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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

June 14, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Bryce Harper update: He’s off to college

The fascinating saga of 16-year-old phenom Bryce Harper — the Sports Illustrated cover boy — continues.

This article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that he has enrolled at the College of Southern Nevada, where he plans to start attending classes in August and play for the school next season. This would require that he pass his GED, I assume.

Remember, Harper is a high school SOPHOMORE this year. It sure seems like Harper’s master plan is to be eligible for next year’s draft.

I don’t like the feel of this. Not one bit. Yes, Harper’s a prodigy and a man-child and an amazing physical specimen and talent. But he’s still 16 years old. Why not let him have a normal progression through high school, and sign a pro contract then? He would only be 18, and better equipped emotionally to handle professional baseball.

I have a feeling this will be a fascinating story to watch unfold. Consider this: the Nationals, who just drafted Stephen Strasburg, are likely to end up with the worst record in the majors again. Just like Strasburg, Harper is considered a once-a-generation talent. Could the Nats end up with both of them? Remember, Scott Boras — Strasburg’s agent — is advising Harper, too. A Strasburg-Harper battery could be one for the ages, but it would cost the Nationals a lot of money. A whole lot.

Then again, if Jim RIggleman takes over as the Nationals’ interim manager, as rumored, maybe he’ll rally them just enough to let another team overtake Washington for the worst record.

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