Bobby Valentine loves Bryce Harper
You remember what Curt Schilling said on ESPN about Stephen Strasburg? Here, I'll refresh.
"I've never seen anything like this," Schilling said. "Never. Nothing close. Not at that age."
Ok, new expert, same network, new Nats prospect, same result. Bobby Valentine was asked about likely Nats draft pick Bryce Harper on Baseball Tonight Monday night. He was impressed.
"He's 17 years old," Bobby Valentine marveled. "Never seen anything like that."
What prompted the latest round of praise was Harper's performance over the weekend -- hitting for the cycle in one game, and going 6 for 6 with four home runs, a triple, a double and 10 RBI in another. Valentine went out to Las Vegas to see him play in person, and he left impressed.
"He's that good," Valentine said. "Soft tosses from home plate, he hits it over the center field fence. He hits it 400 feet with soft toss, without any collision. He's big, he's strong, he has great athletic ability, as everyone sees. I think he's just another can't-miss. He's the best young player I've ever seen, and I only saw a glimpse of him."
"Best young player" is a good thing, I guess, though Valentine forgot to mention the date of Harper's Hall of Fame induction. You can Google it, I guess.
Tim Kurkjian was also on the segment, and he said there's no doubt whom the Nats will select next month.
Harper is "gonna be the number 1 pick in the draft, and the Nationals are gonna take him," Kurkjian said. "I am relatively certain of that....He is just tearing it up. He is the number one elite player in this draft. And even though this draft has some strength here and there, there's only one - at least from the people that I've talked to - really elite player, and that is Bryce Harper, and that's why the Nationals are going after him.
"Mike Rizzo, their general manager, has seen him, he has met him, and he's really impressed with the way that the kid carries himself in every way....To dominate a league that he's in when there are guys in the league five years older than him, that is really impressive."
Now all we have to do is come up with a name for the Strasburg-Harper battery, and a name for the Nats' dynasty.
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