Dec 6, 2011, 1:16 AM EDT
DALLAS — Davey Johnson has never been afraid to throw a supremely talented prospect to the wolves and let him play against big-league competition while still in his teens. Johnson, you may remember, was a driving force behind Dwight Gooden's promotion to the Mets at age 19 despite the fact he had never pitched above Class A.
"I had to fight for a young pitcher, who was 19 years old in New York," Johnson said today, recalling his conversations with Mets GM Frank Cashen in 1984. "Just keep an open mind, and let's see what he does in the spring and then evaluate whether he makes the club or not. And after many conversations, I finally got him to agree to that. And the rest is history."
So it's not surprising Johnson is perfectly willing to let Bryce Harper compete for a spot on the Nationals' Opening Day roster this spring. The outfielder only turned 19 in October and has only 37 games of experience at Class AA, but he thrived against top competition in theRead more »
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