Agent Scott Boras was in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to introduce the three newest members of the “Boras Nationals” to the media at a news conference. The top three selections for the Nationals this season - Anthony Rendon, Alex Meyer and Brian Goodwin - were welcomed officially to Nationals Park.
Following the news conference, Boras spoke about last year’s No. 1 selection, 18-year old left fielder Bryce Harper and how the young star has gotten acclimated to Double-A Harrisburg the last two months. Boras said he went back to his experience as a minor league player to understand what Harper had to face when he struggled early on at the next level.
“I remember when I went to Double-A, because this is the concerning point for me,” Boras remembered. “I was 22. I got Bryce in Double-A and he is 18. You have guys who are 24 years old and are five- or six-year pitchers. The pitching is really different from Single-A. They are up there and they can do things.
“(So) just to watch him compete, display his power and see him at those levels, be around those players at his age, I am just really encouraged. Particularly, how he has managed it emotionally, to go to that level and compete.”
Harper also has to deal with a ton of fans who want to see him fail or think that he is too cocky and immature. Boras said Harper has handled all that attention well.
“There is an additional level to what Bryce will always do because of the fact that power is really the Mona Lisa of baseball,” Boras said. “Everybody wants to go and look at it. I think he is becoming accustomed to being a star before he is in the big leagues. But the main thing is emotionally and mentally. He is a very smart guy.”
But what about the ejection from a game for arguing with the home plate umpire during a recent game?
“We talked about arguing with umpires,” Boras said. “I have a lot of great players that argue with umpires. The idea of it is that is as long as it is something that you can really document and in that case, (the pitch) was way outside. I have no problem with it.
“The reality of it is that he is a competitive guy. He wants to play baseball everyday, which is the best thing about Bryce Harper. I am very encouraged about his advancement and I think he knows that the higher levels are a challenge. There are things to learn and things to gain.”
Boras had good news regarding Harper’s injured right hamstring after speaking with his client Monday, but no definitive word of when the No. 1 prospect would return for Harrisburg’s playoff run or the Arizona Fall League.
“I think his hamstring will be fine,” Boras said. “He is hoping to play soon because he wants to play in the playoffs. As to the time frame on that, I am not sure.”