MLB Draft 2011 Signing Deadline: Nationals Agree To Deals With All Top Picks

The Nationals have agreed to all of their top five draft picks, and according to multiple reports, they spent anywhere from $16 to $17 million to do it.

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Mike Rizzo Succeeds Again At 2011 MLB Draft, But What About Everything Else?

Mike Rizzo and the Nationals were impressive yet again in signing all their key draft picks. But we know Rizzo is good at the drafting and scouting process. What about the rest of his job?

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Mike Rizzo Very Confident In Nationals' Farm System Following MLB Draft Signing Deadline

The Washington Nationals had a big night last night, signing their top four picks, including a couple who had a pretty good amount of leverage over the club in negotiations. Anthony Rendon, Alex Meyer, Brian Goodwin and Matt Purke are all very good to elite prospects who could contribute on a major league level sooner rather than later. But until then, they will be in the minor leagues, a system which Mike Rizzo has strengthened considerably over the past few years; just ask him. Via Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider.

"We're the talk of the industry right now," the general manager said. "Before we signed these players, we had a minor-league system that the needle was heading north in a big, big way. And this just solidifies us as, to me, one of the great scouting and player development organizations in baseball. We feel really good about ourselves tonight."

Well, I would sound confident (border line brash, actually) if I was able to bring n those types of players into the fold. Of course, it doesn't hurt that he has an owner that is willing to spend like a mad man to get these types of deals done. Go ahead and feel good about yourself Mike, you have every right.

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MLB Draft 2011: Nationals Sign All Top Draft Picks, Spend To Do It

The Washington Nationals signed all their top picks in the 2011 MLB Draft in the wee hours leading up to the midnight signing deadline. Anthony Rendon, the No. 6 overall pick in the draft, was the big guy to sign, but the Nationals also signed their top four picks beyond Rendon, the team announced. That list includes first-round pick Alex Meyer, sandwich pick Brian Goodwin, third-round pick Matt Purke and fourth-round pick Kylin Turnbull.

Meyer, a pitcher from Kentucky, received a $2 million bonus, according to Baseball America's John Manuel. Goodwin, an outfielder from Miami Dade College in Florida, received a staggering $3 million bonus, according to Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman. Purke, meanwhile, received even more than that, signing for around $4 million, which is less than originally reported. There was a good chance that Purke would return to college, so the Nationals were forced to ante up for him.

Ultimately, the Nationals spent anywhere from $16 to $17 million on their first five draft picks, according to reports. Once again, they are showing they are committed to spending at the MLB Draft.

For more on the 2011 MLB Draft and the Nationals, visit Federal Baseball.

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MLB Draft 2011: Danny Hultzen Signs With Seattle Mariners, Could Receive Up To $10.6 Million

Bethesda native Danny Hultzen's status was very much up in the air as the 2011 MLB draft signing deadline approached, but in the end, the Virginia pitcher did sign with the Seattle Mariners. The No. 2 pick in the draft received a massive contract that could pay him $10.6 million if he reaches some incentives, according to Baseball America's Jim Callis.

Hultzen will receive a five-year contract with an $8.5 million guarantee, a $6.35 million bonus and a max value of $10.6 million. That is a smaller bonus than No. 1 overall pick Garrett Cole got from the Pirates, but it is still pretty high all things considering.

Hultzen was the leader of a Virginia squad that was number one in the nation for most of the year before coming up short at the College World Series. He is expected to anchor the Mariners staff for years to come. The Bethesda, Md. native hones his craft at St. Albans High School.

For more on Hultzen's new team, visit Lookout Landing and SB Nation Seattle.

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MLB Draft 2011: Nationals Sign Anthony Rendon To Major League Contract Worth $7.2 Million Guaranteed, According To Report

The Washington Nationals once again walked away having signed all of their picks in the 2011 MLB Draft, and once again, it appears they have spent a lot of money to do it. The team announced the signings of No. 6 overall pick Anthony Rendon, No. 23 pick Alex Meyer, sandwich pick Brian Goodwin, third-round pick Matt Purke and fourth-round pick Kylin Turnbull, and various reports have the Nationals spending just under $17 million to get those deals done.

Rendon was the big one, and the Nationals obliged by giving the third baseman a four-year Major League contract with a $7.2 million guarantee and a $6 million bonus, according to Baseball America's Jim Callis. Rendon was seen by many as the top prospect in the draft, but health concerns caused him to slip to No. 6. He is a third baseman like Ryan Zimmerman, but most believe one will move to accommodate the other.

For more on the 2011 MLB Draft and the Nationals, visit Federal Baseball.

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MLB Draft 2011 Signing Deadline One Hour Away, Top Nationals Picks Remain Unsigned

Did you ever have a paper in college that you refused to begin until the very last moment because you knew that was the only time you could be motivated to get anything done? That's basically the MLB Draft signing deadline for you. We're approaching one hour until the midnight deadline to sign draft picks, and there has still been no reported movement on any of the Nationals' top picks.

No. 6 overall pick Anthony Rendon, No. 23 overall pick Alex Meyer and sandwich pick Brian Goodwin remain unsigned. All are Scott Boras clients, and compared to the legitimate concern with Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper over the past couple years, anxiety is pretty low. All are expected to come to an agreement, though all will probably be signed above slot. Matt Purke, whose status is more up in the air than those three, also remains unsigned.

The Nationals did sign fourth-round pick Kylin Turnbull for $325,000, about $100,000 over slot, according to Baseball America's Jim Callis. Turnbull is a lefty pitcher from UC-Santa Barbara.

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MLB Draft 2011 Signing Deadline Is Monday, Anthony Rendon Among Nationals' Unsigned Picks

The 2011 MLB Draft signing deadline is at midnight on Monday night, and the Washington Nationals still have plenty of work to do to sign their top picks. This is nothing new, since most teams wait until the last minute to get deals done, but there's always a bit of apprehension. The Nationals went right down to the deadline to sign Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper in consecutive years, and will probably do so again in 2011.

The top prospect the Nationals need to sign is third baseman Anthony Rendon, the sixth overall pick in the draft. Agent Scott Boras, who has a history with the Nationals, will probably push for the Nationals to sign Rendon above the slot value of the No. 6 pick, because many observers had Rendon as the top prospect in the draft. General manager Mike Rizzo has a history of paying draft picks above slot value, so there's a good chance it happens again.

The Nationals also need to sign fellow first-round pick Alex Meyer and sandwich pick Brian Goodwin, who came to the team through compensatory picks. Both players are also represented by Boras.

