Are the Nationals strongly considering taking Bryce Harper?

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It appears that the Washington Nationals are zeroing in on Bryce Harper as the player they will select with the first overall pick in the 2010 draft. Harper, 17, received his GED in December in order to play collegiately and become draft-eligible sooner rather than later.

The precocious youngster has done banner work in what appears to be his sole season at the College of Southern Nevada. Splitting time between third base, right field, center field, and catcher, Harper has hit .422/.516/.891 with 15 home runs, 13 doubles, and 42 runs batted in just 39 games. In addition to his defensive versatility, Harper has displayed his complete array of skills, stealing 12 bases in 14 attempts. His performance has been particularly valuable to scouts for three reasons: first, the competition he is facing is superior to what he would face at the high school level; second, his opponents are pitching to him, rather than throwing around as would have been likely were he still in high school; finally, his eye-popping numbers have all been with a wooden bat. Harper has done everything in his power on the field to make a case for the number one pick, and, evidently, the Nationals’ front office is taking notice.

Update: Adam Kilgore says Harper going first overall, “Not etched in stone”


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