Blog Entry

Harper not hitting majors in 2011

Posted on: May 18, 2011 4:20 pm
By Matt Snyder

Those pining for a Bryce Harper call to the majors this year will be sorely disappointed by the time the 2011 season concludes. There is no possibility he's in a Washington Nationals jersey this season, not even in a September call-up.

"It's not gonna happen, because he's not ready for that to happen," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said in a radio interview Wednesday afternoon (via Nats Insider)

When Rizzo was asked if he was definitely ruling out a promotion to the bigs in 2011 for Harper, he simply said: "Yes, I am."

The top overall selection in last June's draft, Harper is one of the most-watched minor-leaguers. He's only 18 -- in fact, he should still be a senior in high school -- and has what many believe is Hall-of-Fame talent. He was the second-straight heavily-hyped prospect the Nats drafted, too, after taking Stephen Strasburg first overall in the previous draft.

It's not like Harper's having trouble with Class-A pitching, either. He's destroying the ball. In 150 plate appearances, Harper is hitting .366 with 11 doubles, nine home runs, 31 RBI, 26 runs, six stolen bases and a 1.103 OPS.

Factor in that the Nationals are playing for the future, and there's good reason to see why Nats fans might want a glimpse of seeing Harper sooner rather than later.

Rizzo is taking the correct approach, however, for many reasons. First of all, you cannot rush the development of a future star, for fear you ruin him. Secondly, he has to learn how to handle defense in the outfield, as he was a catcher his entire amateur life. Finally, there's no reason to start his major-league service time clock, which would get him to free agency faster. The Nationals should have plenty of financial resources by the time he's ready to sign a big contract -- assuming everything goes well and he gets to that point -- but in the meantime those resources should be used to fill a competitve roster while waiting on him.

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Category: MLB

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 10, 2011 11:59 am

Harper not hitting majors in 2011

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 9:54 am

Harper not hitting majors in 2011

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Since: Nov 20, 2007
Posted on: May 18, 2011 10:02 pm

Harper not hitting majors in 2011

I've been following Harper's pro career since it's started and he is dominating at Low Class A Hagerstown for sure.  Very nice to see a phenom live up to billing so far.  I applaud the GM of the Nats for being smart enough to not rush the kid and to guarantee that Harper will not be on the Nationals this season.  That definitely takes any potential pressure off of Harper.  However, I wouldn't be surprised to see Harper get moved up to High Class A Potomac here soon.  Extended spring training is going to end in early June and the Major League Draft will also happen in June and those players, from both of those sectors, will need places to play.  Most will be assigned to either a rookie league or a Low Level short season A ball league, like the NY/Penn league.  I am not even sure that the Nationals have a team in that league, but I would think that they'll have some other RF to take Harper's place at Hagerstown in 3 weeks to a month from now.  That's when I believe we'd see Harper move up.  If he continues to rake at a .366 clip and with power(like he is currently) at High A, then I would not be surprised to see him as a late season(August 1st to 15th) call up to AA ball.  The minor league season ends right about near the end of August and if your team makes the playoffs, then there will be a few games into September.  I, being a bit of a betting man, wouldn't be surprised to see Harper with at least a few AB's in AA this year and then start the 2012 season in AA again and if all goes well, then on to AAA by mid-2012 and perhaps a call up in September 2012 to the Nationals for his debut in the show at 19 years old.  Time will tell, but keep on keeping on Bryce.  Best of luck to you on your career and may it be a Hall of Fame one, eventually.

Since: Oct 25, 2007
Posted on: May 18, 2011 5:46 pm

Harper not hitting majors in 2011

A decision based on economics more than anything else with the Nationals clearly determined to get productive time from him when he finally hits the majors rather than start the major league service time clock for a dog and pony show this September.  2011 probably is too early but will they say the same thing next year after he destroys AA in 2012 and has nothing left to prove on the minor league level?  Add Strasburg and Harper in 2012 and suddenly the Nats will be for real.

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