On the heels of a report that he's heading to the Arizona Fall League, Bryce Harper, as well as general manager Mike Rizzo, confirmed that Harper will indeed start play in the league next Wednesday, according to CSN Washington's Mark Zuckerman.
Harper is reportedly going home to celebrate his 18th birthday before joining the Scottsdale Scorpions on their "taxi squad," according to Zuckerman. It's fairly unprecedented for someone so young to play in the league, since the league is seen more as a final step for more polished prospects, but Rizzo told Zuckerman Harper is a special case.
"I recognize that this kid is going into a situation that is pretty unprecedented,"Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said. "He's going to be an 18-year-old player in an extremely accelerated league. But we feel the trade-off of getting this kid to work out for two months in that environment was well worth the opportunity of him struggling a little bit in such an advanced league. With this kid's ability level and this kid's attitude, it's certainly not going to retard his progress."
The Nationals had to receive a special exemption to get Harper into the league, but they got it from Major League Baseball.