The Nats first drafted Bryce Harper in 2010 to be a distant solution to a current problem in right field. But a few days ago, CBSSports.com posted a story that Bryce Harper might end up moving to center field in the minors this year. This doesn't seem unreasonable, as they've recently signed this guy Jayson Werth, who is a right fielder, to a long-term deal. Maybe you've heard of him?
But the one person that gets lost in the shuffle is Nyjer Morgan, the Nationals current center fielder. After exploding in 2009 to outstanding numbers, he limped out of 2010 with lackluster numbers. So should Nyjer be worried that Nats have moved their best prospect to his position all of a sudden? Absolutely he should, though maybe not this season.
These two players have extremely different playing styles. Morgan is small and fast. (So small in fact that he regularly looks like he's swimming in his jersey, but I digress.) He is supposed to be the walk a lot, steal a lot player. The problem there? He doesn't walk enough and he was a less effective base stealer in 2010. Harper, on the other hand, is big and hits for power. His job will be less to be the perfect defenseman than to hit the ball as hard as he can.
It is still extremely unlikely that Harper would make the bigs before the Super Two deadline in 2012, similar to Stephen Strasburg in 2010. That's at the absolute earliest. It's entirely possible it doesn't happen until September callups 2012. So Nyjer might be safe for a little while, though the quality of at-bats that Roger Bernadina and Michael Morse put together while platooning in left field could light a fire under Morgan to have a more successful 2011.
For more on several of these Nats in Spring Training, check out Capitol Baseball all week. You might just see one or two of these guys make a post to come...