Nationals Arm Race

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

2020 Draft Coverage: Mock Draft Mania and Nats Prediction


I collect Mock Drafts in baseball.  The first of these I found this year was the day after the 2019 draft, then the next was in early Oct right after the final 2020 draft order was finalized.  These early ones are pretty crazy; so much can change (especially with prep players) in a year’s time that the early projections are mostly useless.  But, they’re also interesting to see how player rise and fall on draft boards over the course of a year.

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.


Here’s the Mock draft collection.  I’ve generally listed their top-5 and then who they project the Nats to take at #22 (if they project out that far).  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/Teddy Cahill): July 2019 Way-too-Early Mock DraftEmerson Hancock, Spencer Torkelson, Pete Crow-Armstrong, Austin Martin, Patrick Bailey
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) Oct 2019 Draft Order finalization Mock: Austin Martin, Torkelson, Hancock, Nick Gonzales, Asa Lacy.
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) Jan 2020 Mock: Martin, Hancock, Torkelson, Gonzales, Lacy.  Nats take Heston Kjerstad, Arkansas corner OF.
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) Feb 2020 Mock v2.0: Martin, Torkelson, Lacy, Gonzales, Hancock.  Nats take Ed Howard, prep OF from Illinois.
  • CBSSports (Mike Axisa): apr 2020 mock: Martin, Gonzales, Torkelson, Hancock, Lacy.  Nats take J.T. Ginn, who blew out arm one start into 2020.
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) April 2020 Mock: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Gonzales, Hancock.  Nats take Ginn.
  • ESPN (Kiley McDaniel) 5/13/20 Mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Hancock, Zack Veen,  Nats take Cole Wilcox.
  • The Athletic (Keith Law) 5/13/20 Mock Draft 1.0: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Hancock.   Nats also taking Wilcox
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) 5/13/20 Mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Gonzales, Hancock.  Nats taking Slade Cecconi, a RHP from uMiami
  • (Jim Callis): 5/13/20 Mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Hancock, Veen.  Nats taking Cecconi
  • CBSSports (Mike Axisa): 5/29/20 Mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Hancock, Meyer.  Nats still on Ginn
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo5/27/20 Mock Draft v5.0: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Gonzales.  Nats taking Jared Kelley, a prep RHP from Texas HS.
  • ESPN (Kiley McDaniel5/26/20 Mock 2.0: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, VeenMax Meyer.  Nats still on Wilcox.
  • Fangraphs (Eric Longenhagen) 5/27/20 Mock 1.0: Torkelson, Lacy, Martin, Gonzales, Meyer.  Nats on Wilcox.
  • (Jim Callis): 5/27/20 Mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Gonzales, Veen.  Nats taking Clayton Beeter, RHP, Texas Tech
  • Athletic (Keith Law) 5/28/20 Mock 2.0: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Hancock.  Nats on Wilcox
  • (Tim Kelly) 6/1/20 Mock Draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Meyer.  Nats on Justin Foscue, 2B Mississippi State
  • CBSSports (Mike Axisa): 6/1/20 mock: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Hancock.  Nats still on Ginn
  • Athletic (Keith Law) 6/3/20 Mock 3.0: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Hancock.  Nats on Wilcox again (Garrett Crochet if Wilcox goes early)
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) 6/3/20 Mock Draft v6.0 ; Torkelson, Veen, Lacy, Martin, Hancock.  Nats on Foscue.
  • (Jonathan Mayo) 6/4/20 mock: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Gonzales, Meyer.  Nats on Cecconi (with a Wilcox caveat)
  • BA Staff Mock Draft 6/4/20: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Hancock, Veen.  Nats take Dillon Dingler, C from Ohio State.
  • Bleacher Report (Joe Tansy) 6/4/20 mock: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Hancock.  Nats taking Wilcox
  • Prospect365 (Ian Smith) 6/6/20 Mock Draft 2.0:  Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Hancock.  Nats on Dingler
  • Fangraphs (Eric Longenhagen) Mock 2.0 6/8/20: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Meyer.  Nats take Wilcox but he says this is Crochet’s floor
  • CBSSports (Mike Axisa): 6/8/20 mock: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Hancock.   Nats still taking Ginn (4th straight Axisa mock with them taking Ginn)
  • Prospect365 (Mason McCrae) 6/8/20 Mock Draft v9.0: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Hancock.  Nats on Wilcox
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) 6/8/20 Mock Draft v7.0 ; Torkelson, Martin, Lacy,  Veen, Meyer.  Nats on Wilcox.
  • (Tim Kelly6/8/20  final Mock Draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Meyer.  Nats on Foscue.
  • Yahoo Sports (Matt Weyrich) 6/9/20 Mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Meyer.  Nats take Wilcox
  • Mock Drafting site latest Mock: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Gonzales.  Nats take Wilcox
  • (Marc Hulet) 6/9/20 mock: Veen, Martin, Lacy, Torkelson, Meyer.  Nats take Ed Howard, SS, Illinois HS (this mock really is hard to take seriously)
  • D1Baseball staff 6/9/20 Final Mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Gonzales, Veen.  Nats take Ginn.
  • 20/80 Baseball (Nick Faleras/Burke Granger) 6/9/20 mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Gonzales, Meyer.  Nats take Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP, South Carolina
  • FanSided 6/10/20  Simulated Draft: Torkelson, Lacy, Martin, Gonzales, Veen.  Nats take Tyler Soderstrom, C, Turlock High School (CA) (mock draft done by bloggers representing teams)
  • BleacherReport (Joel Reuter) 6/10/20 final mock: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy,  Veen, Meyer.  Nats on Wilcox
  • TSN (Scott Mitchell) 6/10/20 final mock: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Gonzales, Veen.  Nats taking Casey Martin, SS Arkansas
  • 20/80 Baseball (Nick Faleras/Burke Granger6/10/20 final mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Meyer.  Nats on Wilcox

Final Mocks per major pundit

  • The Athletic (Keith Law6/10/20 Final Mock: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Meyer.  Nats on Wilcox again (but picking Mick Abel if he’s available)
  • CBSSports (Mike Axisa): 6/9/20 final mock: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Hancock.   Nats still taking Ginn (no last minute changes from  his 6/8/20 mock)
  • MLBpipeline (Jonathan Mayo) 6/10/20 final mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Meyer.  Nats on Bobby Miller, RHP Louisville as a fall-back if preferred arms don’t fall.
  • MLBpipeline (Jim Callis6/10/20 final mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Meyer.  Nats on Bryce Jarvis, RHP Duke as a fall-back if the likes of Wilcox, Beeter unavailable.
  • ESPN (Kiley McDaniel) 6/10/20 final mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Hancock, Meyer,  Nats take Austin Hendrick, prep OF from PA HS.
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo6/10/20 final Mock Draft v8.0 ; Torkelson, Martin, Lacy,  Veen, Meyer.  Nats on Wilcox.
  • Fangraphs (Eric LongenhagenMock 3.0 6/10/20: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Meyer.  Nats take Wilcox but he says other Boras guys make sense too.


Mock draft posters from past years who didn’t seem to do one this year.:

  • D1Baseball (Frankie Piliere); took a job with Seattle, no longer at d1baseball.
  • (Christopher Crawford); moved to nbcsports/roto world, now focused only on fantasy impact.
  • (John Sickels); moved to TheAthletic, site dead.
  • (Jay Jaffe), now with Fangraphs, so probably not doing prospect work anymore.
  • Baseball America (John Manuel): seems to have passed the torch at BA to Collazo
  • Baseball Draft Report (Rob Ozga); Last post was Sept 2018; out of business?
  • Seedlings to the Stars/ main writer left to form Video Baseball Scout.
  • Prospect Digest (Joseph Werner); hasn’t covered the draft since 2018
  • Video Baseball Scout; no mocks in 2020 after a bunch in 2019
  • (Joe Rivera): didn’t do his own mock; cut and pasted mocks from Law, Callis, Axisa

Draft Rankings: these are prospect ranking lists, NOT mock drafts.

Past prospect rankers that are not doing ranks this year

  • Baseball Draft Report (Rob Ozga); stopped writing sept 2018, one cryptic post in July 2019, seems like he was working for a team but no new content.
  • Video Baseball Scout; no rankings for 2020; site may have died
  • site dead, John Sickels now at the Athletic


Todd Boss’ Mock draft top-5 prediction?

My top 5 prediction: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Hancock.  I think Veen sneaks in and Gonzales falls out of the top 5, making someone in the 6-7 range very happy.

Who are the Nats going to take at #22?

We’ve talked about this a lot in the comments, but i’ll summarize my thoughts.  Here’s what the Nats like to take in the 1st round:

  • College
  • College Arm
  • College Arm from either Texas/Oklahoma area or a SEC arm
  • College Arm who was higher ranked earlier in the process but has fallen for some reason (injury, discipline) so they think they can get “value”
  • College arm who is advised by Scott Boras or who is similarly “famous” for some reason or another.

All of these things point to one guy; J.T. Ginn.  Only now it seems like Ginn is falling entirely out of the 1st round and may be had later on.  Kinda like how a few years back the Nats were attached with Alex Meyer at the 6th overall pick at one point … then were able to take him later on in the 1st.

So i’m going to predict the team skips Ginn, sees if they can sign him in the 2nd for 1st round money, and will take Cole Wilcox in the 1st.  Wilcox is also the Nats’ kinda guy; SEC school, big arm, big numbers, and a player who they’ve already tipped their hand on (picking him in the 2018 draft with one of their late 30th round throw-away picks).

Signability in this weird season is a factor of course.  The Nats have $6.6M to sign players this year; why wouldn’t they throw $3M at two players then punt the rest on college seniors?  Kinda like what the Mets did last year.

My prediction: Wilcox. Draft Tracker

ACTUAL TOP 5 DRAFT Results (added after the draft); Torkelson, Kjerstad, Meyer, Lacy, Martin.

What happened?

