After the selection of pitcher Jake Johansen Thursday night at pick No. 68, here are thumbnails on the Nationals’ next four selections - a pair of right-handers and two third basemen. One of the infielders can also pitch.
With pick No. 105, the Nationals selected third baseman Drew Ward from Leedey High School in Oklahoma. The 18-year-old is graduating high school early so he could be eligible for the 2013 draft. Ward is 6-foot-4 and 200 lbs., and played shortstop, but his range would profile better at third base in the majors. Ward has a power bat and has accepted a scholarship to the University of Oklahoma. But it appears his eagerness to make himself eligible for this draft may help any signability issues. Ward bats left and throws right.
At selection No. 136, The Nationals grabbed right-hander Nicholas Pivetta from New Mexico Junior College. The 6-foot-5, 215-pounder has a good frame and quality stuff. The 20-year-old’s fastball has reportedly reached the upper-90s and usually sits in the low-90s. Pivetta throws a good curveball with potential and a changeup that needs work, but that is usually the case with all young hurlers. Some project him as a late-inning reliever.
At No. 166, the Nationals selected Pac-12 right-hander Austin Voth. The junior at the University of Washington has put on 25 pounds and now stands at 6-foot-1, 209 lbs. He trailed only top selection Mark Appel in strikeouts in the conference with 98, which was also seventh-most in Huskies history. The All-Pac 12 honorable mention has a fastball in the low-90s, a slider and a changeup. Voth turns 21 years old on June 26.
With the selection at No. 196, the Nationals picked third baseman Cody Gunter out of Grayson County College in Texas. Gunter did not sign with the Marlins out of high school when selected last season. Gunter decided to play for a junior college so he would be eligible for the draft again this season. Listed as a third baseman, he also was the closer for Grayson County. He reportedly has a good approach at the plate, has a plus arm, which also can throw a low-90s fastball. The multi-talents of Gunter as an infielder or pitcher make him an excellent selection here. Like Drew Ward, Gunter bats left and throws right.