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Nationals set on first pick

The Nationals have settled who they are going to select with the first overall choice in baseball First-Year Player Draft on June 7, General Manager Mike Rizzo said. Rizzo would not reveal the player but told reporters, "We feel that we've narrowed it down to one specific person."

The overwhelming favorite based on the consensus in the baseball community to become the first overall choice is 17-year-old Bryce Harper. After skipping his junior year of high school to enroll of the College of Southern Nevada, Harper compiled mind-boggling numbers, including hitting four home runs in a 6-for-6 performance in a playoff game this weekend.

But Rizzo isn't spilling the beans for now. He said Nationals crosscheckers will convene at Nationals Park on Monday to plan out their top 100 players for the draft and also to list between 1,500 and 1,600 players for the entire draft.

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 25, 2010; 8:44 PM ET
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Next: No date planned for Stephen Strasburg's debut


I've heard some good things about this catching prospect from Las Vegas

Posted by: Brian_ | May 25, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Draft Elijah Dukes! Give him a second chance!

Posted by: CapitolWill | May 25, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Harper without a doubt is the pick. Far and away the best, just like Strasburg was and John Wall is for the Wiz. What's with all of the "who would you trade Strasburg for?" talk? My answer, NOBODY. In a couple years people will talk about this phenom being one of the best ever. Strasberg, Zimmerman, Harper etc., and you are doing some things here. Things DC has never had. NEVER in this town for baseball!

Posted by: VinceLombardi | May 25, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

We have got to get Harper. No question about it.

Posted by: REDSKINRAYINCA | May 25, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Well, I certainly hope Scott Boras can sleep more easily now...

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | May 25, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

I think that Harper has separated himself from the pack enough to be a consensus #1 pick in June. The questions remaining to be answered are: 1) How much of the Bora$$ salary hype will the Lerners absorb, and 2) what will the team do if Elder Harper (a faithful LDS lad, from my understanding) signs his contract, then decides to follow the call of the church & go on a 2-year mission?

I hope the due diligence has been thorough on all fronts, if this is indeed the decision.

Posted by: BinM | May 25, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

In a recent interview Bryce was asked about leaving for a mission and he squashed any notion of it.

He's not going anywhere except to Harrisburg.


Posted by: tradervic1313 | May 25, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse


If what you report is true, he's a lock. HAR(AA) might be a bit too aggressive a starting point for 2010; Maybe HAG(lo-A) instead.

Posted by: BinM | May 25, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

hmmm . . . there's some guy who, in the JuCo World Series hit for the cycle last Friday, and then hit four homers on Saturday . . . I think he's draft eligible

Posted by: ADCWonk | May 25, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Dave Sheinan had an excellent article on Harper recently. Harper is from a blue collar family -- Harper understands the concept of a work ethic. The Nats can afford to develop Harper in the minor leagues. Ty Cobb wasn't universally well-liked either. This team can use a little attitude to help take it over the top and bring home the World Series. With the pitching talent Kasten and company are assembling, the timing feels right to bring in a young catcher who can hit for average and for slugging power. Nastiness can be a good thing, if channeled properly.

Posted by: dannykurland1 | May 25, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

@BinM - I was thinking that originally as well. I changed my mind for a couple of reasons...He was on the US National team and at 17, he's already smashing JuCo pitching. Granted, it's not stellar pitching there as is evidenced by the scores they put up last weekend. But consider also that he has always played "up" as in with older players. I understand the confidence angle but add in the fact that he has already transitioned to a wooden bat, I can realistically see him in AA.

Definitely not lacking in confidence but I'm sure that Nats want to put him in a position to succeed right from the start. I would be more worried that at the lower level, he might not be as challenged and perhaps a bit of humility in AA will push him to work even harder than he already does.

WTH, send him to Potomac so that he's less than an hour away! Either way, I see a full year in the minors and then on to "The Show".

Of course, with Boras as his "advisor", he may be not play at all once school is out depending upon how the contract negotiations go. I haven't heard any numbers yet, has anyone?


Posted by: tradervic1313 | May 25, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

So now Rizzo is the keeper of 2 of the worst kept secrets in baseball: 1) they draft Harper #1 and 2) Strasburg debuts on June 4th.

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | May 26, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Picking Harper is an absolute no-brainer. It isn't even close.

He is FAR AND AWAY the best player in the draft. By FAR

Take him, sign him, and use him for many years to come

Posted by: Bious | May 26, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

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