Our first Washington Nationals 2016 MLB Draft Profile takes a look at Stanford pitcher Cal Quantrill
On Thursday, June 9, the Washington Nationals will be making three selections in the 2016 MLB Draft (picks 28-29 and pick 52). One of the players that could be there when the Nats are on the clock is a right-handed pitcher from Stanford who is coming back from Tommy John surgery.
Cal Quantrill, who is the son of former Major League reliever Paul Quantrill, hasn’t pitched since 2015 because of the surgery. Back in 2014, in his first season with the Cardinal, the right-hander went 7-5 with a 2.68 ERA in 18 games (17 starts).
Quantrill struck out 98 batters in 110.2 innings en route to winning Pac-12 freshman of the year. Stanford would lose to Vanderbilt in the NCAA Super Regional that season. He was drafted back in 2013 when the New York Yankees took him in the 26th round, but he elected to go to college.
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This week, in Call To The Pen’s recent MLB mock draft, Benjamin Chase selected Quantrill to the Washington Nationals with the 28th pick. I reached out to Chase to get more of his thoughts on why the Nats might be a good fit for Quantrill:
"“With the Nationals’ history of taking injured pitchers for a discount and getting the most out of them, Quantrill seemed like a perfect fit for them to get a future mid-rotation guy that will soak up loads of innings at his best while also saving money to go big after some of the high school bats that are probable to be falling in that area.”"
As Chase pointed out, the Washington Nationals do have a track record of picking pitchers in the first round that had or were having Tommy John surgery. In 2012, they drafted Lucas Giolito with the 16th pick. Giolito, who is now their top prospect, had the surgery after he was drafted. Two years later, the Nats took Erick Fedde with the 18th pick after he underwent Tommy John before the draft.
In my conversation with Chase, he also pointed out the arsenal that Quantril brings to the mound with him:
"“Quantrill is maybe not a guy who would sport triple digit velocity or a breaking pitch that would drop jaws or anything like that, but he’s a guy who throws a sinker running into the mid-90s (sitting more like 92-93) with great control of a curve, slider, and change.”"
If the 6’3″ right-hander is still around late in the first round, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Washington Nationals to add another right-handed starting pitcher into the organization. However, will he even make it to the Nats at that pick. If you look at the recent mock draft, by Jonathan Mayo of MLB Pipeline has Quantril taken by the Padres with the 24th pick, saying that “this is another oft-mentioned rumor, that the Padres will make a deal with Quantrill.”
If the Padres don’t end up picking Quantrill at 24 or higher, this should be a selection for the Nats because he would be a high pick if not for the injury. It would be a risk, but the reward with Quantrill’s projected talent, would be high as well.