Federal Reserve: Looking Back At The Nationals Draft Classes (2011-2013)

The Federal Reserve concludes its two-part look back at the last five Washington Nationals’ amateur player drafts by examining the classes of 2011-’13. In case you missed it, here is part one, which covers the 2009-’10 drafts, and the likes of Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, and Michael Taylor.


Graduated: Anthony Rendon (1st round)

Notable Players with Other Organizations: Alex Meyer (1st), Twins; Billy Burns (32nd), A’s

Prospects: Brian Goodwin (1st supplemental), Matt Purke (3rd), Matt Skole (5th), Taylor Hill (6th)

The story of this draft was the $16.5 million spent on high-risk picks. Anthony Rendon and Matt Purke, both of whom dealt with injuries in college, received 4-year major league contracts valued at $7.2 and $4 million, respectively. The Nationals also gave a $2 million bonus to Meyer and an additional $3 million to Goodwin.

Three years later, Rendon has shown the potential to be a key contributor in parts of two seasons at the major league level. Purke has struggled with injuries with the latest resulting in Tommy John surgery, which is schedule for today. The left-hander has a 5.00 ERA in 136.2 career innings, including an 8.04 figure in 31.1 frames for Double-A Harrisburg prior to the injury.

Goodwin and Skole, meanwhile, are each trying to work their way back from slow starts at Triple-A Syracuse and Harrisburg, respectively. In Syracuse’s rotation, Hill has pitched his way into prospect consideration with a 1.63 ERA and a 3.41 FIP in 60.2 innings this season, including an International League (Triple-A) Pitcher of the Week award last week.


Prospects: Lucas Giolito (1st), Tony Renda (2nd)

It is probably unfair to say that this draft hinges on Lucas Giolito’s success, but his undoubtedly promising upside makes him the player to watch in this group. Though he has not started since May 11—the exact reason remains unreported—the right-hander has a 10 K/9 rate in 32.1 innings over 7 starts for Low-A Hagerstown.

Renda was an All-Star for Hagerstown last year, and has a .384 OBP as High-A Potomac’s second baseman in 108 plate appearances. The third and fourth round selections, left-handed pitcher Brett Mooneyham and outfielder Brandon Miller, both with Potomac, have produced inconsistent results. Mooneyham has a career 5.3 BB/9 rate and a 7.36 ERA this season, while Miller had a .276 OBP and a 31.7 K% in 145 plate appearances before going on the DL on May 15.

Two players who could emerge as prospects are Hagerstown catcher Spencer Kieboom (5th) and Potomac shortstop Stephen Perez (8th). Kieboom has a .867 OPS and 39% CS% in 24 games, while Perez’s .820 OPS puts him on pace to set several career highs.


Prospects: Jake Johansen (2nd), Drew Ward (3rd), Nick Pivetta (4th), Austin Voth (5th)

Selected in the first draft since 1982 in which the Expos/Nationals did not have a first-round pick, these players all are in Hagerstown for their first full seasons.

Johansen’s mid-to-high 90’s fastball has translated to a career 8.3 K/9 rate in 93 innings, but his inconsistent command gives him a 4.3 BB/9 on his career, including his 4.7 mark this season.

Ward has a .760 OPS, while Pivetta posted a solid 3.27 ERA and a 3.92 FIP before hitting the DL last week. Voth, however, has stood out the most among this group, striking out 58 in 50.2 innings with a 2.49 ERA.

Minors Notes:

  • Voth concluded his solid May with a win over Delmarva (Orioles) on Thursday, striking out seven while allowing two runs over six innings. On the month, he had a 2.12 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 34 innings.
  • Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post notes that Purke will be out of major league options when he returns from Tommy John surgery. The article, which is worth checking out, notes that Purke’s major league deal has required the Nationals to option him to the minors every year, the third of which was this spring.

About Zach Spedden

Writer for Federal Reserve section of The Nats Blog and co-founder of Hagerstown Suns Fan Blog