Want to get better acquainted with 17-year-old catcher Bryce Harper before he’s (almost certainly) drafted No. 1 overall by the Nationals this June? Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post wrote a great piece about him this afternoon, collecting opinions about the prodigy’s attitude and personality from several different sources. It’s worth reading the entire article, but here are some quick Harper facts:
- He can throw a 96 MPH fastball.
- He’s capable of playing a variety of positions, but really wants to catch as a professional.
- His father helped build the Las Vegas Strip, laying rebar for 27 years.
- Harper led the National Junior College Athletic Association with 23 homers, 68 RBI, a .917 slugging percentage and 71 runs this year.
- The next-highest player in the conference had 11 home runs.
- Harper scored a 4.0 GPA in the fall at the College of Southern Nevada.
- There are only 22 days until the draft.
Harper undoubtedly has a swagger about him. He wipes his face with eye black before every game and has a whole routine as he steps into the batter’s box that seems a little LeBron James-like. But he is most definitely a competitor and an incredible talent with a better-than-expected background.
Astros reliever Roberto Osuna appeared in an Ontario court today, where the assault charges against him were withdrawn. In their place is now a one-year peace bond, which is akin to a restraining order combined with probation. Pursuant to the peace bond Osuna is required to continue with counseling he has undertaken, to not get in any legal trouble and to have no contact with his accuser without court consent for the next year.
The reason for the revocation of the charges is that, according to prosecutors, the complainant is in Mexico and would not return to Canada for a trial against Osuna. Without her testimony the case against Osuna could not be won. The peace bond, then, was the only real option.
Osuna was arrested in Toronto while still playing for the Blue Jays and was charged with assaulting a woman on May 8. Major League Baseball suspended him for 75 games under the league’s domestic violence policy. The Blue Jays traded him to the Astros on July 30 in exchange for Ken Giles and two minor leaguers and he has pitched for the Astros ever since. This latest hearing was scheduled to coincide with the Astros’ trip to Toronto this week.
The Astros issued a statement:
And statements from Osuna and his attorney: