Nationals draft preview: Virginia LHP Danny Hultzen

With the major league baseball draft later today, Baseball America has put out its final mock draft, and there have been some changes at the top.

No longer does executive editor Jim Callis of Baseball America believe the Diamondbacks will take Virginia southpaw Danny Hultzen. Instead, Callis thinks the Nationals will select him with the No. 6 pick.

Hultzen is not only a top-flight pitcher, but also contributed at the plate all season and in the NCAA regionals this weekend in Charlottesville, Va., which saw No. 1-seed Virginia advance to the super regionals against UC-Irvine this Friday.

Hultzen was named Most Outstanding Player this past weekend as the Cavaliers advanced again, seeking their second trip in the past three seasons to Omaha and the College World Series.

Here is the scouting report on Hultzen from Baseball America:

"Considered a first-round prospect coming into 2011, Hultzen has pitched himself into consideration for the No. 1 pick, going 9-3, 1.49 with 131 strikeouts and 15 walks in 90 innings as UVa spent much of the season at No. 1. Hultzen has a strong frame at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds and offers two plus pitches and above-average command."

Hultzen is the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year and a two-time All-American.

Last month, when I interviewed Virginia baseball coach Brian O'Connor about the Cavaliers, he said Hultzen "is just a tremendous talent. When you have a guy like that leading off a weekend he can really set the tone for an entire series. He has been that way for us all season long."

Hultzman was also just announced as one of three finalists for the 2011 Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation's best amateur baseball player. UCLA righthander Trevor Bauer (who could also be available tonight in the top six) and Texas righthander Taylor Jungmann (projected top 10) are the other two finalists. The award will be given out July 15. Nationals top prospect Bryce Harper and rehabbing starter Stephen Strasburg won the last two Golden Spikes.

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