VIDEO: Nationals' OF Bryce Harper hits three HRs in Double-AA, Back Monday?

Bryce Harper homered three times on Saturday night in what is likely his last rehab game before he returns to D.C. - Photo © and courtesy @Nationals on Twitter

Bryce Harper went off and hit three home runs out of Canal Park in Akron, Ohio tonight. According to sources quoted by a Washington Post reporter and what Matt Williams said today, the 21-year-old slugger could return to D.C. by Monday.

Matt Williams spoke to reporters on Saturday morning about what the near-future hold for rehabbing, 21-year-old Washington Nationals' outfielder Bryce Harper, who played his second rehab game with the Harrisburg Senators on Friday night after playing two with the High-A Potomac Nationals earlier this week.

"I think he's progressing really well, I would say I feel good at some point this coming week, Monday is a possibility." -Matt Williams on Saturday morning on Harper's return date

"He played last night," Williams said. "I don't know if you guys saw anything about it, he played center last night, nine innings, 1 for 2 with a couple of RBIs, two stolen bases. Made three or four throws from the outfield on balls in the gap, so everything was great. So, it's a potential DH day today. He'll report and see how he feels. Again, nine innings the first time out last night we have to look at how he feels today, but he could DH tonight."

Asked about Harper returning in time for the start of the Nationals' three-game set with the Colorado Rockies on Monday, the Nats' first-year skipper would only say it's a possibility.

"I feel good about it," Williams said. "We'll have to see how he comes out of it though. I think he's progressing really well, I would say I feel good at some point this coming week, Monday is a possibility."

Harper, of course, tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb sliding into third base on a base-clearing triple in an April 25th game against the San Diego Padres.

Surgery and a lengthy DL stint followed, but after five minor league games it appears he's going to be headed back to the majors at some point soon though as of tonight there's no official announcement.

Judging by the results on the field and at the plate, however, Harper's ready to once again start mashing big league home runs.

In what could be his final rehab start tonight, Harper started in center field and hit three home runs out of Canal Park in Akron, Ohio in a 10-4 Senators' win over the unfortunately monikered RubberDucks. After grounding into a double play in his first at bat against 23-year-old Cleveland prospect Duke Von Schamann, Harper took the right-hander deep to center in his second AB in the third for a two-out solo blast and then hit one out to center off Von Schamann again in the fifth.

He wasn't done.

After settling for a single in his fourth trip to the plate, Harper came up with runners on the corners in the eighth and hit a three-run blast out to center off 29-year-old right-hander Toru Murata, picking up RBIs three, four and five of what ended up a 4 for 5, 5 RBI night for the preternaturally-gifted left-handed hitting power bat.

Williams was asked after the Nationals' 7-2 doubleheader-sweeping win over the Cubs on Saturday night if he'd heard the reports from Akron:

All signs are pointing toward a return on Monday, with Washington Post beat reporter James Wagner writing on Saturday that, "according to a person familiar with the matter," barring any setbacks, "Bryce Harper will rejoin the Nationals on Monday."

• If you can't wait until Monday to see Harper in action, check out the video of tonight's blasts:


• And here's the game story on the Senators' win from PennLive.com's Geoff Morrow:

• We talked about this young up-and-comer on both episodes of Nats Nightly tonight as well. Check out Pt.1 with Dave Nichols from the District Sports Page and Pt.2 with FBB's Doghouse below:

• Game 1 of 2:

Find Additional Baseball Podcasts with District Sports Page Nats Nightly on BlogTalkRadio

• Game 2 of 2:

New Baseball Podcasts with District Sports Page Nats Nightly on BlogTalkRadio
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