Ben Goessling of MASNSPORTS.com reports that Bryce Harper has busted out of his early slump in the instructional league:
"Bryce Harper went 3-for-4 today for the Nationals' instructional league team, hitting a homer and driving in five runs against the Braves.
Harper has been inconsistent in his first taste of professional baseball, and his early inconsistencies, while to be expected, are probably an indicator the 17-year-old isn't ready for the Arizona Fall League yet. But his riveting talent has been on display several times this fall, and his showing on Thursday was another instance of that."
One of the foundations of development is confidence, so it's a good thing Harper got this out of the way. The 17-year-old had struggled early in his first stint against professional pitching but he bounced back in a big way today. Of course, these sample sizes are ridiculously small, but a good outing has to be promising to both Nats fans and Harper himself.
Goessling also reports that Nationals starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang made his debut on the mound since his return from injury, pitching one shutout inning in the Instructional League Wednesday. According to Goessling, Wang sat between 84-87 on the gun.