First of all, let me say kudos to mlb.com for streaming the ESPN2 coverage of the draft live online. Nothing like “working” while watching the draft and waiting to hear who the Nats picked.
And with their first pick…
The 6th pick of the draft was the Nationals, and their choice of Ross Detwiler was a good one. The biggest knock on him is that he can’t gain weight, he’s a skinny guy at 6’4″, 175 lbs., but he throws up to a 95 mph fastball and if he gets some pro weight trainers behind him, no doubt he can fill out. Bryan Smith of Baseball Prospectus said “If the guy is throwing 94 when he weighs 175 pounds (at most), what will he throw when he weighs 200?” In the end, Baseball America finally settled on him as the #6 pick, so it makes sense that the Nats got him there. He has a plus fastball and a plus curveball, which is a good sign that a draft pick already has 2 good pitches. According the BA, his changeup is good as well and has been improving.
Detwiler was interviewed after he was selected, and whether he was being politically correct or not, acted like Washington was a good place for him. He seemed legitimately excited about the possibility that the Nats were a team with a new stadium that has at least said it was going to invest in payroll going on out. There are three things about him which have to excite Nats fans
- He’s throws consistently 92-95 with the promise of more
- He’s a LEFTY
- He’s a college player
Coming out of college is important, because that usually pushes their first major league visit up a couple of years. With the way the Nats are pitching right now, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him at Spring Training, to get some work up there, although he probably won’t make the opening day roster. Depending on how he does, he could see action in AA or AAA by the summer. With Washington, that means he could be in the majors any day after that.
Regardless, you can expect something good from this guy. Whether he ends up being an top of the rotation guy or just a good starter or whatever, let’s see what he can do in the minors. Overall, he has some serious potential, and this was an overall good pick for the Nats.
Next week we’ll go over the rest of the Nats picks, remember they have 4 more in the first 2 rounds!