The Nationals took Georgia pitcher Trevor Holder with the 81st overall pick, wrapping up Day 1 of the MLB draft with four players in their overall haul.
Holder was drafted in the 10th round last year, and Baseball America projected him to go there again this year, noting his 94 mph fastball lacks movement and he gave up 19 homers in 92 innings this year. Yet Nationals crosschecker Deric Ladnier said everyone in the Nationals’ draft room felt Holder “was going to be a quality starter,” and assistant general manager Bob Boone said both Holder and second-rounder Jeff Kobernus were players he was hoping would still be around when the Nationals picked.
You definitely have to parse through some draft-speak on days like this, but here’s one thing we can say for the Nationals’ first draft under Mike Rizzo: There’s definitely a different philosophy at work. All four picks were college players, three were pitchers. There were no toolsy outfielders, high school projects or players with big upside in the bunch (Chris Marrero, Michael Burgess, Destin Hood, etc.). There might be a few of those in the next few days, but Rizzo seems to be pursuing a different kind of player than Jim Bowden.
Plenty more on the draft the next few days—be sure to check the paper and the website for plenty of coverage tomorrow. You can also follow us here and on Twitter, where we’re updating throughout the day. Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to hold a news conference tomorrow, so we’ll definitely have more from that.