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Who will Nats get with 6th pick?

Jun 6, 2011, 10:00 AM EST

On draft day 2009, Mike Rizzo was able to rest comfortably, knowing Stephen Strasburg was his (and no one else’s) to select.

On draft day 2010, Rizzo was again able to rest comfortably, knowing Bryce Harper was his (and no one else’s) to select.

Well, draft day 2011 has arrived, but there will be no comfortable resting for the Nationals general manager and his stable of scouts, only nervous energy as they wait for five other clubs to make selections before their turn finally arrives.

Unlike the last two years when they held the No. 1 overall pick, this time the Nationals select sixth. And they do so for a draft most experts believe has exactly six elite prospects: UCLA right-handers Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer, Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen, Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon, Oklahoma high school right-hander Dylan
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  1. Joe Seamhead - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    A 23 and a 34 for Adam Dunn is looking pretty good right now.

  2. SCNatsFan - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    Problem with Starling is how much you will overpay to get him away from QBing at Nebraska. While it might solve ou CF woes in a couple of years it also might lead to us picking 6A next year.

  3. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Though he's not listed in the top six, my bet is that Sonny Gray from Vanderbilt makes it to the show first out of the college arms in the draft.

  4. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    SCNatsFan….. when you are represented by Scott Boras, you get over slot dollars and sign at midnight of the deadline.

  5. JD - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    I am positive that the Nats will take who ever is left from: Cole,Hultzen,Bauer,Rendon or Starling. The problem is that they may all be off the board by the time they pick. The next best pitchers are: Bundy and Bradley but both are high schoolers with a 3 to 4 year path to the majors. The next best college pitcher is Barnes from Connecticut but 6 may be too high for him. I am really hoping for Bauer or Starling but it is a fascinating draft year to be sure.

  6. SCNatsFan - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    NatsJack, he represents the top 7 rated players (I think) so we might get lucky and sign our pick about 11:45 this year

  7. phil dunn - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    Picking highly touted pitchers in the draft has been very risky. Half end up being duds and the other half blow out their arms.

  8. phil dunn - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Adam Dunn either hates DHing or he has totally lost it. He's closing in on 80 Ks in 180 at bats with a BA of .179. We would be even better off if Rizzo hadn't wasted $16 million on Laroche. Morse is doing just fine at first base and he's hitting a ton.

  9. George Brett - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    Bubba Starlin is better than Matt Stairs and Ankiel as we speak,

  10. Will - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    Here's to hoping Hultzen is still available at #6.Things worked out pretty well the last time we took a Cavalier with our first pick.

  11. Save Your Money - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    @ phil dunnCorrectomundo! I'd like to see the correlation of Draft Pick selection positons and MLB success.I give you Bryan Bullington #1 pick of Pittsburgh from Ball State in 2002 (I think?). He won his first game for KC last year, and is, at last report, pitching in Japan. The list goes on……..

  12. FS - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    Hultzen should either be picked by us or Os. I would love to see a native play for us.Also from top 3 picks, I hope we get two pitchers and an outfielder. despite all offensive struggles this season, pitching is the way to go.I am more interested in Rays' draft this season. They are going to build an empire based on this draft.

  13. N. Cognito - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    I have no idea who they'll pick nor do I have an opinion on who they should pick. What I do know is, no matter who they pick, plenty of Nats fans will piss and moan about every aspect of the pick.

  14. Will - Jun 6, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    Picking any player in the draft is risky. Batters and former #1 picks, Matt Bush and Tim Beckham say "hi".That's why you pay a ton of money to scouts, so you can be sure you're getting the best players available. In the past, we didn't have good scouts. Hence, why we took crappy players like Colten Willems, Josh Smoker and, more recently, Trevor Holder and a relief pitcher with the #10 overall pick. However, last year's draft was fantastic. No below-slot affordable picks, just the best players out there, even on risky picks like Ray and Cole. Let's hope to continue that trend today.

  15. fpcsteve - Jun 6, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    Picking Straling makes me nervous. Word is Pellini is willing to let Starling play baseball (during spring practice for FB)for NU's new baseball coach, Darin Erstad, who played football and baseball at Nebraska before playing in the big leagues. People have posted here saying money will win out, but I don't know. NU has apparently upped the ante. Yesterday's lead, above-the-fold article in the Lincoln paper's sport section was all about Starling. I guess it could go either way, but I worry about this. I can tell you from Nebraska that NU has pulled out all the stops. Just a thought… BTW, NatsJack, what's the verdict on CMW? I'm just now catching up from the weekend.

