SAN DIEGO - The Nationals are investigating derogatory comments made by their 15th-round pick in this year's First-Year Player Draft on his Twitter account, general manager Mike Rizzo said through a team spokesman.
Zach Houchins, a shortstop from Louisburg (NC), had made a number of racially and sexually offensive remarks and used several slurs on his Twitter account in the past three months, prior to the Nationals taking him in the draft on Tuesday. Houchins deleted his Twitter account on Thursday evening, after reporters had asked the Nationals to comment on his remarks.
"We're aware of, and are investigating, the statements," Rizzo said in a statement.
It is unclear whether the Nationals were aware of Houchins' remarks before drafting him. Houchins, a 6-foot-3 shortstop from Wilson, N.C., has committed to East Carolina University for the 2011-12 season. The 18-year-old played for Louisburg Junior College last season.