The Washington Nationals already look like a team that is going to improve versus the MLB odds.
They look even better now with top draft pick Bryce Harper. He is almost as hyped as Stephen Strasburg and could be impacting MLB lines within a few years.
MLB odds still don’t favor the Nationals that much but that is starting to change. Strasburg is a huge piece of the Nationals future vs. the MLB odds as he was the number one pick last year. Now the Nationals have added Harper to the mix. He is considered one of the best players to come out of high school in a long time. He is only 17 years old but almost everyone is predicting big things for the Nationals top pick. Since 1980 there have been six players who have been drafted as an outfielder at 18 years or younger. Harper adds his name to an impressive list. The Mets took Darryl Strawberry in 1980 and Shawn Abner in 1984. The Mariners took Ken Griffey Jr. in 1987 and the Rays took Josh Hamilton in 1999 and Delmon Young in 2003.
The Nationals are already looking at Harper as a number three hitter with superb power and a strong outfield arm. Harper hit .443 with 31 homers and 98 RBIs in his first college season. He was behind the plate in college but the Nationals are moving him the outfield where he can impact MLB odds. Harper played at the College of Southern Nevada which is a Junior College. He is now the highest draft pick ever out of a junior college.
The second pick in the draft went to the Pittsburgh Pirates and they selected Texas high school right-handed pitcher Jameson Taillon. He was considered the best pitcher in the draft. The Baltimore Orioles picked third and took Florida high school shortstop Manny Machado. Kansas City picked fourth and took Cal State Fullerton shortstop Christian Colon and he could be the most Major League ready player who could impact MLB lines first. Cleveland was next and they took Mississippi left-hander Drew Pomeranz.
The Nationals would love to have Harper on the field soon but it may not be that simple. His agent is expected to be Scott Boras and that could mean trouble if the Nationals don’t want to pay big money. Boras got Strasburg a four-year, $15.1 million deal last year. Harper has said he would like to play but he is not opposed to going back to Southern Nevada if necessary.