The Nationals selected University of Kentucky right-hander Alex Meyer and Miami (Dade) Junior College outfielder Brian Goodwin with the No. 23 and No. 34 selections overall, respectively.
With Anthony Rendon at No. 6, general manager Mike Rizzo, flanked by director of scouting Kris Kline and Nationals vice president of player personnel Roy Clark, were very happy with the first day haul at the 2011 draft.
“These are three guys that we identified very early as a scouting department,” Clark said. “We cross checked them extensively. We didn’t think there was anyway we could get two of them much less three of them. We feel very fortunate that we took the best players available. (They are) impact guys that hopefully win championships down the road.”
Meyer has plus-plus stuff. The one pitch he needs to refine, as do most amateur pitchers, is his changeup. Kline doesn’t envision that being a problem.
“It has a chance to be an above average weapon for him. He has got excellent feel for it. He throws it for strikes. He is getting away with a mid- to upper-90 mph fastball and a well above-average slider, so he doesn’t really need the changeup right now. He will have to use it in pro ball but it is there.”
Goodwin transferred to Miami (Dade) after starting his career in Chapel Hill, N.C. Was Clark concerned about his academic issues at North Carolina?
“As a graduate of the University of North Carolina, we did extensive research on Goodwin,” Clark said. “We have no apprehensions about him at all (since he left North Carolina). Goodwin played center field at Miami (Dade) this season.”
Clark drafted Rendon in Atlanta, but he didn’t sign with the Braves. He said Rendon made a positive impression on him back then and he remembered the player once he got to Washington.
“We brought him in to a wood bat tournament in Atlanta,” Clark remembers. “He proceeded to go 11-for-13 with 10 doubles against the best pitching in the country. It didn’t stop there. Absolutely dominant in college and in the summers. The only thing that stopped him was the shoulder and ankle. He is going to get a little time off (to rest his shoulder). He says he feels good and we are looking forward to having a healthy Anthony Rendon in the organization.”
Rizzo said the medical staff will check out Rendon here in Washington to make sure he is alright.
Rizzo also said that Meyer and Goodwin, if signed early enough, Rizzo said could be playing in Low-A Hagerstown before the season concludes.