The one player still up in the air is Matt Purke, the TCU pitcher who fell because of health concerns. He could easily return to school and improve his stock for next year, but that comes with a risk because MLB commissioner Bud Selig is pushing for a slotted system where rookies have mandated signing bonuses based on draft position. If that happens, Purke could lose out on that raise from improving his stock.

For more on the Nationals' 2011 MLB Draft signings, visit Federal Baseball.

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2011 MLB Draft Results: Danny Hultzen Leads 2011 Local Draft Picks

The 2011 MLB Draft featured plenty of players from the DMV area, and a lot of local talent. Here is a complete list of players that are from either Maryland or Virginia, or went to college in those states, and where they were drafted; via the sortable draft results at MLB.com.

Players from Maryland:

2    
Hultzen, Danny Virginia LHP L/L 6'02" 200 1989-11-28 JR
425 Hockaday, Kevin The John Carroll School (MD) 3B R/R 6'03" 215 1993-04-05 HS
445 Kemp, Leo St Josephs U RHP R/R 6'04" 210 1990-09-26 JR
518 Brady, Kevin Clemson RHP L/R 6'03" 200 1990-09-07 JR
566 Ross, Greg Frostburg St U RHP R/R 6'03" 200 1989-09-06 SR
586 Potter, Eric U Maryland College Park LHP L/L 6'04" 205 1989-11-26 SR
750 Cononie, Charles Towson U RHP L/R 6'07" 210 1989-02-25 SR
817 Lucas, Robert George Washington U LHP L/L 6'04" 220 1987-08-08 5S
906 Binford, Mark Mercersburg Academy (PA) RHP R/R 6'06" 208 1992-12-20 HS
950 Jacob, Kevin Georgia Tech RHP R/R 6'06" 225 1989-03-26 SR
971 Rodriguez, Alfredo U Maryland College Park SS R/R 6'00" 175 1990-05-26 JR
995 Beck, Sander U Maryland College Park RHP R/R 6'03" 215 1990-10-03 JR
1064 Thomas, Mike Rider U LHP L/L 6'02" 185 1989-01-06 SR
1252 Marquis, Matthew Maryland LF R/R 6'00" 200 1990-02-22 JR
1505 Butler, Brendan The John Carroll School (MD) OF R/R 6'02" 200 1993-07-23 HS

Players from Virginia:

Bradley, Jackie South Carolina OF L/R 5'10" 180 1990-04-19 JR
83 Lamb, Will Clemson LHP L/L 6'06" 180 1990-09-09 JR
123 Hicks, John Virginia C R/R 6'02" 190 1989-08-31 JR
128 Lowery, Mark James Madison University C L/R 5'10" 1990-07-21 SR
158 Roberts, William Virginia RHP L/R 6'05" 195 1990-08-17 JR
209 Cave, Jake Kecoughtan HS (VA) CF L/L 6'00" 1992-12-04 HS
213 Proscia, Steven Virginia 3B R/R 6'02" 210 1990-06-26 JR
246 Beal, Evan South County HS (VA) RHP R/R 6'05" 1993-08-02 HS
305 Wilson, Philip Virginia RHP R/R 6'02" 185 1989-09-25 SR
345 Baker, Garrett Liberty U LHP L/L 6'05" 215 1989-08-01 JR
359 Montgomery, Mark Longwood University RHP R/R 5'11" 205 1990-08-30 JR
382 Lake, Deshorn Menchville HS (VA) RHP R/R 6'01" 210 1993-10-29 HS
407 Woolley, Ryan Alabama - Birmingham RHP R/R 6'01" 190 1988-02-11 5S
418 Evans, Steven Liberty University LHP L/L 6'04" 1989-08-09 SR
468 Smalling, Timothy Virginia Tech SS R/R 6'03" 207 1987-10-14 5S
470 Williams, Matthew Liberty University SS R/R 5'10" 1989-08-29 JR
471 Herbek, David James Madison U SS R/R 6'01" 180 1989-04-02 SR
479 Molinaro, Tyler Pitt CC RF L/R 6'01" 192 1990-09-16 J2
532 Forslund, Blake Liberty University RHP R/R 6'04" 215 1990-02-16 JR
560 Hald, Kyle Old Dominion LHP L/L 5'11" 1989-05-27 SR
578 Morimando, Shawn Ocean Lakes HS (VA) LHP L/L 5'11" 1992-11-20 HS
636 Swab, Kenneth Virginia C R/R 6'02" 215 1988-08-20 SR
684 Costen, Timothy First Colonial HS (VA) SS R/R 5'10" 1992-12-31 HS
737 Crouse, Matt U Mississippi LHP L/L 6'04" 190 1990-07-01 JR
796 Roberts, John Virginia Military Institute SS L/R 6'01" 190 1989-02-23 SR
914 McConnell, Adam Richmond SS R/R 6'00" 187 1990-01-24 JR
969 Levitt, Peter Mt Olive Col RHP R/R 6'05" 235 1989-04-24 JR
971 Rodriguez, Alfredo U Maryland College Park SS R/R 6'00" 175 1990-05-26 JR
987 Mergenthaler, Michael U Richmond CF L/L 6'04" 210 1989-01-06 SR

 

1006 Booker, Austin UC Berkeley 2B L/R 5'10" 170 1988-04-11 5S
1082 Ballou, Isaac Marshall U CF L/R 6'03" 185 1990-03-17 SO
1085 Zona, Jeffery Hanover HS (VA) RHP R/R 6'04" 210 1993-01-09 HS
1100 Rasmus, Jordan Liberty U C L/R 5'10" 175 1990-03-29 JR
1101 Winiarski, Cody Virginia RHP R/R 6'03" 190 1989-08-27 SR
1103 Rash, Andrew Virginia Tech LF R/R 5'10" 1989-11-13 JR
1161 Linza, Keegan Liberty U RHP R/R 6'06" 230 1988-11-10 SR
1165 Bowman, Daniel Coastal Carolina RF R/L 6'00" 210 1989-09-02 JR
1177 Verdin, Peter U Georgia RF R/R 6'00" 201 1990-03-19 JR
1178 Barr, John U Virginia CF R/R 6'02" 190 1988-06-17 SR
1264 Bream, Tyler Liberty University 3B R/R 6'03" 210 1989-10-28 JR
1327 Snyder, Matthew Ole Miss 1B L/R 6'05" 200 1990-06-17 JR
1416 Corbett, Patrick Tabb HS (VA) RHP R/R 6'04" 1992-08-07 HS
1465 Webb, Jon South Carolina LHP R/R 6'06" 1990-07-20 SO
1475 Shaban, Ronnie Virginia Tech U RHP L/R 6'01" 195 1990-03-08 JR
1496 Cox, Cody Thomas Nelson CC RHP R/R 6'06" 205 1991-12-06 J1
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2011 MLB Draft Results: Complete List Of Nationals' Draft Picks

The marathon that is the 2011 MLB First Year Player Draft is final over, and now that the 1,500th player has been drafted, we can finally look back and take stock of the Nationals' haul. Keep in mind that most of these players will fail to make an impact in this organization, and even if they do, they probably won't ever make it to the majors. But it's still fun to check them out. Here is the complete list of players drafted by the Nationals, via MASN. From left to right, round-pick-player-position-hit/throw-height-weight-birthday-school.

