Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 2 draft picks

Yesterday's first-round of the MLB draft got plenty of attention, and deservedly so. The Nationals picked a potential difference-maker in Bryce Harper with the No. 1 pick and received tons of good press for it.

The real draft, though, begins today, with rounds 2 through 30 speeding along at a breakneck pace. Teams only get one minute per selection, so the action is fast and furious and there's little time for debate.

I'll do my best to update this with each of the Nats' Day 2 picks, beginning with the first selection in the second round, so please check back here throughout the day for details...

2. Sammy Solis, LHP, University of San Diego
Solis is a classic left-hander in that he doesn't have dominating "stuff" but he seems to get by with pitching guile. After missing most of 2009 with a herniated disc, Solis came back strong this season for the Toreros, going 9-2 with a 3.42 ERA. A 6-foot-5 native of suburban Phoenix, Solis throws his fastball around 90 mph and has a sharp-breaking curve/slider hybrid. Nationals front office executives, including Mike Rizzo and Bob Boone, saw him pitch in person two weeks ago while the Nats were playing in San Diego and came away impressed.

3. Rick Hague, SS, Rice University
A 21-year-old Texas native, Hague put up big numbers in his junior year at Rice, hitting .340 with 15 homers, 55 RBI and a .591 slugging percentage. He did commit a whopping 23 errors in 62 games at shortstop. Played for the U.S. national team last summer.

4. A.J. Cole, RHP, Oviedo HS, Fla.
A potential first-round talent, Cole slipped this far because he's committed to the University of Miami. The Nationals will have to pay well above slot to convince him to sign, but if they can pull it off, they've got themselves a big-time pitching prospect.

5. Jason Martinson, SS, Texas State

6. Cole Leonida, C, Georgia Tech

7. Kevin Keyes, OF, Texas

8. Matt Grace, LHP/INF, UCLA

9. Aaron Barrett, RHP, Mississippi

10. Blake Kelso, SS, University of Houston

11. Neil Holland, RHP, Louisville University

12. Robbie Ray, LHP, Brentwood HS, Tennessee

13. Chris McKenzie, RHP, San Jacinto JC, Texas

14. Tim Smalling, SS, Virginia Tech

15. David Freitas, C, Hawaii

16. Mark Herrera, RHP, San Jacinto JC, Texas

17. Tyler Hanks, RHP/INF, College of Southern Nevada

18. Justin Miller, SS, Middle Tennessee State

19. Wade Moore, Catawba HS, North Carolina

20. Chad Mozingo, OF, Rice University

21. Connor Rowe, OF/RHP, Georgetown HS, Texas


Steve M. said...

Not blown away by that pick.

I guess see how he does in the Minors and maybe he becomes a Lefty reliever as the Nats certainly have a need for a dominating lefty in the bullpen.

hleeo3 said...

He is projected to be a #3 guy in a starting rotation, sounds like Rizzo's prototypical lefty. A solid pick.

Anonymous said...

hleeo3 - If you read into it, he has potential but a long way from annointing him as a projected #3 starter.

He has had serious back injuries and just thought there were better pitchers like Workman and a few others available at the 1st pick in the 2nd round.

Grandstander said...

Solis is a classic left-hander in that he doesn't have dominating "stuff" but he seems to get by with pitching guile.

Sounds familiar...

Definitely a Rizzo pick, college lefty with a low ceiling but a back of the rotation projection who will have a quick trip through the minors.

Rick Hague selected in the 3rd. Can't find too much on him besides he's solid defensively but rather unimpressive with the stick. Had a good summer... Will reserve judgement for a more professional opinion.

Steve M. said...

The Nats already have Lannan who would fit Grandstander's description.

Tell me that Rizzo sees him as a DOMINANT lefty reliever and I will be excited. Just can't get excited about using the 1st pick in the 2nd round for a non-dominant starter.

I think the Nats got AJ Cole out of a High School in Florida in the 4th. They will have to work to sign that kid.

Anonymous said...

AJ Cole!!!! That's big time. I hope we sign him. We should be able to. Who wouldn't want to join Strasburg in this rotation in a few years.


Grandstander said...

I was convinced that we were going with another makeup/signability draft strategy until drafting AJ Cole. Did a double take actually. If the Lerners are willing to put the money up to sign Bryce AND Cole, that should finally put to rest the idea that they're not willing to spend. He's going to want a lot of dough!

Sec3 said...

They have the advantage of being able to credibly offer a McGeary-style deal. That might help.

Anonymous said...

