Harper crushes two triples; Rizzo pleased with progress

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper had a tremendous Wednesday in guiding the Scottsdale Scorpions to a 11-1 win over Peoria. Harper went 2-for-5 with two triples, two RBI and scored two runs.

Harper is now batting .357, 10-for-28 with two doubles, two triples, one homer and 6 RBI. His SLG% is now .679.

General manager Mike Rizzo is very impressed with Harper's solid steps in the AFL.

"The competition alone for him playing in the Arizona fall league is tremendous for him and for his development," says Rizzo.

"I don't care whatsoever what his batting average is. I saw him play several times in Arizona. He is taking good at bats. He is not over matched. He is learning his craft. He is going to make himself a player."

Rizzo says Harper can be that special player.

"He is one of the hardest working young man I have ever been associated with, says Rizzo.

"He is going to make himself a player very soon. I love his attitude, his energy and his passion for the game."

Nationals roving instructor/manager Gary Cathcart agrees, saying Harper is such an athlete that he will learn the outfield position quickly and get up to speed, because his bat already looks like he has been playing pro ball for 10 seasons.

On the pitching side, Stephen Strasburg is working out well from San Diego during his rehab from Tommy John surgery. Rizzo caught up with him recently and got a positive update on Strasburg's progress.

"I have talked to Stephen and he is doing great," says Rizzo.

"He is very passionate in his rehabilitation. As passionate as he is when he prepares for a start. He is a man on a mission. He is going to rehab and get back. He is going to show the national league what he can do."

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