This years draft will forever be remembered at the “Bryce Harper Draft”, regardless of how he performs in the majors. The Nationals hope that he and Stephen Strasburg can eventually lift the franchise to new heights, but Harper hasn’t been the only pick by the Nationals this year. Lets take a look at some of their other selections.
Round 2 (51st Overall) LHP Sammy Solis, University of San Diego
Solis has had problems with injuries, which was a red flag to several teams, but to Washington he was a risk worth taking. Solis stands at a massive 6-foot-5 and 228 lbs, that’s a pretty intimidating presence on the mound if you ask me. This season at USD, Solis went 9-2 with a 3.42 ERA and struck out 92 batters in 92 innings pitched. The Nationals think he has potential to get to the bigs quickly, but his health is going to be the biggest obstacle he must overcome to find his way to the show.
Round 3 (83rd Overall) SS Rick Hague, Rice
Hague was selected in the 37th round of the 2007 Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers but did not sign and returned to school. Not only can Hague hit for average, but he has some pop too, a rare combination for shortstops. The knock on Hague is that he plays poor defense, committing 23 errors this season at Rice. Obviously, this is something the Nationals plan to work hard on with him if he wants to become more of a complete player.
Round 4 (116th Overall) RHP A.J. Cole, Oviedo High School
Is it just me, or does A.J. Cole remind anyone else of Ubaldo Jimenez? His presence on the mound and the way he extends his arm down in his delivery seems very similar to Jimenez. Cole is coming out of high school so there is still a lot of work to do but you have to like what you see. I like how the Nationals are addressing their pitching staff with big guys…that being said, hopefully they don’t turn out to be as big as Livan Hernandez.
Round 5 (146th Overall) SS Jason Martinson, Texas State University
Unlike Washingtons previous picks, Martinson is a smaller player who is listed to play shortstop. Martinson will probably need the most work out of all the picks in day 2, but his ceiling could be very high. In his freshman year at Texas State he only hit .153 in 72 at bats but raised that average to .301 in 172 at bats during his sophomore campaign. It is hard to make anything of this kid because the baseball draft is such a crapshoot, but if he does become anything in the league it will defiantly be because of his scrappiness.
Round 6 (176th Overall) C Cole Leonida, Georgia Tech University
The second Cole drafted by the Nationals in this draft hopes to be of help from behind the plate. Leonida is an excellent defensive catcher with a strong and accurate arm, as well as possessing the ability to hit for power. Leonida didn’t even start for Georgia Tech until this year and had a .296 average with 11 home runs and 56 RBIs.
Click here to look at all of the teams picks from Day’s 1 and 2.