We are back! After just a few short hours to recover from the late night last evening, we are back in the NatsGM Headquarters, with a large coffee in hand and ready to go through Day 2 of the 2013 MLB Draft.
I want to thank everyone so much for joining me last night, in Part 1 of our Live Blog. The traffic yesterday was the largest in the history of NatsGM, and my technology sensei warned me we almost crashed the server – To which I answered “We’re crashing it today!”. All bad jokes aside, thanks for joining me yesterday and please continue to spread the word.
Stick with us this rainy Friday afternoon as I take you through Rounds 3-10 of the 2013 MLB Draft. Please leave your comments and questions in the comments section below, or as always on email NationalsGM@Gmail.com or via Twitter @NatsGMdotcom. Without further ado, let’s get this started!
1:02pm -> Not saying it is the wrong decision, but is anyone else surprised the Nationals have already postponed tonight’s game?
1:08pm -> Nice pick by the Astros to begin the day, selecting UNC Friday night starter LHP Kent Emanuel… Strike thrower with deception, should find a major league job in the future. High floor and good value in Round 3.
1:16pm -> Jon Denney, a possible 1st round selection, goes to the Red Sox at the beginning of Round 3. If they can sign him, this is terrific value on Day 2 of the draft. Good risk verses reward pick by Boston.
1:26pm -> Another solid pick by the Pirates to take the athletic JaCoby Jones, who played at second base in college but was drafted as a centerfielder. He has real talent but needs a lot of polish. Great value in Round 3.
1:37pm -> Not draft related but I just saw on Twitter that the Nationals have claimed LHP Tyler Robertson from Minnesota. Interesting arm, has done well against LHPs in the past, and his Dad works in the Nats front office. Intriguing and possibly shrewd pick-up for the Nationals.
Washington Nationals Round 3 Pick #105 -> Drew Ward 3B Oklahoma HS
Young kid who reclassified himself from a 2014 draft pick to a 2013 pick, Ward has huge power and is an intriguing player in Round 3. This does not seem like a typical Mike Rizzo selection, but I like to see them drafting some high school players to add to the lower minor leagues. He should sign quickly if he was willing to graduate a year early.
2:03pm -> Kansas City made a nice selection in Zane Evans, a closer/relief pitcher from Georgia Tech. I watched him last year and thought he had a chance as a catcher, good pick with a chance to convert to the mound if his bat cannot handle professional pitching. Nice value in Round 4 and surprised he went after teammate Daniel Palka.
2:13pm -> And the first of the 3 elite high school talents from the DMV area goes to Arizona in Round 4 in Matthew MacPherson from Riverdale Baptist. A lightning fast left-handed hitter who could stay in center field if he can improve his throwing arm. Good pick and should sign after being drafted in the top-5 rounds. Congrats to Matthew and the Riverdale Baptist program!
2:28pm -> Oakland just made an interesting selection in Round 4, taking University of San Diego pitcher Dylan Covey… He was a 1st round pick a few years ago but was found to have diabetes, which was the reason he did not sign professionally out of high school. He stumbled in college but there is real talent here – Nice sleeper pick!
Washington Nationals Round 4 Pick #136 -> Nic Pivetta New Mexico JC
A Canadian pitcher with a huge pitcher’s frame and even bigger fastball, Pivetta has a promising junior college arm that does not have much wear on a lightly used arm. His fastball and curve combination portends a career as a reliever, but the Nats will let him develop as a starter and see if he can develop a good changeup. Interesting pick with some upside here at the end of Round 4.
2:40pm -> Cubs make an interesting selection at the beginning of Round 5 taking Texas Tech pitcher Trey Masek. He has some effort in the delivery and a fringy changeup, but he could be a good reliever in a couple years. Live arm, and a good choice in this round.
2:49pm -> Mets make a solid pick of Kansas State outfielder Jared King… A physical athlete with some speed and some pop, I thought he would be a good option for the Nationals in Round 3 or 4. He’s probably a 4th outfielder in the majors, but this is a solid pick and should carve out a big league career – Good value at #146.
3:13pm -> Oakland is having a great draft, taking one of my personal favorites in Mississippi RHP Bobby Wahl… His stuff dropped off this season after showing much better in the Cape two summers ago, and last season collegiately. Excellent value in Round 5.
3:14pm -> Dan Slania, closer for Notre Dame the past few seasons, was just selected by San Francisco at pick #162… Nice power fastball and has a chance to be an excellent 8th inning stopper type reliever. Good pick Giants!
Washington Nationals Round 5 Pick #166 -> Austin Voth RHP University of Washington
Interesting collegiate pitcher who finished 2nd in the Pac-10 in strikeouts behind Mark Appel, Voth has a good fastball around 90-92mph, and the ability to miss bats. Good, solid value pick here at the end of Round 5 to get a polished college pitcher from a good conference.
