Nationals Considering ‘A Handful’ For Top Pick

The Nationals are considering 'a handful' of players in preparation for the draft, GM Mike Rizzo told MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Naturally Bryce Harper is one of the prospects the Nationals are watching, but they aren't committed to taking him.

"I wouldn't say we are leaning toward anybody." Rizzo said. "We are leaning toward a handful of people."

A baseball source told Ladson that the Nationals are also considering pitchers Drew Pomeranz and Jameson Taillon and shortstop Manny Machado. Some have questioned Harper's character, but Rizzo made it clear that he doesn't share those doubts.

"We have no problem with Bryce Harper's character," Rizzo said.

Harper has seemed like a likely selection for a while, but the Nationals have repeated that no decisions have been made, as much as they like Harper's ability and makeup.



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9 Comments on "Nationals Considering ‘A Handful’ For Top Pick"


5 years 3 months ago

Does anyone have a link (or two) to sources that “question” Harper’s character?

Ian_Smell
5 years 3 months ago

link to baseballprospectus.com

Towards the bottom of the article it talks about his make-up.

5 years 3 months ago

Thanks Smelly. That’s the first I’ve heard about his character issues. I know he’s on record as saying he wants to be the greatest baseball player ever. Hopefully he’ll learn that he’ll never be crowned the greatest of his time until his time is over.

bjsguess
5 years 3 months ago

Nats fans can only hope this posturing. If Harper isn’t taken first what a huge mistake that will be.

His current triple slash sits at 408/502/897. 23 HR’s in 56 games. 17 SB’s. He is just demolishing the baseball as a 17 YO, playing in a college league with a wood bat.

This is why draft picks should be tradeable. The Nats could land an absolute HAUL from some team who sees Harper as the next Piazza. Instead, they are probably a little worried about his contract demands and the possibility of him going back into the draft next year as an 18YO.

hisownfool
5 years 3 months ago

This is posturing. Of course, Rizzo isn’t going to say “it’s Harper or nothing!” Harper, as has been frequently noted, has all sorts of leverage already — he and Boras don’t need any more.

Likewise, writing “Nationals set to do the stinking obvious on June 7″ isn’t the stuff of interesting stories. So, people in baseball and the folks covering it start imagining scenarios where the Nats pass on Harper. The question is: “if not Harper, whom?” More to the point, how do you justify passing on this kid to your fans? You can’t. All MLB TV needs to do is show videos of Harper’s moonshots after he is drafted by someone else.

Not going to happen.

souldrummer
5 years 3 months ago

Nats are gonna take Harper. This is just negotiating stuff. The only way they don’t is if they feel that they don’t want to shell out the money for him and if they do that there will be a fan revolt. They simply do not have the credibility to go against the conventional baseball wisdom on this one.

orioles
5 years 3 months ago

The media needs to make up the Nationals’ mind. Are they drafting him or not? I’d love to see him drop to the Orioles, but that’s not happening.

squadwagon6
5 years 3 months ago

: This should not be underrated. It’s impossible to find any talent evaluator who isn’t blown away by Harper’s ability on the field, but it’s equally difficult to find one who doesn’t genuinely dislike the kid. One scout called him among the worst amateur players he’s ever seen from a makeup standpoint, with top-of-the-scale arrogance, a disturbingly large sense of entitlement, and on-field behavior that includes taunting opponents. “He’s just a bad, bad guy,” said one front-office official. “He’s basically the anti-Joe Mauer.” if so no thanks punk ass kid

squadwagon6
5 years 3 months ago

: This should not be underrated. It’s impossible to find any talent evaluator who isn’t blown away by Harper’s ability on the field, but it’s equally difficult to find one who doesn’t genuinely dislike the kid. One scout called him among the worst amateur players he’s ever seen from a makeup standpoint, with top-of-the-scale arrogance, a disturbingly large sense of entitlement, and on-field behavior that includes taunting opponents. “He’s just a bad, bad guy,” said one front-office official. “He’s basically the anti-Joe Mauer.” if so no thanks punk ass kid