It might be time for the Nationals to think about promoting Bryce Harper (currently the number two prospect in the minor leagues), who has been destroying low-A ball pitching while playing for the Hagerstown Suns of the South Atlantic League. Harper struggled a little bit during the first couple weeks of the season, but he has adjusted nicely since then. Earlier today, Harper hit a double against the Lexington Legends to extend his current hit streak to 12 games. Through last night's game, Harper is hitting .370/.463/.707 (avg/obp/slg) with 7 home runs, 10 doubles and 23 RBI in 92 at-bats (27 games). He ranks seventh in the South Atlantic League in batting average, third in on-base percentage, second in slugging percentage, tied for third in home runs, and third in RBI. You get the point, the guy is absolutely on fire.
What's crazy about Harper and the way he's hitting is that he easily came into this season with more hype than any other prospect (the guy hadn't actually played a minor league ballgame yet and people were asking if he would reach Washington by the end of the season) and he is actually living up to the hype. He has yet to perform poorly wherever he has played. Let's not forget that he left high school after his sophomore year and earned his GED so that he could play at the College of Southern Nevada last season. He dominated junior college baseball, winning the Golden Spikes Award, which is given annually to the best amateur player in the country. After signing with the Nationals, Harper hit .343 in the Arizona Fall League (he was the second youngest player ever in the league). He was at big league camp for part of spring training, hitting .389. The fact that Harper can perform with all the pressure to become a perennial all-star is pretty mind-boggling. Obviously, the Nationals don't want to rush him, but Harper has proven that he is good enough to take the next step. The next logical stop for Harper is the Potomac Nationals of the class-A advanced Carolina League.