Nationals’ first selection in June draft not until No. 68

Major League Baseball released the draft order for the 2013 First-Year Player Draft set for Thursday, June 6.

The Houston Astros will have the No. 1 overall selection. The Nationals do not have a selection in the first round this season. The Nationals forfeited that late round selection because they signed pitcher Rafael Soriano. The Yankees picked up a compensatory pick for the loss of Soriano. New York has three selections in the first round at No. 26, No. 32 and No. 33.

The pick the Nationals forfeited was No. 29 overall in the first round.

Gone are the days when the Nationals selected first two seasons in a row, grabbing two front line starting players that fortify their roster today, Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.

The Nationals’ first selection arrives at the end of the second round, pick No. 68. Their next selection is the last pick of the third round, at No. 105. The Nationals selections at the end of each round due to their best record in the major leagues at 98-64.

A quick early glance at the strength of the draft class looks a lot like last season with a lot of college pitching and not many other areas jumping out as strong.

So maybe general manager Mike Rizzo felt with the team he had coming back, and with the last pick in first round selection, the need for an impact player like Soriano and a watered down draft class, all contributed to the decision the Nationals made. Soriano already has nine saves, so he is certainly off to a good start. And knowing the scouting staff the Nationals have assembled, and their ability to find late round gems in the past, it still can be a very fruitful draft even with late round picks.

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