Nationals stick to the plan in 2018 MLB Draft

After a hectic three-day, twenty round affair, the 2018 MLB Player Draft is over.  Based on the results of the draft, the Nationals came in with the following game plan: Get Pitching, College Preferred.  That was not a surprise after going hitter heavy the last couple of years.  Below are some notes on the first ten picks.


1.27 – Mason Denaburg, RHP – Merritt Island HS

Denaburg is a 6-3 righty committed to the University of Florida and missed some time this year due to bicep tendinitis.  It seems typical that Washington would try to buy a guy that fell in the draft due to injury. He has a three-pitch mix, low to mid-nineties fastball, high seventies curve and mid-eighties changeup. (Video from Fangraphs)

2.65 – Tim Cate – LHP Connecticut

Cate is a 6-foot lefty with a solid three pitch mix too.  Also, like Denaburg, has injury concerns.  He had TJS in high school and missed a couple of starts this year with a barking elbow.  Due to his size and injury concerns, he figures to have a future role in relief but the Nationals will give him all the chances in the world to be a starter.

3.101 – Reid Schaller, RHP – Vanderbilt

Schaller is a redshirt freshman from Vanderbilt.  He was a rare redshirt freshman due to having TJS and did not pitch at all last year. He pitched for Vandy out of the pen sitting mid-nineties.


4.131 – Jake Irvin, RHP – Oklahoma

Irvin, another college righty, is 6-6, 225 lbs.  He too, also has a starters three pitch mix of fastball, slider, and changeup. However, unlike the three picks prior, there is no history of injury.


5.161 –  Gage Canning, CF – Arizona State

The Nats finally chose a hitter in Round 5 with Gage Canning, a left-hand hitting and right-hand throwing CF from Arizona State.  At 5-11, with a strong arm but average speed he will probably move to a corner.  However, he does not profile as a power guy but more of a line drive/hit it in the alley doubles hitter.

6.191 – Andrew Karp, RHP – Florida State

Karp is a 6-2 righty that had 97 strikeouts in 81 innings for Florida State this season.  He is a safe college starter with a four-pitch mix (fastball, changeup, curve, and slider).


7.221 – Chandler Day, RHP – Vanderbilt

The Nationals went to Vanderbilt again for their next selection.  Day is a 6-5 righty with a three-pitch mix of fastball, changeup, and curve.  At Vanderbilt this year, he pitched in the bullpen and saved three games.  Also had 45 strikeouts in 36 innings.


8.251 – Tyler Cropley, C – Iowa

The Nationals changed it up a bit with their next pick of Tyler Cropley, a catcher from the University of Iowa.  This year, he hit .342/.449/.578 with twenty doubles, nine home runs, and fifty RBI. More importantly, he is known as one of the best defensive catchers available in the draft.  I love this later pick and excited to see what he can do to help the young Nationals pitchers in the minors.

9.281 – Tanner Driskill, RHP – Lamar University

In the ninth round, the Nationals went back to the pitching well and chose Tanner Driskill, a righty from Lamar University.  He appeared in 17 games and had a 4.00 ERA.


10.311 – Carson Shaddy, 2B – Arkansas

Carson Shaddy was chosen by the Nationals in the tenth round. Shaddy hit .331/.430/.620 with 11 home runs this season and played second this year.  He has experience at catcher and had TJS two years ago but is also 23-years-old.

Featured image – from USA Baseball on Twitter

Shelly Verougstraete is the Nationals writer here at Prospects1500. Even as a diehard Red Sox fan, and author of sabermetric based Red Sox blog, the goal here is to keep you up to date with all the happenings down on the Nats farm. Shelly lives in Virginia and has many minor league parks (A to AA) close by. Let's Go Nats!

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