As Bryce Harper's time in the Arizona Fall League has gone on, one thing has become increasingly apparent: The 18-year-old belongs.
The elite prospect league hasn't fazed Harper in the least. He has hits in seven of the nine games he's played, and he's produced with the steadiness of a veteran player. Harper still hasn't logged loads of time in the outfield, but his work on off-days in Arizona should help him next year. And as his time in Arizona draws to a close, Harper is making sure people don't forget how much poise he's displayed in the league.
He went 2-for-4 in his penultimate game for the Scottsdale Scorpions, recording a double and driving in a run in a 6-0 win over the Mesa Solar Sox. Harper is now hitting .343, with a .410 on-base percentage and .629 slugging percentage in nine games, and has homered once. Because the AFL championship game falls on a Saturday, Harper (who is on the Scorpions' taxi squad and is eligible to play on Wednesdays and Saturdays) will be able to participate.
He'll likely start his tour of the minor leagues at Single-A Hagerstown, general manager Mike Rizzo told reporters (via the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore) at the GM's meetings on Wednesday. And when he does, Harper will get there having already proved he's not too young to handle the competition.