In case you were looking forward to seeing Bryce Harper with the Washington Nationals in 2011, Mike Rizzo said that will not happen. Despite Harper's torrid hitting for Single-A Hagerstown thus far, Rizzo said in an interview on "The Sports Fix" with Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro on ESPN 980 that Harper is not going to rise through the Minor Leagues this year.
"Yes, I have [ruled it out]." It's not going to happen, because he's not ready for it to happen."
Rizzo said that Harper needs to "learn the nuances of the game of baseball," and the team doesn't want to set him up to fail. He added that Harper would likely play at every level of the team's Minor League system before eventually coming to the Nationals.
"This is a player that I believe needs to touch every level of the Minor League system. Believe me: I have a very specific plan in my mind for Bryce Harper. It's what I do for a living. It's what I've done to get to being a general manager of a baseball team. It's to develop players. Believe me: we've started to optimize his skill set and talent level, and we're going to do the right thing for him by the long term."