By KFFL Staff on April 8, 2011
Baseball season got into full swing on Thursday with opening day for the minor leagues. Here are some prospects who stood out in their first games.
- Despite his stints in the Instructional League, Arizona Fall League and Grapefruit League spring training, Bryce Harper hadn't officially played a professional game until last night. Making his debut for low Single-A Hagerstown, Harper went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base. In his first at-bat, Harper stroked a 3-2 pitch to center to drive in a run. His second hit came on a bunt single up the third-base line.
While Harper has gone up against more advanced pitching in the Arizona Fall League and in spring training, the first overall pick of the 2010 draft has yet to face professional pitching continuously. He played only twice a week in the AFL. The South Atlantic League will be a test to see how the 18-year-old phenom handles the daily grind of a pro baseball season.
- Arizona Diamondbacks first base prospect Paul Goldschmidt went 2-for-4 with a pair of homers and four RBIs in his Double-A debut for the Mobile Bay Bears. Last year Goldschmidt earned California League MVP honors after batting .314 with 35 home runs and 108 RBIs for high Single-A Visalia. However, Goldschmidt was not considered a can't-miss prospect this spring in large part due to the 161 strikeouts he compiled at Visalia and his below-average athleticism.Arizona has one of the weakest first base situations (Juan Miranda and Russell Branyan) in baseball, and prospect Brandon Allen hasn't exactly impressed enough to take over the position. Don't count out Goldschmidt figuring into the D-backs' first base plans by September. Double-A is considered the litmus test for all prospects, and if Goldschmidt hits there, his production will be taken more seriously.