Tag:Rick Eckstein
Posted on: November 19, 2010 8:35 pm

Harper continues to impress in AFL

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.

Posted on: October 13, 2010 1:02 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:58 am

Harper headed to Arizona Fall League

Bryce Harper The Arizona Fall League just got a little more interesting -- Bryce Harper is headed west.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told MLB.com's Bill Ladson that Harper will be on the "Taxi squad" for the Scottsdale Scorpions, meaning he'll play twice a week.

Rizzo said the team didn't want Harper to be idle for the next two months. The Nationals will have little trouble keeping tabs on Harper, as Rizzo, manager Jim Riggleman, hitting coach Rick Eckstein and special assistant Phil Rizzo will all be in Arizona with Harper.

In a subsequent tweet , Ladson notes Rizzo told him the team will start Harper at Class A next season, presumably with the South Atlantic League Hagerstown Suns.

"He is going to A ball," Rizzo told Lasdon. "Make no mistake about it. he is not going toe a rushed guy. We are going to let his performance and development dictate where this guy goes."

UPDATE: MASN.com's Byron Kerr spoke to Harper , who said he'll go to Arizona on Sunday after celebrating his 18th birthday with his family.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

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