Nationals make Harper top draft pick

Published 1:18 am Tuesday, June 8, 2010

SECAUCUS, N.J. — The Washington Nationals have selected junior college slugger Bryce Harper with the No. 1 overall pick in the baseball draft.

Harper, a 17-year-old with prodigious power from the College of Southern Nevada, is one of the most-hyped players in draft history because of his eye-popping talent at the plate.

A year after taking similarly hyped right-hander Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals got him a potential batterymate Monday. Harper can play several positions, including catcher.

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Harper surpassed former big league pitcher Alex Fernandez, who went fourth overall to the Chicago White Sox in 1990, as the highest-drafted JUCO player ever.

He hit .443 with 31 home runs and 98 RBIs in his first college season after skipping his final two years of high school and getting his GED.