While everybody has accepted that the Nationals will take Steven Strasburg with the number one overall pick June 9th, often overlooked has been the Nationals next pick. For failing to sign Aaron Crow in 2008, the Nats received a compensatory pick at the 10 spot in this years draft. So essentially the Nats have two ‘lottery’ picks in 2009. Over the next several days I will go over a few possibilities of who they may draft.
Today: Grant Green.
Green is a California boy to say the least. Growing up in Anaheim Hills, CA, Green was a three-year starter for Canyon High School. The shortstop hit over .400 his entire varsity career at Canyon high, earning many accolades ranging from 2004 Century League ROY to being named to the 2005 US Junior National Team.
It was this success that landed him a scholarship and an immediate impact role on the USC Trojans baseball team. Green started every game as a freshman, batting .316 with 28 extra base hits, 24 RBI and six stolen bases en route to earning the Pac-10 Conference Co-Freshman of the Year award. He was also named to the Rivals.com and Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American second teams.
His sophomore year he came back for more, batting .390 with 29 extra base hits, 10 stolen bases and 46 RBI. This earned Green All-Pac 10 first team honors as well as third team All-American from Baseball-America. Through 50 games into his junior year he is now batting .374 with 29 extra base hits, 14 stolen bases, and 30 RBI.
Scouts project green to be a very solid fielder with the athleticism of Bobby Crosby, but probably the arm of Edgar Renteria (not bad just not special). His range right now is not Major League ready, particularly to the left according to scouts who say that while he has the athleticism to improve, right now he doesn’t have MLB range.
What has scouts particularly excited about Green however aren’t his stellar college batting numbers, but the numbers he has put up in the Cape Cod wood bat league, a traditional proving field for future MLB success. In the summer of 2008 Green batted .348 with six homers and 21 RBI for the Chatham A’s, while reaching base at a .451 mark. He was also 10-13 in stolen base attempts. His success in Cape Cod earned him the Robert A. McNeece Outstanding Pro Prospect Award as the league’s top prospect.
That’s a big deal. Former winners include: Ron Darling, Robin Ventura, Billy Wagner, and Mark Teixeira.
The truth is Green could go anywhere form number two to 15 overall. His potential projects him to be a mix between Troy Tuluwitzki and Evan Longoria, but he is still not there yet. He could be a valuable pick for the Nationals who have Cristian Guzman under contract through 2010 and then rely on either Ian Desmond or the player formerly known as Esmailyn Gonzalez to fill in at shortstop.