Nats take two pitchers in first round of Rule 5 draft

The Nationals added a couple of pitching prospects to their roster in the major-league phase of the Rule 5 draft on Thursday morning, taking Mets right-hander Elvin Ramirez in the first round and St. Louis right-hander Brian Broderick in the second round.

Ramirez, a hard-throwing 23-year-old from the Dominican Republic, has plenty of talent, but has only played three games at the Double-A level and will come to the Nationals fairly raw. He throws in the mid-to-high 90s and will strike out plenty of batters, but also struggles with walks. Still, it’s worth a gamble for the Nationals, though it seems hard to envision them keeping him without working out a trade with the Mets.

Broderick is a big right-hander who throws in the low 90s and posted a 2.77 ERA at Double-A Springfield last season. He doesn’t strike out many batters, but drastically cut down on his walks at the end of last season.

Washington also lost infielder Michael Martinez to the Phillies in the first round of the Rule 5 draft. He had been in the Nationals’ system since 2006, and rose to Triple-A this year, but is on the short side and couldn’t break through the glut of middle infielders the Nationals now have. Still, it’s likely he’ll be back unless the Phillies can work out a trade with the Nationals.