First-Year Player Draft Day 2 Nationals Coverage
By Daniel Popper
With the No. 93 overall pick in the third round of MLB First-Year Player Draft, the Nationals selected catcher Jakson Reetz out of Norris High School in Hickman, Nebraska. The 6-foot-1, 206-pound University of Nebraska commit burst onto the scene last August when he was named MVP of the Perfect Game All American Classic. He went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two stolen bases.
Reetz is considered a quality two-way player who has a strong arm behind the plate and can reach low 90s on the mound. He is largely a line drive hitter with a short swing, but has potential to build power. Baseball America ranked Reetz as the No. 62 overall prospect and top prospect in Nebraska entering the Draft.
The Nationals drafted right-hander Erick Fedde with No. 18 pick of the first round on Thursday night and added three more right-handed pitchers on Friday.
With the No. 124 overall pick in the fourth round, Washington selected Robbie Dickey out of Blinn College in Brenham, Texas. Dickey is committed to Texas State, but will likely forgo that opportunity to play professionally. The 6-foot-3 right-hander touches 97 miles per hour on his fastball and also throws a slider and changeup. He was perhaps the top JuCo prospect after the fall, but struggled with bicep tendonitis in the spring. He still posted a 2.74 ERA with 100 strikeouts over 85 1/3 innings.
With the No. 154 overall pick in the fifth round, the Nationals selected Drew Van Orden, a senior right-hander out of Duke. He had impressive numbers this past season for the Blue Devils, sporting a 3.19 ERA with 91 strikeouts in 87 1/3 innings.
With the No. 184 pick in the sixth round, Washington selected right-hander Austen Williams out of Texas State. Williams started the season throwing a fastball that ranged between 91 and 94 miles per hour, but it tapered off to 87 to 90 miles per hour by the end of 2014. He also throws a hard slider.
The Nationals broke their streak of three straight right-handed pitchers in the seventh round when they selected center fielder Dale Carey out of Miami with the No. 214 overall pick. Known for his defense — he posted a 1.000 fielding percentage in 2014 — Carey raised his offensive production that past season for the Hurricanes and batted .305 with seven home runs, 29 RBIs, 16 stolen bases and a .405 on-base percentage.
The Nationals took three more college position players in the final three rounds: Louisville outfielder Jeff Gardner in the eighth, Nevada first baseman Austin Byler in the ninth and Oklahoma Baptist outfielder Matt Page in the tenth.