3:36pm -> Curious of everyone’s thoughts on the Nats picks thus far… I am a little perplexed, as the theme seems to be no theme. 2 big raw southwestern arms, a polished college arm from Washington, and a young raw third baseman. I like the ceiling of these guys, but was expecting more polished college pitchers like Voth. Your thoughts?
3:48pm -> St. Louis just took local product and University of Maryland LHP Jimmy Reed – Reed is a college senior who should sign quickly and has a change carve out a career as a lefty reliever with a fastball, curveball, and slider. If Reed improves his curveball, he could be particularly tough against lefties. Very good kid who deserves a chance, and I think he reaches the majors one day.
Washington Nationals Round 6 Pick #196 -> Cody Gunter 3B/RHP Grayson CC Texas
Big arm that was drafted last year by Miami, most scouts like Gunter better as a pitcher but the Nationals specifically mentioned him as a third baseman. Intriguing talent who should sign relatively easily but there is a decent chance they shift him to the mound in a year or two. Decent value late in the 6th round. The area scouts in the Southwest for the Nationals are having a great first two days.
Washington Nationals Round 7 Pick #226 -> James Yezzo 1B University of Delaware
Great pick Nats, especially to get a relatively local kid in the minor leagues. Not a very big kid, and likely limited to first base, but Yezzo has a short, left-handed swing and can definitely put the bat on the ball. If he had played at a bigger baseball school, he would have been drafted 2-3 rounds earlier. Really like this kid, and he has a chance to hit his way to the majors.
5:11pm -> Been a little while since the Nationals took a high school player… And they have taken a few relatively easy to sign players the past few picks, maybe they pop local product Errol Robinson or another high school athlete in the next few picks.
5:31pm -> Nice pick by the Yankees to pick Georgia Tech OF Brandon Thomas late in Round 8… Good athlete, switch-hitter and a decent defender in center field. Great senior sign and value pick.
Washington Nationals Round 8 Pick #256 -> David Napoli LHP Tulane University
Small left-handed pitcher, Napoli is a senior from Tulane with three pitches but does not have the size one would expect from a Mike Rizzo pick. Expect this senior to sign quickly and cheaply, and will likely move to the bullpen as he rises through the minors. I am hoping the Nats take a high school player or two before the end of today, as they should have some bonus dollars to “play with”.
5:48pm -> Mets make a nice pick in Round 9, taking Patrick Biondi from Michigan, the reigning batting average champion from the Cape league last summer. Nice left-handed bat who can play center and left field, very fast guy with some tools. Not much power, but he could be a good 4th outfielder one day. Has a good chance to reach the majors, which is excellent this late in the draft.
5:53pm -> 2nd University of Delaware Blue Hen off the board, as the Pirates select RHP Chad Kuhl #269 overall. UD’s program has steadily been improving in recent years, and scouts are starting to notice. Congrats on two top-10 picks from the up-and-coming local program!
Washington Nationals Round 9 Pick #286 -> Jake Joyce RHP Virginia Tech
Another college senior who has more potential than you might expect from a pitcher this late. He should sign quickly and one should expect he shifts to the bullpen as a fastball/curveball reliever. Interesting senior pitcher at this point in the draft, has a chance to reach the majors some day.
6:18pm -> Any chance for a high school athlete here in Round 10, or maybe UCLA starter Adam Plutko… Please!
6:24pm -> Saw on Twitter Amanda Comak is reporting the Nationals have signed 2nd round pick Jake Johansen, selected late last night. Depending on the terms of the deal, this could have an effect on this last pick tonight, but more importantly, the early picks tomorrow if Johansen signed for less than slot value.
As important as this information could be for tomorrow, props to the Nationals for getting this raw pitcher into the fold quickly, which should only help expedite his development. Well-done, and a very good sign for the organization.
Washington Nationals Round 10 Pick #316 -> Brennan Middleton INF Tulane University
Probably my favorite person in this year’s draft, I was fortunate enough to sit with Brennan for a Bethesda Big Train game last summer and he was one of the nicest people I have ever met. He knew a ton about the game, and we talked baseball for most of the night.
Middleton has a solid arm, a little speed, and the ability to put the barrel on the ball from his compact right-handed swing. Not too much pop here, so here is more of a utility guy down the road, but I could not be happier that the Nats took him.
Congrats to Sal Colangelo and the Bethesda Big Train for graduating another high pick in the 2013 draft!
With that pick Day 2 of the 2013 MLB Draft is officially in the books. The Nationals, as they tend to do, focused on pitching, taking four pitchers, one possible conversation candidate, one high school hitter, and two college bats in their 8 picks today.
I will be back tomorrow at 1pm to Live Blog Rounds 11-40 of the MLB Draft, please join me with your comments, questions, or jokes that I am still talking about prospects in Round 38. Thanks for reading, and please continue to spread the word about NatsGM.