Nationals Arm Race

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

Nats first two 2017 draft picks reaction: Risk and Reward


Romero kinda looks like the Chief, doesn't he? PHoto via

Romero kinda looks like the Chief, doesn’t he? PHoto via

Well, it came to pass.  The nats couldn’t help themselves and took talent over character.

Here’s my quick reaction to our first two picks.  Not surprisingly, the team went with two college arms.

  • 1st Round/#25 overall: Seth Romero, LHP UHouston. 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 had 85 frigging strikeouts in 48 collegiate innings this year, and his slider is reportedly unhittable.  Sounds like a Carlos Rodon comp while he was in college.  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.  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.

Interestingly, both guys might be “slot savings” picks too.  Romero may be a Scott Boras advisee, but his free-fall may not put him in much of a bargaining position.  Meanwhile, Crowe has now passed up being drafted twice, is a redshirt Junior and really doesn’t need a 5th year of college.  So perhaps we’re seeing some strategy here, saving some cash for a run at a prep arm in the 3rd or 4th.

Verdict: in Rizzo we Trust.  If Romero’s issues are past him, then we very well could see a Brandon Finnegan like movement through the minors this season (especially since he didn’t pitch a full year), with him even helping in the MLB bullpen later this season.  Why not?  If he’s got two 60-grade pitches right now, then he could probably pitch in a MLB bullpen right now.  Crowe seems like more of a classical big-body RHP innings eater who we may see slowly rise with solid but unspectacular stuff; just the kind of solid starter every team needs to develop from within.

I will now begin talking myself into Romero.  Hey, we were all 21 once and did dumb things too.  There’s my justification for the pick 🙂

Written by Todd Boss

June 13th, 2017 at 9:25 am

99 Responses to 'Nats first two 2017 draft picks reaction: Risk and Reward'

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  1. Despite the insane K totals, Romero was actually more hittable this season than before:

    WHIP of 1.36 and ERA of 3.54. He also has a screw in his elbow, presumably part of a matched set with all the loose ones in his head.

    In the articles, Kris Kline was saying that he has major-league stuff “right now,” but Rizzo was really throwing cold water on any talk that Romero would be called up this year.

    As Todd said, it’s not just that they picked him, it’s that they left Lange on the board to do so. Instead, the Cubs got Lange AND Little. The Braves got Wright, while the Mets got Peterson. It’s definitely an “arms race” draft, and we sure hope the Nats didn’t screw it up by drafting a screw-up.

    On the flip side, I thought Crowe was a steal 30+ picks later than projected. Here are his stats:

    I’ll move forward this overview of guys still available today:

    There are a number of guys here who I would love to see wearing a Curly W. We’d love to think that the Nats have an under-slot deal lined up with Boras to leave cash to try to persuade some stud in a later round, but call me skeptical. After all, how often are “Boras” and “under slot” mentioned in the same conversation?


    13 Jun 17 at 10:30 am

  2. Todd, I agree with you completely on the analysis. And I would expect that the Nats have dollar ideas in mind with these two.

    Romero has no school to go back to and needs the discipline to salve his career, period. Advantage club.
    The second pick is on his second elbow and pitching well enough to get a. nice check.

    Yes, the assessment of this draft will be far more appreciated when we see whom they sign all down the line, and where the money came from.

    Romero vs Lange was a gamble on upside. The team and organization lacks high ceiling lefty starters.


    13 Jun 17 at 10:31 am

  3. Pretty much, yeah.

    Lets see if they find a prep arm that needs to be bought out of a college committment that’s fallen. There’s plenty of “best players available” links out there with lots of prep arms, and we’ve already seen a bunch of Prep arms fall well below where they should have.

    I love what the Cubs did in the draft. I also love what Minnesota did.

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 17 at 11:40 am

  4. Also love what Houston got done. They got Bukauskas 10 picks later than he should have gone, they got a big-time prep arm in Perez. And then they got TAMU’s friday starter in Martin. PLus a 4th pick; not a bad haul for the team with the best record in baseball.

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 17 at 12:03 pm

  5. Here’s the fangraphs recap of the Nats -‘Both have red flags (Romero’s behavioral, Crowe’s medical) but are far more talented than where they both ended up being selected.’

    As for me, I really liked CIN and MIL’s draft, and (unfortunately) CHC. Thought ATL got great value with Wright. He would have been my #1 guy.


