Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson would reportedly like to have top-prospect Bryce Harper start the year with the team in right field, according to CBS Sports.
Harper, ranked by the No. 2 prospect by MLB.com for 2012, has yet to play above Double-A. That however, doesn’t stop Johnson, as well as some other baseball experts, from believing that the 19-year-old could be an everyday player in the Major Leagues as soon as this April.
In 2011 in 109 games between Single and Double-A, Harper hit .297/.392/.501 with 17 home runs and 58 RBI in his first year as a professional. The left-handed-slugger struggled, however, after making the jump to Double-A. In 37 games for the Harrisburg Senators, Harper hit .256/.329/.395 with three home runs and 12 RBI.
Harper is perhaps best known for graduating high school a year early so he could play college baseball sooner. At the age of 17, he was named the 2010 Golden Spikes Award winner for being the best player in college baseball during his first and only year with the College of Southern Nevada. He finished that season hitting .443/.526/.987 with 31 home runs and 98 RBI. Later that year he was drafted No. 1 overall by the Nationals.