The Washington Nationals had the #17 overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. The club selected RHP Jackson Rutledge in round one.
The Washington Nationals are already loaded at starting pitcher. Now, they have an embarrassment of riches, and perhaps some insurance too.
The Nats selected right-handed pitcher Jackson Rutledge from San Jacinto Junior College with their first-round selection.
BaseballAmerica.com ranked Rutledge as the 14th overall prospect, showing that the Nats got a bit of value in the St. Louis, Missouri native. MLB.com ranked the twenty-year-old as their #12 prospect, continuing this trend.
Rutledge is 6’8″ and 250 pounds with a fastball topping out at 97 MPH.
On the MLB Network Draft Show, Hall-of-Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez gushed praise over the newest National.
“Very imposing body, very imposing arm. I love literally everything about this kid. Power arm, power breaking ball, good movement… I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes it to the big leagues relatively soon.”
In his previous season, Rutledge posted a 0.87 ERA in just over 82 innings pitched, along with 134 strikeouts.
Carlos Collazo from Baseball America remarked that Rutledge has some of the biggest upside of any college pitcher in the draft.
“He has an eye for the small details of his craft. He refined his secondary stuff last summer while rehabbing from injury,” Collazo said.
That injury occurred during his freshman season, which was a torn labrum in his hip.
On being selected, Rutledge told MLB Network’s Kelly Nash that the moment is “Unreal. It feels incredible right now.”
Rutledge now has the opportunity to play on the same team as fellow St. Louis native Max Scherzer. “I want to be teammates with Max Scherzer as soon as I can,” he said with a smile.
The next Nationals draft selection occurs in the third round. The club has the 94th overall selection. The draft can be viewed on MLB Network and MLB.com