Nationals senior advisor to the general manager Davey Johnson has been working diligently on next week’s First-Year Player Draft and watching a lot of baseball at low Single-A Hagerstown this season.
Johnson will attend this year’s draft and put in his two cents’ worth in on players the Nationals might consider. Washington holds picks No. 6, 23 and 34 to start the June 6 draft.
Meanwhile, Johnson said the Suns have a very talented squad up and down the roster and the pitching has been very impressive. He said he especially likes the outfield play of the Suns, which includes No. 1 prospect Bryce Harper, but also a few other success stories in the Nationals’ minor league system.
Johnson is especially intrigued by converted shortstop Michael Taylor, who is now playing center field.
“The one guy that has impressed me a lot, and I saw him two years ago, is Taylor,” Johnson said. “There was concern that he wouldn’t be able to handle low-A ball. A lot of us older guys said, ‘Man, he will be alright.’ He started a little slow, but he is really playing well. I don’t think there is a better defensive center fielder anywhere around.”
Johnson said Wade Moore and Randolph Oduber look good too.
“All four of them can hit,” Johnson said. “It is a fun club to watch.”
With Harper hitting so well in the South Atlantic League, a lot of talk has centered around when the phenom will be moved up the Nationals’ system.
Johnson believes Harper will learn by staying at Hagerstown and not being moved around just yet.
“I see him being there probably, for sure, through the half season,” Johnson said. “I am not a big believer in moving guys during the season. Let them put the numbers up so they have an idea of what they are probably required to do every year.
“Sometimes, when you divide up the season, especially a younger guy, then you try too much to try impress the next group of guys and sometimes that can lead to problems.”