Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

First Look: Quick overview of Nats top 10 Draft picks for 2017

45 comments

Will Crowe was our 2nd rounder. PHoto via SportsTalk

Will Crowe was our 2nd rounder. PHoto via SportsTalk

Here’s a first look at our top 10 draft picks, or where we stand after day 2.

At the top of round 1, a last minute switch led to a surprise first name being selected: Royce Lewis went 1-1 instead of one of the two big college arms being rumored there all week; twitter reportedly had Brendan McKay rejecting an underslot deal at 1-1 and thus falling to 4th … where he’ll still get paid.  Nonetheless, the top 5 ended up being the same top-5 on nearly every mock draft … just in a different order.

How about the Nats picks?  Lets just say there was some back and forth among the pundits about these top 10 picks.

RoundOverallNamePositionCol/HSCollege or CmtmStateSlot Value
125Seth RomeroLHPCol JrHoustonTX2530400
265Wil CroweRHPCol SRSouth CarolinaSC946500
3103Nick RaquetLHPCol JrWilliam & MaryVA522300
4133Cole Freeman2BCol SRLSULA390000
5163Brigham HillRHPCol JrTAMUTX291200
6193Kyle JohnstonRHPColl JrTexasTX226100
7223Jackson TetreaultRHPJ2State Col Florida ManateeFL178100
8253Jared BrashnerRHPCol SrSamford Fl149600
9283Alex TroopLHPCol Jr.Michigan StateMI138000
10313Trey TurnerRHPCol Jr.Missouri StateMO131300

Pick by Pick: if they’re ranked on the main prospect ranking sites I like (see links at bottom):

  • 1st Round/#25 overall: Seth Romero, LHP UHouston. (Espn #59, MLBPipeline #25, BA #27, Minorleague #29, BDR #49, 2080 #30).  Well, the worrisome situation came to pass; the Nats couldn’t help themselves and drafted perhaps the draft’s biggest knucklehead.  His list of transgressions at Houston were large and dumb; fights with teammates, weight/conditioning issues, drug issues.  Prior to the spring, he was easily a top-10 talent, with early projections having him going as high as 6th overall.  He’s a power-lefty; works 92-95, touches 97 and per MLB already has two 60-grade pitches.  He kind of reminds you body-wise of Chad Cordero, with mechanics kind of like Drew Storen.  He’s got a very quick arm, is a big-body kid who might still need some conditioning work, but whose mechanics may give him some issues later on.  I don’t like the pick for the character issues; the Nats left one big college arm who I would have preferred in Alex Lange, but the guy I really liked here (Tanner Houck) went the pick before, so perhaps that sewed up the Nats choices.
  • 2nd/#65: Wil Crowe, RHP from South Carolina.  (Espn #43, MLBpipeline #44, BA #47, MinorLeague #30, BDR #185, 2080 #51):   A guy who I saw in some mock drafts going to the Nats at #25 overall falls somehow to #65 overall, despite nearly every ranking system having him 20 picks higher.  Crowe is a TJ survivor (aren’t they all these days?), with a 65 fastball and a couple of 55s on his other tools who was solid if unspectacular for USC this year.  Big guy, big arm, physical comparison to Joe Blanton.  I like this as a safe pick.
  • 3rd/#103: Nick Raquet, LHP from William & Mary.  BA #145, BDR #348.  A lefty weekend starter from a bad baseball school in a small baseball conference.  Raquet had good K/9 numbers, but also horrible BB/9 numbers, had an ERA in the 4s and was a non-entity on the rankings.  Where is this pick coming from?  He wasn’t anywhere even listed on the Virginia-only prospects lists on the various sites.  A cost-savings pick?  There’s still significant talent on the board, not the least of which is Tristan Beck from Stanford; is his injury worse than people thought?
  • 4th/#133: Cole Freeman, 2B senior from LSU.  BDR #429.  BA #166.  A senior sign, twitter reports that he’s 5’9″, has a short compact swing, can hit, has blazing speed, is high-energy and is plus-plus make-up.  Sounds great; this is a fourth round pick?  Sounds like an 8th rounder.  Still not sure what the Nats are doing.
  • 5th/#163: Brigham Hill, Jr RHP from TAMU.  BA #346.  MLB #159.  BDR #171.  Texas A&M’s #1/friday starter, went 8-3 with a 3.16 era in the tough SEC.  Smaller guy, throws low 90s.  50s on most of his pitches, plus change up.  I like a guy like this; he reminds me of Austin Voth in terms of draft pedigree and collegiate accomplishment.
  • 6th/#193: Kyle Johnston JR RHP from Texas.  BA #250, MLB #136, BDR #492.  Weekend starter who bounced around roles for Texas this year but had some very solid outings against good Big12 competition.  Not a ton of K/9, but two grade 60 pitches (fastball and cutter).  Profiles as a reliever, both by pitch capability and by stature (6’0″ right hander).  Not a bad pick here.
  • 7th/#223: Jackson Tetreault, J2 RHP from State College of Florida Manatee – Sarasota.  BA #286.  I’m not a BA subscriber so I can’t read the scouting report, but his peripherals at his Juco (where a few others are getting drafted) are solid.  Worked as a starter, big K/9 numbers.
  • 8th/#253: Jared Brashner.  Coll Sr RHP from Samford.  BA #430.  We’re clearly in the senior sign territory; Brashner’s a reliever from Samford with nearly a walk an inning to go along with 46 Ks in 30 relief innings.
  • 9th/#283: Alex Troop, Coll Jr LHP from Michigan State.  BA #179 BDR #184.  Solid lefty with good numbers this year.  Not a bad 9th round pick, one who still rates on BA’s list.
  • 10th/#313: Trey Turner, Coll Jr LHP from Missouri State.  Unranked anywhere, limited time this year ; just 13 IP but 22 Ks in those 13 innings and a stellar BAA.  Didn’t pitch after March because … he tore his UCL.  So there’s your annual Nat draftee with TJ surgery.

