"Major leaguers, impact major leaguers, are found all over the draft," Washington Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo told reporters earlier this week when asked about the lack of a first round pick and the wait until the team's first selection 68th overall in the second round. "With our scouting staff we feel that we're going to overturn all the rocks and try to find the hidden gems that will gives us a real impactful draft this year."
Nats' scouting director Kris Kline talked last night, after the Nats made the final pick of the second round, about what it was like for a team that picked no.1 overall in 2009 and 2010, 6th overall in 2011 and 16th last June to wait around until the 68th overall selection before making their first pick of the 2013 MLB Draft. "Yeah, it's awful," Kline told reporters. "It was like watching paint dry picking 68th. I'm glad we're picking 68, that means the big league club is a lot better, so..."
The Nationals took RHP Jake Johansen with their first pick this year, adding the 22-year-old, 6'6'' Dallas Baptist University right-hander to the organization (assuming he signs, which the Nats think he will). As the Nationals' Asst. GM Roy Clark and scouting director Kris Kline explained last night, they think Johansen is a few tweaks away from being an impact arm. "Our guys feel like there are a couple of things that are easy fixes," Clark said, "Leand we feel like when we get him signed and we turn this kid over to the best player development system in baseball -- in our opinion -- we think we've got a gem."
The Nationals' second attempt at finding a "gem" came with the 105th overall selection this afternoon which they used to pick Leedey High School infielder Drew Ward, a native of Leedey, Oklahoma. Ward has a commitment to the University of Oklahoma according to the MLB.com draft broadcast. MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo said he had "potential big-time power" though it was hard to judge based on the competition he's faced. "Plays shortstop now in Oklahoma high school," Mr. Mayo said, "probably a third baseman.":
With their 3rd round selection (105th overall), the #Nationals select 3B Drew Ward from Leedey (Okla.) HS.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) June 7, 2013
Ward, 17, is rated as the 87th-best draft prospect in the 2013 Draft, according to Baseball America.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) June 7, 2013
• via Baseball America on Youtube: