We are back in THE NatsGM Studios, fueled on coffee and leftovers, to Live Blog Day 3 of the MLB Draft! Today we will draft rounds 11-40, so please join me with your questions, comments, rants, and more.
While Day 3 sees the talent pool get thinner, there are still several players I like and would be happy if the Nationals added them to the organization this afternoon. A few names I am specifically listening for today are Nick Cieri Maryland, Brigham Hill Texas A&M, Ian Hamilton Washington State, Cory Wilder NC State, Vincent Jackson Tennessee, Connor Jones Georgia, Jason Delay Vanderbilt and Mitchell Traver Texas Christian.
12:03pm – Looks like we are getting started basically on time… 11th round and Day 3, let’s do this!
12:12pm – Already realizing how difficult today’s live blog is going to be, as MLB.com is not updating the picks in real-time. Bear with me today gang!
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 11th Round Pick -> Armond Upshaw CF Pensacola State
Listed as both an outfielder and left-handed pitcher, Upshaw posted a .327 average this season with 3 home runs and 33 stolen bases. It appears as though Upshaw has some tools, with the possible backup plan of converting him to the mound if he fails to hit.
12:18pm – Shocked, and kinda proud, at the number of players I still recognize going here early on Day 3. Of course the picks are going so quickly I cannot comment on them, but still…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 12th Round Pick -> Hayden Howard LHP Texas Tech
A large 6-4 190lbs lefty, Howard transferred to Texas Tech this season after two years at Seward County Community College. He was selected in the 39th round of the 2013 draft by the Oakland Athletics, so he has been on scouts’ radar for a while. This season he posted a 9-3 record with a 3.13 ERA, with 49 strikeouts against only 18 walks in 74.2 innings pitched. The strikeout number is slightly concerning, but the walk rate and projectable body has me intrigued to watch his development.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 13th Round Pick -> Conner Simonetti 1B Kent State University
Drafted by Cincinnati in the 2013 draft, Simonetti is listed as a 6-1 215lbs junior who hit .311 this season with 17 home runs for the Golden Flashes this season. In addition, he hit 11 doubles and a triple this season in 56 games, giving me some optimism about his power potential.
12:40pm – If you have any additional information on these players, please let me/us know in the comment’s section. These are (often) new names to me and the readers of NatsGM, so if you can help educate, let us know!
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 14th Round Pick -> Kyle Simonds RHP Texas A&M
A senior transfer from Hutchinson CC, Simonds received national attention this spring, no-hitting Vanderbilt in early May. Listed at 6-4 200lbs, Simonds was 10-3 this season with a 2.73 ERA. He had 74 strikeouts against only 23 walks in 92.1 innings this spring. He should sign quickly and has a chance to rise through the organization due to his ability to pound the strike zone.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 15th Round Pick -> Ryan Williamson LHP North Carolina State
A junior left-handed starter for the Wolfpack, Williamson pitched 70.1 innings this season, posting a 2.69 ERA with 77 strikeouts against 38 walks. Interestingly, Williamson is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery in the future, meaning the Nationals are hoping to sign him and rehabilitate his arm. Considering he will not pitch next season if he has surgery, I would assume he signs relatively quickly and the Nats might have a bargain in Round 15.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 16th Round Pick -> Phillip Morse RHP Shenandoah University
A senior righty, listed as 6-2 185lbs, is a local boy from Vienna, Virginia. Morse this season made 22 appearances and threw 30.2 innings, posting a 0.88 ERA with 26 strikeouts and 8 saves. On his Shenandoah page, this first thing they mention is “great pop on the fastball”. Personally I am excited to see what his fastball looks like…
1:12pm – After taking precious few arms through the first two days of the draft, we are now seeing Washington load up on college arms, taking 4 pitchers in their past 5 picks. I would expect this trend to continue through the rest of the teens.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 17th Round Pick -> Tyler Beckwith SS University of Richmond
Another local product from Mount Airy, MD and Linganore high school, Beckwith is a senior shortstop who hit .319 with 6 home runs, 29 extra base hits and 10 stolen bases for the Spiders this season. He has the reputation as a solid fielder and his statistics show he has some speed and the ability to hit for average. His senior numbers were much better than his other three seasons, which gives some hope maybe a Nationals’ area scout has found a gem.
1:24pm – Just realized going head-to-head with the Nationals game is probably not the best thing for my traffic and page views today… D’oh!
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 18th Round Pick -> Ben Braymer LHP Auburn University
A junior left-handed pitcher who previously played at LSU-Eunice, Braymer posted a 4-4 record this season with a 3.56 ERA over 48 innings pitched, allowing 36 hits and 20 walks against 47 strikeouts. Any lefty with a strikeout rate of nearly 9 per 9 innings in the SEC piques my interest. If he is signable, he might develop into a lefty specialist down the road.
