Feb 23, 2011, 9:14 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Bryce Harper hasn’t played an official minor-league game yet, but the Nationals’ 18-year-old phenom has already been named his sport’s top prospect.
Baseball America released its annual Top 100 Prospects list on Wednesday and selected Harper No. 1 by a narrow margin over Angels outfielder Mike Trout.
Harper, the first overall pick in last summer’s draft out of the College of Southern Nevada, has to date played professionally only in the Florida instructional league and the Arizona Fall League. He’s in big-league camp this spring and is expected to appear in a handful of Grapefruit League games before getting optioned to Class A to begin the season.
Three other Nationals farmhands cracked Baseball America’s Top 100 list. Infielder Danny Espinosa, who is expected to open the season as Washington’s starting second baseman, ranked 66th. Catcher Derek Norris, the organization’s best offensive prospect other than Harper, ranked 72nd. Catcher Wilson Ramos, acquired last summer from the Twins in the Matt Capps trade, ranked 96th.
Only four organizations had more than four players in the Top 100: the Royals (nine), Rays (seven), Braves and Yankees (six apiece).
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