Sep 21, 2010, 3:32 PM EDT
Photo courtesy Bill Scheuerman
Bryce Harper has been very much at ease in his first days as a pro ballplayer.
Workouts for the Florida instructional league have been going on for five days now, with nearly four-dozen Nationals prospects and rehabbing veterans getting some extra work in Viera before heading home for the winter.
The most notable name down there, of course, is Bryce Harper, the top draft pick who is getting his first taste of life as a professional ballplayer after signing a five-year, $9.9 million contract seconds before last month's deadline. By all indications, Harper is blending in nicely, getting along with teammates and coaches, diligently running through all his drills and interacting plenty with fans. I've already heard from several people who have gone to the complex there to see Harper and wound up getting autographs and photos with the 17-year-old catcher-turned-outfielder. Everyone has emerged impressed with the way the kid conducts himself.
Harper may draw the most attention, but he's far from the only significant player in Viera right now. He's joined by several fellow 2010 draft picks, including left-handers Sammy Solis and Robbie Ray, right-hander A.J. Cole and infielder Rick Hague. He's also joined by a pair of big leaguers still slogging their way through a season's worth of rehab: Jesus Flores and Chien-Ming Wang.
Flores, still trying to recover from a major shoulder injury rooted in a foul tip that struck him in May 2009, never did get his arm strong enough to return to the majors this season. The one-time catcher ofRead more »
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