Nats sign 16 draftees
A week after the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, the Nationals have signed 17 of their draft picks, including first round pick Drew Storen, a right-handed relief pitcher out of Stanford University. Of the 16 picks signed yesterday, the Nationals picked up seven right-handed pitchers, two southpaws, three outfielders, two shortstops, one third baseman and one catcher.
Here are some of the highlights from the players signed:
Trevor Holder (Third round, University of Georgia): This pick by the Nationals stunned some draft experts with their third round selection. Trevor Holder, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound right-handed pitcher and recent Georgia graduate, had been drafted in the tenth round last year by the Florida Marlins. After going 7-5 with a 4.48 ERA, many people predicted that he would fare about the same this year. However, Assistant General Manager Mike Rizzo has information on Holder from the past five years and believes that, as far as he can see, he made the right decision.
“Every [scout that saw him] stamped the guy as a Big League starting pitcher,” Rizzo said. “Everyone in our room [saw a] Big League starting pitcher…He’s been a good performer in the SEC. He’s a college senior. People had seen him for too long and he’d had too much success to roll the dice. And if you like a guy and he’s a Big League player, you just take him.”
Patrick Lehman (13th round, George Washington University): The Nationals went local with their 13th round pick when they drafted recent George Washington University graduate Patrick Lehman. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound right-handed pitcher, originally from New Jersey, just finished up a senior season where he led the A-10 Conference in ERA (2.40), strikeouts (89) and innings pitched (105), and was named A-10 Pitcher of the Year.
“Being selected by the Nationals is very exciting and is a great opportunity for me,” Lehman said. “They have a great organization and to be a part of their young pitching prospects is a great honor and opportunity for me. I am looking forward to getting back on the field and representing the Washington Nationals organization.”
Naoya Washiya (14th round, College [CA] of the Desert): Washiya, an outfielder, is originally from Hokkaido, Japan but played college baseball at the College of the Desert in California. In Japan he was a member of the Komadai Tomakomai team that won the prestigious 2005 Japanese High School Baseball Championship, a nationwide tournament which is the second most popular baseball event in Japan, behind the Japan Series (the Japanese league championship). This past season, Washiya stole 17 bases and batted .274 with three home runs and 24 RBI.
And here is the complete list of players signed thus far:
Right-handed pitcher Drew Storen (first round, Stanford University)
Right-handed pitcher Trevor Holder (third round, University of Georgia)
Shortstop Michael Taylor (sixth round, Westminster [FL] Academy)
Right-handed pitcher Taylor Jordan (ninth round, Brevard [FL] Community College)
Outfielder Justin Bloxom (11th round, Kansas State University)
Right-handed pitcher Patrick Lehman (13th round, George Washington University)
Outfielder Naoya Washiya (14th round, College [CA] of the Desert)
Shortstop Sean Nicol (16th round, University of San Diego)
Right-handed pitcher Frank Corolla (19th round, University of Houston)
Third baseman Jack Walker (20th round, Concordia [IL] University)
Left-handed pitcher Mitchell Clegg (21st round, University of Massachusetts)
Right-handed pitcher Dustin Crane (24th round, Snead [AL] State Community College)
Catcher Dianison Boekhoudt (Mary Carroll [TX] High)
Left-handed pitcher Evan Bronson (29th round, Trinity [TX] College)
RHP Rob Wort (30th round, Jefferson [Mo] College)
Outfielder Jay Sferra (31st round, UNLV)
Right-handed pitcher Kyle Morrison (32nd round, Wagner [NY] College)