    13 Jun 17 at 12:24 pm

  6. Also like SEA and TOR.


    13 Jun 17 at 12:31 pm

  7. Yeah, the Astros scored big . . . in part thanks to the Cards, of course. The Cubs really stocked up on pitching. The D-Backs got some serious bats, although where Pavin Smith will play on Goldschmidt’s team will remain to be seen.

    On the flip side, the Giants, who really need pitching, didn’t take a pitcher, and took two HS kids who are a long way off from helping to right their listing ship. The O’s, who desperately need pitching, passed on a number of top-tier college arms to take a HS kid, four or five years from the bigs.

    In addition to Bukauskas, some of the big fallers of the day included Jeren Kendall and Griffin Canning, who at one time was in the top 15 of most mocks. The Dodgers don’t seem to have a problem with guys who strike out a ton, so Kendall should fit right in.


    13 Jun 17 at 12:35 pm

  8. Man, Canning got abused at UCLA:

    Romero is also among the guys charted.


    13 Jun 17 at 12:43 pm

  9. As for the other stuff, folks like to say “In Rizzo We Trust,” but in this case, it’s more a trust of the Rizzo-Boras relationship that in general has been very good for the Nats. It would be pretty dumb for Boras to risk that relationship by not being at least mostly up front with the Nats about his client.

    Also, as much I have said that Boras generally doesn’t go under slot, there had to be a pre-draft deal here. There just had to be, and the rumors had to be on the streets for Law and others to be so adamant that this was going to happen. We may get a clue sooner rather than later if the Nats take a tough-to-sign HS kid today.

    It’s going to take me some time to really get on board for pulling for Romero, though. He made so many mistakes in his draft year, and kept making them, to the point that you have to wonder how much he really cared.

    Also, about Romero’s weight: his peak after he ballooned was reportedly around 240-250. He was said to be back down to around 220-225. But conditioning is going to be almost as much of an issue with him as behavior.


    13 Jun 17 at 12:56 pm

  10. Ok, I think Tristan Beck may literally be the last guy that I’ve heard of still on the board


    13 Jun 17 at 1:22 pm

  11. Everyone thinks Beck had a pre-draft deal . . . with someone. The Padres have already picked, so it wasn’t them. Could he make it all the way to pick #103?


    13 Jun 17 at 1:28 pm

  12. Your C is still out there too. This kid Garrett Mitchell could be interesting. Toolsy HS kid. I see no way they take him though. Not their thing


    13 Jun 17 at 1:40 pm

  13. Nick Racquet, LHP William & Mary.

    This is where I go ‘huh’? And then realize I know nothing


    13 Jun 17 at 1:52 pm

  14. Hey, I’ve got nothing as well. Here’s what I’ve got:

    So there’s no cost savings on Romero to use here, eh? In fact, Raquet strikes me on first glance as a classic under-slot.


    13 Jun 17 at 1:55 pm

  15. Papelbon, Dukes, Milledge, Olsen–the Nats haven’t exactly had the best luck with trying to score bargains in obtaining low character guys. I’d be more willing to write off Romero’s behavior if it was just one incident, but he kept pushing until he got kicked off his college team.

    The best hope is that he comes to recognize that he cost himself a couple of million dollars in bonus money by being such an idiot and is now willing to do the hard work of becoming a true major leaguer. But Dukes was in a similar position back in 2009 when he had to know that if he just dedicated himself and built on his promising 2008 Nats’ debut he’d be in line for a multimillion dollar raise when he hit arbitration. Instead, he regressed badly, was apparently smoking weed all offseason despite not to failing a drug test and was then run out of baseball for good in 2010.

    I’m willing to give Romero a chance, but I’m not optimistic.

    Karl Kolchak

    13 Jun 17 at 2:00 pm

  16. Raquet makes no sense. middling LHP with crummy numbers from a small school in a non baseball conference. wtf.

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 17 at 2:06 pm

  17. $50K signee . . . but for what?


    13 Jun 17 at 2:08 pm

  18. Here is Raquet’s bio from his UNC page:

    “Ranked the No. 2 left-handed pitcher and the No. 8 player overall in Pennsylvania by Perfect Game • Considered the No. 32 left-handed pitcher in the country by PG • 2012 and 2013 Underclass Honorable Mention by PG”

    Question is, what happened to him at UNC that caused him to leave the school?

