Baseball America's John Manuel had the Washington Nationals on the "Winners" side in his post-draft analysis this morning in an article entitled, "Deadline Winners and Losers", where he wrote that, "The Nats went all in when they drafted Anthony Rendon, Alex Meyer, Brian Goodwin and Matt Purke with their four picks in the first three rounds," and then signed the four to a total of, "... $13.75 million in signing bonuses to get the quartet under contract." As surprising as it was that the Nationals actually signed Purke, who dropped two rounds from where he was selected in 2009 over signability and injury concerns, it was former UNC and Miami Dade College outfielder Brian Goodwin's deal that the Baseball America writer said "shocked" him in this morning's article, and in an appearance on the MLB Network Radio show Power Alley with Jim Duquette and Kevin Kennedy, Mr. Manuel elaborated on why Goodwin's $3M dollar bonus was surprising...
"That was a surprise, that was a big surprise in terms of numbers," the Baseball America writer said, "That's one that I've heard talked about in the industry already this morning. That's the ninth highest contract, I think, in the whole draft was for Brian Goodwin. I don't think he was the consensus no. 9 player."
"The Nationals' strategy is to throw a ton of money at amateur players," Mr. Manuel continued later in the discussion on last night's signing deadline, "and I think it's going to pay off. It worked for Mike Rizzo [as] the Scouting Director in Arizona and I think it's going to work for him in Washington. Between [Stephen] Strasburg and [Bryce] Harper and then [Anthony] Rendon those are the last three years, they had the top player, for what it's worth, on the Baseball America draft board."
"They got the top guys on our board the last three years," Mr. Manuel said, "and at the start of the year, Purke was third on that board and Goodwin was pretty high on that board and Alex Meyer was, not as high on our board as on their board, but they liked Alex Meyer, they got him for $2 million dollars. And Matt Purke had an injury plagued season, but in 2010 the guy was if not the best college pitcher in the country, was right there. He was right there with [UCLA's Gerrit] Cole. Cole pitched his team to Omaha and so did Matt Purke with TCU and didn't lose a game as a freshman in college and basically had a $6 million dollar offer out of high school, so that's a pretty decent guy to bet on."
• Here's a quick look at Matt Purke and the other three top picks the Nationals invested in last night courtesy of @NationalsPR on the Twitter:
• Matt Purke:
• Anthony Rendon:
• Alex Meyer:
• Brian Goodwin: