Jul 11, 2011, 2:32 AM EDT
US Presswire photo
Bryce Harper reacts after striking out in his first at-bat of the Futures Game.
PHOENIX — Bryce Harper has been “playing up” against older, more experienced competition since … well, pretty much since the day he first picked up a baseball bat and homered off his father.
Sunday evening, though, brought a whole new challenge for the Nationals’ uber-prospect: Four at-bats against four different flamethrowers from four different farm systems in the All-Star Futures Game, all of them shown on national television.
The end result was perhaps predictable: Harper went 0-for-4, striking out twice and grounding out twice. The happy-go-lucky 18-year-old’s reaction, too, was perhaps predictable.
“I don’t even care what I did today, actually. I really don’t,” he said. “I could’ve went 4-for-4 and: Hallelujah. 0-for-4? Hallelujah, too. I’m just happy to be here, to be around the guys I am.”
Harper’s teammate at Class AA Harrisburg, Brad Peacock, acquitted himself very well: The right-hander tossed a 1-2-3 inning of relief on nine pitches, joining 10 other hurlers that led a team of top American
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