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Nats draft RHP Johansen with 68th pick

Jun 7, 2013, 4:04 AM EDT

Photo by USA Today
[Updated 1:08 a.m.]
After waiting nearly five hours to make their first pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, the Washington Nationals selected 22-year-old pitcher Jacob Johansen out of Dallas Baptist University with the 68th overall pick in the second round.
The 6-foot-6 right-hander has a fastball that reaches 100 miles per hour and went 7-6 with a 5.40 ERA in 88 1/3 innings this season with the DBU Patriots. The Nationals project him as a starting pitcher at the major league level.
“Definitely a starter,” Nationals scouting director Kris Kline said. “He has starter actions. He repeats his delivery, it’s a clean arm action.”
There is no reason why this guy can't, with a few tweaks from our staff, that this guy can't be a front-line guy.

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  1. SonnyG10 - Jun 7, 2013 at 4:15 AM

    Nats website says his fastball is in the low 90s. Some discrepancies floating around.

  2. David Proctor - Jun 7, 2013 at 4:22 AM

    Amanda Comak ‏@acomak 53sThe #nats feel there are a few "good, easy fixes" they can make in Johansen's delivery, according to Roy Clark. Roy Clark: "We know he doesn't have good numbers. If he had good numbers he wouldn't have got out of the Top 10."I've consistently seen it maxes out at 99-100mph.

  3. SonnyG10 - Jun 7, 2013 at 4:38 AM

    That sounds good, David. Here's hoping they have discovered a gem!

  4. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 7, 2013 at 4:47 AM

    You can't coach 100 MPH.

  5. Just wonderin' - Jun 7, 2013 at 4:56 AM

    Sounds like he needs to evolve as a pitcher. But does a player from Dallas Baptist believe in evolution?

  6. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jun 7, 2013 at 5:52 AM

    Just wonderin' said… Sounds like he needs to evolve as a pitcher. But does a player from Dallas Baptist believe in evolution? June 07, 2013 12:56 AM Not even an hour in, and we have our POD.

  7. tayo - Jun 7, 2013 at 6:17 AM

    Hope he doesn't just become our new Hrod, but in Rizzo we trust.

  8. karlkolchak - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    If college guys were teeing off on that triple digit fastball, it sounds like the Nats have a real project on their hands.

  9. crosscheck12 - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Already we have or first HRod mention. Sadly that was my thought too. Here's hoping they can work on his delivery and get it under control.

  10. Mr Baseball - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    Would some one explain; what are the compensation B draft picks for in MLB first round draft?

  11. baseballswami - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    I think you get a pick when you have offered a free agent a contract and they leave anyway. I think the Yankees got a pick because Soriano did not stay after being offered a qualifying offer. I think when you sign them, you lose a pick? I remember hearing something about a team would lose a pick if they signed LaRoche after we offered him the QO. So we lost one for signing Sori.

  12. baseballswami - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Or it might be the kind you get when your draft pick never ends up signing with you.

  13. Steady Eddie - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    People making a comparison to HRod aren't reading the most basic stats. With 75Ks and 26BBs in 88+ innings but a 5.40 ERA, his problem isn't wildness but a lack of movement on his pitches. Kkolchak is closer to the reality — either his off speed stuff hangs and they clobber it, or he doesn't trust it enough to use as out pitches so everyone knows to wait on his heater. That's technique and it can be taught.Only time will tell whether this kid can learn and repeat it.

  14. phil dunton - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Rizzo has lost it.

  15. Gonat - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Last pick in the 2nd round of the 2009 Draft was a pitcher named Patrick Corbin. Just sayin'.

  16. Gonat - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    karlkolchak said… If college guys were teeing off on that triple digit fastball, it sounds like the Nats have a real project on their hands. June 07, 2013 6:59 AM __________________________________or it could be HenRod II

  17. Nats 128 - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    For all those who have mentioned Henry the big difference here is that this kid will start in the Minors where he can be taught how to be a pitcher. Henry never got to that point. Just another "flamethrower who flamed out".

  18. Nats 128 - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    "He maintains his velocity, the sixth inning he's still 96-98. He's got a curve ball, slider and a changeup. The slider is an out-pitch now. It's a hard cutter that he'll thrown 88-90 and will blend into a slider."

  19. Nats 128 - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    Braves were shutout for the 8th time this season which leads the Majors.

  20. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    If half of what scoutie Clark says about the guy is true, he's a steal at Number 68.Roll the dice…Here's hoping for a monsoon and a ppd tonight.

