As the season comes to a close and the Nationals' 2006 draftees finish out their first seasons in…
Draft Report Card: Part Two
Best Pure Hitter: SS, Stephen King will make his professional debut in 2007, signing too late to get into game action in 2007. Considered a first round talent entering the draft, the Nationals believe his pure hitting abilities were matched by few in the '06 class.
Best Raw Power: 3B, Chris Marrero could also be considered one of the best pure hitters in the Nats draft class, but his raw power is simply unmatched by perhaps anyone in the Washington farm system. He projects to hit 30 or more home runs annually at the big league level.
Draft Synopsis - Part 2
The early rounds of the draft are always crucial for an organization looking to land high upside talent, but what set this Nats' draft class apart was their ability to rack up even more quality players in the later rounds. This is where they began to turn to proven college players to add stability and depth to their farm system. In rounds 5-12, Washington dipped into the college crop, picking up four pitchers and a high upside catcher.
Dana Brown made it clear prior to the draft that "in a perfect world", he'd like to land a proven college closer in the early rounds. He spent his earliest picks on high upside prep players, but still got the college closer he desired along with a talented catching prospect that the farm system desperately needed.
Reviewing The Picks - Part 2
Cory Van Allen - This left-hander is not your typical college draft pick, but instead fits the mold of high upside high school player that also has the experience and polish from a college program (Baylor). But, he still has not lived up to the potential that made him a third round pick out of high school. The Nats took a flier on him as a fifth rounder, hoping they can unlock all his raw ingredients.
Zech Zinicola - Scouting director, Dana Brown, wanted a college closer and Arizona State standout Zech Zinicola turned out to be his man. Zinicola made it all the way up to Double-A in his first season and appears to be on track to be in the Nationals' bullpen sometime next season. Even as a 6th rounder, he's been one of the drafts' fastest rising selections, making him quite a bargain for the Nats.
Sean Rooney - If there's one "late round pick" that the Nationals are the most excited about, Sean Rooney's selection in the 8th round may be the one. Washington sees the switch hitting catcher as a future "three hole hitter" and his defensive skills have proved to be solid as well. By next season, he may be Washington's top catching prospect.
Desmond Jones - Armed with a fastball that touches 95 MPH, Desmond Jones is a very raw yet intriguing pitching prospect that the Nationals drafted out of Middle Georgia Community College in the 11th round. He had some problems in his first sampling of pro ball in GCL, but the the 20-year-old still showed his outstanding pure stuff. Jones may be a long term project, but one that is definitely worth their efforts.
Cole Kimball - Things weren't all good for the Nationals' draft picks in their first seasons of professional baseball. Right-hander, Cole Kimball, who was drafted in the 12th round out of Centenary College, struggled for the Vermont Lake monsters, where he worked primarily out of the bullpen. The 21-year-old posted an inflated 5.84 ERA in 16 appearances.
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