    Karl Kolchak

    13 Jun 17 at 2:11 pm

  19. He was 145 on BA’s list. I don’t have a subscription so can’t see the report. Fangraphs said he was a lefty relief prospect with arm strength


    13 Jun 17 at 2:11 pm

  20. Yeah, the type of guy the Nats generally draft in the 26th round. Something is working here for which they’re cost-saving. Did Crowe want over-slot? Romero is in no position to get over-slot.


    13 Jun 17 at 2:13 pm

  21. SB Nation had Raquet list as the No 174 prospect before the draft–so maybe some scouts see some potential in him:

    Karl Kolchak

    13 Jun 17 at 2:17 pm

  22. Nick Racquet was ranked as the 19th best Lefthander in the Draft. #145 Overall by Baseball America.

    93-95 fastball, hard breaking ball but struggles to throw strikes.


    13 Jun 17 at 2:19 pm

  23. Raquet: 4.66 ERA in a bad baseball conference with a 2/1 K/BB ratio. Not impressed. There are better players on the board and its far too early to be playing the slot dollar game.

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 17 at 2:25 pm

  24. Raquet looks like a potential fast rising lefty relief prospect if he can reduce his BB rate–lord knows the Nats desperately need help in that area.

    Karl Kolchak

    13 Jun 17 at 2:25 pm

  25. 95 Ks, 45 walks in 77 1⁄3 IP with William and Mary in 2017.

    Jonathan Mayo on Nick Raquet on

    “He’s a lefty with a lot of arm strength, probably a bullpen profile all the way, in fact I’m almost certain of it, but up to 95-96 mph with his fastball, can spin the breaking ball pretty well, command has always been an issue, it’s below average to maybe even well-below average at times, so if you can get him to find the strike zone a little bit more, maybe you’ve got a left-handed set-up man when all is settled and done, especially if he can throw strikes.”


    13 Jun 17 at 2:25 pm

  26. He threw 77 innings in 14 starts. That’s barely 5IP a start.

    OK i get it. The 2017 Nats bullpen sucks. But you don’t draft for “need” in baseball.

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 17 at 2:26 pm

  27. coincidentally, i asked Keith law in his chat (going on right now: about signability for Romero and Crowe picks. He didn’t agree with my guess.

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 17 at 2:27 pm

  28. Todd: don’t worry–given Rizzo’s history, if Raquet is any good as a lefty reliever he’ll be dumped off in a trade for pennies on the dollar.

    Karl Kolchak

    13 Jun 17 at 2:29 pm

  29. KK: ok that made me laugh out loud.

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 17 at 2:30 pm

  30. Interestingly for me, the MLB live draft tracker won’t work unless i’m in IE. Weird.

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 17 at 2:31 pm

  31. Raquet; 45 walks in 77 collegiate innings. Where the strike zone is 2 balls on either side of the plate. And we worry about Enny Romero’s wildness?

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 17 at 2:32 pm

  32. Well, if you liked Max Schrock, you’ll love the Nats 4th rounder. He’s nearly as tall! tweets he’s got “plus plus makeup.” Perhaps they’re trying to balance out their first round pick.

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 17 at 2:34 pm

  33. Todd: you stole my line about Future HOF’er Max Schrock. 🙂

    Anyway, y’all should know that “Heart Has No Limit.” Not sure about short second basemen, however:

    Karl Kolchak

    13 Jun 17 at 2:39 pm

  34. Cole Freeman, Louisiana State was ranked as the #3 2B in the Draft.
    # 166 Overall by Baseball America. Polished senior 2B.


    13 Jun 17 at 2:40 pm

  35. And cheap to sign as a senior. What’s the extra $$$ for?

    Freeman is a tower compared to Renda!


    13 Jun 17 at 2:42 pm

  36. Why the Schrock hate? and the guy was faring quite well at AA when he went on the DL.

    Freeman, says the article, is a top quality defensive second baseman who led the Cape Cod in hitting. Something about the LSU pedigree and all out hustle makes the comparison to Andrew Stevenson perhaps more apt.


    13 Jun 17 at 2:43 pm

  37. Freeman’s stats:

    Maybe they drafted him to use as a heart donor for Romero?


    13 Jun 17 at 2:44 pm

  38. Skoug and T. Beck are still on the board.


    13 Jun 17 at 2:46 pm

  39. is a running list of BPA undrafted.

    I don’t get the picking of what look to me as marginal players when there’s top 50 guys still available.

