The Pittsburgh Pirates hold the No. 2 selection in the 2010 MLB draft, and are in position to have the chance to draft Bryce Harper (17 yrs old, 6-3, 205 lbs) who has been called “the LeBron James of baseball by Sports Illustrated.
Harper who graduated high school two years early to pursue a college career, is a catcher who can play shortstop and third base as well as pitch. Harper has been clocked at 96 MPH but projects to be a dominate power hitter in the major leagues.
While Harper is the presumptive first pick of the 2010 MLB draft, teams are leery of his contract demands.
However, you will be lucky to find one general manager claim that Harper is not among the top players on their teams’ draft board.
In Pittsburgh we have found one as Pirates GM Neal Huntington said on Saturday at Piratesfest that “We will scout Bryce Harper, ” Huntington said. “But we’re not going to select him because somebody thinks he’s the best prospect in the history of the game and we think he’s the 10th-best.”
This is early posturing from the Pirates to be in position to claim Harper “wasn’t the best player available” on their draft board, if the Washington Nationals decide to pass on Harper at the No. 1 selection.
The Pirates are expected to go by their 2009 draft philosophy; draft a sign able player for slot money in the first round and spend money elsewhere in the later rounds.