Callis on when Harper will play at Nats Park

It’s already been debated as to whether a 17-year old baseball player is worth $10 million dollars. The Nationals, with the signing of Bryce Harper last night, certainly think so.

Jim Callis, the executive editor of Baseball America, said he knew the Nats would be able to get the job done.

“I never doubted the Nationals would sign Harper. I figured he would break Mark Teixeira’s record for the largest guarantee given to a drafted position player, but Washington only had to raise the bar from $9.5 million for Teixeira to $9.9 million. It just reinforces how special Harper’s power is and how much teams will pay for talent.”

So when will Nats fans get to see Harper actually play for the home team at Nats Park? 2012? 2013? Callis believes it won’t be like the ascension of Stephen Strasburg, who was fresh off a successful Division I career at San Diego State.

Callis feels Harper will need some experience in the minors to hone his game for the step up, saying, “He won’t make the big leagues nearly as quickly as Strasburg, because he’s so much younger and will have more adjustments to make. I think Harper will need two-plus years in the minors, at least. The major league contact shouldn’t be a factor in his development, though. He just has to make it to Washington for good by 2015.”

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