Outfielder Bryce Harper, the top pick in the 2010 draft, will make his Major League Baseball debut today when the Washington Nationals travel to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Harper, 19, will be joining Washington pitcher Stephen Strasburg, the No. 1 selection in the 2009 draft, in the contest between the National League East-leading Nationals (14-6) and the West’s first-place Dodgers (14-6), to be televised by MLB Network.
The Dodgers defeated the Nationals 3-2 last night in the first game of their three-game series at Dodger Stadium. The Nationals and Dodgers are tied atop the National League going into today’s game.
Harper was batting .250 with one home run for Triple-A Syracuse. He will replace third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who is going on the 15-day disabled list, on the Nationals’ roster.
Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs managers Tony Beasley delivered the news of Harper’s major league call-up to the player.
“He was stunned,” Beasley told MASN sports network. “I don’t think he quite knew how to take the news. Bryce was kind of at a loss for words. He kind of just took it all in. He was very excited and humble.”
Beasley said he offered some advice to Harper about the culture of playing major league ball.
“I tried to prepare him as best I could as to what he might see, the things he would face at the top stage,” Beasley said. “He will play hard and be competitive.”
Strasburg, 23, is 2-0 with a 1.08 earned run average, fourth in the National league. In four starts, he has pitched 25 innings, allowing three runs on 17 hits and striking out 25, while walking six.
Strasburg returned to the Nationals on Sept. 6 in a game against the Dodgers after a year of rehabilitation that followed elbow surgery. Strasburg set a major league record with 41 strikeouts in his first four starts in the 2010 season, going 5- 3 with a 2.92 earned run average and 92 strikeouts in 68 innings.
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