Jun 08, 2010, 09:57AM

What to expect from Harper & Strasburg

Last night the Nationals selected 17 year old phenom Bryce Harper number one in the MLB amateur draft, their second straight top pick. Last year's hyped-beyond belief choice is set to make his debut tonight under a Lebron James level spotlight. One of the best baseball writers around, Joe Posnanski breaks down what to expect from the duo - basically everything from Johnny Bench to David Clyde to Dwight Gooden to who the hell knows, just enjoy Christmas morning.

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  • The Nats really should have kept Harper as a catcher. His bat is valuable anywhere on the field, but really shines behind the plate. The offensive potential he brings to the table is unimaginable, and he could very possibly consistently hit .300 and 50 home runs, but if he turns out to be tamer at the plate, lets say a .280 batting average and 25-30 hrs, he would still be an all-star catcher. If he did that as a right fielder, he'd be only above average. Strasburg, however, they handled correctly. They gave him time to not only work out his kinks in the minors, but also ran up his service-time clock. Not only did they retain him for an extra year by starting him in the minors, but they also made sure that he didn't gain super 2 status. Super 2 status might not end up being a problem at all though, with the policy coming under issue in 2012. Strasburg definitely looks to be the new Halladay, or better. And some people even say his peer, Mike Leake, will be constantly rivaling him for the Cy Young. They both get comparisons to Clemens and Maddux. This is exiting!

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  • Harper's bat would be more valuable behind the plate, but it would come with such a high risk. Instead of focusing on what he does best, Harper would spend at least three to four years learning to catch and call games in the minors. As an outfielder, we can realistically expect to see him with the Nats by the end of 2012.

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