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2023 MLB Draft Order Finalized with Eovaldi signing

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With the last Qualifying Offer-laden signing occurring yesterday (Nathan Eovaldi going to the profligate Texas Rangers, who have bought themselves an entire new rotation this offseason), the 2023 draft order is now complete. Major input to the top of the draft order was determined by the results of the Draft Lottery a few weeks back, and then with the announcement of this year’s free draft picks for cheap-skate teams Competitive Balance Picks.

The final 2023 Draft Order is now uploaded to this Google XLS. It shows the original 1st round order, the post-draft lottery order, all the picks gained and lost due to signings etc.

As it stands, the Nats picks are:

  • 1st round: #2 overall post lottery
  • 2nd round: #39 overall. this pick had the chance to slightly move up if one of the comp-A round teams decided to sign a FA … but the only one of them even thinking about competing in 2023 seems to be Seattle, who did not sign anyone.
  • 3rd round: #70. this pick moved up seven slots thanks to the eight teams who gave up their 2nd round picks to sign QO players.
  • 4th round: #99, from the original projected #107. Again, moved up 8 slots due to 8 lost 2nd rounders.
  • 5th round: #134; moved up 10 spots due to two additional lost comp picks from players re-signing as QO laden players.
  • 6th round: #161, moved up 3 more spots thanks to three teams (San Diego, Yankees, and Philadelphia) who gave up their 5th rounders.

No word yet on bonus pools, but the #2 overall team last year (Arizona) had more than $15M in total bonus pool and an $8.1M figure for its 2nd overall pick, which should net a couple of very good prospects. #2 overall was worth $8.1, while the #39 overall pick was worth a hair over $2M. So that’s what we can expect from the 2023 draft.

So, four picks in the top 100 for the 2023 draft.

Written by Todd Boss

December 28th, 2022 at 9:20 am

Posted in Draft

Nats get #2 pick in Lottery!

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Honestly, I thought we were gonna get screwed.

Tonight’s draft lottery ended up giving us the #2 overall pick, out of a best case of #1 overall and worst case of #7 overall.

Final results:

1. Pirates (T-1)
2. Nationals (T-1)
3. Tigers (6)
4. Rangers (7)
5. Twins (13)
6. A’s (T-1)
7. Reds (4)
8. Royals (5)
9. Rockies (8)
10. Marlins (9)
11. Angels (10)
12. D-backs (11)
13. Cubs (12)
14. Red Sox (14)
15. White Sox (15)
16. Giants (16)
17. Orioles (17)
18. Brewers (18)

So Pittsburgh (which had the same chance as us to get 1-1) get the first pick, we get 2nd, then the Tigers move up a few slots, as does Texas. Oakland gets slightly screwed, dropping from #3 to #6, and the Reds/Royals both get pushed down a bit as well,

Meanwhile, Minnesota is the big lottery winner, going from #13 to #5, meaning they’re netting themselves a super good 1st rounder in 2023 after a decent season.

With the #2 overall pick, The Nats are nearly going to have their pick of the draft class. And, with the cheap-skate Pittsburgh team ahead of them, its highly likely they cut a deal with the player at 1-1 to spread money around, meaning we may very well endup with the best talent in the draft.

At this point, there’s a few names that are crystalizing for the top of the 2023 draft; here’s a quick snippet on some of them.

College guys:

Dylan Crews, OF/RF LSU. Opted out of 2020 draft as a projected 2nd rounder, now might go 1-1. Hit .362/.453/.663 as a freshman. Sept 2022 #1 player in the class.
Jacob Gonzalez, SS Ole Miss. Bonafide SS who hit .355/.443/.561 with 12 home runs and more walks (38) than strikeouts (34) his freshman year. #1 prospect in class Dec 2021.
Chase Dollander, RHP Tennessee. 2nd team AA in 2022, mid 90sfb with good off-speed. Helium guy mid 2022, not sure why he’s jumped other candidates.
Jacob Wilson, SS Grand Canyon. All WAC as a freshman, starred for Team USA summer 2022. Stock increasing late 2022, rising up.

Prep guys:

Max Clark, OF, Franklin (Ind.) Community HS. Vanderbilt commit, lefty hitting OF prospect #1 prep player in the class as of mid 2021. Went 5-5 one day at Area codes. #1 prep player in draft per BA Sept 2022.
Walker Jenkins OF, South Brunswick HS, Southport, N.C. 18U national team as underclassman in 2021. #1 HS player in class per Fangraphs Dec 2021, #2 prep in class per BA Sept 2022.
Thomas White, LHP Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. Uncommitted. Highly polished LHP starter.
Dylan Cupp, SS Cedartown (Ga.) HS. Mississippi State commit. Top SS in draft.
Walter Ford, 3B/RHP Hoover (Ala.) HS. 2-way threat, mid-upper 90s on the fastball and great power. Alabama commit. 2021 18U National team as underclassman.

Imagine Gonzalez getting picked and joining our suite of top-end hitters in the middle minors, all set to matriculate at the same time? More of a hitter’s draft than pitcher’s draft right now, but there’s also some arms in the mix for 1-1. I don’t like Dollander as much honestly, i’d rather have a bigger arm with more of a clear shot at 1-1.

Written by Todd Boss

December 6th, 2022 at 9:39 pm

Posted in Draft

2023 Draft Order … not finalized

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This is a Tank. This is also what Washington did this season. Photo credit: some German newspaper; does it really matter? 🙂

(quick personal note: apologies for the radio silence here. I have not posted since September 9th, more than 6 weeks ago. Not that there was a ton to post about; when the team emptied its coffers of all remaining players with any trade value, it wasn’t a surprise how the rest of the season was going to play out. That being said, we moved at the end of August and i’m working multiple consulting gigs, and, well, its been tough to put the time in on this blog with so many other items pressing for my time. I hope to do better this off-season, doing some typical non-tender, arbitration, rule-5 posts, etc).

It seems typical that the Nats would manage to finish with their worst record since moving to 2005 (and nearly their worst record ever as a franchise, being only pipped by the amazingly bad 52-110 1969 Montreal debut season) in the exact same year that MLB goes to a draft lottery at the top of the draft. So, instead of having the biggest bonus pool and first crack at the top draft talent … we have to wait to see where we actually pick. Perhaps this is penance for the amazing set of circumstances that led us to pick 1st overall two years in a row, which netted us both Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper and set the franchise on a pathway towards multiple playoff runs and the 2019 World Series title.

How quickly the tides turn, and this year we finished 55-107, which guaranteed us the worst record in the league by a full 5 games over the Oakland Athletics.

So, how does the lottery work? Tanks to this excellent NBCsports article, here’s how it works:

  • Each non-playoff team is assigned odds of getting the top pick.
  • The worst three teams each have equal odds at 16.5%, meaning that despite the fact that Washington was worse than Oakland and Pittsburgh, we all have the same chance.
  • The lottery only lasts the first 6 picks, then goes in direct order after that.

So, We have basically a 1 in 6 chance of getting the #1 pick. We have right around a 50% chance of getting a top 3 picks, and we can pick no worst than 7th.

Here’s the exact draft odds/reverse standings for 2022.

So, its a coin flip that we get into the top 3, meaning its highly likely we get a really solid pick. I’ve already started collecting names for the top of the 2023 draft. Right now the top prospects are looking like the following:

College Prospects:

  • Dylan Crews, OF/RF LSU. Opted out of 2020 draft as a projected 2nd rounder, now might go 1-1. Hit .362/.453/.663 as a freshman. sept 2022 #1 player in the class.
  • Jacob Gonzalez, SS Ole Miss. Bonafide SS who hit .355/.443/.561 with 12 home runs and more walks (38) than strikeouts (34) his freshman year. #1 prospect in class Dec 2021.
  • Chase Dollander, RHP Tennessee. 2nd team AA in 2022, mid 90sfb with good off-speed. Helium guy mid 2022, not sure why he’s jumped other candidates.
  • Rhett Lowder, RHP Wake Forest. ACC pitcher of year in 2022, starred for Team USA summer 2022.

Prep Prospects:

  • Max Clark, OF, Franklin (Ind.) Community HS. Vanderbilt commit, lefty hitting OF prospect #1 prep player in the class as of mid 2021. Went 5-5 one day at Area codes. #1 prep player in draft per BA Sept 2022.
  • Walker Jenkins OF, South Brunswick HS, Southport, N.C. 18U national team as underclassman in 2021. #1 HS player in class per Fangraphs Dec 2021, #2 prep in class per BA Sept 2022.
  • Thomas White, LHP Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. Uncommitted. Highly polished LHP starter.
  • Cam Collier, 3B Mount Paran Christian HS, Kennsaw, Ga.. Louisville commit, huge power, biggest bat in class.

