Bryce Harper goes 2-for-4 with a steal in Triple-A debut

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Bryce Harper made his Triple-A debut yesterday–more than six months shy of his 20th birthday–and went 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base.

Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post notes that Harper’s arrival at Triple-A generated nowhere near the hype of Stephen Strasburg reaching the minors’ highest level in 2010, as Syracuse’s ballpark “was less than half-full … with only a small media contingent on hand.”

Harper admitted afterward that he tried “to do way too much” while in Nationals camp and “getting sent down made me calm down and stay within myself.”

Now we’ll see how long he stays down.

The Mets expect Tim Tebow to come back next year

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Mets assistant general manager John Ricco told Newsday today that he expects minor league outfielder Tim Tebow to return for a third season in professional baseball.

Tebow, 31, broke the hamate bone in his right hand while swinging a bat in late July, ending his season. It was a fairly successful season for him all things considered. After being promoted to Double-A Binghamton to start the year he hit .273/.336/.399 with six home runs, a stolen base and a .734 OPS in 298 plate appearances and made the Double-A All-Star team. That’s not the stuff of a top prospect — he strikes out far too much and the power numbers aren’t fantastic given that power would figure to be his strongest tool — but it’s pretty respectable for a guy his age and with his relative lack of baseball experience. As I said back in July, you can believe the Mets’ interest in Tebow is more marketing than baseball, but that does not preclude you from giving the guy a deserved tip of the cap for working hard and sticking it out in the bush leagues.

Assuming he does come back, the Mets are likely to start him at Triple-A Syracuse in the hopes that he’d eventually get to the bigs as a late season callup if the Mets aren’t in contention. Indeed, many believed that was the plan for him this year had he not been injured.