The Scottsdale Scorpions, led by the bats of Nationals prospects Bryce Harper and Derek Norris, toppled the Phoenix Desert Dogs 6-1 tonight in Arizona Fall League action.
Harper went two for four with two singles in his second appearance in professional action. The first overall pick for the Washington Nationals this summer batted eighth and played designated hitter in the victory. With his two hits Harper is now batting .375 in two games in Arizona.
Norris, the Nationals other top hitting prospect continued to rip up the fall league today as he hit a two run homer in the fifth inning. Through six games in the Arizona Fall League, the 21-year-old Norris is batting .316/.480/.500 with two home runs and four runs. He is currently ranked third in the league in OPS (on base % plus slugging%)
For Norris, a strong Arizona showing is a welcomed change from a 2010 season that saw him struggle through injuries. The top-prospect catcher saw both his batting average and his slugging percentage plummet as his .286/.413/.513 line from 2009 fell to .235/.419/.419 in 2010. Nevertheless, scouts and executives are still very high on his talent which combines serious raw power with a natural plate patience that could make him a star. At this point he needs to work on his glove (or hope for a position change), his contact percentage, and his strikeout rate.
It could very well be an interesting race to see who makes it to Washington first, Harper or Norris.