Bill Ladson reported today that the Washington Nationals are not likely to take a hitter with their number 10 overall pick in the upcoming First-Year-Player-Draft.
The Nationals have already announced that they will be selecting phenom Steven Strasburg with their number one overall pick June 9th, but had been relatively quiet on their intentions for their second pick in the first round.
According to Ladson, the Nationals don’t feel there is a position player in the draft from either college or high school who is ‘first-round-worthy.’
This of course means that the Nats, who are the first franchise in draft history to have two top-ten picks, will be selecting two pitchers to be the cornerstone of a future rotation that already boasts John Lannan, Jordan Zimmermann, and Ross Detwiler. While the Nats acknowledge their minor league pitching is strong while their hitting is weak, they also are firm in their position to draft the best player available, and in this case they believe it will be a pitcher.
Ladson lists a likely candidate for the number 10 pick as Chad Jackson from Kenesaw State University. Jackson is a hard throwing junior who throws from the right side. He is a groundball pitcher who also has recorded a good amount of strikeouts.
This season he has posted an 8-1 record with a 2.54 ERA and 98 strikeouts in 92 innings, earning the Atlantic Sun Conference’s Pitcher of the Year award.
Entering 2009 Jenkins was the number two starter for Kenesaw state behind top prospect Kyle Heckathorn, however through the course of the spring Jenkins has out dazzled and out performed his teammate and has passed him on most team’s draft boards. He is considered not too far off from the Majors and a workhorse who could contribute to a rotation as early as the middle of 2010.
There will be more to come on Jenkins later.
The Nationals could also target starting pitchers Garret Gould from Maize HS or Jared Mitchell from Louisiana State University.