So, even in the worst case, where the Nats are shut out of the lottery and pick 7th, one of these players is absolutely going to be available, or a player who pops up this coming spring. So, all is not lost: don’t forget that we have gotten really solid players drafting in the #4-6 overall range in the past:

  • Ryan Zimmerman was 4th overall in 2005
  • Ross Detwiler was 6th overall in 2007
  • Anthony Rendon was 6th overall in 2011 (via a set of circumstances that still boggles the mind to this day)
  • Elijah Green was 5th overall this year.

The lottery order likely is set at the Winter Meetings, so we’ll revisit this post then.

Until then … are you finding yourself actually rooting for Philadelphia and Bryce Harper in the playoffs? Are you rooting for San Diego with their own ex-Nat super star Juan Soto? Great games so far.

Written by Todd Boss

October 18th, 2022 at 9:34 am

Nats 2022 Draft class Signing Bonus Analysis

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In my 2022 draft class review, I went through a rough guess as to how I thought the bonus calculations would go, and how many of our 20 picks would sign.

Lets see how my predictions went, now that we’ve gotten all the bonus figures publicized for our 19 draftees.

For a complete list of the 2022 draft classes, see the Draft Tracker and specifically the “2022 Draft Class” tab. For “proof” of bonus amounts see the MLBpipeline draft tracker or the BaseballAmerica draft tracker, which as of this publishing have all 19 of our signed players’ bonus amounts.

Overall Bonus Machinations

The Nationals had a total bonus pool of $11,013,900 (which was oddly raised by a few thousand dollars just days before the draft, so all my initial numbers were off in the draft tracker). Add 5% overage of $550,695 and their real working bonus pool was exactly $11,564,595.

  • Their top 10 picks totaled exactly 11,388,200 in bonus money
  • Which left them exactly $176,395 in “extra” dollars they could throw at picks in the 11-20 range, over and above the $125k standard bonus.
  • They gave $125k extra to Young, then $50k extra to Peoples.
  • So, at the end of the day, they left exactly $1,395 of bonus dollars on the table. At least per my xls. Its possible someone got an “extra” $1,395 but probably not.

That’s using your bonus pool to its max effect!


Overall Draft Class Signing success

Prediction: I predicted 17 or 18 of the top 20 signing, thinking we’d struggle to sign #11 Young and would not sign two of the prep players in the 11-20 range.

Actuals: we did sign Young, and prep player Cooper, and thus got 19 of our 20 picks to sign. Only our 20th pick, a great fielding Prep SS in Ortiz from IMG Academy who the scouting reports all said would benefit from going to college anyway. So, my prediction was a bit more pessimistic than what occurred.


Pick by Pick Slot analysis, top 10

Here’s my predictions for the first 10 spots:

  1. Green: Over slot ($200k)
  2. Bennett: Under slot (-$100k)
  3. Lipscomb: Under slot (-$200k)
  4. Cox: Over slot? (+$100k)
  5. McKenzie: Slot
  6. Ochoa: Over slot (+$200k)
  7. Cornelio: Under slot (-$50k)
  8. Huff: Under slot (-$75k)
  9. Romero: Slot
  10. Stehly: Under slot (-$75k)

Actuals:

  1. Green: Basically Slot ($2,300 over slot for an even $6.5M figure). This was a shock to most of us, who were convinced that the Nats (who have a history of overpaying top draft picks even in the face of conventional leverage wisdom) would over-pay here. Nope: they basically got Green at slot value, a big achievement for a prep player in the modern game.
  2. Bennett: Exactly Slot. I thought he’d get a take a bit of a haircut, but did not.
  3. Lipscomb: Exactly Slot. Again, a surprise here. This is a senior with no leverage, and I read somewhere (can’t find the source) that this represented the largest bonus ever given to a college senior. I’m not sure that’s right; Mark Appel was the #1 overall pick as a senior and signed for more than $6M. So, I’d need a fact check on the claim here.
  4. Cox: Definitely over slot; an even $1M to represent more than $450k over slot.
  5. McKenzie: Predicted slot, went for slot.
  6. Ochoa: went over slot, but not by as much as I thought it would take. He signs for just $66k over the slot value.
  7. Cornelio: Slot: for some reason I thought he’d go slightly under slot, perhaps due to performance.
  8. Huff: Slot; same reasoning as Cornelio.
  9. Romero: Predicted slot, went slot.
  10. Stehly: Predicted under-slot … and signed for the bare minimum of $10k, saving $144k in the bonus pool.

So, I went 5 and 5 for slot predictions in the top 10. And at the end of the 10 rounds, the team had right around $175K “extra” to throw at their round 11-20 guys.


Pick by Pick Slot analysis, rounds 11-20

Here’s what I thought would happen from a bonus perspective for the 11-20th rounders

  • 11. Young: tough sign, needs over slot money
  • 12. Peoples; signs, but needs over slot money
  • 13. Grissom: signs for slot
  • 14. Lawson: signs, may not even need full slot
  • 15. Luckham: signs, probably for a nominal amount below slot
  • 16. Cooper: would not sign, would need over slot
  • 17. Klassen: signs, might not need full $125k slot
  • 18. Lord: signs, might not need full $125k slot
  • 19. Thomas: signs, probably not full $125 slot
  • 20. Ortiz: no way he signs; we don’t have enough money

Actuals:

11. Young signs, for $250 or $125k over slot and in line with a 6th-7th rounder. I thought perhaps the team would net themselves around $500k extra from their top 10 machinations and be able to throw bigger money at Young. In the end, it didn’t take nearly as much money to buy him out of an Oklahoma State commitment.

12. Peoples: signs for $175k, or $50k over the slot. We thought he’d sign since he wasn’t really rated highly as a prep player and wasn’t committed to a big-time baseball school, and in the end it only took $50k to entice him to go pro. $175k pays him like an 8th-9th rounder.

13. Grissom signs for $125k, which slightly surprised me given that he had eligibility left.

14. Lawson signs and gets full $125k slot as a fourth year junior. Good for him; he did have a bit of leverage so he could demand more than a token dollar amount typically given to true seniors.

15. Luckham signs for $125k. Not bad for a senior.

16. Cooper signs for $125k, as a prep kid with a college commitment, and it doesn’t take any overages to get him. Which is odds, and makes me wonder if the videos we saw of him bely his true talent level. This is a tools-first pick, and he may be in the FCL for quite some time.

17. Klassen signs for $125k. College Junior bat, could have gone back to school, but takes the cash.

18. Lord signs for $125k. Nothing to note here; as with Luckham, Klassen, Thomas … all these guys got offered the max non-bonus pool affecting amount and took it.

19. Thomas signs for $125k, as with Luckham not bad for a senior from a small school.

20. Ortiz does not sign. No surprise here, he was heavily scouted due to his presence at IMG, has the defensive side down pat but needs time to develop a hit tool, and going to FIU gives him three years to develop and try to raise his draft stock.


So, that’s how the bonus figures worked. Its time to get these players to Florida and get them playing!

Written by Todd Boss

July 28th, 2022 at 1:38 pm

Posted in Draft

2022 Nats Draft Class Review

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Bennett is our 2nd rounder, photo courtesy of Sooner Sports

Here’s my review of the 2022 Draft Class, with call backs to the various draft boards out there and some thoughts along the way about signability, likely bonus machinations, etc.

By the way, the Draft Tracker is now updated. There are four tabs of interest for the 2022 draft:

  • Main Draft Tracker tab: shows Nats draft picks dating to 2005
  • 2022 Draft Class Worksheet, where we have schools, commits, twitter feeds, and will track signing/bonuses
  • 2022 Local Draft Class worksheet; tracking all DC/MD/VA players. This year I count 9 players with DC-area ties drafted, the highest being Nick Morabito out of McLean/Gonzaga HS, who went in the 2nd round supplemental round and probably goes pro instead of going to Va Tech. By the way, I might be missing players here who were from DC/MD/VA but who went to out of area colleges; if i’m missing someone comment here and I’ll add them.
  • Nats Drafting position by year, along with our 1st rounder each year. Maybe we’ll be 1-1 again next year (its certainly trending that way right now).

