Bryce Harper's spring debut vs. Mets

February, 24, 2011
2/24/11
4:01
PM ET

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Nationals phenom Bryce Harper's Grapefruit League debut is scheduled for Monday in Port St. Lucie against the Mets.


Bryce Harper, the first overall pick in last year's draft, will make his first Grapefruit League appearance on Monday when the Mets play host to the Nationals, Washington manager Jim Riggleman said in Viera, Fla. Harper, 18, is being moved from catcher, his amateur position, to outfield.

Harper is only scheduled for one at-bat. Mike Pelfrey and Chad Gaudin are the starters.

Terry Collins, who watched Harper before last year's draft in junior college play with Southern Nevada, raved about the prospect Thursday. Harper received a $6.25 million signing bonus and then represented the Nationals in the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .343.

"Oh god almighty, that bat’s special," Collins said. "I know they moved him to the outfield because they probably think the bat is going to get there in a hurry and that’ll get him there faster, but I told [then-Mets draft head] Rudy Terrasas last summer, ‘If we got him, I’d leave him behind the plate, because he’ll be an All-Star for 15 years from what I saw.’”
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187