  21. SCNatsFan - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    People will bash this pick knowing nothing about the guy. Some are just mad at the Nats right now. If anyone on this board knew about this guy I give them accolades otherwise its just what you read about him today.

  22. baseballswami - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    Wasn't Jordan up at about 67? But really, there cannot be very many amateur pitchers who are finished products. If they have talent and are coachable then we have minor league development people who work with them. Give it a few years. We were so used to getting that pretty sure thing that we have not learned that a lot of this is a crapshoot. I wonder what percentage of players drafted actually make it to the bigs. And there always end up being some superstars who were very high picks.

  23. Gonat - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. Gonat - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Swami, you are correct. Jordan Zimmermann was Pick #67 in the 2007 Draft. Like I said Patrick Corbin was the last pick of the 2nd round of the 2009 Draft and that was Pick #80. There's stars all over these Drafts and the latter picks are guys like Corbin who have faulty mechanics that are teachable.You can't teach 100 but you can teach better mechanics.

  25. m - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    For those of you who were not around at the time this guy reminds me of Randy Johnson. When Johnson came up he was a little wild. He turned out alright. As some poster said you cannot teach 100 mph.

  26. Caps Fan - Jun 7, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Well, if the kid can't pitch he still has his stand-up act to fall back on. Or maybe not.

  27. BigCat - Jun 7, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    Normally you can get a read on how the batters are seeing a guy by the innings pitched vs hits. Less hits than innings is pretty good. Sometimes walks can inflate a guys era, while the hits/innings is still good.This guy threw 88 innings and gave up 109 hits with a 5.40 era. Only 26 walks and only 75 k's. Very mediocre for a supposed 98-100 mph fastball. I think we will probably find out when he gets to Potomac or wherever that that reported 98 mph is in reality 90-92 mph. Riz and the boys have a lot of "tweaking" to do if you ask me. Course….you could probably plug him into Haren's spot right now and get about the same results

  28. Pete - Jun 7, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    He's a project for sure but apparently his fielding adjusted ERA was in the mid 3s and his BABIP was abnormally high. He's also not 98-100, tops 98. I don't think he'll ever be an mlb starter (maybe a long man) but if he can get a second pitch going he could definitely help in the bullpen. Who knows, maybe he'll have Zimm like work ethic and mentality and do great things.

  29. Doc - Jun 7, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Thanks for the research BigCat!100 mph FB and 75 K's in 88 innings doesn't compute. Somebody's speed gun needs to be recalibrated!!!

  30. hiramhover - Jun 7, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    The BBs indeed suggest he's not another HRod–which doesn't mean he'll pan out. But that's what you get with the #68 pick.On another note–any thoughts about tonight's game? Whether it will get played or when it will get called? Doesn't look promising, but my guess is they wait til the last minute.

  31. hiramhover - Jun 7, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    I think there's a good chance he only "touches" 100 on a very generous gun. BigCat's numbers work out to a WHIP of 1.5, which is not that good. My guess would be that he has no movement on his FB and/or no decent secondary pitches.

  32. A DC Wonk - Jun 7, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    phil dunton said… Rizzo has lost it.Because there were plenty of obvious MLB-certain players there waiting to be drafted.At pick # 68.(snark mode=off)Perhaps you can tell us the obvious pick that Rizzo should have taken instead?

  33. PDowdy83 - Jun 7, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    BigCat, you're research was missing a few things. As a starter he reportedly sits 93-95. As a reliever he sits 96-98 sometimes touching triple digits. His 3/1 K/BB rate is pretty good. Most reports suggest he hasn't learned how to attack hitters properly. Also a BABIP in the .370 range points to not having much help behind him defensively playing for a small school. His FIP for this season was 3.81. Keith Law ranked him #66 on his top 100 prospects and Law is usually a tough guy to please. A lot of times pitchers like this improve simply by going pro. The defense behind a pitcher improves greatly which allows for a pitcher to have more confidence to attack hitters. Also taking a guy who throws hard away from aliminum bats can help with that too. The ball doesn't come off a wood bat the same way it does off an aliminum.I feel like some people were expecting the team to get an immediate impact talent and that just isn't typical in the 2nd round of the draft. Yes you can find good players (Corbin of AZ and Jordan of course) but that isn't the norm. You also have to take into consideration the miniscule draft pool the team has this year. Maybe getting a guy who will sign fast and under slot will free up money to take a couple of more "sexy" picks later in the draft when other teams have already allotted their budgets to the high end first round picks.