For reference below, the major Draft boards in use here are:

I pay for some things, not for others, so this isn’t a comprehensive list of boards out there. There are other draft boards out there (CBSSports/R.J Anderson, Baseball Prospectus behind a paywall, PerfectGame behind a paywall, Prospects365 & 20/80 baseball seem to be out of business), but if they don’t go beyond the top 50 or if I don’t subscribe they’re not here.


So, 1-20, here’s some thoughts on the picks one by one.

1. Elijah Green, picked 5th overall. HS OF (Center) from IMG Academy in Florida.

Ranks: #3 by MLB, #4 Law, #5 BA, #11 Fangraphs, #5 ESPN, #2 Prospects1500.

Thoughts: we already dove into our #1 and #2 picks in a previous post, and we’ve litigated it a bit in the comments. Green’s stature speaks for itself: 6’3″ 225 as an 18yr old, has 70-grade speed (which you can’t teach), which means he’s a CF despite being built like his NFL linebacker father. A power hitting CF with speed and a plus arm projects to some special names in the game’s history (Mays, Griffey, Trout). The knocks on him are a lot of swing-and miss, a lesser hit tool. The low pundit on him (#11 by Longenhagen) criticizes the hit tool and his junior year stats, but notes that it has trended up. Law basically says that Green has a higher ceiling than even Druw Jones, but his floor is lower thanks to current swing-and-miss, hence being ranked #4 instead of #1 in the class. But that’s heady praise.

To me, this pick is acknowledgement by this team that they need to take some big swings at an up-side/all-ceiling player to replace the star power we’ve let go (and will soon let go) out of this franchise. If Green turns into the next coming of Ken Griffey Jr, people are going to forget about the $440M contract that Juan Soto refused so sign awfully fast. That’s the gamble, and I’m ok with it.

By the way, I don’t perceive Green to be a massive over-slot deal. $6.4M is the slot, and Green’s leverage with the Nats at #5 fell precipitously once he passed by Texas at #3. There’s no way he’s holding out for $8M when literally no mocks had him above Jones and/or Holliday. I could be wrong, but (and this is burying the lead somewhat) I don’t see a ton of tanked picks throughout the rest of the top 10. I do see some savings though, so maybe this is a slightly over-slot deal in the end. I’ll go with maybe a $6.6M bonus as a guess.

2. Jake Bennett, picked 45th overall, LHP Starter from U of Oklahoma

Ranks: #68 by MLB, >100 by Law, #41 BA, #55 Fangraphs, #76 ESPN, #38 D1Baseball, #77 Prospects1500

Bennett seems to be a bit of an over-reach, based on the general consensus of the ranking boards. Which makes me wonder if its a slightly under-slot deal. In stark contrast to everything I said about Green being a ceiling pick … Bennett is a “floor” pick. Meaning, scouts already see him as a durable, polished, sturdy LHP starting pitcher work horse who projects as a #4-#5 starter. His best pitch is a change-up, he can hit the upper 90s when he needs to, and he’s effective against both sides of the plate. His mechanics remind me of Cole Hamels, which would be a great comp and career.

Bennett made himself a ton of money by pitching pretty well in the post-season for Oklahoma, in front of a ton of scouts, eyeballs, and TV cameras. He got the win in the regional against Liberty, then gave up just 1 ER in the super Regional against #4 Virginia Tech. Then in Omaha he got the win against TAMU before taking the Loss against eventual champs Ole Miss (still giving a 10K/0BB performance and keeping the team in the game before OK’s bullpen blew up).

He’s a huge guy; 6’6″, a college teammate of our own Cade Cavalli, and was a prior draft pick of the Nats in 2019. They liked him then, and they like him know. I’d bet he signs for slightly under the $1.77 slot and is effective quickly. We can hope for Hamels, but maybe he’s something like a Tom Gorzelany, but hope we get more out of him than we’re getting right now from Tim Cate.

3. Trey Lipscomb, picked 84th overall, a 3B from Tennessee by way of Urbana HS in Clarksburg.

Ranks: MLB #136, Law >100, #142 BA, #85 Fangraphs, #166 ESPN, #46 D1baseball, #123 Prospects1500.

He’s a 4th-year Junior, so scouts are calling it a “senior sign.” But this is a guy who blew up for the best team in the land all year. He led the SEC in XBH and RBI, hit 22 homers (albeit most at the bandbox they call a stadium in Knoxville). Fangraphs called him the best senior in the draft. Well, the Nats got him.

He is 6’1″ with a strong arm and could probably play 2B in a pinch based on his size. No real nits with his hit tool; clearly shows lots of power. I like the local connection. The slot value is $758k, and I could see him going for a couple hundred thousand less.

So, two straight likely under-slot deals; why? Well, as it turns out we’re about to pick not only one more, but two more prep HS kids that need to be bought out of college.

4. Brenner Cox, picked 111th overall, a prep Outfielder from Texas.

Ranks: Only ranked by BA: #351 and Prospects1500 #287.

The scouting report on him says he’s got a two-sport commitment to play both football and baseball for Texas. Perfect Game ranks him 10th in the state of Texas; that’s saying something. There’s little else to go on other than to say that he’s a plus runner, a true CF who will stay there.

Usually this kind of player would scream “going to school,” but according to the Dallas Morning News, Cox was in DC earlier for a workout and has agreed to rough terms, and plans on forgoing his college. So, that’s interesting. I’ll bet he gets more than the $549k slot value and joins the franchise.

5. Jared McKenzie, picked #141, a Junior OF (CF) for Baylor

Ranks: MLB #142, BA #139, Fangraphs #150 or so, ESPN #168, Prospects1500 #150

So, based on the ranks, the Nats basically got a player valued almost exactly where they drafted him, which makes me think this is a 100% slot draftee. Call the player, ask if he’ll sign for exactly $410,200 and if he says yes, make the call.

McKenzie’s picking is a gamble that he returns to his form of his first two college seasons, where he hit .389 combined, as opposed to the egg he laid in the Cape last summer or the BA he posted this year that was 100 points less. He’s played nothing but CF for Baylor, but probably projects as a LF in pro ball. Let’s hope he’s more than Nick Banks once he gets settled in.

6. Nate Ochoa, picked #171 overall, a Prep SS from a Canadian HS with an Alabama commit.

Ranks: not ranked by anyone.

Well, the only place I could find info on Ochoa was on PerfectGame.org and on his twitter account. Canadian junior national team, he’s listed as a 6’4″ short stop who clearly has to move to 3B in the pros. Quick bat, clearly has some power. He has a verbal commitment to Alabama and has had it for months; is it solid? How much to buy him out of it? Slot value of $308K; I wonder if $500k does it. Suffice it to say, under the modern draft rules … you don’t pick players unless they’re signing.

7. Riley Cornelio, picked #201 overall, a Junior RHP Starter from TCU

Ranks: MLB #244, BA #295, #85 D1Baseball, #177 Prospects1500

Cornelio was in TCU’s rotation all year, and got the start in their regional. He was hit or miss on the mound, but projects with two plus pitches (slider and a 99mph 4-seamer fastball) to go with a sinking low 90s fastball and a 12-to-6 curve. He’s got everything he needs to succeed in the pro game. He’s listed as a redshirt sophomore but has already turned 22 and likely signs, probably for less than slot at this point.

What can he be? His stats this year weren’t great, but his tools are solid. Maybe someone can coach him up and turn him into a serviceable starter.

8. Chance Huff, picked #231, a RHP Junior starter (but likely pro reliever) from Georgia Tech.

Ranks: #268 BA, #253 Prospects1500

Huff’s college numbers are … not great. He had 16 appearances (15 starts) this year for Ga Tech and had nearly a 7.00 ERA. Despite that, BA has him projected right where he got picked; 8th/9th round. Why? Because he probably can succeed as a reliever, which he was for his first two seasons.

He’s already 22, so i’m betting he signs for something under the $191k slot, maybe something closer to the $125k 10th round+ figure.

9. Maxwell Romero Jr, A college junior C from U of Miami.

Ranks: BA #406, #376 Prospects1500.

Well, he’s definitely a catcher: 6’1″ 218. He hit for a ton of power this year (12 homers) and is a solid defensive catcher. That’s definitely worth a flier, especially for a 9th pick. I think he signs for slot and probably has a decent minor league career.