First 10 rounds worth of picks breakdown:

  • 9 arms, 1 position player.
  • 10 college (1 juco), zero prep.
  • A few picks that seem like clear money savers: Raquet, Brashner, perhaps also Freeman.
  • Heavy influence in the South East: 6 of the 10 picks come from Texas, Louisiana or Florida).

Conclusion: We’ve talked about the risk of Romero.  I liked the Crowe pick.  I question the Raquet and Freeman picks.  I liked the two SEC starter picks in rounds 5 and 6, and I liked the 9th and 10th rounders too as good risks.  Clearly this draft is about arms for the Nats after picking mostly positional players in 2016.  No screwing around with prep players; they drafted a bunch of college guys to try to get them to the majors more quickly, likely to fill voids coming up in the next couple of years.

What do you guys think of it?


Draft Links of Use

  1. Mlbpipeline’s Draft Tracker for 2017
  2. All 10 rounds of slot bonus figures for 2017
  3. BA’s draft database, including link to get BPA
  4. Perfect Game to get profiles on more obscure draftees.

Draft Rankings referred to within here:

45 Responses to 'First Look: Quick overview of Nats top 10 Draft picks for 2017'

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  1. Texas isn’t in the SEC, although it probably wishes it was!

    KW

    14 Jun 17 at 10:16 am

  2. I’ve overly expressed my feelings about Romero. Huge risk, huge upside if it works; huge waste of money and a pick if it doesn’t. Lange, Little, and Pearson were all still on the board, two of whom went to the Cubs. The Braves (Wright) and Mets (Peterson) also got top-shelf starters in the draft.

    On the flip side, Crowe may be one of the steals of the draft at #65 . . . if he pans out. The age clock will be ticking fast for him, and the Nats may not want to push him this summer coming off the TJ.

    The Racquet pick in the 3d round only makes sense if A) he’ll sign for $50K, and B) the Nats had intel that some other team was going to take him. Otherwise, he’s a classic pick for rounds 11-40.

    Freeman joins the ranks of Lombo, Renda, and Schrock of scrappy, undersized 2Bs who will be fan favorites and probably advance pretty quickly through the lower minors. Beyond that, well, Lombo and Renda both made the majors, barely, and both are probably better than Difo seems to be proving to be. The Nats have really stocked up on middle infielders, though: Kieboom, Neuse, Antuna, and Garcia, and even Noll has hit pretty well at Hags.

    I agree that Hill and maybe Johnston can be undersized guys in the Voth and Jaron Long tradition who are refined enough to advance well through the minors, at least to a point. The guys who intrigue me more are the bigger guys, Troop and Tetreault. Troop was the Friday starter for a Big 10 team, whatever that’s worth.

    I have no idea why Tristan Beck didn’t get picked. Everyone thought he would be, and most thought he had a pre-draft deal in place. I would definitely spend a pick on him today, with no slot money in the balance, just to see. To me, it’d be a bigger deal to try to buy him out than it would be any HS kid still available.

