Nationals Plan To Draft Bryce Harper?

3:11pm: Asked about drafting Harper, Nationals Director of Amateur Scouting Kris Kline told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, "I don't think that's etched in stone."  The Nationals are down to a list of five candidates, with GM Mike Rizzo scheduled to see Harper in person for the first time in May.

7:56am: The Nationals plan to draft Bryce Harper first overall in June "barring an injury or drastic change," writes MASN's Ben Goessling.  However, MLB.com's Bill Ladson tweets his disagreement.  The 17-year-old phenom, currently raking junior college pitching and playing catcher, is considered by the Nats to be "as surefire a talent as Jason Heyward" according to Goessling.  Scott Boras is "advising" Harper, ensuring Harper's massive bonus will be fiercely negotiated.

Harper isn't viewed on the same level as Justin Upton or Alex Rodriguez, but there still aren't many players approaching his talent or ceiling in the upcoming draft.  ESPN's Keith Law, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo, and Baseball America's Aaron Fitt have scouting reports.


56 Responses to Nationals Plan To Draft Bryce Harper? Leave a Reply

  1. dudewheresmygrl 5 years ago

    Pirates fans collectively light themselves on fire

    • bomberj11 5 years ago

      Ha, ha, ha.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      The Pirates weren’t planning on drafting him. It was reported he was ranked 10th on their board back in January.

      get your facts straight DUDE!

      • jtibbs 5 years ago

        Of course they weren’t. They have 9 no name hacks on the list ahead of him so they don’t have to shell out any cash.

        • Guest 5 years ago

          WOW! Go look up Anthony Ranaoudo on the baseball index. Look at his pitching stats last year and tell me those aren’t IMPRESSIVE!

          • Guest 5 years ago

            they must of missed him when they were ruining their team…. they’ll get around to trading him, the day he comes up to the majors

      • humbb 5 years ago

        Well, if you’re talking about Dejan Kovacevic’s irresponsible report, that was immediately shot down several times, both in the post-gazette and on this site. For example:

        link to community.post-gazette.com

  2. bomberj11 5 years ago

    The Nats are investing too much money on guys that are hyped up too much, and could flare out. His price is going to be steep. I don’t mean just the money, but if he fails to be the player he’s supposed to, the Nats are gonna be stuck with a big contract, and they’ll end up paying the price that way, too.

    • alphakira 5 years ago

      I agree. I read the ESPN story about him a year or so ago. Then they were saying he’s every bit as good as Griffey and ARoid at that age…now they’re saying not so much. Couple it with the attitude that the kid gives off in the article (and the fact that he basically says he ONLY has interest in being on the Yankees) I wouldn’t place my chips so heavily in Boras’ basket.

      • Pseudonymus Bosch 5 years ago

        Well, on the other hand, say it’s 2 years from now and the Nationals offer him to the Yankees in a trade. If the guy’s destroying the minor leagues like The Next Alex Rodriguez would, they could get a pretty big haul. Of course, if he is happy with the Nationals, then you don’t trade him.

      • bjsguess 5 years ago

        Wait a second … there is no clear consensus on talent. It’s not that people are are changing their minds – it’s that you get different opinions from different scouts.

        For those curious – his OPS is now about 1400 (with a wood bat). Mix in 12 SB’s in 39 games and the fact that he plays catcher. At this point, people are just looking for any flaws this kid might have. Remember, he is really just a junior in HS.

        To see his stats: link to sites.csn.edu

    • strikethree 5 years ago

      And exactly how else do you expect this team to compete?

      Every prospect “could flare out”. You play by the percentages; the best talent has the best chance of succeeding so you pay for those percentages. It is much more cost effective in the long run.

      It’s much better to draft the best talent — no matter the circumstances. The biggest contract was awarded to Strasburg. I doubt they’re going to give Harper more than that.

      There are plenty of instances where the top pick team didn’t pick the best talent and got burned. Look at the 2002 draft: Bryan Bullington first pick because the Pirates thought they had a better chance signing him for less money. They passed on guys like Greinke, B. J. Upton, Fielder, Kazmir and Cain.

      Drafting the best talent is a better strategy than what they’ve been doing with FA’s. Giving premium deals to Pudge and Marquis was just a waste of money.

