The MLB draft is coming up, and starts next week on Tuesday night, June 9.  If you didn’t know, the Nats have the #1 pick. If you’ve been living under a rock, you might not have known that Stephen Strasburg will likely be that pick. If you just emerged from cryogenic hibernation, there is a baseball team in Washington, DC called the Nationals. In case you haven’t heard, baseball is a sport played between two teams of nine players each. The goal is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot square, or diamond.

Enough with the obvious stuff? The Nats also have the #10 pick, and while Strasburg is exciting, having a #10 pick is pretty exciting, too. Washington could end up getting a player that will be a big impact on the team very soon. And with Mike Rizzo in charge (maybe), the man who has been a big part of putting together a solid Arizona farm system, there is hope that they will do something good with this pick. Over the course of this week, I’ll profile several players that are potential picks for the Nats at #10.

Kyle Gibson

In Keith Law’s mock draft on ESPN, he has the Nats projected to take right handed pitcher, Kyle Gibson with their second pick. Perhaps the most interesting part for Nats fans about Gibson is that he went to Missouri. This is the same school that last year’s #9 pick Aaron Crow attended. Well I don’t want to be presumptuous. I’m have no idea if he attended but I know he pitched there. Law thinks that the Nats will be eager to get someone who is easy to sign but still seems to be a solid #10 pick, and he assumes Gibson will be just that. Baseball America, meanwhile, have him ranked as their #4 talent on their list, and compare him to other Missori pitchers Max Scherzer and Aaron Crow, saying that he doesn’t have either of their arm strengths but could be better than either of them in the end.

As for his pitching, Gibson doesn’t have a dominant fastball but ESPN calls it “solid-average” at 89-93. He’s got a good slider and a good changeup, and BA calls them “two of the better secondary pitches in the draft.” He’s got very good command and control – something that the Nats could use a bit more of in their pitching staff. He’s tall at 6’6″ and everyone seems to be impressed with his delivery and the downhill plane on which he throws.

If the Nats take him, he could probably be up pretty quickly, perhaps early 2010. He a pretty polished pitcher already, and would stand a chance to at least fight for a rotation spot in spring training next year.

*Credit is due to Jim Callis and Keith Law among others, as I am not a scout and am simply trying to summarize their opinions in a way that gives Nats fans an idea of these players without running afoul of any copyright stuff.

By Charlie