The Washington Times - June 6, 2011, 04:49PM

In about three hours the Nationals will be moments away from making their first pick of the 2011 MLB Draft. By then it might be a little more obvious than it is now who the team will take to follow up two straight once-in-a-generation talents but right now, things are as murky as ever.

So much about the Nationals pick at No. 6 depends on what the five teams in front of them do. The latest mock drafts for ESPN this morning had the Nationals opting for uber-athlete Bubba Starling at No. 6 but Baseball America later released their own final mock with the Nationals scooping up local product and UVA left-hander Danny Hultzen there.


Here’s what I can tell you at this point: Whoever the Nationals get at No. 6, there’s an incredibly slim chance Nationals fans will be disappointed with the pick. Say the decision is between Hultzen and Starling. You either get a potential future outfield of Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth and Starling or you get a front end of a rotation that could very soon feature Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and Hultzen.

The bottom line is there’s too much elite talent at the top of this draft to worry that the Nationals won’t make the proper pick. One Nationals official I spoke with last night sounded confident that the Nats had their board set up and at this point they’d just have to let the dominoes fall and see where they’re at when their name is called. 

In the meantime, I urge everyone to check out Nathan Fenno’s profile of Hultzen, a Bethesda, M.D. native, in today’s Washington Times. Hultzen reportedly will come with a hefty price tag but that hasn’t scared them off of draft picks in the past and general manager Mike Rizzo indicated that finances wouldn’t be an issue for the Nationals to get the players they want in the draft.

Everything kicks off about two hours from now.