So we have gone over a few possibilities for the Nationals with the No. 6 selection in the Monday draft. Let us now look at a few picks later on. There still will be a ton of talent on the board at No. 23, which is the Nationals’ second pick in the first round.
And, if the Nationals dig into the fruitful college pitching available in the top 10, would they turn to a position player, specifically an outfielder, with that No. 23 choice?
Jim Callis, executive editor at Baseball America, says there are a few positions players around that selection that could be very good. One of them is Connecticut outfielder George Springer.
“Springer is a five-tool guy, but his worst tool is probably his hitting ability, which is a little worrisome,” Callis said. “Some people believe in the bat and some people don’t. I don’t think he is going to get past Oakland at No. 18.
“Mikie Mahtook of LSU is kind of neck-and-neck with Springer as the No. 2 position guy behind Anthony Rendon. Some teams like him more than Springer. I think he is making noise about wanting a major league contract, which I don’t necessarily think he will get, but sometimes that is enough to push him down past some teams. Maybe there is an outside chance he gets (to No. 23 for the Nationals).”
Dallas Jesuit high school outfielder Josh Bell will likely get picked before No. 23, but he would also be a young prospect the Nationals might have their eyes on.
“Bell, there could be a good chance,” Callis said. “I think Bell and Javier Baez are probably the top high school hitters in this draft. Bell’s mom is a college professor and he is represented by Scott Boras. They have sent a letter to Major League scouting bureau that Bell plans on attending Texas and don’t draft him. I think it is sincere, but somebody is going to draft him and offer him a lot of money. He could be there at No. 23, although the Red Sox might take him at No. 19 and open up the vault for him.”
So if all those other players who are all expected to go before No. 23 are gone, is there value still to go offense with the Nationals’ selection there? Callis says to check out another former Tar Heel who might be available at No. 23.
“(Outfielder) Brian Goodwin is probably the most realistic (pick for the Nationals at No. 23),” Callis said. “He was at North Carolina and was seen as a potential first-round pick for next year and then had a little academic trouble and went to a junior college.”
But the pick Callis had on his mock draft last week for the Nationals at No. 23 is another outstanding Pac-10 pitcher.
“I think the Nationals like Oregon left-hander Tyler Anderson at No. 23,” Callis said. “I am not sure he really gets there because I think there are some teams on him in the middle of the round. I could see them (going) college pitcher maybe there.”
In the end, Callis said when the dust settles, the Nationals have another great opportunity to get a player at No. 23 that they didn’t expect would still be there. That is the nature of a draft.
“At No. 23, you kind of let the draft come to you,” Callis said. “There is a good chance (the Nationals) are going to get a guy they like a lot more than the 23rd best player in the draft at No. 23.”
I will be on hand at Nationals Park when general manager Mike Rizzo makes the selections during the draft. I will tweet updates (@bkerr32) and look for my report on Nats Xtra pregame at 9:30 p.m.