Blog Entry

Harper likely moving to CF; wants Sept. callup

Posted on: February 12, 2011 4:46 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2011 3:17 pm

HarperWhen the Nationals drafted Bryce Harper, they immediately moved him out from behind the plate and stuck him in right field. 

It's possible Harper could have stayed behind the plate, but the length of time for him to reach the majors along with the extra developmental time to learn how to approach being a catcher defensively was deemed too much. 

Except now the Nationals are blocked at right field after the signing of Jayson Werth to a seven-year deal. That doesn't jive with Harper's timetable, with Washington expecting him to take just two years to rocket through the farm as an 18-year-old. As a result, it's likely the Nationals will shift him to another position, which could end up being center field. That works just fine for Harper, according to

"I'm not sure where I will play," Harper said. "I think I play center field better than I do anywhere else. I have enough speed and enough reaction to know where the ball goes off the bat. Being around [Nationals minor league instructor] Tony Tarasco and my dad, who played center field, has been a big help for me. Whether it's left, center or right, I will play anywhere the Nationals need me."

As Harper readies for his first full professional season, he knows exactly what he needs to work on after dipping his toe in the waters while part of the taxi squad for his team in the Arizona Fall League.

"I want to go out there, try to get better, learn from all the big league guys, see how they approach the game and how they go about their business," Harper notes. "I want to get better in the outfield. ... That is my main goal. I want to see what opposing pitchers will do and how they will throw to hitters like Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth.

"There are a lot of things that I write down -- baserunning. ... The outfield is the main thing I have to get better at right now -- the outfield and the mental part of the game."

Of course, the most important part is for Harper to actually produce at the plate. But if work ethic is any indication, the Nats have nothing to worry about.

"He attacks the baseball, which is great for a hitter," Washington hitting coach Rick Eckstein said. "He was lining the ball around the park and then driving balls [over the fence in the AFL]. It was very impressive how he conducted his batting practices. He is very advanced at the plate. Mentally, he has a great feel for what he wants to do and a great work ethic for accomplishing it."

So Harper has a great work ethic that should rocket him up the farm and he appears to be playing center field. So when will he be patrolling the outfield grass at Nationals Park? Washington believes that Harper can reach the majors within two years, but Harper hopes for a September callup.

Whether September or two years from now, it will have been an impressive rise for Harper if he can make The Show that fast.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Category: MLB

Since: Mar 26, 2010
Posted on: February 23, 2011 3:22 pm

Harper likely moving to CF; wants Sept. callup

Hey Fact, long time no talk! Chooch Chooch! I have seen this kid nuke the wood bat JUCO pitcher's league and talked to friends/players in the AZ Fall League and the consensus view was "whoa". The only confidence at risk of being ruined was that of all the other players who thought they were talented. I hate the hype machine, but this kid CAN wear the label can't miss. He might be even years ahead where the most recent hype machine victim (Josh Hamilton) was; without the meth appetite and depression - and look how he eventually turned out! This kid has been groomed for this, and although he could stink defensively in his new position in the outfield, so what, big deal, half the big leaguers do already. Yes, he may be incredibly young and cocky, but I say rightfully so... Griffey Jr. paid no dues, and he was lightning in a bottle in the same kind of organization and became maybe the most exciting player in the last 30 years. I say let the kid learn on the field. The only thing that will hold him back in my opinion is his GM, who will likely leave him in the minors to avoid early arbitration -- a dicey move since Harper could fill the seats everyday like Strasburg only did every fifth.

Since: Apr 6, 2010
Posted on: February 14, 2011 5:56 pm

Harper likely moving to CF; wants Sept. callup

We all saw Bryce Harper jack balls off of those JUCO pitchers but what does that tell us. He has an anurmous talent of swinging the bat against High School and JUCO pitching. Now let's see him at least hit against pro pitching before we all start to project his entrance into the Show. Baseball is a crazy sport. There have been plenty off supposed 5 tool players that now are back in their hometowns working like the rest of us. Harper hasn't seen a guy yet that can consistenly spot 94 mph fastball's and in the next pitch drop an 80 mph change up for a strike. The Nationals and the rest of baseball love this kid so his potentiol right now is endless but so was Drew Hensons. So before we crown him or give him a countdown let's see him tear up the minors with a wood bat.

