Obviously, there's more to evaluating amateur talent than just the stats in a JC opening weekend. Talking to a couple of the 100 or so scouts reportedly in attendance provides a little more detail, and some mixed opinions
, of how Harper looked as his team went 4-0.
Offensively, there was a lot to like. He's got a good approach at the plate, especially for his age, and seems to see the ball well. He's got plus raw power and even though he's still not physically mature, he's got serious pop to the opposite field.
There is a little divergence over just how good an all-around hitter he'll be
. One scout had no doubt that he'll hit plenty
, while another felt that Harper will hit plenty of balls out of the park, but will swing and miss enough to keep the batting average down
. It's a mechanical flaw in his swing, where he gets out on his front foot way too early and his bat drags through the zone.....
"I can tell you right now, it will not be a simple evaluation," said another scout. "I don't think any of us have ever scouted a 17-year-old against 20-year-olds using a wood bat. We know the kid is good,and I can project with the best of them, but this isn't going to be the slam-dunk the media portrays it to be
Those other scouts in attendance mentioned above agree
. While it's way too early to know for sure where he should -- much less where he will -- go on Draft day, putting the No. 1 crown on his head would be way too premature.
"He's playing up at age 17, there's a lot of pressure on him, a lot of people are watching him play," one scout said. "But I can definitely tell you he's not the best player in the country. He's by no means a slam-dunk type of a talent."