Results tagged ‘ Kris Kline ’

Nationals select eight players on second day of MLB’s 2015 Draft

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by Kyle Brostowitz

The Washington Nationals selected eight players on the second day of Major League Baseball’s 2015 First-Year Player Draft.

Assistant General Manager & Vice President of Scouting Operations Kris Kline said the Nationals are always focused on taking the best player available in the draft.

“Once we got past the first group there, we tried to focus on some pitching. We got two or three quality left-handed arms,” Kline said. “We are always trying to take the best player available and obviously money is a factor at this point and we have to be careful with that, and that’s kind of how it played out this year. We’re very excited about it through.”

The Nationals kicked off the action by selecting outfielder Rhett Wiseman (Vanderbilt University) with their third-round pick (103rd overall).  During the regular season, Wiseman ranked among Southeastern Conference hitters in runs scored (2nd, 66), total bases (4th, 149), walks (T6th, 39), home runs (T6th, 14) slugging percentage (8th, .567), hits (9th 83) and triples (10th, 4). His .318 batting average ranks second on the club and his 14 home runs are tied for second.

Omaha, NE - JUNE 24:  Rhett Wiseman #8 of the Vanderbilt Commodores singles against the Virginia Cavaliers in the first inning during game two of the College World Series Championship Series on June 24, 2014 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska.  (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

Omaha, NE – JUNE 24: Rhett Wiseman #8 of the Vanderbilt Commodores singles against the Virginia Cavaliers in the first inning during game two of the College World Series Championship Series on June 24, 2014 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

In the fourth round, the Nationals selected right-handed pitcher Mariano Rivera Jr., the son of former Major League great Mariano Rivera. Rivera Jr. went 5-7 with a team-leading 2.65 ERA (25 ER/85.0 IP) in 14 games (14 starts) for Iona College. He was named 2015 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Pitcher of the Year after leading the league with 113 strikeouts and posting a 1.81 ERA in conference play.

“I really like this kid and our scout John Malzone, he tracked him a lot this year,” said Washington’s National Crosschecker, Jeff Zona. “He sits mid-90s with his fastball with a power 80 mile per hour curveball. It was very impressive. He was one of my favorites and I think we got a good one.”

rivera

As expected, Rivera Jr., has garnered much attention for being the son of one of the greatest closers in Major League Baseball history. “As scouts, anytime we go watch a kid that has Major League bloodlines – you look at the Boone family – there is something to be said for that,” Kline said. “It is a positive thing and the fact that Mariano’s kid is as good as he is right now, I’m sure his father had a lot to do with that. He has the genes. He’s not a tall kid, but he’s got big shoulders, long arms, big hands and that really helps as far as the durability for that size. His stuff is above average to well above average at times.”

The Nationals selected lefthander Taylor Hearn out of Oklahoma Baptist University with their fifth round pick. Hearn went 9-0 with a 3.50 ERA in 15 games/13 starts in 2015. He struck out 71 batters in 64.1 innings pitched. His nine wins ranked tied for third in the Sooner Athletic Conference and his 71 strikeouts were good for tenth.

In the sixth round, the Nationals selected the 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Pitcher of the Year, Matt Crownover, a left-handed pitcher out of Clemson (SC) University. He led the ACC in wins (10), ranked second in ERA (1.82), and was third in strikeouts (108).

On Crownover, Kline said: “He ended up being the ACC Pitcher of the Year and his numbers for his career are outstanding. In the end, as a professional, you’re probably looking at a four or five starter or possibly a bullpen guy that can fill multiple roles. The stuff is good – up to 92 mph – with solid secondary stuff. He really knows how to pitch.”

The Nationals selected Nicholls (LA) State University left-handed pitcher Grant Borne with their seventh round pick. Borne led the Southland Conference with a 1.39 ERA and ranked fourth in the league in strikeouts (93). He went 6-5 in 15 starts.

