Blog Entry

The Bryce Harper era is upon us

Posted on: February 28, 2011 3:13 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2011 4:54 pm
Bryce HarperPosted by C. Trent Rosecrans

The Bryce Harper era has begun -- wtih of all things, a pinch-running appearance. The 18-year old pinch-ran for Matt Stairs in the fifth inning of the Nationals-Mets exhibition on Monday and stayed in the game as DH, batting fifth.

For the record, Stairs debuted in the big leagues five months before Harper was born.

Harper, the No. 1 pick in last year's draft, is the game's top prospect. Although he's not expected to start the season with the Nationals -- or even play in the majors this season, he'll certainly be the most closely-watched minor leaguer in the Grapefruit League this year.

Now, we're not going to update Harper's every move here, but his first game and his first at-bat seem rather interest-worthy, so I'll update it when he does come up to the plate. And for those of you with the MLB At-Bat app for your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, you can watch the game streaming live.

UPDATE: After Michael Morse went deep to give the Nationals a 7-3 lead, Harper struck out on three pitches against Mets left-hander Taylor Tankersley. Harper fouled off the first pitch he saw before swinging through the next two pitches.

UPDATE: Michael Morse is stealing the show from Haper, homering again against Mets right-hander Ryota Igarashi before Harper came to the plate. Harper, again, struck out. This time on four pitches.

UPDATE: And here's what Harper had to say, via Twitter, about his first big league-ish at-bats:

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

Since: Dec 22, 2008
Posted on: March 2, 2011 8:11 pm

The Bryce Harper era is upon us

Sorry, I just don't buy it. Why is it that rookies can come in and start from day 1 in every other major sport and not have serious mental breakdowns like everybody thinks young baseball players will? The fact is, there is no better way to learn than from the very best. The idea that young players need to be in the minors for 2 or 3 yrs. is just ludicrous. Teams let very good players just rot away in the minors for far too long. The Phillies kept Howard in the minors till he was 26 yrs. old and virtually ruined any chance he may have had to become on of the all time HR leaders. If these guys can play then they will be fine in the majors, sure they will go thru struggles, but every players does at some point thru the season.

Since: Feb 1, 2009
Posted on: March 2, 2011 3:28 pm

The Bryce Harper era is upon us

Absolutely correct. The reason why they don't bring him up is because they don't want to waste a year on this kid who is not ready for the big leagues yet. They want to have him and Strasburg healthy to show that they can be a contender before Harper's contract ends and he leaves for the mega-contract with his childhood team the NY Yankees.

Since: Jan 1, 2008
Posted on: March 2, 2011 10:17 am

The Bryce Harper era is upon us

The reason they won't bring him up is so they can control his contact longer. It's an organization that needs to keep players and shortening his FA clock is not the way to do that. Plus, throwing him into every day process of being a major leaguer at the age of 18 wouldn't be wise. Let him get his feet wet with traveling and such in the minors, then bring him up mid-season or even wait for him to get a full year in the minors under his belt. No need to rush the kid.

Since: Nov 20, 2010
Posted on: March 1, 2011 4:54 pm

The Bryce Harper era is upon us

I have read and seen quite a bit about this kid and he looks legit. Not only from a physical standpoint but he seems to have a good grip on the life that he is going to lead. The Nat's would be wise to keep him in the minors this season. No need ot put anymore pressure on the kid or risk a major injusry ( a la Strasburg ). I'm looking forward to watching this kid for years to come. Might be a little mroe difficult to see him as I am on the West Coast but that's one of the beuaties of the information age and constant media coverage. Good luck to Bryce and the up and coming Nat's.

Since: Oct 9, 2009
Posted on: March 1, 2011 12:59 pm

The Bryce Harper era is upon us

Can someone explain to me why Morse is still not considered an everyday player?  I thought he would have been a great guy to attempt to replace DUnn.  Now, they aren't sure he will play more than every 2-3 games?  He was a very good hitter last year and could easily fit into the middle of the lineup.  I just can't see how the Nats like Morgan as an every day player yet overlook Morse!!  Again, I feel like he could have just as good numbers at first as LaRoche if they had the same amount of at-bats but I guess the last place management knows better than me!

Since: Dec 22, 2008
Posted on: March 1, 2011 9:03 am

The Bryce Harper era is upon us

I don't know why the Nats just don't keep him on the roster this yr.. The Nats are nothing more than a good triple A team anyway, so why not just have him learn from the best competition on the other national league teams. I guess it would be different if the Nats had any kind of a chance at all of being a decent team, but they don't so just keep him on the roster.

Since: Dec 10, 2009
Posted on: March 1, 2011 2:19 am

The Bryce Harper era is upon us

this kid is gonna be the all time homerun king someday hopefully....need someone steriod free to break it stop hating on him...and fyi im saying this as a phillies fan not a homer

Since: Feb 24, 2010
Posted on: February 28, 2011 7:36 pm

The Bryce Harper era is upon us

Some of his at bats, especially the strikeout on three straight pitches, show that he's not ready. He may be the next phenomeon and others may say that his early draft position means that he has to be in the majors and be a major contributor to the Nats at the beginning of the season, but waiting a few months to see an even better version of Harper should keep Nats fans satisified.

Since: May 16, 2009
Posted on: February 28, 2011 6:26 pm

The Bryce Harper era is upon us

NIce, great movie!

Since: Feb 10, 2008
Posted on: February 28, 2011 6:03 pm

The Bryce Harper era is upon us

I hope all this hype that this guy can live up to some of it. The best prospect is definatly The Mitch man in Colorado. Keep an eye on him boys cause this kid is as smooth as sandpaper!!

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