10. Murphy Stehly, a utility 5th-year senior from Texas.

Stehly was a 2nd team All American this year! So how his he hanging around in the 10th? Because he’s a 5th year senior, he’s turning 24 later this year, and he’s badly undersized (5’10”) and overweight (210lbs). Nonetheless, the dude raked this year: .367/.424/.662 with 19 home runs hitting ahead of the Hispanic Titanic in Texas’ lineup. He’s listed as a corner OF .. but he also managed to play all four INFIELD positions for Texas this year. Based on his size … i wouldn’t put him at 1B or SS, but i’ll bet he could pass as a 2B in a pinch.

This is a heck of a 10th rounder/senior sign for me. He’ll take a haircut off the $154k slot, but maybe not that much based on his production this year. Honestly, I can’t wait to see what he does in the minors. I would not be surprised if he rakes.


So, before we get to the 11-20 picks, each of whom can go for $125k before jeopardizing any bonus pools, lets squint at the top 10 picks and guess what the team is doing with the bonuses:

  1. Green: Over slot ($200k)
  2. Bennett: Under slot (-$100k)
  3. Lipscomb: Under slot (-$200k)
  4. Cox: Over slot? (+$100k)
  5. McKenzie: Slot
  6. Ochoa: Over slot (+$200k)
  7. Cornelio: Under slot (-$50k)
  8. Huff: Under slot (-$75k)
  9. Romero: Slot
  10. Stehly: Under slot (-$75k)

Based on this accounting … the three prep players we drafted all get over slot deals, and we save the money on mostly the 2nd and 3rd round picks to do it.


11. Luke Young, Juco RHP Starter from Midland College

Ranks: #389 BA

So, Young is only 20 and has committed to go to Oklahoma State next year out of Midland, which is a Juco in Texas. He’s 6’3″ and only weighs 167; that’s ridiculous. I can’t imagine him signing for $125k given that he’s got a likely weekend starter spot at a Big12 school lined up for next year, and with a repeat of his performance this year he’ll be a major draft prospect.

But, if they get him … sits 94-96, with upper 70s breaking pitch and had great K/BB numbers. I’d take that for $125k.

However, I will say that the 5% overage capability on bonus pools really comes into play here. On an $11M total bonus pool, 5% is more than $500k. Which means … we could throw an extra $500k at someone, somewhere, and get them. Maybe Young takes $125k plus $500k and now suddenly that’s 5th round money. So, the negotiations should be interesting to see as they flow in. The #11 pick in particular is the place where teams try to get someone that slipped out of the top 10 rounds as teams took senior signs/money savers, and throw more cash at them. Nats have done it more than once (J.T. Arruda got more in 2019 as an 11th rounder, Armond Upshaw in 2016 got 400k, Andrew Lee got $180k in 2015, Weston Davis got $200k in 2014, etc), and may do it again here.

12. Nick Peoples, a Prep Corner OF from a CA HS.

Ranks: not ranked.

Not much out there on him: he’s from Los Angeles, has a commitment to New Mexico State. Perfect game ranks him 16th in the state of California this year, no mean feat. 6’5″ 205 switch hitter with a ton of projection, but completely unranked by any service and only committed to a lower-profile baseball school and conference. I think he signs.

13. Marquis Grissom Jr., a draft-eligible Sophomore RHP starter from Georgia Tech

Ranks: BA #261.

In a draft full of sons of former major leaguers, Grissom doesn’t quite project as highly as some of the other famous names (Holliday, Jones, etc). He worked in Ga Tech’s rotation this year and was wild. Really wild: in 61IP, he managed 16 HBP, 7 WPs, and 42 walks. Um. BA’s scouting report says he’s got some velocity, and great separation between his FB and his curve, but that everything gets hit. He’s age 21 now and could go back to school; if he can show any improvement in his control he’s a higher pick next year … where he’ll still have a year of eligibility and a bit of leverage. Interesting decision he faces; I’ll bet he signs for the $125k.

Some have thought that this is perhaps a “legacy pick,” since Grissom’s father was a former Expo. I don’t. I don’t think the current ownership group could care less about what happened with this franchise prior to 2005, and the fan base in Washington DC is now a generation removed from an era where Grissom was an important player for the Expos. I feel like Nats fans are “aware” of stars from Montreal (Andre Dawson, Gary Carter, Pedro Martinez, maybe even Tim Raines if they’re saavy). But we’re also more likely to remember who these guys left Montreal for, since the franchise could never keep its stars (in order for me: Dawson->Chicago, Carter with the Mets, Martinez in Boston, Raines in New York playing out the string).

14. Courtland Lawson, a 4th year junior SS from Tennessee by way of the DC area

Ranks: BA #322

Lawson was a Paul VI player for several years (hello to Billy Emerson! ), then transferred to Dominion HS for his senior year before heading to Tennessee. He barely played until this year, when suddenly he’s the starting SS for the best team in the land. He’s already 22, so despite being a “junior” he’s probably done with school and should sign. But he doesn’t project to much in the pros: he hit just .210 in SEC play this year and most of his tools are fringe-average. Its a dream come true to sign for his home team, and I can see him hanging around for a couple seasons in the FCL or perhaps Low-A as a SS/3B backup.

15. Kyle Luckham, a senior RHP starter from Arizona State

Ranks: BA #316

I’ll take a senior starter who was in the rotation for a Pac12 team and held his own. He doesn’t project as much, but he takes the ball, gets deep into games, and seems like a gamer. Not a bad 15th rounder.

16. Everett Cooper, a prep SS/2B from the Pro5 Baseball Academy in NC by way of Owings Mills, MD

Ranks: none.

Could be a “show me” pick, where the team shows some interest in a prep player. I can’t imagine Cooper signing based on the fact that he relocated to the baseball factory down in North Carolina, or based on the tools he showed in the perfect game videos. He’s committed to go to ODU, and I think he’d benefit from heading to school. If he signs, I can’t see him succeeding in pro ball.

17. Blake Klassen, a Junior 1B/DH guy from UC Santa Barbara

Ranks: BA #423.

Klassen raked this year (.352/.413/.648 with 10 home runs), but has no position other than 1B/DH, and will have to hit his way forward. He’s nearly 22 already, likely signs at this point b/c he probably can’t improve upon what he’s already done, and he’ll be nearly 23 in next year’s draft. Even though he’s a junior this reads almost like a senior sign.

18. Brad Lord, a senior RHP reliever from U of South Florida

Ranks: none

Lord is a redshirt junior (aka a “senior”) and was USF’s Friday starter this year. He doesn’t have great numbers, is basically unranked, and seemed to have trouble going deep into games this year (most of his starts are 4ip-5ip style). He seems like the type that they’re drafting because he has some reliever potential.

19. Johnathan Thomas, a senior OF from Texas Southern

Ranks: none

Thomas’ claim to fame is that he’s the leading base stealer in NCAA in 2022. He’s quite undersized (5’7″) and seems like a classical senior sign at this spot. Here’s an article about him in the local paper. Somewhere in his twitter or elsewhere there’s mention of a commitment to Purdue, perhaps for grad school/5th year, but he got drafted and presumably got offered some money, so odds are he’ll give it a shot. Can he turn into a Nyger Morgan kind of guy? Someone who grinds their way to the majors on speed and defense? We’ll see.

20. JeanPierre Ortiz, a prep SS from IMG Academy in Florida by way of Puerto Rico

Ranks: MLB #212, BA #373

Our #1 pick’s teammate at IMG likely gets drafted as a scout working Green noticed him and liked him. He’s listed as a plus defender, with some questionable bat skills, and has a college commitment to Florida International (not exactly a baseball powerhouse in Florida). He also was on the mound for IMG, enough so that scouting reports list that as a viable plan B. In the end though, he didn’t come state-side and go to IMG to sign for $125k, so odds are he goes to school.


So, I don’t really see any picks in 11-20 who could go significantly over slot other than Young; they’re either likely to take $125k or aren’t signing. I sense the team signs the top 10 picks, #11 Young either gets a ton of cash over slot or goes to OSU and doesn’t sign, we get Peoples out of his college commitment, but don’t sign the other two prep guys in the 11-20 range Cooper or Ortiz. Which would make for 17 (18 if they get Young) of the 20 players signing. Anything above this would be a surprise to me, given that my read on the bonus pools is that they’re all accounted for.


Conclusions

Some will say this is a one-player draft. I’m not sure I’d characterize it completely like that. Bennett seems like someone who’s gonna make it. There’s guys in the top 10 who I like (Lipscomb, Cornelio, Stehly) who could be sneaky good. I like Young at #11. So, we’ll see what happens.