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: February 14, 2011 7:20 am

Harper likely moving to CF; wants Sept. callup

Despite what snacks tried to baffle you with, he was still playing high
school talent at his JC. He was in a poor conference. You can play
better teams out of it, but when 2/3 of your games are against just
that, more high school players that couldn't do any better, your case is
mute. If he was so great, why didn't he get his ass to one of those
superior JC teams in the region (though he mentioned none in Nevada) snacks ranted and raved about? And don't give me this
"He was just 17" BS. Yes, the kid is good, but he ain't great yet and it
is amazing how many people are riding the guys cock before he has even
played in high A ball, let alone AA, AAA, and the majors. Like someone
said, most of you are doing it just so you can claim you called a
superstar before it happened because you are too young to have seen
Pujols, Griffey, A-Rod and anything before. And if you are wrong, you
just cliam percentages since less than 0.0001% of baseball players in
the world can attain such status.

Your 3rd paragraph just makes it sound like he's in it for the money.
That's the last thing you want to do if you want to concince someone
that he's doing this for his talent; not the money. I think baseball
should be next on this rookie salary control. Sure, give the kids some
money so they can live in the minors a bit, but let's not throw cash to
an unproven guy.

Since: May 2, 2010
Posted on: February 14, 2011 2:06 am

Harper likely moving to CF; wants Sept. callup

JETS FAN, the reason he skipped right outta HS via a GED is because he was batting like .600 and that was with Pitchers not throwing to him often, mostly getting Pitched around, he did this to up the LEVEL of Competition at 16, and to be Honest, I think this kid is soar advanced he will be an everyday MLB player by next July..The Kid  has the knowledge most players dont have now,he has been playing about 120 games a year since he was 8 years old, like Heyward did.. He also playedin WOOD Bat Leagues coming up, and has the tools along w the mindset to suceed in this sport..

He didnt just wanna be a MLB Player, his Goal is to make the Hall of Fame ( which is aLOFTY and unlikely goal, but its a goal and the swagger is what I would want if he goes 0-16 his first month in the minors, that attitude may get him thru that MENTAL SLUMP ( Baseball is 75% Mental,and he has the Mental approach as well as the ATHLETISISM to play, you this game....

Again you missed the point of why he did what he did, besides, lets say he FAILS, well his work ethic and Familys decision to skip HS by getting his GED earned him $10 MILLION DOLLARS at 18 Years old, some of us will never make that in a lifetime, even with College degrees... So, he and his family hit the Lottery w that idea already.. Had he stayed in HS he wouldnt have progressed like he did playing at another level of  competition... Had he just stayed in HS, he may have been just Drafted,and whoknowswhat exposure he wlda recieved, yea,he would have possibly went in 1st round,but the scouts wlda simply said,well yea he hits .600 ( as most pro players hit ovr .500 in HS ) but look at the competition, instead, he is playing vs kids that were as old as 20 while he was16 and yes, he tore the cover off the ball there too... This kid has torn the cover off a baseball at every level...

This kid was playing TEE Ball at 3 vs 6 Year Olds, he has dominated at every level he has ever played at.. I read when he was playing on a traveling AAU team he went 12-12 w 11 HOME RUNS and a Double,he is special,and again, I believe he will be playing w the NATS in JULY 2012....

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: February 13, 2011 10:13 pm

Harper likely moving to CF; wants Sept. callup

he may not make it as a GREAT superstar player (odds are he will)....
No, the odds are he won't.  Think about the odds before you say that.  How many thousands of players have cycled through the game and how many are GREAT superstars?  The odds are against ANY player reaching that status.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: February 13, 2011 10:11 pm

Harper likely moving to CF; wants Sept. callup

 No, but the guy came off as one cocky SOB this past summer and it still seems to be showing
I can appreciate that perspective.  I just don't know what you saw in this story that makes "it still seem to be showing".  Every quote I read was about improving his weaknesses and learning from others.  Other than the terrible headline that was in no way supported by the author's story.

