Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post wrote today that the Nationals have left open the possibility of adding first overall draft pick Bryce Harper to the Arizona Fall League roster:
“For Harper to eventually attend the fall league, the Nationals would first need to obtain a special exemption from Major League Baseball. Each team can choose two players who have yet to reach Class AA, and the Nationals will send Sammy Solis and Derek Norris. The Nationals, though, have one roster spot available, and they can petition MLB for one more exemption. The Nationals would almost certainly be able to clear that obstacle, if they so choose.”
Initially the likelihood of top prospect Bryce Harper participating in the prestigious Arizona Fall League was very slim. Turning just 18 this October, Harper showed a lack of developmental maturity in his first appearances in the Instructional League and many assumed Washington would go down the road of patience, not excitement, when it came to handling their promising youngster. However as the instructional league continued Harper began to look more and more like the talent that hit .443 with 31 homers for the College of Southern Nevada last season.
Perhaps Washington’s initial instincts were for the best. There is simply no need to rush Bryce Harper to the majors except for money and excitement. Will they actually appeal to the MLB to let Harper into the AFL? Probably not, but I wouldn’t be shocked. Regardless of what Mike Rizzo decides to do, Harper will have his time…even if it’s not now.