1 6 Anthony Rendon 3B R/R 6-0 190 6/6/90 Rice Univ. (TX)

1 23 Alex Meyer RHP R/R 6-9 220 1/3/90 Univ. of Kentucky

S 34 Brian Goodwin OF L/L 6-1 195 11/2/90 Miami Dade College (FL)

3 96 Matt Purke LHP L/L 6-3 175 7/17/90 Texas Christian Univ.

4 127 Kylin Turnbull LHP L/L 6-5 200 9/12/89 Santa Barbara CC (CA)

5 157 Matt Skole 3B L/R 6-3 230 7/30/89 Georgia Tech Univ.

6 187 Taylor Hill RHP R/R 6-3 225 3/12/89 Vanderbilt Univ. (TN)

7 217 Brian Dupra RHP R/R 6-3 205 12/15/88 Notre Dame Univ. (IN)

8 247 Greg Holt RHP R/R 6-2 200 6/19/89 Univ. of North Carolina

9 277 Dixon Anderson RHP R/R 6-6 225 7/2/89 Univ. of California-Berkley

10 307 Manny Rodriguez RHP R/R 6-2 225 1/12/89 Barry Univ. (FL)

11 337 Caleb Ramsey OF L/R 6-3 210 10/7/88 Univ. of Houston (TX)

12 367 Blake Monar LHP L/L 6-2 205 6/16/89 Indiana Univ.

13 397 Blake Kalenkosky 1B R/R 6-0 204 10/28/89 Texas State Univ.

14 427 Cody Stubbs OF L/R 6-3 215 1/14/91 Walters State CC (TN)

15 457 Zach Houchins SS R/R 6-3 185 9/16/92 Louisburg JC (NC)

16 487 Deion Williams SS R/R 6-3 185 11/11/92 Redan HS (GA)

17 517 Esteban Guzman RHP R/R 6-4 220 2/15/90 San Jose State Univ. (CA)

18 547 Nicholas Lee LHP L/L 6-1 190 1/31/91 Weatherford College (TX)

19 577 Hawtin Buchannan RHP L/R 6-8 245 4/29/93 Biloxi HS (MS)

20 607 Josh Laxer RHP R/R 6-1 190 6/7/93 Madison Central HS (MS)

21 637 Todd Simko LHP L/L 6-4 225 12/5/88 Texas A&M Univ.-Corpus Christi

22 667 Travis Henke RHP R/R 6-6 250 7/9/88 Univ. of Arkansas-Little Rock

23 697 Khayyan Norfork 2B R/R 5-10 190 1/19/89 Univ. of Tennessee

24 727 Kyle Ottoson LHP L/L 6-2 165 7/11/90 Arizona State Univ.

25 757 Erick Fernandez C R/R 5-11 190 11/30/88 Georgetown Univ. (DC)

26 787 Shawn Pleffner OF L/R 6-5 225 8/17/89 Univ. of Tampa (FL)

27 817 Bobby Lucas LHP L/L 6-4 220 8/12/87 George Washington Univ. (DC)

28 847 Kenneth Ferrer RHP R/R 6-1 220 12/13/89 Elon Univ. (NC)

29 877 Sean Cotton C R/R 6-2 210 11/15/88 Tusculum College (TN)

30 907 Bryan Harper LHP L/L 6-6 210 12/29/89 Univ. of South Carolina

31 937 Josh Tobias SS S/R 5-9 200 11/23/92 Southeast Guilford HS (NC)

32 967 Billy Burns OF R/R 5-9 170 8/30/89 Mercer Univ. (GA)

33 997 Trey Karlen 2B R/R 5-11 195 4/23/88 Univ. of Tennessee-Martin

34 1027 Calvin Drummond RHP R/R 6-3 200 9/22/89 Univ. of San Diego (CA)

35 1057 Alex Kreis RHP R/R 6-1 210 1/1/89 Jamestown College (ND)

36 1087 Ben Hawkins LHP L/L 6-0 180 11/4/89 Univ. of West Florida

37 1117 Derrick Bleeker RHP R/R 6-5 220 3/11/91 Howard College (TX)

38 1147 Brett Mooneyham LHP L/L 6-5 245 1/24/90 Stanford Univ. (CA)

39 1177 Peter Verdin OF R/R 6-0 205 3/19/90 Univ. of Georgia

40 1207 Stephen Collum OF R/R 6-3 185 3/7/92 Cartersville HS (GA)

41 1237 Bryce Ortega 3B R/R 5-10 165 9/22/88 Univ. of Arizona

42 1267 David Kerian SS S/R 6-2 185 2/9/93 Bishop Heelan HS (IA)

43 1297 Mitchell Morales SS L/R 5-10 150 3/3/93 Wellington Community HS (FL)

44 1327 Matt Snyder 1B L/R 6-6 210 6/17/90 Univ. of Mississippi

45 1357 Ritchie Mirowski RHP R/R 6-2 190 4/30/89 Oklahoma Baptist Univ.

46 1387 Tyler Thompson OF L/R 6-1 185 8/4/89 Univ. of Florida

47 1417 Timothy Montgomery LHP R/L 6-5 195 3/13/93 Rockmart HS (GA)

48 1447 Michael Bisenius OF L/R 6-3 215 10/29/88 Wayne State College (NE)

49 1477 Hunter Cole OF R/R 6-1 185 10/3/92 Dorman HS (SC)

50 1507 Anthony Nix OF R/R 5-10 185 2/3/1989 Univ. of California-Riverside

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2011 MLB Draft Results: Nationals Take 25 College Players On Day Two

If you can say one thing about the Nationals drafting strategy on Day two of the 2011 MLB Draft, it's that they certainly had a type. 25 of the 28 players they drafted on Tuesday were collegiate players, not taking their first high school player until the 16th round. It's clear that the Nationals want known quantities. They don't want guys who could be or may be, they want some guys that are.

But they did take three high school players who have pretty good potential in Deion Williams, Hawtin Buchanon and Josh Laxer; but it remains to be seen if any of those players will break their collegiate commitment and sign with the Nationals. Here is the complete list of players drafted by the organization on day two, via MLB.com.

Round 3, Matthew Purke, LHP, Texas Christian:

Round 4, Kylin Turnbull, LHP, Santa Barbara CC:

Round 5, Matt Skole, 3B, Georgia Tech:

Round 6, David Hill, RHP, Vanderbilt:

Round 7, Brian Dupra, RHP, Notre Dame:

Round 8, Gregory Holt, RHP, North Carolina:

Round 9, Dixon Anderson, RHP, University of California, Berkeley:

Round 10, Manny Rodriguez, RHP, Barry University:

Round 11, Caleb Ramsey, OF, Houston:

Round 12, Blake Monar, LHP, Indiana:

Round 13, Casey Kalenkosky, 1B, Texas State:

Round 14, Roland Stubbs, LF, Walters State CC:

Round 15, Zachary Houchins, SS, Louisburg College:

Round 16, Deion Williams, SS, Redan H.S. (Ga.):

Round 17, Esteban Guzman, RHP, San Jose State:

Round 18, Nicholas Lee, LHP, Weatherford College:

Round 19, Hawtin Buchanan, RHP, Biloxi H.S. (Miss.):

Round 20, Josh Laxer, RHP, Madison Central H.S. (Miss.):

Round 21, Todd Simko, LHP, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi:

Round 22, Travis Henke, RHP, Arkansas-Little Rock:

Round 23, Khayyan Norfork, 2B, Tennessee:

Round 24, Kyle Ottoson, LHP, Arizona State:

Round 25, Erick Fernandez, C, Georgetown:

Round 26, Shawn Pleffner, SS, Tampa:

Round 27, Robert Lucas, LHP, George Washington:

Round 28, Kenneth Ferrer, RHP, Elon:

Round 29, Sean Cotten, C, Tusculum College:

Round 30, Bryan Harper, LHP, South Carolina:

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2011 MLB Draft: Top Remaining Day Three Prospects

Let me get a quick disclaimer out about Day 3 of the 2011 MLB Draft. Most of the guys who are drafted today will not make an impact in the Majors, and if they do, it will not be with the team that drafts them this year. The players that will be picked today are broken down into two categories. College players that aren't very good, and high school players who have some potential, but will likely not sign because of how low they have gone in the Draft. Of course, they went this low because of signability issues; it's kind of a vicious cycle. So keep that in mind.

Having said that, let's look at some of the best prospects that are still available on Day 3. We'll go with the high school players who have the most potential.

1. John Curtiss, RHP, Carroll HS, Texas

2. Pat Connaughton, RHP, St. John's Prep, Massachusetts

3. Elvin Soto, C, Xaverian HS, New York

4. Benton Moss, RHP, Rocky Mount HS, North Carolina

5. Garrett Boulware, C, TL Hanna HS, South Carolina

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MLB Draft 2011: Nationals Draft Matt Purke, But Will They Be Able To Sign Him?

The Nationals have been nothing if not aggressive in this 2011 MLB Draft. They took Anthony Rendon in the first round despite some injury issues causing him to slide, and they went back to that well in the third. With the 96th overall pick, they took Matt Purke, a left-handed pitcher out of TCU. But will they be able to sign him, and how much is it going to cost?

Coming out of high school, Purke was the 14th overall pick in the Draft, but turned down a $4 million signing bonus from the Rangers to play at TCU. Coming into this year, he was viewed as a lock to go in the top-ten as a draft-eligible sophomore, and a legitimate candidate for the No. 1 overall pick. But he had some shoulder issues (bursitis) and that caused him to last until the third round, where the Nationals were happy to take him.

One would have to assume that it is going to take a very serious financial commitment from the Nationals to lure Purke away from TCU. If he is healthy next year, he could pitch his way back into the top ten, and could make the money that comes with being that high a pick. The Nationals will have to give him a contract that is good enough to make Purke comfortable with being a third round pick, which will be considerably above slot, or the recommended amount a team pays each pick.

The Nationals have shown over the past few years that they aren't afraid to do that. They gave Strasburg and Harper record breaking contracts, and even paid well above slot for middle round guys like A.J. Cole and Sammy Solis. If they are able to get Purke under contract, and he can stay healthy, than he would be the undisputed steal of this Draft; even better then Rendon at six. But that's a couple of pretty big if's.

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2011 MLB Draft Results: Washington Nationals Draft Picks Through Round 13

The second day of the 2011 MLB Draft is well underway, as we are already in the 14th round as we speak. After a successful first day in which the Nationals ended up with third baseman Anthony Rendos at No. 6, pitcher Alex Meyer at No. 23 and outfielder Brian Goodwin at No. 34.

On Tuesday, the Nationals have loaded up on college pitchers, drafting eight already. Here are the players the Nationals have taken thus far on Monday:

No. 96: Matt Purke, a left-handed pitcher from TCU.

No. 127: Kylin Turnbull, a left-handed pitcher from Santa Barbara Community College

No. 157: Matt Skole, a third baseman from Georgia Tech

No. 187: David Hill, a right-handed pitcher from Vanderbilt

No. 217: Brian Dupra, a right-handed pitcher from Notre Dame

No. 247: Gregory Holt, a right-handed pitcher from South Carolina

No. 277: Dixon Anderson, a right-handed pitcher from California

No. 307: Manny Rodriguez, a right-handed pitcher from Barry University

No. 337: Caleb Ramsey, an outfielder from the University of Houston

No. 367: Blake Monar, a right-handed pitcher from Indiana

No. 397: Casey Kalenkosky, a first baseman from Texas State

No. 427: Roland Stubbs, a left fielder from Walters State Community College

For more on the 2011 MLB Draft, stay tuned to this StoryStream and visit Federal Baseball and Minor League Ball.    

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Top Remaining Draft Prospects, Second Day MLB Draft: Josh Bell, Daniel Norris, Dillon Howard

The first day of the 2011 MLB Draft is in the books, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be paying attention to the rest of the Draft. There have only been 60 players drafted, which means that there will be another 1,440 players drafted before it's all said and done. So let's take a look at some of the best prospects left on the board, keeping in mind that the Nationals will have the sixth overall pick in each of the next (brace yourself) 49 rounds.

Josh Bell, OF:

University of Texas commitment. Big draw here is switch-hitting power. Other tools will probably make him a left fielder, but scouts really love the bat and most project him as a mid-first-round talent. Might slip a little lower, given the depth of the draft, depending on what he wants to skip the Longhorns, but I doubt he gets out of the first round.

