While in single A, Bryce Harper batted .318 with 14 homeruns, 46 RBIs, 49 runs, and 19 stolen bases in 72 games. He was tearing up single A pitching and showing why he is the top prospect in the minors at this time. He was promoted to the Nationals AA club in Harrisburg over the July 4th weekend. However, since his promotion, he has hit a rough patch. In 18 games prior to last night, Harper was batting a Mark Reynoldsian .217 with 0 homeruns, 3 RBIs, 4 runs, and 2 stolen bases.
Harper was one of the top prospects ever and caught buzz for leaving high school early to join a junior college so he could be drafted. He was drafted number 1 by the Nationals a year after they selected Stephen Strasburg number 1. Ever since signing his contract with the Nationals, he has been progressing and hitting very well at each of the stops he made. One red flag that seemed to pop up even as he progressed was his attitude and the fact that he carried himself like he was better than everyone else. The game of baseball has a way of humbling the best players to play the game, and with this rough patch, Harper is no different. I hope he learns from it and gets better. It is also important to remember he is only 18 years old playing AA ball and he will mature. He will make the necessary adjustments to get better.
Yesterday afternoon in Bowie, Bryce Harper hit his first homerun in AA (and his first since June 6) as he went 3 for 4 with a stolen base raising his average to .250. So maybe it was just a mini slump that coincided with his promotion but I hope as part of his maturity process, he picks up some humbleness along the way.