Written by Todd Boss

July 20th, 2022 at 9:37 am

Posted in Draft

2022 Nats Draft Day One

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Nats 1st round pick in 2022 is prep OF Elijah Green. Photo via perfectgame

Draft resources:

1st round: Elijah Green.

After a curveball at the top of the top of the draft (Texas taking Kumar Rocker at #3), the Nats found themselves in a fantastic position: all the main players they were reportedly considering were available to them. Parada, Lee, Green, and Berry (all the guys ever mocked to them) were there.

Who did they take 5th overall? Florida prep Outfielder Elijah Green. Here’s a couple scouting reports (which i’ve cut and pasted in the comments previously):

MLBpipeline: “Green is the son of former NFL Pro Bowl tight end Eric Green, and at 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, he looks like he could have followed in his father’s footsteps had he not desired a future on the diamond. Green really jumped on the map with a strong performance at the Area Code Underclass event back in the summer of 2020, leading some to wish he’d reclassified for the 2021 Draft, but he’s shown off his tremendous raw tools at IMG Academy this spring to put himself in position to be a very high Draft pick in 2022. A right-handed hitter, Green is capable of doing just about everything very well. He can make very loud contact and has proven he can drive the ball to all fields and hit the ball out of the park just about anywhere with at least plus raw power, and he’s done that this spring in front of a lot of decision makers. . The one question that had arisen about his offensive upside had been about the swing-and-miss in his game. He’s struggled in the past against elevated velocity and there are some concerns about his ability to adjust to offspeed and breaking stuff, but had assuaged many of those fears with how he has swung the bat this spring. Green is an elite-level runner who can steal bases and cover a ton of ground in the outfield, where he should be able to man center field, with a plus arm, for a very long time to come. His complete toolset doesn’t come around very often, so it’s likely someone in the top of the first round will call his name even if there are remaining questions about his hit tool.

BaseballAmerica: Green is one of the most dynamic and unique athletes scouts have seen on the baseball field in a long time. The son of 10-year NFL tight end Eric Green, Elijah’s physicality would stand out on a football field and is almost unheard of on the baseball field at his age. At 6-foot-3, 214 pounds, Green has tremendous strength and power currently and would look right at home standing next to the top sluggers in baseball as an 18-year-old. His power/speed combination with his frame gives him the biggest pure upside in the 2022 draft class as a righthanded hitter with the power to drive the ball out of any ballpark, while also turning in 70-grade run times. As one scout remarked, “Guys that big and that strong aren’t supposed to be running 6.5 in the 60.” Green isn’t a raw hitter without a plan at the plate either. He has an impressive track record of performance as an underclassman and accessed his power regularly in games over the summer showcase circuit, with USA Baseball’s 18U National Team—where he homered four times in seven games—and this spring against strong competition with IMG Academy. There is swing and miss in Green’s game. He’ll get caught out in front on breaking balls and he has shown whiff tendencies against velocity as well, but he should make more than enough impact to live with those whiffs. He has more than enough speed for center field now, and will likely begin his career at the position, but will need to refine his routes and reactions to stick there long term. It’s uncommon to see a major league center fielder with Green’s size, but he is an outlier athlete. If he does have to move to a corner he has the tools to be an above-average defender in right, with plus arm strength to profile nicely there. While other hitters in this class might top Green as a pure hitter, you won’t find anyone with his combination of dynamic athleticism, power, speed and pure upside.

If you have a BA subscription, a ton of video here.

Fangraphs: The son of two-time Pro Bowl tight end Eric Green, Elijah became “Draft Famous” during his junior year, homering a couple times in high school tournaments held in big league parks, and looking much toolsier than all but a couple of the prospects who were a year older than him. He was seen a ton as a junior because he played at IMG, where lots of draft prospects from the 2021 class played, and played against. Scouts were blown away by his power and speed, but swing-and-miss issues were a concern. Green struck out in a third of his varsity at-bats in 2021, and swung and missed more than he put balls in play during that year’s summer/fall showcase circuit (several other top high schoolers put two times as many balls in play as they swung at and missed; an extreme example is 2021 draftee James Triantos’ 7:1 ratio) before things improved during his senior year of high school. What’s causing the swing and miss? Green’s swing is simple and direct, and he doesn’t have an elaborate leg kick (he barely has a stride) or a complicated load; he just tends to swing inside fastballs on the outer third and expand the zone a little bit against fastballs up. He is as gifted as any player in this draft, a 70 runner with at least 70 raw power that plays to all fields. His long speed gives him a shot to stay in center field, but his routes to balls can be a bit of an adventure, and he’s not a lock to stay there, especially if he slows down with age. If he even develops a 40-grade hit tool, then he’ll hit 30 annual bombs, and it won’t matter where he plays. There is hit-related bust risk here, but things trended in a favorable direction during Green’s senior season.


I understand there’s people who hate this pick. It is an upside pick, clearly. This pick is about ceiling, not floor. Picking Parada or Lee would have been about floor. This is about picking someone who might be the next Ken Griffey; a guy who’s already 6’3″ with 70 power who also has 70 speed.


2nd round: Jake Bennett, LHP from Oklahoma

Wow, woke up this morning to find out we’d taken a familiar face in Bennett. We drafted this kid in 2019 out of HS … and now we’ve drafted him again. Both HS and College teammates with Cade Cavalli. A post-season stud from Oklahoma who got a lot of eyeballs this post season.

So, for all the arguments about upside with the Green pick, this one is much more of a quicker to the majors pick. A polished college junior pitcher, like a lot of Nats upper round picks lately (see Henry, Cole as our 2nd rounder two years ago).

Here’s some scouting takes:

mlbpipeline: Bennett pitched with current Nationals top prospect Cade Cavalli at Bixby (Okla.) High and followed him to Oklahoma after turning down Washington as a 39th-round pick in 2019. They’re a contrast in styles, with Cavalli a flame-throwing right-hander and Bennett a polished left-hander. While he won’t emulate Cavalli by becoming a first-rounder out of college, Bennett could factor into the top two rounds after pitching the Sooners to the College World Series finals by winning four of his five postseason starts. Bennett is more effective against right-handers than same-side hitters because his 82-85 mph changeup is a legitimate plus pitch that tumbles at the plate, and he uses it almost exclusively against righties. Although his four-seam fastball has touched 98 mph, it usually operates at 91-94 with some arm-side run, and he must locate it up in the zone to be effective. He uses a slider with similar velocity to his changeup against left-handers, and it lacks consistency while flashing solid sweep at times. At 6-foot-6 and 234 pounds, Bennett is built to be a workhorse starter. He has an easy yet somewhat deceptive delivery that he repeats well, allowing him to pound the strike zone throughout his college career. He stands out more for his floor than his ceiling with a good chance of becoming a No. 4 or 5 starter.

BA: Bennett has been a big part of the Sooners’ strong 2022 campaign. The 6-foot-6 234-pound lefty has performed his way up draft boards this spring and has been a model of consistency for head coach Skip Johnson. Bennett is very efficient in his delivery. He has a bit of a longer takeback with some wrap and is on time with his front foot plant, releasing from a low three-quarters slot. With good extension out front, Bennett adds deception to his 91-94 mph fastball that can get up to 95. He likes to work both sides of the plate, and notches plenty of punchouts up in the zone, especially early in outings when his arm is fresh. Along with his fastball, he has a sweeping slider thrown in the 82-85 mph range that presents quite a problem for lefthanded hitters. Bennett has the ability to vary the break depending on the count, making it difficult for lefthanded hitters to lay off of it when it begins on the inner half and rides out of the zone. He will mix it in to righthanded hitters as well, busting them in on the hands when executed properly. He mostly throws his 82-84 mph changeup to righthanded hitters. Bennett is very effective locating the changeup on the outer rail, resulting in a lot of rollover swings and weak groundouts to the left side of the infield. In previous years, Bennett’s command had a tendency to come and go, which would get him in trouble at times with the self-inflicted busy innings. However, this spring has been a different story. He only surrendered 18 walks in his first 90 innings pitched while his strikeout total drastically increased, surpassing the century mark on the year during the Big 12 Tournament. Bennett joins a long line of Oklahoma pitchers that have transitioned from a talented thrower to a more polished pitcher under Johnson’s watch. The organization that drafts Bennett will be getting a mature arm who’s made the proper adjustments during his time in college.

