‘Legend’ Harper in no rush to ink deal

Former College of Southern Nevada baseball player Bryce Harper is only 17 years old, but the No. 1 pick in this year’s major league draft is already a “legend” in the opinion of noted sports agent Scott Boras.

“He’s a legend in my mind. I’ve never seen a young man with that kind of power,” Boras said of Harper, who clubbed a program-record 31 home runs for the Coyotes this spring in leading CSN to the Junior College World Series.

Boras, an adviser to Harper and his family, lauded the young player while attending a summer college league game involving his son, Shane, at Morse Stadium on the CSN campus Saturday.

Harper, who batted .443 and drove in 98 runs for the Coyotes, was selected as the top pick of the draft by the Washington Nationals on June 7. He will not begin negotiating a contract with the Nationals until “three or four” days before the Aug. 16 deadline, in according with Major League Baseball standards, Boras said.

However the negotiations work out, Harper’s age shouldn’t hamper him, he said.

“I think that if and when Bryce does play pro baseball, his ascension will be certainly something that is registered by his own performance, not his age,” Boras said. “It’s just like his ascension into college baseball; it was a function of his performance, not his age. There just aren’t many people that can play collegiate baseball at the age of 17, particularly with a wood bat.

Boras said the former Las Vegas High star comports himself like a pro player. Boras pointed specifically to Harper’s reception of the Golden Spikes Award, junior college’s top individual honor, and his appearance at the major league All-Star game as evidence of his maturity.

“He was gracious, he was professional, he was prepared,” Boras said. “(Other players and officials) couldn’t believe he was only 17 years of age.”

Boras credits Harper’s family and brother, Bryan, a 27th-round Chicago Cubs draft pick, for keeping the phenom well-balanced.

“They’ve taken what could be a difficult situation, and handled it very smoothly,” he said.

Contact reporter Sean Walker at swalker@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0430.

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