    KW

    14 Jun 17 at 10:31 am

  3. Watch the early rounds today to see whom the Nats take. Upshaw and Schrock were day 3 players in early rounds and way overslot signings.

    Picks 1-10 are thought to be where the overslot money comes from. but if someone drops down who is thought to be that quality, it’s worth the overslot signing. Troop in particular has that look to me.

    For many weeks on these pages I have been projecting exactly this kind of draft. So while I never expected Romero (but understand their calculus), everything else was expected — and necessary — and predictable.

    The Nats draft last year was the best in recent memory. So many players are contributing from that draft. There is a lot of position player talent at the low minors levels that will get pushed by graduations from short season camp. Expect promotions from Hagerstown, releases at Potomac, and releases at Harrisburg with Robles and Gutierrez moving upstream.

    There are several players, like Upshaw, Beckwith, Simonetti, and Harris and Baez who ought to matriculate to Auburn and affect the draft needs. Those of us who live in the NY Penn will get to see Nats draftees, but the sheer volume of players here means early placement of pitchers drafted already in Hagerstown, as Mills and Watson move up after the All Star game. Who will it be?

    All of what is being discussed in the thread is totally speculative and unqualified until they get on the field. And I, for one am delighted that the Nats followed a strategy I hoped for, and am hopeful BECAUSE the 2016 draft boasts a quantum leap forward for organization assets. Think about it: eleven of fourteen position players signed are seeing starting or significant playing time. And the lowest of these signees, 26th round Jack Sundberg, is playing well at Potomac.

    Another caution: Don’t get hung up on pitching performance this year. The real leaps are seen after the draftees get to the instructional leagues at the end of the year and then make adjustments (or don’t). Bogucki looked like a complete bust last year at Auburn as an 8th rounder. He’s now a level up and noticeably more polished. Sterling Sharp was a 22nd round pick in the vaunted 2016 draft from a small college. He definitely jumped ahead in the instructionals and, other than two bad outings, is looking like one of the best lower minors starting pitching prospects in the system right now.

    With all of these ingredients, I can’t identify with the pessimism. I am watching this draft only to see what types of players the Nats are profiling. Obviously the Freeman pick was meant to bring in another leadoff hitter; there must be a lot of interest in the Nats inventory down below, so perhaps they are collecting that as an asset just as Billy Burns once was. Hey, we got Jerry Blevins for him.

    Today I hope the Nats draft a lot more pitching, some outfielders with power potential, stay in the college ranks unless they find a gem that others thought was unsignable that they can save coin for.

    forensicane

    14 Jun 17 at 11:18 am

  4. I meant Beckwith to Hagerstown, sorry.

    forensicane

    14 Jun 17 at 11:19 am

  5. Fore, I agree that the Nats’ draft in 2016 looked like the best in recent memory. (However, since it didn’t have a true “star,” and only the stars seem to be making it for the Nats, time will tell.) What bugs me is that the Nats seem to have gotten away from the script that made 2017 successful.

    First of all, there was diversity between arms and bats last year, at least early (heavy on arms in the later rounds), yet they still ended up with a number of good-quality arms (although you have to wonder what they think of them since they’ve backed up the truck for more arms this year). Several of their early arms (Dunning, Bogucki, Howard) were actually power relievers from top programs who they envisioned as starters. They’ve done nothing like that so far this year. The guys from small programs, like Morse and Sharp, came much, much later. Williamson, their TJ signing beyond the top, looked like a much higher-ceiling guy than some of the ones they’ve taken thus far in 2017. They took a chance on a falling star last year (Banks) but passed on Beck and Skoug this year.

    I guess Tetreault would be the comp to Upshaw as JUCOs they’ve had to buy out. In this case, I like Tetreault’s potential more than Upshaw’s, though. They had already drafted a similar player with more power in Daniel Johnson, and similar players at the top in 2015 in Stevenson and Perkins. (And yet they took another leadoff type in Freeman this year.)

    Last year’s first 10 rounds produced four or five guys who may have big-league potential. Thus far in 2017, I see only Romero and Crowe.

    We’ll see. I’ll be rooting for all the draftees, of course . . . at least once I get my heart into supporting Romero.

    KW

    14 Jun 17 at 12:23 pm

  6. Point well taken, though, on getting something in trade for Billy Burns . . . not to mention for Schrock, Renda, and Lombo as well. But it does matter what level of pick the Nats spent on them. Burns and Lombo were late, Schrock was 14th round (but with big bonus) . . . and Renda was flippin’ 2d round. Was Freeman too high in the 4th? We’ll see. I think I wouldn’t have minded him in the 4th as much if they’d put the 3d-rounder to better use. But again, if Racquet signs for $50K and they put the money to good use elsewhere, all may turn out well in the end.

    I’m sure I’ll have no idea about the guys picked today. It will be interesting to see how some of them profile.

    KW

    14 Jun 17 at 12:30 pm

  7. KW, one year removed from 2016, it’s a bit difficult to assess the ceiling of the draftees to pronounce that no one will be a star (whatever that means).

    I think it is fair to consider, however, that no one at this point would be surprised if Kieboom, Neuse, Daniel Johnson could start one day for the Nationals. Considering we have a championship caliber team, that is all one needs to know for now.

    Here is another point for perspective.

    Q: At the time he was drafted in 2015, who had started in 13 games and posted a record of 3 wins, 2 losses, 4.91 ERA, 58.2 IP and 59 hits, 28 walks and 66 strikeouts? For a small school?

    A: Koda f’ing Glover

    So for all of the people who cannot get past the joy of a first place team who get all wrapped up in pissing on the Lerners or Rizzo, or at least dumping on the scouting department and those of us who see the sunny side, is it your position that a stragetgy in which the nats try to identify the next Koda Glover is a bad one?

    There is more to player eval than numbers. That is why the team is drafting 1) Friday night starters 2) Players who have stepped up their game against big time opposition 3) Players who have skills but little access to great coaching 4) Coachable and high aptitude (great changeup), high attitude (“bulldog”) guys.

    forensicane

    14 Jun 17 at 12:46 pm

  8. I don’t see Tetrault as the Upshaw equivalent. Upshaw is a raw toolshed, a couple of steps behind Daniel Johnson. Tetrault is a simple kid who has overcome tremendous personal adversity and just needs a break in life with a paternal organization. The nats goodwill, yes, goodwill in the game is recognized not by the fishwrap Wapo but by agents and the players. Tetrault is the kind of player looking for a home to develop. He is not Andrew Suarez playing for his big payday (which did not, incidentally, come).

    The Trey Turner story tells a lot, too. They drafted him as a guy who wants to rehab, but in particular a guy who wants to rehab with the Nationals. Not everyone is Austin Byner. And we see how that turned out.

    forensicane

    14 Jun 17 at 12:53 pm

  9. KW, my comments above are not directed at you, but at those who make them. I never get the Lerner hatred but realize it is stoked by the Washington Post and its clickbait sportswriters like Chief tool Boswell and Associate Tool Svrluga. I see their garbage repeated or reworded in this blog by people I respect and always just ask myself whether we’d really be this good a team with Bud Black and his drama? Or whether “no one wants to play for the nats?”

    The capacity of the press to mislead the public is ironically demonstrated in the educated and smart, not the foolish.

    forensicane

    14 Jun 17 at 12:59 pm

  10. Umm, Oklahoma State is not a “small school” and has a storied baseball tradition in a major conference. In his one year there, Glover had a 1.90 ERA and a K/9 of nearly 11. I loved that pick. I mentioned yesterday how they specifically targeted closers in 2015.

    I’ve written many times about how hard it has become to make the big leagues with the Nats because the team is a juggernaut, on its way to its sixth straight winning season, probably passing the Cards for the most wins in MLB during that time. The Nats have a stud at nearly every position (at least when they’re healthy). A bunch of draftees who could have played for the Nats in 2008-10 can’t even make it past AA now. So yeah, the Nats pretty much have to get “stars.” But that’s a good problem to have. That also at times seems to lead them to take some boom-or-bust guys, including Romero this year and Luzardo last year. And that’s why I would prefer some higher-ceiling guys like the 6-5 pitchers, even if they don’t pan out.

    We’ll see. I’m not hatin’ on anybody. I’m just saying that the bar is high, and the quality of guys they’re getting this year aren’t impressing me as much. Your mileage may vary.

    KW

    14 Jun 17 at 1:08 pm

  11. OK, I missed the draft restart. LOVE this pick: Bryce Montes de Oca, a 6-7 monster RHP out of Missouri. I was reading about him yesterday as he was one of the top remaining college guys on MLB’s “best players still available.” They had him at #89 overall, and the Nats got him at #463.

    KW

    14 Jun 17 at 1:17 pm

  12. Eric Senior was a JUCO stud, with 17 HRs this year, 15 doubles, and a slash of .398/.438/.752. How he got from Toronto to Midland, Texas, I don’t know.

    KW

    14 Jun 17 at 1:27 pm

  13. Maybe Montes and Senior will be in line to be offered a bonuses from savings in the first 10 rounds? Justin Connell, the HS kid drafted 11th, only batted .218 his senior year and doesn’t look like anything special.

    Karl Kolchak

    14 Jun 17 at 1:38 pm

  14. KW, as I noted above, the hater comments were not directed at you. The handwringing comments are.

    And no one, none of us, yourself and myself included, knew anything about Koda Glover when he was drafted. He was a converted starting pitcher with 5 saves at OK State after transferring from East Oklahoma State, a tiny school. Even the nats did not foresee his meteoric rise — or they would not have drafted him in rd 8. They paid him 34K over slot – as well they would, his being a junior.

    Rankings are overrated and sell BA Subscriptions. While Yoan Moncada continues to be well regarded, give me Victor Robles. And just as BA was breathlessly touting Hector Olivera to the tune of a bazillion dollar contract, he’s now out of baseball as quickly as we learned about him.

    It’s all about a strategy that a team has, the wisdom of their scouts, and whether the players sign and whether their ceilings can be coached up.

    forensicane

    14 Jun 17 at 1:39 pm

  15. More than meets the eye with Connell and the #12 pck, too. That’s how you get Rd. 11 with Montes on the board.

    forensicane

    14 Jun 17 at 1:41 pm

  16. f — as one who your comments MAY be directed at, but who never reads the virtually worthless Washington Post, I have two responses:

    1). Koda Glover: career ERA- 5.08, career WAR -0.3. He might yet turn into something special, but it is WAY too early to pat the Nats on the back for that pick.

    2). As a ST holder since 2005 who was there for the Game 5 meltdown in 2012 and Game 2 meltdown in 2014, I will indeed reserve the right to bash both the Lerners and Rizzo, especially if their cheapness and mismanagement of the bullpen causes the Nats to squander yet another golden opportunity this year.

    Karl Kolchak

    14 Jun 17 at 1:52 pm

  17. Until Moncada starts striking less than MAT, he remains a very expensive “what if.” So does MAT, for that matter. “Tools” can only get you so far.

    KW

    14 Jun 17 at 2:02 pm

  18. Glover was just drafted two years ago and made the majors in a year. I would take that from any 1st-rounder, much less an 8th-rounder. It was a GREAT pick, regardless of whether he ultimately becomes a great player.

    Part of the issue here is what makes a good pick. We got into that here in the offseason when Todd was doing his year-by-year reviews of how Nat draft picks have progressed. You certainly have expectations that guys from the top two or three rounds should make the majors, and perhaps three or four from the top 10 picks. But that rarely seems to be the case, with any team. The failure rate is astronomical. So I guess you just draft for guys you think can progress, who might be able to make AA. Cole Freeman can make AA. Can he make the remaining big leap from there? I dunno. No one does.

    Wouldn’t it be great to have a job where you only have to be right on two or three picks out of 40?!

    KW

    14 Jun 17 at 2:11 pm

  19. My comments are directed at you and I respect your response, even as I think it unfair. Until the team wins it all, we’ll always have reason to be furious.

    We can debate it in another thread and will, but my hangup on the playoff debacles with LOB, and a plodding offense that does not force the issue. That hopefully will remedy in the age of Trea. As for the bullpen, it’s not cheapness that hurt the team — they sunk big bad dollars into Soriano, gambling on Papelbon and were willing to pay Melancon and Janssen.

    Rizzo has erred with some pitchers. I’m with you there. Rich Hill would have been nice to have around the house. In hindsight, we were better off with Clippard or bringing him back.

    But he could not be blamed for Storen choking, Barrett crapping the bed, or Gio’s inability to hold a lead. Matt Williams ran Cedeno out of town, but he’s no closer. And Felipe Rivero is not the answer to our problems.

    Nor can Rizzo be blamed for Solis and Glover’s inability to stay on the field. Or Treinen’s collapse.

    So I get your ire, but this is a draft thread. And I cannot experience this as anything but a hopeful and optimistic day greeting the next wave of talent.

    forensicane

    14 Jun 17 at 2:16 pm

  20. It should therefore give us comfort that the same folks who crosschecked Glover likely cross checked Romero as well.

    forensicane

    14 Jun 17 at 2:20 pm

  21. OK, we just drafted a 6-6 RHP who weighs 215 to go with the 6-7 who weighs 50 pounds more. Who knows whether these guys can actually play, but it would be fun to see them on a team together.

