Bryce Harper: 7 Former Catching Prospects Who Had to Change Positions

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Bryce Harper: 7 Former Catching Prospects Who Had to Change Positions

The power-hitting catcher is seemingly a dying breed in Major League Baseball.

Players such as Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra and Mike Piazza have been replaced by players such as Brian McCann, Alex Avila and Yadier Molina.

And somewhere along the line, a season of 40 or more home runs from the catcher position became a rare occurrence.

In fact, out of over 200 players enshrined in the Hall of Fame, only 17 are catchers. And none have ever reached the 500 home run- or 3,000-hit mark.

Since 1931, only 10 catchers have won the MVP award.

This decrease in power numbers is not because the current generation of hitters has chosen to play a different position, but because the current generation of front office executives and coaches have decided to move their power hitter to a different position if he happens to be a catcher.

For every season, such as the one witnessed by Joe Mauer in 2009, there is the chance of an injury occurring such as the one suffered by Buster Posey earlier this season.

And teams have responded by having their above-average hitting players change positions.

In the case of the Washington Nationals and Bryce Harper, this change may take place at the minor league level.

For some reason teams don’t want their million dollar investments crouched behind a plate while a pitcher throws a ball as hard as he can at them, or while a base runner turns into a linebacker during a home plate collision.

But the Nationals are not the only team to make such a switch.

Here’s a look at Harper and six other former catching prospects who changed positions.

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