Fangraphs Bennet has a huge, statuesque frame and his delivery is silky smooth despite a longer arm swing, though his arm slot does not impart bat-missing shape on his fastball. Instead Bennett is reliant on arm strength, which he came into more of throughout the 2022 college season, and he was dominant late in the year as Oklahoma competed in Omaha. His changeup and slider are nastier, and Bennett uses them with the frequency you’d expect depending on the handedness of the hitter. His slider plays against lefties in part because his arm slot is tough for them to pick up, while his mid-80s changeup has plus fade. There may be a way to tweak his stride direction, and by extension his arm slot, to help him create more carry on his fastball, which would give Bennett three swing-and-miss weapons instead of two. Otherwise, he looks like a quick-moving backend piece.


Conclusion on Bennett: potential is there to have 3 plus pitches, and most scouts think there’s room to work on him. No injury history, great size and pedigree. This could be the best 2nd round pick we’ve made (outside of the very promising Henry) in a decade.

Written by Todd Boss

July 17th, 2022 at 10:13 pm

Posted in Draft

2022 Draft Coverage. July Mocks/Boards leading up to Draft

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Here’s the Mocks that have appeared in early July, leading up to the draft. The first couple of Mock draft posts seemed to indicate a pretty clear pattern; the entire industry knows that the Nats are “on” Kevin Parada. Lets see if we start to see any evolution in that sense.

the top 6-7 in this draft are Druw Jones and Jackson Holliday (who definitely are not getting to #5), polished college SS Brooks Lee, and prep players Terrmarr Johnson, Elijah Green, and Cam Collier. Any other name slipping into the top 5 would be a major upset at this point.


  • ESPN Insider (Kiley McDaniel) 6/29/22 mock: Jones, Holliday, Parada, Collier, and the Nats take … Jacob Berry?? This means they’d be leaving both Lee and Green on the board, which most every other pundit says is impossible. Berry is a top pick, but mostly goes at the back-half of the top 10, and the Nats would be leaving 2-3 much better players on the board in this scenario.
  • MLBPipeline (Jonathan Mayo) 6/30/22 mock: Jones, Holliday, Green, Cam Collier. Nats take Lee in this best-case scenario. Mayo basically says this is Green’s floor, and if the Nats are put to the test would take Lee over Parada if he’s available. We’ll see.
  • CBSSports (Axisa) 6/30/22 mock: Jones, Holliday, Green, Lee, Parada.
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazzo) 7/1/22 mock: Jones, Holliday, Green, Collier . Nats take Parada in this scenario, over Lee and Johnson, which would really piss me off. Collier is, in case you hadn’t heard, the 17yr old who went the Bryce Harper route, graduated HS at 16, then enrolled in Chipola JuCo and has been hitting wood bat as a HS junior all year. Teams that put a lot of stock in “age” value of players are in love with Collier; is Pittsburgh one of them?
  • ProspectsLIve 7/6/22 Top 600 Draft board: Jones, Green, Holliday, Parada, Lee. 6-10 goes Collier, Johnson, Cross, Brock Porter and Zach Neto.
  • The Athletic staff writer mock draft 7/6/22: Jones, Holliday, Green, Collier. Nats take Parada. Again, i’d rather have Lee here than Parada, and I think the ship has sailed on Johnson as an option for this team.
  • MLBPipeline (Jim Callis) 7/6/22 mock: Jones, Holliday, Lee, Johnson. Nats take Green in this scenario, over Parada. Collier also slides here. Green is described as having the best ceiling in the draft and he’d be an excellent pick.
  • BleacherReport/Joel Reuter mock 7/6/22: Jones, Holliday, Parada, Lee, Nats take Green.
  • ESPN Draft Board (McDaniel) posted 7/8/22: Jones, Johnson, Holliday, Parada, Collier. His 6-10 goes Lee, Green, Dylan Lesko, Jacob Berry, Gavin Cross.
  • Athletic/Keith Law final draft board rank 7/10/22: Jones, Collier, Johnson, Green, Lee. Law really likes Collier b/c he’s quite young and will give significant value to his drafting team. His 6-10 goes Holliday, Parada, Jung, Zach Neto and Cross.
  • Athletic/Keith Law Mock 3.0 7/11/22: Lee, Jones, Holliday, Johnson. Nats take Parada here, given that Lee is gone. But they leave Green on the board.
  • MLB Pipeline 7/12/22 podcast: the team discussed the various what-ifs of the draft and all seemed to agree on a couple of things: if Jones doesn’t go 1-1, he’s going 1-2. They all seem to think Holliday will be gone no matter what the scenario before the Nats pick at #5. Lee could go a couple different ways ahead of us; the odds of him getting to us seem slim. Most likely the MLBpipeline team seems to think in the end the Nats will be picking between Parada and Green.
  • Prospects1500 Draft Board 7/13/22: Jones, Green, Holliday, Lee, Parada. 6-10 goes Jung, Cross, Berry, Johnson, and Daniel Susec.
  • MLBpipeline (Mayo) Penultimate mock 7/14/22: Jones, Holliday, Parada, Johnson. Nats in this scenario with Parada off the board go with Green over Lee. If it comes down like this … the decision becomes floor versus ceiling. Lee has a clear floor, as a polished collegiate SS, but Green’s ceiling is much higher.
  • ESPN Baseball Staff mock draft 7/14/22: Jones, Holliday, Collier, Parada, Nats take Johnson. So, this mock has nothing to do with what the teams are actually doing, and is just three staff writers at ESPN taking who they think is the BPA. Not really of any predictive value.
  • CBSsports Mike Axisa final mock 7/14/22: Johnson, Jones (since he’s available), Holliday, Collier, and the Nats have a great choice between Green, Parada, and Lee in this scenario, and Axisa has them taking Green.
  • BA 7/15/22: Holliday, Jones, Parada, Johnson, and the Nats take Green. This is a weird scenario; if Holliday is almost guaranteed to go #3, how much of a haircut is he taking at 1-1? Is it enough to take him over Jones, who everyone says is a better player? With Parada off the board here, Green is now the obvious choice. The team has never been associated with Collier, nor Lee really.
  • ESPN McDaniel mock 3.0 7/15/22: Jones, Holliday, Parada, Collier, Nats take Berry. McDaniel continues to be the only pundit connecting the Nats to Berry.
  • Keith Law final mock 7/16/22: Holliday, Jones, Green, Collier, Nats take Parada.
  • MLBpipeline Callis final mock 7/17/22: Jones, Holliday, Green, Johnson, Nats take Parada
  • MLBpipeline Mayofinal mock 7/17/22: Jones, Holliday, Parada, Johnson, Nats take Lee. Interesting that he has them taking Lee over Green in this scenario. Both CAllis and Mayo have Berry now going #6.

Conclusion: it still really seems like we’re going either Green or Parada. I think the MLB pipeline guys said it best: The Orioles at 1-1 will either go with Jones or will cut a slight deal with someone towards the back of the top 7 (likely Johnson). Then, Jones will either go 1st or 2nd, and Holliday will go 2nd or 3rd. Most think Pittsburgh will try to cut a deal at the #4 spot if the O’s cut a deal at 1-1 like most believe they will, leaving the Nats to pick from Parada, Lee, and Green. And, given how far away the team seems from being competitive, its ok to go with the prep player versus the college (catcher) bat. Which leans Green.

My final prediction: Johnson, Jones, Holliday, Collier, and the Nats go with Green.


Post publishing: who actually went 1-5? Holliday, Jones, Kumar Rocker in a huge shocker, Johnson … and the Nats go with Green. Nats take Green over Parada, over Berry, over Lee. Interesting all around.

Written by Todd Boss

July 15th, 2022 at 8:52 am

Posted in Draft

2022 Draft Coverage: More Mocks and More Ranking Boards

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Lets catch up on the last month or so of Mocks and draft rankings, to take the pulse of where we are 3 weeks out.

This is the first time i’ve split up the Mock Draft posts, since it makes no sense to include mocks from the winter with mocks that are posted just ahead of the draft, when intel is at its best. Also, i’ve decided to just include “Draft Rankings” along with Mock drafts to show some context here. Draft Ranking boards do not take into account team preferences (which is the value of Mocks), but are valuable since they indicate what scouting shops think is the true value of the prospects.

So here’s what the Mocks are saying the month before the draft.

I’ll bold the player’s names the first time they appear, not afterwards.


