• Things We Learned Today:
1. Cleveland fans think D.C. fans who think the Indians are giving up Fausto Carmona and Grady Sizemore for prospects are nuts.
2. Braves' right-handed pitching prospect Julio Teheran has the filthiest slider Bryce Harper has seen in his life. Bryce Harper is only 18-years-old, he'll see better pitching soon.
3. Bryce Harper's favorite players are Pete Rose... ... ... and George Brett.
4. Bryce Harper likes "old school" baseball players, "that played hard and wanted to take somebody out."
5. MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo announced tonight that Bryce Harper was ranked the 3rd best prospect in baseball on the 2011 MLB Top 50 Prospects List.
18-year-old Bryce Harper, the Washington Nationals' no.1 overall pick in 2010, was the second-highest ranked outfielder on MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo's list of the top outfield prospects in baseball in a recent article entitled, "Prospect Watch: Top 10 outfielders", behind only 19-year-old LA Angels' '09 1st round pick Mike Trout and ahead of 23-year-old Phillies' outfielder Domonic Brown, who played 35 games last season with Philadelphia and is expected to start the 2011 campaign in Citizens Bank's outfield with Jayson Werth patrolling right in Nationals Park until Bryce Harper's ready to make the jump to the majors and a decision has to be made. On the list of MLB's Top 50 Prospects in Baseball which was released tonight, only Trout and 23-year-old Tampa Bay Rays' pitcher Jeremy Hellickson finished ahead of Harper.
In part-time duty as part of the Scottsdale Scorpions' "taxi" squad in the Arizona Fall League, Harper, playing against some of the other top prospects in baseball and facing what's most likely the best pitching he'd seen thus far in his career, was 12 for 35 (.343/.410/.629) in 9 games with 3 doubles, 2 triples, a HR and one SB, impressing some with his arm as much as his bat speed as the high school/college catcher made the move out from behind the plate (where he played the majority of the time in HS/JUCO) to right field.
In MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo's article on the top outfielders in baseball he cited Harper's "raw power", "great bat speed" and "plus arm" in the outfield as his strenghts along with his, "all-out attitude" which should combine to, "spell quick success" for the Nats' future right fielder. On tonight's MLB Network broadcast of the Top 50 Prospects in Baseball, Mr. Mayo said, "the bat is really the special thing," for Harper, who's, "...got plenty of tools across the board," and "plus plus power." Former Texas Rangers' GM John Hart said he was impressed with Harper's AFL success, and has, "always liked the fact that he drives the ball up the middle of the diamond." "If he stays in the middle of the field," Hart said during the broadcast, "the power is there to all fields, he's gonna take the inside pitch and learn to pull it."
There's no definitive word on where in the Nats' system Harper will start the 2011 season, (I'm not limiting him til Spring Training, ok it will be Class-A Hagerstown) but Nats' Skipper Jim Riggleman told Sirius/XM MLB Network Radio hosts Rob Dibble and Jim Memolo in an interview last week that it would be a stretch for Harper (who'll start Spring Training with the major league club) to get to Double-A in his first pro season, but, "...if he gets the point where he can really play well in Double-A then we know we have a player."
Though MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo had two Nats' catchers, Derek Norris (no.10 of 10) and Wilson Ramos (7th of 10) on his list of the Top 10 catching prospects in baseball, and infielder Danny Espinosa as the 5th best second base prospect, Harper was the only one to make MLB's Top 50 Prospects list. No Nats' prospects made the top 60 either, MLB.com provided a list of ten players who just missed making the top 50. Harper's one of only 6 outfielders in the top 50. The Nationals are one of fourteen teams that landed just one player in the top 50. The KC Royals, with 6, and the Tampa Bay Rays, with 4, had the most prospects make the list. The Rays also have 10 of the top 60 picks in the upcoming 2011 Draft...the Nats have two 1st Round picks in 2011!!! Go Harp Go.