After Bryce Harper went 1 for 5 with a double and four K's in this afternoon's game, leaving the 19-year-old 2010 no.1 overall pick 8 for 28 with two doubles, two walks and 11 K's in 9 Grapefruit League games, he was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse according to the Washington Nationals, who reported the move via their official Twitter account (@NationalsPR):
"Nationals option OF Bryce Harper, 1B Tyler Moore, C Jhonatan Solano to AAA. INF Mark Teahen re-assigned to ml camp."
The move ends months of speculation about where the top prospect in the Nats' organization (and the top position players on most prospect lists) would start the 2012 season after a 2011 campaign in which Harper had a combined .297/.392/.501 slash at Class-A Hagerstown and Double-A Harrisburg. Harper played in just 37 games at Double-A, however, with a .256/.329/.395 line in 147 plate appearances before a hamstring injury ended his first professional season.
Nats' skipper Davey Johnson told reporters after the decision was announced, as quoted by MASN's Dan Kolko (@DanKolko) that he believed, "'This is the best thing for him and the ball club.'"