Nats' prospects set for Arizona; can Bryce still get in?

The 2010 Arizona Fall League begins Tuesday, October 12. This year's team with players from the Nationals organization is the Scottsdale Scorpions. The best of the Nats, Orioles, Rockies, D-backs and Giants are represented on Scottsdale's roster.

The Scorpions open at home October 12 against the Peoria Saguaros. There are six weeks in the season that spans October 12 through November 18.

There are six teams in the league: two based in Peoria, Surprise, Phoenix (last year's Nats affiliate), Scottsdale and Mesa.

The Rising Stars game, the all-star game for the AFL, is November 6 in Surprise. The Championship game will be held November 20 in Scottsdale.

Harrisburg manager Randy Knorr will be the skipper for Scottsdale.

Field players Derek Norris, Stephen Lombardozzi and Michael Burgess represent the Nats. Leftie Sammy Solis, right handers Adam Carr and Cole Kimball are the pitchers invited from the Washington organization. The roster reveals one vacancy left for Washington on the pitcher's roster and one slot in the outfield left vacant for Baltimore.

The AFL rules state that all Triple-A and Double-A players are eligible provided they were on a Double-A roster no later than August 16 (Lombardozzi, Burgess). Each team is allowed two players below the Double-A level to participate (Norris, Solis).

So it would appear from first glance that Bryce Harper will not be included on this year's team.

But is there still a chance?

My guess is one way it could happen is with the Orioles adding another pitcher and the Nats giving the 17-year old Harper a shot to face the best from other organizations.

Bryce will turn 18 on Saturday, October 16 when Scottsdale visits the Peoria Javelinas.

This "switch" would be allowed with Norris maybe being exempt from the "two players below Double-A rule" because of the hand injury that prevented him from participating last season.

Let's see if that scenario plays out.

Burgess has always shown flashes of a big bat and Lombardozzi has been solid all season in Potomac and Harrisburg.

Solis is the big left-hander who was the Nats top pitcher taken in the draft out of the University of San Diego. Carr has put up good numbers for Syracuse and Kimball likewise for Harrisburg.

Last year's Nationals affiliate in Phoenix boasted Stephen Strasburg, Drew Storen, Jeff Mandel, Josh Wilkie, Sean Rooney, Danny Espinosa and Chris Marrero.

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