- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 12, 2005

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The Washington Nationals yesterday signed outfielder Justin Maxwell, the club’s second selection in June’s baseball draft out of Maryland.

The Nationals, who didn’t have a pick in the second or third round, selected the 21-year-old Maxwell in the fourth round (114th overall) after the club chose Virginia third baseman Ryan Zimmerman with the fourth pick overall. Zimmerman, of course, played the last month of the season with the major league club.

“Justin’s rare combination of speed and power reflect first-round talent,” Nationals scouting director Dana Brown said in a prepared statement.

A broken hand limited Maxwell to seven games last spring with the Terps. However, he hit .455 (10-for-22) with three home runs, two doubles and five RBI. In three seasons at Maryland, Maxwell hit .299 with 16 home runs, 20 doubles and 71 RBI in 103 games.

Maxwell, a two-sport star at Sherwood High School in Olney, got the Nationals’ attention in 2004 while in the Cape Cod League, where he hit .263 with one home run, four doubles and nine stolen bases in 57 at-bats.

Maxwell, at 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, played in the Capital Classic, one of the nation’s premier high school all-star basketball games.

Before the Nationals selected Maxwell, he was chosen in the 10th round by the Texas Rangers in 2004 and by the Baltimore Orioles in the 43rd round of the 2001 draft.

Meanwhile, Nationals reliever Jason Bergmann underwent arthroscopic surgery yesterday to clean out debris in his right elbow. Bergmann, who went 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA in 15 appearances after getting called up from Class AAA New Orleans, is expected to be healthy for the start of spring training.

Ken Wright and Mark Zuckerman

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