Bryce Harper nearly capped his first appearance in the Arizona Fall League in truly grand fashion. In the end, the Nationals' 18-year-old phenom had to settle for a two-run double and not a grand slam that would have turned his already-hyped Fall League debut into something really spectacular.
Facing some premier older prospects who are one step from reaching the major leagues, Harper went 1-for-4 tonight in Scottsdale, Ariz., helping lead the host Scorpions to a 6-3 victory over the Mesa Solar Sox.
Batting seventh and starting in right field, this summer's top amateur draft pick was hitless in his first three at-bats, though two of the outs came on hard-hit balls. But his final at-bat of the evening, with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, proved to be his best.
Harper smacked the first pitch he saw from right-hander Brian Leach, a 24-year-old prospect in the Pirates' system, and sent it down the left-field line, bouncing it over the fence for a ground-rule double that brought two runs home.
For more details, please read my story on CSNwashington.com.
Link now includes video of Harper's double.