The Washington Nationals selected RHP Jake Johansen on Day 1 of the 2013 MLB Draft, then signed the pitcher as they went about making their selections on Day 2. "It actually turned out very, very well," Nats' scouting director Kris Kline said once the second day of the First-Year Player Draft had ended. "Especially some of the arms we got. Some power arms. A lot of guys touching 95 [mph] or better with secondary stuff. Big physical guys, which is what we like, kind of our M.O. We got some left-handed bats, some power guys with good swings. So far, so good. We're looking forward to [Saturday] because there [are] plenty of other big leaguers on the board."
• Here are the Nationals' selections from Days 1-2 of the 2013 MLB Draft:
• 3rd Round - 105 overall pick - Drew Ward - 3B - 6'4'', 210 lb - Leedey HS:
Nats' Press Release: "The Nationals kicked off today’s action selecting prep third baseman Drew Ward with their third-round pick (105th overall). Ward hit .507 (67-for-131) with 9 HR, 39 RBI and 57 BB in 32 games for Leedey (OK) High School."
MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo on Drew Ward: "You're talking about potential big-time power. Some teams were having a hard time putting an exact figure on that big-time power because you didn't see him against good competition."
"We've been tracking [Ward] since last summer," Nationals' Asst. GM Roy Clark said, "once we heard that he might be coming out early. We saw him a bunch, and of course we tracked him this year. He's from a small town, little small town, but he played for a high profile team in summer ball, so we got a lot of looks on him, but we knew that he might be coming out early."
"We took three, what we consider, big-time power bats," Clark added, "And of course [Ward] is one of them."
"Drew's going to move from short to third base," Kris Kline said, "And he's got a plus arm, he's got good action. Good hands. He's not a runner, but he's a left-handed bat with a really good advanced approach. And he's got power from the left side, so he definitely profiles as a corner-type player."
• via Baseball America on Youtube:
• 4th Round - 136th overall pick - Nicholas Pivetta - RHP - 6'5''; 210 lb - New Mexico Junior College:
Nats' Press Release: "In the fourth round, the Nationals tabbed one of the top junior college arms in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, Nicholas Pivetta out of New Mexico Junior College. The Victoria, British Columbia native went 9-2 with a 3.36 ERA over 13 starts in 2013. He tossed six complete games and posted a .235 batting average against."
"You guys are going to like this kid," Kris Kline said of Pivetta. "Very good delivery. [Junior College] kid so he's young, he just turned 20 I believe. Saw him a couple of times this year. Looking at 89-95 with, like I said, a really good delivery and a plus breaking ball. It's a curve ball, it's not a spike, it's a conventional-grip curve ball. This kid to me is a [no.3] starter with the potential to be higher just because he has so much upside. He's got a very good feel for his changeup. He hasn't quite filled out yet. He's a strike thrower, so he's going to learn how to pitch [and] there's not a lot of tweaking involved with this kid's delivery, he's pretty clean as is, so it should be a pretty good transition into the minor leagues."
MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo: "He's got a curve ball that could be above average in the future. He does have a changeup. I think it's another one of these guys you let them start and see what happens. If the changeup comes then you've got a guy with three pitches with that size. If not, the fastball/curve I think would work very well out of the bullpen."
• Nick Pivetta Links via the Canadian Baseball Network:
• via ProBaseballWay on Youtube:
• 5th Round - 166th overall - Austin Voth - RHP - 6'2'', 210 lb - University of Washington:
"6'2'', powerfully built guy, big shoulders," Kris Kline said as he described Austin Voth. "Physical presence. Very aggressive. Strike thrower. Anywhere from 88-95 [mph]. The funny thing about this guy was, when I saw him, he kind of pitched at 89-92 for about four innings and then we got into the fifth and sixth and all of a sudden he was 94-95 and that's where he stayed for the rest of the game. The breaking ball is average with signs of it being a solid, average pitch. It's a slider. He did not throw a changeup that I saw, so that's something that he'll have to develop to start."
Baseball America's Jim Callis on MLB: "[Voth is] interesting in the fact that he's second in the Pac 10 in strikeouts behind [2013 no.1 overall pick] Mark Appel. But whereas Mark Appel goes at the top of the draft and has power stuff, Voth is one of these guys who just has a fastball that people don't seem to square up. It's 88-93 which is good, but it's not great, but nobody hits it. His secondary pitchers aren't anything special, but the guys misses bats, so you take the guy and see if he can keep doing that at the pro level."
• via MLBDirt on Twitter:
• 6th Round - 196th overall - Cody Gunter - 3B - 6'3'', 195 lb - Grayson County Community College:
Reporter: Did you consider taking him last year out of high school? (The Miami Marlins drafted Gunter in the 19th Round but didn't sign him.)
Kris Kline: "This is the first time I've seen [Gunter] play, so I couldn't speak intelligently about him from last year. This year, we got to see him play a couple games. He's a third baseman by trade. He played right field both games that I saw. He can really, really throw. So we're going to send him out as a third baseman. He's got a good approach, he's got power. He's got that major league swagger. Very confident aura about him on the field that he makes present. And he's got some good tools. Not a runner, but he'll end up playing third or right field as a big leaguer."
• 7th Round - 226th overall pick - James Yezzo - 1B - 6'1'', 190 lb - University of Delaware:
Nats' Press Release: The Nationals selected first baseman James Yezzo in the seventh round (256th overall) out of the University of Delaware. Yezzo, the first Blue Hen to be drafted since 2010, led the Colonial Athletic Association in batting average (.410), hits (96), doubles (28), RBI (64) and slugging percentage (.714) en route to being named CAA Player of the Year and first team All-American by Louisville Slugger.
"This is a very, very good looking hitter," Kris Kline said. "Very efficient, polished approach. Very strong, physical, but under control. Short stroke, very hands-y. He looks a lot like Yonder Alonso. I don't know if you guys remember, Erubiel Durazo? A little bit of Laynce Nix. Just combine those three, that's kind of what you're looking at. He's a first baseman, that's where he's going to play, where I think he can be adequate, maybe a little bit better with a lot of work. A left-handed bat with a swing that builts to hit for average and power."
• 9th Round - 266th overall pick - Jake Joyce - RHP - 6'0'', 195 lb - Virginia Tech University:
"He graduated from high school early so he could attend Virginia Tech," Roy Clark said, "So he missed his senior year. He's always had a good arm. And again, up to 95 [mph]. Had great numbers up in the Cape [Cod] League. Struck out almost two per inning, so we've been tracking him for quite a while."
• Wrap-Up: As for signing the players they drafted on Day Two, Kris Kline said he anticipated a good number of the players signing. "I think it will probably go pretty smooth here," Kline told reporters. "The new CBA rules and the way the draft is designed now, it's created a simpler process for us to get these kids signed, so it's something we definitely asked them prior to taking the player, and like I said, it's a much easier, smoother transition than in the past."