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 17 at 2:48 pm

  40. Why the comments about the guy’s size? Because you can count on one hand the number of good major leaguers that size. Its unfair sure. But its the truth. Altuve, Pedroia, Eaton, Stroman. Who else is 5’8 or 5’9″ and a MLB star right now?

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 17 at 2:50 pm

  41.’s top undrafted:

    Most of the HS kids high on the list are getting bypassed for the obvious reason — they likely won’t sign. Beck has the back injury. Maybe he’s going back for his senior year? (I doubt it.) Skoug has . . . 20 homers for a top team. Why is he still on the board?


    13 Jun 17 at 2:52 pm

  42. Jim Callis on Freeman:

    “Cole Freeman, his best tool is clearly his speed, he’s a well-above average runner. He’s a high-contact, low-power type of hitter, he covers a lot of ground at second base, definitely I think can stay in the infield in pro ball. He does not have a great arm, which is why you don’t see him on the left side of the diamond.”

    Freeman, 22, went 80 for 245 (.327/.431/.420) with 13 doubles, two triples, two home runs, 26 walks and 20 Ks in 65 games for the Tigers this season as a senior.


    13 Jun 17 at 2:55 pm

  43. Freeman; his OBP is higher than his slugging percentage. Hitting with aluminum bats. He has no power and is limited to a position on the diamond that has morphed to become a power spot. I just don’t like the pick, not given what else is out there.

    Richmond product Tyler Johnson, a RHP closer for South Carolina who touches triple digits, just went off the board. Who would you rather have had?

    Has to be a cost savings pick. How expensive is Romero going to be??

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 17 at 3:01 pm

  44. I will REALLY hate the Romero pick if they go over-slot for him. He has no leverage and might have fallen 30-40 spots if the Nats hadn’t bailed Boras out.


    13 Jun 17 at 3:04 pm

  45. It should also be noted that Schrock has only 9 BBs and 3 SBs in 41 games this year. His OPS is also 60 points lower than Steve Lombardozzi had at AA at roughly the same age when he was coming up through the Nats’ system. Nothing against Schrock, but a potential eventual successor to Murphy he wasn’t.

    Karl Kolchak

    13 Jun 17 at 3:10 pm

  46. Brigham Hill:

    A smallish RH starter with high K numbers.


    13 Jun 17 at 3:14 pm

  47. Well, at least 5th rounder Brigham Hill is a decent major college arm drafted about where he was expected to be.

    Karl Kolchak

    13 Jun 17 at 3:14 pm

  48. Yeah, Hill makes sense. But the 3d and 4th-round picks were cost-saving for something. Maybe Crowe dropped so far because he was wanting too much?


    13 Jun 17 at 3:20 pm

  49. Brigham Hill was ranked #159 Overall by .

    Changeup that ranks among the best in college baseball.

    Small right-hander who had Tommy John surgery as a high school sophomore. Some concerns about his long term viability as a starter. Scouts rave about his confidence and makeup and believe he’ll get the most out of his ability.


    13 Jun 17 at 3:32 pm

  50. Ok, finally, i’m happy about a pick. I like Hill. #1 starter for a top SEC team. Good numbers against good competition.

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 17 at 3:50 pm

  51. Nick Raquet drafted late in 3rd, ranked as a high 5th round choice by BA. Cole Freeman drafted Late 4th, ranked as Late 5th/Early 6th by BA.

    Both seem to be cost saving picks to some extent, but both players were taken within a round or so of where they were projected.

    Just don’t believe either should be considered marginal players.


    13 Jun 17 at 3:57 pm

  52. The problem is that there’s almost no track record of players from William & Mary succeeding in the majors. Here’s the canonical list at

    Who is the leading player here from this century? Bill Bray? Brendan Harris?

    We’re talking a frigging 3rd round pick. Those are players you should be expecting to make the majors and contribute.

    Hey, maybe i’m wrong. Maybe a guy from William & Mary with an ERA in the 4s is going to skyrocket through the minors and contribute immediately.

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 17 at 4:06 pm

  53. Odd, 6th rounder Kyle Johnson was expected by to go nearly 60 slots higher than he was drafted despite some pretty blah numbers in college.

    Karl Kolchak

    13 Jun 17 at 4:10 pm

  54. 5th round pick Kyle Johnson looks like a 2-pitch reliever. He had some good starts, not a ton of K/9 though. But two 60 grade pitches.

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 17 at 4:11 pm

  55. “The problem is that there’s almost no track record of players from William & Mary succeeding in the majors.”

