Washington Nationals super prospect Bryce Harper has had an eventful first full year in the minors. He’s basically lived up to all the lofty expectations laid out for him, and risen to the Double-A level while still being just 18 years old. But with all that success has come some disappointment, as Harper’s season is likely over a few weeks early.
Harper had to be helped off the field on Wednesday night with a hamstring injury. With only three weeks left in the minor league season, the Nationals are unlikely to push their prized prospect. Especially given the fact that Harper may see the big leagues early in 2012.
To recap Harper’s “interesting” first year as a pro: he hit several ridiculous tape measure home runs (including a 480-foot walk-off job), played in the futures game, was ejected by an umpire after he threw a tantrum over a bad call and showed up a pitcher by blowing him a kiss after smashing a home run off of him.
Over two levels Harper put up some great numbers. If he is indeed done for the year, his season totals will look like this after 109 games: .297 batting average, 17 home runs, 58 RBI, 115 hits, 24 doubles, two triples, 26 stolen bases (in 33 attempts), 59 walks, 87 strikeouts and a .894 OPS. For a first professional season those numbers are pretty ridiculous, especially given how much scrutiny Harper has been under.
Harper was the No. 1 pick in the 2010 MLB Draft and signed a $9.9 million big league contract with the Nationals.
We get the feeling the Nationals will shut Harper down, let him recover fully and look forward to opening the 2012 season at Double-A before possibly joining the big league roster sometime around midseason.