  16. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 6, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    fpcsteve… I posted Saturday. CMW was very underwhelming. Sinker had good movement but stayed around 85 with one pitch hitting 87. Poor command. 1.1 innings, 40 pitches, 2 hits, 1K, 2 walks, shortstop didn't help with an error in each inning. The only out he got in the second was a sacrifice bunt. I can't see him improving if this is the best he can throw 2 full seasons after surgery.

  17. DCJohn - Jun 6, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    Mark, Bryce Harper's brother, Bryon, pitches for South Carolina and was picked by the Cubs out of high school, but elected to go college, instead. Any mumblings about signing him if he's avaiable, and if he was to become a Nat's prospect, where would he fit in the organization?

  18. HHover - Jun 6, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    DCJohn – Bryce's big brother had a very unimpressive 5.40 ERA as a relief pitcher at USC, with 18K in 18.1IP but also 17H and 17BB.

  19. JD - Jun 6, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    fpcsteve, I think it's the money and the risk. If you play college football for 3 or 4 years and you sustain a major injury you risk not having a career in either sport. I,m sure his advisers will tell him that in addition to the 5 – 7 mil he would be leaving on the table he risks many more millions as well as not having a professional sports career. I'm not in his head but I'm 95% sure he will sign Aug. 31st.

  20. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 6, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    JD…. I'm with you. You don't select Boras as your agent and then opt out of all that money on the table. Nebraska's a great card to have, but 5 – 7 million alot better.And baseball is his stated preference.

  21. HHover - Jun 6, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    JD – I agree that I'd approach it the same way you would, tho how an 18 yo will weigh the risks and benefits is something else entirely.Your timetable, tho, is a problem–signing on Aug 31 would do the Nats no good, since the deadline is midnight on Aug 15.

  22. Harper_ROY_2012 - Jun 6, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    Starling and Bundy scare me because I belileve neither will sign and both will be college QBs. I think unless Hultzen is there at #6 we pick Bradley out of UCONN. With the 23rd pick we need to go OF with either Jackie Bradley Jr or Mikie Mahtook (if either are still there then) and at 34 take whoever is best on the board no matter the position.

  23. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 6, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    I'd be tickled if Francisco Lindor is still available at 23 and was selected. But Jackie Bradley would be OK as well. I'm pretty sure Rizzo will take another arm at 6.

  24. Mark'd - Jun 6, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    fpcsteve, excellent observations. The fact Starling has Boras is a good sign which points to another last minute signings and this will cost over slot at $5 to $8 million. I don't think the Royals have the stomach to deal with Boras. Still hoping on Hultzen.

  25. Bowdenball - Jun 6, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    Keith Law seems to be under the impression that Starling almost definitely won't play football at Nebraska.Obviously Starling can use it as leverage, and it's certainly more leverage than just going back into the draft the next year like a Strasburg or a Harper, but ultimately he'd be passing up millions to make a three-year commitment to play a sport/position with significant injury risk.And for those who don't want to spend the extra money- that's crazy. It's become abundantly clear in recent years that every extra dollar you spend in the draft gives you a much better return than every extra dollar you spend in free agency. Teams should draft the best player available all the time. If the Nats get privilege of paying Bubba Starling a lot of money they should consider themselves very very lucky.

  26. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 6, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    I would like Holtzen too, but can't see him all the way down to 6.I am confused about Starlin having an agent. Seems to be against NCAA rules isn't it? Or do they allow an agent if for one sport while you play another.

  27. phil dunn - Jun 6, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    Save Your Money said–"Correctomundo! I'd like to see the correlation of Draft Pick selection positons and MLB success."While I am not a big fan of Jim Bowden, here is a good article by him that highlights the risks of taking a highly touted pitcher in the draft:

  28. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 6, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    MNF, I believe at this point they are, technically, still just "advisors".

  29. JD - Jun 6, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    Keith Law reports that if Starlings gets to no. 6 he's not getting past it. If we can't get Bauer, Cole or Hultzen (Cole and Bauer are almost locks for Pitsburgh and Arizona) we will take Starling. In conclusion I think it's Hultzen or Starling and it would be really nice if Meyer fell to us at 23.

