Scott Boras doesn't mess around.
Baseball's super-agent, Scott Boras, was in town yesterday with three of his newer clients, which also happen to be the top three draft picks of the Washington Nationals: 3B Anthony Rendon (No. 6 overall), RHP Alex Meyer (No. 23 overall) and CF Brian Goodwin (No. 34 overall). It's been a whirlwind for the busiest man in baseball, who has traversed the country over the last week and half, appearing with his clients at a dozen of these introductory press conferences.
It was a unique situation that all three of the Nats top picks were represented by the same agent, much less Boras, who has represented the Nats top pick in both of the two previous drafts. You might have heard of them, kids named Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.
Asked if he's ever had a team select three of his players with their top picks in the same draft, Boras had to admit that this was first, even for him.
Boras held court with the local media after the live, televised press conference, discussing the newest Nats in great detail, as well as two of his of his other high-profile clients, Harper and Pudge Rodriguez.
Asked if Harper would be healthy enough to play in the Arizona Fall League, Boras quipped that Harper wanted to play in the Eastern League playoffs with Harrisburg, if they qualify, but that his long-term health would be the guiding factor. He described the injury as a "7-10 day thing" and that his injured hamstring "is going to be fine."
According to Boras, Rodriguez, on the other hand, simply can't understand why he can't heal faster from his strained right oblique. "Pudge is not a man that has high regard for medical science," Boras joked. He went on to say that Pudge, who will be a free agent at the end of the year, "brings so much to a team."
“He and [Stephen Strasburg] have a very good relationship. Pudge has answers, because he’s been in the league so long. And his answers are very, very refined and simple to a lot of players. He can go up to a lot of players and say, ‘Look, I’ve been there, I’ve done that. Do this, do that. If you do this, this is what happens.’ And the players believe it, because he’s been in the league that long."
But the primary focus of Boras' mini-press conference was the three draft picks, of whom he offered effusive praise, which one would suspect coming from not only the players' agent, but from this particular agent, famed for producing tomes of research on his own players for draftees and free agents alike.
He described the Nats farm system as "The Washington Mint", likening the players to the currency of baseball, for the Nats to enjoy for their own use or to employ them to acquire Major League talent. "I think they've done an extraordinary job building [the farm system]."
On Rendon: "He's been given a clean bill of health. He's back throwing. He just needed 10 weeks rest that he couldn't get in college because they wanted him to DH."
"He knows the timing of the game. He knows how to get the batter out without rushing. In the batter's box he's got that natural skill where he can drive a baseball without swinging hard. He's certainly a player that can advance very quickly."
About Rendon being available for the Nats to select with the sixth pick, Boras said, "I've learned not to be surprised but, I'm very surprised. In baseball you want to take sureties, you want the known. Of all the players in this draft, he's the one that you can clearly say -- position player-wise -- he's a clear Major Leaguer."
On Meyer: "The cake is still in the oven. And I think we're going to end up with a three-layer cake."
"He's great young man, a hard worker. There are times we'd see him throw 97-98 MPH. It would just come out. The reason for his lack of consistency is the fact that he's just still growing. It's very hard to play baseball consistently when your body is still moving through the growth curve."
"Alex is going to be huge. He's like 6'9", and the doctor says he's not done growing. His shoulders are going to get bigger. He may weigh 250 [eventually], and he's 210 now."
On Goodwin: "You've seen Michael Bourn?", referring to the speedy center fielder that was traded from the Houston Astros to the Atlanta Braves at the trade deadline.
"This is the kind of player, Brian is, a speed player, he can really fly. Excellent center fielder and he's got some pop in his bat too."