Signing Deadline Approaches For Washington Nationals' 2011 Draft Picks.

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 20: General Manager Mike Rizzo of the Washington Nationals talks to the media before the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 20, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

On the day of the 2011 Draft, D.C. Mike Rizzo described the Nats' first 1st Round pick, Rice 3B Anthony Rendon as, "... the most accomplished hitter in the draft," and, "the most polished, with huge upside," while defensively, at third at least, Rizzo said the Nationals saw him as a, "Gold Glove type of defender. And just one heck of a player who's proved it at every level."

The Nationals' General Manager said that Washington's second 1st round pick, University of Kentucky right-hander Alex Meyer, taken with the first of two compensatory Draft picks the Nats received in return for losing Adam Dunn as a free agent to the White Sox was a, "... tweak away from being a front-end of the rotation guy," and Nats' scouting director Kris Kline compared Meyer to UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole, the no.1 overall pick by the Pirates. "Meyer's stuff, if you look at Gerrit Cole's stuff and this guy's stuff," Kline said, "it's very, very comparable."

Former UNC and Miami Dade College outfielder Brian Goodwin, taken 34th overall with the second compensatory pick, was described by the Nats' GM as, "... a guy with five tools. We see him as a top of the order table-setter with some power. He's got surprising pop in his bat, he's a plus plus runner, plus plus defensive player, we think he can hit at the top of the order and lead off."

When Matt Purke, a consensus top pick before the 2011 season began at Texas Christian University, was available in the 3rd Round after injury concerns caused other teams to shy away from the left-hander, the Nationals took a chance as the Nationals' General Manager explained on an episode of 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s The Mike Rizzo Show in June:

"With the signability situation with Purke and some of the health issues that he had," Rizzo said, "with Purke sitting there in the third round pick for us at [no.96) which is a protected pick, meaning that if he doesn't sign we get that pick again next year, we felt it was time to roll the dice on Purke, watch him in the Cape Cod League, he's going to go pitch in the Cape, and we're going to monitor, see if he's healthy and see what his value is on the market."

ESPN.com's Jason Churchill, in an article on the collection of prospects the Nats drafted in June entitled, "Matt Purke gives Nats even more upside", estimated that in order to get Rendon, Meyer, Goodwin and Purke signed, "It may cost them $15 million to sign all four, but if they get all four under contract, the Nationals will have one of the strongest classes of the draft." The Nats' GM agreed, as he explained on 106.7 the FAN:

"We're going to make a great effort to get him signed, and if that all happens," Rizzo said, "...then we feel that we really had probably the most impactful draft that I've ever been associated with."

Eight hours from now (or less potentially), the Nats' GM and front office will know exactly what kind of draft they really had. 4th Round pick Kylin Turnbull, a left-hander out of Santa Barbara. 18th Round pick Hawtin Buchanan, a high school right-hander out of Biloxi, MS and others remained unsigned as tonight's 11:59:59 deadline approaches. It's going to be a busy nights for the Nats.

• Updates to follow when available....

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