2015 MLB Draft: Washington Nationals Select Two Outfielders In 2nd Round
By Ricky Keeler
The Washington Nationals had to wait a long time before they made their first picks of the 2015 MLB Draft last night. In the second round, General Manager and President Of Baseball Operations Mike Rizzo decided to go with outfielders for picks number 58 and 69. With those picks, the organization selected Anthony Stevenson from LSU and Blake Perkins from Verrado High School in Arizona.
Stevenson was taken at pick number 58, a selection that the Nationals had as a compensatory pick because they were not able to sign Andrew Suarez in last year’s draft. The left-handed pitcher was selected with the 61st pick by the San Francisco Giants in this draft.
While the 21-year-old center fielder does not have much power (two total home runs), he is a player that knows how to get on-base, steal bases, and has an excellent glove. This past season, as a junior in the SEC, he hit .356, had a .407 on-base percentage, and stole 26 bases in 59 games. His batting average was sixth in the entire conference and his stolen base total was second behind Georgia’s Stephen Wrenn (28).
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He had 25 multi-hit games this season, including three four-hit performances. His defense is another positive attribute about his game. He was on the 2014 SEC All-Defensive team. This past summer, the 6″0, 177 pound Stevenson hit .327 in the Cape Cod League with one home run, 16 RBI’s, 21 stolen bases, and a .421 on-base percentage.
If you want to watch more of Stevenson, LSU begins their run at the College World Series Sunday afternoon at 3 PM ET against TCU in Omaha, Nebraska.
At pick 69, the Nationals went the high school route and drafted Blake Perkins, a 6”1, 165 pound centerfielder. Currently, he is committed to playing baseball at Arizona State next season. This year, as a senior, he hit .461 with seven home runs and 35 RBI’s in 29 games. Plus, he had a .583 on-base percentage and a 1.549 .OPS. All stats are courtesy of MaxPreps.com.
Here is what MLB.com had to say about this 18-year-old outfielder:
“Perkins is a lean, wiry and athletic athlete with raw tools and room to add strength. He has some bat speed and strike zone knowledge, with that added strength, along with better positioning of his hands, allowing him to be a more dangerous hitter in the future. There could be some power there to come as well. Perkins is a plus runner who likes to runs the bases well and covers a lot of ground in the outfield, one who can stick in center field with an average arm.” (h/t MLB.com)
When you look at these two picks, the Nationals addressed a need at the outfield position. According to MLB Pipeline, only four of the Nats top 30 prospects are outfielders. The Nationals have a draft signing bonus pool of a little over $4 million, according to Baseball America. That is the third lowest pool of any team in the majors.