Draft tracker: Nats make final picks of 2022 draft (final update)

The 2022 MLB Draft concludes today before tonight’s All-Star Game. The Nationals have 10 picks this afternoon, one in each of the remaining rounds.

Through the first 10 rounds, the Nats drafted two third basemen, one shortstop, three outfielders, one catcher, two right-handers and one left-hander. They selected three high school players, highlighted by 18-year-old outfielder Elijah Green out of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., with the No. 5 overall pick Sunday night, and seven players from the college ranks.

“There's gonna be some kids out there that maybe got their feelings hurt a little bit,” assistant general manager and vice president of scouting operations Kris Kline said on Zoom call with reporters at the conclusion of yesterday’s selections. “Maybe you want to circle back and they may really want to play. So we'll go back and talk to them about, you know, the guys that said no, we'll go back and talk to all of them that said no, and ask them where they stand, how they feel now. And put the board together to the best of our ability. But that being said, I thought this first two days of the draft was really, really good. A really positive thing for the organization that's kind of in a rebuilding process. Guys did a great job.”

With their first pick of the day, the Nats selected right-hander Luke Young out of Midland College in Texas with the 321st overall pick in the 11th round. He’s listed as 6-foot-3 and 170 pounds.

A reliever for Midland, the 20-year-old went 9-4 with a 3.95 ERA, 110 strikeouts, 27 walks and only three home runs allowed over 79 ⅔ innings this year.

The Nats selected outfielder Nick Peoples out of Northview High School (Calif.) with the 351st overall pick in the 12th round.

The switch-hitter is already listed at 6-foot-5 and 205 pounds at 17 years old with a long frame and tools that give him a high ceiling. He has a 6.75 second 60-yard dash time that allows him to play all three outfield spots. He reportedly has a short and quick yet aggressive swing that has power to all fields.

Peoples has a commitment to play at New Mexico State.

Stay tuned for updates throughout the day as the Nats finish this year’s draft.

Update: The Nats selected right-hander Marquis Grissom Jr. out of Georgia Tech with the 381st overall pick in the 13th round. He joins ​​right-hander Chance Huff, an eight-round selection yesterday, as Yellow Jacket pitchers selected by Washington.

Celebrating his 21st birthday today, Grissom is the son of 17-year major league veteran outfielder Marquis Grissom Sr., who was a third-round pick by the Expos in 1988. Marquis Sr. played six years in Montreal, while also playing for the Braves, Cleveland, Brewers, Dodgers and Giants.

Marquis Sr. also served as the Nationals first base coach in 2009.

Meanwhile, Marquis Jr. pitched to a 5.75 ERA and 1.672 WHIP in 18 games (14 starts) at Georgia Tech this year. A little bigger than his father, he’s listed at 6-foot-2 and 202 pounds.

With the 411th overall pick in the 14th round, the Nats selected shortstop Cortland Lawson out of the University of Tennessee. He joins third baseman Trey Lipscomb, selected yesterday in the third round, as a fellow Volunteer infielder in this Nats draft class.

The 22-year-old junior was named to SEC Academic Honor Rolls in each of his three years in Knoxville. Listed as 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, Lawson hit .269 with a .914 OPS, 12 home runs, nine doubles, two triples and 45 RBIs in 65 games this season.

Lawson is from Potomac Falls, Va., and played three years at Paul VI before playing his senior year at Dominion High School.

Update II: The Nationals select right-hander Kyle Luckham out of Arizona State University with the 441st overall pick in the 15th round.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound redshirt junior made 15 starts for the Sun Devils this year, going 7-3 with a 4.36 ERA, 1.396 WHIP and 72 strikes to 23 walks over 86 ⅔ innings. Luckham, 22, is a transfer from Cal State Fullerton, where he played his first three collegiate seasons.

With the 471st overall pick in the 16th round, the Nats selected shortstop Everett Cooper III out of Pro5 Baseball Academy in North Carolina.

The 18-year-old Owings Mills, Md., native is listed as 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds. He was ranked as the No. 3 player overall and No. 1 shortstop in Maryland, per Perfect Game.

