Draft tracker: Nats continue adding players with second-day picks (multiple updates)

The First-Year Player Draft continued today with the second through 10th rounds, and the Nationals continued to stock up on hitters in the early portion of Tuesday’s action.

In the second round, with the 47th overall selection, the Nats chose another prep player, left-handed hitting outfielder Daylen Lile of Trinity High School in Louisville, Ky.

Nationals-bag-bat-dugout-sidebar.jpgLile hit .510 (45-for-88) with 10 doubles, eight triples, 14 home runs and 48 RBIs. The 32 extra-base hits show emerging power and Lile walked 35 times and struck out only seven times in his senior campaign.

He was named Perfect Game/Rawlings National High School Player of the Year and Gatorade Player of the Year for Kentucky.

Lile has played mostly center field, but may eventually find his way to an outfield corner.

The third round saw the Nationals select Branden Boissiere, an outfielder from the University of Arizona who they picked as a first baseman, with the 82nd overall pick.

Boissiere slashed .369/.451/.506 with 12 doubles, four triples, five homers and 63 RBIs in his two years at Arizona. He played both first base and outfield in college, but Baseball America projects him as a plus defender at first.

Update: The Nats pivoted back to pitching in the fourth round, using the 112th overall pick to take Texas A&M left-hander Dustin Saenz. He was 6-6 with a 4.27 ERA and 1.257 WHIP in 14 starts for the Aggies last season, fanning 104 hitters in 84 1/3 innings. For his college career, Saenz is 10-7 with a 4.13 ERA in 47 games, including 23 starts.

Update II: It’s back to high school hitters, as the Nationals used their fifth-round pick (No. 143 overall) on outfielder T.J. White out of Dorman High School on Roebuck, S.C. White is a switch-hitter who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 210 lbs.

Update III: Louisville left-hander Michael Kirian went to the Nats in the sixth round with the 173rd overall pick. The 6-foot-6, 260-pounder went 5-3 with a 4.80 ERA and 1.413 WHIP last season over 16 games, including 11 starts. He struck out 75 and walked 28 in 69 1/3 innings. In four seasons for Louisville, he was 8-4 with a 4.46 ERA in 63 games (12 starts).

Update IV: Jacob Young, a 6-foot, 170-lb. outfielder from Florida, went to the Nationals in the seventh round with the 203rd overall pick. Young slashed .315/.385/.461 with 16 doubles, three triples, five homers, 41 RBIs and 13 stolen bases last season. For his career at Florida, Young slashed .330/.400/.447 in three years. He played mostly left field last year, but has experience at all three outfield positions and has also played second base.

Update V: In the eighth round, with the 233rd overall pick, the Nats chose Texas A&M first baseman Will Frizzell, a 6-foor-5, 225-lb. lefty hitter. Last season for the Aggies, Frizzell slashed .343/.451/.686 with 13 doubles, 19 homers and 50 RBIs. For his four-year career, he’s a .292/.384/.507 hitter with 30 homers and 115 RBIs.

Update VI: Right-hander Cole Quintanilla, a 6-foot-5, 225-pounder out of the University of Texas, went to the Nats in the ninth round with the 263rd overall pick. Quintanilla has worked mostly in relief, going 5-1 with a 1.35 ERA and 0.825 WHIP last season for the Longhorns. For his career, he’s 7-2 with a 3.18 ERA and 1.085 WHIP and five saves, with 97 strikeouts and 26 walks in 82 innings over 53 games with one start.

Update VII: With their final selection on the draft’s second day, the Nationals used their 10th-round pick (293rd overall) on Darren Baker, a second baseman out of Cal-Berkeley. He’s the son of former manager Dusty Baker, and was previously drafted in the 27th round in 2017. Darren Baker slashed .327/.402/.354 with 17 RBIs and 28 stolen bases this year. For his career, he’s a .303/.363/.339 hitter with one homer, 64 RBIs and 58 stolen bases.

Update VIII: Vice president of scouting operations Kris Kline and assistant director of amateur scouting Mark Baca just met with reporters on Zoom and recapped the second day of the draft, which saw the Nats select three outfielders, two first basemen, one second baseman, two left-handers and a right-hander.

Kline said the Nats made a judgment to move away from pitching picks to fortify other organizational areas.

“We accomplished what we kind of set out to do,” he said. “We’ve always been kind of pitching-heavy. I think we filled some voids that we have in our minor league system, and our player development guys are going to be happy with what we’ve got. I know they’re looking forward to working with them.”

Some other nuggets from the draft room:

Kline on picking Lile in the second round: “We all saw him as the best high school hitter in this draft. ... He’s going to play left field, but it’s all about the bat with this kid. It’s advanced, it’s polished. Mark would describe it as tidy - it’s a tidy, nice, quick little stroke. Short, fast. He’s got power.”

Baca on selecting Baker for the second time: “Obviously, you got bloodlines there. But I think he’s a really good player. Intelligent when you watch him play on the field. So that’s a big trait. He’s got tools, he’s very versatile. He can play second, play center, he can run. ... With his father, Dusty, we really like the player and everything about how his clock works. Great instincts.”

Kline on Baker: “He kind of dialed it up a notch this year, stole a bunch of bags, had a nice year. You pull for these guys like this. Been around the game his whole life. We were very excited to get him where we got him. I’m sure Dusty’s pretty pumped, too.”

Baca on drafting two left-handed hitting first basemen: “You’re talking about left-handed power, I think it worked out to where ... some of the left-handed power we took, this is something that we needed in the system.”

Kline recalling a home run he saw Frizzell hit at the Triple-A Round Rock ballpark: “I’ve never seen a kid hit a ball as far as I saw him hit it at the Round Rock ballpark in Texas. He hit it over the neon Round Rock sign that was behind the walkway in right-center into the parking lot. I’ve never seen any kid do that. All I could say was, ‘Wow.’ “

Kline on whether there will be any signability issues with the picks the Nats have made so far: “You work that out a little bit prior to taking the player, as every team will do, because you gotta find a way to manage your money. So we’re good there.”

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