Nobody has cared about an instructional league game this much since, well, Stephen Strasburg last October. Oh well, here goes.
Nationals top prospect Bryce Harper made his unofficial pro debut earlier today, going 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts, reports Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com.
Harper struck out swinging on both occasions, according to Gonzalez, being caught out in front on a pair of off-speed pitches. The teenage hitting sensation started the game in right field, but sat down after five innings. Harper took the experience of his first pro game in stride, however.
“When you haven’t seen pitching for five months, it’s a little hard.”
“Everybody gets their Spring Training. This is mine.”
Little do the Nationals know, his now absent streaking eye black is actually the source of his super powers.
The instructional league schedule, which consists of 16 games, wraps up on October 12. According to Gonzalez, the Nationals want to see how Harper fares in his current “controlled environment” before they decide whether to send him to the prospect-rich Arizona Fall League. For entertainment’s sake, I hope he’s included.