Well, this didn’t take long.
The Nationals have announced that they’ve agreed to terms with their top pick in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft, right-hander Jake Johansen out of Dallas Baptist University.
Johansen was selected in the second round, with the No. 68 overall pick, just before midnight last night. About 18 hours later, Johansen is under contract with the Nationals.
This comes in direct contrast to the post-draft schedule that the Nats have gotten used to in past years, where they’ve often gone right up to the signing deadline before finalizing a deal (or not finalizing a deal, which happened in 2008, when they did not agree to terms with first-rounder Aaron Crow before the deadline) with their top pick.
Johansen, 22, struck out 75 in 88 1/3 innings this season, his junior year at Dallas Baptist. The hard-throwing right-hander went 7-6 with a 5.40 ERA in 15 starts this season, and over his three years at DBU, was 13-7 with one save and a 6.03 ERA in 46 games/23 starts, spanning 147 2/3 innings.
He has a fastball that reaches 99 mph and was ranked as the No. 182 overall prospect in this year’s class, according to Baseball America. ESPN.com’s Keith Law had Johansen ranked as the 66th-best player available.
The Nationals view Johansen as a starter, and project him as a future No. 3 starter.
“There is no reason why this guy can’t, with a few tweaks from our staff, that this guy can’t be a front-line guy,” scouting director Kris Kline said last night.
Update: Meanwhile, Byron Kerr updated you on the Nationals’ first four selections on Day Two of the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
I’ll pick it up from here and discuss the Nats’ final four picks of today.
With their seventh-round pick, No. 226 overall, the Nats took University of Delaware first baseman James Yezzo, a selection that will make me, a UD alum, pretty happy.
Yezzo posted a monster sophomore season at Delaware, hitting .410 with 28 doubles, 13 homers, 64 RBI and 52 runs scored in 55 games. He led the Colonial Athletic Association in batting average, hits, doubles, RBIs, total bases and slugging percentage (.714).
He was selected as the 2013 CAA Player of the Year, and was named a Louisville Slugger First-Team All-American.
In the eighth round, the Nats took Tulane left-hander David Napoli, a 5-foot-10, 180-lb. hurler.
Napoli went 13-9 with a 3.64 ERA over his four years at Tulane. Opposing batters hit .176 off him.
With their ninth-round pick, the Nats went with somewhat of a local product, taking right-hander Jake Joyce, who played his college ball at Virginia Tech, and they finished off by selecting another Tulane kid, infielder Brennan Middleton.