The Washington Nationals optioned top organizational prospect Bryce Harper to Triple A Syracuse on Sunday where the 19-year old will play mostly CF. Harper was 8-for-28 this spring in the Nationals’ big-league camp while striking out 11 times. He also missed six games due to a calf injury, limiting his time to get ready to break camp with the major league club.

The top overall pick of the 2010 draft, Harper played both A and AA ball last season. He had success at the plate with 17 homers and an .894 OPS. A solid stint in the Arizona Fall League (.333 BA, six homers, 1.034 OPS) opened the possibility that Harper could make the jump from AA to the majors.

But manager Davey Johnson felt the youngster needed some time at AAA to ensure a smooth break-in to the majors.