  34. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 7, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Dallas Baptist University Baseball plays Division I for baseball in the WAC so he has played against some good College teams. Scores in some of those games get well over 10 runs and the average given up is just under 6 runs per game so these aren't about pitcher's duels.If you take out some of Johansen's blow-up games like 7 ER in 2 innings against New Mexico State, his numbers look much better. Johansen was known for shakey 1st innings and would settle down. Once his pitch count got up to 80+ he would over-throw making his pitches easier to hit.Unless you don't trust the radar gun or calling them liars Kline made specific mention that Johansen pitched at Nats Park in front of Rizzo and McCatty and Kline said "…in the sixth inning he’s still 96, 98"On the surface, not so great. As you dug deeper, decent underlying numbers. Johansen was the player the Nats targeted as their diamond in the rough.

  35. Water23 - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    It seems that the Nats should consider pursuing the Cuban defector Miguel A. Gonzalez. Yes, he could be another Maya but he may be one of the last chances to circumvent the draft and signing caps. Especially, with the loss of the first round pick.

  36. Caps Fan - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    If you take out any pitcher's blow-out games his numbers are going to look better. Dan Haren, for one. Hell, if you take out the Nats' blow-out games they're leading the division now.

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    Also to add on Johansen was that he was a workhorse pitcher in the WAC. 88 1/3 innings and he only gave up 3 HRs which is very good for their division and is a HR/9 of only .305. As PDowdy said…A lot of times pitchers like this improve simply by going pro. The defense behind a pitcher improves greatly which allows for a pitcher to have more confidence to attack hitters. Also taking a guy who throws hard away from aliminum bats can help with that too. The ball doesn't come off a wood bat the same way it does off an aliminum.

  38. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    Caps Fan said… If you take out any pitcher's blow-out games his numbers are going to look better. Dan Haren, for one. Hell, if you take out the Nats' blow-out games they're leading the division now. June 07, 2013 10:04 AM That won't help Haren much and his HR/9 is 2.00 against wood bats.

  39. JD - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    I think that the people bashing the pick are just being negative because that's what they do. I am pretty sure that none of them have actually seen the kid pitch and I am also pretty sure that they would have reacted similarly regardless who the pick was. Saying things like 'Rizzo has lost it' without knowing anything about the player reduces your credibility as an objective observer to approximately 0.

  40. baseballswami - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    But how many times did he throw a pitch that went all the way to the backstop, caromed off and then came back like a boomerang??? Yeah, Can he do that?

  41. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    Your favorite Nat, Dan Haren, was the 72nd pick in his Draft Class in the 2nd round and for the Kurt Suzuki fans he was the 67th pick of the 2004 Draft in the 2nd round.They say on average 5 players from the 2nd round each year become regulars and every year 2 to 3 All Stars emerge from those 2nd round picks.That's not great odds for any of the teams and while the 1st round has much better odds just consider in Gio Gonzalez's draft year of 2004 in the 1st round 10 players from that draft class had a cumulative 0 to negative WAR and 8 of the 1st round picks never made it to the Majors including #1 overall pick Matt Bush of the Padres who retired from baseball 2 years ago and never got beyond Double-A ball.It's a crap shoot because even some of the most talented players in the 1st round never make it because a variety of reasons and it generally starts with injuries.

  42. ruggeds1000 - Jun 7, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Can't ever get enough pitching so as much as a crapshoot that it is, the approach is correct.

  43. Ron In Reston - Jun 7, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    So I've read through all the posts, both pro and con, and I've noticed one thing in particular that both sides seem to have missed in the article:On his slider:“The slider is an out pitch now, it’s a hard cutter that he’ll throw 88 to 90 and that will blend into a slider.”On his curveball:“The curveball is at times an above average pitch. It’s a 75-78 power, downer curveball. It’s inconsistent, as is the slider.”The last paragraph tells you everything you need to know about his perceived lack of Ks and his high ERA. If both of his secondary pitches are inconsistent, that means he either he can't throw them for strikes or he throws meatballs with them. Either waay, he doesn't have enough confidence in them, so he throws mostly fastballs. Even I could time a 98mph fastball if I see enough of them in a row….ok, maybe not ME, but a kid playing Div I ball certainly can. I think this is what Clark is referring to when he talks about "easy fixes".

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