The Washington Nationals selected eight players on the second day of Major League Baseball’s 2017 First-Year Player Draft. Nationals President of Baseball Operations & General Manager Mike Rizzo and Assistant General Manager & Vice President of Scouting Operations Kris Kline made the joint announcement.
The Nationals kicked off Tuesday’s action by selecting left-handed pitcher Nick Raquet out of the College of William and Mary (VA) in the third round. The hard-throwing lefty entered the 2017 season as the seventh-rated prospect in the Colonial Athletic Association, per Baseball America. He made 16 appearances (14 starts) with the Tribe, tallying 95 strikeouts across 77.1 innings pitched in his redshirt sophomore season. Raquet played his prep baseball at State College Area High School in Pennsylvania where he ranked as the No. 2 left-handed pitcher and No. 8 overall player in Pennsylvania by Perfect Game, before attending the University of North Carolina. As a freshman with the Tar Heels in 2015, he posted a 1.42 ERA in 12 appearances out of the bullpen.
In the fourth round, the Nationals selected infielder Cole Freeman out of Louisiana State University. The Tigers’ second baseman leads the team with a .327 (80-for-245) batting average and has 17 extra-base hits, 41 RBI and 52 runs scored for LSU, which ranks tied for 13th in the country with 456 runs scored as they head to the College World Series. The speedy Freeman ranked second among SEC players with 18 stolen bases this season, and compiled 44 steals in 59 attempts in his two seasons at LSU. Freeman also stood out in the 2016 Cape Cod Baseball League, as he was named a CCBL All-Star and led the circuit with a .374 batting average. In 2016, he received SEC All-Defensive Team honors and made the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
The Nationals selected Texas A&M right-hander Brigham Hill in the fifth round. As the team’s Friday starter, Hill has posted a 3.18 ERA in 96.1 innings (16 starts), and will continue to pitch for the Aggies as they move on to the College World Series in Omaha. Named to the SEC All-Defensive team in 2017, Hill also received recognition for his 2016 sophomore campaign, as he was named to the All-America second team by Baseball America, and third team by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. The 5-foot-9, 175-pound righty underwent “Tommy John” ligament replacement surgery in 2012 while playing at Nacogdoches High School in Nacogdoches, Tex., where he posted a 20-2 career record.
In the sixth round, Washington selected right-handed pitcher Kyle Johnston out of the University of Texas at Austin. Johnston was featured as both a starter and closer for the Longhorns in his junior season, compiling a 3-2 record and 3.56 ERA in 17 appearances (14 starts) while adding two saves. Johnston was impressive last summer in the California Collegiate League, going 4-1 with a 1.89 ERA and 54 strikeouts while allowing only 34 hits in 52 innings.
The Nationals selected Jackson Tetreault in the seventh round, a right-handed pitcher out of the State College of Florida, Manatee - Sarasota. The 6-foot-5, 170-pound righty racked up 105 strikeouts over 80.1 innings pitched in his lone season at the junior college level. His signature performance with the Manatees came in a 7-0 victory over St. Petersburg College on April 7, when he tossed a career-high 8.1 innings and tallied a career-best 12 strikeouts.
In the eighth round, the Nationals selected their fourth consecutive right-handed collegiate pitcher, Jared Brasher out of Samford (AL) University. This 6-foot-2, 200-pound hurler was clocked in the upper 90s on the radar gun in his senior season with the Bulldogs, and worked to a 3-0 record with a 3.74 ERA, compiling 46 strikeouts in 33.2 innings across 22 appearances this season.
Washington selected Alex Troop, a left-handed pitcher out of Michigan State University, with their ninth-round selection. Troop was one of five finalists for the John Olerud Two-Way Player Award, given by the College Baseball Foundation, as he played first base and served as a designated hitter in games he was not pitching for the Spartans. Standing at 6-foot-5, 210-pounds, Troop tied for the Big 10 lead in wins with eight this season, and ranked fourth in the conference with a 2.47 ERA in 14 starts. The Batavia, Ill., native was named Big 10 Pitcher of the Week on May 22 after tossing 8.0 innings of one-run, two-hit ball against No. 15 Michigan, holding the Wolverines to their lowest hit total of the season. His 2017 performance earned him second team All-Big 10 honors.
In the tenth and final round of the day, the Nationals selected right-handed pitcher Trey Turner out of Missouri State University. Turner made seven appearances out of the Bears’ bullpen this season, posting a 2-0 record with a 2.03 ERA, fanning 22 batters in 13.1 innings pitched. While playing as a two-way player at Crowder College in 2016, he hit .370 with seven home runs and 39 RBI in his sophomore season. The Neosho, Mo., native was a first-team Central Region selection by Perfect Game and a two-time all-district performer as a high school senior at Neosho High School.
Over the first two days of the three-day First-Year Player Draft, the Nationals have selected a total of 10 players: six right-handed pitchers, three left-handed pitchers, and one infielder. Of Washington’s 10 selections, all 10 came from the college ranks, with nine coming from four-year universities. The 2017 Draft will conclude on Wednesday.