Daniel Norris, LHP:

Glowing scouting reports this spring, was already a certain first-rounder and his stock has only risen. Mid-90s heat, has shown better consistency with plus curveball, changeup, and command this spring. Can't see him lasting past 20 and could be in top ten.

Dillon Howard,RHP:

Certain first round pick in most drafts, but might go a bit lower this year given the depth in power arms. 92-94 MPH fastball, good slider and an excellent changeup, smooth delivery when it is going well but there are reports of some mechanical inconsistency. Won't last past supplemental round.  

All three of these guys lasted this long purely because of signability issues. If they were certain signs, they would have definitely been off the board by now. Having said that, I wouldn't be surprised if the Nationals took a chance on one of these three guys with their next pick. They already got some solid value in this draft, they could decide to take a chance on a guy they might not get, and try to pay out of pocket to secure him.

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2011 MLB Draft Results, 2011 Nationals Draft Picks

Assuming that they are able to sign them, there are now three new members of the Nationals organization after Day One of the 2011 MLB Draft. We already covered the grades for each pick, but let's take this time to get to know each player a little bit better.

First up is Anthony Rendon, who the Nationals stole with the No. 6 overall pick. Here's a quick llok from Minor League Ball.

Shoulder injury has bugged him and consensus number one pick pre-season may drop all the way to number two. I still think he's an outstanding prospect with terrific plate discipline, power, and excellent defense, perhaps something like a blending of David Wright and Evan Longoria.

I think we'd take that. I know that the Nats already have Ryan Zimmerman, but if Rendon can be that good, then I am confident that he will be able to play other places with similar success.

With the next pick the Nationals took Alex Meyer from Kentucky.

Composite ERA in Kentucky games is about 4.75 so he is pitching quite well for context, although the walk rate is rather high. Mid-90s fastball and above-average curve stand out, but command and mechanical issues keep him from Gerrit Cole/Sonny Gray status. A certain first-round pick in most drafts, might drop to supplemental in this one but upside is impressive.

I really like this pick because they went so safe with their first pick, that they could afford to get a little risky with their second first round pick.

With the first pick of the compensatory round, the Nationals took Brian Goodwin from Miami Dade Community College.

Toolsy transfer from North Carolina, moved over to Miami-Dade due to academic ineligibility, making him draft-eligible a year early. Hitting .367 with.474 OBP, 31 walks in 139 at-bats, 13 steals and eight homers so far. His speed/patience combination combined with some power makes him attractive, but he's still considered rather raw at the plate.

Toolsy is perhaps my favorite word in the language of baseball. Goodwin has a lot of potential, and even his floor as a contact-making, defensive oriented center fielder is pretty attractive for the Nats. More on their Draft to come.

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MLB Draft 2011: New Players Join Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg On Potentially Great Washington Nationals Roster

The Nationals drafted Anthony Rendon, Alex Meyer, and Brian Goodwin on Monday. They'll be joining an already talented young roster that has the potential to compete in the next few years.

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Round One MLB Draft Grades: Nationals Earn High Grades With First Three Picks

Don't look now, but the Nationals might have been the most successful team during the first day of the 2011 MLB Draft. They had three picks, and by all accounts, got good value with each selection. Let's break it down here, with help from the guys over at Baseball Nation

With their first pick at No. 6 overall, the Nationals selected Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon. Rendon was projected as one of the top two players in this class, but fell to six after alleged concerns about his injury history, and bad fits with the teams picking ahead of the Nats (except the Mariners, who he would have been perfect for). Rendon is considered an elite defensive third baseman, and also the best hitter in the class. I'm not sure where he will play in the Nationals infield, but wherever he ends up, he should be a dynamic player for them. To get arguably the best player in the Draft at No. 6 overall is tremendous value. I give it an A. I'm holding that + back until we know how healthy he is.

A healthy Rendon projects as an on-base machine with good power and excellent defensive ability at third base. The Nationals may have a steal here.

The rest of the Draft went pretty much by a script for the Nationals. They took two guys who they had reported interest in, and who they had taken in plenty of Mocks across the Internet. The ifrst was Alex Meyer with the 23rd overall pick. He is an enormous right handed pitcher from the University of Kentucky, and has some of the best pure stuff in the entire Draft. But he is so big that he has trouble repeating his motion and can get a little inconsistent. If he can put it all together, he has the kind of stuff that would make him a premier starter on any team.

Ideally he would develop into a number two starter, although if command is a long-term problem he could end up in a bullpen role. It is unusual to find an arm with this kind of upside with the 23rd pick in the draft, testimony to how deep this class truly is.

That last sentence is what makes me give this pick a solid B+. It isn't about getting a superstar at every position, it's about getting the best value out of your picks. The Nationals did that with Meyer.

They also had the first pick in the compensatory sandwich round, and selected Brian Goodwin from Miami Dade Community College. Goodwin started his collegiate career at UNC, but was dismissed following academic issues. Well good news, you don't have to take any classes in the Nationals minor league system. He has fantastic tools, and could develop into the kind of center fielder the Nationals desperately need; great defensively, solid on base ability and great speed once he gets there. Goodwin's value probably took a serious hit after leaving UNC, and the Nats took advantage of that. Another great value pick; B+.

For more on the Nationals Draft, check out our friends over at Federal Baseball.

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2011 MLB Draft Results: Outfielder Brian Goodwin Selected By Nationals In Compensation Round

With the No. 34 pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, the Washington Nationals select Brian Goodwin, an outfielder from Miami Dade College. The Nationals selected Goodwin with the first pick of the compensation round of the Draft. He was previously drafted in 2009 by the Chicago White Sox in the 17th round.

Goodwin is a 6'0" left handed outfielder who is known for making great contact with the ball with most of his power displayed in balls going into the gaps and leg work that can stretch a lot of standard singles into possible extra base hits. His speed makes him dangerous on the base paths and he is lightning getting out of the box down the first base line.

Goodwin, however, does not come without some baggage. The young outfielder was dismissed from his initial college, the University of North Carolina for violating university policy. Specifics are still not clear, but it was rumored he was having problems with some of the UNC coaches and players. Goodwin later came out and said it was due to academic issues and those have been long solved and he is ready to get his baseball career on the move.

For more on the 2011 MLB Draft, stay tuned to this StoryStream and visit Federal Baseball and Minor League Ball.

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2011 MLB Draft Results: Alex Meyer Selected By Nationals, But Will He Be A Starter Or Reliever?

The Washington Nationals are probably patting themselves on the back over their selection of Alex Myers at No. 23 in the 2011 MLB Draft, and with good reason.

