Rumor has it Mike Rizzo has long coveted first baseman Josh Bell. Well, the Nationals had ample opportunity to draft him in 2011.
Now that the Washington Nationals have their first baseman for 2021, in Josh Bell, we can look back at the draft where the Nats could have selected this 6-4, 250 pound beast, in the first place.
Bell was coming out of Dallas Jesuit College Prep, and fell to the first pick of the second round. Prior to the Pittsburgh Pirates snapping him up, the Nationals had plenty of chances to grab him. Along with their own first round pick, the Nats picked up two other first round picks (one a supplemental selection) when the Chicago White Sox signed free agent Adam Dunn.
Hindsight is 20/20, meaning sure is easy to sit back now and choose whether or not the Nationals should have gone with who they did. Who knows how these kids are going to perform, whether they are coming out of college, or high school, like Bell did. They could have a direct line to the major leagues and star at that level, or they could flameout in the minor leagues, having never made it.
There were definitely some good names selected in the first round of the 2011 draft (Gerrit Cole, Trevor Bauer, George Springer, Trevor Story, and Javier Baez to name a few), though the Nationals selected the guy who has the best WAR coming out of that class thus far. A look at the three guys the Nationals selected instead of Josh Bell in the 2011 draft.