Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bryce Harper speaks

Just a few hours before Stephen Strasburg steps onto the field at Nationals Park for his big-league debut, that other No. 1 draft pick held a conference call with us beat writers.

Bryce Harper didn't have a ton of enlightening things to say. Much like Strasburg last year at this time, Harper has been well-coached by agent Scott Boras (who's here at the park today, by the way) to talk his way around anything remotely controversial.

So Harper had nothing really to say about: 1) When or if he'll be signing with the Nats, 2) How he feels about moving to right field, or 3) How soon he believes he can reach the major leagues.

He did, however, acknowledge that he's fine getting rid of the eye black/war paint look. And he will try to catch some of tonight's game on TV, though he'll be flying home from Orange County to Las Vegas during part of the proceedings.

(My take: Like Strasburg, this doesn't sound like a kid who expects to be playing any baseball before Aug. 15.)

Here's the best of the rest from the Nats' newest top draft pick...

On playing right field: "I'm pretty excited. I played right field a couple times with [Team] USA and the College of Southern Nevada. I'm pretty stoked about that. But wherever they need me, I'll play. I don't really care. It's just a great fit right now, and I can't wait to get going."

On the signing process: "Right now, the business is with [Scott] Boras and all the neogitation stuff is with Boras and everything like that. Just trying to see what happens there, and whatever happens, happens."

On plans for the summer: "Right now, I'm just trying to relax and trying to just hang out and have some fun with the family. I'm really not concentrating on baseball right now. I'm just trying to get into the gym again, put some weight on and things like that. Try to get bigger and stronger and faster for anything that comes my way. I'm trying to just enjoy it and have a little fun this summer, go do a little fishing."

On not wearing eye black anymore: "I'm totally fine with that. I wasn't going to bring that to the big leagues anyways. I didn't wear it with Team USA. That's part of the game. You just have to live with it and play without it, I guess."

Whether he'll watch tonight's game: "Yeah, probably. But I might be on a plane. We'll see. But yeah, I'll be checking my phone and seeing how he's doing. Hopefully I'll DVR it and be able to watch it after I get home."


bobn said...

You think they will draft his brother? Life in the minors can be difficult for a very rich, very young devout Mormon.

Unknown said...

Hope he signs, and I can't wait for him to come through Potomac (if he does sign). However, I don't want him to get to MLB as soon as he can. I would rather Harper/ the Nats wait until he's at least 21 (if not later). Most players don't hit their athletic prime until the 27-32 age period (roughly). I want as many of those prime years to be in a Nats uniform as possible before he goes to the Yankees. If Harper comes up at the age of 19, he's a free agent by 25 or 26, and he is playing the best baseball of his life in New York.

Mark L said...

Pitchers are all over the map, but information on hitters is very clear: their best years are 27 & 28, period. That said, I agree agree with sasskuash.

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