5. Bryce Harper In A Curly-W Cap At Spring Training [photo caption]: "Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper watches a ball hit during the sixth inning of a spring training baseball game against the New York Mets Tuesday, March 1, 2011, in Viera, Fla. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)"
As an 18-year-old member of the AFL's Scottsdale Scorpions' "taxi squad" in 2010, a then-18-year-old Bryce Harper put up a .343/.410/.629 line with three doubles, two triples and a home run in nine games. It was Harper's first action against elite-level competition after a year of JUCO ball at the College of Southern Nevada in which he had a .443/.526/.987 slash with 23 doubles, 4 triples, 31 HR's and 98 RBI's in 66 games 228 AB's as a freshman playing against older opponents.
Harper had a .389/.450/.556 slash in 13 games and 18 at bats last Spring. The 18-year-old outfielder started the 2011 season at Class-A Hagerstown where he had a .318/.423/.554 line with 17 doubles, 14 HR's and 19 stolen bases in 72 games and 305 plate appearances. Harper then skipped High-A Potomac and jumped to Double-A Harrisburg where he put up a .256/.329/.395 line with seven doubles, three home runs and seven stolen bases in 37 games and 147 plate appearances before a hamstring injury ended his first professional season.
A now-19-year-old Harper returned to the Arizona Fall League in late 2011, putting up a .333/.400/.634 slash, with six doubles, two triples, six HR's, 26 RBI's, 11 walks and 22 K's in 25 games and 93 at bats. Harper started Spring Training in 2011 by asking why it was unrealistic for him to think he could make the team? This year Davey Johnson's the one saying he wants Harper to make the team. Whether it's Opening Day or sometime in June, Bryce Harper should be in the nation's capital soon.
Will Bryce Harper make the Nats' 2012 Opening Day roster?