Actual Nats #22 Pick (added after the draft): Cade Cavalli, RHP from Oklahoma.  Not one mock draft ever had him going to the Nats.  None.  The team passes on a number of college arms that they had been linked to that are still on the board (Wilcox, Cecconi, Ginn, etc) to go with the big arm from Oklahoma.

105 Responses to '2020 Draft Coverage: Mock Draft Mania and Nats Prediction'

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  1. Nats picks (I think): #22, #55, #71 (Rendon comp), #94, #124, #154. If I’m counting correctly, total draft will only be 162 picks, so there should be a lot of quality free agents . . . if they’re willing to sign for peanuts. It will be interesting to see if the Nats’ large scouting system, connections with many college programs, reputation as a quality organization, and (oh yeah) World Championship will result in a good free agent haul.

    Very rare (in recent times) for the Nats to have four picks in the top 100. They desperately need a talent infusion in their farm system.


    4 Jun 20 at 9:11 am

  2. this year i’m keeping my draft notes on the draft tracker.

    My xls up there might be missing a lost pick somewhere i’ve got them 22,56, 72, 96.

    Todd Boss

    4 Jun 20 at 9:24 am

  3. I’ve stated my objections to Wilcox, Cecconi, Cavalli, and Mlodzinski so won’t repeat. I don’t think Kelley will fall that far so not worth too much discussion, other than to say that they need help more immediately than waiting five-plus years for a high school pitcher to ripen. If they feel they have to take a pitcher in the first round, I’m all in on Ginn. He flat out has a better track record (results) plus has more of a pitch arsenal than the others and thus a better chance to stick as a starter.

    My previously stated preference is to take a hitter first, either Austin Wells (C/LF), Dillon Dingler (C/OF), or Justin Foscue (2B/3B/LF?).

    Of course we’ve been focused on the first pick, while the team actually has to look at the draft as a whole. When I scan down to guys ranked around 55th and 71st, I see a lot of college arms. A lot of them profile not that much different than Wilcox/Cecconi/Cavalli (and there actually may be a small chance that Mlodzinski would drop to #55, like Crowe dropped to the Nats in the second round). Guys like Kyle Nicolas, Jake Eder, Jeff Criswell (very split opinion on him FG vs., Tommy Mace, and Seth Lonsway (has a falling arrow on FG board). Meanwhile, I don’t see hitters like Wells and Foscue in this range. To me, if you’re mapping out a draft strategy, that says take a hitter first and a college arm second, unless you’re really sold on Ginn.

    There are real divided opinions on some guys on down the draft board. Parker Chavers interests me an an OF with raw power and speed, but he’s #54 on FG board and literally double that on at #108. OF Tyler Gentry could be an interesting pick at either #71 or #94.

    One note on the FG board: they only have 16 college hitters ranked in their top 200. Um, that’s weird, and skewed. There are a number of college hitters that has in its top 100 that FG doesn’t have at all in its 200.

    I would like to see the Nats take a hitter with their first pick, probably a pitcher with the second, and at least one or two more hitters at some point in the draft. I realize that the “value” and “depth” in this draft are said to be in college arms, so if they end up with four of them, I’m somewhat fine with that. But goodness, they’re short of decent hitters in the organization.

    Also, I see no incentive whatsoever for a high schooler not picked in the top 20 or so to sign in this draft. There are tons of high schoolers on these boards — 41 in the FG top 100 — so the boards are overloaded with a lot of guys who won’t sign, really skewing the rankings of those who are truly available. There also doesn’t seem like much incentive for draft-eligible college sophs to sign unless they go high, including guys like Wilcox and Ginn. So who knows who on these boards is REALLY in the draft, particularly beyond the top 15-20 projected.


    4 Jun 20 at 9:55 am

  4. Draft order:

    They’re at 55 and 71 thanks to Trashstro forfeited picks.


    4 Jun 20 at 9:58 am

  5. Draft board; ah, forgot the Boston picks getting stripped. that’s the delta. Updating now

    Todd Boss

    4 Jun 20 at 10:08 am

  6. Nats picks: #22, 55, 71, 94, 123, 153. I’ve corrected the xls.

    Todd Boss

    4 Jun 20 at 10:13 am

  7. I forgot about the Bosox, err, Fauxsox picks. Every little bump up helps. Still feels like nothing to get the #71 pick for Rendon, though. Interestingly, the most recent #71 pick to make the majors is now a Nat:

    Yes, we just surrendered Rendon in exchange for Tanner Rainey, or Matt Reynolds. Maybe we’ll find the next Caminiti (without the ‘roids).


    4 Jun 20 at 10:52 am

  8. I know you can never have enough pitching, but relatibely speaking, we have enough pitching. Unless a legit top pitcher falls to the Nats, I’m all in on a position player at #22. The farm system is almost completely devoid of position player prospects past Kieboom and Garcia, both of whom will likely have graduated by this time next year.


    4 Jun 20 at 11:45 am

  9. I couldn’t help myself in Law’s chat today, asked about Foscue.

    Todd Boss
    1:50 Why is Justin Foscue suddenly getting 1st round mock draft buzz? I don’t get it; a 6-foot guy who’s defensively challenged and might get pushed to an OF corner who doesn’t project for power? What am I missing?
    Keith Law
    1:50 He wasn’t on my mock. He might go in the 20s but I tend to doubt it … I think Westburg would go first if any MSU kid goes in the first round.

    Todd Boss

    4 Jun 20 at 1:59 pm

  10. I’m seeing a lot more buzz about Foscue than Westburg, and I think Foscue will go in the 1st round. Whether the Nats should be the one picking is another matter. According to McDaniel’s latest mock, he’ll be gone before the Nats pick. (And Ginn is an “MSU kid” who likely will go in the 1st . . . unless he’s unsignable and everyone passes on him.)

    OK Todd, if you were taking a hitter at #22, who would you take? I think Sao and I are both on the Austin Wells train. I’m seeing a bit more buzz about Dingler recently, though, possibly moving ahead of Wells on some boards because some think he’s more likely to stick behind the plate. Wells is a year younger and has higher hit and power grades.


    4 Jun 20 at 2:46 pm

  11. Well that’s the thing. You don’t draft for need in baseball; you draft best player available. I’d look where we were and make a judgement on who was the best player.

    So, lets look at . If the Nats don’t take Ceccioni at 22, they’d be passing up on guys like Kelley and Beeter inorder to overdraft a Foscue.

    If i believed BA’s mock: : i’m not taking Foscue, i’m taking his teammate, who can actually play short and actually hit with wood last summer.

    if i believed Law’s mock: , there’s only one Bat the rest of the first round and its Westburg again.

    I dunno. its a big draft for college arms. As much as the farm system “needs” hitters … its needed hitters for years, yet they still continue to draft arms. why push to draft a bat in a draft where everyone agrees is strong on college arms?

    Todd Boss

    4 Jun 20 at 3:01 pm

  12. I wonder if the Foscue connection is based on what guys like Collazo and Kelly are hearing about the Nats and Foscue, or what they’re hearing about the Nats and Miss State. Obviously it’s not like they have scouts in attendance at every Miss State game (stupid virus), but figure they scouted Miss State heavily last year; that could be for Ginn, could be for Foscue, could be for Westburg. The Bulldogs are stacked.

    The college right-handers in this draft are boring IMO. A lot of guys who weren’t very good as freshmen and barely got to play this year. The scouting report on practically every single one of them is the same: fastball is up to 97-98, secondaries lag behind, great stuff, spotty command, seems to get hit more than he should butwhocares his fastball is up to 97-98! Cecconi, Cavalli, Wilcox, Mlodzinski. Practically the same marginally promising pitcher just copy-and-pasted over and over into different uniforms. Yawn.

    Meanwhile we desperately need hitting on the farm. The Hagerstown Suns last year combined for a .234/.654 batting line. The Auburn Doubledays: .231/.633. These are grievous numbers. The Nats’ farm system is going to be skimming along the bottom until there are some prospects in the fold who can actually hit a baseball.


    4 Jun 20 at 3:27 pm

  13. But why are you (or any of the mockers) convinced that the college arms likely available at #22 are any good? Most have had erratic college careers. Wilcox hasn’t come close to living up to his 2018 draft hype, and nearly every scouting report on him mentions possible bullpen conversion. As I said above, if you look at the profiles and stats of the college pitchers who are going to be available at #55, they’re a lot like the profiles of those lurking around #22. The only exception I see at the #22 level is the injured Ginn, who was significantly more successful in college than the projectable fellas.

    Wilcox isn’t as good as Rutledge or Romero, and the Nats picked Denaburg over him in 2018. So he would come in as the 4th-best arm in the organization, and maybe not that high in actuality. Cate has more pitches and better control.

    Meanwhile, there’s a huge sucking hole on the hitting side of the Nat farm system. I realize this draft is deep in college arms, but it’s not deep in truly successful ones. If it’s thin on college bats, then take a good one at #22 and show us how smart they are by taking the best of a whole crop of college arms who will be there at #55. Sorry, but the “catch a falling star” hitter drafting strategy hasn’t worked with Wiseman and Banks, and Drew Mendoza sure didn’t show much power last year as a pro.


    4 Jun 20 at 3:35 pm

  14. Foscue seems like a protypical case of stats vs. scouts. He’s certainly a Moneyball type pick — seemingly undervalued college stats because no one is sure about his position.

    As I’ve said, I’m not in the tank for Foscue, he wouldn’t be my first choice among the hitters, but I’d be happy if the Nats end up with him . . . and I’d bet a coffee that he hits better as a pro than Luis Garcia does.


    4 Jun 20 at 3:43 pm

  15. @KW – That’s a great point. I’ll bet we could get a college starter at #55 who isn’t that far behind the Cecconis, Cavallis, Wilcoxes, and Mlodzinskis of the world in ability, and possibly even one that has an actually better track record of performance. I’m just going to pick the first college arm ranked north of 55th overall by…let’s see…Jeff Criswell, out of Michigan.

    Criswell turned 21 in March and he has a career 2.88 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 2.23 K/BB over 162 1/3 IP in the Big 10. Not *elite* by any means, but how does he compare to…

    Cole Wilcox (SEC): 3.38 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 2.40 K/BB, 82 2/3 IP
    Cade Cavalli (B12): 4.09 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 2.15 K/BB, 101 1/3 IP
    Carmen Mlodzinski (SEC): 4.74 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 1.90 K/BB, 81 2/3 IP
    Slade Cecconi (ACC): 4.09 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 4.76 K/BB, 101 1/3 IP
    Tanner Burns (SEC): 2.86 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 3.13 K/BB, 188 2/3 IP
    C.J. Van Eyk (ACC): 3.21 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 2.71 K/BB, 176 2/3 IP
    Bobby Miller (ACC): 3.28 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 2.57 K/BB, 170 IP
    Chris McMahon (ACC): 3.28 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 3.32 K/BB, 112 1/3 IP
    Clayton Beeter (B12): 2.81 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 3.04 K/BB, 41 2/3 IP

    Criswell isn’t clearly, obviously *better* than any of these guys (except maybe Mlodzinski, yikes), and just going off statlines, I’d have a clear preference for at least a couple of them, all things being equal. But at least going off his stats, he fits in this general grouping.

    For all of the drooling over Cavalli, I can state firmly: I don’t get it. I assume there’s a reason why Wilcox and Mlodzinski are generally being predicted to come off the board before Tanner Burns, but it’s sure not based on their actual game results, because the numbers say Burns has been a better pitcher with a longer track record, and it’s not particularly close.


    4 Jun 20 at 4:01 pm

  16. Watching the live mock draft. Jared Kelley went #19 to the Mets, Cole Wilcox went #20 to the Brewers.


    4 Jun 20 at 5:58 pm

  17. Two live mocks, two weird results for the Nats, with Greg Gerard giving us SS Carson Tucker at #22. I don’t dislike Tucker or anything, but that’d figure as a surprise. (The hosts are surprised.)


    4 Jun 20 at 6:07 pm

  18. Hmm, Tucker might make a little sense at pick #55, but not #22!


    4 Jun 20 at 7:35 pm

  19. Big divide on Tanner Burns — #15 (!) on board, #28 on, and #67 on FG board. Certainly great as far as results are concerned. MLB compares him to another 6-footer from the SEC, Sonny Gray. I would say that he’s not the Nats’ type, but they did take Cate relatively high (and a little ahead of projected), and he has progressed well. I wouldn’t mind him at #22 (if they have to take a pitcher).

    Also big divide on Criswell: #58 on MLB, #126 (!) on FG. MLB has a 55 grade on three pitches for him, FWIW.

    And wow, Mlodzinski’s stats are bad. The bizarre love for him seems to be based on his 2019 performance on the Cape and “touching 99” last fall. Um, OK. He’s a hard pass for me.

    Lots of mentions of “bullpen” in Wilcox scouting reports. Also this from “Scouts don’t love his delivery, which features a low elbow and a long arm stroke that allows hitters to track the ball well out of his hand. His fastball has a history of getting hit harder than it should and he sometimes struggles to provide quality strikes.” Yikes. Please no.


    4 Jun 20 at 7:51 pm

  20. Cavalli: “His lack of command and deception also means that his premium stuff gets hit harder than it should.”


    4 Jun 20 at 7:54 pm

  21. Seriously, has anyone ever seen Wilcox or Mlodzinski or Cavalli in the same room at the same time? What are collegiate pitching coaches teaching these kids? Jeez.


    4 Jun 20 at 10:34 pm

  22. I would say that they all look a lot like Denaburg . . . except we’ve never seen Denaburg, after two flippin’ years! He’s never left Florida.


    4 Jun 20 at 10:41 pm

  23. I had missed this hint that Wilcox is looking for $4M or so to make it “worth it” for him to sign:

    Not happenin’ with the Nats, bro, even if you were worth it. And the Nats sure aren’t in a position, with their depleted system, to risk having their top pick not sign.


    5 Jun 20 at 10:31 am

  24. Wilcox not signing risk; i thought this year was a “zero risk” draft … if your pick doesn’t sign you don’t even have to offer 40% of slot to retain the pick for 2021? i can’t find a link to support this though, but thought I read cynical analysis predicting that some teams may just punt the entire draft knowing they’d get the picks in 2021.

    Todd Boss

    5 Jun 20 at 10:50 am

  25. $4M for the guy we passed over last time for Mason “MIA” Denaburg? Gee, no wonder Collazo has had the Nats looking elsewhere.

    Some teams can afford to just punt this year’s draft. The Nats, with a bottom-three farm system, are decidedly not one of them, and having this condensed version of the draft this year is not ideal already.


    5 Jun 20 at 11:57 am

  26. Now this would be a coup: BA’s annual staff mock draft has J.J. Cooper drafting Dillon Dingler at #22 and Clayton Beeter at #55 for the Nats. Yes please.


    5 Jun 20 at 12:00 pm

  27. so, with all due respect to BAs staff … if you’re going to “represent” the Nats in an exercise like this, and you take a name that literally no scouting analyst has ever predicted the team would take (Dingler) … and a guy who is constantly associated with the team is still on teh board and then gets taken 2 picks later (Wilcox) … how much do you actaully then value the results??

    Todd Boss

    5 Jun 20 at 12:57 pm

  28. Sao, I would do cartwheels over a Dingler/Beeter combo for the Nats (although I might hurt myself). I think Beeter has too much helium to last until #55, though, unless there are some underlying signability issues.

    That does follow my general strategy, though. At #22, the Nats would have their pick from all, or nearly all, of the second tier of college hitters: Wells, Dingler, Foscue, Westburg, Loftin, Martin, Cabrera, Sabato. With the possible exceptions of Sabato and Alika Williams, all of those guys likely will be gone by #55. And if Sabato is still there at 55, I’d take him too, unless they REALLY believe in Drew Mendoza. (Plus the DH is coming, right?) More likely, though, there will be a number of good college arms still on the board at #55; there likely won’t be many hitters at that point who wouldn’t be a reach.

    At #71 or 93, more college hitters come into play: Parker Chavers, Tyler Gentry, Gage Workman, Hudson Haskin, Zack DeLoach, etc. Really, I’ll be disappointed if the Nats don’t get at least two hitters out of this draft.

    As to Todd’s point about some teams being tempted to punt, I can’t see the Nats doing that. Their farm system isn’t in good shape talent-wise right now, particularly on the hitting side. In fact, after all the cuts, they’re going to have to sign a bunch of position players just to be able to field AA and AAA teams. I would think the only reason to punt a top pick would be if there’s a sudden move by a lot of the top players on the board to pull out of the draft.

    What do the Nats do if someone like Ginn is still on the board at #55? I don’t know. Do you take the shot that you can sign him, even when everyone else seems wary? I’d have less problem risking a punt on the 55th pick than I would on the 22d, though.


    5 Jun 20 at 1:25 pm

  29. If i’m the Nats and Ginn is on the board 2nd round, I draft him, offer him $3M (basically mid 1st round money), then draft 3 $1000 college seniors 3-4-5 and call it a draft. Ginn would be a complete, absolute fool to turn down mid 1st round money coming off an injury that is no guarantee that he recovers from, or would he be a guarantee to go mid-1st round next year unless he completely recovers, has zero rehab hiccups and then shows up in spring of 2021 and dominates to the extent that he can dominate enough to rise above a double-sized draft class thanks to all the players who will be going back to school and/or going to juco out of HS and will be competing for 1st round dollars.

    Todd Boss

    5 Jun 20 at 3:01 pm

  30. The Nats actually have four picks after #55, so a little more money. And they’ll already have a slew of seniors lined up to sign as free agents after the five rounds. I would be OK punting the rest of the draft to get (and sign) Ginn at #55 . . . provided they draft a hitter at #22, and that they have it on darn good authority that Ginn would sign. Otherwise, the only decent player they would get out of the draft would be whoever they take at #22.

    I do scratch my head at the disparity of ranks of Ginn. I mean, has him at #44 on their board despite 60/60/55 grades on his pitches. FG has him at #25 and at #24, which is more respectable but still behind the wad of less-proven pitchers we’ve discussed. If they dropped him 10-12 places because of injury, that’s probably reasonable, though. But I don’t understand a #44 ranking at all.

    As I’ve noted, the pickle Ginn is in is that he can’t really expect to improve his draft standing in next year’s stacked draft because he probably won’t be recovered enough to pitch by the 2021 NCAA season, at least not full bore. So he has more incentive to sign than someone like Wilcox, who might vault into the top 10 in 2021 if he actually lives up to his alleged potential.


    5 Jun 20 at 4:25 pm

  31. @Todd Boss – I like that idea. Foscue/Dingler/Westburg/Wells/Crow-Armstrong in the first round plus Ginn in the second round, and spend the rest of the picks on cheap flier types, sounds like a great draft for the Nats.


    5 Jun 20 at 5:10 pm

  32. Time for SaoMocknifico 2.0:

    #1 Tigers – 1B Spencer Torkelson
    #2 Orioles – OF Zac Veen
    #3 Marlins – OF Austin Martin
    #4 Royals – SS Nick Gonzales
    #5 Blue Jays – LHP Asa Lacy
    #6 Mariners – RHP Emerson Hancock
    #7 Pirates – RHP Max Meyer
    #8 Padres – OF Robert Hassell
    #9 Rockies – LHP Reid Detmers
    #10 Angels – 3B Jordan Walker
    #11 White Sox – C Patrick Bailey
    #12 Reds – RHP Cade Cavalli
    #13 Giants – RHP Mick Abel
    #14 Rangers – RHP Jared Kelley
    #15 Phillies – RHP Nick Bitsko
    #16 Cubs – SS Ed Howard
    #17 Red Sox – OF Garrett Mitchell
    #18 Diamondbacks – OF Austin Hendrick
    #19 Mets – OF Heston Kjerstad
    #20 Brewers – LHP Garrett Crochet
    #21 Cardinals – C Tyler Soderstrom
    #22 Nationals – OF Pete Crow-Armstrong
    #23 Indians – C Dillon Dingler
    #24 Rays – RHP Chris McMahon
    #25 Braves – RHP Tanner Burns
    #26 Athletics – C Austin Wells
    #27 Twins – 2B Justin Foscue
    #28 Yankees – 1B Aaron Sabato
    #29 Dodgers – OF Daniel Cabrera

    This one got weird, with big slides for several prep hitters, including Crow-Armstrong, who fell to the Nats at #22. A couple notes on Crow-Armstrong: He plays for the same high school Mike Rizzo drafted Lucas Giolito out of in 2012, and he was considered a potential top-five pick this time about a year ago. There are a few teams I think are wedded to a particular player and a few teams that I think act as pure opportunists, and the Nats fall into the latter camp. I can still see a path to them getting Crochet, as they did the last time I did this (completely and entirely unscientific and purely for fun) exercise.

    And where’s Cole Wilcox? He’s not here. I don’t think anyone meets his price, and there are enough pitchers available who look just like him that I think he may have priced himself out. We’ll see. Telegraphing you want $4M when you’re a back-of-the-first-round talent at best with a shedload of close comparables in the draft class is a questionable tactic, even for a Boras client.


    6 Jun 20 at 5:08 am

  33. Honestly, i’d take Pete Crow-Armstrong. We’re talking about a kid who was being mentioned 1-1 overall at the beginning of the draft cycles who can play a premium position and who has pretty solid scouting reports on both sides of the ball.

    I think back to how we got Rendon. College POTY as a sophomore, then inexplicably he drops in the draft to us due to injuries and a lesser junior year. Every team who passed on him kicks themsevles to this day, and there were several major stars drafted ahead of Rendon (Cole, Bauer primarily)

    Todd Boss

    6 Jun 20 at 8:07 am

  34. Yes, but the top of that 2011 draft also carries the cautionary tale of a can’t-miss high-school CF, a la Crow-Armstrong. The Royals took Bubba Starling with pick #5, one ahead of Rendon. (One imagines that “Rendon” has become a curse word in the Royal front office.) I remember seeing Starling in Woodbridge against Potomac in 2014. In fact, he hit a grand slam off of a rehabbing Gio Gonzalez that night. But he hit only .218 that season, with only 9 homers and a frightening 150 Ks. Rendon was already an MLB regular by that summer, hitting 21 homers. As for poor Bubba, the Royals finally brought him up last summer as he was turning 27, but he was awful: .215/.255/.317.

    Not all HS picks fail, of course. Lindor was the #8 pick in that draft, and Javier Baez was #9. But nine years after that draft, the Mets still aren’t sure what they have in the HS OF they took at #13, Brandon Nimmo.

    There would be less of a “gamble” at #22 if Crow-Armstrong falls that far, and it’s quite possible that he would be the most “elite” talent available at that point. That’s what the Nats thought when they took Kieboom at #28 in 2016. But there are no guarantees (as there aren’t with college picks, either). After all, the 1/1 from the Kieboom draft, Mickey Moniak, a HS OF, struggled at AA last year and looks nowhere near ready to do much in the majors. He’s hit only 21 homers across 3.5 years of pro ball. (And since he belongs to the Phils, we’re glad he sucks.

    Wow, just scrolling through that 2016 1st round, and the only sure-fire success you see is Dakota Hudson at pick #34. The talent in that draft was said to be in high schoolers, and they generally take a long time to show up. The Dodgers think they have a stud in Gavin Lux (#20).


    6 Jun 20 at 9:55 am

  35. Sao, I sure hope the Braves don’t get Burns at #25. Maybe they’ll chase Wilcox, the local kid. We sure don’t need them getting more young, controlled pitching, particularly since we can’t seem to develop any of our own.


    6 Jun 20 at 9:57 am

  36. Byron Kerr thinks Wilcox to the Nats is a lock if he’s still on the board at #22:

    FWIW, Wilcox “liked” Kerr’s tweet sharing the link to the article on Twitter.


    6 Jun 20 at 3:47 pm

  37. Crow-Armstrong or Wilcox? If it comes to it?

    Todd Boss

    7 Jun 20 at 8:24 am

  38. I think we’d take a higher-grade talent like Crow-Armstrong if he falls, and if Wilcox comes off the board earlier than expected, then all bets are off.


    7 Jun 20 at 12:05 pm

  39. PCA scouting report from Law: Crow-Armstrong may have done as much to help himself in the brief time before the season ended as any high school hitter in the draft. Multiple scouts have told me he’s the best defensive outfielder in the class, a future 70 glove in center field who’s also a 60 runner and has a plus arm. At the plate, he’s gotten quite a bit stronger since last summer, and was making consistently hard contact this spring before Harvard-Westlake ended its season. Crow-Armstrong has good feel to hit and bat speed, although his front side can go soft sometimes and there’s more swing-and-miss than you might want to see for a high school hitting prospect — although he’s faced better competition than most prep hitters do. The defensive and positional value give him a higher floor than most teenagers in the class have, and the possibility for a 60 bat with 50 power gives him a star ceiling.

    Todd Boss

    7 Jun 20 at 4:31 pm

  40. and here’s his Wilcox write-up: Wilcox was a first-round talent out of high school in 2018, but was looking for more than teams would pay and chose to go to Georgia, where he’s now age-eligible as a sophomore and offers one of the biggest arms among starters. Wilcox has hit 100 mph and will often sit 94-96 mph, with a slider that flashes plus in the mid-80s and a changeup that’s solid but that the Bulldogs rarely called. His fastball can play down a little from its velocity, as his arm is trackable and hitters see it well. His arm can be a tick late, but he repeats it well enough and has shown he can hold velo deep into starts. He has No. 1 or 2 starter upside, but would need a fair amount of development help to get there, and right now projects more as a No. 4 who leaves you wanting a bit more.

    Todd Boss

    7 Jun 20 at 4:32 pm

  41. Ginn write-up: Ginn is draft-eligible as a sophomore because he’s already 21, and he entered this year as a probable top-10 pick just two years after turning down a seven-figure bonus from the Dodgers, who took him with the 30th overall pick in 2018. Ginn can show two dominant pitches in his fastball and slider, both of which can be 70s on the right night, and in brief showings in the fall he flashed a plus changeup as well, all of which together would have made him one of the top two or three starters in the class. Unfortunately for Ginn, he blew out his elbow this spring and required Tommy John surgery after he threw just three innings in one start, which may confirm previous concerns about the head-whack in his delivery. He might be a reliever, but the chance for three plus pitches in a starter is going to attract a lot of suitors even with the elbow surgery.

    Todd Boss

    7 Jun 20 at 4:37 pm

  42. And here’s Foscue, who he has ranked 63rd in the class, basically at the bottom of the 2nd round.

    Foscue has gotten some first-round buzz but the tools and performance don’t really back that up. He’s a dead pull hitter who nearly bars out with a deep, high load, showing power to left field but struggling to go the other way. He’s a below-average defender whose arm limits him to second base. He rarely strikes out, however, under 10 percent of the time in his college career, with 15 walks and just 3 strikeouts this spring in 69 plate appearances before the shutdown. Some teams see that and his exit velocities and think there’s a future plus hit/power combination.

    Todd Boss

    7 Jun 20 at 4:40 pm

  43. In looking at some of the info on Crow-Armstong, I thought of Yelich, a lanky HS-drafted OF (pick #23, so very close) who showed very little HR power until age 24. I think he’s figured it out, though! That’s a very high-ceiling comp, but also a reminder that sometimes it takes folks a while to grow into their power. Like Yelich in his youth, Crow-Armstong would have other calling cards: defense, SBs, and gap power.

    I really have very little interest in Wilcox. He’s a flamethrower who is still figuring out how to pitch, and how not to get his stuff hit so hard. As I’ve noted, the Nats already have the comp for Wilcox in Reid Schaller, who can touch triple digits but is still figuring out how to pitch. He spent all of 2019 at Hagerstown, did OK, but apparently not enough to convince the organization to push him ahead. By contrast, Tim Cate, who probably can’t break glass but knows how to pitch, mastered Hagerstown and Potomac and got a playoff appearance at AA. I love the guys who know how to pitch, and have actual success doing it, like Ginn and Burns. (Schaller was fine for a 3d-round pick, with some development expected. But why is Wilcox thought of as a 1st-rounder if he still needs a similar amount of development?)

    For the record, I doubt Crow-Armstrong will still be on the board when the Nats pick. I hope Wilcox won’t either, so the Nats are forced to make a more intelligent choice.


    7 Jun 20 at 7:48 pm

  44. Law is a lot cooler on Foscue than some other evaluators; I’ve been seeing him mentioned in the 20s and 30s for weeks now. Doesn’t necessarily mean he’s wrong, of course.

    Wilcox projecting as a #4 isn’t very exciting to me, and every time I see the words “has hit 100 mph” in connection with a Nats draft prospect, I get A.J. Cole and Lucas Giolito flashbacks. Cole ended up being a serviceable reliever, and Giolito appeared to turn the corner in a big way in 2019, but neither throws anywhere close to 100 mph anymore, and neither contributed much with the Nats.

    There’s really nothing in Ginn’s profile I dislike, and I’m not too worried about his status as a recent TJ recipient given the Nats’ success rehabbing those guys and how common TJ is these days. But there’s got to be a reason Ginn has fallen down draft boards to the extent he has, and I don’t want the Nats to use a first-round draft pick on him if he’s not going to sign.

    It’s easy to dream on Crow-Armstrong, but yeah, there are plenty of cautionary tales out there, like Bubba Starling. Still, he’s advanced for a prep prospect, and it’s easy to dream on years of Juan Soto, Victor Robles, and Pete Crow-Armstrong being one of the very best outfields in baseball on both sides of the ball. We arguably don’t have anyone down on the farm right now with PCA’s upside, give or take Jackson Rutledge (who is a pitcher, obviously).


    8 Jun 20 at 3:01 am

  45. Here’s Foscue’s rank amongst the leading pundits on their Top XX Boards:
    – Law: #64
    – MLBpipeline: #32
    – BA: #36
    – FAngraphs: #27
    – ESPN/McDaniel: #19
    – CBS/Anderson: #32
    – D1baseball: #26 (and that’s only looking at college players)

    So, interestingly Fangraphs and ESPN (who is ex- of fangraphs as of a few months ago) both are highest on Foscue. Most in the 32-36 range, Law way low.

    Nonetheless, if the median in in the low 30s … that’s not a first rounder. It is what it is. I’m going to be *pissed* if they blow a 1st rounder on Foscue.

    Todd Boss

    8 Jun 20 at 8:21 am

  46. Sao, yeah, it’s amazing how guys seem to lose 5-7 MPH off their fastballs and two inches of height between the draft and when they report, isn’t it? You’d think that accuracy on such things would improve over the years, but it doesn’t seem to have. That’s why it’s still so important to take results into account.

    As we’ve discussed, Wilcox, Cavalli, Cecconi, and particularly Mlodzinski (who is ranked ahead of all three of the others on the board!) have had mediocre college careers, based on results. We’re told that the strength of this draft is in college pitching, yet we’re also told that his mediocre quartet is in the second half of the top 10 college arms available. What gives? I mean, none of these guys were as good in college as recent Nat 2d-rounders Wil Crowe and Tim Cate, who both went on pick #65. Yes, I know that Crowe was older and Cate doesn’t throw as hard, but I also know that they’re advancing through the system a lot faster than a whole crop of “projectable” guys who are still trying to figure out how to pitch, on our dime. You get no age benefit from drafting an eligible soph if he needs an extra year-plus of development to get him ready to advance as a pro.

    So . . . I still consider Wilcox, Cavalli, Cecconi, and particularly Mlodzinski all as reaches for the first round, particularly if they’re taken ahead of much more proven guys like Ginn and Burns, basely solely on the “projectability” of those mythical near-100 heaters.


    8 Jun 20 at 9:08 am

  47. but that’s the thing with an abbreviated 2020 season; all of these guys had mediocre seasons … but they didn’t get their oldest/strongest season to change the narrative. Wilcox started off the season on fire; what if he kept those stats all the way through the SEC season? he’d be goign 1st overall. SEC and ACC baseball (where all these guys pitch) is a grind week in, week out. I mean, Vanderbilt had like 12 guys drafted one year; its like a 20yr old amateur pitching in Short-A in a lot of ways.

    Todd Boss

    8 Jun 20 at 9:25 am

  48. Another mock released this am at fangraphs:

    Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Meyer. Nats take Wilcox but he says this is Crochet’s floor. that’s an interesting comment on Crochet; he has him going 17th. But this mock also has the nats passign on Crow-Armstrong and Ceccioni.

    coincidentaly if you refresh the post i’m updating it when we get new mocks and new listings. I treat this post as a running diary of all Mocks found for context in one spot.

    Todd Boss

    8 Jun 20 at 9:28 am

  49. Longenhagen (FanGraphs) also has your buddy Foscue going 13th(!) and Loftin 14th.

    I haven’t looked at Crochet much because most mocks have him going in the mid-teens. His college results aren’t that great, either. Don’t know about his “makeup concerns,” but one Seth Romero is already one too many!

    It would be interesting if Bitsko or Abel dropped into #22 territory.


    8 Jun 20 at 9:38 am

  50. Abel would be a beast at 22. Cannot believe he has Foscue goign that high. i scanned over it too fast and didn’t read his reasoning. Just readit and found the magic word: signability.

    Todd Boss

    8 Jun 20 at 9:54 am

  51. More mocks:

    Axisa mocks Ginn at #22 for the fourth time for CBS Sports. He likes the fit! Nats pass over Kelley, Bitsko, Dingler among others.

    Bleacher Report mocks a new name altogether to the Nats in OF Daniel Cabrera out of Louisiana State. Wilcox is still on the board at #22.

    Ian Smith at Prospects 365 mocks Dingler at #22. Thinks the Nats go for a catcher, although I don’t know if that’s based on real intel.


    8 Jun 20 at 10:57 am

  52. Yeah, Axisa seems more plugged in than some of the others. However, if folks are actually looking at Nat NEEDS, then those folks are picking catchers and outfielders for them.


    8 Jun 20 at 11:39 am

  53. My fantasy is that the Nats do the reverse of what they did in 2017. That year, sensing a need to restock the arms in the system, they took pitchers in nine of the first ten rounds (plus the perplexing reach on Cole Freeman in the 4th, presumably because they had a Renda-sized hole to fill). Well, there’s now a hell of a need to restock the bats in the system. And I’m sorry, I’m not buying the supposed strength of the college arms on which the 2020 draft is supposed to be based. If Mlodzinski is a top-10 arm, that doesn’t say much for the guys ranked behind him.

    Also, if the draft really is short on good college bats, it would seem to make sense to grab one early. At #22, the Nats should have their pick of the litter of the second tier of college hitters, or nearly so.

    My fantasy would be something like:

    #22 Wells or Dingler (I wouldn’t mind Cabrera, but catching is a more pressing need)
    #55 Sabato or Alika Williams falling to here; possibly a small chance Cabrera could fall this far
    #71 Parker Chavers
    #94 Tyler Gentry
    #124 Jordan Nwogu
    #154 Tyler Keenan or Trevor Hauver

    Not gonna happen, I know! This being the Nats, I’ll be surprised if they spend more than a couple of picks on hitters.

    There is a massive divide scouting-wise on a lot of the college hitters. As I’ve noted, FG only has 16 college hitters among its top 200, and no one of any consequence above Alika Williams at #65. Its last three fall at #s 158, 161, and 164, and none of them are ranked in the top 200. has quite a number of college hitters in its second 100, though. In a draft this short and quirky, will they even be drafted? It would seem likely that a number of them will fall through the cracks and be available as free agents . . . if they’ll sign for $20K. (The argument against a lot of these guys falling all the way through the draft is that many of the draft boards are heavily padded with high schoolers, most of whom have little incentive to turn pro if they’re not picked in the top 1.5 rounds or so.)


    8 Jun 20 at 11:54 am

  54. You don’t draft for need in MLB. Not with a dozen pitchers and a dozen hitters on your roster. You draft BPA.

    Axisa has had 4 mocks, taking Ginn to the nats 4 times.

    Never heard of the guys doing mocks at Bleacher Report or Prospects 365 frankly, so I’m not really inclined to think they’re as credible as the professionals I generally follow (BA, mlb, law, longenhagen, mcdaniel). I mean no offense, but some 22yr old blogger who writes aobut fantasy baseball isn’t the same as 20yr veterans with front office experience who have the phone numbers of every GM in the land.

    Todd Boss

    8 Jun 20 at 12:20 pm

  55. You HAVE to draft for need at some point. With the MLB salary structure, you have to have good young, controllable talent to maintain a quality team. Rizzo has managed a rather brilliant workaround for the last couple of seasons by finding the market inefficiency in mid-level veteran talent.

    But if you have an equal number of slots between hitters and pitchers on an MLB roster, then you need an equal level of talent waiting in the wings to fill those holes. Beyond Kieboom, right now the only hitting “prospect” the Nats have in the minors anywhere close to the majors is pop-less Luis Garcia. That’s it. In a perfect world, Drew Mendoza will have a two-level advance next summer and be close to waiting in the wings when the Howie/Zim/Thames trio starts moving toward the exits, but that is the rosiest of rosy scenarios. Behind the plate, Suzuki is aging and already a defensive liability, and Gomes got non-tendered for a reason. Are we really counting on a Jakson Reetz miracle? Or a Pineda one? At least I can throw out a couple of names of catchers, but I got nuttin’ for you OF-wise when Eaton starts running on fumes in a year or two. When we start complaining about it, I’ll just recommend that we put Wilcox in RF since he supposedly has a cannon for an arm . . .

    (I also feel like the Nats would be more open to looking at hitters if they hadn’t continued to put themselves behind the pitching 8-ball with questionable picks like Romero and Denaburg. But that’s water already under the bridge and down the stream.)


    8 Jun 20 at 1:40 pm

  56. Completely agree that there’s a wide variance between mockers who are connected and those who aren’t. Still, a lot of mockers seem to be all over the place and/or repeating each other in some instances. Plus there are a growing number of rumors that the O’s will try to go cheap at #2 and save money for a big overslot at #30, both of which could bounce the 1st and 2d rounds. (Also, “Competitive Balance” picks must die, particularly for teams that don’t try at all to compete.) Also, not sure how you get that much of an overslot target still left at #30 without blatant manipulation of the system, basically having the agent of some kid tell every team inquiring to get lost so their guy will fall there. Plus what self-respecting agent would have his player hold out to go to the O’s anyway?! Might be a landing spot for someone like Kelley or our friend Wilcox who seem to want more than their possible slots dictate.


    8 Jun 20 at 1:50 pm

  57. Tim Kelly is sticking with Justin Foscue for the Nats. He thinks the Cardinals take Cole Wilcox at #21 and the Braves take J.T. Ginn at #25 (which would sting a bit).


    8 Jun 20 at 3:19 pm

  58. Also, I’ve never quite understood who gets to define “BPA.” How can a team pick a player with so many question marks like Wilcox, Cavalli, Cecconi, or particularly Mlodzinski and declare him the best player available? I would declare Ginn and Burns “better” than all of them based on performance and number of plus pitches. Maybe their possible ceilings aren’t as high (I say “maybe” because Ginn in particular still has some top-shelf stuff), but their floors are also much higher as well. When you get into defining “best” based more on projection than results, that’s dangerous territory. And if you’re going mostly on projection, why not take an even bigger arm, like Beeter or Bobby Miller?

    I think a lot of the helium for Foscue is based on high floor. Teams looking at all these big-armed pitchers with question marks look at Foscue and see “safe,” with a chance to be better than safe, although perhaps not a large one. If so, though, why not a similar amount of rise for Wells, who has a similarly “safe” bat with more projection in it than Foscue’s, with similar position questions?


    8 Jun 20 at 4:36 pm

  59. @KW – Both of those are good questions, and I don’t really know the answer. It seems like every draft room has a “board” with names in sequence, and they’ll draft the player who is highest remaining on the list once their number is called. But how they make those lists and the considerations that go into them, I think it must vary (maybe quite a lot) from team to team.

    The Nats going “safe” with a first-round pick would be unusual for them. I don’t hate Foscue for the Nats, but Mike Rizzo is a gambler and I see him focused on higher-upside names. As for who is left on the board at #22…well, we’ll just have to wait 48 hours or so and find out.


    8 Jun 20 at 4:47 pm

  60. Sao — Yes, completely agree that Rizzo doesn’t have a reputation for going “safe.” He does have a reputation for drafting guys with strong performance backgrounds, though. The last 1st-round or 1st-by-Nats pick in a draft I can think of who didn’t have a solid stats backing up the projection is Jake Johansen in 2013, who was a disaster. (But he was also the #68 pick, so most teams are reaching by that point.)


    8 Jun 20 at 5:08 pm

  61. By that logic, Ginn would seem a lot more like a typical Rizzo pick than Wilcox, Cavalli, Cecconi, or particularly Mlodzinski.


    8 Jun 20 at 5:12 pm

  62. Agreed, and I’d be a lot happier with drafting (and signing) Ginn than those other guys based on performance.

    All of that being said — Rizzo has generally placed a premium on makeup when drafting, and the one notable exception, Seth Romero, backfired horrendously. Wilcox wasn’t much as a freshman; really didn’t do enough (or, more aptly, have enough opportunity) as a sophomore to convince me he’s a different pitcher now; and has some notable red flags surrounding his delivery and pitch quality. But by all accounts, he’s got 80-grade makeup, he’s a fun personality on social media, and his coaches seem to genuinely love him. I don’t know about Ginn (who could be a great guy also), but reading that note about concerns over Garrett Crochet’s makeup worried me a bit, and Jared Kelley has apparently had some struggles to stay in shape, which was another red flag the Nats ignored when drafting Romero to their eventual chagrin.

    Having a great personality isn’t a substitute for being able to throw three pitches for strikes and get swings and misses on all of them. But it does help, no more so than with the turmoil afflicting the minor leagues and uncertainty over just how much baseball we’ll have between now and…um…will there be a vaccine first, or a new CBA finalized first?


    8 Jun 20 at 6:25 pm

  63. I guess the bottom line with Wilcox is whether one believes in his brief 2020 season or not. He was underwhelming in the 2019 season and in his brief wood-bat league summer. Even in 2020, the brief clips I’ve seen of him, he looks very upright and stiff. My take when I see that is that he’s still a developmental/mechanical work in progress and probably wouldn’t rise quickly in the organization that drafts him.


    8 Jun 20 at 6:51 pm

  64. That’s what I think too, which is why I’m hoping a team in front of us likes him enough that Mike Rizzo has to make a better choice. All bets are off if Wilcox and Cavalli are both gone before #22. Byron Kerr, at least, seems to believe those are the guys Rizzo covets. I’d much rather see us go for Ginn, Burns, or even Beeter if we’re going to go the pitching route — or Abel or maybe Bitsko if they’re somehow still around at #22 — and I’m *really* hoping that an interesting hitter slides.


    8 Jun 20 at 7:21 pm

  65. Baseball America finally joins the Cole train for the Nats. Interestingly, they project Justin Foscue to come off the board — to the Mets — before #22, and Jared Kelley being passed over by Mike Rizzo’s shop before being selected at #23. Bitsko and Beeter stay on the board well into the 30s, which seems dubious to me, but Collazo is one of the best at capturing late movement before Draft Day.


    8 Jun 20 at 7:30 pm

  66. Bitsko must be a signing issue, as he’s too good to fall that far otherwise. I like him a good bit better than Kelley, if one must have a college pitcher.

    There’s a lot of risk with Beeter — TJ, very limited experience, lots of walks. There was one point when we were wondering if he might fall to the Nats at #55, until he caught some major helium.

    Wilcox: I don’t understand why he wants to come out now. He could jump into the top 10 with a strong 2021 and make almost twice as much.


    8 Jun 20 at 8:07 pm

  67. err, Bitsko over Kelley as a high school pitcher . . .


    8 Jun 20 at 8:08 pm

  68. But why would Bitsko reclassify if he’s not planning on entering the draft?


    8 Jun 20 at 8:16 pm

  69. Yeah, I don’t get that either. I really doubt Bitsko falls that far. He’s 17 and already has a grown man’s build and a 97-mph fastball, and his makeup is reportedly off the charts. Hell, I’d much prefer the Nats draft Bitsko than Wilcox in the first round, and I normally really dislike using up first-round picks on prep pitchers.


    8 Jun 20 at 8:50 pm

  70. A few thoughts to add to what folks are noting here:

    The prattling conventional punditry misses the reality that Nationals draft history is not marked by taking people who fall because of injury, but by taking people who fall. Every draft, for every sport, has players who fall farther than anticipated, for many reasons.

    In retrospect, I can’t now take issue with any of the top picks based on what was known at the time. That includes Seth Romero, who is still very highly thought of and whom I am sure many teams would trade for now. His attitude problems disappeared after awhile, and he rehabbing injury now, not attitude. Lighter and with the same stuff.

    Denaburg got hurt – injuries happen. Speaking of them as one does Jake Johansen is, to me, ridiculous. Johansen was one of those players drafted above his station, and he proved the peter principle. Fedde and Giolito were drafted lower because of injuries that the Nats believed they could rehab. And they did. Fedde’s fall from loftiness is no shocker; most of those drafted before and after him in the first round have petered out as well without real major league impact.

    Kieboom had a family connection and may have gone to college had he not had a connection to the organization.

    To me, the best case model is Rutledge, whom we never believed the Nationals would get, until he fell all the way to us last year. Denaburg fell, too. He had talent, but got hurt. The same thing will happen this year.

    As for the draft in later rounds, assessing the Nationals draft approach based on the trends of the Rizzo years overall is shallow. The team has evolved and really, the only comps are from the most recent years. I feel like the overall drafts have gotten better over the past few years. That braintrust informs the approach. So they will have a better draft board, which means a better board of those seniors and unacademically motivated ballplayers to scoop up at 20K. As I noted in the last thread and KW agrees above, this is the ideal year for the Nats to have a transformative infusion of talent (and why I am not so excited about their cutting loose minor leaguers who will simply not play when that infusion comes in).

    I like the suggestions I’m hearing here about going all in on the signing money for 2 (and why not 3, with 6+ m in coin to spend) picks and paying a pittance for a few college seniors. Again, every year people fall, and some of them fall for “signability” concerns. That’s how, for example, the Pirates got Josh Bell.

    As for pitching vs. hitting, in a draft like this, draft potentials STARS, hitting or pitching. There is enormous opportunity for depth signing, and those are players for whom you look for high floor. Get me the highest ceiling with the work ethic. That’s why I would not be surprised for the Nationals to be more risky (high school or underclassman) with a premium pick than we are used to. Rizzo trusts his scouts.

    It may just be that the reason the Nats go pitching at #1 is that there simply are not position players that have the same ceiling. That does not mean they don;t eye them. The trade for Trea Turner was exactly that. Had he been there when the Nats drafted, several spots later, they would have taken him.

    Too much is made of the Boras connection. More lazy reporting because of the high profile of Bryce and Stras. Boras may meet with the Lerners, but he didn’t get Harper his contract with the Nats, nor Rendon. People make the Nationals out to be Boras-sheep just because Rizzo signed Wieters when we had traded for Derek Norris.


    9 Jun 20 at 2:03 am

  71. Fore — I think you’re identified part of what bugs me so much about a potential pick of Wilcox: it’s “settling.” There’s no “value added” from taking a guy right around where he’s expected to fall. He’s not even the first of that tier of college arms expected to be drafted, as most mocks have Cavalli going ahead of him.

    Where is the potential value added, the guys who could project to the top 10-15 but may be available at #22 for various reasons? I’d say Ginn among college arms, who is very much in the Fedde situation, knocked down from potential top 10 because of a TJ. Bitsko would be a real high-value HS arm. As Sao said he is, I’m also normally against HS pitchers and didn’t love the Denaburg pick. But Bitsko is an intriguing talent, and a year younger. Would Kelley be the same level of talent if he were to fall? I don’t know. Boards are more divided on him: #12 on MLB, #22 on CBS, and #28 on FG.

    Among hitters, there is also some divided ranking on Crow-Armstrong. There was once some top-10 buzz about him, and I can’t really tell why he’s been pushed down to the late teens/early 20s on many boards. On most of them he is still the first bat of the second tier. I really don’t foresee a “falling star” college hitter reaching the Nats, as there’s a pretty solid line drawn below Patrick Bailey and Garrett Mitchell on most boards. I think one mock did have Bailey falling to the Nats, but that’s likely a pipe dream.

    Of the second tier of college hitters, the only one who strikes me as potentially “special” is Austin Wells, whether he sticks at catcher or not. Personally, I see him as undervalued as a hitter because of his positional insecurity, but I know others think he’s a reach if he can’t stick at catcher. I scratch my head at that, particularly ones who have Foscue ahead of Wells, despite similar lack of position and less power projection.


    9 Jun 20 at 8:29 am

  72. One college hitter to watch potentially falling to the Nats on pick #55 or 71: Alika Williams, SS, AZ State. I just noticed that FG has dropped him from the 40s all the way down to #77 on its board, so he seems to be falling. He’s #36 on CBS, #40 on MLB. Great plate discipline, limited power, slick fielding. He hit very well for Team USA in 2019: .364/.370/.545, better numbers than a lot of guys who are going to be picked ahead of him. put a Kevin Newman comp on him.

    Anyway, Williams generally had been listed as the last of the second tier of 8-10 college hitters who are sprinkled among the 20s and 30s on most lists. So he probably would be a “value” pick at 55 or 71. He may not end up being more than an MLB utilityman, but he certainly has better plate discipline than Difo.


    9 Jun 20 at 8:52 am

  73. Here’s a new mock from Yahoo Sports:

    Another vote for Wilcox to the Nats (sigh). The mocker is Matt Weyrich, who works for NBC Sports Washington, although I’ve never heard of him. The guess would be that he’s repeating conventional wisdom rather than reporting anything new.


    9 Jun 20 at 9:46 am

  74. Forensicane: agree on Nats picking players who have fallen, irrespective of the reason. for me its about getting value for your pick. If you play fantasy baseball, literally every draft there’s a homer fan who overdrafts the star from his team and then suddenly you’re sitting in the third round and picking a guy who should have gone 10 picks higher. Its no different in baseball; Rendon suffers a shoulder injury his junior year and despite being freshman poty and then college baseball’s first ever underclassman player of the year as a sophomore falls to us at 6th. Rizzo trippped over his own feet racing to the phone to make that pick.

    I also recall the story of the Nats picking Giolito over Wacha. they were in order on their board, and when Giolito fell the Nats took him. You create a board, and you stick to the board.

    Todd Boss

    9 Jun 20 at 9:47 am

  75. KW

    9 Jun 20 at 9:48 am


    Here’s a new one for the Nats: Ed Howard, HS SS. He’s #11 on FG board and #15 on, so not thought to drop that far, but who knows? Thought to be the best HS SS in the draft.


    9 Jun 20 at 9:52 am

  77. DraftSite picks all the way through the draft:

    #22: Kelley
    #55: Dylan Crews, HS OF (FG #46)
    #71: Hayden Cantrelle, 2B, LA-Lafayette (MLB #118)
    #94: Jordan Nwogu, OF, Mich (hey, one I had picked!)
    #123: Cory Acton, 2B, FLA (not on MLB or FG)
    #153: Kalai Rosario, HS OF (MLB #182)

    Of course I love this guy’s idea of the Nats using five of six picks on position players. A lot of these seem like reaches at where he has them slotted, though, other than Kelley and Nwogu. Acton hasn’t hit at all at U of FLA so not sure what the appeal is with him.


    9 Jun 20 at 10:03 am

  78. Wilcox vs. Kelley:

    Kelley on FG: 55/60 FB, NG SL, 45/50 CB, 60/70 CH, 25/50 CMD

    Wilcox on FG: 55/60 FB, 55/60 SL, NG CB, 45/50 CH, 35/45 CMD

    Kelley on MLB: 65 FB, 55 SL, 60 CH, 55 CMD

    Wilcox on MLB: 65 FB, 55 SL, 55 CH, 45 CMD

    Age: Kelly 18.7, Wilcox 20.9 — both a little on the “old” side for their classes.


    9 Jun 20 at 10:18 am

  79. the rotoworld mock is pretty difficult to take seriously. He has us taking a prep SS from a cold-weather state when there’s a slew of players who are college aged who seemingly woudl be a better fit on the board (Cavalli, Kjerstad, Bailey, Beeter, Cecconi and Ginn are all still on the baord; no way do the nats not take one of those guys over an unknown SS)

    Wilcox is a draft eligible sophomore, so actually he’s considered “young” for the first-time college eligible crew. Lots of college juniors are well into their age 21 year before getting drafted. For what that’s worth.

    Drafsite mock has now changed back to Wilcox for nats. We seem to be getting to a settling on who the Nats are taking across the board.

    Todd Boss

    9 Jun 20 at 10:49 am

  80. Yes, the Nats would be nuts to pass on Bailey or Kjerstad, neither of whom are thought to fall anywhere near #22.


    9 Jun 20 at 11:03 am

  81. FYI i’ve prepared the Draft Tracker artifact for the draft and prepared the master draft tracker xls for 2020. Can’t wait to see who we get!

    Todd Boss

    9 Jun 20 at 11:06 am

  82. I have no enthusiasm for Wilcox. If there’s something “special” there, I can’t see it. Plus the FG command grade of 35/45 on him is very concerning, as is the MLB command grade of 45. He’s a guy who throws hard but gets hit harder, when he actually gets it over the plate. Meh. The Nats have at least four or five pitchers already who are as good or better. There’s no “need” there, and also no real “value.”


    9 Jun 20 at 11:16 am

  83. We’ll see what happens. Smart money is on Wilcox, but I’d resigned myself to Matt Allan last year and then Rutledge fell instead. If Wilcox is really at the top of Rizzo’s board, well, that’s something, but he’s not even cloee to the best prospect who might possibly slide as far as #22.


    9 Jun 20 at 12:00 pm


    Surprised to see d1baseball show up with mock. They have Wilcox going the pick before Nats, so the Nats take Ginn.

    Todd Boss

    9 Jun 20 at 12:14 pm

  85. One interesting throwaway comment by Axisa: “The Nats have been connected to college players all spring.” He doesn’t say pitchers. He doesn’t say Wilcox. He’s been betting on Ginn to the Nats. I’d prefer to see them draft a position player, but I would prefer Ginn to Wilcox.


    9 Jun 20 at 12:16 pm

  86. 20/80 baseball shows up with a mock too:

    i haven’t seen content from them in a year. and they pop up with a new name we havn’t seen before: Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP, South Carolina

    Todd Boss

    9 Jun 20 at 12:17 pm

  87. Mlodzinski for his career at SC: 4.74 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 9.4 hits/9, 4.4 BB/9, 8.4 K/9 (only 7.8 K/9 in 2020 when he was supposedly “better”). He’s a hard pass for me.

    Big divide of opinion on him: #21 on board but #48 on FG.


    9 Jun 20 at 12:47 pm

  88. Let’s take a different approach. What would be your BPA list of guys with some possibility to fall to #22? I’ll give it a shot:

    1. Abel (unlikely unless signability issue)
    2. Bitsko
    3. Crow-Armstrong
    4. Ginn
    5. Wells
    6. Beeter
    7. Kelley
    8. Wilcox
    9. Burns
    10. Dingler

    And honestly, if it really got down to Wilcox vs. Burns, I’d probably pick Burns since he’s been a lot more consistent.

    This is a honest list (you know it’s honest if I’ve actually got three high schoolers at the top of it, which is rarely my preference). It’s also honest because their are mocks showing the possibility of every one of these players going before pick #22. But more likely, at half of them will still be on the board when Rizzo and Kline are on the clock.

    This list also demonstrates why I can’t get excited about Wilcox. And yes, I would take Beeter ahead of him and Kelley. If you’re picking based mostly on projection, then go with the insane projection. For him to post the outlandish K numbers he does, he must have great movement on his heater. Wilcox clearly doesn’t.

    My “need” list would run something like Wells, Dingler, Crow-Armstrong, unless you want to put Dingler ahead of Wells since there seems more chance he can stick behind the plate. I’m not sure who the next hitter on my list would be (it would ALL be hitters).


    9 Jun 20 at 1:05 pm

  89. KW not a bad list.

    Here’s a fun one. here’s the FIRST mock draft I could find, done the day after the 2019 draft.

    Crow-Armstrong 3rd overall. Bailey 5th. Wilcox 8th (!). Kelley 10th. So all four of these guys are trending downwards. Ironically … nats were positioned to drat 8th overall at the time … and he mocked them to Wilcox! Its fate. its happening.

    Todd Boss

    9 Jun 20 at 2:30 pm

  90. My board would look something like, discounting guys with zilch chance of falling to #22:

    Mick Abel
    Pete Crow-Armstrong
    Nick Bitsko
    Garrett Crochet
    J.T. Ginn
    Austin Wells
    Dillon Dingler
    Tanner Burns
    Bobby Miller
    Clayton Beeter
    Ed Howard
    Aaron Sabato
    Justin Foscue
    Nick Loftin
    Cole Wilcox
    Jared Kelley
    Chris McMahon
    Slade Cecconi
    Cade Cavalli
    Carmen Mlodzinski

    So Wilcox isn’t at the bottom of my list, but he’s in the third tier of pitchers for me (Abel stands alone, both because he’s head-and-shoulders above the rest of this group in terms of raw talent and because he’s the least likely to make it into the 20s, let alone all the way to #22). There are a number of hitters in the 20s and 30s I’d prefer to Wilcox, less because they really thrill me and more because I’d prefer to draft a position player I’m not that excited about than a pitcher I’m not that excited about.


    9 Jun 20 at 5:28 pm

  91. If you read about how the Nationals were at every one of Rutledge’s starts, you can envision how whispers tie the Nationals to Wilcox. If they have tracked him that closely and have a relationship to him and his family, of course he is a logical option.

    But he is hyped now all across the industry, and hype creates helium. Whether you would be happy with him or not, and I have no qualified opinion, the hyping of Wilcox in general means that the Nationals are less likely to get him, but for someone else getting caught up in the Star Power of the pick. I see Wilcox as a man who is rising rather than a man who is falling.

    The Nationals, if they stay to form, will draft the 1st round player on their board that falls to them. Now, the Second Round, with two picks and the possibility of real undervalue for signability questions, wil be very, very interesting….

    KW, I saw that 5 round mock as well. Three of the players have real “power potential,” so I have a feeling the poster must be one of us on Todd’s board, diggin the long ball.


    9 Jun 20 at 9:05 pm

  92. I do like Nwogu from what I’ve seen of him, so I hope he’s on the Nats’ radar for a later round.


    9 Jun 20 at 10:11 pm

  93. Todd — had to laugh at Wilcox being #8 in a draft projection this time last year after his underwhelming freshman season. I just don’t get what the excitement is about him, then or now. Just hope some other team believes the hype and takes him before #22.

    I also remember seeing a 2019 draft list from June 2018. Dyson was 1/1 and Mendoza was 1/3. The next summer, the Nats got them in the 5th and 3d rounds, respectively.


    9 Jun 20 at 10:14 pm

  94. Looks like Jim Callis is sticking with Slade Cecconi for now. As far as I can tell, Cecconi and Wilcox are actually the same exact ballplayer, so whatever. on Cecconi:

    “The 6-foot-4 right-hander has the kind of strong and durable frame scouts love to see in a pitcher, and he shows the stuff to match at times. His fastball is regularly up to 96 mph, though his velocity drops off as he goes deeper into starts. Cecconi can be up in the zone too much and gets hit, especially when his velo declines. He throws two breaking balls, with his slider the better of the two, especially when he throws it hard, up to 87 mph. Then it’s like a hard cutter with late action and power to it, but he has some arm action issues with it when it’s slower and he can get around it at times. He has a changeup, but it’s not a real factor, and his curve is in some ways his fourth pitch. He throws strikes, but his command within the zone needs to be refined. Cecconi is a college arm with upside because of his arm strength, though there are debates on whether he’s a starter or reliever long-term. He’s convinced many he can maintain his stuff to start, but there is the chance he ends up in a bullpen one day, where that fastball-slider combination would play up.” on Wilcox:

    “Wilcox has some of the best pure stuff in the Draft. His fastball usually ranges from 92-97 mph and can reach 100 with some sink and armside run. Both of his mid-80s secondary pitches show signs of becoming plus offerings, with his fading changeup a tick more reliable than his power slider. Though Wilcox is athletic and has a strong, durable frame, he comes with starter-versus-reliever questions. Scouts don’t love his delivery, which features a low elbow and a long arm stroke that allows hitters to track the ball well out of his hand. His fastball has a history of getting hit harder than it should and he sometimes struggles to provide quality strikes.”

    Here’s on another draft-eligible sophomore right-hander with some helium, Cornelius McGillicuddy:

    “Scouts love McGillicuddy’s strong, durable build at 6-foot-5 and his big, powerful muscles. He tops out at 97 mph with his fastball, which is also really good. However, his fastball also might be bad, because he doesn’t always throw it where he wants to and sometimes hitters sit on it because they know it is coming. He also has a couple other pitches that are not as good. Scouts dream on McGillicuddy as a potential mid-rotation starter, but he also might just be a middle reliever, because his delivery is kind of stiff and awkward and his raw stuff hasn’t always translated into results. He is expected to go in the mid- to late first round.”


    9 Jun 20 at 11:59 pm

  95. And here’s the latest. Ready?

    22. Nationals
    Callis: Bobby Miller, RHP, Louisville — Last year it didn’t seem realistic that the Nationals could get Jackson Rutledge at No. 17, and they did. They’d love Detmers (which is impossible) or Cavalli (an extreme longshot), and more likely they’ll be looking at Wilcox or Miller. If all of their preferred college arms disappear, Loftin could be the fallback.

    Mayo: Bryce Jarvis, RHP, Duke — Another from the pool of college arms here, with Wilcox in play if he’s available, potentially along with Miami’s Slade Cecconi, Louisville’s Bobby Miller or Texas Tech’s Clayton Beeter.


    10 Jun 20 at 12:48 am

  96. My quick thoughts on these guys:

    – I like Miller and I think he’s flown under the radar because of his boring name. He does a great job of limiting traffic on the basepaths (which is my absolute favorite quality in a pitcher) and his K/9 has increased year over year. He has three developed pitches and can use them all well, and he looks the part physically. I’d really be quite happy if he’s the pick.
    – Detmers is a total pipe dream; he probably doesn’t make it to #12, let alone #22. Of course he’s a stud. Strikeout machine from the left side with a funky, deceptive delivery he repeats well. But he’s not going to be a National, not now.
    – Cavalli, I just don’t get the hype. There has to be something I’m not seeing, because I basically see McGillicuddy except he has three or four serviceable pitches (depending on who you ask). At any rate, the Reds seem locked in on him at #12 and they can have him.
    – I’ve said my piece re: Wilcox. He’s probably the pick, and I hope he works out for us if he is, but I don’t see much in his profile that moves me strongly, and I think it’s a disappointing draft if he’s the guy.
    – Loftin is a new name for the Nats, and I don’t know that much about him. The fact that the writeup on him suggests he could be a utilityman at the major league level doesn’t leave me feeling like he’s somebody I want the Nats to draft with their top pick. Bleh. He kind of sounds like the shortstop version of Foscue.
    – Jarvis is, again, a name I haven’t seen mocked to the Nats before. A quick glance at his stats and I’m not impressed. He’s like the anti-Miller; he allows nearly a runner and a half per inning. No thanks, we already have an Erick Fedde. He’s another guy who flashed much-improved command in the abbreviated 2020 season, and that’s just not enough for me to go on with the lack of track record. Anyone can string together two or three good outings.
    – Cecconi is Wilcox is McGillicuddy. Yawn. At least Wilcox seems like he has a fun personality.
    – The guy with the thinnest track record here is Beeter. I like that he has three pitches. I don’t like that he’s never proven he can 1) stay healthy and 2) throw strikes for an extended length of time. There’s a real risk whoever drafts Beeter is buying a mirage. But it does seem like he’s a pitcher, not just a thrower.


    10 Jun 20 at 1:02 am

  97. KW – Dyson at #5 performed better than many. Mendoza at 3 as well. Both have had promising starts. So there is something to the falling star.

    I don’t profess to know talent or player development. But Nick Banks was another falling star, and he had muddled in the Nats system until showing signs of longer term life last year. Whether he ever makes it is another story, but he has been on the upswing and has had success at AA.

    History shows lots of busts. But the idea of very talented players who did not put it all together for awhile, and then eventually did is why one dreams on players who fall down, but should not be counted out. That is a matter of knowing whom you draft and whether their character and your system will bring out the best in that player. This is something Rizzo has a good feel for (Scherzer), although the draft is a crap shoot for everyone. We have to recognize that our frustrations are no different from the fans of all other organizations, who root amidst the same uncertainties. As a longtime Expos fan who knows what a bad organization looks like, I can tell you that most of the fans on these boards, and I appreciate you all, have no idea how lucky we have it on draft and international signing day. It isn’t just trading that built the Nats.

    Let’s enjoy the ride of this month.


    10 Jun 20 at 4:19 am

  98. I note Scherzer only because when you know his story you can see how he has the soul of a hall of fame player, and what it takes. Rizzo saw that. Cecconi has that, maybe others do, too, but those are intangibles you cannot measure and why people like Tom Brady are destined to make it, even if they are 6th round picks.

    I love, love, love players like that. Soto is that player. Robles is that player. Eaton is that player. Turner is that kind of player. Kendrick is that kind of player. Chip on the shoulder, furiously determined, Ed Reed (forensi-Cane) kind of players. Cole Freeman is that kind of player. Doesn’t mean he’ll make it, but if he does, you’ll know why, and it won’t be his stats or measurables.

    That will be (off topic), the difference in one of several bullpen prospects in the upper minor leagues this year. One will grind out a higher gear to be that bullpen guy. I have no idea who, but that’s the same reflection that Kline and company have to do with six people who are to get drafted today and tomorrow.


    10 Jun 20 at 4:29 am

  99. […] apparently a boxing match is more important) and the MLB Network. I’d encourage you to read Mr. Boss’s work to get a feel for who the Nats may select (and defer paying until […]

  100. I find Bobby Miller and Jarvis more interesting that Wilcox, Cecconi, et al. I would prefer hitters, but I don’t see much upside on Loftin, particularly at the plate. I’m not sure why he’s considered a 1st-rounder.


    10 Jun 20 at 7:34 am

  101. Just a reminder that pick #22 doesn’t have a great recent track record:

    Of the last 21 picks at that slot, only three have topped 10 bWAR. Stroman was a shortish college pitcher with an array of stuff (Burns comp), and Wong was 2B limited with consistent bat but not great pop (Foscue). Reminiscent of Wells, both Werth and Biggio were pitched as catchers at #22 but didn’t stay behind the plate. Actually, Dingler, the athletic former CF, is probably more the Biggio comp.


    10 Jun 20 at 7:43 am

  102. Also, I’m going to be traveling starting today so may go silent for a while. I do hope to be able to at least get online for the draft tonight, though. I’m encouraged to see the latest mocks potentially breaking away from Wilcox, although I agree with Sao that Cecconi no better.

    Another concern that came to mind is that the Nats might not only draft Wilcox, but pay him the ridiculous $4M on top of it and hamstring the rest of their draft. That would double down on a mistake. Abel and Bitsko would be worth going over slot, but not Wilcox. For Ginn, maybe do it if he were to fall to #55, but since consensus is that he may not be a top-25 pick, I don’t know why you would pay him like one if the market isn’t showing him to be “worth it.” (Same with not paying Wilcox $4M if he’s not thought draft-worthy at that level.)


    10 Jun 20 at 7:51 am

  103. Everybody has a mock today. I’ll keep updating the post itself tacking them on at the end. That’s the easiest way to see trends.

    Todd Boss

    10 Jun 20 at 9:23 am


    Longenhagen’s mock seems ridiculous. He has nats taking a prep OF when, in his mock, Wilcox, Beeter, jarvis and Ceccioni still on the board.

    Todd Boss

    10 Jun 20 at 9:43 am

  105. holy cow everyone’s last minute mocks are all over the road. I’ve seen 3 names to the Nats at #22 that have never been mentioned before. what is going on?

    Todd Boss

    10 Jun 20 at 9:46 am

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