The right-handed ace pitcher from the Kentucky Wildcats is an intimidating pitcher to have on the mound, not only because of his stuff, but also because he is 6' 9". The Nationals are no stranger to larger than life pitchers, as they once had 6' 10" reliever Jon Rauch in their stable. Myers led the Wildcats in starts (14), wins (seven), ERA (2.94), complete games (four), complete-game shutouts (two), innings pitched (101) and strikeouts (110) in 2011. That is fine fabric for the Nationals to tailor and work with, especially to groom for a possible rotation spot eventually.

However, Peter Gammons on the MLB Network mentioned Myers as having "closer's potential" which would put him in a reliever's role. This could be an option the team considers, but It makes little sense taking college ace material and hiding it in the bullpen while the Nationals already have a "future closer" in Drew Storen. One could argue that the Nationals might not have found the closer they were looking for in Storen, but that would again make little sense as Storen has only been in the Majors for a little over two seasons. Besides, starters of Myers caliber are just too valuable to treat as anything but a starter, especially in the Nationals organization.

Gammons' comments can probably be chalked up to just part of the five minute jibber-jabber until the next pick. Still, it is an interesting discussion to have and it might have more relevance after the team signs him and gets him into the system for evaluation.

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2011 MLB Draft Results: Washington Nationals Select RHP Alex Meyer With No. 23 Pick

With the No. 23 pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, the Washington Nationals select Alex Meyer, a right-handed pitcher from Kentucky. Meyer stands a towering 6'9'', and was projected to go to the Nationals in many MLB Mock Drafts.

Meyer was the ace for Kentucky, coming on in his junior year after two poor seasons. He had a 7-5 record with a 2.91 ERA and hurled four complete games. He struck out 110 batters in 101 innings, so he has great stuff. The Nationals may look to make him a reliever instead of a starter. He is also a Scott Boras client, like so many others on the Nationals.

The Nationals also have the No. 34 pick in the sandwich round, getting that pick and the No. 23 pick as compensation for losing Adam Dunn to the Chicago White Sox in free agency. Earlier, the Nationals took third baseman Anthony Rendon of Rice with the No. 6 pick, a surprise given that he was projected to go higher. He too is a Scott Boras client.

For more on the 2011 MLB Draft, stay tuned to this StoryStream and visit Federal Baseball and Minor League Ball.    

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2011 MLB Draft Results: Washington Nationals Select Anthony Rendon, But What Position Will He Play?

The Washington Nationals surprisingly ended up with Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon with the No. 6 pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, nabbing him even though most expected him to go higher. At this time last year, he was projected to be the No. 1 pick. But then he struggled a bit with ankle and shoulder injuries, which hurt his stock a little bit.

Nevertheless, the Nationals have to be thrilled that they ended up with who many feel was one of the best players on the board. The only intriguing part: Rendon plays third base, and face of the franchise Ryan Zimmerman also plays third base. 

So what do the Nationals do? They do have options. When asked by the MLB Network commentators whether the team had discussed changing his position at any point, Rendon said they hadn't. But he added that he would be open to playing anywhere and doing whatever they ask.

One possibility is to convert Rendon to second base and choose to move either Danny Espinosa or Ian Desmond. Espinosa is a natural shortstop that is playing better right now, so he would seem to be the natural guy to keep, but there is a lot of time left to make that decision. The Nationals could also try Rendon in the outfield, though that would be a much tougher transition. Finally, they could move Zimmerman to first base, which probably makes little sense now, but may make sense in 2012 if Zimmerman struggles with injury.

(There's also the possibility that Rendon is insurance for if Zimmerman decides to leave after his contract is up in 2013, but we're going to shove that remote possibility aside).

Either way, the Nationals believe getting the best player who can advance to the majors quickly was the right way to go. In speaking to reporters after the pick, general manager Mike Rizzo said the team was "pleasantly surprised" he was available and that the team would decide his position "down the road" while starting him at third base. Time will tell if that trend continues. 

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MLB Draft 2011 Results: Washington Nationals Select Anthony Rendon At No. 6

With the sixth pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, the Washington Nationals have selected Anthony Rendon, a third baseman from Rice. The buzz all day was that outfielder Bubba Starling would be the guy, but instead, he went the pick before to the Kansas City Royals. Instead, the Nationals will take Rendon, who most believe is the best player left, even though they already have Ryan Zimmerman at third base. 

Most experts predicted Rendon would go in the top five, but instead, the Seattle Mariners took Bethesda native Danny Hultzen No. 2 overall, which began Rendon's slide. Rendon starred at Rice, hitting 26 home runs with Rice before slumping a bit this year. However, most people believe he is the best hitter in the 2011 MLB Draft.

One of the reasons Rendon slipped was that some teams were worried about his shoulder, which didn't check out well with some teams' medical reports. For his part, Rendon said he feels fine and that the injuries he's had on his shoulder and ankles have only made him stronger.

For more on the 2011 MLB Draft, stay tuned to this StoryStream and visit Federal Baseball and Minor League Ball.    

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MLB Draft 2011 Results: Seattle Mariners Selects Danny Hultzen At No. 2 Overall

With the No. 2 pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, the Seattle Mariners has selected Danny Hultzen, the left-handed pitcher from Virginia. Hultzen, of course, is a Bethesda native that played for St. Albans in high school. He becomes one of the highest D.C. prospects to be picked in the MLB Draft.

Hultzen starred for three years at Virginia, going 29-5 in three seasons at Virginia. He was named the 2011 ACC Pitcher of the Year, anchoring a team that is the top-ranked school in the nation. On Monday, he was named one of the finalists for the Golden Spikes Award, given to the top amateur baseball player in the nation.

This was a lot higher than most people projected him to go. In fact, when asked to discuss pitching in Seattle, Hultzen said he was "speechless." 

For more on Hultzen, visit Streaking the Lawn. For more on the 2011 MLB Draft, stay tuned to this StoryStream and visit Federal Baseball and Minor League Ball.    

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MLB Draft 2011 News: Mark Lerner Suggests Washington Nationals Aren't Worried About 'Signability Issues'

The Washington Nationals once had a reputation for being cheap, but over the past few years, there has been a shift, especially with the MLB Draft. They have not been afraid to give massive contracts to Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, and they also have gone above the draft scale to sign non-first rounders like Sammy Solis, Robbie Ray A.J. Cole. 

Will the trend continue again at the 2011 MLB Draft? Nationals owner Mark Lerner indicated it would in an interview with James Wagner of the Washington Post.

