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.
Jon Heyman has been hot on the free agent trail today, reporting that the Padres have made offers both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. The offer to Machado is believed to be for eight years and about $250 million, while the offer to Harper is believed to be for more than that.
Heyman was reporting on Harper earlier, tweeting that the Phillies are the favorite to sign him. He added this evening that Harper has multiple long-term offers at more than $30 million annually. Regarding Machado, Heyman noted that while Machado was believed to have had a preference for the East coast, he will go for the best deal now, which puts the Padres firmly in the picture.
The Padres reportedly met with Machado last week. A late entrant into the sweepstakes, the club has shown the willingness to spend, signing Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million contract last year. If he goes to San Diego, Machado would be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop.
Nothing appears close, but we’ll take anything resembling a spark to light the hot stove.