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Nationals option Bryce Harper to Triple-A Syracuse

Mar 18, 2012, 5:12 PM EDT

harper ap AP

Nationals manager Davey Johnson told reporters at the start of spring training that he was open to the idea of Bryce Harper earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. But it was a longshot from the start, and any hope of it happening has now been crushed.

According to Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington’s Nats Insider, Harper has been optioned to Triple-A Syracuse, where he will begin the 2012 regular season and play primarily in center field.

Harper went 8-for-28 with zero homers, two walks and 11 strikeouts this spring in the Grapefruit League. A calf injury cost him over a week of playing time.

The 19-year-old phenom should debut for the Nationals by the middle of this summer, and could be up as early as June if he gets off to a hot start in April and May in the Triple-A International League.

  1. ezthinking - Mar 18, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    Punching out in 40% of his spring training at bats kind of made this decision easy.

  2. randygnyc - Mar 18, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    I watched a few of his games. Swings like he’s chopping down redwoods. Shocked to see his strikeout numbers. He was making contact in most of the AB’s I watched.

    • skerney - Mar 18, 2012 at 5:54 PM

      Is he Reggie Jackson or Mark Reynolds?

  3. drakej541 - Mar 18, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    still think he’s over rated!!! he needs another full year in the minors to prove he is big league caliber!!!!!

  4. drakej541 - Mar 18, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    He’s only 19 for god sake!!!!! He’s no A-Rod!!!!

    • deadeyedesign23 - Mar 18, 2012 at 7:36 PM

      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! just for good measure.

  5. tropboi11 - Mar 18, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    This kid will be in the Bigs soon enough

  6. stoutfiles - Mar 18, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    I think he just needs to grow up. He sounds like a high school d-bag everytime he talks.

    • electstat - Mar 18, 2012 at 7:28 PM

      Most of the players over 30 sound like a high school d-bag too. Has no bearing on if he can hit, throw, and catch though.

  7. logankivo - Mar 18, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Can’t wait to see him in Syracuse, gonna be a fun summer

  8. carolinakid - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    OVER RATED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • JBerardi - Mar 19, 2012 at 8:13 AM

      And they say Bryce Harper has maturity issues.

  9. bsbiz - Mar 19, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    That’s going to be brutal for him, considering the minors are notorious for being stingy about keeping track of the baseballs you put in your mouth.

  10. eckertae - Mar 19, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    He handled it pretty well. Seems that since the start of camp this year he’s been more mature than last year. The Nationals are handling him correctly. He’ll be up in between a few weeks to a few months. Its also good for AAA Syracuse.

  11. stex52 - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Syracuse management should be happy. They will have at least a couple of months of a hyped young future star on their roster. Got to help get the fans in.

  12. mvp43 - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    He’s lost his title of “Phenom”.

  13. couture23 - Mar 20, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see him at the all-star break.

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