2022 MLB Draft Day Thread: Washington Nationals pick 5th overall in 1st round

“It’s a troublesome choice to make,” Washington Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo defined final winter, in speaking in regards to the option to kick off their reboot of the group with trades of expiring contracts (and a year-plus of management of Trea Turner) on the 2021 commerce deadline.

“However oftentimes the choice is made for you, and this yr it was. And we acknowledged the place we have been and what work we had in entrance of us and we determined to start a constructing course of that can enable us to compete on the highest stage for a steady a part of — through the years.

“That’s at all times our aim.”

Rizzo and Co. within the Nationals’ entrance workplace dealt Max Scherzer, Kyle Schwarber, Brad Hand, Daniel Hudson, Jon Lester, Josh Harrison, and Yan Gomes, all seven of whom have been on expiring offers, and one year-plus of management of Turner, and acquired 12 prospects in return, together with some who’re at the moment within the main leagues (Josiah Grey, Keibert Ruiz, and Lane Thomas).

Picture by Mitchell Layton/Getty Photographs

The prospects the Nationals acquired in return in these trades, Rizzo defined, have been a mixture of younger, in some circumstances major-league prepared gamers, who will hopefully kind a core of the following aggressive group within the nation’s capital.

“The remnants of this commerce deadline, the final commerce deadline, the final couple of impactful drafts that we had, would be the core of this subsequent world championship-caliber membership,” he stated.

“I just like the early returns on the gamers we bought,” Rizzo added. “The final two draft courses and this deadline are going to be the core gamers of the following championship-caliber group right here in Washington, and I do suppose it’s going to be a long-term championship run once more after we get the place we’re making an attempt to get.”

There determine to be extra gamers on expiring offers dealt earlier than this season’s August 2nd commerce deadline, and tonight the Nats get so as to add to the system within the 2022 MLB Draft.

Rizzo and Co. have the fifth total decide within the 1st spherical, and so they decide at No. 45 within the 2nd Spherical. The highest decide is the very best for the Nationals since they chose Anthony Rendon sixth total in 2011, after back-to-back No. 1 total picks with Stephen Strasburg in 2009, and Bryce Harper in 2010.

“I couldn’t inform you who we have been going to take even when I needed to,” Rizzo advised 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports activities Junkies earlier this month.

“We decide fifth, and we’re going to place our board collectively and the man who’s on high of the board on the time we draft, we’re going to take.”

They’ll must react to what 4 different groups do, with Baltimore, Arizona, Texas, after which Pittsburgh deciding on earlier than them this yr.

“Once you decide fifth and also you’ve bought 5 good candidates, there’s much more than that,” the GM in D.C. defined, “however there’s 5 good gamers up there, and if you decide this excessive, it’s completely different than previously after we have been choosing 20-30, it’s — you’re seeing these guys lots, you’re actually getting higher echelon instruments, make-up, competitiveness, and that sort of factor, and it’s one thing that we’re actually enthusiastic about going into this factor. Form of following up final yr’s draft with this yr’s draft, we thought we did an incredible job final yr. You’ll be able to see these guys, most of these guys, at [Single-A] Fredericksburg from final yr’s draft taking part in at a really, very younger age, and having success, and we’re seeking to match that, and even exceed that this yr within the draft.”

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals

Picture by Mitchell Layton/Getty Photographs

4 gamers will get picked, then the Nationals will take the highest participant on their draft board, no matter place or organizational wants proper now.

“Greatest participant within the draft is at all times our philosophy, within the draft, and it’ll proceed to be,” Rizzo defined. “The perfect participant obtainable is the man that we’re going to take, and we’ll work out positionally after we get it.”

“As many impactful gamers as you will get, that’s what we’re on the lookout for, and by the point — that is completely different in soccer and basketball, clearly, as a result of there’s a minor league studying curve right here, and on the finish of the day, if you happen to can play we work out the place to play you and affect the group the best.”

The Athletic’s Keith Regulation matched the Nationals up with Georgia Tech catcher Kevin Parada in his 4th Mock Draft, writing it’s a choice for Washington on whether or not they go, “…the secure route, which might be Parada, one of many two finest school gamers within the class,” or, “ take a high-upside excessive schooler.”

MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis each have the Nationals taking a kind of “high-upside” excessive schoolers in their very own newest mocks: Elijah Inexperienced, 18, an outfielder out of the IMG Academy in Florida, matching Texas up with Parada at No. 3 in Mayo’s and at No. 9 to Chicago’s Cubs in Callis’s newest.

What’s going to the Nationals do with their high two picks tonight? The primary two rounds of the draft begin at 7:00 PM ET tonight, and the Nats plan to make their high picks obtainable to reporters through Zoom. Kris Kline (VP, Assistant GM of Scouting Operations) and Mark Baca (Assistant Director of Novice Scouting) will communicate to reporters as soon as the primary two rounds are over, so examine again for updates. It’s Draft Day! Mike Rizzo’s Tremendous Bowl. Who would be the two latest members of the group? We discover out tonight…