  • MLBPipeline (Jim Callis) mock 6/8/22: Jackson Holliday, Druw Jones, Elijah Green, Brooks Lee, and Nats take Kevin Parada. Callis notes that Parada could go a bit earlier, and if so the Nats are going to be handed either Green or Lee. Both would be great picks; Green’s scouting report basically lists him as the highest upside player in the draft, while Lee is a polished college player who only improved his stock after being a 1st round talent 3 years ago out of HS.
  • MLBPipeline (Jonathan Mayo) mock 6/15/22: Lee, Jones, Holliday, Johnson … and in this scenario Nats take Green over Parada. But, this scenario assumes that the Orioles are going to spend the money it’ll take on Lee at 1-1.
  • CBSsports Mike Axisa Mock draft v1.0 6/15/22: Holliday, Jones, Green, Lee, Parada.
  • The Athletic (Keith Law) 6/16/22 Big Board Draft Ranking: Jones, Collier, Johnson, Green, Lee. 6-10 goes Holliday, Parada, Jung, Zach Neto (a SS from Campbell), then Cross.
  • The Athletic (Keith Law) 6/21/22 mock: Jones, Holliday, Green, Cam Collier, and the Nats take Parada. They’d be taking Parada over Lee in this scenario, which I’d struggle to understand (wouldn’t you want a college SS over a college C if you’re “set” for catcher at the MLB level for 6 years?) I know I often preach “you don’t draft for need” in baseball … but Catcher is a little unique. Unless the team is basically saying to themselves “the bat is worth it irrespective of his position.”
  • Baseball America’s 6/21/22 Top 500 Draft Class Rank: Jones, Lee, Holliday, Johnson, Green. After this 6-10 is Parada, Jacob Berry from LSU, Jace Jung from Texas Tech, Gavin Cross from Virginia Tech, and the young Cam Collier from Chipola.
  • BA Staff Mock Draft 6/23/22: Jones, Green, Johnson, Holliday, then they mock Parada over Lee to the Nats. See, if I had this choice i’d absolutely go Lee and I don’t think its close. The selector’s rationale was that Parada has a “good chance” to stick at the position, but doesn’t pay homage to BA’s own draft ranking board (which now has the switch-hitting SS up to #2 overall). If Lee gets to the Nats, he’s got to be the choice.
  • MLBPipeline Draft Board expanded to 250 6/29/22: Jones, Holliday, Green, Johnson, Lee. 6-10 goes Parada, Berry, Collier, Jung, Cross. I’d be ecstatic if this is the way it goes, but something tells me Lee is going earlier.
  • CBSSports Mike Axisa 6/30/22 mock: Jones, Holliday, Green, Lee, Parada. Pretty consistent with other mocks at this point.

Summary of Nats likely pick: Basically every pundit has the Nats taking Prada.

Other interesting draft names of note.

  • BA’s 250 features the fast rise of Oklahoma’s CWS star Cade Horton, now ranked 24th and probably a 1st rounder.
  • Kumar Rocker won’t get back to his originally drafted spot at #10, but he should be a first rounder after solid performances.
  • Two local kids still projected to be mid 1st rounders in Cross and Delaughter.
  • Nick Morabito, a 2B from Gonzaga HS who lives in McLean, is the son of a little league contemporary of mine. If Nick can hit anything like Brian his dad (who was a 4-yr starter at JMU) then he’ll be successful. MLBpipeline and Keith Law both have him inside their top 100, which puts him at maybe a mid-3rd rounder … is that enough to buy him out of a college commitment?
  • Ivan Melendez, the Hispanic titanic from Texas that certain people on this board are gaga over, is ranked #99 on the big board, putting him right in our wheelhouse range for our 3rd rounder (84th overall). The Dick Howser collegiate POTY is usually a pretty good indicator of MLB performance, and past winners include a slew of highly successful MLBers (going backwards, guys like Adley Rutschmann, Brady Singer, Brendan McKay, Andrew Benintendi, Kris Bryant, Mike Zunino, Buster Posey, David Price, and of course two back-to-back guys in Stephen Strasburg & Anthony Rendon. That’s a solid track record. But, Melendez has Drew Mendoza look and feel to him; big guy, 1B limited already, who hits the
  • Nate Savino, 116 on the board. Another example of a kid who bought into eschewing 1st round money for the glory of a college coach and now will get 5th round money.

Written by Todd Boss

June 30th, 2022 at 2:37 pm

Posted in Draft

2022 Draft Coverage: Early Mock Drafts

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Here’s the first collection of this year’s Mock Drafts.  We usually see the first crazy-early mock just after the 2021 draft (from Baseball America), then again after the end of the 2021 season when the draft order is more or less determined, then it really starts to heat up in April/May.

I’ll keep adding to this list as Mocks come in; they’re generated all the way up to the day of the draft by the major pundits.  If i’m missing a ranking here, please let me know. I generally try to capture every mock from a handful of credible scouting websites: Baseball America, MLBpipeline, Keith Law/The Athletic, Kiley McDaniel/ESPN, and Eric Longenhagen/Fangraphs. I also try to include CBSSports/Mike Axisa and D1Baseball folks because they have good insight. I generally do NOT include fan-boy team-blog mock drafts that just arbitrarily pick players without any insight that the professionals do, nor do I put much credence into fantasy site-driven mocks.


Here’s the Mock draft collection.  The Nats pick at #5 this year, so no need to scan down and project deep into the 1st.  This year i’m ordering them Chronologically as rec’d instead of grouping by pundit…. this should let us see kind of an evolution of the top of the draft.  Players are bolded the first time they’re mentioned, not again afterwards.

  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) Way too Early 2022 Mock, 7/14/21, done the day after the 2021 draft. top 5: Elijah Green, Jace Jung, Brooks Lee, Kevin Pareda, Terrmar Johnson. I have to admit … this mock is darn accurate to what the pundits continue to predict 10 months later. Bravo.
  • MLBpipeline (Jonathan Mayo): Top 20 projected 2022 Mock 7/22/21: Green, Dylan Lesko, Jacob Berry, Jackson Ferris, Johnson.
  • MLBpipeline (Jim Callis) top 10 Mock Draft 2022 published 12/16/21: Johnson, Druw Jones, Berry, Lee. Nats take Green. First mention of Druw Jones, who only continued to rise from here on out.
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) v1.0 Mock Draft 2/11/22: Jones, Johnson, Green, Lee, Nats take Berry.
  • Baseball America (Collazo) 2.0 Mock draft 4/1/22: Jones, Lee, Lesko, Johnson, Nats take Green.
  • Baseball America (Collazo and an anonymous industry insider) Mock Draft 3.0. 4/28/22: Lee, DJones, Green, Lesko. Nats get Jung.
  • MLBpipeline top 10 Mock draft 5/11/22: Jones, Green, Jackson Holliday, Lee, Nats take Parada.
  • The Athletic (Keith Law) first mock draft 5/18/22: Berry, Jones, Holliday, Lee. Nats take Parada. His thinking; O’s take Berry at 1-1 to save a ton of money (he’s not really projected this high at this point), then use that on a prep kid in the supplemental and 2nd rounds to overpay. Nats reportedly “on Parada” heavily, despite his being a catcher and despite having just acquired what looks to be their starting Catcher for the next 6 years last off-season in Kiebert Ruiz. Repeat after me: you don’t draft in baseball based on what’s on your current MLB roster; you take the best player available, always. Parada might very well be the collegiate player of the year this year, and if he works his way up the minors in 2 years and suddenly you have two starting catchers … you deal with that problem then.
  • MLBPipeline (Callis) Mock Draft May 2022: Holliday, Jones, Parada, Lee. Nats take Elijah Green.
  • Baseball America Mock 4.0 6/2/22: Holliday, Jones, Green, Lee, Nats take Parada. BA notes that the Nats are heavily focused on Parada right now, and take him over Terrmarr Johnson in this scenario.

So, we’re starting to see a pretty clear consensus from the regular mockers.

  1. O’s seem to be going the under-slot deal to save enough money to overpay a prep kid who’s fallen early in round 2 or in the supplemental draft. The O’s pick 1st, 33rd, and 42nd this year, meaning they’ll get basically three “first round” talents out of this draft if they spend wisely.
  2. Arizona/Texas/Pittsburgh then have their choice of the top talents, and those seem to be three of Drew Jones, Jackson Holliday, Brooks Lee, and Elijah Greene.
  3. It seems like most think its going to be Jones, Holliday and Lee, leaving us to choose between Parada and Green.
  4. I’d be ecstatic if Brooks Lee fell to us; he was a mid-1st rounder out of HS, and has only improved since.
  5. Green by most accounts has the “highest upside” in the draft, but is of course 3-4 years away.
  6. Parada at #5, if Lee is gone, seems like the safer/faster pick.
  7. Termarr Johnson is also on the board in most of these mocks, and was projected higher earlier in the season, but he’s a little more risky as a prep SS.
  8. Anyone else would be a reach that the team shouldn’t do.