In the eighth round, the Nationals selected Oklahoma State reliever Koda Glover. The right-handed Glover posted a 1.90 ERA (5 ER/23.2 IP) in 23 appearances out of the bullpen in 2015. He struck out 28 against just seven walks.

Washington selected the Big Ten Conference Player of the Year, University of Illinois first baseman David Kerian in the ninth round. At the time of the announcement, Kerian led the Big Ten in average (.383), home runs (13), slugging percentage (.661) & on-base percentage (.467).

Kline on Kerian: “He’s a switch hitter with an advanced approach to hitting, and area scout Steve Arnieri spent a lot of hours with this kid. Steve was really excited about this kid. He ended up being the Big Ten Player of the Year.”

In the tenth and final round of the day, the Nationals selected Taylor Guilbeau out of the University of Alabama. Guilbeau went 3-6 wth a 3.69 ERA in 15 starts during his senior season at Alabama.

Over the first two days of the three-day Draft, the Nationals have selected a total of ten players: two right-handed pitchers, four left-handed pitchers, three outfielders and one infielder. Of Washington’s ten selections, one came from the high school ranks and nine from four-year universities.

 

Nationals Select UNLV’s Fedde

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by Mike Feigen

The Washington Nationals finished off a three-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies Thursday afternoon, then added to their deep farm system with the selection of pitcher Erick Fedde with the 18th overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft.

Fedde, a 6-foot-4, 180 pound right-hander out of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, compiled an 8-2 record with a 1.76 ERA in 11 starts for the Rebels in 2014, striking out 82 batters and walking just 21 batters in 76.2 innings pitched. He was named to the All-Mountain West First Team and also earned 2014 Mountain West Conference Pitcher of the Year honors.

“We’ve scouted him intensely over the last three years,” Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo said, noting Fedde’s competitiveness on the mound. “He’s got two plus-plus pitches, and his third pitch, a change-up, is on the come. We think that’s going to be an above average pitch.”

The 21-year-old, who played at Las Vegas High School with Bryce Harper in 2009, underwent Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on Tuesday. Rizzo said that the team is excited about Fedde’s potential, despite the injury.

“[Erick is a] big, physical guy — we had him toward the top of our draft board,” Rizzo said. “We felt that the risk of him rehabbing and coming back to pre-injury form was worth the draft pick.”

Assistant General Manager & Vice President of Scouting Operations Kris Kline was also sold on Fedde’s pedigree and repertoire.

“I actually saw his first start of the year at UNLV and it was really, really good,” Kline said. “I walked out of there thinking that we’ve got no shot at getting this player, because he was a top-five type guy. He doesn’t throw anything straight … a lot of life, very heavy, above average slider up to 88 [miles per hour] and the makings and flashes of an above-average change-up.”

Following a year in which the Nationals did not have a first-round selection, the Nationals will look to extend their impressive run of successful first round picks since Rizzo was promoted to the team’s GM post in 2009. Fedde joins Stephen Strasburg, Drew Storen, Harper, Anthony Rendon and Lucas Giolito as first-round draft selections in Washington during Rizzo’s tenure.

Rizzo said the Nationals’ medical team has been in touch with the doctors who performed Fedde’s surgery, and assuming Fedde signs with the organization this summer, the team will at that point take over the rehabilitation process.

“We’ll put him in the Viera [Fla.] rehab mode,” Rizzo said. “We’ll have our really talented rehab coordinators get after it and allow him to hopefully be pitching at this time next year somewhere.”

[UPDATE]

With their second round selection at No. 57 overall, the Nationals tabbed Andrew Suarez, a 6-foot-2 left-hander out of the University of Miami. Suarez, 21, went 6-3 with a 2.95 ERA in 2014, walking a minuscule 15 batters in 109.2 innings of work for the Hurricanes.

The draft is set to continue with rounds three through 10 on Friday and rounds 11 through 40 Saturday.

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