This post will be updated throughout the day as the Nats make more picks. For real-time thoughts, be sure to follow me on twitter @seanhoganvt.
Round 3: LHP Matt Purke out of TCU. Another elite talent with injury problems. He's no guarantee to sign both because of his injury and his sophomore eligibility. The 3rd round is the one to risk a pick, though, as the Nats get a compensation pick at the end of the 3rd next year if he doesn't sign. I'm ecstatic with the pick - elite talent doesn't grow on trees.
Notes on Purke:
From John Sickels, Minor League Ball, 6/14/2011: "Huge wild card. Put up great numbers (1.71 ERA, 61/20 K/BB in 53 IP, 36 hits) despite injury issues and loss of velocity. Has sophomore leverage. If he looks good this summer, he could earn first round money, but my psychic powers say he heads back to college."
From Keith Law via Amanda Comack, The Washington Times, 6/7/2011:
"I could craft you an explanation about how the time off cost him arm strength, and how he didn't have time to rehab the arm and regain both velocity and durability, and it would all make sense. I'm not dismissing the possibility that given time and the right strengthening program, Purke can again pitch like he did during his healthy and successful freshman year. But the bottom line is that pitchers with big price tags need to show big stuff, and Purke didn't do it in what is likely his last opportunity before the draft to show he's worth what he's expected to demand."
From John Manuel, Baseball America, 6/7/2011:
Purke was never quite right in 2011. He didn't pitch last summer or fall and wasn't able to recapture his '10 form in 2011. Purke's fastball hit the mid-90s last year and sat at average this year, and his stuff across the board was down, plus he missed time with arm issues. He was an unsigned first-rounder in 2009 and might be the toughest sign in this draft, considering he agreed to a $6 million deal in '09 before it was vetoed by the commissioner's office.
On 6/1/2011, John Sickels of Minor League Ball noted that Purke was likely around 40 on his draft board. Rendon was #1, Meyer was #24 and Goodwin was #25.
On 6/3/2011, Matt Garrioch of MLB Bonus Baby listed Rendon as his #1, Meyer #20, Purke #31 and Goodwin #78.
Round 4: LHP Kylin Turnbull out of Santa Barbara City College. 2010 30th round pick by the White Sox. Reliever whose fastball reached the mid 90's in MPH this year, and 6'5" height gives him room for physical growth.
Notes on Turnbull:
From John Sickels, Minor League Ball, 6/14/2011: "Big projectable lefty put up excellent numbers this year, velocity is average but slider and splitter have potential and his velocity could pick up further. Sleeper pick. Oregon commitment."
From Nathan Rode, Baseball America, 6/7/2011:
"Faded down the stretch but has lean, loose frame at 6-foot-4, 195. Average fastball but has touched 93-94. Average splitter and fringy slider."
On 6/2/2011, John Sickels named Turnbull as a player he was interested in for his Shadow Draft.
On 5/13/2011, Aaron Fitt of Baseball America tweeted, "Kylin Turnbull's command has been spotty, but he's gotten Ks with fastball, SL (78-81) & SP. Heard he's touched 94 this yr, but 87-91 today."
From John Klima, Baseball Beginnings, 7/3/2010:
"A GOOD GET IF YOU CAN SIGN HIM: Santa Barbara City College left-hander Kylin Turnbull threw very well this spring. Many scouts who saw him felt there is much projection left in his arm." (Note that this is from last year's draft).
Round 5: 3B Matt Skole out of Georgia Tech.
Hit 47 homers in 3 years at Georgia Tech, but only 10 came in 2011. Maintained the plate discipline improvements he made between his freshman and sophomore years this year. Briefly suspended this season for a DUI in late February. Aside from the DUI, Skole is a solid pick and could move fairly quickly through the organization. At 3B, he would be a good hitter with a bad glove. At 1B/LF, he would be an average hitter with a mediocre glove. Intriguing prospect for now due to the power.
Notes on Skole:
From John Sickels, Minor League Ball, 6/14/2011: "Strong left-handed power, good strike zone judgment, opinions split on whether he can remain at third base, but the bat looks good."
From Mike Newman, Scouting the Sally, 4/20/2011:
"Brother of former 1st round pick Jake Skole...Slightly below average athlete overall; Moves well for a man his size...More compact stroke than most left-handed hitters his size...Patient hitter; Rarely chases pitches outside the strike zone – even against mid-90′s velocity...See more potential as an average/on base hitter than true power hitting threat...Present speed is below average and is unlikely to improve...Future defensive home is uncertain...Showed a lack of confidence at third base; Shied away from cutting ball off in the 5/6 hole...Looks more comfortable at first base; Prospect status takes a definite hit if he settles in at 1B permanently...Has made a few starts behind the plate this season"
"For whatever reason, the first name to pop into my head when seeing Skole play was Anthony Rizzo. To be clear, Skole would be a poor man’s version of the San Diego Padres first base prospect, but that has value nonetheless. I suspect he will at least be given an offseason to work on his defense at third base, if not longer since his prospect status is significantly higher at the hot corner. Should he be forced to move over the first base, Skole’s value takes a significant hit as his offensive game is strong, but not elite."
