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Harper is expected to seek a record contract through his adviser, Scott Boras, who negotiated a record-breaking four-year, $15.1 million deal for Strasburg. The Nationals have through Aug. 16 to sign Harper.
"He's a player that wants to get out and play," Rizzo said. "He's the type of guy that does not enjoy idle time."
Harper was the subject of a Sports Illustrated cover story while still in high school, and has reportedly hit balls over 550 feet. A hitter has not garnered this much national attention since possibly Florida State's J.D. Drew, who went No. 2 overall to Philadelphia in 1997 but didn't sign. Also a Boras client, Drew played in an independent league and signed the following year after he went fifth to St. Louis.
There have been some questions about Harper's character and maturity, especially after he got thrown out of his last college game. Rizzo said the Nationals are comfortable with what they've seen.
"There are no concerns about this player's makeup," he said. "We are sold on him, his family, the character of the player."
Texas A&M righty Barret Loux went sixth to Arizona, and North Carolina right-hander Matt Harvey was selected by the New York Mets at No. 7. Houston next took Georgia high school outfielder Delino DeShields Jr., son of the former big leaguer.
Florida high school righty Karsten Whitson went ninth to San Diego, and Texas-Arlington outfielder Michael Choice rounded out the top 10 by going to Oakland.
The draft's first and supplemental rounds were completed Monday night, with rounds 2-50 scheduled for the next two days.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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