    Of course, in 2004 you could have said exactly the same thing about Old Dominion…


    13 Jun 17 at 4:12 pm

  56. I don’t get the doom and gloom. We’re six rounds in and the organization has picked all college players, five pitchers. So they are continuing along a model of using the Latin American infusion of 2016 as their high school draft and are now drafting for more finished products.

    Most of the players they are picking have excelled against major competition and are proven pressure performers. The 2B proved successful in the Cape league.

    At this time last year, the Nats were bringing in a fifth round pick from New Mexico State, unknown and only 5’10. Having seen him in person, i would say tat he looks smaller. Daniel Johnson is leading his league in home runs right now and has tools all day.

    Just enjoy yourselves and save the agita for ninth inning home runs. Or, if you are following the minors, the flameouts of hyped underperformers like Mariano Rivera and Robbie Dickey.

    I am thrilled that the Nats are drafting pitching and college heavy, and have no opinion on the selections. But it sure beats bringing in castoffs from the Independent leagues.


    13 Jun 17 at 4:17 pm

  57. ODU and Verlander; that’s right.

    There’s the full list of ODU grads. Who is #2 behind him? Probably Daniel Hudson. Past that there’s nothing.

    So, if you’re telling me Nick Raquet is the next coming of Justin Verlander, then i’m ok with it.

    Here’s Verlander’s college stats . His junior year he frigging struck out 151 guys in 102 innings and was the 2nd overall pick in the draft. there was no doubt what he was going to become. Can you say the same about Nick Raquet?

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 17 at 4:24 pm

  58. Fedde to AAA, coincidentally. Help is on the way!

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 17 at 4:25 pm

  59. Nats redraft Evan Skoug finally off the board. #48 ranked player drafted midway through round 7. Something is odd there.

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 17 at 4:26 pm

  60. Most scouts believe Raquet has much better stuff than his spring stats would suggest. Lefthanders are always at a premium, especially one’s who sit at 93-95 with their FB and can consistently maintain velocity deep into starts. He’s got an above-average changeup and good breaking pitches. Striking out 95 batters in 77.1 innings is legit, no matter what conference you are in.

    His command is the issue. Just guessing, but thinking the Nats believe his tools could play up even more in a bullpen role. With some coaching corrections to his delivery he should be able to better command his pitches.

    Possible Starter/Probable back of bullpen arm, he def has the upside and raw tools to work with. You can improve the mechanics, you can’t teach the stuff.


    13 Jun 17 at 4:27 pm

  61. Last year, I complimented the Nats for seeming to use an excellent drafting strategy that maximized the number of solid picks they were able to make at the top of the draft. But this year it seems like they are back to the same old willy-nilly drafting that caused the disasters of 2012 and 2013. One of the reasons the upper minors is so bad right now is that they got virtually nothing of value during those two drafts. In 2012, they even picked mighty midget Tony Renda in the 2nd round–which is eerily reminiscent of the Freeman pick this year, while the high risk pick of Romero echoes the high risk pick of Giolito back then.

    I’m also not giving them any credit for drafting a bushel basket of college arms. Given how bad the organizational pitching depth currently is and the fact that they’ll likely be trading some of what little they have to shore up the S.S. Bullpen Titanic this year, what choice did they have?

    Karl Kolchak

    13 Jun 17 at 4:33 pm

  62. To be clear, I don’t know Nick Raquet from Tennis Racquet.

    I just don’t think “there’s never been a good player from this school” is a good reason to not draft someone. Another good example: D-III University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.


    13 Jun 17 at 4:36 pm

  63. Kyle Johnston, Texas (taken with pick 193), was ranked #250 overall by BA. # 136 Overall by Fastball and cutter/slider are both plus pitches.


    13 Jun 17 at 4:37 pm

  64. Something odd happened with Raquet. From what I could tell reading available Google articles about him, he was a fairly highly coveted recruit to UNC who transferred for no reason that was ever publicly disclosed. He then had to sit out for a year before ending up at W&M. I guess you could make the argument that he just lacks experience and has a high upside. We’ll see.

    Karl Kolchak

    13 Jun 17 at 4:39 pm

  65. I have no problem taking a shot at Joe Blow from small U in the 15th round. But if they miss in the 3rd round that’s big. That’s my point.

    I love the picks from big time programs later on. Rounds 4-5-6 are established arms from teams in the SEC and Big12. Better competition, better track record.