From Matt Grabusky, MLB Draft Guide, 4/13/2011:
"Skole will go as far as his bat will take him. He is a patient hitter with plus power. He does have a head tug that is often mentioned and needs to be corrected if he is to reach his potential. Skole has a plus arm, but that is his only strenth in the field. His range is limited and his hands are suspect. A move to 1st or, possibly, left is on the horizon."
Matt Garrioch of MLB Bonus Baby had Skole listed 95th on his draft list on 6/3/2011 and 137th back on 11/22/2010.
Brian Foley of College Baseball Daily had Skole listed 59th on his draft list on 11/20/2010.
Round 6: RHP Taylor Hill out of Vanderbilt.
While his given name is David (and that's what the MLB lists by), but he goes by Taylor. Drafted in the 30th round by the Indians last year. Struck out 13 in Vandy's victory over Belmont on Sunday. Hill was listed as the 173rd best player in the draft by Baseball America. Looks like a solid organizational arm with the ability to make it as a middle reliever. Little leverage as a senior, so he should sign quickly for fairly cheap.
Notes on Hill:
From John Sickels, Minor League Ball, 6/14/2011: "88-92 sinker, good slider and changeup, throws strikes, knows how to pitch. Possible fourth starter but a nice value selection."
From A Scout's View, 6/7/2011:
"a bit of a slinger, good arm strength and will show you a 92-93 on occasion...pitches well down in the zone and around 90-91...fb up tends to straighten out and slider piece is just ok...command and control are good enough to be a good middle guy in the ML or a poor man's 5th man in the ML rotation...doesn't have any real knock out pitch, but he gets people out."
From John Klima, Baseball Beginnings, 3/12/2010:
"Hill should have more power than he does now. That’s the factor that might help make Hill a better pro than a college pitcher. He has a barrel chest and broad shoulders and average arm speed, but with the proper combination of conditioning and instruction, he could be a better pro than the draft round he will likely fall in. In other words, he’s a tweener, but there might be more to work with than meets the eye....he won’t blow anyone away despite a frame that indicates there should be more power, but an improved change-up should help level that playing field. Right now I would conclude Hill has a touch more power than he is presently showing, but that alone will not make for enough power. His control and command on all pitches is serviceable enough to where Hill could be a decent guy if he can find a touch more power and a signature secondary pitch. Conclusion: This is a good draft pick to send to a good pro pitching coach."
From Jeff Ellis, Indians Prospect Insider, 6/8/2010:
"Taylor Hill is the definition of a team player he has pitched all over in the pen and as a starter. He seems destined for the pen where he excelled a year ago in the Cape. He has done well this year as a starter, but the previous two years had been solid but unimpressive. Hill has 2 plus pitches with a fastball that has good sink that is in the low 90’s. This pitch is offset by his low 80’s slider which also grades out as plus. He has a changeup in the high 70’s, but it is his weakest pitch by far. His mechanics need cleaned up, but he has the big body and durability you would want in a pitcher. He was rated as a Top 200 player by PGCrosschecker (in 2010)."
Round 7: RHP Brian Dupra out of Notre Dame
The trend of college senior RHPs continues with Dupra, Holt, Anderson and Rodriguez all in a row. Another favorite of John Sickels, who took him in the 6th round of his shadow draft today, noting that he had a good gut feeling on Dupra. #190 on Matt Garrioch's top 200 from 6/3/2011 and #147 on 11/22/2010. Drafted in the 11th round by Detroit in 2010.
Notes on Dupra:
From John Sickels, Minor League Ball, 6/14/2011: "College senior but don't underestimate him, fastball at 90-95, made large improvements with slider and changeup this year, good size at solidly built 6-3, 205"
From John Sickels, Minor League Ball, 5/11/2011
"Senior with live arm has made big strides in the last year."
From Sickels, 3/30/2011:
"Works at 90-93 and has hit 96 at times. Throws a changeup but inconsistent breaking stuff kept him from great success in past seasons. Dramatic improvement in stats this year is notable. Is it the different bat, or has he figured something out? He's definitely worth tracking."
From Andy Seiler, MLB Bonus Baby, 6/15/2010:
"Seiler Rating 2C2: Dupra was almost an early round pick in the 2007 draft, and he struggled through three years at Notre Dame due to a poorly-commanded fastball and metal bats. I like this pick quite a bit, as his pure stuff and size makes him a potential #4 starter, but he fell this far due to a lack of a successful track record." Note-2C2 means Dupra had 4-6 round talent, about MLB league average potential and around a 20% of achieving that.
Round 8: RHP Greg Holt out of UNC.
Hit .385/.431/.631 (albeit in 65 at bats) this season and threw 55 and 1/3 innings of 3.09 ERA ball almost all out of the bullpen, with 63 K and 30 BB. Appears to have been drafted as a RHP. Another middle relief prospect.
Notes on Holt:
From John Sickels, Minor League Ball, 6/14/2011: "Average velocity at 88-91, but has a good curveball. A senior like Dupra but doesn't have as much upside. 3.65 ERA, 64/31 K/BB in 57 IP. Future middle reliever."
From Aaron Fitt, Baseball America, 2/20/2011:
"Senior righty Greg Holt has gradually developed into an invaluable bullpen anchor during his UNC career, which began as a position player. After hitting 92-94 mph on the radar gun while striking out five in 2 2/3 scoreless innings Friday against Cal Poly, Holt came back to throw two strong innings Saturday, allowing just one hit (though he did allow an inherited runner to score). He sat in the 89-91 range and touched 92 Saturday, and his 80-83 slider was very effective. 'I told Greg on the bus the other day, I was glad he couldn't hit,' UNC coach Mike Fox said. 'He came into our program as a hitter, and I was trying to make a joke—not a very funny one. It didn't work out for him as a hitter, but we saw that arm strength. When he just started focusing on pitching, the sky's been the limit with him. The great thing about Greg is he recovers so quickly—he's got a rubber arm.'"
Round 9: RHP Dixon Anderson out of Cal-Berkley.
Anderson was drafted in the 6th round by the Orioles in 2010. He can reach 95 or so with his fastball, but lacks something (like Garrett Mock, maybe?). Could be a stud reliever or a complete bust.
Notes on Anderson:
From John Sickels, Minor League Ball, 6/14/2011: Threw in mid-90s last year and was drafted in the sixth round. Went back to school, threw just 90 this year and lost three rounds. Also has decent curve, cutter, and splitter. Inning-eater type but might get velocity back if he goes to bullpen."
From "MadBum," MLB Bonus Baby, 5/31/2011:
"Dixon Anderson was a complete disappointment. He’s got the stuff, with a 2 seam with good movement and a 4 seam that hits 93, and that doesn’t mention his solid off speed offerings. When he was on, he was getting ground balls and using his repertoire effectively. However, that didn’t happen often. He was removed after 2 innings and was just getting roped (against Stanford). It wouldn’t surprise me if Anderson is quickly converted to relief when he’s drafted, because starting isn’t working for him."
From Matt Garrioch, MLB Bonus Baby, 12/19/2010:
"Anderson has been a reliever in college but has 3 pitches that could be usable. His fastball is low 90's and he has a nice slider. His changeup isn't good but could become average with more experience. I think signing and being used as a starter would have been good for his development, but returning to Cal for one last run may help him as well. If he improves his command he could go higher in 2011."
From John Sickels, Minor League Ball, 6/14/2010:
"Big guy at 6-5, can hit 95 MPH, but secondary stuff is below average and college performance record is inconsistent. Could turn out to be very good, or he could stall out in A-ball."
From Andy Seiler, MLB Bonus Baby, 6/8/2010:
"2C1: Was high on Anderson early on, but he hasn't had the greatest season and sophomore-eligible status clouded signability. Glad to see him going here, though, as he has good stuff and #3 starter potential. Thought he'd go in 4th-6th, so nice pick for value." Note-2C1 means Anderson had 4-6 round talent, about MLB league average potential and around a 10% of achieving that.
From Andy Seiler, MLB Bonus Baby, 2/14/2010:
"For some reason, I have a strong intuitive feel about Dixon Anderson. To begin, Anderson has a strong, workhorse body that projects to be able to handle a pro workload at the highest levels. His arm action is fairly clean, and there aren’t any big warning signs for future breakdown. He has a plus fastball that sits in the low-90s, and he may have the best chance of any 2010 draft class players to be able to routinely sit anywhere from 92-94 as a pro. He uses both a slider and curve, and both project as average offerings. In bullpen use in the past, he dropped his curve in favor of the slider, but he has fairly good command of both pitches. His changeup is actually a splitter, and it works well." Note-this was written 2 seasons ago, so take it for what it's worth...I posted it because it was the best overall scouting report I could find.
Round 10: RHP Manny Rodriguez out of Barry University.
Another senior. Not a whole lot of info on Rodriguez due to Barry being a small school. Rodriguez went 7-3 this year with a 2.00 ERA in 112 and 2/3 innings. His 126/35 K/BB ratio is excellent, and opposing batters only hit .214 against him. It is tough to judge players like Rodriguez due to poor competition (Barry plays in the NCAA Division II), but his arm and control are both solid.
Notes on Rodriguez:
From John Sickels, Minor League Ball, 6/14/2011: "Big-time sleeper prospect, converted third baseman with untapped potential, throws 90-95, curveball and changeup are coming around."
Named by Sickels on 6/2/2011, along with Dupra and Turnbull, as players he had interest in for his shadow draft.
From John Sickels, Minor League Ball, 5/18/2011:
"Former position player converted to the mound, throws 92-95 MPH, secondary pitches coming around. 2.38 ERA with a 111/31 K/BB in 95 innings, 75 hits allowed. Statistics are excellent for context, particularly his K/IP ratio."