The Washington Times - August 24, 2011, 10:33AM

The Nationals introduced their top three draft picks to the Washington media Tuesday afternoon, giving Anthony Rendon, Alex Meyer and Brian Goodwin a chance to see a glimpse of what awaits them if they can make it to the big leagues. They also brought with them a man who needs no introduction in these parts: Scott Boras.

Boras, the agent for all three of the Nationals’ top picks, now calls nine members of the Nationals’ current 40-man roster clients, including Rendon, Jayson Werth, Danny Espinosa, Ivan Rodriguez, Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. That doesn’t count the host of prospects the Nationals are developing not on the 40-man roster who use Boras’ services. 


Needless to say, the man has a say on what’s happening here in Washington. He spent time with the Lerner family Tuesday afternoon looking more like old friends than business acquaintances and spent a few minutes chatting with the media on several topics, starting with his most recent National signees but touching on Harper and Pudge.

Here’s some of what Boras had to say: 

On his impression of what the Nationals have been able to do recently and the organization they’re building for the future: “I think the best way to talk about the Nationals have is to talk about what other teams have done with what I call the currency of modern baseball. The currency of the draft is this: (Cameron) Maybin and (Andrew) Miller were two Detroit No. 1 picks. None of them were in the class of any of these five players (Strasburg, Harper, Rendon, Meyer, Goodwin). They were minor league players. They traded those two players for Miguel Cabrera. That team then signed that player and got a $250 million first baseman for $150. Two draft picks turned into a $100 million savings and the surety that the franchise player would stay in their market.

“You can see the impact (the draft) is having on division-winning teams, you can see how important it is to have this type of value system… They have that currency in there to now allow them to enjoy the players for their own use or if they needed to make the trade, they have it. I think they’ve done an extraordinary job building that. I think the math is $37-38 million to get that kind of skill among five players and that kind of draft currency. How many (teams) would say, I’ll give you $38 million for all five. Every one would.”

On the season Bryce Harper put together: “I’m just really encouraged, particularly how he’s managed it emotionally to go to that level (Double-A). There’s an additional level to what Bryce will always do. Power is it’s really the Mona Lisa of baseball. Evyerbody wants to go and look at it.

“I think the fact that he hit that one long home run and I come home and I have a listing of how he does and before I can look at mine I see it on TV, I get it. I think he’s handling it all very well. The main thing is emotionally, mentally. He’s a very smart guy. We talked about arguing with umpires. I said ‘I have a lot of great players that argue with umpires.’ As long as it’s something you can really document which in that case it was way outside, I have no problem with it. He’s a competiive guy, he wants to play baseball every day. I’m very encouraged with his advancement. I think he knows the higher levels are a challenge.”

On if his strained hamstring will keep him out for the rest of the season: “I spoke to him yesterday. Bryce will tell you that he’s ready to go a lot quicker, but I think his hamstring’s going to be fine. As for the time frame, I’m not sure. He wants to play soon because he wants to play in the playoffs.

On Ivan Rodriguez’s future with the Nationals: “I think Pudge provides so much to a team. He and (Strasburg) have a very good relationship. Pudge has answers. He’s been in the league so long and his answers are very very refined and simple to a lot of players. He can go up to a lot of players and say a lot of things and say I’ve been there, I’ve done that, do this, do that. The players believe it because he’s been in the league that long. I think there’s tremendous value to that.

“I see great young arms come to the big leagues and it’s so difficult to develop them if there’s not a veteran catcher or if there’s not a veteran No.1 starter on the team. It’s hard for the pitchers. They have nowhere to go.”

On Anthony Rendon: “Anthony is just so advanced defensively. He has tremendous feet. He plays baseball at a slow pace and that’s usually reserved for a major leaguer. 

“I’ve learned not to be surprised but I’m very surprised (that Rendon was still there at No. 6 for the Nationals). In baseball you want to take sureties… Of all the players in this draft, he’s the one you can clearly say, position player wise, is a clear major leaguer. If his skills stayed exactly the same, he’d be a major leaguer.. Of all the players, this guy’s the surety. He’s the guy that is the lock.”

On Alex Meyer: This is a guy who, the cake is still in the oven and I think we’re going to end up with the three-layer cake. He’s a great young man, he’s a hard worker and there were times that we’d see him throw 97-98 miles an hour. It would just come out. The reason for the lack of consistency is just that he was still growing. It’s very hard to play baseball consistently when your body is still moving through the growth curve. His learning aptitude plus the high ceiling, knowing there’s so much more strength and growth and consistency in his mechanics, he has a chance to be a top of the rotation pitcher.

“He’s going to be huge. He’s like 6-9 and we go to take him to the doctor and the doctor says he’s not done growing. He may weigh 250.” 

On Brian Goodwin: “Seen Michael bourn? That’s the kind of player that Brian is. Speed player. He can fly, excellent CF, he’s got some pop in his swing.”