Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has reported that the Washington Nationals will option stud OF prospect Bryce Harper to AAA Syracuse to start the 2012 season. The 19 year old will predominately play in CF with occasional reps in RF; exactly where the organization plans to play him when he eventually hits the Major League Roster full time, probably later this year.
Harper, who is Baseball America's top Prospect for the 2012 season will need time to develop, as well as the Nationals will possibly need time to shop CF Roger Bernadina who is out of Minor League Options.
After suffering a calf strain, Harper hit .286 this spring (going 8-28) in only 9 spring training games, recording two double and no HR. This move is common with many star prospects as starting Harper out in the minor leagues will ensure the Nationals have rights to Harper for 6 seasons beginning next year.