"We're hoping that we're getting someone great at 6, 23 and 34 - and down in the other rounds, too," Nationals owner Mark Lerner told the Post's James Wagner yesterday in Hagerstown. "Last year we had great luck in going after kids with signability issues like A.J. and Robbie, and hopefully we'll have the same opportunity again this year if the opportunity presents itself."    

If so, it would be a true indication the Nationals are willing to spend, since they do not have a slam-dunk pick to sign.

For more on the 2011 MLB Draft, stay tuned to this StoryStream and visit Federal Baseball and Minor League Ball.    

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2011 MLB Draft: Washington Nationals Picking Danny Hultzen In Final Baseball America Mock

The Washington Nationals have been long rumored to end up with outfielder Bubba Starling with the sixth pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, set to begin on Monday night. But with only a few hours to go before the actual picks are announced, a new name has surfaced in a prominent MLB Mock Draft. Jim Callis' final mock draft for Baseball America has the Nationals passing on Starling taking local pitcher Danny Hultzen at No. 6.

Hultzen is one of the premier pitching prospects in the draft. The Bethesda native starred for top-ranked Virginia this season, and is certainly more ready to advance to the majors quicker than Starling. But pitching prospects are also notoriously unreliable at the top of the draft, and despite Starling's price tag, he might be a safer option.

As for the No. 23 pick, Callis has the Nationals picking Alex Meyer, a right-handed pitcher from Kentucky. 

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2011 MLB Mock Draft: Keith Law Has Washington Nationals Taking Bubba Starling

There is clearly a critical mass that believes the Washington Nationals will pick outfielder Bubba Starling with the No. 6 pick in the 2011 MLB Draft on Monday night. In his latest mock draft, ESPN's Keith Law writes simply that Starling isn't falling any further than the Nationals.

I'm told that if he gets here, he stops here.    

That would certainly make sense, given everything that is out there right now. At this point, it appears that it would be a major upset if Starling isn't the pick. 

In the process, the Nationals will be passing on several pitchers, including local product Danny Hultzen of Bethesda, Md, who Law has going No. 7 to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Pitching is certainly a need for the Nationals, but with two other picks in the first 35 (No. 23 and No. 34), they can find pitching there.

For more on the 2011 MLB Draft, stay tuned to this StoryStream and visit Federal Baseball and Minor League Ball.

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2011 MLB Draft Prospects, Bubba Starling: Will Washington Nationals Pick Him?

As we close in on the 2011 MLB Draft, the name most commonly associated with the Washington Nationals is outfielder Bubba Starling. Most baseball experts believe the Nationals will pick Starling when the No. 6 pick comes, giving the team another strong outfielder. 

Starling is certainly the most dynamic hitting talent in the draft. He's a five-tool center fielder from Kansas who also was recruited to play quarterback at Nebraska. His decision between baseball and football has been covered extensively, but it's going to be hard for him to turn down baseball if he is picked this high in the draft.

The Seattle Mariners, at No. 2, and hometown Kansas City Royals at No. 3 are possibilities for Starling, but those teams are scared that he may not sign and also desperately need pitching. The Nationals have lesser concerns about Starling signing, because they have proven in the past that they are willing to go above the rookie scale to keep their draft picks. Starling is also a Scott Boras client, and the Nationals already have a ton of those on their roster.

For more on Starling and the 2011 MLB Draft, visit Minor League Ball.

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2011 MLB Draft: Where Will Bethesda Native Danny Hultzen Be Drafted?

We cover the Nationals, and will be spending a pretty good amount of time talking about who they pick in the 2011 MLB Draft on Monday. But sometimes we like to cover the prospect side of things, when that guy is a local product, of course. One name that figures to be drafted int he first five picks or so is Danny Hultzen.

Hultzen grew up in Bethesda, and attended St. Alban's before going on to star at the University of Virginia. He was drafted out of High School by the Diamondbacks, but elected to play College Ball instead. Now, he figures to go much higher this time around. He might go to the Diamondbacks again at No. 3, but if they pass, it will be hard for the Orioles to pass on him at No. 4, according to the Baltimore Sun.

 

I think if he falls to fourth, the Orioles take him. And from what I am hearing, he could fall to fourth, assuming the Arizona Diamondbacks are as in love with Trevor Bauer as we are hearing they may be. The only way the Orioles don’t take him if he is there is if Dylan Bundy is also on the board at No. 4. Then, the Orioles’ brass will have an interesting discussion in that war room in Sarasota: The polished college lefty versus the top-ceiling high-school righty.

Whatever happens, I can't imagine that Hultzen will be available for the Nats, even though a pro-ready left-hander would be a perfect fit for them.

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MLB Draft 2011: All Signs Point To Bubba Starling For The Nationals

The Nationals have a few early picks in the 2011 MLB Draft, but most of the intrigue will surround their sixth overall pick, the earliest pick they own. There has been a rumor out there for a few days that the Nationals are zoning in on Bubba Starling, and that still seems to be the case. Ben Goessling of MASN doesn't provide any sort of inside info about the pick, but he does say that Starling is one to "keep an eye on."

While there are plenty of pitchers that could help the Nationals' rotation, the name I'd keep an eye on is South Carolina high school outfielder Bubba Starling. The 6-foot-5 Starling is seen as a center fielder, with the tools to lead off and the range to man the position in the majors. An outfield of Bryce Harper, Starling and Jayson Werth wouldn't materialize for a couple years, but if that scenario came together, the Nationals would have two extremely high-ceiling players to play next to Werth.

The biggest issue with Starling is whether or not the Nationals will be able to sign him. Starling is a two sport star, and has already committed to play quarterback at Nebraska next fall. The Nationals will have to throw a ton of money at him to get him to walk away from that scholarship, but that is something that they have shown a willingness to do in the past. Maybe he'll pull a Carl Crawford though, and walk away from an uncertain football future for millions of guaranteed dollars now playing baseball.

The other issue is whether or not he will be on the board, because he is, by far, the best high school position player prospect in this draft. The Nationals need the five teams picking in front of them to pass if they are going to have the opportunity to draft him. Reports are emerging this morning that the Pirates are set to take UCLA pitcher Gerrit Cole at No. 1 overall, so that takes them out of the Starling running, but there are still four other teams that could ruin their party.

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2011 MLB Draft Order: Full List Of Washington Nationals' Draft Picks

The 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft starts tonight at 7, and you can catch it live on the MLB Network, if you have that already. The Nationals have a few early picks, and good opportunity to help themselves going forward.

Their first pick is the sixth overall. This is the first time in two years that the Nationals aren't picking first overall, and it just so happens to be the first time in two years that a super prospect like Stephen Strasburg or Bryce Harper on the board, so that's convenient.

