In a widely anticipated move, the Washington Nationals today promoted OF Bryce Harper from Low Single-A Hagerstown to their affiliate in Double-A, the Harrisburg Senators. The promotion bypasses High-A Potomac, a move that had been rumored all summer.
Both GM Mike Rizzo and field manager Davey Johnson today addressed the promotion, and both were insistent that bypassing Potomac was a developmental issue for Harper, and had nothing to do with the widely publicized drainage problems with the field at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge.
Harper finished his stint in Hagerstown with a slash line of .318/.423/.544, adding 14 home runs and 46 RBIs. He also stole 19 bases and was caught five times. The phenom played 51 games in right field and 20 games in center field, but is expected to play in left field primarily for the Senators.
"This is a developmental issue," Rizzo said. "We're happy that he progressed as much as he did in that league and showed us that he could handle top-flight velocity and breaking pitches and that type of thing. We feel he's ready to take the next step. This was a plan I had in my mind for a long, long time."
***Quotes used for this post were gathered from published reports.