  30. NATSONE - Jun 6, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    I believe Mr. Boras owes us a favor and that's why he's trying to hopefully price Hultzen out of the first five teams so that he falls to us. That's what I wanna believe at least.

  31. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    I wouldn't worry about the high school kids not signing. Everyone on this board predicted that Robbie Ray and AJ Cole wouldn't sign last year … in fact some were adamant.Yet, unlike the leather pants Segway Joy rider Rizzo managed to sign all of his top picks including those two high school pitchers and both are now in Hagerstown.Its hilarious to read JimBo's latest offering on his GM's office blog on the ESPN MLB page. He states that you pick the hitter not the pitcher because first round pitchers usually don't make it. What he didn't say was that he had problems signing 1st round pitchers, 2nd round pitchers, any round pitchers if they were decent and had a decent agent (read Boras).

  32. NATSONE - Jun 6, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    And it looks like Baseball America agrees with me:

  33. HHover - Jun 6, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    To me, that Bowden piece seems typically lazy and leaves out a lot. It leaves out the fact that all draft picks are a crap shoot, whether you pick a position player or a pitcher. It wouldn't be at all hard to go thru past drafts and find position players who were busts but picked ahead of pitchers who made it. Tho Jimbo can't be bothered to state it very clearly, his argument is really less about the riskiness of pitchers per se than about high school pitchers. While that's true, he's too lazy to notice that 5 of the top 6 pitchers this year are college rather than high school pitchers, and thus his advice is less useful for teams holding high picks. All of which, I guess, is why he's an ex-GM.

  34. DFL - Jun 6, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Perhaps Rizzo should mention to Starling that Nebraska quarterbacks don't actually have a sterling record as professional athletes. Just ask Eric Crouch, Turner Gill or Jerry Tagge.

  35. Richard - Jun 6, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    Baseball America's final mock draft has the Nats taking Danny Hultzen, who people had said the Os would take! Wouldn't that be great. Previously BA had the Nats taking tall Alex Meyer from Kentucky who has risen in draft status this year, and then they said it might be Trevor Bauer (UCLA). Today is projecting the Nats taking high schooler Dylan Bundy whose brother is in the Os system. All of the above would be fine …

  36. Mark'd - Jun 6, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    Here is the Hultzen rumor is that he doesn't want the Orioles and he has indirectly let the Orioles know his salary demands to dissuade the Whorioles and the Peter from selecting him. Would be great to get him at #6.

  37. fpcsteve - Jun 6, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    Let me make this observation about Starling. We have been seeing him on the local CBS affilate (Lincoln) which has been doing stories on him and his decision. Starling is a kid in a man's body. When he is standing beside his teammates, they look like kids. He is a natural-born horse right now. If he harnesses the power that comes with his body-type, he could put up some amazing numbers.

  38. Anonymous8 - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    fpcsteve, I just saw MLB Network on Starling. Seeing him run the football is a thing of beauty. He is RH which isn't a bad thing given Harper is a LH and could fit in well in an outfield that has so many lefties in the system.He runs a 4.3 40 so the kid is blazing fast. They showed a clip of him running out a grounder. Baseball America's Callis has Archie Bradley to the Orioles and Bundy to the Royals so looks like both Hultzen and Starling will be available at #6.Meyer is rated as the #9 overall RH pitcher and he may be around for pick #23

  39. NATSONE - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    Mark'd: I love that rumor!!!

  40. Water23 - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    Lerner's are now talking big market! As with the last few drafts, Signability is not an issue! Remember McGeary was drafted and allowed to still go to Stanford. Then Robbie Ray etc from last year. Now McGeary hasn't quite worked out but $$$ does help getting good talent.

  41. Andrew - Jun 6, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    Who do you take if Hultzen and Starling are both available?

  42. JD - Jun 6, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    Great question Andrew. Law says the Nats will take Starling; too good to pass up.

  43. Andrew - Jun 6, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    JD, watching that film of Starling tells me he is the guy. Tough to pass up on Hultzen but the questions of him pitching at UVA is a negative to scouts as they equate it to Petco Park and his road numbers aren't as good plus he wants $13 million and strangely the mention as an issue that he is an inheritance kid and maybe not as 'hungry' as the rest.If the theory is the best player available, I think it is Starling unless signability is the problem. He is also a true athlete that fits Rizzo's goal of athleticism.Also considering 2005, the Royals picked right before the Nats and took Gordon and the Nats took Ryan Zimmerman. I like taking the guy who KC doesn't take.





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