Nationals Draft Report Card




QUICK TAKE
Washington set a record by spending $11,511,500 on bonuses, including an unprecedented $7.5 million on Strasburg. He represents the future of the franchise, and the Nationals also have high hopes for Storen and Kobernus.
POSITION PLAYERS

BEST PURE HITTER:: 2B Jeff Kobernus (2) makes consistent contact with a line-drive, all-fields approach. His pro debut was cut short after 10 games when an old knee injury required minor surgery. >> BEST POWER HITTER:: Kobernus has the most power in this crop, though he figures to top out at 15-20 homers per season. >> FASTEST RUNNER:: OF Naoya Washiya (14) has well above-average speed and went 12-for-12 stealing bases in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. Kobernus and OF J.J. Sferra (31) are plus runners. >> BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Kobernus has excellent hands, good athleticism and range, and solid arm strength.

PITCHERS

BEST FASTBALL: RHP Stephen Strasburg (1), the best pitching prospect since the draft began in 1965, maintains his mid- to upper-90s fastball late into games and has peaked at 102 mph. RHP Drew Storen (1) sits at 92-94 mph and tops out at 97, while RHPs Dean Weaver (7) and Nathan Karns (12) have reached 96 and RHP Dustin Crane (24) has hit 95. >> BEST SECONDARY PITCH: Strasburg's power curveball is as unhittable as his fastball. When he doesn't stay on top of it, it morphs into a tough 83-85 mph slider. Storen's late-breaking slider has similar velocity.

ODDS AND ENDS


BEST PRO DEBUT:
Storen pitched for three full-season clubs, ending in Double-A with a 1.95 ERA, 11 saves and a 49-8 K-BB ratio in 37 innings. >> BEST ATHLETE: Kobernus has average or better tools across the board, and the versatility to play second base, third base or center field. >> MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND:: Washiya is the second Japanese-born player ever drafted, following OF Mitsuru Sakamoto, a Rockies 24th-rounder in 2002. RHP Shane McCatty's (34) father Steve led the American League in wins in 1981 and is Washington's big league pitching coach. Unsigned LHP Hoby Milner's (44) dad Brian is the only high school position player in the draft era to make his pro debut in the major leagues. Unsigned RHP Seth Greene's (46) father Tommy pitched in the majors. >> CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: Strasburg's first professional pitch could come in the big leagues, and Storen could join him on the Opening Day 2010 roster. >> BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: Karns, who had difficulty harnessing his power stuff at Texas Tech. Washington also likes 6-foot-4, 235-pound RHP Brandon King (27), who can dial his fastball up to 93 mph and flashes a promising breaking ball. >> THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY: As a backup plan in case they couldn't sign Strasburg, the Nationals drafted several Texas high school players who could be early picks in 2012, including C Josh Elander (37, now at Texas Christian), RHP Cohl Walla (43, Texas), Milner (44, Texas) and SS Michael Ratterree (45, Rice). Washington's highest unsigned pick was another Texas prepster, LHP Miguel Pena (5), who opted to attend San Jacinto (Texas) JC.