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Washington Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo On The Nats' Plans For No. 1 Pick Bryce Harper

Shortly after the Washington Nationals made College of Southern Nevada catcher/outfielder Bryce Harper the No. 1 pick on the 2010 MLB Draft, the Nats announced that the 17-year-old phenom would be an outfielder in their organization.’s Bill Ladson began the post-pick press conference with the Nats’ general manager, assistant general manager and scouting director by asking GM Mike Rizzo why they weren’t going to have him catch:

Mike Rizzo: “I think we made the early decision that we’re going to take the rigors and the pressure of learning the difficult position of catcher away from him and really let him concentrate on the offensive part of the game and let his athleticism take over as an outfielder. He’s got above average speed and a plus plus throwing arm. We believe that he could pull off being a major league catcher. We think his bat is well ahead of his defense as a catcher, and with the rigors of the game of catching, the squatting, the beating that they take behind the plate, we just think that it will accelerate his development in the minor leagues and also extend his career as a major leaguer.”