    The profile on Montes de Oca (the Killer Whale) says TJ in HS, a nerve issue in his shoulder as a soph, but touching 100 this spring. Mizzou had him as a starter, but he profiles more as a reliever. He’d be a scary dude on the mound.

    KW

    14 Jun 17 at 2:40 pm

  22. Not sure why all the hate for the 3rd Round selection.

    Nick Raquet was ranked #6 in Virginia, the 19th best Lefthander in the Draft & #145 Overall player by Baseball America.

    He transferred from North Carolina to William & Mary to play with his younger brother, freshman outfielder Brandon Raquet and to have a more prominent role as the #1 weekend starter.

    Raquet, has much better stuff than his spring stats would suggest. He tops his arsenal with a low 92-94 fastball that peaks at 96 miles per hour, and he consistently maintains that velocity deep into his starts. He also has an above-average change-up and a good breaking ball, which helped him to strike out 95 batters in 77.1 innings.

    His command is the question mark. And will ultimately determine how far and fast he can move at the next level. He will nee to better maintain his mechanics going forward.

    But given the combo of makeup, bulldog mentality and stuff, his upside makes him a worthwhile long-term gamble. And many scouts think that his tools could play up even more in a backend bullpen role.

    CD

    14 Jun 17 at 2:50 pm

  23. A write-up on Jamouri Blash (brother of Jabari) from the spring of 2016:

    Athletic monster 1B. You think Tyler Williams looks big and athletic in a uni wait until you see Blash. 6’4″ and 235 pounds, looks like a DI TE. Brother Jabari plays for the Padres in the Bigs. Kid looks raw as can be but the numbers he posted as a freshman are very impressive: 3rd in AZ JUCOs in homers, .324 average. Down side is he K’d in a whopping 35% of his ABs. I’d get on him now despite the flaws in his game. He irons them out next spring and he will be an elite JUCO prospect.

    KW

    14 Jun 17 at 3:00 pm

  24. KW – this is as far from scientific as I can get, but when considering pitcher height, my brain works on something of a bell curve, with 6’3/6’4 as the ideal height, and every moment away has an equal reduction in value. And 6’1-6’7 are the outer edges of the range. Not to say I wouldn’t consider someone outside those ranges necessarily but they would need something to make you believe they’d be the exception to the rule.

    For smaller guys, it’s about plane and deception. Stroman, sonny gray show a short pitcher can be successful but I don’t think it’s the rule. For tall guys, I think they struggle to repeat their mechanics, which shows up in command and control.

    Wally

    14 Jun 17 at 3:07 pm

  25. Can’t find why Tim Richards missed all this season at Cal State-Fullerton. He’s still listed on the roster, so I assume he was injured. He showed some good pop for a SS as a junior at a quality program.

    KW

    14 Jun 17 at 3:13 pm

  26. Wally, yeah, there don’t seem to be too many pitchers in the majors beyond 6-5 . . . but those who do make it are scary. The Nats do really seem to like the 6-4/6-5 guys, almost too much.

    KW

    14 Jun 17 at 3:16 pm

  27. SS Timmy Richards, Sr. .295 .370 .452 4 HR 24 RBI 18 BB 30 SO

    The Titans lost senior shortstop Timmy Richards for eight games due to a groin injury.

    (Richards is) really solid up the middle and battled some injuries, so I think that maybe slowed him down from putting up the numbers that he really wanted to. The power’s in there though. If you elevate on him he’s got a chance to hit it out. He can pull the ball and do some different things. He’s solid defensively and doesn’t make mistakes. Up the middle he’s got some range and can make some flashy plays as well.

    CD

    14 Jun 17 at 3:23 pm

  28. Thanks. He looks promising, particularly for the 24th round.

    KW

    14 Jun 17 at 3:33 pm

  29. Round 11 selection OF Justin Connell American Heritage School.

    Played on the Nationals Southeast Area Code Games roster at the Area Code Baseball Games in Long Beach, Calif., last summer. So they have some first hand familiarity with him.

    CD

    14 Jun 17 at 3:44 pm

  30. Fangraphs was positive on Hill and Troop for the Nats Day 2 selections

    Wally

    14 Jun 17 at 3:50 pm

  31. KK, you are entitled to complain about whatever and whomever you like. I suggest that blaming the Lerners and Rizzo for having bad bullpens that caused losses in the 2012 and 2014 NLDS is entirely misplaced. Instead, I choose to blame the fact that weird things happen in five-game playoff series that aren’t designed to identify the better team.

