Washington Nationals 2010 Draft Update: Bryce Harper Separates Himself.

• In what was probably expected to be a pitcher's duel last Friday night between LSU right-hander Anthony Ranaudo and Ole Miss lefty Drew Pomeranz, two of the top pitching prospects in the country eligible for selection this year with a little over a month left before the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft takes place on June 7-9 live from Secaucus, NJ's MLB Network Studios, the two teams combined for 14 runs in the first four innings with Ranaudo hit hard for 9 hits and 9 ER in 1.2 IP, while Pomeranz surrendered 1 hit, 9 walks and 5 runs, 4 earned in 3.0 innings before he was lifted for a reliever with the Rebels up 9-6 over the visiting Tigers. The loss leaves Ranaudo, a 6'7'', 230lb Jackson, New Jersey born righty with a (2-1) record in 6 GS and 22.2 IP over which he's allowed 23 hits, 18 R, 16 ER and 11 BB (4.37 BB/9) with 24 K's (9.53 K/9) collected. Pomeranz receives no decision, and is now (6-0) after 10 starts and 61.2 IP, having given up 35 H, 15 R, 13 ER and 33 walks (4.82 K/9) while striking out 93 (13.57 K/9)...Georgia Tech's Deck McGuire, a 6'6'' 220lb+, Richmond, VA-born right-hander gave up 4 hits and 1 ER in 7.0 IP in last Friday's 3-1 loss to the Viriginia Tech Hokies, leaving the Yellow Jackets' ace and '09 ACC Pitcher of the year (5-2) in 10 twenty-ten starts in which he's thrown a total of 73.2 IP and given up 57 H, 26 runs, 22 earned and 18 walks (2.20 BB/9) while recording 76 K's (9.29 K/9)...

Jameson Taillon? The Texas-based The Woodlands High School right-hander? He ends up the second-highest-ranked pitcher on ESPN.com's Keith Law's first list of the top prospects for the 2010 Draft, which was entitled, "Keith Law's first 2010 Top 100", coming in 4th overall with Mr. Law writing that he had, " Unusual arm strength, up to 98 mph as a starter, but hitters see his fastball." The top-ranked pitcher according to Mr. Law? Drew Pomeranz, who ranks 3rd among this year's crop of prospects. Deck McGuire? 8th on Mr. Law's list. Anthony Ranaudo? 10th, with Mr. Law noting that his, "Performance vs. Ole Miss on Friday didn't help assuage concerns about his elbow." That leaves just one player that we've watched for the last few months as the top prospect in the nation, in Mr. Law's or just about any scout's view...

In the intro to his list of the top prospects for the Draft, ESPN.com's Keith Law writes that, "Bryce Harper remains No. 1 on my list, and I don't see anyone close enough right now to potentially unseat him," and Mr. Law describes the 6'3'' 205lb C/OF as simply an, "...an impact bat with a plus arm." After he went 7 for 11 with 4 HR's and 13 RBI's in a 4-game sweep of two doubleheaders against Colorado Northwest Community College, the College of Southern Nevada's 17-year-old catcher was hitting for a .401 AVG (64/156), with a .497OBP, .917SLG, 14 2B, 21 HR, 59 RBI in 47 games played this season. Is there any other option for the Nationals? What will the Nationals do with a 17-year-old catcher? How many years of grooming with Harper need before he can make a contribution at the major-league-level? There's a little over a month left before the draft...Is the next once-in-a-generation talent about to become a National? (ed. note - "And by 'about to' I mean somewhere around midnight in mid-August...")

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