Harper was the youngest player in the league at 19 and also one of the best. Harper hit .333/.400/.634 with six home runs in 93 at-bats, his 1.084 OPS ranking among the league’s top 10.

“I think Bryce made a lot of progress,” General Manager Mike Rizzo said. “He’s got a unique skill set. He’s got a unique talent base. He’s going to be a terrific player for us in the near future.”

After his strong performance, the Nationals have not ruled out letting Harper, widely regarded as the best prospect in baseball, compete to make the opening day roster out of spring training. Still, Harper will likely begin the season in the minors. He has never played at Class AAA, he still has room to improve as a defensive player and a base runner and he has taken fewer than 600 professional plate appearances