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: February 13, 2011 8:49 pm

Harper likely moving to CF; wants Sept. callup

I'd say the past 10 years is very recent considering some schools have had a team for decades, just like I said. And how did dropping out and taking the GED gain him "5 more years"? Did he go back in time with that move to 14? If he had just finished high school, he would have been in this year's draft. 1 year is not a big deal if you are a "can't miss" prospect. I never said anything about him having to go to college. You can be drafted out of high school in baseball; this isn't football.

Since: Mar 15, 2008
Posted on: February 13, 2011 8:29 pm

Harper likely moving to CF; wants Sept. callup

Rodriguez is on roids and im a yankee fan. the guy might not be that huge but when you are 4% bf because of steroids thats bigger then someone who is 6'3 240 and 11 / 16% bf  .   Pujol is a monster, that guy has a massive chest and tiny waist. Manny ramirez was also on roids and is also huge. lol   have you actually seen pictures of these guys or do you just know nothing about weight lifting? for baseball players they guys are extremly fit. People think mcguire was massive, google some pictures of him compared to these other guys and you will see some of them compare to big mac in size, the only difference is parts that have nothing to do with the swing, like "traps" and some "triceps"

Since: Sep 2, 2010
Posted on: February 13, 2011 8:27 pm

Harper likely moving to CF; wants Sept. callup

Posted on: February 13, 2011 2:42 pm Score: 118 Rate This Post:

Harper likely moving to CF; wants Sept. callup

What is so wierd about this whole situation is, I have seen the youtube shots, i've seen all the espn articles but when i think power hitters i think Adam Dunn, Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and those guys look like bricks, this guy reminds me more of that guy from "Rudy".
Well, he'll never be as tall as Adam Dunn (so his swing shouldn't have the same gaping hole) or as fat

Since: Jan 13, 2010
Posted on: February 13, 2011 8:02 pm

Harper likely moving to CF; wants Sept. callup

um i wish to disagree with your argument jets quite a few ways. first off southern nevada began playing baseball appx 10 yrs ago. i know this because as a coach at scottsdale comm college in ariz. we played them in a DH for their inaugural home games back in 2000. they dont play in the strongest league but they play all the top teams from arizona, california, new mexico, and all around the southwest. also, even though by catagorization, juco is the "lowest level" of college baseball it is widely known that the teams from arizona, calif., texas, florida are considered by pro scouts as higher caliber talent-wise than most div 1 schools. bryce harper faced talent at CCSN that is on or just below par with the second teir of div. 1 ncaa talent. there are guys in juco ball in the states i mentioned that should be in div 1 at the ASU/texas/fullerton/clemson level programs but arent due to a variety of reasons (grades, lack of scholarships, financial struggles of families, etc.). every year hundreds of juco players are drafted into professional baseball and many ahead of the so called "upper levels" of collegiate players. i have personally seen well over 100 players from my conference alone drafted in the 8 yrs i coached and more from the players who played against us in the national tourneys. yes harper did take his GED just to get a head start in pro baseball...wouldnt you if you were a "cant miss prospect"? he earned himself about 5 extra years of income at...oh...5 million per year. he may be a "cocky SOB" as you put it but ill take that kinda player any day. his cockiness is on the field...not in the general day to day life he lives (from what ive heard from scouts and other coaches). he's not emanding a sept call up...just wishing for one. hell all players want that and if you dont then you need a new profession. the perspective is this.....hes a great talent...he may not make it as a GREAT superstar player (odds are he will)....if he wants to approach the career path he has chosen this way, more power to him. yes he gave up on sr year of H.S, the "college experience" of going to a 4yr school and other "normal" things an 18-22 yo get to do...but this is no normal 18 yo...he is like a 16 yo genius who gets put in to a national research center or becomes a doctor at the age of 12....he just does the same things with a baseball bat.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or