Nationals Arm Race

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

Nats get #2 pick in Lottery!


Honestly, I thought we were gonna get screwed.

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

Final results:

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

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

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

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

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

College guys:

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

Prep guys:

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

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

Written by Todd Boss

December 6th, 2022 at 9:39 pm

Posted in Draft

9 Responses to 'Nats get #2 pick in Lottery!'

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  1. Was watching also holding my breath, thinking that we would get screwed. All in all, #2 is OK. In this year where there’s no clear #1 (according to Kiley McDaniel today), it might be even better of not having the #1 pressure.

    I know it’s funny to hear me say this after YEARS of me begging them to draft a hitter, but right now, they seem to need pitching more. But I agree that they shouldn’t reach for Dollander if he doesn’t look exceptional.

    At the same time, I think teams sometimes look too hard for exceptional, which explains why Brooks Lee fell so far, to #8. The dude finished 2022 in Double A. He may be in the majors a year after being drafted.

    If pitching isn’t available, then I’m looking at college infielders, led as of now by Jacob Gonzalez and Jacob Wilson. The Nats have a truckload of good OF prospects.

    Massive caveat worth repeating: at this point in 2018, Drew Mendoza and Tyler Dyson were being mentioned as good possibilities for top 5 overall in the 2019 draft. Things can change A LOT by draft time.


    6 Dec 22 at 10:06 pm

  2. Oh, the #1 overall projected in one of the 2018 predraft lists for 2019? Logan Davidson. He can be yours tomorrow for just $100k in the Rule 5 draft. (But then technically so could Mendoza or Dyson.)


    6 Dec 22 at 10:11 pm

  3. And happy Rule 5 day! LOL. Mainly interesting because the Nats have the #1 pick. At 5 p.m. EST today (12/7). From an earlier post, here are some projections for possibilities:

    Steamer (wRC+/SLG) for hitters:

    Andres Chaparro, 3B/1B (NYY) 121 / 459
    Dominic Canzone, OF (AZ) 108 / 437
    Malcom Nunez, 1B (PIT) 103 / 408
    Grant Lavigne, 1B (COL) 91 / 401
    Jake Mangum, OF (NYM) 91 / 365

    Among the pitchers, using FIP/ERA:

    Victor Vodnik (ATL) 4.03 / 4.11
    Thad Ward (BOS) 4.45 / 4.71
    T.J. Sikkema (KC) 4.47 / 4.43
    Austin Bergner (DET) 4.50 / 4.48
    Jaden Murray (HOU) 4.82 / 4.76
    Erik Miller (PHI) 4.89 / 4.67

    Candelario more or less negates the chance that they pick Chaparro I think, all the more with Kieboom and Alu in that mix. And Stone Garrett who they have also signed played on the same team with Canzone and had better numbers. So I think they will be looking more at 1B boppers or pitchers. They do have a good bit of familiarity with Chaparro, though, and really have a Venezuelan connection.

    Among the pitchers, Vodnik, as a one-inning reliever, would be the safest pick to stick. Among the starters, Bergner is probably the closest to being able to stick in the majors, but Murray, Sikkema, and Ward probably have higher ceilings. The latter two have worrisome injury histories . . . so they’d fit right in.


    7 Dec 22 at 8:32 am

  4. We sit at 38/40 right now …. with the outrights of palacios and Antuna. So based on their behavior this off season so far … they only clear out room if they immediately want to use it. So i’d expect 2 rule5 draftees today.

    Todd Boss

    7 Dec 22 at 12:59 pm

  5. Nats take Thad Ward #1 in Rule 5. High-ceiling starting pitching prospect with significant injury history:


    7 Dec 22 at 5:06 pm

  6. KW

    7 Dec 22 at 5:08 pm

  7. Nats passed in second round, as did everyone else. Of the 11 players I had highlighted, Ward was the only one picked among 15 mostly head-scratching picks in the MLB phase. But at least I was in the ballpark on the one that counted.

    Coming back from TJ this season, Ward had a 2.43 ERA and 11 K/9 in seven starts at AA. That beats the heck out of what Jake Irvin was doing, also coming back from TJ. Ward turns 26 in January, so he’s no youngster.


    7 Dec 22 at 5:18 pm

  8. KW

    7 Dec 22 at 5:23 pm

  9. New posted on Ward.

    Todd Boss

    8 Dec 22 at 10:47 am

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