18-year-old Washington Nationals' 2010 no.1 overall pick Bryce Harper entered tonight's game between his Hagerstown Suns and the visiting Delmarva Shorebirds (the Orioles' Class-A affiliate) with a twelve-game hit streak on the line. 25-year-old '07 5th Round pick, right-hander Brad Meyers, was making his first start at Triple-A Syracuse, having earned a promotion after just six starts and 36.1 IP at Double-A Harrisburg in which he'd struck out 38 and allowed 35 hits, 10 runs and 2 HR's but not a single walk. 36.1 IP without a base on balls. One of the two streaks ended tonight...
Meyers, the Nats' 2009 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, whose 3.9/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (43 K/11 BB) in nine starts and 48.0 IP with Harrisburg in '09 was touted in the press release announcing the honor back in September of 2009, visited Nationals Park along with Player of the Year Derek Norris that year and explained to former host Rob Dibble and Bob Carpenter that, "Actually, the biggest pet peeve of mine pitching is don't walk guys, don't put 'em on or give them any free bases...make them put the ball in play...and when I'm doing that things are usually going well for me."
Meyers, a 6'6'' 195 lb right-hander, missed significant time last season with a stress fracture in his foot which led to two separate surgeries. Finally healthy, the product of the same draft class that provided Jordan Zimmermann and Ross Detwiler, is pitching alongside Detwiler now, and in his debut with the Chiefs after getting promoted he earned the Triple-A version of the curly-W with 5.0 IP against the Norfolk Tides in which he gave up five hits, four runs, all earned and recorded 5 K's...with ONE WALK? 30-year-old former Nats' infielder Brendan Harris worked an 8-pitch AB against Meyers in the bottom of the fifth and Meyers "missed" with a knee-high fastball inside that looked like a strike.
Meyers' streak ends at 40.1 IP without having allowed a walk, but his 43/1 K/BB at least looks realistic now.
Box Score: Chiefs 8, Tides 4. (Jesus Flores hit a grand slam in the game, 2 for 5 w/ 5 RBI's, hitting .274 now.)
Bryce Harper, of course, continued his streak, hitting a single in his first at bat and going 2 for 2 with 2 K's in the Suns' 3-2 loss. 13 straight games with a hit for the 18-year-old phenom, who's hitting .376 when the game ends. Harper was named the SAL (South Atlantic League) Player of the Week before today's game after the future Nats' outfielder hit in 12-for-24 at bats with four doubles, a HR, four RBI and five runs scored for the week of May 2-8.
Box Score: Suns 2, Shorebirds 3. (19-year-old 2010 12th Round pick lefty Robbie Ray threw 5.0 scoreless in which he gave up just one hit while striking out six and inducing seven groundouts and one flyout in his Class-A debut.)
• LINKS: Yahoo!Sports.com's Jeff Passan wrote a great profile of Harper this morning, recounting the story of how Harper got contacts and even throwing in a baseball "cyborg" reference about the Nats' "eye-black oozing baseball cyborg" and future outfielder. DangerNats at Nationals Inquisition investigates Harper's first attempt at a mustache: "Bryce Harper Is The Dread Pirate Roberts" - DangerNat, Nationals Inquisition. And Harper breaks a bat over his knee, then apologizes to bat-maker/sponsor.