When the Washington Nationals take the field Saturday night, National fans are going to get a glimpse of what they hope will be a successful future for the organization.
The Nationals announced on Friday that 19-year-old phenom Bryce Harper will be called up for Saturday’s game in Los Angeles to replace the bat of Ryan Zimmerman, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder.
When Harper takes the field, he’ll be playing behind another one of the Nationals young stars, pitcher Steven Strasburg.
“I’m going to put him in left field and let him play,” manager Davey Johnson said, according to the Associated Press. “Harp had a great spring training, he’s a phenomenal talent, and he’s been swinging the bat down there. But we have a need here for a left-handed bat, and he’s the guy that fits the role. As far as I’m concerned, he’s earned the right to get the opportunity.”
The Nationals selected Harper with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 amateur draft. Most recently, he was playing for Triple-A Syracuse, where he was batting .250 with one home run and three RBI through 20 games.
In 2011, Harper spent time in both in Single-A and Double-A. He hit .297 with 17 homers and 58 RBI. He also stole 26 bases. Harper is widely regarded as the No. 1 prospect in baseball.
“Bryce is a very talented player and he’s going to help us win games. I don’t think they would call up anyone that’s not going to help us,” Zimmerman said. “He can help us in a lot of ways. With as much stuff that’s going to happen tomorrow with the media and everything, I think he’s ready to handle the situation.”
-With Associated Press