Friday, July 08, 2005

2005 Draft Status

Below is the current status of the 2005 Nationals Draft picks. The Nationals have signed 21 of the 48 players they drafted in the early June draft (College: 18, High School: 21, Juco: 9). The number of players already signed is larger than that of an average MLB team, but the Nationals farm system is not only lacking in major league ready prospects, they are also in need of warm bodies to populate a farm system shamefully neglected by MLB as they held the team in limbo. The Nationals only had one selection out of the top 100 picks as a result of the ill-timed signings of Vinny Castilla (at the expense of the #52 pick) and Cristian Guzman (at the expense of the #84 pick). They made the most of their only top 100 pick with the selection of Ryan "Dutch" Zimmerman, a polished 3B out of the University of Virginia. Zimmerman is a polished defender who scouts believe is future Gold Glove 3B. He quickly established himself in Low A Savannah, homering in his second game and batting 0.471 in only 4 games before being sent to Double A Harrisburg where he remains (227/292/364 [BA/OBP/SLG]), adapting from college to major league baseball. I believe Dutch will be one of the first 2005 draft picks to reach the major leagues, perhaps as soon as September when rosters expand to 40. Fourth round selection, Justin Maxwell (unsigned as of today) has first round talent but with injury questions, a broken arm and a broken hand costing him valuable development time and tagged him with the label, 'injury-prone'. Ryan Delaughter, a 2004 AFLAC High School All-American, was selected in the 5th round has experience as both a pitcher and an outfielder in high school. He has begun his Nationals career with their Rookie level team as their clean-up hitting RF where he is currently batting 0.200 with 4RBI in 4 starts in the Gulf Coast League (GCL). We won't learn alot about Delaughter for a few years as he matures and grows accustomed to competing with players equal to and beyond his talent level. The remaining 19 signed players are split between Short Season (SS) Vermont and Rookie Level (R) GCL Nationals. At this point, it is too soon to make any assessments. It is most definitely a work in progress and bears watching. As for the 27 unsigned players, I anticipate the Nationals will tag a few as draft, follow, and evaluate (DFE) and maintain exclusive signing rights to them until a week before the following draft, if that player attends junior college. (Rnd-Player-Assignment) 1-Dutch Zimmerman-3B-Harrisburg (AA) 4-Justin Maxwell-OF 5-Ryan Delaughter-OF-GCL Nationals (R) 6-Marco Estrada-RHP-Vermont (SS) 7-Mike Daniel-OF-Vermont (SS) 8-Jack Spradlin-LHP-Vermont (SS) 9-John Howell-OF-Vermont (SS) 10-Dee Brown-OF-Vermont (SS) 11-John Lannan-LHP-Vermont (SS) 12-Craig Stammen-RHP-Vermont (SS) 13-Andre Enriquez-RHP-GCL Nationals (R) 14-Deryck Johnson-OF-GCL Nationals (R) 15-Michael Wadkins-RHP-GCL Nationals (R) 16-Josh Palm-RHP-Vermont (SS) 17-Eduardo Pichardo-RHP-GCL Nationals (R) 18-Tim Pahuta-1B-GCL Nationals (R) 19-Bradley Clark-RHP 20-Ricky Shefka-RHP-Vermont (SS) 21-Coby Mavroulis-RHP-GCL Nationals (R) 22-Antonio Evangelista-RHP-GCL Nationals (R) 23-Brett Jensen-RHP 24-Jeffrey Taylor-RHP-Vermont (SS) 25-Jose Peley-SS 26-Doug Thennis-3B 27-Andrew Lane-2B-Vermont (SS) 28-Hunter Pace-OF 29-Pat Barnes-OF 30-Brian Pruitt-3B 31-Clayton Conner-3B 32-Daniel Schuh-OF 33-Ryan Buchter-LHP 34-Jordan Thibodeaux-LHP 35-Matt Averitt- RHP 36-Brett McMillan-1B-not assigned 37-Brandon Hamilton-OF 38-Marcus Jones-OF 39-Jacob McCarter-RHP 40-Anthony Williams-OF 41-Tyler Moore-1B 42-Paul Treadaway-RHP 43-Scott Barnes-LHP 44-Steven Hensley-RHP 45-Anthony Shawler-RHP 46-Ibrahim Lopez-OF 47-Luis Feliz-OF 48-Will Cherry-OF 49-Terrance Brown-RHP 50-Jake Leonhardt-RHP Signed players in bold.

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