I don't like the Solis or Hague pick, then we pick Cole, rounds 2-4 are wasted if we do not sign Cole!!!

Steve M. said...

That is a worthwhile pick in the 4th as you are getting one of the best High School arms in the country and drops to the 4th based on signability.

Where does he stack up next to that Stetson Allie kid who wants $3 mill to sign?

David said...

i like the Hague pick, we need another middle infielder for the future, keep Desy at SS and move Hague to 2b? he's 21... Hague could be playing in the majors by 2012 if he tears up minors

Anonymous said...

Solis was ranked as the #48 top prospect by Baseball America. Cole was #25. How 'bout that?

Anonymous said...

Why did the Nats have a supplemental pick in the 3rd round?

- BG

Grandstander said...

That's an error. Cole was signed with the first pick in the 4th round (116)

Anonymous said...

Cleveland Indians got Stetson Allie. Even though he has commited to UNC, it sounds like he wants to go pro right away and the 1st round eluded him.


court said...

I've read that Allie projects as a closer, whereas Solis is a LH starter. I'm okay with passing on Allie, especially if they can ink Cole. Big kid who's gonna get bigger and stronger. Great pick, and hopefully they get him signed.

Mark, is there a sense on how strong Cole's commitment to the U is?

Anonymous said...

These Draft day stories from other teams are great.


Zach Lee is a Hendricks brother client--the same Hendricks that advised Aaron Crow.

Do you go to Hendricks when you don't want to sign and Boras when you want to break the bank?

natsfan1a said...

Thanks for the draft updates, Mark, on what must be a busy day for you. I hear tell that there's a Very Important Debut taking place in DC today, or some such. :-)

Also, natsone channeling Mel Allen? I like it, if so.

Brian R. said...

I graduated from Rice U last month and got to see Rick Hague play a few times. Posted my thoughts on him at the Washington Nationals Fan Forum, in their draft thread, but here is an abbreviated version:

Rick Hague is a string-bean kid, skinny and medium height, very athletic. Before every inning, as the first batter walks to the plate, he pumps himself up by launching himself into the air in a big vertical jump. From the stands, it looks to me like he can jump 20+ inches.

His first two years at Rice, Hague's defense was stellar. The guy has speed and range and energy to burn. He's mostly been a high-average singles hitter, sitting up in the low .300s belting out drives to the outfield gaps left and right, with acceptable patience. I always thought Hague was a pleasure to watch.

Unfortunately I didn't go to many Rice baseball games this year, but I heard that Hague had a sharp downturn. Evidently he collected three errors in one inning at some point. When I saw him in late April he seemed fine, except that the scoreboard said his batting average was something like .230. (He got a walk and a clutch hit in anyway.)

What will Rick Hague end up being? Well, in my biased opinion, he must be a good, hard-working guy, since he went to Rice, and he's quick enough to adapt to 2B if needed. I would argue against the grain, though, that it's Hague's defense that will take him places. For an example of a shortstop with a similar combination of speed, glove, and high error count, look no further than our major league team. Hague may not develop the kind of bat Ian Desmond has, but we'll have plenty of time to tell. He probably projects as a SS and 2B defensive sub who will show some competence getting on base.

Swing slowed down for analysis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YBMWd8Pzqw
Some more at-bats: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNkcVdIEoPc
Freshman home run: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1H6RGogWao
Infield practice (kinda boring): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BejShNit6A

Hoowa said...

Cole was consistently projected to be a first round pick. From his comments in his home town newspaper it sounded like he was ready to go if he was a high pick. In an era when you give multiyear, multimillion dollar contracts to 30+ year old free agents, why not risk a million on a legit prospect? He slipped way down, you have his rights, now take advantage of it.

Anonymous said...

Solis was ranked as the #48 top prospect by Baseball America. Cole was #25. How 'bout that?

One is high school the other is college. Hmmm, given the Nats dearth of success with high school pitchers? You take the college left handed pitcher first?

Anonymous said...

8. Matt Grace, LHP/INF, UCLA

Maybe he can teach Zimmerman how to throw. (Yes, the one with one N.)

MM said...

Sec3 said...

They have the advantage of being able to credibly offer a McGeary-style deal. That might help.

though Jack McGeary to meet Tommy John soon...

Anonymous said...

Jack McGeary is having Tommy John surgery and won't be back until late next season. Let's hope that Cole signs but doesn't have the rough road that McGeary has had so far. Here's some advice - take the millions now, you can always pay your own dime for college a few years from now if you end up a bust. Ask Colton Willems, who should be registering for summer classes right about now.

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