• Speaking of Draft Picks?
According to an Official Nats' Press Release yesterday afternoon, the Nationals agreed to deals with twenty-two 2010 Draft picks on Monday. (click HERE for the press release and list). Bryce Harper has not signed yet, of course. In a teleconference at Nats Park last Monday, the 17-year-old Scott Boras' client told a group of reporters:
"The business has to take its course with [Scott] Boras, and all the negotiations and stuff with Boras and everything like that, so just trying to see what happens there and whatever happens happens. "
In an Interview with Bryce Harper and CSN Coyotes' Coach Tim Chambers last week, Seat Williams and Clay Baker, hosts of ESPN Radio 1100 - The Sports Leader and Fox Sports Radio 920 AM's "Gridlock", try to get some information out of Harper as to when he might decide to sign with the Nats, but Harper's not budging. (CSN coach Tim Chambers does announce he's up for the UNLV head baseball coaching job though!) Harper, when asked if he wants to, "...get something done earlier than later?" responds:
"I really don't know right now, I'm just going to let Scott Boras handle that business aspect of that whole thing and I'm just going to play ball. I'm really not sure right now, so I'm talking about coming back to college and doing that kind of thing..."
The kid isn't budging...
• See What MASNSports.com's Byron Kerr Got Out Of DC GM Mike Rizzo About Harper, After The JUMP...
• Harper Link:
• MASNsports.com - Byron Kerr - "Rizzo "optimistic" a deal will be made with Bryce Harper."
"Each case with each individual and each representative is unique. We are not going to put any timetables on it. We feel with Bryce like we did with Stephen, if two parties want to make a deal, a deal will be made. So, we are optimistic about it."
• Another Nats' pick who didn't sign yet, and the one draft pick I'm most interested in is 4th Round selection, A.J. Cole, a right-handed prep school pitcher from Oveida High School (FLA) who, as Orlando Sun-Sentinel writer Kyle Hightower wrote in a pre-Draft article entitled, "How high can he go? Oviedo's Cole could be a top-20 pick in MLB draft",
"...has been clocked as high as 98 mph, he is projected as high as a top-20 pick."
Cole ended up being the 116th pick in the 4th Round, mostly because he's a signing issue, having committed to Miami University, but as the 6'5'' right-hander told the Sun-Sentinel's Mr. Hightower:
"'Right now I go both ways; it just depends on the situation,' Cole said. 'I just want to play baseball. If I go to Miami, I can still play baseball, and if I go professional, I can still play. That's all I really want to do.'"
MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo identified Cole as one of five high school players to watch in an article last June entitled, "Ten names to watch for 2010 Draft", in which Mr. Mayo wrote that, "Cole might have the one of best arms in the class,":
"His fastball sits comfortably in the 90-93 range, but he can reach back for more when he needs it. His curve has good depth and bite. His changeup is OK, but lags behind since he doesn't need to use it much, though it should be just fine down the line."
• A.J. Cole - RHP - Here's What The Experts Think:
• "Washington Nationals Draft Review" - Minor League Ball - John Sickels
"4) A.J. Cole, RHP, Florida HS: Was expected to go in the first round, but dropped due to worries about signability and Miami commitment. Cole's 90-95 MPH fastball, projectability, and athleticism would make him a steal here, though it will take first round money to keep him from college."
• NATS INSIDER - Mark Zuckerman - "A belated draft recap"
"4. A.J. Cole, RHP, Oviedo (Fla.) HS A potential first-round talent, Cole slipped this far because he's committed to the University of Miami. The Nationals will have to pay well above slot to convince him to sign, but if they can pull it off, they've got themselves a big-time pitching prospect."
• Baseball Beginnings - John Klima " Scouting Report: A.J. Cole, RHP, Oviedo (FL) HS (2010 Draft)
"STRENGTHS: FB 91-94, top 96, movement on both halves; best weapon. SL 78-81, hard with late action vs. RHH. Split 84-88, good third weapon, likes to use any time in count. Good fastball command for power-arm HS prospect."
• "Draft Day Recap" | Nationals Farm Authority - Brian Oliver
"He already has two above average pitches (mid-90s fastball and what is being referred to as a spike curve). He’s 18-years old and 6′4″ 181-lbs. If he can fill out some, he has the opportunity to become a middle of the rotation guy (i.e. #3 SP with upside)"
• Have A Look: A.J. Cole - Video - PnRScouting.com: