Nationals Option Bryce Harper to Triple-A

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Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(VIERA, Fla.) — Washington Nationals prospect Bryce Harper is considered by many to be the future face of the franchise, but the future will have to wait as the team has optioned the young slugger to Triple-A to get some more seasoning before he becomes an everyday Major League player.

The 19-year old Harper was the number one overall draft pick by the team in the 2010 Major League Baseball amateur draft straight out of high school. After spending one season in the minor leagues, Harper stated that he hoped to make the team coming out of spring training this season. Harper held his own during his time with the team this spring, hitting .286 but the timing was just not right according to Nationals manager Davey Johnson.

“I love everything about him,” Johnson told ESPN’s Buster Olney. “He just needs to go to Class AAA and get a little comfortable there…He’s the real deal. He doesn’t need need to work on anything. He just needs to get at-bats in Class AAA, so there won’t be any naysayers.”

Harper was rated the number one overall minor league prospect by Baseball America heading into the 2012 season.

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