    In 2014, the Nats had the second best bullpen in MLB as measured by WAR and the very best bullpen in MLB as measured by FIP (it was fourth measured by ERA). In 2012, they had the 14th best bullpen measured by WAR, 12th by FIP, seventh by ERA). You could say that maybe the team could have built a better bullpen in 2012, but you can’t say that about 2014. They had a great bullpen in 2014 and blew two games in that series. You can’t blame Rizzo and the Lerners for that.

    Also, an 8th round pick making the majors at all is a huge success. Even if he never throws another MLB pitch, Koda Glover is an enormous drafting success.

    Derek

    14 Jun 17 at 3:54 pm

  32. Nats Notable Draft Picks on Day 3:

    Round 15 (No. 463 overall), Nationals — RHP Bryce Montes de Oca, University of Missouri
    The University of Missouri is known for producing pitching talent — Max Scherzer, Kyle Gibson and Aaron Crow, for example. The program had another hard-throwing right-hander, Tanner Houck, selected in the first round this year. Three years ago, and many scouts may have said Montes de Oca had more upside. The hard-throwing righty was a top recruit in the country, but he has been plagued by arm trouble. When he’s healthy, his fastball reaches triple digits.

    Round 21 (No. 613 overall), Nationals — RHP Jake Cousins, University of Pennsylvania
    Jake Cousins is a cousin of Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. The righty was one of the top pitchers in the Ivy League, going 7-2 with a 3.15 ERA and three complete games in 11 starts.

    Round 27 (No. 823 overall), Nationals — SS Darren Baker, Jesuit High School (Carmichael, Calif.)
    Darren Baker has been famous since he was 3 years old, ever since J.T. Snow pulled him out of harm’s way at home plate during Game 5 of the 2002 World Series. Nowadays, the son of Nationals manager Dusty Baker is a speedy infielder with a commitment to Cal.

    CD

    14 Jun 17 at 4:32 pm

  33. When I saw Darren Baker pick, I pretty much wondered if the Nats had quit trying at that point. If you’re going to blow a pick, why not on Tristan Beck? (Which the Yankees did in the 29th.)

    Of course would it be cheating to just roll some bonus money for Darren into his dad’s next contract?

    KW

    14 Jun 17 at 5:18 pm

  34. For the record, Dusty had said something to the effect that Darren was going to college unless he got drafted “really high” or was offered a “whole lot,” or something to that effect.

    For future reference, the Nats do have a history of (over)drafting skinny infielders from Cal, though (Kobernus and Renda).

    KW

    14 Jun 17 at 5:21 pm

  35. Nic Perkins (28th round):

    http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/profile.asp?P=nic-perkins

    He played two years at Ole Miss but barely hit, despite the big frame.

    Alex Dunlap (29th round):

    http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/profile.asp?P=alex-dunlap

    Played regularly for a major program but showed no speed (1 SB this year) and little power (4 HRs).

    KW

    14 Jun 17 at 5:28 pm

  36. Kameron Esthay (26th round):

    http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/profile.asp?P=kameron-esthay

    Nothing really stands out. Had a little power surge this year.

    KW

    14 Jun 17 at 5:36 pm

  37. f–I have have always argued my point and stating my disagreements without ever once ever making a personal attack on anyone. This is also not your blog, and you have no right to tell me what comments to post or not to post. If Todd tells me to cease in desist, I will happily defer to him as the blog owner. If you don’t what to read what I have to say, skip my comments, as I often do yours.

    Karl Kolchak

    14 Jun 17 at 5:41 pm

  38. I don’t get the Connell pick at all if he did hit .218 for his high school team?!? As their first pick of today? Last year, the Nats gave a big bonus to their 11th-round pick (Upshaw).

    I haven’t tried to look up everyone, but on first glance, my favorites of the day thus far are Montes de Oca, Eric Senior, and Jamouri Blash. All would seem to be somewhat raw but have high ceilings.

    KW

    14 Jun 17 at 5:47 pm

  39. Round 28 selection, Catcher Nic Perkins was a Louisville Slugger All-American in HS.

    As a freshman at Mississippi he batted .274 with seven RBIs in 19 games. As a sophomore, Perkins appeared in only 12 games due to injury and backing up junior Henri Lartigue, who led the Rebels with a .353 average and .414 OBP. He transferred to Div 2 Drury to be immediately eligible and not have to sit out a year. The Rebels also had signed to Top 50 HS catchers. At Drury his JR. year he batted .355 in 214 AB’s with 8 HR’s 49 RBI. He also threw out 13-20 attempted base stealers.