Their next pick is later in the first round at 23, compensation for the Chicago White Sox signing Adam Dunn (retribution!). The Nationals can still get a real impact player here if they are willing to take a risk on a guy who might have some signability issues. They have shown in the past that signability isn't an issue for them, and that they are willing to throw some cash at these young players. If they do it again, they could get a pretty good player here.

The Nationals also have the 34th overall pick in the Draft, which is also compensation for the Adam Dunn signing. That pick is part of what is known as the sandwich round pf picks that comes between rounds one and two. This is a round that is made up of completely compensatory picks. After that, the Nationals will have the sixth pick in every round from 2-50.

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MLB Draft 2011: Washington Nationals 'Zoned In' On OF Bubba Starling With No. 6 Pick, According To Report

The Washington Nationals have many picks in the first round of the 2011 MLB Draft, with the No. 6 overall pick being the most important. With just three days to go until draft day on June 6, the Nationals appear to be targeting Kansas outfielder Bubba Starling with the No. 6 overall pick, at least according to Frankie Piliere of FOX Sports.

Lots of draft buzz today obliterating much of my mock. Sources telling me the Nats have zoned in on Bubba Starling at #6 #MLBDraft

A two-sport star, Starling is a five-tool outfield prospect and the kind of guy scouts love. The only issue with the Nationals drafting him is that they need pitching, though they have plenty of other picks to fill that void.

For more on the Nationals and the 2011 MLB Draft, check out our Nationals blog Federal Baseball, as well as John Sickels' Minor League Ball.

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MLB Draft 2011: MLB.com Has Nats Taking Two Pitchers In First Round

The 2011 MLB Draft is right on the other side of this weekend, and the Nats have two first round picks. MLB.com just came out with their latest (and probably final) Mock Draft of the Season, and they have the Nas going with two pitchers in the first. With the sixth overall pick, they have the Nationals taking Trevor Bauer, a right handed pitcher from UCLA.

The slightly unorthodox Bauer is being mentioned all over the top of the first round, and it's hard to argue based on his performance and stuff.

Bauer would be a solid pick, because he has tremendous stuff, but has also been seasoned by a few years at UCLA. With the 23rd overall pick, they have the Nats taking high school pitcher Daniel Norris, and a little bit more risk.

This would give the Nationals one college and one high school pitcher in the first round. Norris is the top prep lefty in the class.

I like that after taking a guy who is more safe in Bauer in the first, they have the Nats swinging for the fences a little bit more with this pick. With two picks in the first round, that's the kind of pick that the Nats can afford to make.

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MLB Draft 2011 Prospects: Dylan Bundy

The Washington Nationals are already a young baseball team, but they are not directly on the cusp of contention, so there really isn't any harm in continuing to get younger. Particularly in the pitching staff. Their two first round picks are a good opportunity to do that, and at six overall, they will have a pretty good chance of adding an elite young arm. One of those plaeyrs could be Dylan Bundy. Here is a quick profile of Bundy from Minor League Ball.

University of Texas recruit. Mid-90s fastball with sinking action, also a plus curveball. An Oklahoma-based observer raved about the breaking ball to me. Shorter and stockier than (Archie) Bradley, but just as strong, and has more present polish. Like Bradley, he would be a lock for the top ten or even top five most years, but might go a bit lower this year, though whoever picks him will still have to cough up some money.

Well, coughing up some money hasn't been a problem recently for the Nationals, so I don't think that would prevent them from picking him. If they want to go with a young arm, Bundy could be a good choice.

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MLB Draft 2011 Prospects: Archie Bradley

If there is one thing the Nationals need, it's pitching. Sure, they can't put runs up on the board, but that should get a little bit better when Ryan Zimmerman gets back into the lineup, and Bryce Harper makes his debut sometime in the next couple years. The Nationals need some young pitchers, and with the sixth overall pick in the first round of the upcoming 2011 MLB Draft, they'll have a chance to add one. One such prospect, is Archie Bradley, a high school pitcher from Broken Arrow High in Oklahoma. Here is an excerpt from a profile on Bradley from Minor League Ball.

University of Oklahoma recruit. Rated a likely first-rounder pre-season and still does. Has football leverage since he's a great quarterback, too. Athletic, mid-90s fastball, good breaking ball, reasonable level of polish for a young power pitcher, competitive makeup. Would be a top ten guy in a thinner class and might still get there.

Bradley has good size for a pitcher, and will probably develop even more strength as he gets older. If the Nationals want to take a guy with potential in the first round, this would be a good place to start.

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MLB Draft 2011 Prospects: Francisco Lindor

The Nationals have two first round picks in the upcoming 2011 MLB Draft, and there will be some serious intrigue with their first pick at sixth overall. One of the options for them is Francisco Lindor, a shortstop from Montverde Academy in Florida. Here is a quick profile on him from our Minor League and Draft blog, Minor League Ball.

Lindor is one of the few players in this years’ draft to be a lock to stick at SS. The problem is his bat. He is a switch hitter with good bat control but not much power. He is a little stronger from the right side than the left. He could be an average SS defensively and in today’s game, that is very valuable but I don’t know it’s worthy of a top 10 pick like many are predicting.

Before deciding whether or not to take Lindor, the Nationals have to ask themselves how comfortable they are with Ian Desmond as the shortstop of the future for their franchise. He is still very young, and if they feel like he can man the middle for years to come, than they don't need to take LIndor, and can shift their attention to a pitcher, a much greater position of need. But Lindor has a lot of talent, so if they don't love Desmond, Lindor would make a great deal of sense.

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MLB Draft 2011: Who Will The Nationals Take With Two First Round Picks?

The 2011 MLB Draft is steadily approaching. It will take place on June 6 at 7 pm. You can watch the first round live on MLB Network, and streaming through MLB.com.

The Nationals won't have the first overall pick in this draft like they have the past two years, but they'll still have a pretty good opportunity to add one, if not two, impact players in the first round. They hold the sixth overall pick based on their own record, and also the 23rd overall pick because of Adam Dunn signing with the Chicago White Sox.

There aren't any Stephen Strasburg's or Bryce Harper's in this draft, so I guess it's fine that the Nationals don't have the top pick. But are still some interesting prospects, most notably UCLA's Gerrit Cole, Rice's Anthony Rendon, Montverde Academy's Fransisco Lindor, Texas' Taylor Jungmann and Gardner-Edgerton's Bubba Starling.

We'll be covering the MLB Draft live in this stream, but for more on the Nationals check out Federal Baseball.

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