After selecting 18-year-old, high school outfielder Elijah Green with the 5th overall pick in the first round of the 2022 MLB Draft, the Washington Nationals went with a pitcher at No. 45 overall, with their second round pick, selecting lefty Jake Bennett out of the University of Oklahoma.
Bennett, 21, pitched with 2020 Nationals’ 1st Round pick Cade Cavalli both in high school and in college with the Sooners. He was a 39th Round pick by the Nats back in 2019, and they drafted him again this year, in the 2nd Round this time.
“While he won’t emulate Cavalli by becoming a first-rounder out of college,” MLB Pipeline’s scouts wrote, “... Bennett could factor into the top two rounds after pitching the Sooners to the College World Series finals by winning four of his five postseason starts.”
“At 6-foot-6 and 234 pounds, Bennett is built to be a workhorse starter. He has an easy yet somewhat deceptive delivery that he repeats well, allowing him to pound the strike zone throughout his college career.
“He stands out more for his floor than his ceiling with a good chance of becoming a No. 4 or 5 starter.”
Bennett, like Green, who spoke to reporters shortly after he was selected tonight, will talk to reporters from the nation’s capital shortly, and we’ll add any relevant info now that the Nats are done picking for tonight. Asst. GM and VP of Scouting Ops Kris Kline and Mark Baca, the Assistant Director of Amateur Scouting, will also talk to reporters tonight, so there will be a bunch of new stories in the morning...
From Nationals’ Press Release on Jake Bennett:
“Bennett, 21, went 10-4 with a 3.69 ERA in 20 games (19 starts) during his redshirt sophomore season at Oklahoma in 2022. He struck out 133 batters and walked just 22 in 117.0 innings pitched. He received second-team All-America honors from Baseball America and D1Baseball.com and third-team honors from Perfect Game. He was named First-Team All-Big 12 Conference and to the Big 12 All-Tournament Team.
The 6-foot-6, 234-pound left-hander is ranked by Baseball America as the No. 41 prospect and by MLBPipeline.com as the No. 68 prospect in the 2022 First-Year Player Draft.”