The Nationals have not been afraid to spend money in the draft, and they will have to if they intend to land their 2012 first-round pick.
Righthander Lucas Giolito entered the spring as the top high school pitcher on the board, but he hasn't pitched since March due to a sprained ligament in his elbow. The Nationals were unafraid and selected him 16th overall, getting potentially a top talent who fell due to injury. The same thing happened last year with first-rounder Anthony Rendon, the Rice infielder who already has been hurt again this spring.
Their bonus pool ranks 23rd out of the 30 teams at roughly $4.4 million. Giolito, whose fastball touched 100 mph this spring, is committed to UCLA and gives Harvard-Westlake High a pair of first-round picks, joining No. 7 overall pick Max Fried. They are the first pair of prep pitcher teammates to go in the first round since 2002 (Scott Kazmir, Clint Everts).
Giolito is throwing off flat ground but hasn't thrown off a mound since March. Giolito has incredible upside but obvious red flags due to health and signability, making this a gutsy pick for the Nationals.
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