Cooper is a switch-hitter with a contact approach from both sides, but he reportedly has better bat speed from the left. His short inside swing path helps him work the middle of the field. He has a verbal commitment to Alabama.

Update III: With the 501st overall pick in the 17th round, the Nats selected first baseman Blake Klassen out of UC Santa Barbara.

A big 21-year-old sophomore, Klassen is listed at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds. His left-handed bat hit .352 with a 1.061 OPS, 10 homers, 27 RBIs and 35 runs scored in 37 games with the Gauchos.

Klassen was a two-time transfer from Eastern Oklahoma State College and the University of Arizona before landing in Santa Barbara.

With the 531st overall pick in the 18th round, the Nationals selected right-hander Brad Lord out of University of South Florida.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound redshirt junior made 14 appearances (13 starts) for the Bulls. He went 3-7 with a 5.25 ERA and 1.573 WHIP, while striking out 60 batters over 61 ⅔ innings. Lord also tossed a complete six-inning game at the University of Central Florida on April 3.

The 22-year-old is a transfer from Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida.

Update IV: Only two more rounds to go in this year’s draft. With the 561st overall pick in the 19th round, the Nats took outfielder Johnathon Thomas out of Texas Southern University.

The 5-foot-7, 175-pound speedy junior hit .345 with a 1.052 OPS, with 16 doubles, five triples, nine home runs, 42 RBIs and 20 walks. He led Division I with 62 stolen bases on 70 attempts across 53 games.

Thomas, 22, played three seasons at the University of Houston before transferring to Texas Southern.

And with their final pick of the 2022 MLB Draft, the Nats selected shortstop JeanPierre Ortiz out of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., at No. 591 overall in the 20th round. Ortiz, of course, is a former high school team of No. 5 overall selection Elijah Green.

A 6-foot, 185-pound 18-year-old, Ortiz received a lot of exposure to scouts who came to see Green at IMG. The Puerto Rico native reportedly has potential both in the infield and on the mound, although most scouts believe his future is in the field and he is believed to prefer being a position player at the next level.

Reports say Ortiz’s plus arm and good range should allow him to play shortstop in the long run. His bat is supposedly behind his glove, but he does have a loose and easy swing from the right side with which he makes a lot of contact.

Some scouts say his upside on the mound better suits him. Ortiz has already touched 95 mph with his fastball, while sitting at 92-93 mph. He has an average slider and a little feel for his changeup.

If the Nationals can sign him away from his Florida International University commitment, they can start him out as a shortstop with pitching as a backup option.

And that will do it for the 2022 MLB Draft.

Today the Nationals selected one first baseman, three shortstops, two outfielders and four right-handed pitchers. Seven of the selections came out of college (one junior college) and three came out of high school.

Overall the Nats drafted one first baseman, two third basemen, four shortstops, five outfielders, one catcher, six right-handers and one left-hander. They drafted 14 players from the college ranks and six high school players.

Any players drafted today from rounds 11-20 can be signed for a maximum of $125,000. Any amount over that will count against the Nationals’ bonus pool.

Now we wait and see how high they will select in next year's draft. Even with the addition of the lottery, No. 1 overall is possible, as they currently own the worst record in baseball at 31-63.

The lottery will consist of the three teams that finish this season with the worst records, all with an equal chance at landing the No. 1 pick.

* Note: Steven Souza Jr., known in D.C. for making the diving catch to seal Jordan Zimmermann's no-hitter in 2014, announced his retirement on Twitter this afternoon.

Souza finished a career .229 hitter with 72 home runs and 207 RBIs over an eight-year major league career. A 2007 third-round pick out of Cascade High School in Everett, Wash., he hit two home runs with two RBIs over 21 games in his lone major league season with the Nationals in 2014. That December, he was a part of the Nats’ package to the Rays in a three-team trade that brought Joe Ross and Trea Turner to Washington from the Padres.

Over his eight years in the big leagues, Souza played for the Nationals, Rays, Diamondbacks, Cubs and Dodgers before finishing his career with six games with the Mariners this year.

The good and the bad of the Nats' first half
Rundown of top prospects with De Jon Watson

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