Jun 8, 2010, 12:55 AM EDT
Mike Rizzo, Roy Clark, Kris Kline had plenty to say about Bryce Harper's selection. And Harper himself had some interesting things to say on MLB Network right after getting drafted No. 1 in the country. We'll get to some of the best quotes here in a moment, but first a couple of points that were made during the press conference…
– The Nationals introduced Harper as an outfielder, and Rizzo said he will play outfield exclusively moving forward. I was surprised by this, because everything I heard previously from people within the organization was that the Nats planned to let Harper both catch and play right field and see where he best fit. Rizzo, though, believes Harper's quickest path to the majors (and best ability to stay there longer) is in the outfield, so that's where he'll play.
– Rizzo saw Harper play in person only once, last month in Las Vegas, but immediately realized he was the runaway choice as the No. 1 pick. Clark and Kline have been watching Harper for two years now and have seen everything they need to see of him on and off the field. Clark's first reaction upon seeing Harper as a 15-year-old in high school? "Oh my gosh. Who is this guy? … And then I found he was 15 years old. You could see the chance to be special back then."
– The Nationals say they have no issues whatsoever with Harper's character, makeup, personality, whatever you want to call it. Rizzo did say, however, that the kid won't be allowed to wear that war paint on his face anymore.
– Even though Rizzo expressed hope a contract can be signed before the August deadline, he seemed pretty resigned to the fact this will go right down to the wire once again. Whenever Harper does sign, he's most likely to report to the rookie Gulf Coast League in Viera.Read more »
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
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