1:35pm – I would have bet money Aaron Nola would have lasted longer in the Nationals game than the first 10 rounds of Day 3’s draft.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 19th Round Pick -> Jarrett Gonzales Catcher Texas HS
Listed as a 5-11 185lbs right-handed hitting and throwing catcher, I see precious little information online about Gonzales. If anyone can help, please do.
According to Google, Gonzales played on the 2015 Area Code Games team named after the Washington Nationals… Seems like this could be a natural connection, or not.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 20th Round Pick -> Jake Barnett LHP Lewis and Clark State College
Dipping into the NAIA waters, Barnett is listed as a junior 6-2 190lbs lefty who previously played at Palomar College. This season he made 16 appearances and pitched 47.2 innings, allowing 42 hits and 16 walks against 51 strikeouts. Baseball America listed him on their Idaho state map as a “other prospects of note”, but does not have any information about him.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 21st Round Pick -> Jacob Howell RHP Delta State
Another junior right-handed pitcher, Howell is listed at 6-3 190lbs. This season Howell posted a 3.93 ERA for Delta State in 34.1 innings pitched, with 45 strikeouts against 35 hits and 15 walks allowed. The ERA seems high for this level of competition, but that strikeout rate is interesting.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 22nd Round Pick -> Sterling Sharp RHP Drury University
A 6-3 185lbs junior right-handed pitcher, Sharp (best name in the Nats’ class and arguably best in this draft) provided Drury with a 5.90 ERA in 50.1 innings this season, with 43 strikeouts and 23 walks. The numbers do not look pretty and the level of competition is not stellar, so I am assuming an area scout likes his velocity and/or arm.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 23rd Round Pick -> Michael Rishwain RHP Westmont College
A senior 6-3 220lbs right-handed pitcher, Rishwain posted a 1.51 ERA this season for Westmont in 35.1 innings, providing them with 31 strikeouts against only 7 walks this season while pitching in relief. He should sign quickly and pitch in the bullpen for one of Washington’s affiliates, likely Auburn.
2:41pm – Wow, Seattle just picked Tre Griffey, the son of Ken Griffey Jr. from the University of Arizona. This pick makes me feel extremely old.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 24th Round Pick -> Joseph Baltrip RHP Wharton County CC
Baltrip is a sophomore at Wharton and unfortunately their website provided little other information on Baltrip.
2:48pm – Any chance the Nationals can start drafting players from some larger schools? It would make researching these young players a lot easier.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 25th Round Pick -> Branden Boggetto SS Southeast Missouri State
A senior 6-0 190lbs infielder, Boggetto was listed on the top-100 seniors by Perfect Game prior to the season. This year Boggetto hit .339 with 5 home runs, 27 extra base hits and 9 stolen bases in 59 games played. Similarly to 17th round pick Tyler Beckwith, he should sign quickly and add infield depth in the lower minor leagues.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 26th Round Pick -> Jack Sundberg CF University of Connecticut
Finally a player I have watched! Sundberg is a senior from UConn who hits left-handed and throws right-handed. He is a physical kid who looks bigger than his listed 5-11 190lbs. This season Sundberg struggled at the plate, hitting only .258 with 5 home runs and 17 stolen bases after hitting .287 with a .412 OBP in 2015. He has some speed and can play all three positions adequately, making him an intriguing pick this late.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 27th Round Pick -> Jeremy McDonald LHP California Baptist
Another senior, McDonald is listed as a 5-9 182lbs lefty, which would make him the smallest drafted pitcher I can remember in the Rizzo era. This year McDonald had a 2.14 ERA over 84 innings pitched with 88 strikeouts and 40 walks. Interestingly, he allowed only 1 home run this season – maybe he develops into a productive lefty reliever down the road.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 28th Round Pick -> Jonny Reid LHP Azusa Pacific University
Son of a coach at Azusa, Reid is a junior who had 70 strikeouts against 20 walks in 86 innings of action this season. The Nationals continue to stockpile pitching in the middle rounds of Day 3.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 29th Round Pick -> Samuel Held RHP University of Nevada-Reno
Back to the right-handed pitchers – Held is a senior 6-5 195lbs pitcher who spent two seasons at Delta State before transferring to Nevada-Reno. This season Held had a 5.17 ERA in 38.1 innings pitched, with 13 (yes 13) strikeouts against 9 walks. Even for a 29th round pick, this selection has me slightly stumped, yet very interested to see what the area scout saw in this prospect.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 30th Round Pick -> Tristan Clarke CF East Oklahoma State Junior College
A sophomore 6-3 184lbs R/R outfielder, I am not finding anything else on him online – Help?
