Washington Nationals’ Assistant GM and VP of Scouting Ops Kris Kline was thrilled with the fact that 20-year-old right-hander Jackson Rutledge fell to the Nationals at No. 17 overall on Day 1 of the 2019 MLB Draft on Monday.
“We didn’t think that we’d get Rutledge,” Kline said, “... but we did, and the whole group is absolutely thrilled to get this guy. 6’8’’, 250, big arm, above average secondary stuff, strike thrower, the whole package.”
“It’s a four pitch mix with this guy,” GM Mike Rizzo said of the Nationals’ top pick.
“He pounds the strike zone, he’s an aggressive pitcher, 95-99, touch 100, and he’s got a good, hard slider in the upper 80s and low 90s, and a really good snapping curveball.”
He’s also got a changeup, which is, of course, on the come, like the changeup every other pitcher in the draft is working to develop.
“All of his pitches, four pitch mix, they all come out of his hand in the same spot, same arm speed, and he’s got good stuff,” Kline added.
Rizzo and Kline, like GMs around the game, were giving the hard-sell on their top picks, of course, but the Nationals fans who participated in the voting for SB Nation’s FanPulse either liked that they saw of Rutledge themselves, or they’re buying what the Nationals are selling:
Looking around the rest of the league, there were no fans who didn’t fairly overwhelmingly approve of their respective team’s first round picks. So it’s not just D.C.-based fans who are positive about their news prospects.
Fans in the nation’s capital, are more positive all around, however, with second-year skipper Davey Martinez’s approval rating up slightly from 20% to 24% this week after the Nationals went on a bit of run, and the overall confidence in the team up as well, to 37% from just 6% in last week’s voting.
So ... great, it’s all positi — oh wait, there’s another question and another image included in this week’s FanPulse voting.
Dang it, this one’s divisive. Can’t we all just agree that we’ll put up with nets around the whole field if it keeps us from ever seeing a kid get hit by a foul ball again?
Where are you on these questions? If you didn’t participate in the FanPulse survey the first three weeks, you can still sign up above or HERE.