Nats sign 22 draft picks, plus updates on Espinosa, Moore

The Nationals announced that they’ve signed 22 of the 39 players they selected in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, including eight of their first nine draft picks.

Among those to have agreed to terms so far are right-hander Jacob Johansen (second round), third baseman Drew Ward (third), right-hander Austin Voth (fifth), third baseman Cody Gunter (sixth), first baseman Jimmy Yezzo (seventh), left-hander David Napoli (eighth), right-hander Jake Joyce (ninth) and shortstop Brennan Middleton (10th).

The only Nats draft pick within the first 10 rounds not to have signed so far is fourth-round pick Nicholas Pivetta, a right-handed pitcher out of New Mexico Junior College.

Teams have until 5 p.m. July 12 to sign the players they selected in the First-Year Player Draft.

The Nats forfeited their first-round pick in this year’s draft by signing free agent closer Rafael Soriano this offseason. Soriano had been presented a qualifying offer by the Yankees, so the Nats gave up their first-rounder in order to sign Soriano, and the Yankees received a compensatory pick at the end of the first round.

Meanwhile, before making the drive up to Philadelphia for the start of the Nats’ three-game set against the Phillies, I figured I’d pass along quick updates on how Danny Espinosa and Tyler Moore have been faring of late at Triple-A Syracuse.

Espinosa, who is rehabbing a fractured right wrist, has gone 2-for-11 with two walks, five strikeouts and two runs scored in his four games with the Chiefs so far.

If there’s a positive to be found in those numbers, it’s the walks. Espinosa only took four walks in 167 plate appearances with the Nats this season, so having two in his first 13 plate appearances with Syracuse is certainly an improvement.

Both of those walks came when the switch-hitting Espinosa was batting from the right side.

Since being placed on the DL on June 4 (the move was made retroactive to June 3), Espinosa got a cortisone shot in the wrist and was given a brief period of rest. His rehab assignment began on June 13, and he can stay on that rehab assignment up to 20 days. After that point, the Nationals can either activate him and add him to the 25-man roster or option him to the minors.

General manager Mike Rizzo has indicated that Espinosa will likely get more time in the minors after his rehab stint in order to work out the issues that led to the second baseman posting a .158/.193/.272 slash line in 44 games this season.

In five games with Syracuse since being optioned to Triple-A back on June 10, Moore is 3-for-19 with a home run, a double, seven RBIs, a walk and eight strikeouts.

Both of Moore’s extra-base hits with Syracuse came off left-handed pitching. He’s 2-for-5 against southpaws, and just 1-for-14 against right-handers.

In 102 plate appearances with the Nats this season, Moore had a slash line of .158/.206/.274 with two home runs and 13 RBIs.

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