Nick Banks was the first of many college players selected by the Washington Nationals on day two of the draft. He was a stud for Team USA last summer, but his performance regressed this spring.
One major factor for the decreasing performance is that he had a cyst removed from his lower back last fall. It’s possible that he wasn’t at full strength and it had a negative impact. This season, he hit .289 with nine home runs, 49 RBI’s, and an on-base percentage of .380.
The Washington Nationals are likely drafting Banks on the potential that he showed with Team USA. He was the best hitter on the team that included Corey Ray from Louisville and Buddy Reed from Florida.
Those two are phenomenal players and for Banks to lead the team in hitting speaks volumes to his talent level.
According to MLB.com, “Banks has a sleek left-handed swing and delivers line drives from gap to gap. He has above-average raw pop and became more aggressive and began to drive the ball more in 2015. Banks possesses solid speed and arm strength and profiles as someone that can play right field.”
The Nats could definitely use an outfielder with the skill set of Banks in a couple of years. If he flashes the form that was evident with the U.S. collegiate national team, the Nats may have found a key piece for their future.
It goes to show you there is talent in various portions of the draft. A team can find an integral piece in the later rounds.
Next: Tres Barrera, C, Texas