Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ranking the Nats draft classes

Photo by USA Today
With the 2013 MLB Draft coming up on Thursday, June 6, we will be taking a look at the Nats' history in the draft over the next few days. Here's how we rank the team's draft classes since becoming the
Washington Nationals:

8. 2006

Notable picks: 1B Chris Marrero (1st rd., 15th), RHP Cole Kimball (12th rd., 361st), RHP Brad Peacock (41st rd., 1231st) -- see full class here

The Nationals’ 2006 draft class was one to forget. They took Chris Marrero in the first round (31 career MLB games) and their next 12 picks never even made the big leagues. Their best selection would have to be Peacock who helped them get Gio Gonzalez. Perhaps most notable about the ’06 class is the names the Nats took. Washington took guys named Stephen King, Zech Zinicola, Rico Salmon, and Burt Reynolds all in the same draft.

7. 2012

Notable picks: RHP Lucas Giolito (1st, 16th), 2B Tony Renda (2nd, 80th), LHP Brett Mooneyham (3rd, 111th) -- see full class here

It’s hard to evaluate a draft that has yet to produce a major league debut, but several of their top selections are already showing promise at the minor league level. Renda is a quick second baseman who hits for a good average, Mooneyham is already one of their better left-handed pitching prospects, and 4th round pick Brandon Miller is flashing power at Hagerstown with 11 home runs in 51 games. Giolito is still working his way back from Tommy John surgery, so time will tell on him.

6. 2008

Notable picks: RHP Aaron Crow (1st, 9th), 2B Danny Espinosa (3rd, 87th), LHP Tommy Milone (10th, 301st), 1B Tyler Moore (16th, 481st), 2B Steve Lombardozzi (19th, 571st) -- see full class here

In 2008 the Nats missed big time with their top picks, but found major value later on. They failed to sign their first round pick, relief pitcher Aaron Crow, and but took Espinosa, Milone, Moore, and Lombardozzi with higher selections. Milone is a solid major league pitcher and was part of the Gonzalez trade, and the other three were key parts of the Nats’ playoff run in 2012.

5. 2011

Notable picks: 3B Anthony Rendon (1st, 6th), RHP Alex Meyer (1st, 23rd), OF Brian Goodwin 1st, 34th), 1B Matt Skole (5th, 157th) -- see full class here

In the last year teams were allowed to pay players above their draft slot, the Nats took advantage by handing out major league contracts to players with signability issues. They were able to stockpile top prospects quickly and could look back on this class someday as a big moment for the franchise. They took Rendon who looks like a future star, Meyer who landed them Denard Span, and Goodwin who is being groomed as the future center fielder.

4. 2010

Notable picks: OF Bryce Harper (1st, 1st), RHP A.J. Cole (4th, 116th), LHP Robbie Ray (12th, 356th) -- see full class here

Getting Harper was a major turning point for the franchise. The draft is still pretty recent and few others they picked that year have worked out so far, but getting the N.L. Rookie of the Year certainly carries some weight. Their second round pick Sammy Solis still has potential and A.J. Cole is regarded highly in the organization. Robbie Ray is also a pretty good minor league pitcher who could someday be a big league arm.

3. 2007

Notable picks: LHP Ross Detwiler (1st, 6th), RHP Jordan Zimmermann (2nd, 67th), C Derek Norris (4th, 130th) -- see full class here

With four picks in the first two rounds, including three in the first, the Nats hit it pretty big with two of them. They grabbed Ross Detwiler in the first round and took Jordan Zimmermann in the second. Both LHP Josh Smoker (1st, 31st) and OF Michael Burgess (1st, 49th) never made the majors, but they have to be happy with this draft as a whole. They also grabbed catcher Derek Norris in the 4th round, he was part of the Gonzalez trade as well.

