Jul 4, 2011, 2:16 PM EDT
Updated at 1:05 p.m.
The Nationals promoted top prospect Bryce Harper to Class AA Harrisburg today, a move that had been anticipated for some time but still carried some element of surprise given the organization’s decision to have the 18-year-old outfielder skip one level of its farm system.
Harper, who spent the season’s first three months at low-Class A Hagerstown, will debut for Harrisburg tonight at home against Erie. And, according to general manager Mike Rizzo, he’ll finish the season with the Senators before returning to play in the Arizona Fall League for the second consecutive year.
“We’d like for him to play at every level in our minor-league system,” Rizzo said. “He’s already played at the A-level. So we wanted to give him a month-and-a-half or so in Double-A, and then obviously we’re hoping he’ll play in the Arizona Fall League after this. So that’s our progression for him this year.”
Still, Harper’s advancement from the low-Class A South Atlantic League to the Class AA Eastern League is a blow to the high-Class A Potomac Nationals, who for the second straight season won’t get to
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