WASHINGTON — Just before the Nationals made official their selection of Bryce Harper with the draft’s first overall pick, one of the two dozen or so suit-wearing decision makers who populated the club’s war room pulled out a personal camera. He aimed the lens at general manager Mike Rizzo sitting at the center table and then again at the rest of the assembly.
Even those involved seemed to appreciate the historic moment of not just drafting “one-one” for the second straight year but — along with 2009’s top pick, starter Stephen Strasburg, who is set to make his major-league debut tomorrow — of selecting a pair of rare talents who were such well-hyped, well-known commodities as amateurs.
“I cannot remember back-to-back years when there’s been two players who have separated themselves from the rest of the field,” Rizzo said.
And so the Nationals didn’t screw up day one of the two most important days the franchise has had since moving to Washington in 2005. No matter what record bonus agent Scott Boras might demand, the Nationals had to draft the power-hitting phenom Harper, the catcher-outfielder from the College of Southern Nevada.