UPDATE: The Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore is not nearly as sure about the Nats choosing Bryce Harper. He quotes the Nats Director of Amateur Scouting as saying “I don’t think that’s etched in stone” about it.
Yeah, whatever. I suppose he has to say that because if he admits that the Harper is the guy now he just gives Scott Boras several more months to plan his negotiating strategy, but someone’s going to have to make a really strong case to not select Bryce Harper for me to believe that the Nats won’t, and so far I haven’t seen it.
9:15 A.M. There’s a parlor game going on right now in which people who know a thing or two about the amateur draft are scanning around looking for ballplayers not named Bryce Harper who the Nats could or should take with their first pick.
Not gonna happen. MASN’s Ben Goessling reports that the Nats have already made up their mind on the matter, and it’s going to be Harper barring anything wacko happening like him spontaneously combusting or coming down with a case of Beriberi or something.
Worth noting that some people suggested the Nats should stay away from Stephen Strasburg last year too. They were just as silly as the people who think they shouldn’t draft Harper.
The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.