Nationals prospect Harper hits first homer

Nationals prospect Harper hits first homer

Nationals prospect Harper hits first homer
Who knows, perhaps Bryce Harper just made Ruben Alaniz famous.

Harper, the Washington Nationals' uber-prospect, connected for his first professional home run on Wednesday in the nightcap of Hagerstown's Class A doubleheader against Lexington.

Harper hit his two-run drive off Alaniz, a 19-year-old left-hander, in the third inning of the Suns' 6-4 loss.

At some future point, maybe after Harper has fulfilled his destiny and can look back at a career filled with big numbers, could Alaniz be the answer to a trivia question?

The youngster from Texas, naturally, was pitching for the Lexington Legends when he served up the inaugural home run to Harper, the top pick in last June's First-Year Player Draft.

The drive over the left-field fence was a welcome confirmation of the hype surrounding Harper, who had come into his seventh game sporting an average of .238. The home run was also his first extra-base hit.

The homer notwithstanding, Harper ended the day as a .214 hitter (6-for-28) in seven games. He has driven in five runs and has also coaxed three walks and stolen a base.

Prior to Wednesday, Harper did already own a "quasi-professional" homer -- not counting batting-practice drives.

On Oct. 30, he homered for Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League, where he got his first taste of action against other top prospects after signing his $9.9 million contract with the Nationals.

Tom Singer is a national reporter for Follow @Tom_Singer on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.