The Washington Nationals selected nine players on the second day of Major League Baseball’s 2021 First-Year Player Draft. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo, Assistant General Manager & Vice President of Scouting Operations Kris Kline and Director of Scouting Operations Eddie Longosz made the joint announcement.
The Nationals kicked off Monday’s action by selecting the 2021 Perfect Game/Rawlings National High School Player of the Year, outfielder Daylen Lile out of Trinity High School in Louisville, KY in the second round. He hit .550/.680/1.413 with 12 doubles, 12 triples, 18 home runs, 60 RBI, 41 walks, seven strikeouts and 66 runs scored during his senior season. Lile was named a First Team All-America by Baseball America following the 2021 season and for the second consecutive year (2020, 2021) was named Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Kentucky.
In the third round, Washington selected first baseman Branden Boissiere from the University of Arizona. Boissiere was named Pac-12 All-Conference after ranking among league leaders in hits (1st, 94), triples (2nd, 4), batting average (3rd, .369), RBI (3rd, 63), walks (5th, 38) and on-base percentage (6th, .451). All told, he hit .369 with 12 doubles, four triples, five homers, 63 RBI, 38 walks and 69 runs scored in 63 games during his sophomore season in 2021. For his efforts in 2021, Boissiere was named Pac-12 All-Conference and was on the Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list.
The Nationals selected left-handed pitcher Dustin Saenz out of Texas A&M University with their fourth-round selection. Saenz went 6-6 with a 4.27 ERA in 14 starts during his senior season. He struck out 104 batters against just 23 walks in 84.1 innings pitched.
With their fifth-round pick, the Nationals selected outfielder T.J. White from Dorman High School in Roebuck, SC. White hit .505 (46-for-91) with nine doubles, one triple, eight home runs, 37 RBI, 17 stolen bases, 35 walks and 29 runs scored during his senior season. He is rated by Perfect Game as the No. 4 high school player (No. 2 outfielder) in the state of South Carolina.
Washington selected left-handed pitcher Michael Kirian from the University of Louisville in the sixth round. Kirian went 5-3 with a 4.80 ERA in 16 games (11 starts) during his junior season in 2021. He struck out 75 batters in 69.1 innings pitched. Kirian was considered one of the best left-handed relievers in 2020, but returned to the University of Louisville and became a starter in his fourth collegiate season. In 32 relief appearances combined between 2019 and 2020, Kirian went 3-1 with 11 saves, a 1.41 ERA (6 ER/38.1 IP) and 53 strikeouts in 32 relief appearances.
In the seventh round, the Nationals selected outfielder Jacob Young out of the University of Florida. Young hit .315 with 16 doubles, three triples, five homers, 41 RBI, 27 walks, 13 stolen bases and 56 runs scored in 60 games during his sophomore season. He ranked among Southeastern Conference hitters in doubles (T5th, 16), stolen bases (T8th, 13), hits (T10th, 80) and runs scored (T10th, 56) in 2021. His seven outfield assists ranked second in the conference.
With their eighth-round pick, the Nationals selected first baseman Will Frizzell out of Texas A&M University. He was named First Team All-SEC and First Team All-America by the American Baseball Coaches Association. He was Second Team All-American by the National College Baseball Writers Association and Collegiate Baseball. Frizzell ranked third in the Southeastern Conference and ninth in NCAA Division 1 with 19 home runs. He hit .343 with 13 doubles, 19 homers, 49 RBI, 39 walks and 46 runs scored in 56 games during his senior season in 2021.
Washington selected right-handed pitcher Cole Quintanilla in the ninth round from the University of Texas. Quintanilla went 5-1 with a 1.35 ERA (6 ER/40.0 IP) in 26 appearances out of the bullpen in 2021. He struck out 42 batters, allowed just two home runs and held opposing batters to a .165 average against him during his third collegiate season.
The Nationals concluded Day 2 by selecting second baseman Darren Baker out of the University of California - Berkeley. Baker - the son of former Nationals manager Dusty Baker - was First Team All-Pac-12 and was named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team in 2021. He hit .327 with six doubles, 17 RBI, 28 walks, 28 stolen bases and 40 runs scored. His 28 stolen bases ranked eighth in NCAA Division 1.
Over the first two days of the 2021 First-Year Player Draft, the Nationals selected 10 players: one right-handed pitcher, two left-handed pitchers, and four infielders. Of Washington’s 10 selections, seven came from four-year universities and three from the high school ranks.