- Associated Press - Monday, February 28, 2011

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. | Bryce Harper has made his much-anticipated spring training debut with the Washington Nationals, striking out twice in a game against the New York Mets.

The 18-year-old phenom didn’t see any action in the field during the Nationals’ exhibition opener Monday, but the top pick in last year’s amateur draft got his first two at-bats against big league competition.

Harper entered the game as a pinch runner for Matt Stairs in the fifth inning and finally got a plate appearance in the seventh. He fouled off the first pitch from Taylor Tankersley, then swung and missed on the next two.

In the top of the ninth, Harper struck out on four pitches against Ryota Igarashi.