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 17 at 4:46 pm

  66. And oh by the way, for the cherry picking on Jordan Zimmermann going to a small school, perhaps I’m not articulating my point. Yes, good players come from small schools … but they also PITCH WELL while they are there!

    Zimmermann’s junior year; 10-0, 2.08 ERA and good ratios.

    this is my point about Raquet. His numbers blew this year! He was awful. If he had a 2.00 ERA with 60 grades on his pitches, then yes who cares that he was at W&M.

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 17 at 4:49 pm

  67. 7th rounder, JuCo RHP Jackson Tetreault K’ed 105 iand BB’ed 40 in 80.1 IP.

    Karl Kolchak

    13 Jun 17 at 4:51 pm

  68. Here’s some perspective–during the Rizzo GM era (which does NOT include the JZ pick), the Nats have drafted precisely TWO pitchers who have a career WAR above 1.0 after the 1st round: Nate Karns & Robbie Ray. Currently, they have only Jose Lobaton to show for those two successes.

    Karl Kolchak

    13 Jun 17 at 4:52 pm

  69. Jackson Tetreault, RHP, State College of Florida JC drafted # 223.
    Rated #286 overall by BA.

    Tetreault is a wiry and projectable 6-foot-5, 180-pounder with a present 91-93 mph fastball that could bump up. Has a scholarship offer from South Florida.


    13 Jun 17 at 4:59 pm

  70. Tetreault sounds like a human beanpole. They need to make sure he and Romero switch dinner plates at every meal.

    Karl Kolchak

    13 Jun 17 at 5:18 pm

  71. 8th rounder Brasher is another college arm with both high K and BB rates. In other words, another potential reliever. Seems to be a pattern in this draft.

    Karl Kolchak

    13 Jun 17 at 5:35 pm

  72. 8th Round: Jared Brasher, SR./RHP 6-2/200/Samford Ranked # 430 Overall by Baseball America.


    13 Jun 17 at 5:55 pm

  73. I’m back, although it doesn’t look like I missed anything. What a weird day. Obviously the Nats are saving up funds . . . for something. It might be just to be able to pay a little bonus money above the 10th round, like they did for Upshaw last year and Schrock and Watson the year before. I’m figuring that some of it is going to Crowe, partially explaining why he fell. (His age and TJ shouldn’t give him much leverage, though.)

    The Nats tend to draft arms in volume in the hope that they hit on a few of them. Their track record is pretty decent, so I’ll give them some benefit of the doubt here. But no hitters thus far other than a scrappy 2B? There were a good number of good-but-not-great college hitters available today, and the Nats have completely passed on them.


    13 Jun 17 at 5:57 pm

  74. Tristan Beck still hasn’t been picked. I guess he gave teams a price and said he would go back to school if not met. That’s a bit of a risk, but one that he’s more than recoup if he can get healthy and regain his form.


    13 Jun 17 at 6:01 pm

  75. 9th round, Alex Troop, a tall LHP from Michigan State:

    He’s a two-way player so presumably a good athlete.

    And yes, another college pitcher. This is getting ridiculous. There aren’t going to be enough innings to go around at Auburn and the GCL!


    13 Jun 17 at 6:13 pm

  76. 9th Round (Pick # 283)\: Alex Troop Michigan State. RS-SO./LHP 6-5/210.

    Ranked # 179 by Baseball America. 8-3 in 14 starts with a 2.47 ERA this season. He struck out 83 and walked 29 in 83 2/3 innings pitched, limiting opposing hitters to a .223 average


    13 Jun 17 at 6:20 pm

  77. KW — “The Nats tend to draft arms in volume in the hope that they hit on a few of them. Their track record is pretty decent…”

    What? As I said above, the only two non-first round arms picked in the Rizzo era who have career WARs above 1.0 are Karns and Ray. Meanwhile, the list of major busts grows by the year: Purke, Cole, Meyer, Giolito, Johansen, Mooneyham and Suarez (who didn’t even sign).

    On the contrary, the Nats’ record of drafting pitching under Rizzo has been largely abysmal. His only big time draft pitching success is Strasburg, who any GM would have gladly taken.

    Karl Kolchak

    13 Jun 17 at 6:22 pm

  78. KW

    13 Jun 17 at 6:23 pm

  79. Karl, if you’re arguing that the Nats have gotten the most mileage out of pitchers they’ve traded, it would be hard to argue against that. Stras is the only current starter they drafted, and Glover and Solis (both on the DL) the only relievers.