Written by Todd Boss

June 9th, 2022 at 3:17 pm

Nats 2021 top 10 picks with ranks and thoughts

73 comments

Yes I know, this is the same picture i used yesterday. Might as well; it seems like the team has blown most of its draft pool on him.

Note: I have updated the Draft Tracker for the 2021 draft, both the master board and the 2021 draft notes boards).

I have more details about signing bonus calculus and player notes/twitter accounts on the 2021 worksheet, in case you’re wondering why I separate them.

By now, you’ve probably heard about our picks and read a ton of responses in the commentary. Nonetheless, here’s some thought and insight into our 2021 picks.

Using various pundit draft board rankings (listed at the bottom for reference), here’s how our picks were thought of before the draft.  Along with some commentary from me.

  • 1st Round/#11 overall: Brady House, SS/3B Winder Barrow HS (GA).   Law=11.  MLBPipeline=8.  BA=7.  Fangraphs=9.  ESPN=5. Prospects1500: 6

Thoughts: Discussed in a separate post here. Short version: great pick, great value for a guy who many pundits thought would go top 3-5. Based on where the pundits generally had House ranked, the Nats definitely seemed to get solid value even at the #11 spot in the draft.

  • 2nd round/#47 overall: Daylen Lile, OF Trinity HS (KY). Louisville commit. Law > 100.  MLBPipeline=80.  BA=62.  Fangraphs ~80.  ESPN=47. Prospects1500: 70.

Thoughts: MLB’s scouting reports describe him as a gap hitter, but his size (6’0″) makes you wonder if he can develop power. Despite his understated stature, he’s apparently limited to LF because of a lack of arm strength? A curious pick, especially since he was projected more like a 3rd rounder. Is this a value pick to save on bonus money? I can’t imagine so; a HS player in the 2nd round isn’t taking a discount. Also, not for nothing … another prep player. Is Mike Rizzo gearing up for a possible rebuild by going young in the draft? A completely typical Nats pick (Brendan Beck, rhp from Stanford) went just a few picks later, a famous guy who you would have thought was a shoe-in for the Nats. Based on the scouting ratings, it seems across the board that the Nats overpaid for this pick. I thought one scouting report in BA was especially prescient: “Lile’s profile has been one that teams prefer to send to college where he will have a chance to prove his hitting ability.”

  • 3rd Round/#82 overall: Branden Boissiere, an OF/1B from University of Arizona. Law > 100.  MLBPipeline=159.  BA=143.  Fangraphs >100 .  ESPN > 100. Prospects1500: 181

Thoughts: Seems like a slot-saver once again. Boissiere is 1B limited (listed as an OF but that was limited LF exposure early in his career). He can definitely hit though: slash line on the year: .369/.451/.506 but only 5 homers. Sweet swing, not a ton of power, Mark Grace comp. Another odd pick though in the grand scheme of things.

  • 4th round/#112 overall: Dustin Saenz, a LHP from Texas A&M. MLBPipeline=189.  BA=143.  Prospects1500: 136.

Thoughts: The scouting reports list him as TAMU’s swing man for most of his career but was a weekend starter this year. He had decent numbers on the season; in 14 starts a 4.27 ERA, 1.26 whip, 104/23 in 84ip. I like those K/IP numbers a lot, especially since he’s pitching in the SEC. He had a couple of rough outings this season against top SEC teams (Florida, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Arkansas all got to him), but he finished his SEC slate by pitching 8 innings of 2-hit ball against LSU. Scouting reports have him sitting low 90s and being undersized (5’11”). Seems like a bit of a slot saver yet again, but likely a decent lefty matchup reliever arm at the next level with deception. I’m beginning to wonder if the Nats promised Brady House … well, the house.

  • 5th Round/#143 overall: TJ White, a prep OF from Dorman HS (SC). MLBPipeline= n/r.  BA=360.  Prospects1500: 346

Thoughts: Is Mike Rizzo sick today? he’s taken three high school players in his first 5 rounds after taking just a handful of prep players in the top 10 rounds in the last decade. White is somewhat unknown, but is listed as having 70 power at BA, a switch hitter, and is an Indiana recruit. Corner OF limited apparently, making him the third positionally challenged player the team has taken. Is he underslot? Maybe; if he’s ranked in the mid 300s at best, that’s a 10th round player projection. If they offered him anywhere close to slot he may take it.

  • 6th round/#173 overall: Michael Kirian, LHP from Louisville. BA=274.  Prospects1500: 262

Thoughts: Rizzo’s second college arm … and likely his second lefty reliever. He was a reliever for most of his Louisville career, transitioned to the rotation this year and struggled. His 2021 stat line: 4.80 ERA, 1.41 whip, 75/28 K/BB in 69 IP. He seemed to be doing fine in the rotation, but then had 4 straight starts against UVA, Clemson, Duke and UNC where he got shelled each week, then got dumped from the rotation for the rest of the season. He’s huge though: 6’6″ and the scouting reports say he creates deception and odd angles. Great; a loogy. More and more i’m thinking these are all underslot guys to pay House.

  • 7th Round/#203 overall: Jacob Young, OF/2B from UFlorida. BA=354, Prospects1500: 200

Thoughts: A more slight guy (6’0″ and just 175) who played LF this year (to make way for the more “famous” Jud Fabian, but who is clearly a CF and also can play 2B. Listed as a speed guy with a solid hit tool, he started all 60 games for Florida this year and slashed .315/.385/.461 with 5 homers and 13/14 SBs. Not too bad; I mean, at least he had 5 homers. Per BA, he led the Gators in hits (80), doubles (16), runs (56) and stolen bases (13) this spring. Not a bad pick in the 7th round.

  • 8th round/#233 overall: Will Frizzell, 1B from Texas. BA=418, Prospects1500=211.

Thoughts: Well, Frizzell absolutely destroyed at the plate this year; his slash line was .343/.451/.686 with 19 homers in 56 games. Lefty hitting 1B who BA says is a poor defender and may have to DH in pro ball. Well, lets let him hit his way up before we worry about where he’s playing. Despite his power, he’s listed as a plus hitter as well, so maybe the team has someone to push Drew Mendoza now. An excellent senior sign in the 8th round.

  • 9th round/#264 overall: Cole Quintanilla, RHP from Texas. BA=300.

Thoughts: College reliever for Texas, led their staff in ERA on the year with an excellent 1.35 era/0.83 whip. 42/11 K/BB in 40 innings (26 appearances). So he projects as a middle reliever. BA notes “Quintanilla is the typical fastball-slider reliever with a 91-95 mph average fastball and a plus low-80s slider.” TJ surgery in 2018 (wouldn’t be a Nats draft if we didn’t draft someone who had TJ), but no issues reported. Decent senior pick at this juncture, can’t complain especially since he likely signs for a fraction of slot.

  • 10th round/#274 overall: Darren Baker 2B from Cal Berkely. BA=187, Prospect1500=326

Thoughts: well, we drafted him in 2017, likely as a favor to Dusty Baker (who we summarily fired), and now we got him again in 2021. In the interim, he’s moved from SS to 2B. Lets see if its “third time’s a charm” about drafting a second baseman from UC Berkeley; we tried it in 2009 (2nd rounder Jeff Kobernus) and in 2012 (2nd rounder Tony Renda). Baker has almost no power (just 1 homer in 4 years in college) but has a ton of speed (top 10 in the nation in SBs) and is a plus defender at 2B. BA thinks he could play OF, but his arm is limited. Solid hitter (slashed .327/.402/.354). I suppose a 10th round senior sign who fills a spot of need (have you guys seen the 2B depth chart in the minors right now? Its MLFAs, NDFAs and 20th rounders).


top 10 picks Draft summary:

  • 7 hitters, 3 Arms (wow)
  • 3 prep, 7 college (wow)
  • Of the 3 arms, all three likely projecting as relievers
  • Of the 7 bats, two likely 1B, one CF, one 2B, two likely corner OF and House, who likely moves to 3B.

Conjecture on over/under slot needs in top 10 rounds

  • Players who are likely commanding over-slot: House
  • Players who are likely signing for slot: Lile, White, Young
  • Players who are likely under slot: Boissiere, Saenz, Kirian, Frizzell, Quintanilla, Baker.

Draft Board Rankings

Written by Todd Boss

July 13th, 2021 at 12:46 pm