2011 MLB Draft: Washington Nationals
OK, so there was no Bryce Harper or Stephen Strasburg this year. They still got the best hitter in the draft, and several other highly intriguing prospects.
1) Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice: Although everyone is wondering exactly how bad those medical reports must be, even if Rendon's arm can't handle third base any more, his bat is still excellent. .327/.520/.523, 80 walks.
1) Alex Meyer, RHP, Kentucky: 6-9 monster with 95+ fastball and impressive slider made strides with his command this year, and his changeup is good enough for him to remain a starter. Could be a number one type if it all comes together. 2.94 ERA, 110/46 K/BB in 101 IP.
1S) Brian Goodwin, OF, Miami Dade JC: Good speed, draws walks, power is developing. Main scout gripe is spotty defense but that should improve with experience.
3) Matt Purke, LHP, TCU: Huge wild card. Put up great numbers (1.71 ERA, 61/20 K/BB in 53 IP, 36 hits) despite injury issues and loss of velocity. Has sophomore leverage. If he looks good this summer, he could earn first round money, but my psychic powers say he heads back to college.
4) Kylin Turnbull, LHP, Santa Barbara CC: Big projectable lefty put up excellent numbers this year, velocity is average but slider and splitter have potential and his velocity could pick up further. Sleeper pick. Oregon commitment.
5) Matt Skole, 3B, Georgia Tech: Strong left-handed power, good strike zone judgment, opinions split on whether he can remain at third base, but the bat looks good. .348/.4445/.545, 44 walks.
6) Taylor Hill, RHP, Vanderbilt: 88-92 sinker, good slider and changeup, throws strikes, knows how to pitch. Possible fourth starter but a nice value selection. 2.84 ERA, 88/22 K/BB in 92 IP.
7) Brian Dupra, RHP, Notre Dame: College senior but don't underestimate him, fastball at 90-95, made large improvements with slider and changeup this year, good size at solidly built 6-3, 205. 3.10 ERA, 93/29 K/BB in 105 IP.
8) Greg Holt, RHP, North Carolina: Average velocity at 88-91, but has a good curveball. A senior like Dupra but doesn't have as much upside. 3.65 ERA, 64/31 K/BB in 57 IP. Future middle reliever.
9) Dixon Anderson, RHP, California: Threw in mid-90s last year and was drafted in the sixth round. Went back to school, threw just 90 this year and lost three rounds. Also has decent curve, cutter, and splitter. Inning-eater type but might get velocity back if he goes to bullpen. 3.90 ERA, 41/22 K/BB in 67 IP.
10) Manny Rodriguez, RHP, Barry: Big-time sleeper prospect, converted third baseman with untapped potential, throws 90-95, curveball and changeup are coming around. 2.00 ERA, 126/35 K/BB in 113 IP, 87 hits.
OTHERS OF NOTE: 1B Casey Kalenkosky (13th round, Texas State) has massive power (21 homers) that could play nicely in pro ball if he keeps the strikeouts (50 in 245 AB) from eating him up. SS Deion Williams (16th round, Georgia HS) is toolsy and raw and has major league bloodlines, being the grandson of former major leaguer George Scott. RHP Hawtin Buchanan (19th round, Mississippi HS) is strongly committed to Ole Miss but would have gone 15 rounds higher if considered more signable.
SUMMARY: Getting Rendon, Meyer, and Goodwin makes this a good draft, and if Purke has a good summer and they sign him it is even better. Turnbull, Skole, and Hill are all fine choices in their respective rounds, and while they went with affordable college pitchers for the rest of the top ten, they picked good ones, especially Dupra and Rodriguez. Overall, I think the Nationals did quite well.