Bryce Harper is on fire at low Single-A, going 15-for-33 (.455) with four homers and six doubles in his last 10 games.
Harper is hitting .355 with a .456 on-base percentage and .697 slugging percentage in 23 games overall, including six homers and eight doubles in 76 at-bats and a 20/18 K/BB ratio. He’s even swiped four bases in six attempts.
Obviously knocking around low Single-A pitching doesn’t guarantee future success for Harper, but the fact that the former No. 1 overall pick is thriving as an 18-year-old in a league where the average player is 22 should be awfully encouraging for the Nationals.
Thoughts of Harper making it all the way to the majors in his first professional season are misguided, but at this rate advancing to Double-A before his 19th birthday is very possible.
Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.
Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.