Washington Nationals: Tracking Progress of Top 10 Draft Picks from Last Year
The Washington Nationals drafted Stephen Strasburg in 2009 and Bryce Harper in 2010. Stephen Strasburg was the Nationals' Opening Day starter this season, and Bryce Harper made his major league debut last weekend.
But who did the Nationals draft in 2011? And how are their careers progressing?
Let's take a look at the first 10 players selected by Washington in the 2011 draft, and track the progress of their minor league careers through the beginning of the 2012 season.
10. Dixon Anderson, RHP, 277th Overall
The Nationals drafted the California native in the ninth round of the 2011 draft.
Dixon Anderson did not play minor league baseball last season, but he is currently a member of the Gulf Coast Nationals. The Gulf Coast season will begin in June, and so will Dixon Anderson's professional career.
9. Gregory Holt, RHP, 247th Overall
Last season, Gregory Holt played for the Class-A Short Season Auburn Doubledays as well as the Class-A Hagerstown Suns. The former Tar Heel was a combined 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA. He struck out 25 and walked 14 in 35.0 innings.
In seven games this season for the Class-A Hagerstown Suns, Holt has a 4.40 ERA with 11 strikeouts and six walks in 14.1 innings pitched. Gregory has allowed three home runs and has a 1.256 WHIP.
8. Brian Dupra, RHP, 217th Overall
Washington's selection of this former Notre Dame standout in the seventh round was actually the third trip through the amateur draft for Brian Dupra. He began his minor league career last season with the Auburn Doubledays in Class-A Short Season, where he finished 4-4 with a 3.46 ERA. Dupra had 38 strikeouts and 14 walks in 54.2 innings pitched during the 2011 season.
Currently with the Class-A Hagerstown Suns, Dupra is 2-3 in five games with a 3.63 ERA. He has 10 strikeouts and five walks in 22.1 innings pitched, with a 1.164 WHIP. He has yet to allow a home run.
7. Taylor Hill, RHP, 187th Overall
Taylor Hill was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 30th round in 2010, but he returned to Vanderbilt to finish his college career. The Washington Nationals were then able to select him in the sixth round the following year, and they got a good one.
Hill began his career last season in Auburn, finishing 0-2 with a 3.16 ERA in five starts. He had an impressive 27 strikeouts in 31.1 innings pitched with only three walks.
This season, Hill is playing well at the next level of competition, He is currently 3-1 for the Class-A Hagerstown Suns, with a solid 3.15 ERA. In 20 innings, he has 10 strikeouts and two walks, with a 1.150 WHIP. He also has not given up a home run so far this season.
6. Matthew Skole, 3B, 157th Overall
Matthew Skole played his first minor league season last year with the Auburn Doubledays in the NY-Penn League. He finished with five home runs and 48 RBI with a .290 batting average in 72 games.
Skole is now with the Hagerstown Suns in Class-A. The former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket is adjusting nicely to the next level of competition. Through 23 games, he is hitting .313 with five home runs, 32 RBI and 15 runs scored. Skole currently has a .430 on-base percentage and a .984 OPS.
5. Kylin Turnbull, LHP, 127th Overall
This native Oregonian was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the fourth round of the 2011 draft, after being drafted two previous times.
Kylin Turnbull began playing minor league baseball this season with the Hagerstown Suns in Class-A. Through his first four starts, Turnbull is 0-1 with a 5.12 ERA. He has 12 strikeouts and three walks in 19.1 innings pitched, with an opposing batting average of .275.
4. Matt Purke, LHP, 96th Overall
The Texas native was drafted in the third round of the 2011 draft by the Nationals after finishing his successful college career at TCU.
He did not play minor league baseball last season, and due to an injury, Matt Purke has yet to begin his career with the Class-A Advanced Potomac Nationals in the 2012 season.
3. Brian Goodwin, OF, 34th Overall
Brian Goodwin is Washington's prized center field prospect out of UNC, who actually received a larger signing bonus than Ryan Zimmerman.
In his first minor league season at Class-A Hagerstown, Goodwin is hitting .375 with two home runs and eight RBI. His .524 on-base percentage, .813 slugging percentage and 1.336 OPS are all outstanding.
Goodwin is currently on the disabled list, however, and has only played five games this season as a result.
2. Alex Meyer, RHP, 23rd Overall
The Washington Nationals selected this power-pitching right-hander from Kentucky in the first round of the 2011 draft, and he is starting his career with the Class-A Hagerstown Suns.
In five starts this season, Alex Meyer is 1-3 with a 5.31 ERA. He has 27 strikeouts and nine walks in 20.1 innings pitched. Meyer also has a 1.227 WHIP while surrendering no home runs.
1. Anthony Rendon, 3B, 6th Overall
Anthony Rendon is the crown jewel of the 2011 draft for the Washington Nationals. The sweet-swinging third baseman from Rice is ranked 19th on Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects of 2012, and is considered the second-best prospect in the Nationals' system.
After an impressive showing at spring training with Washington, Rendon is playing this season for the Class-A Advanced Potomac Nationals. Less than a week into the season, Rendon badly injured his ankle and is currently on the disabled list. In two games, he had a double and a triple in four at-bats, with two walks and no strikeouts.