A look at the Nats' top 10 rounds
Last week, I took a look at the Nats' 2nd round pick, RHP Jake Johansen of Dallas Baptist University. I was not incredibly pleased with the idea of taking a guy with bad control issues with the team's first pick, figuring that he could have been there in the 3rd round or later as well. At least the Nats got him signed and ready to have his 99 mph fastball coached.
As of yesterday, Baseball America has reported the signings of Johansen, Gunter, Yezzo, Napoli, Joyce and Middleton. Currently, the Nationals' picks are $418,900 under budget (thanks to signing the five round 6-10 guys to under-slot deals). Voth should sign for around slot money, so I would expect for the Nats to offer Drew Ward around $800,000 and Nick Pivetta around $475,000, give or take a bit. The Nats have a chance at signing their top 25 picks (all college and junior college players besides Drew Ward).
Here are my capsules on the Nats' picks from the first 10 rounds:
2nd round (68th overall) - RHP Jake Johansen, Dallas Baptist University
Pros: Has an elite fastball that can hit 99 mph and could be a dominant closer if he can develop control and some secondary pitches.
Cons: Poor control, mediocre secondary options, poor stats (5.53 ERA and 7.84 K/9) considering he played in a non-power conference.
SIGNED - $820,000, exact slot amount
3rd round (96th overall) - 3B Drew Ward, Leedy High School (Oklahoma)
Pros: Excellent power upside and good arm to go with it. Not afraid to take a walk. Should be signable.
Cons: Might not be athletic enough for 3B, so will have to have an even better bat to stick at 1B. Played very poor competition in high school, so his stats tell us even less than a normal high school stud's stats (which isn't much to start with).
Currently unsigned. Slot amount is $491,200
4th round (136th overall) - RHP Nicholas Pivetta, New Mexico Junior College
Pros: Has a 94ish mph sinking fastball that pairs well with his solid slider and average changeup. These 3 pitches could allow him to be a mid-rotation starter if they continue to develop. Good control of his pitches.
Cons: Despite having good stuff, mediocre strikeout numbers. Changeup isn't a guarantee to become a good enough 3rd option, so may be destined for bullpen. Canadian.
Currentlyunsigned. Slot amount is $364,300
5th round (166th overall) - RHP Austin Voth, University of Washington
Pros: Has a knack for striking guys out. Commands his fastball well. Innings eater.
Cons: Pitches don't have much movement, so he has to rely on command. Likely destined to the bullpen unless he develops an out pitch.
Currently unsigned. Slot amount is $272,800
Pros: Upside both at 3B and on the mound. Intriguing combination of power and patience at the plate. Has a nice fastball/slider combo on the mound as well.
Cons: Could be destined to play 1B due to below average range at 3B. Bat speed and ability to make contact are just OK at this point. If he ends up as a pitcher, it will be out of the bullpen.
SIGNED - $175,000. Slot amount was $204,300
Pros: Very good bat speed, good contact hitter. Showed good power in college, but not sure how it will transfer to pros.
Cons: Small for a 1B/power guy. Upside of a good pinch hitter/AAAA guy. Grew up a Phillies fan.
SIGNED - $160,000. Slot amount was $160,100
Pros: Lefty who can hit 94 mph with his fastball.
Cons: Didn't have good strikeout or walk numbers in college. LOOGY upside.
SIGNED - $15,000. Slot amount was $149,500
9th round (286th overall) - RHP Jake Joyce, Virginia Tech
Pros: Good 2 pitch mix with 95 mph fastball and above average slider. Could move quickly to majors. Hokie.
Cons: Upside of 7th/8th inning guy most likely. Control could use some work.
SIGNED - $15,000. Slot amount was $139,700
Pros: Above average contact, defense and speed. Gritty.
Cons: No power. Probably won't be able to hit enough at higher levels to be more than a utility guy. May not have enough range to stick at SS at higher levels.
SIGNED - $5,000. Slot amount was $135,300
*Player name links go to their draft profile pages either at Citizens of Natstown or 2013 Nationals Draft Info*