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Washington Nationals: Saturday Links/Notes: Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Deck McGuire.

• With a flipped bat and a salute to the opposing Western Nevada squad's fans seated down the third base line as he trotted toward home having hit his 8th HR this season 375 ft to left field in a March 13th game, College of Southern Nevada Coyotes' catcher Bryce Harper momentarily reminded everyone of the brash 16-year-old interviewed in Sports Illustrated in June 2009, who told SI's Tom Verducci his goals as a player included, "'Be(ing) in the Hall of Fame, definitely. Play in Yankee Stadium. Play in the pinstripes. Be considered the greatest baseball player who ever lived. I can't wait.'" After sitting in the first of two games played Friday, Harper was behind plate tonight in Henderson, Nevada's Morse Stadium as the Coyotes' followed a 5-0 win in game one of two against the Colorado Northwestern Spartans with a 10-0 shutout in the nightcap, in which the 17-year-old hit in 2 of 3 at bats, with a run scored and 4 RBI's. 25 games into the twenty-ten season, Harper's now hitting .422 (35 for 83) with 11 doubles, 1 triple, 8 HR's, 16 walks, 26 RBI's, a .510 OBP, .867 SLG and 6 stolen bases for the 21-5 Coyotes...

(video by: Vegas Scout)


• Plans For Stephen Strasburg

• If Not Harper: Deck McGuire Struggles.


• Plans For Stephen Strasburg. 

• In Mr. Verducci's June '09 Sports Illustrated article about Bryce Harper the SI writer recounted how Harper, "...nearly fell off the couch one day last month when he heard a sports announcer call San Diego State pitcher Stephen Strasburg, the presumptive No. 1 pick in next week's draft, 'the LeBron James of baseball,'":

"'What?' Harper exclaimed with playful exasperation. 'Hey, they stole that from me!'"

• If Not Harper:  Deck McGuire Struggles.

• My favorite "If Not Harper" candidate, Deck McGuire, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets' 6'6'', 218lb right-handed starter gave up his 1st HR of the year last night in a game played at College Park, Maryland's Shipley Field. McGuire (L, 3-1) suffered only his 4th L in 3 years as a Yellow Jacket in Georgia Tech's 5-2 loss to the Terps, throwing 97 pitches, 66 for strikes in 8.0 IP over which he surrendered 7 hits, 5 R, 2 ER and 3 walks while collecting 5 K's and having his ERA raised to 1.15 after 5 twenty-ten starts and 39.0 IP, in which McGuire's walked 8 and K'd 39.

• Anthony Ranaudo sat out again this weekend with the same discomfort in his right elbow that's cost him three-straight starts in a year the 6'7'', 230 lb right-hander was expected to be one of the top pitchers taken.'s Jason A. Churchill took a look at the Jackson, New Jersey born pitcher in a recent article (FOR INSIDERS ONLY) entitled, "Ranaudo injury puts stock in question", wherein Mr. Churchill writes that one scout told him, "he'd be wary of tabbing a pitcher with such elbow concerns anywhere in the top half of the first round." Could he fall as far as the top pick in the 2nd Round?

• And I know, I know, the Nationals will never draft Jameson Taillon, no team has ever taken a prep school pitcher number one overall and this particular pitcher has even verbally committed to Rice, so it's even more unlikely, but he is the best high school pitcher available, and he has a 99mph fastball according to an Video Scouting Report, which also says he has, "...two breaking balls, a curve and a slider, and both are plus offerings and yes, he's got a good changeup, though he doesn't need it much at the high school level." That sounds familiar...

• Jameson Taillon Links: 1) Baseball Rumor, 2) Baseball Beginnings: Scouting Report - Jameson Taillon 3/9/10.