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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.