I’ll say it again - if draft experts handed out grades based on the quality of the names in a draft class, the Nationals would be getting stellar marks.
They took Stanford left-hander Brett Mooneyham in the third round, Clemson catcher Spencer Kieboom in the fifth, Florida Southern catcher Austin Chubb in the 21st (is Chubb a great name for a catcher, or what?) and prep outfielder Skye Bolt in the 26th.
The draft is now complete after three long days, and here’s how the Nats’ class breaks down: they ended up with 20 pitchers (14 righties, six lefties), five catchers, eight infielders and seven outfielders.
Of their 40 picks, 26 went to four-year universities, three came from junior colleges and 11 were high schoolers.
A number of these picks will likely sign shortly. There’s already word that Kieboom, who was not expected to go as high as the fifth round, is close to agreeing to terms on a deal.
The Nats took fliers on three high schoolers between the 25th and 27th rounds (Bolt and right-handed pitchers Freddy Avis and Cody Poteet), and while it will be likely be tough to sign these guys because of strong college commitments, they could serve as reinforcements of sorts if the Nats are unable to sign their top pick, Lucas Giolito.
Even after manager Davey Johnson used everyone in his bullpen during last night’s 12-inning affair, he said all his relief arms with the exception of Ross Detwiler are available tonight. Still, it’d be nice to see Edwin Jackson go out and work deep into the game tonight to give those guys in the ‘pen a rest.
This is still a few days off, but Johnson said that he’ll likely use Michael Morse as his DH when the Nats head on the road for interleague play to “let him regroup.” After going hitless in his first nine at-bats since coming off the DL, Morse smacked two doubles to right-center last night, one of which missed clearing the fence by about five feet.
The slugger said last night that he was slightly more patient at the plate, seeing the ball a little longer.
“The last couple days, I’ve been kind of connecting way out in front,” Morse said. “So I’ve been trying to see the ball deep. I tried to really focus on right-center. That’s my power. That’s where I usually hit. So after I hit that first one there, it really felt normal. It felt right. It kind of clicked a little bit.”
After looking a little out of whack in his first two games back from a strained lat, Morse said he felt things start to come back together after that first double in the fourth inning last night.
“Oh yeah. The first one, you kind of hit the barrel and you know what, that hand-eye coordination comes in,” Morse said. “It felt good. And like I said, it kind of clicked.”