The Nationals have completed the First-Year Player draft, making their final seven picks (click here and here to get a rundown of today's previous draft action from MASNsports.com's Byron Kerr).
At this point, most clubs are doing some serious prospecting on guy who may or may not pan out, but the Nationals came up with a couple of interesting names in the draft's later rounds.
They took left-hander Jake Walsh out of Missouri with thir 34th-round pick, then followed up in the 35th with right-hander Lukas Schiraldi from Navarro (Texas) Junior College. In the 36th, they chose shortstop Reid Humphreys from Northwest Rankin High School in Missouri.
Right-hander Karsten Whitson out of Florida was their pick in the 37th round and they closed out the draft with three consecutive high schoolers - shortstop Caleb Hamilton of Woodinville (Wash.) High School in the 38th, second baseman Robbie Tenerowicz from Campolindo (Calif.) High School in the 39th and right-hander Shaun Anderson from American Heritage (Fla.) High School in the 40th.
Any of those names sound familiar? A couple might ring a bell with serious students of the game or hard-core draftniks.
Schiraldi is the son of former major leaguer Calvin Schiraldi, who pitched for eight seasons for the Mets, Red Sox, Cubs, Padres and Rangers. He was a first-round pick of the Mets in 1983 and is most well-remembered as the losing pitcher in Games 6 and 7 of the 1986 World Series. Game 6 is when the Red Sox lost when a Mookie Wilson grounder went through the legs of first baseman Bill Buckner.
We all know Nats general manager Mike Rizzo isn't afraid to take a chance on a pitcher recovering from Tommy John ligament replacement surgery (see: Giolito, Lucas - 2012) and he may have a steal in Whitson, who fell to the Nats in the 37th round because he underwent shoulder surgery performed by Dr. James Andrews,which cost him his junior season.
Before the surgery, Whitson was considered a possible first-round pick in 2013 after going 4-0 with a 3.51 ERA as a sophomore. He was taken in the first round (ninth overal) of the 2010 draft by the Padres out of high school, but turned down a $2.1 million bonus to pitch for Florida. At that time, he was considered the third-best prep pitcher in the draft.
Perhaps the Nats can save some money on another earlier pick and sweeten the pot to entice the 21-year-old Whitson to sign and continue his rehab at their facility in Viera, Fla.