The for the second year in a row, the Washington Nationals had the No. 1 overall pick in baseball’s June Draft, and for the second year in a row the Nationals signed that pick to a record setting deal.

Last year, the Nationals signed RHP Stephen Strasburg to a four-year, $15.1 million contract, which was the highest ever to a No.1 overall pick. This year, the Nationals signed No.1 overall pick Bryce Harper to a five-year, $9.9 million contract, which is the highest ever contract given to a position player in the draft.

The Nationals are handing out a lot of crispy lettuce to their No. 1 picks, but as they have seen with Strasburg in 2010, it’s worth the money. The only way the Nationals will be able to compete on a year in and year out basis is if they build through the draft, restocking their farm system, and signing guys like Strasburg, Harper, and Drew Storen (the other first round pick from last year) is a good start.

Like Strasburg, Harper is considered a once-in-a-lifetime talent and was clearly the best player in his draft. The Nationals drafted Harper as a catcher, but he will switch over to right field.

Switching Harper over to right field will get him to the majors and in a Nationals’ uniform in speedy fashion. I expect Harper to be in a Nationals’ uniform by 2012.

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