The Washington Nationals selected eight players on the second day of Major League Baseball’s 2016 First-Year Player Draft. Nationals President of Baseball Operations & General Manager Mike Rizzo and Assistant General Manager & Vice President of Scouting Operations Kris Kline made the joint announcement.
The Nationals kicked off Friday’s action by selecting prep left-handed pitcher Jesus Luzardo out of Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in the third round. Luzardo is rated as the No. 45 prospect in the 2016 First-Year Player Draft, per Baseball America and the No. 77 prospect according to MLB.com. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound lefty went 4-0 with a 0.66 ERA (2 ER/21.0 IP) in four starts in 2016. He underwent “Tommy John” ligament replacement surgery (Dr. James Andrews) on March 22, 2016. Prior to the 2016 season, Luzardo was named a Rawlings/Perfect game preseason first-team All-American and Louisville Slugger preseason first-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball.
In the fourth round, the Nationals selected Nick Banks, an outfielder from Texas A&M University. Banks is hitting .289 (66-for-288) with 13 doubles, three triples, nine home runs, 49 RBI, 22 walks, seven stolen bases and 47 runs scored. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound junior was named MVP of the 2016 SEC Tournament and will continue to play for the Aggies as they advance to the Super Regionals of the NCAA Tournament. As a sophomore in 2015, Banks earned American Baseball Coaches Association third-team All-America honors and was named second-team All-SEC. He ranked fourth in the SEC in batting average (.364), fifth in on-base percentage (.450), and sixth in hits (87).
The Nationals selected outfielder Daniel Johnson, the 2016 Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year, in the fifth round. The 5-foot-10, 185 pound lefty led the league in batting average (.416), slugging percentage (.720), home runs (8), hits (52), total bases (90), runs (36) and stolen bases (15) during conference play. On the season, he hit .382 (94-for-246) with 11 doubles, seven triples, 12 homers, 50 RBI, 18 walks, 29 stolen bases and 67 runs scored in 57 total games. Johnson began his career at Northeast Oklahoma A&M Junior College before transferring to New Mexico State.
In the sixth round, Washington selected Tres Barrera a 6-foot-0, 215-pound catcher from the University of Texas. Barrera hit .289 (61-for-211) with 17 doubles, six homers, 37 RBI, 28 walks and 35 runs scored in 57 games as Texas’ primary backstop in 2016. He was named honorable mention All-Big 12 following the season.
The Nationals selected the Atlantic Sun Player of the Year, Jacob Noll, in the seventh round. The 6-foot-1 righty led the conference in nearly every offensive category, hitting .367 (87-for-237) with 20 doubles, two triples, 12 homers, 61 RBI, 20 walks, nine stolen bases and 58 runs scored. In addition to player of the year honors, Noll was also named a second-team All-American by Baseball America and a Louisville Slugger second-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball. Noll was second-team Atlantic Sun in 2015 and in 2014, he was named the Louisville Slugger National Freshman Player of the Year, Louisville Slugger third-team All-American, NCBWA 2014 Freshman All-American, Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year and first-team Atlantic Sun.
In the eighth round, the Nationals selected right-handed pitcher A.J. Bogucki from the University of North Carolina. Bogucki went 5-5 with a 2.86 ERA (16 ER/50.1 IP) in 28 appearances for the Tar Heels in 2016. He struck out 53, walked 25 and surrendered 39 hits.
Washington selected Joesph Harris, a catcher from Gonzaga (WA) University, with their ninth-round pick. Harris, a senior, hit .274 (38-for-154) with 10 doubles, two homers, 22 RBI, 22 walks and 38 runs scored in 47 games for the Bulldogs. As a junior in 2015, Harris was West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year after finishing the regular season second in the nation with 28 runners caught stealing and .509 caught stealing percentage.
In the tenth and final round of the day, the Nationals selected shortstop Paul Panaccione from Grand Canyon (AZ) University. He hit .363 (53-for-146) with nine doubles, one triple, four homers, 26 RBI, 25 walks and 36 runs scored in 41 games during his senior season.
Over the first two days of the three-day Draft, the Nationals have selected a total of 11 players: two right-handed pitchers, one left-handed pitcher, two outfielders and four infielders. Of Washington’s 11 selections, two came from the high school ranks and nine came from four-year universities.