Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is scheduled to be activated from the disabled list to face the Colorado Rockies on Monday, and figures to be in the lineup in left field, hitting anywhere from ... well, why bother to guess? Rookie manager Matt Williams had Harper for 22 games in April, and he hit second and sixth the most, but also fourth, fifth and seventh. It doesn’t matter. Harper’s thumb injury is healed and this is the same guy predicted for immediate stardom, a second-round choice by ESPN average draft position (ADP) ready to carry fantasy owners. Activating him this week isn't enough. Trade for him where possible, because he’s every bit the top-20 guy he was months ago.
Detractors will eagerly point out that Harper hasn’t exactly taken the Mike Trout route to statistical wonder in his two-plus seasons, and yes, that’s fair. Harper is 21 years old, and for him to be regarded as a top-20 fantasy option, he’s really got to produce. Starting Monday, he shall do just that.