SAN FRANCISCO - The Nationals finished their first night of the First-Year Player Draft by taking outfielder Brian Goodwin with the 34th overall pick. Goodwin, a 20-year-old from Miami Dade College, could be a center fielder and leadoff hitter, general manager Mike Rizzo said.
He played two seasons at the University of North Carolina, but was suspended for the 2011 season after an academic violation. The Miami Herald had a profile of Goodwin here.
I'll have a longer look at the Nationals' first three picks in the morning, but for now, it suffices to say the team landed a trio of high-ceiling players who all slipped to them on the draft board because of a few concerns. Anthony Rendon could have been the No. 1 overall pick if not for health concerns, and scouting director Kris Kline said the Nationals thought about taking pitcher Alex Meyer with the sixth overall pick. And several mock drafts had the Nationals taking Goodwin, not Meyer, at No. 23.
There's plenty of talent in this group, but for a trio of college players, it could take a while to contribute in the majors. Meyer is still learning how to pitch effectively out of the windup; Kline said he's better out of the stretch at this point, and is a little slow with his motion to the plate. He also wasn't ready to pitch professionally after the Red Sox drafted him in 2008, and went to college instead of taking a $2 million bonus. And Goodwin, aside from his academic issues, is only 20 years old and will likely need some seasoning in the outfield.
But this has been an organization short on top-end talent, so if the Nationals can work through a few risks - and sign a trio of Scott Boras players - they could have a nice haul from the first day of their 2011 draft.