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 31st Round Pick -> CJ Picerni Catcher New York University
Another senior, the Nationals draft another catcher here in Round 31 with CJ Picerni from NYU. Picerni hit .258 this season with 0 homers and 9 doubles in 34 games and 124 at-bats. He should provide additional depth for Washington in Rookie ball this summer.
4:22pm – I would like to thank several commenters in the comment’s section who are adding additional information on several of these picks – Thanks everyone!
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 32nd Round Pick -> Garrett Gonzales 3B Texas HS
The son of one of the Nationals’ scouts, Gonzales is listed as a 5-11 165lbs shortstop who bats left-handed, throws right-handed and is committed to Incarnate Word. Typically I would dismiss a pick like this as a favor to a member of the organization, but the lack of a strong college commitment could make him a possibility for Washington to sign.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 33rd Round Pick -> Ryan Wetzel SS Heritage Christian Academy
The son of a special assistant to the GM for the Nationals, Wetzel appears to be uncommitted to a college as of now, though he is linked to several impressive Big-12 teams. He bats left-handed and throws right-handed, and is listed at 6-2 170lbs. Similarly to Gonzales above, typically this would feel like a “throwaway” pick as a favor to a friend of the organization, but the lack of a college commitment makes it plausible he signs.
4:41pm – There have now been 1,000 players drafted… That is a staggering number. Still several rounds to go however!
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 34th Round Pick -> Morgan Cooper RHP University of Texas
A redshirt sophomore, Cooper is a huge 6-4 220lbs righty who provided the Longhorns with a 4.03 ERA in 67 innings this season, striking out 70 and walking only 17. Cooper obviously has the leverage to go back to school, so it will be interesting to see if the Nationals can sign him. He would be a nice addition to this draft class if they can get him signed.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 35th Round Pick -> Tristan Bayless LHP Hutto HS Texas
I am not finding anything about Mr. Bayless online at this time. Can anyone help?
5:11pm – Detroit just selected Florida HS Drew Mendoza here in Round 36 – Many had mocked him to the Nationals before the draft. Now it seems likely he will play at Florida State and re-enter the draft in 3 years.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 36th Round Pick -> Jordan McFarland OF Waterloo HS Illinois
Committed to Arkansas, McFarland is a promising looking outfield prospect for the Razorbacks, standing 6-3 and 225lbs. A 2nd team Perfect Game All-American, McFarland feels highly unlikely to sign this late in the draft and will likely find his way to college. However, as per usual with the Nationals, remember this name as Washington could look to re-draft him again in three years.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 37th Round Pick -> Cory Voss Catcher McLennan Community College
Drafted by Colorado in the 34th round of the 2014 draft, Voss spent his freshman season at the University of New Mexico before transferring to McLennan. This year Voss hit .384 with 11 home runs and 53 runs batted in over 55 games played. Committed to the University of Arizona for next year, Voss might be difficult to sign away from Tucson, but looks like a nice gamble in Round 37.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 38th Round Pick -> Noah Murdock Colonial Heights HS VA
A monster local product listed at 6-8 175lbs, Murdock has a strong commitment to play baseball at Virginia, making it nearly impossible Washington is able to sign him. Much like Tommy Doyle two years ago, the Nationals are likely making this pick with their idea of potentially drafting him again in three years.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 39th Round Pick -> Matt Mervis 1B/RHP Georgetown Prep HS
Yes! My alma mater, Georgetown Prep, gets represented in the 2016 MLB Draft, as the Nationals select Matt Mervis, a corner infielder and pitcher. Mervis has a strong commitment to Duke University, but was receiving 1st day buzz earlier this spring after performing well at the NHSI showcase in Chicago. It looks like Mervis will be taking his talents to Durham for the next 3 years, but I am so excited that he was drafted, particularly by his hometown Nationals. Congrats to Matt and the Lil’ Hoyas!
6pm – Last round everyone! I want to thank everyone who has joined me the last three days. Like the last five years I have done this, it is a long, but wonderful three day adventure.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 40th Round Pick -> Sean Cook RHP Walt Whitman HS Bethesda, MD
I love that the Nationals have selected two local kids with their last two picks, and two players I have seen play. Cook is a 6-0 175lbs righty who struck out 46 batters in 46 innings this spring for the Vikings. He is expected to walk-on at the University of Maryland this spring and could develop into an interesting prospect in a few years.
6:12pm – With that, the NatsGM Live Blog of the 2016 MLB Draft is a wrap. Please keep the comments coming in the comment’s section. Thanks again for reading, bye for now!