Bryce Harper will not be part of the 25-man roster for the Washington Nationals when they break camp at the end of Spring Training 2012. Lest there be any doubt of that, the Nationals may be "working [toward] a deal" with Prince Fielder, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.
That would make Harper a true lock to start the regular season in the minor leagues.
For the first two or three weeks of camp, though, Harper will play big-boy ball, taking on a fistful of MLB hurlers during the opening games of Grapefruit League action for the second year in a row. If his performance as an 18-year-old in 2011 was any indication, it should be fun to watch the Wunderkind of Washington wallop the ball for a week before being sent back to prepare for his season debut in Double-A.
That's a huge part of the fun of Spring Training. Though many of the players who play most during Cactus and Grapefruit League games will not open the season on the big-league roster for any team, it's a blast to watch top prospects take on grizzled veterans. It's even more delicious when both players are vying for the chance to head north with their squad at the end of March.
Here are 23 prospects around the league who will spend time in big-league camp, and who are worth checking out.