    I was thinking mostly of guys they’ve drafted the last couple of years who are progressing pretty well through the low minors. (The upper minors are mostly a pitching disaster.) Even there, though, you’ve got a high-profile miss in Rivera in the 4th round.

    You’ll get no argument from me that guys like Johansen and Mooneyham were disasters, and Suarez perhaps even more so since they didn’t even sign him.


    13 Jun 17 at 6:31 pm

  80. It bears noting that the draft apparatus has been totally overturned in the past couple of years. They have a new scouting director.

    Obviously this was a particularly pitching heavy draft. And I think the Nats made some recent good decisions that they will not be credited for (Dunning, Andrew Lee, Hearn) and others that they will (Mills, Watson, Crownover).

    The fact that so few pitchers reside at AA or higher who were draft products s a big indictment of the team drafts of years past.

    I am not so sure that we can compare the 2014 decision-makers to the present, however.

    Count me happy to see 8 of 9 pitchers and all college products.


    13 Jun 17 at 6:32 pm

  81. The larger point, perhaps to debate another day, is that the Nats mostly have gotten very, very little from guys they’ve drafted in the Rizzo era other than the “stars.” Even there, they mostly missed on Meyer, Goodwin, and Purke, although they got something for Meyer. Maybe they missed on Giolito, but they packaged him for something.

    Otherwise, not a heck of a lot of picks beyond the first round have been making it. Glover is an exception, but there aren’t many. Their second-rounders have been notoriously bad.

    . . . and yet the big club has kept winning at one of the best rates in baseball.


    13 Jun 17 at 6:36 pm

  82. Fore, I was going to make the same point. The post-Roy Clark crew is different. There were really some “lost” drafts there in 2013-14. There seems to have been more depth in the last couple of years. But time will tell, as always.


    13 Jun 17 at 6:38 pm

  83. Hey hey, the Nats drafted Trey Turner! That’s sure to lead to a little confusion next spring.


    13 Jun 17 at 6:43 pm

  84. Not much in the way of stats on Turner:

    He K’d 22 and walked only 4 in only 13.1 IP.


    13 Jun 17 at 6:46 pm

  85. I’ve come to the conclusion that ownership likes having a few big , marketable stars: hence the contracts for Werth, Zimmerman, Scherzer and Strasburg, and the extension offers to Desmond and Z-nn, but is unwilling to pay fair value for the kind of role players who can push a good team over the top and make it a championship one. There’s no more glaring example of that this past offseason with their nixing of the Holland contract offer. Can’t get people excited about a Greg Holland bobblehead giveaway, I guess.

    Karl Kolchak

    13 Jun 17 at 6:49 pm

  86. Turner is most baffling pick yet. How do you waste a bonus round pick on a guy who is not only from a small school but has pitched only 13.1 innings? Icing on the cake of a very underwhelming top 10.

    Karl Kolchak

    13 Jun 17 at 6:51 pm

  87. 10th Round (Pick # 313)\: Trey Turner (no relation), Missouri State. JR/RHP 6-1/195

    2.03 ERA in 7 games out of the bullpen (13.1 innings). 22 SO, 4 walks.

    Also can play Outfield. Batted .370 with 7 HR, 39 RBI in 173 AB’s for Crowder College (JUCO) in ’16.


    13 Jun 17 at 7:02 pm

  88. Turner can approach mid-90s off the mound with big arm strength.

    He is also an elite athlete in the field who can run. Good bat speed, has hitting tools to develop.

    Big Arm, and w/a speed-60 run tool. Can flat out fly. Played CF while also Pitching first two years at Crowder JC.

    Interesting to see whether he stays on the mound or plays in the field at the next level.


    13 Jun 17 at 7:26 pm

  89. Trey Turner missed most of the 2017 season with a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He underwent Tommy John in April


    13 Jun 17 at 7:34 pm

  90. This draft doesn’t seem too strong, but what should we have expected, given how small their bonus pool was? Every team has pretty good management these days. I do agree with the comments that the Nats have a new group now, and it’s better than the old group, so I’ll stay open minded until we see these guys play. One thing I no longer think, however, is that Romero is signing underslot. I’ll bet he goes right at slot, which is annoying because he sure doesn’t seem like he had any leverage, and now we’ll have to read more stuff about how the Nats are Boras’ b!tch.

    Isn’t the draft almost always disappointing? I don’t think it’s a Nats thing. There are so many players to read about but you only wind up with a few, and usually not many of the ones that you’ve been reading about. The last few years I’ve dialed back my expectations quite a bit. This year was a little different because, even though their record is great, the big leaguers are kind of hard to watch because of their bullpen problems. So I found myself reading about the draft more than usual, and became focused on Little as their pick. Man, I never learn.


    13 Jun 17 at 8:07 pm

  91. First of all, thanks to so many folks for chiming in today. I usually feel like I’m the only one sitting at my computer trying to make sense of these things. Of course as Wally just explained, they often don’t make sense . . .

    Wally, you were pretty darn close on Little. If the Nats had decided to pass on Romero, he was the next lefty up.

    The Nats basically pushed all their chips to the table on their first two picks and got two MLB arms. I really didn’t think they would get that much quality at #65, but Crowe is about as good as you could hope. I don’t dispute that Romero has talent. It’s all the other stuff that makes him a risk.

    I don’t know what to make of today. The Nats passed on some bigger “name” players. They got three major-conference starters in Hill, Johnston, and Troop. Racquet and Freeman seemed to be picked a bit high, particularly Racquet, but the good bet is that there’s cost-saving with both. Freeman could move up quickly if he hits, but he probably has a ceiling.

    Who’s to say, though? It wouldn’t take much for him to be better than Difo.

    And yes, I think the small money pool for the Nats was really reflected today. They just didn’t have any extra cash to chase larger fish. In fact, they seemed to be saving cash to pay . . . perhaps the fish from yesterday.

    And let’s be honest, the percentage of players beyond the second round who make the majors is very low. We hope our team hits a home run with every pick, but most of these guys will probably play two or three years and then have an inevitable conversation in Hagerstown or Woodbridge. But they will have made it farther than most of the rest of us!


    13 Jun 17 at 8:45 pm

  92. It is curious, considering that they seem to be looking for “bullpen arms,” that they didn’t follow what they did in 2015 when they drafted at least four or five guys who were closers for their college teams. That netted them Glover, Andrew Lee, and Brinley. The guy from WVa (Smith?) didn’t sign, and Kevin Mooney from UMD hasn’t progressed. Anyway, that strategy sorta worked.

    Andrew Lee was a two-way power hitter at Tennessee, so if he can’t make it back to the mound after the second TJ, he may still have another option . . . perhaps even more so since there won’t be any upper-round bats with whom to compete this year!


    13 Jun 17 at 8:50 pm

  93. Nats limited bonus pool was a huge noose around Rizzo/staff’s neck in Rounds 1-10. $5,503,500 allocation is bottom 4 in League.

    Would expect a few more HS, tougher to sign types drafted tomorrow.


    13 Jun 17 at 9:04 pm

  94. Raquet, Freeman, Brasher & Turner all look like they should sign for well under slot even if Romero doesn’t. That could leave $500K or so to throw at a HS draftee from the lower rounds.

    Karl Kolchak

    13 Jun 17 at 10:11 pm

  95. Realistically, Romero and Crowe will be the ones to make or break this draft, and they each ought to rise quickly through the system assuming they are as good as advertised and Romero doesn’t fail a drug test or two.

    Karl Kolchak

    13 Jun 17 at 10:14 pm

  96. Kris Kline is claiming that Raquet was touching 98, plus an above-average slider and curve. Not mentioned is that his results were mediocre, and against lower-level competition.

    Jackson Tetreault has a commitment to USF that has to be bought out, so he’ll likely get at least slot if not a little more.


    14 Jun 17 at 5:20 am

  97. Here are Tetreault’s stats:

    The photo makes him like like a pretty substantial kid even though he’s only listed as 170 lbs. There would certainly be room for his frame to fill out. He has high K numbers and pretty high walk numbers as well, like just about everyone else drafted yesterday.

    In large part because of their size, I think Tetreault and Troop intrigue me most from the Tuesday draftees.

    Hmm, it seems that Tetreault started at Cameron University in Oklahoma and pitched in some summer league in Canada:


    14 Jun 17 at 8:14 am

  98. Thanks for all the links for the draftees as they were coming in guys!

    Todd Boss

    14 Jun 17 at 9:31 am

  99. […] already did a quick reaction to the first day/first two picks and then the top 10 rounds.  Here’s a more holistic look at our 2017 draft class.  The team […]

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