GM Mike Rizzo and Co. in the Washington Nationals’ front office have five picks on Day 2 of the 2020 MLB Draft, 55th overall in the second round, 71st overall, (which is the 5th pick in the compensation round, a selection they received when Anthony Rendon signed on w/ LA’s Angels this winter), 94th overall, the 22nd pick in the third round, 123rd overall (4th round), and 153rd overall, which is the 22nd pick in the fifth round. Things get going today around 5:00 PM ET on the MLB Network and ESPN2 (and are expected to go for around six hours-ish).
After selecting right-hander Cade Cavalli with the 22nd pick in the first round on Day 1 last night, Rizzo and Assistant GM and VP of Scouting Ops Kris Kline talked about the work the scouts in the organization did to prepare for this year’s unique draft.
While the coronavirus pandemic shut the baseball world down in March, right when most colleges and many high school programs across the country were just getting started for the 2020 campaign, the Nationals put the work in and put their draft board together over the last weeks and months, before the decision was made to limit things to just five total rounds (instead of the usual 40).
“I think a lot of credit goes out to Kris and his group,” Rizzo explained last night. “We often hit the ground running hard in the early, early Spring. We’re not one of those organizations that want to see the second or third outing of a college pitcher, just to get the rust off him and that type of thing.
“We like to go out early, get the elite guys a look for the first time, then circle back on the guys that we really have interest in later on in the season. That worked well for us this year because of the shortening of the season.”
This afternoon (and in the free-for-all signing period for eligible, undrafted players) all the work (hopefully) pays off for the defending World Series champions, who’ll add five more players to the organization today, provided they end up signing (and as many as they can sign starting at 9:00 AM ET on June 14th).
“The proof will be in the pudding tomorrow when we put the rest of these draft choices on paper,” Rizzo said after the completion of Day 1, “and then when we go attack the beyond-the-fifth-round type of guys and I think that you’re going to see that we’re going to have a successful draft because of the way these guys worked fast and really got out of the chute well, and [it was a] coordinated effort and worked really hard in a really short matter of time.”
Day 2 of the 2020 MLB Draft gets underway at 5:00 PM this afternoon. More stories, quotes from today’s selection, and a post Day 2 wrap-up to come...