      • bomberj11 5 years ago

        I just don’t want to see the Nationals get tied up into a bad contract, especially because his agent’s Scott Boras. Don’t get me wrong, if Harper could be signed to $3-4 million I’d take him any day. He has lots of talent, I’m just saying that they could end up in a bad contract. I know they need to compete, but it’s a lot of time before he makes it to the majors, and a lot of things can happen. If they hadn’t paid for Pudge, and Marquis, I’d say fine, go for it. But because of those signings, and a few other things, like the possible need to extend Zimmerman, a PROVEN major league hitter, I’m not sure they can put that much stock into him.

        • NatsFan1 5 years ago

          Bad Contract??? These are amateur contracts its not like we’re going to shell out 100+ million to him like Soriano, Wells, etc… A bad draft contract is not going to kill a teams flexibility long term.

    • i hate to tell you this but that Strausberg guy is living up to the hype. alot of players fail but if you do not take the best available player regardless of hype or signable, please see Matt Bush number 1 and not Verlander, you are not doing your job as a franchise to your players and fans. To talk about a contract A. this kid will not get a major league deal, high schoolers do not get major league deals and B. it is only a signing bonus.

      • bomberj11 5 years ago

        I hate to tell you this but it’s been one start. In the first week, Alex Gonzalez is tied for second in the league for homeruns. It’s too small a sample size to tell. I believe both are tremendous players. But if they hadn’t signed those free agents, and Harper flares out, they would have the flexibility to shake it off, and not worry about it. But because they did, and if they throw a lot of money at him and he fails, they just wasted a huge chunk of money. (By the way, I didn’t mean contract, I meant signing bonus, sorry.)

        • Yes it has only been one start but in spring training he was good and now he is good in the minors. My point is that from what it seems he will be ever bit of what everyone expects out of him. A legit ace in this league. Harper is not going to get 15 million dollar signing bonus like strausberg.

          If you look at first round picks failing, namely top 5 pick, they are scattered everywhere ever team has had picks fail. For example in the history of the draft a number pick has never been a HOF, not counting griffey, chipper or AROD. Its a risk reward type thing regardless of hype.

          I dont know why Alex Gonzalez was mentioned because the dude is average SS at best and nothing to do with Bryce Harper or Strausberg.

    • RichMahogany 5 years ago

      Even a $15M, Strasburg-esque signing bonus would make Harper a terrific deal if he produces anywhere near his potential. And a one-shot signing bonus is not exactly a “big contract,” considering the number of years the Nats will have him under team control at a minimal salary.

      If $15M (and I’m just throwing that number out there) either signs a top talent in the draft or signs a mediocre free agent for two or three years (e.g., Marquis), the Nats are much better off spending that money on the draft.

    • jwredsox 5 years ago

      Boras played his cards too well. He got this kid on SI and has him called the “Chosen One”. It would take quite a bit of brass to pass on him. I really don’t think they have a choice at risk of angering a fanbase.

  3. oscarrobles 5 years ago

    As surefire a talent as Jason Heyward of 26 big league at bats? Seriously the dude doesn’t even have half a season under his belt and we’re already drawing amateur comparisons to this guy. A .269/.387/.654 line is impressive thus far– no doubt about it but I’m just not understanding the love for such players unaccomplished at the highest level. Don’t they have to earn that? The dude got a standing O on his first at bat. What happened to players earning their respect after a couple of impressive Major League seasons? It’s not “the show” if the kids are stars before they even take the first swing, even if that very swing turns out to be an absolute bomb that puts a smile on Chipper’s face.

    /devil’s advocate

    • biffsniff 5 years ago

      I agree, Jason Heyward is not a surefire talent YET. A better name to compare to would be Evan Longoria or Ryan Braun.

    • TwinsVet 5 years ago

      I couldn’t agree more.

      Even seeing Justin Upton’s name alongside A-Rod seems grossly premature. Upton’s had one full season to his credit, and while it was an All-Star season, I would hardly put him on the A-Rod level.

      There’s a big difference between “potential” talent and “proven” talent. Heyward and, yes, Upton, have not yet moved into the latter category.

      • The article is talking about prospects who were hyped for their talent level, not what they’ve accomplished in the majors. Upton is right alongside A-Rod in that category. Obviously he’s much younger and hasn’t set the world on fire like A-Rod did when he got to the majors, but that’s not the point. The point is that Harper is no longer considered an absolute once-in-a-generation prospect like Upton and A-Rod were.

        • bjsguess 5 years ago

          The problem is that there are soooo many once in a generation talents. The author conveniently points to two success stories. However, there are other once in generation talents that completely flamed out.

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            I appreciate the oxymoron of two “once in a generation” talents being cited.

  4. gs01 5 years ago

    It’s gonna be tough with Boras as a agent I imagine he’ll be looking for the big bucks.

  5. lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

    imagine the core of Zimmerman, Strasburg and Harper….

    • alphakira 5 years ago

      As a Met fan, I see your two greatest (potential) hitters and 1 great (potential) pitcher with the fact that it takes more than 3 (POSSIBLY) great players to make a team. As a Yankee fan, you should know that you need to buy everyone.

      • Pseudonymus Bosch 5 years ago

        ldy4life didn’t mention Zimmermann, Storen, Desmond/Espinosa, Nyjer Morgan (speed doesn’t age), or Derek Norris

        • kswissreject 5 years ago

          Speed actually ages the worst out of any baseball-related skill. Speed doesn’t slump, but it does age. Quickly, unless you’re Rickey Henderson.

      • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

        I didnt say that those three will win you a title alone. Look at the Yankees of the 90s, when they had Jeter, Posada, Mo and Pettitte be very key pieces in the dynasty. Did they need other players, absolutely. Could they have done what they did without those 4, no way. Same with the Nats. They will need to have other guys develop, but they will heavily rely on Zimmerman, Strasburg and Harper

        If you follow any of my Yankee posts you should know that I am a fan who hates the buy-a-core method. I love what teams like the Dodgers do, draft their guys, many times after the 1st round, and develop them into stars. Nice try though.

        • alphakira 5 years ago

          You’re forgetting one key piece to the 90s “dynasty”, needles.

          • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

            no, needles were a key piece in the 2000s when we won nothing. The 90s teams actually won the right way, building talent from within…

          • angryredmenace 5 years ago

            Some key players on that 2000 championship Yankee team

            Roger Clemens – Needles
            Andy Pettitte – Needles (I don’t care when he said he started taking the roids)
            Chuck Knoblauch – Needles (was named in the Mitchell Report)
            David Justice – Needles (was named in the Mitchell Report)

    • TwinsVet 5 years ago

      Isn’t there a good chance that Zimmerman will reach free agency before Harper is MLB-ready, let alone performing at an elite level?

      • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

        Im not sure when Zimmerman’s contract is up. I remember he signed a long extension relatively recently. I believe he is signed through 2013, probably not enough time for Harper to make an impact in the majors. However, is it a stretch to see Zimmerman resigning if he sees two studs coming up(well, Strasburg will be in the rotation sometime soon)?

  6. Harper’s numbers at CSN
    Harper, Bryce avg .422 gp-gs 39-39 abs 128 r 48 h54 2b 13 3b 1 Hr 15 RBI 42 tb 114 slg .891 bb 25 hbp 1 so 25 gdp 1 obp .516 sf 1 sfh 0 sb 12-14 po 177 a 13 e 4 Fld .979
    A nice tidy 1.407 OPS!!!! As a 17 year old catcher in his first year at a JC. I’m pretty sure this guy would be a pretty safe pick.

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      their is no such thing as ” a safe pick”

      mark prior anyone?

  7. baseballz 5 years ago

    Is Harper really the best position prospect in the draft ? I just don’t know. I would much rather go with Taillon as he looks just like Justin Verlander when he pitches. Something which is not to shabby at all, especially with Strasburg and Zimmerman in the rotation that could be three aces.

  8. Guest 5 years ago

    GOOD! This means the Pirates can draft LSU starter Anthony Ranaudo.

    We’ll see how this looks when in 5 years, Ranaudo is a frontline starter for the Pirates, and Harper sputters out of control.

  9. damnitsderek 5 years ago

    Wow, sorry Washington, but nobody is a “surefire talent” at 17 years old.

  10. GGeazy 5 years ago

    I would love for the Pirates to get their shot at drafting Harper, even if he doesnt live up to the extreme hype. The Pirates are desperate for a spark to get the fans really excited about and Harper would fit the bill. I am a huge Pirates fan and outside of McCutchen and Alvarez, theres not a whole lot to be excited about. They have a few nice pieces but nothing to put them at the competitve level. Smartbusinessman1014 is exactly on point with drafting Ranaudo; he is the most major league ready pitcher in the draft and has tremendous stuff. The Pirates are desperate for an ace!!! Duke and Mahalom on any other team would be no better than a number 3 and maybe in extreme cases a 2. But that doesnt matter because I fully expect one of the two if not both to be gone this year anyway. Taillon is a nice young pitcher, the one downside is that he is a HS pitcher, and I wouldnt throw a number 2 pick on him since HS arms are so unpredictable. Plus the Pirates cant afford to wait the 4 years it will take for Taillon to reach the big leagues. Right now Brad Lincoln is the best pitcher in the minors for the Buccos and is close to being called up, beyond that the next wave of talnet for the pitching prospects are atleast 2 years away. The Pirates invested in multiple HS arms in the draft last year but that wave of prospects wont be up for another 4-5 years. By the time this wave of pitchng comes up and IF they pan out the young core the Pirates have already will be nearing the last year of their contracts and reaching FA status. Renaudo is clearly the right move as it stands right now. He will be up and in the Big Leagues the fastest and can be the Ace of the staff.

    • NatsFan1 5 years ago

      Ranuando missed the beginning of the year with elbow tendinitis or something I doubt yall pick him number 2 with those health concerns. Yall are most likely to go after Pomeranz, McGuire, or Taillon there.

  11. mikecarlucci 5 years ago

    Sounds like they haven’t made much progress internally since January, when it team was debating internally about Harper. Unproven kid + $$$ + Boras. I wouldn’t want to go through those negotiations one, yet alone twice!

    link to bleacherreport.com

  12. twentyfivemanroster 5 years ago

    Dangit! Why couldn’t the Royals suck as much as the Nationals?!?!

  13. redandwhite19 5 years ago

    I am just mostly curious who doesn’t view this kid on the same level as A-Rod and Upton at the time those guys were being drafted. I think people are completely ignoring the fact that at 17, a Junior in high school, he is destroying the baseball in one of the most competitive JC leagues in the nation. This kid is a year younger than both those players and destroying competition neither of them came remotely close to facing.

    I doubt for one second any team in the majors would hesitate to draft this kid first overall and pay him whatever it took. He is one of a kind. WOOD BATS PEOPLE! at 17

    • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

      Not everybody drops out of high school to play baseball. Even Alex Rodriguez or Justin Upton.

    • jwredsox 5 years ago

      From Baseball America on the conference Bryce is in, “The Scenic West Athletic Conference, which also consists of Colorado Northwestern, Eastern Utah, Salt Lake, Southern Idaho and Western Nevada, isn’t anywhere close to the level of the Arizona or Gulf Coast leagues, the lowest rungs on the U.S. minor league ladder. It’s not particularly close to even a mid-level NCAA Division I conference. Western Nevada is a juco power and Salt Lake and Southern Idaho are respectable, but the other five teams in the SWAC combined to have four players drafted in 2009 and three in 2008.”

      Just saying you shouldn’t put too much into his numbers in college. He probably isn’t even facing single A players most of the time.

  14. redandwhite19 5 years ago

    I am just mostly curious who doesn’t view this kid on the same level as A-Rod and Upton at the time those guys were being drafted. I think people are completely ignoring the fact that at 17, a Junior in high school, he is destroying the baseball in one of the most competitive JC leagues in the nation. This kid is a year younger than both those players and destroying competition neither of them came remotely close to facing.

    I doubt for one second any team in the majors would hesitate to draft this kid first overall and pay him whatever it took. He is one of a kind. WOOD BATS PEOPLE! at 17

  15. Ian_Smell 5 years ago

    I hope that the Pirates take Jameson Taillon, or at least Anthony Ranaudo if he’s able to start pitching better.

  16. formerdraftpick 5 years ago

    I hope the Pirates stick with what they know. They are good at drafting catchers and shortstops.

  17. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    this draft is so pitcher heavy. it would be smart to get a position player early.

  18. edgycater 5 years ago

    I really hope Heyward, Harper, and Strasburg are all as good as the hype. It would be good for the game. But, I always think back to J.D. Drew as the “next Mickey Mantle.” Or Todd Van Poppel as the “lefthanded Roger Clemens.” Or Clint Hurdle who was supposed to be the greatest prospect developed by the Royals when he came up. There are just certain intangibles that go into being a stud Major Leaguer that we baseball junkies can’t predict nor can the so-called experts. Best wishes to all the “next great things.”

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