Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Team Player Position State Bonus
39 1166 Washington Nationals John Simms RHP Texas
Jameson Taillon is the top pitching prospect in the draft, but he's not the only pitching prospect in The Woodlands. While Simms can't match Taillon's overpowering arsenal, he has a better understanding of the craft of pitching and plenty in his arsenal to get hitters out with. Simms outpitched Taillon in a mid-March matchup, winning a sloppy 14-11 contest with a 13-strikeout complete game, and blanked The Woodlands 7-0 in a later rematch (though not over Taillon). He also beat Taillon 1-0 a year ago to hand him his lone loss of 2009. Simms has exceptional life on his 90-92 mph fastball, which he can throw with so much armside run or sink that one area scout said it's almost like having two separate pitches. He'll show a sharp 83-84 mph slider at times, and he commands it better than his fastball. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder has an athletic, projectable frame that bodes well for additional velocity in the future. Simms will need to clean up some of the funk in his mechanics--he employs a drop-and-drive delivery with some wrist wrap in the back--but it also offers him deception. Scouts rave about his pitchability and mound presence. It may be three years before he turns pro, however, because he's a top student who may require a seven-figure bonus to pass on attending Rice.