I've gotten several emails already this season and I know fans who had marked their calendars for Tuesday night, when phenom Bryce Harper was scheduled to be with the Syracuse Chiefs for the opener of a four-game series with the Bisons in Coca-Cola Field.
The media's calendars were marked too; the Bisons were working with the Chiefs to arrange a pregame press conference with Harper, the power-hitting No. 1 pick from the 2010 draft. And it turns out the Buffalo starter Tuesday is going to be Matt Harvey, the red-hot top Mets pick from 2010.
Alas, it won't happen. The 19-year-old outfielder who is baseball's best prospect has hardly been lighting it up at Triple-A but Harper is making his big-league debut tonight for the Washington Nationals in Los Angeles after Ryan Zimmerman landed on the DL. Former TBN Sports intern Amanada Comak, now a Nationals beat writer, has the full story in the Washington Times.
Fellow phenom Stephen Strasburg will be on the mound for the 9:10 ET game, which will be shown on MLB Network.
Harper was batting .250 with one homer and four RBIs. Harper's only home run was against the Bisons, in the opener of a doubleheader Sunday in Syracuse. It was his 67th Triple-A at-bat and came off fellow mega prospect Jeurys Familia. Check it out below.
There had been some talk in spring training about keeping Harper in the big leagues and skipping Triple-A but that seemed foolish with Washington in development mode. But the Nats have quickly pushed into winning mode with their fast start and my antenna went up when I noted that GM Mike Rizzo was in Rochester watching Harper this week, as good friend of the blog Jim Mandelaro wrote in the Rochester D&C. Why would the big-league GM do that in April? Clearly, this was on the docket.