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Harper will be given a shot to make the 25-man roster.
Ah, Bryce Harper. Everybody knows about the 20-year-old phenom.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson said that Harper will have a chance to make the 25-man roster to start the season. If he does, then watch out. Harper is for real.
Harper makes the list because of his potential. There's a chance that he won't provide value is 2012, but there's also a chance that he gets called up and dominates. If I knew for sure that Harper would be a starter, he would most likely be No. 1.
There are a couple of factors here. Mainly, it comes down to money. If Harper starts the year for the Nats, then he's eligible for Super Two status, meaning he'll be eligible for arbitration after his second full season. If the Nationals don't mind paying Harper more money much sooner, then calling him up earlier won't be a problem.
Prince Fielder is another reason the Nats might promote Harper. They are in the hunt to land the big first baseman, so imagine that lineup with both Fielder and Harper. There's not a better way to sell tickets for a team that will have Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth, Prince Fielder and Ryan Zimmerman on Opening Day.
Harper's stats are impressive. He has 17 home runs in 109 minor league games with a .297 average and 26 stolen bases. More importantly, Harper hit .333 with six HRs in 93 at-bats just a couple of months ago in the Arizona Fall League.
Bold prediction: It's hard to project given the situation. .250 BA, 15 HRs, 15 SBs, .790 OPS. If he makes Opening Day roster, he could have more like 25 HRs.