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Bryce Harper Will Start Next Season At Class A Hagerstown

So far, No. 1 pick Bryce Harper has looked every bit as good as advertised, and more. In eight games in the Arizona Fall League, Harper is hitting .323 with a .400 on-base percentage, one home run and a .613 slugging percentage, which is outstanding considering his age. But despite his strong performance, Harper will start next season at the same level the team originally anticipated.

General Manager Mike Rizzo said today that Harper will start next season at Class A Hagerstown, the lower of the Nationals' two Class A teams. Via Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post:

"I would assume [Harper] starts in Hagerstown," Rizzo said. "That could change. If the minor league season opened today, it would be Hagerstown. I think he needs to start in a comfortable position for him and succeed and move on."    

The Nationals could have started Harper at the higher Class A team, Potomac, but decided that comfort was more important. They did something similar last season, starting Stephen Strasburg at AA-Harrisburg despite him being much better than the competition.