Nats promote Bryce's older brother Bryan to Triple-A

Nats promote Bryce's older brother Bryan to Triple-A

CHICAGO -- Bryan Harper took another step toward the Majors on Monday afternoon, when the 26-year-old left-hander was promoted from Double-A Harrisburg to Triple-A Syracuse.

Harper, the older brother of Nats slugger Bryce, is off to a fast start this season after a career year in 2015, when he posted a career-low 2.96 ERA. He made it to Triple-A for the first time near the end of last season, but appeared in only four games and started this year back at Harrisburg.

And Harper continued to dominate the competition there. He had notched six saves with a 1.50 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP in 20 appearances (16 of which have been scoreless) as the closer in Double-A. Opponents were hitting .146 in 82 at-bats against Harper, which ranked third in batting average against among qualified Eastern League relievers.

The Nationals selected Harper in the 30th round of the 2011 MLB Draft, one year after they selected Bryce first overall. The two have dreamed of playing alongside each other in the Majors one day, and that dream got one step closer to reality Monday.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.