With the 27th overall pick in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft, the Washington Nationals selected right-handed pitcher Mason Denaburg.
Both ESPN.com’s Keith Law and MLB.com’s Jim Callis matched the Nationals with Denaburg in their final mock drafts today, with Law writing that landing with Washington at No. 27 after he’d dealt with biceps tendinitis this season, “would be a great outcome for the Florida commit.”
The Merritt Island High School right-hander was able to return to the mound and, “... throw very well for scouts in just a few outings,” Law noted, with Callis writing that the Nationals, “... spent premium picks on pitchers with upside but health issues,” in three of the past five drafts, selecting, “Lucas Giolito (first round, 2012), Erick Fedde (first round, ‘14) and Jesus Luzardo (third round, ‘16),” two of whom, it’s worth mentioning, they ended up trading after guiding them back from their respective injuries.
Giolito, righty Reynaldo Lopez, and 2016 pick Dane Dunning went to the Chicago White Sox as part of the package for Adam Eaton, and Luzardo was one of three players who ended up getting traded to the Athletics last July in the deal that brought both Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle over from Oakland.
MLB.com’s scouting report on Denaburg noted that he threw a fastball that’s been up to, “97 mph in the past ... sitting around 94,” which he throws, “with good life down in the zone,” and, “when he stays on top of it, his power breaking ball has nasty break and finish to it, and he shows feel for a solid changeup as well.”
Here’s what Nationals’ Asst. GM and VP of Scouting Ops Kris Kline had to say about the Nationals’ top pick of the 2018 Draft:
“We are very excited to select Mason with our first pick of the 2018 Draft. He is a strong, athletic kid with very clean arm action and three Major League quality pitches. He’s a competitive, two-sport athlete who we saw a lot throughout his high school career.”