The Bryce Harper money model

Determining the potential deal for the likely No. 1 pick? Look to Cincinnati

Updated: May 25, 2010, 12:27 PM ET
By Kevin Goldstein | Baseball Prospectus

In terms of pure talent evaluation, baseball's draft is among the most difficult across the four major sports -- due to the widely varying ranges in age and experience. This forces clubs to look equally at both nearly finished college products and high school players, many of whom have yet to even physically mature.

Then, there's this factor: In basketball and football, the order in which players go off the board is a solid estimation of their talent level; in baseball, though, without defined bonuses for each pick, signability plays a major factor in where a player is selected. The biggest factor in gauging signability is leverage, and while College of Southern Nevada catcher Bryce Harper is nearly universally seen as historic on a talent level, his leverage is even more unique.