Nationals Minors: Top 2012 And 2013 Picks Lucas Giolito And Jake Johansen Are Rolling

USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals' top picks in each of the last two drafts have impressed in recent starts. Lucas Giolito and Jake Johansen give the Nats' two towering young right-handers who are sure to find themselves at the top of the lists of the Nationals' prospects after this season.

Washington Nationals' Scouting Director Kris Kline was excited when he talked to reporters about 2013 2nd Round Jake Johansen in a teleconference following the selection of 6'6'' right-hander Jake Johansen out of Dallas Baptist University with the 68th overall pick."There's a lot of things to like about this young man," Kline said of the Nats' top pick of the Draft, "This is what we seek when we go out to the ballpark every day."

"If you put [Johansen] next to Giolito," Kline said, "you have some pretty good-looking bookends." - Nats' Scouting Director Kris Kline

"He's a 6'6'', 235 lb right-handed pitcher," Mr. Kline continued, and the 22-year-old Johansen provided the Nationals with another hard-throwing right-hander to go along with the Nats' 2012 1st Round pick, 6'6'' righty Lucas Giolito.

"If you put him next to Giolito," Kline beamed, "you have some pretty good-looking bookends." The Nationals' bookends are on a pretty good run with respective minor league affiliates.

Nine starts into his first pro season with Auburn Doubledays, Johansen has a 1.21 ERA, 16 walks (3.86 BB/9) and 38 Ks (9.16 K/9) in 37 1/3 IP in which he's help opposing hitters to a .164 BAA and allowed just one home run. In his last start, this past Sunday, Johansen gave up three hits, a walk and a run in 5 IP in which he struck out eight batters. Johansen's allowed one earned run or less in each of his nine outings in the NY/Penn League.

Giolito, who's working his way back from Tommy John surgery, made his eighth start for the Gulf Coast Nationals this afternoon, throwing five scoreless against the GCL Cardinals in which he gave up two hits and two walks while striking out five. In the right-hander's last three starts and 14 IP, he's given up nine hits, three walks and just one earned run, while striking out 14 batters. In his eight starts, the 16th pick of the 2012 Draft is now (1-1) with a 2.78 ERA, 10 walks (3.97 BB/9) and 25 Ks (9.93 K/9) in 22 2/3 IP. And he also got to celebrate being part of a winning team:

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