We enter draft weekend, and just two days away from the Washington Nationals naming their top pick. When you pick at №5, your team almost controls their own destiny. Almost. Sure, four teams pick ahead of the Nats, and Druw Jones and Jackson Holliday might have been their top choice, but as you saw in 2011, the Nats got their first choice with Anthony Rendon at the №6 pick. Other teams passed on Rendon due to his injury history. That didn’t deter the Nats from selecting him.
At ESPN, they have a new mock draft up, and for the first time, Jacob Berry is mocked to the Nats in the first round, even though Brooks Lee is still available, in ESPN’s mock draft along with high schoolers Termarr Johnson and Elijah Green.
The rub with Berry is that he is a sub-par defensive player with no real position. He comps to Kyle Schwarber in tools when the catcher was picked out of Indiana University with the 4th overall pick of the 2014 draft.
General manager Mike Rizzo will be on the clock with the highest pick since Rendon was chosen, and the Nats cannot afford to miss here.
Last year, the Nats took the “best player available” in the 2021 draft at the 11th overall pick with Brady House, who was the 2020 top high school player projected until some analysts pushed him back.
By the way, the Nats pick №45 overall, ESPN mocks Blade Tidwell, a RHP from University of Tennessee to the Nationals with that second round pick. You can go through years of draft history and see at least two star players a year emerge from the second round.
The last time the Nats hit paydirt with a second round pick was in 2007 with the 67th overall pick when the team selected RHP Jordan Zimmermann from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.
This ESPN mock is the first one we have seen look like this. One thing that certainly stands out is the Nats have been rumored to go with a college bat over a high school player this year, and that could change at crunch time.