Mar 12, 2011, 11:24 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Physically and mentally, Bryce Harper looked like he belonged in big-league camp.
Did Bryce Harper, optioned to low-Class A Hagerstown late this afternoon, actually make the decision difficult for the Nationals? Did his performance in 13 Grapefruit League games — a .389 batting average, three doubles, five RBI — make team officials pause for a moment and question whether he might actually be ready for the big-time?
No, not at all. Make no mistake, they were impressed with what they saw out of a supremely talented but still very raw teenager playing alongside established major leaguers 10-to-20 years older than him.
But Mike Rizzo had his plan for Harper in place from day one, and nothing the kid did on the field was going to change it. Whether Harper went 18-for-18 or 0-for-18, he was going to get shipped out to minor-league camp sometime in early-to-mid March. And no matter what, he was going to begin his minor-league career in Hagerstown.
Read my full analysis of Bryce Harper, including a potential timeline for his progression through the minors, on CSNwashington.com.
NL EAST STANDINGS
THE BASEBALL SHOW
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Duda, Cespedes too much for Nationals
- Cespedes debuts for Mets, as Nats aim to even series
- Nats are in a real pennant race now
- Mets beat Nats 2-1 in epic game capped by Flores walk-off
- Nats' reliever to get second opinion on ailing shoulder
- Catching up with now-Mets pitcher Tyler Clippard
- Mets get Cespedes for big series vs. Nats
- Nats, Mets begin weekend series with first place on the line
- MLB Power Rankings: Hamels, Price, Tulo all get traded
- A formula that could work wonders for Nats