⚾️⚾️ The Morning Briefing: Nationals sign four draft picks
The Nationals came to terms with 3B Yohandy Morales, RHP Travis Sykora, OF Andrew Pinckney, and SS Marcus Brown.
Good Morning Washington Nationals Fan,
Here are the latest headlines and analyses around the Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball for today, July 18th. My name is Haden Raymer and this is your morning briefing. Today’s top story is the Nationals signing four of their draft picks.
Leading today’s Morning Briefing: Nats come to terms with four top draft picks
The Washington Nationals officially signed four of their top five draft picks yesterday. The biggest name of the bunch was 3B Yohandy Morales, who was one of the top hitters in the ACC last season. They signed both Morales and high school right-handed pitcher Travis Sykora for $2.6M in over-slot deals. This draft is uncharacteristically deep, and in years past both of these players would be first-round picks.
They also came to terms with outfielder Andres Pinckney and shortstop Marcus Brown. Both were drafted out of college, and while they won’t be headlining prospect lists, they aren’t non-prospects either. Pinckney is has the potential, flashing plus tools in every category, but has just failed to put it all together. Brown is a decent hitter, but much of his value comes from his plus glove at shortstop.
Why it matters: Just three years ago, the Nationals farm system was bare. Former top five in the system prospects like Andry Lara and Yasel Antuna are now in the bottom half of top 30 list. The farm is much improved, and if you want to put any stock into the type of players drafted, the Nationals will be exiting this rebuild rather quickly, while still adding talent over the next year with the upcoming trade deadline, international free agency this winter, and next year’s draft.
This is all without mentioning the financial aspects of the draft. The Nats are left in a pickle where they will be over $400k short of Dylan Crews’ rumored demand. While Crews is still going to sign, that’s not necessarily the precedent you want to set with a potential franchise cornerstone. And you certainly don’t want to go over the allotted amount, so it is certainly a pickle.
Slot for the 2nd pick is $8,998,500. WSH would forfeit their '24 1st rounder if Crews gets more than $9,077,520, if my math is right.
Max Clark (3rd) got $7.7 million
Wyatt Langford (4th) got $8 million
Paul Skenes (1st slot: $9.721M)
Walker Jenkins (5th slot: $7.139M)
The Nats win!
The Nationals took a 7-5 victory last night over the Chicago Cubs. MacKenzie Gore gave up all five runs, but was frankly left out longer than he is used to, so there isn’t much reason for concern. He still struck out six batters over 6.1 innings.
Keibert Ruiz clearly enjoyed the break, as he has now homered in consecutive games. Ruiz also doubled, singled, and walked, getting on base in each of his plate appearances. Jeimer Candelario’s thumb is much better as he also homered. Stone Garrett hit two doubles, and CJ Abrams singled and stole a base. Kyle Finnegan struck out three of the five batters he faced to earn the save.
The Nats Report Player of the Game is without a doubt Ruiz who continues to start the second half strong. The next game is tonight at 8:05 p.m. on MASN2.
In the Clubhouse is back!
Your season analysis is back with In the Clubhouse with TheNatsReport. You can get analysis on every Nationals series live on Twitch and then listen to it after on your preferred podcast platform. We will also be doing a live show providing analysis on the first round of the draft on Sunday!
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Down on the Farm
The Rochester Red Wings host the Durham Bulls starting tonight after an off day yesterday.
The Harrisburg Senators head to Bowie to take on the Baysox this week after having a day off yesterday.
The Wilmington Blue Rocks are set to host the Greensboro Grasshoppers.
The FredNats will take on the Augusta GreenJackets on the road starting tonight.