After spending just 129 games in the minor leagues since 2011, the highly touted prospect was called up late last week and will look to make a splash in front of his home crowd for the first time Tuesday night when the Nats host the Arizona Diamondbacks. So how excited will Washington fans be? I’m guessing ecstatic, especially after how thrilled they were when starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg made his debut with the club in 2010.
But will all the hype be warranted? Strasburg certainly proved that he could live up to very high expectations. Now the ball is in Harper’s court to do the same. Will he take the ball and run with it or be a project in the making?
It’s obvious that the Nationals think he is ready to produce now. And one really can’t argue with Washington after Harper hit .290 with 18 home runs, 61 RBIs and 27 stolen bases in his 129 games in the minor leagues. Not too shabby for a player who put up those numbers as a teenager. (more…)