Blog Entry

Harper continues to impress in AFL

Posted on: November 19, 2010 8:35 pm
 
If you want to see Bryce Harper play, his Scottsdale Scorpions will be in the Arizona Fall League championship on Saturday, with the game on MLB Network (3 p.m. Eastern). Nationals hitting coach Rick Eckstein has already watched Harper in Arizona and came away impressed.

"He attacks the baseball, which is great for a hitter," Eckstein told MLB.com's Bill Ladson . "The days that he wasn't playing, he treated those days as if he was playing. He would go out during batting practice and get reads off the bat in right field and center field. He was working to get better in the outfield. It was impressive watching him work."

Bryce Harper As a member of the "taxi squad," Harper's been limited to playing two days a week. One of those days is Saturday, so he'll be able to play in Saturday's game against the Peoria Javelinas, who feature Seattle second baseman Dustin Ackley, Houston first baseman Koby Clemens and Toronto shortstop Adeiny Hechevarria, among others. Astros right-hander Kyle Greenwalt will start for the Javelinas.

Harper isn't expected to start in the game, though he is expected to play. Nationals outfield prospect Michael Burgess will get the start in right field.

Harper has had limited opportunities playing just twice a week, but he's certainly capitalized, hitting .343/.410/.629 in nine games, hitting a home run, three double and two triples in just 35 at-bats.

"I think we would be doing ourselves a disservice trying to put that timeline together," Eckstein told MLB.com about when Harper should expect to make the big leagues. "Go into A ball and succeed. He gets a taste of coming up through the minor leagues. He is advanced, but he just turned 18. We have to understand that, too. I think he could compete at a high level, but you don't want to risk that developmental time mentally. I'm very impressed with every part of him as a person, as a player, the way he thinks and his commitment to excellence."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.



Comments
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com