Jun 7, 2010, 2:15 PM EDT
Somewhere around 7:05 p.m. tonight, the Nationals will select College of Southern Nevada catcher Bryce Harper as the first player taken in this year's draft. We'll immediately see clips of the 17-year-old blasting home runs, intimidating opponents with his warrior-paint eye black and getting ejected by an umpire for literally drawing a line in the sand during the Junior College World Series last week.
Like Stephen Strasburg one year ago, Harper's life is about to change. He's already as well-known as any No. 1 pick in baseball draft history, no small accomplishment considering how hyped Strasburg was last summer. Strasburg, of course, has yet to appear as the cover photo on Sports Illustrated. Harper has.
This is an exciting time for the Nationals and for Nats fans. To see Harper get drafted on Monday and Strasburg make his big-league debut on Tuesday? What a convergence of events.
Unfortunately, I'm here to douse the fire just a little bit. Because tonight's event is only the first step in what will be a very long process to get Harper to the major leagues. If you thought the 12-month wait for Strasburg was tough, you better be prepared to buckle up for a 3- or 4-year journey with Harper.
Before we can even consider when he'll reach the majors, Harper must first actually sign with the Nationals. We've gone through this process before. Strasburg (or more precisely, agent Scott Boras) made everyone wait until the final 90 seconds before last August's deadline to sign, and there's no reason to believe that timeline will be any different with Harper. The kid can say all he wants about his desire toRead more »
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