The Nationals took Stephen Strasburg with the first pick in the 2009 draft
The Nationals had the No. 1 pick of both the 2009 and 2010 MLB drafts, where they selected two players who are already making noise in the Majors. This year, they will be selecting a bit farther back at No. 16, which is indicative of the improvements they have made recently through the draft.
Washington is one of the big up-and-coming teams in baseball, with promising young talent all around. They have few organizational weaknesses, which will allow them to draft for depth as opposed to need.
Who will the Nationals select to join their arsenal of promising young players? Check this article throughout the MLB draft for scouting profiles and analysis for each of the Nationals' picks in 2012.
The Nationals could be regretting the Werth signing
Many teams have to be jealous of the way the Nationals have rebuilt themselves into one of the deeper organizations around. They have a great starting rotation 1-5, a number of solid bullpen arms, and one of the best young stars in Bryce Harper.
However, they committed themselves to Jayson Werth in the winter of 2010, and that contract is already looking like a bit of an albatross. Werth's first year in Washington was forgettable as he hit just .232, and he has followed that up with an injury that will keep him out for the majority of this year. Though the Nationals are stuck with Werth until 2017, it might not be a bad idea to draft another option at outfield in case Werth's performance continues to decline.
The Nationals are also somewhat thin at middle infield, where they could look to add some depth. It's not every day that a team can find a franchise shortstop or second baseman, but it might be worth taking a look at some middle infield players that could contribute down the line to shore up that part of the team.
Per MLB.com, the order of the Nationals' selections look like this:
|4-40||16 (144, 176, etc)|
College: Harvard-Westlake HS (California)
Height/Weight: 6’6”/240 lbs
Click Here for B/R draft guru Mike Rosenbaum's Full Scouting Report on Lucas Giolito
Giolito has plus-plus stuff and has been known to reach 100mph on the radar gun. He hails from Harvard-Westlake, California - an affluent community where Giolito surely had all the necessary resources to succeed.
I like this pick for the Nationals because, even though they already have so much young talent at starting pitcher, Giolito likely won't be ready to go in the majors for another 4-5 years. Who knows what could happen to the Nats' young arms in that time - anyone could be afflicted by the injury bug, as we saw with Strasburg undergoing Tommy John surgery. Giolito himself has had some injury issues himself, which makes it a risky selection.
This is a luxury pick for Washington as they have so much depth at a number of positions including SP, but it could pay out heavily in the end. There is never a shortage of demand for good pitching in this league, and so at worst the Nationals could use Giolito as a trade piece down the road.
Now, it is up to the Nationals' farm system to groom this young arm to be part of one of the nastiest young rotations in baseball.
I am a Cal grad who watched Renda for three years, and I am thrilled to see him go to the Nationals where I think he'll fit right in.
Renda was named 2011 Pac-10 player of the year as a sophomore because of his outstanding hitting ability and solid defense. Though he is a bit undersized, he is a natural hitter with some pop. Renda hit .330 in 2011 with, while leading his team to the college world series - and I do mean leading.
Renda was known as a great teammate and a dedicated student of the game. Cal could always count on him to play his best when they needed him.
I'd say this was an excellent get for the Nationals that also fills a need.
Click here for a full scouting report on Brett Mooneyham
Nationals get a big lefty who at times showed great promise. They went with a highschooler in the first round, but get a guy who might be able to contribute in the next few years here in round 3. The Nationals are having a really nice draft right now.
College: Samford University
As I mentioned in the intro, the Nationals could afford to strengthen their outfield, which is what this pick of Miller does. He didn't come from a top university, but was productive at Samford, where he bat .301 with 23 jacks last year. He led his team with a .650 slugging percentage, which is a tremendous figure. The Nationals have had a great draft so far and continue the trend with this pick in the 4th round.
Check below for each of the Nationals' later round picks. The deeper we get into the draft, the less likely it is that these guys will see major league playing time. Still, you never know when the team might find a diamond in the rough. This is where the scouting department can really makes its mark.
|Round (Pick)||Player Selected|
Hayden Jennings, CF, Evangel Christian Academy (HS)
Bats/Throws: L/L, 6'0"/170
Robert Benincasa, RHP, Florida State
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'1"/180
Stephen Perez, SS, Miami
Bats/Throws: S/R, 5'11"/175
Derek Self, RHP, Louisville
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'3"/205
Craig Manuel, C, Rice
Bats/Throws: L/R, 6'1"/205
Brian Rauh, RHP, Chapman U
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'2"/200
Carlos Lopez, 3B, Wake Forest
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'2"/220
Elliott Waterman. LHP, USF
Bats/Throws: L/L, 6'5"/230
Jordan Poole, RF, Chipola College
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'3"/210
Brandon Smith, CF, Woodbridge HS
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'3"/195