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Nationals' Bryce Harper Batting Ninth, Playing Center For NL All-Stars

Mike Stobe

NL manager Bruce Bochy has Washington Nationals' outfielder Bryce Harper batting ninth and playing center for the National League in tomorrow night's 2013 MLB All-Star Game. Harper rallied late in the voting and beat out the Pirates' Andrew McCutchen for the final spot in the starting outfield.

Bryce Harper, the Washington Nationals' 20-year-old left fielder, finished third in voting for the starting outfield in the 2013 MLB All-Star Game in Citi Field in Flushing, Queens, NY. Harper received 4,097,009 votes, behind only the Cardinals' Carlos Beltran (6,786,919 votes) and the Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez (4,214,904).

According to MLB.com's press release on the final results of the voting, Harper, "... came from behind in the final week of voting to beat out the Pirates' Andrew McCutchen," who received 3,855,928 votes, for the final spot in the NL outfield. Harper, "... who was the youngest All-Star position player in history and the third-youngest Major League All-Star ever in 2012, becomes just the second fan-elected starter in Nationals history, joining Alfonso Soriano (2006)."

Harper finished just ahead of Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen (3,855,928) and Atlanta's Justin Upton (3,678,190), and he, ".... will become the third-youngest starting position player to start in the Midsummer Classic.":

"According to Elias, the only players younger than Harper (20 years, 270 days on July 16th) to start a Midsummer Classic were Hall of Famer Al Kaline in 1955 (20 years, 205 days) and Ken Griffey, Jr. in 1990 (20 years, 231 days)."

Jordan Zimmermann was also named to the National League's All-Star roster, but made the decision not to pitch in the game last week because of a persistent issue with his neck. The Nats' 27-year-old first-time All-Star will, however, be in NY for the festivities. Zimmermann finished the first half of the 2013 campaign with a (12-4) record, a 2.58 ERA, 3.08 FIP, 18 walks (1.22 BB/9) and 95 Ks (6.46 K/9) in 19 starts and 132 1/3 IP.

Harper has a .264/.371/.522 line at the break with nine doubles, two triples and 13 home runs in 58 games and 242 plate appearances. Harper's played the majority of his games in left field this season. He's spent the majority of the season in the three-hole in the Nationals' lineup, though Davey Johnson moved him to the top spot on Sunday. Tomorrow night in New York, he'll be batting ninth and playing center field for the NL All-Stars:

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