Washington Nationals: 2010 Draft Watch: Bryce Harper, Jameson Taillon, Manny Machado?

Friday Night Top 3: 

3. No. 3 Is No. 1: On Friday, DC GM Mike Rizzo said the Washington Nationals were still unsure about who it was they'd make the top pick of the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft. It was around this time last year, with a little over three weeks before the draft, that the Nationals clearly announced their intention to select San Diego State right-hander Stephen Strasburg with the no.1 overall pick, a full year or more after the entire baseball world knew where the pitcher considered the best prospect in years was headed. 17-year-old Nevada-born catcher Bryce Harper, who's currently playing in the NJCAA Tournament Regionals for the College of Southern Nevada, took drastic measures to make himself eligible for this year's draft, foregoing his final two years of high school to earn his GED and early entry into junior college and after a monster freshman season position himself as the top prospect in the country. After going 0 for 4 in the first game of the NJCAA Region 18 Baseball Tournament against Southern Idaho on Thursday, which the CSN Coyotes were nonetheless able to win, Harper rebounded with a 4 for 4 performance on Friday, doubling twice and scoring two runs in a 9-2 win over Salt Lake Community College. Today at noon, (in Henderson, Nevada's Morse Stadium), the College of Southern Nevada takes on Western Nevada for the Regional Championship.

2. The Non-Contenders For The Top Pick: Not sure too many people believe that the Nationals won't take Bryce Harper with their second-straight no.1 overall pick, but in MLB.com's Bill Ladson's article entitled, "Nats not locked in on top Draft pick", on Friday in which it was reported that the team hadn't settled on a specific player, Mr. Ladson's "baseball source" said Ole Miss left-hander Drew Pomeranz, The Woodlands High School right-hander Jameson Taillon and Brito High School infielder Manny Machado were three of the players the Nationals were, in Mr. Ladson's words, "taking a serious look at". Taillon and Machado are considered by many (including Baseball America) the top high school pitching and infield prospects eligible for this year's draft. Taillon's (8-1) in 2010, with 38 H, 23 ER, and 18 BB's (2.54 BB/9) allowed, and 118 K's (16.7 K/9) collected (acc. to BuccoFans.com's Jameson Taillon Tracker). ESPN.com's Keith Law called SS Manny Machado the top infield prospect available after Harper in a recent article entitled, "Keith Law's first 2010 Top 100", in which Harper, Machado, Pomeranz and Taillon were listed as the top four prospects. Pomeranz pitched for Ole Miss last night and improved to (7-1) on the season, throwing 5.0 innings over which he allowed just 1 hit and 1 ER while walking 7 and striking out 9 in a 5-4 win over Alabama. The Nationals are going to pick Bryce Harper though, just ask...

3. MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo Says Harper's The One: In a chat with readers at MLB.com yesterday, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo fielded questions about the upcoming 2010 Draft with the chat transcribed in an article entitled, "Mayo chats Draft prior to June's big day", wherein Mr. Mayo is asked if Harper and the Nats are a fit: "All signs point to him being the No. 1 pick on June 7. I haven't heard from anyone that the Nationals won't take him," Mr. Mayo responds. Elsewhere in the chat, Mr. Mayo says Taillon and Pomeranz are the best pitchers available, with Taillon the "best talent overall outside of Harper" as one questioner phrases it. But, "Q: Is there any way that Washington DOES NOT take Harper with the first overall pick? Mayo: Any way? Sure. Likely? No." 

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