2. 2009

Notable picks: RHP Stephen Strasburg (1st, 1st), RHP Drew Storen (1st, 10th), 2B Jeff Kobernus (2nd, 50th), RHP Nate Karns (12th, 352nd) -- see full class here

The Nats hit a few picks right on the money in 2009. Obviously Strasburg was a big time pick for them, but they also got Storen, Kobernus, and Karns in the same year. All four players are currently on the team’s major league roster. They also grabbed minor league pitching standouts Taylor Jordan and Danny Rosenbaum in later rounds.

1. 2005

Notable picks: 3B Ryan Zimmerman (1st, 4th), OF Justin Maxwell (4th, 114th), LHP John Lannan (11th, 324th), RHP Craig Stammen (12th, 354th) -- see full class here

The first draft for the Nationals as a Washington baseball franchise was excellent. They took future All-Star third baseman Ryan Zimmerman who would make an immediate impact in the majors that September. They also picked John Lannan and Craig Stammen in late rounds. Both have established themselves as major league pitchers with Stammen serving as a significant contributor to 2012’s division winning club.


A DC Wonk said...

Off topic, but just for kicks:

Oddities of the day:

Kyle Kendrick pitched his second complete game of the year (doubling his lifetime total) and hit a triple.

Red Sox LOOGY Andrew Miller has held right-handed hitters to a .129 average and allowed a .316 average to lefties

Atlanta managed to go 0-for-6 with RISP yesterday, but still score seven runs.

Tommy Milone doubled his _career_ hit total last night, getting two hits, including a 2-RBI single right after the guy in front of him got an IBB

Entering yesterday, Houston had a higher BA (and same OBP/SLG) as the Yankees (!!) -- and, don't look now but they just swept the Angels four straight (and have won six straight). With a team ERA of over 5 (!!). Mets' 1962 record is now safe from the Astros.

Pirates' Jared Hughes has now thrown a league-low 23.9 percent of his pitches in the strike zone.

Since the end of April, Marco Scutaro has hit .409/.463/.545 in 122 plate appearances, with a .419 BABIP

Leaders in HRs per plate appearances (anyone predict this in the Spring?): Chris Davis, Domonic Brown, Evan Gattis, and 41 year old Raul Ibanez

Doc said...

You dug up some interesting stuff, DC Wonk--exactly what wonks are supposed to do.

By the way Burt Reynolds from the '06 MLB Draft, while not making it to the Bigs, did have a good career in Hollywood.

karlkolchak said...

Fun article to read, though I think it understates just what a disaster that 2006 draft class was. The Nats had two true first round picks and two second rounders, and 5 of the top 91 overall. They used them all to draft high school guys probably thinking that by the time the team was ready to compete they'd be MLB ready. They failed to sign one (who was drafted and signed later by the Yankees and has yet to play above A ball), and all of the others except Marrero flopped before even hitting AA.

That draft set the Nats back as much as any single event of the Bowden error--I mean era.

JaneB said...

Wonk, fun stats! I'm glad the Astros won't be as bad as the Mets, because I'm rooting hard for Bo Porter to do a good job there (Plus, though it's right that he isn't playing for us, I still root for Justin Maxwell, class of 2005. I was there the first day he came up, and his whole family was there. He looked up at the crowd, and the walls, taking it all in. And we watch him stand in the dugout on closing day, his last day as a Nat, and look around, taking it all in. He's a good guy.

Raul Ibanez makes me a wreck every time he comes up against us. Not surprised at all. Well, maybe a little.

A DC Wonk said...

I wonder if the 2011 draft is either getting short-changed, or, at the least, the jury is too far out on this.

Meyer (traded for Span), Rendon, Godwin might be good, and let's not forget the 6'4" lefty Matt Purke, too -- now that's he's finally back in action after shoulder surgery.

NatsLady said...

The Nats draft No. 68. Here are the 51-100 prospects as per Baseball Prospectus.



Dave said...

So, Wonk, is that true? That first-time-at-bat 3-run homer that Milone hit last year was HALF of the hits he had before yesterday?

Mondo bizarro.

Unknown said...

he's playing in the American League now (Milone).

Dave said...

True. I forgot about that.

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