance Sewell for a swinging strike, and fouled one off before flying out to out to 24-year-old Oakland A's outfield prospect Michael Taylor in right. Harper got another at bat in the eighth when the Scorpions chased Sewell, scoring three runs, but he went down swinging at three straight pitches from 29-year-old right-hander Justin James, a one-time Blue Jays', Reds' and A's' prospect who was selected off waivers by the Brewers four days ago. Scorpions win, 10-0 final.
• Bryce Harper after six AFL games? 6 G:.348/.423/.565, 8 for 23, 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI's, 3 BB, 8 K's, 1 CS;. vs LHP: 1 for 4, .250/.400/.250, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K.; vs RHP: 7 for 13, .368/.429/.632, 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI's, 2 BB, 7 K's.
• Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional Update: Roger Bernadina was in the left for the Navegantes del Magallanes' 4-3 win over the Tiburones de La Guaira last night, and the 26-year-old outfielder went 0 for 1 with a walk and a sac fly RBI. Bernadina's 2 for 12, .167 with a double, RBI, three walks and three K's in 4 games so far this fall. Bernadina's teammate with the Navegantes, catcher Jesus Flores, finished his first week in the Venezuelan League 3 for 7 with a double and 2 RBI's, going 2 for 3 in his debut and 1 for 4 with 2 RBI's in game two. Flores hasn't played a game in the Majors since September 12, 2009. The most likely scenario has him starting this season with Triple-A Syracuse while Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez and Wilson Ramos are behind the plate in D.C. What are the chances Flores is back in D.C. before the end of the 2011 season? Having seen him beat Paul LoDuca and Johnny Estrada out of their jobs in the past, I'm still not counting him out...
"Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa continues to play well in winter ball in Puerto Rico and has altered his batting stance a little to shorten his swing, so he can make more contact and get on base."