    Round 29 selection, Alex Dunlap is also a Catcher. Not sure how SB factor in. As a Junior,
    • All-Pac-12
    • Johnny Bench Award Watch List
    • Played in 50 games and made 40 starts (31 at catcher, 9 in left field)
    • Led team with .292 batting average and .392 on-base percentage
    • Led all starters with .447 slugging percentage
    • Second on team with 13 doubles, third on team with four home runs and 21 walks

    As a Senior, shared backstop duties with touted Fr. Maverick Handley. Batted .274 in 25 games, .365 OBP, .393 slugging.
    Threw out 7 of 11 base stealers.

    CD

    14 Jun 17 at 6:00 pm

  40. Round 26, Kameron Esthay.

    RF Esthay, hit .283 in 205 at-bats with 58 hits, 40 runs, 11 doubles, nine home runs 35 RBI’s with a .986 fielding percentage this season. He was named honorable mention All-Big 12.

    All-Big 12 second team as a Soph. and Junior.

    CD

    14 Jun 17 at 6:13 pm

  41. Round 11 selection OF Justin Connell American Heritage School.

    Represented the Washington Nationals as part of the Southeast region All-Star team at the Area Code Baseball Games in Long Beach, Calif. last August. Nationals coaches and scouts have a 1st hand familiarity with the kid. His potential, upside and sign-ability.

    HE has a scholarship commitment to Florida International. Whether they are able to sign him or not, rest assured the staff has done their homework on him.

    CD

    14 Jun 17 at 6:27 pm

  42. Nats finish the late rounds (37-39) drafting 3 HS kids, none likely to be bought out of their college commitments.

    Round 40 selection R-SR Max Engelbrekt is interesting though. He’s the long time closer for #1 ranked Oregon State.

    A fifth-year senior, he’s a older than the average prospect and he’s coming off of not one, but two, tears of his ACL. These things would seem to work against him, but Engelbrekt is as steady and accomplished a college reliever as you’ll find.

    In his career, he’s made 80 appearances for the Beavers, with a 1.97 ERA against traditionally strong college competition. Opponents have hit .218 against him, and he’s chalked up more than 20 saves over four years.

    This season, amidst injury and a comically deep Oregon State Beaver bullpen that limited innings across the board, Engelbrekt still made 16 appearances, recording 5 saves with a minuscule 0.48 ERA.

    Whether he makes it to the Big Leagues or tops out as a strong organizational player for the Nationals, this is a low-risk pick with some potential especially in the 40th Round.

    CD

    14 Jun 17 at 6:59 pm

  43. Oops, brain cramp on Dunlap’s stolen bases. I had been looking up a bunch of OFs. It’s interesting that he led the team with a .292 average, with no one over .300.

    I’m all for drafting guys from major conferences. Those guys have to compete like crazy just to get on the field with those teams. That level of competitiveness seems to be sorely lacking from some levels of the Nat farm system.

    KW

    14 Jun 17 at 8:12 pm

  44. I saw on Twitter that the high school LHP the Nats drafted in the 22nd round intends to sign, so the Nats will have at least 1 (probably 2, assuming the 11th-rounder signs) HS signees from this draft.

    He was part of MLB’s Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP). Here’s his info from PDP:

    “Galindez is an uncommitted 2017 prospect who won the 2015 WWBA Underclass World Championship and competed in the 2016 WWBA World Championship. He was also awarded with a 2016 Underclass Honorable Mention and is labeled as a top 500 recruit by multiple recruiting services.

    “The left-handed pitcher has a large frame, strong build and an upright delivery. His short stride helps his delivery and he has a compact arm out of a three-quarter slot.

    “Galindez’s fastball sits in the high 80s and he also has a curveball and a changeup in his arsenal. All three pitches can be thrown in the zone.”

    Melissa

    15 Jun 17 at 9:08 am

  45. Good scoop. Thanks for sharing it. What little info I saw on Galindez has his heater up to 91-92 now. He’s committed to a JUCO, so it shouldn’t be as hard to get him out of that as a 4-year. He’s already a big kid, something like 6-3, 220.

    If I’m counting correctly, the Nats have picks on four of the eight CWS teams: LSU, Oregon State, CS-Fullerton, and a couple from Texas A&M. Todd will have to give us scouting reports on all of them! Of course none of them can sign until after the CWS.

    KW

    15 Jun 17 at 10:04 am

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