Originally written March 19, 2012 on hardballchat.com:

The Washington Nationals have decided to demote future phenom Bryce Harper to their Triple A affiliate in Syracuse so that he can work on his defensive game in center field. Harper, who is still just 19-years-old, will begin the 2012 MLB season in the minor leagues, but is expected to get the call up at some point after honing his skills in the outfield. Harper was a catcher throughout his amateur career, but with the offensive skills that he possesses, the Nationals want to make sure they protect their investment but lessening his injury odds by removing him from behind the plate. They don’t want to see Harper go down the same road as Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants. Granted, there are concerns that a player can get hurt at any point while playing any position, but catchers suffer the most wear and tear, even when they are not being slid into at the plate. The Nationals are doing with Harper what other teams have done with the likes of Jesus Montero, Joe Mauer and other great offensive catchers. Harper played right field predominantly throughout Spring Training for Washington, but they would prefer to make him into a center fielder, as they are thin at that position. Having signed Jayson Werth to a massive contract prior to last season, he will be manning right field for the foreseeable future in D.C, regardless of whether he lives up to his deal or not. Everyone still says that Harper will be a can’t miss prospect, and he is still viewed as the No. 1 overall minor league player entering 2012. During Spring Training for the Nationals, Harper went 8-for-28 (.286) in the Grapefruit League. It is unknown when exactly the team plans on calling him up, but it may not be long, depending on which way the upcoming season goes for the Nationals.  

Royals beat A's in extras, win first playoff game since '85

Mark Davis: Raiders head coaching job will be 'enticing'

Fan on Craigslist offers Nats playoff tickets for threesome

Brady snubs rookie Garoppolo after touchdown pass

Cung Le suspended for failed HGH test

FCC Chairman: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'


Brain study finds 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Tony Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

Eli on Geno Smith: If fans yell at you, you probably deserve it

49ers players come out in support of Jim Harbaugh

Raiders reportedly expected to make a run at Jon Gruden

FCC unanimously ends sports blackout rule

MLB.com posts wrong story saying A's won game

WATCH: Brett Favre in new nose hair trimmer commercial

WATCH: Michigan students protest, call for AD to be fired

Marlins president: We're not trading Giancarlo Stanton

Heckling Knicks fan suing team over ejection

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe: Iggy Azalea has had better career than Swaggy P

College football's post-Week 5 playoff projection

Oregon to don pink-themed unis for breast cancer awareness

Is DeMarco Murray the best RB in the NFL?

WATCH: TBS sends up 'Boom Goes the Dynamite' with promo

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Brady snubs rookie after TD pass

FCC: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

Could Jon Gruden return to Oakland?

Marlins: We're not trading Stanton

Study: 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Heckling fan sues Knicks over ejection

Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe chooses Iggy over Swaggy P

Is DeMarco Murray the NFL's best RB?

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.