After a solid start to the draft highlighted by landing Elijah Green and Jake Bennett, the Washington Nationals entered day two looking to add depth and players with upside. Instead of going after the best available, the Nats seemed to focus on players with high upside tools — highlighted by Riley Cornelio and Chance Huff. The highlight of the day was taking Trey Lipscomb and Brenner Cox in the third and fourth rounds.
Follow along with us all day as we keep you updated on all of the Washington Nationals Day two MLB 2022 picks.
Round Three (84th overall): Trey Lipscomb, 3B, Tennessee
After being stuck on Tennessee’s depth chart during the first few years on the team — he finally won the starting third base job this year and never looked back. In 66 games he slashed .355/.428/.717, with 22 homers, 84 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.145. He led the SEC in both homers and RBIs — and was instrumental in Tennesse’s strong season.
Fringe speed, Lipscomb has a decent arm and is expected to be able to stick at third. His bat is his calling card — he has solid bat speed and can generate power to all fields.
After taking Elijah Green fifth overall last night, it is assumed that second-round pick Jake Bennett and Lipscomb are both going under slot in order to make the money work.
Round Four (111th overall): Brenner Cox, OF, Rock Hill HS
Committed to the University of Texas, Brenner Cox throws 93 mph on the mound and is one of the best athletes in this year’s draft.
"“Cox uses the whole field and is dangerous on the basepaths and in the outfield. He’s a fairly complete player in that regard. The game power hasn’t shown up too much just yet, but scouts believe the frame and bat speed should lend well to some future over-the-fence juice.”"
Round Five (141st overall): Jared McKenzie, OF, Baylor
After raking during his first two years in Baylor hitting .389, he struggled in the Cape Cod League last summer and those issues followed him into this season.
"“Utilizing a pretty left-handed swing, McKenzie has an aggressive approach that produces line drives to all fields. He has made contact with ease at Baylor and showed some developing power in 2021, then stuck out 31 percent of the time and made no impact with wood bats on the Cape. He should hit for average but may not have more than 15-homer pop, and his propensity for putting balls in play means that he doesn’t walk much.McKenzie isn’t much of a threat to steal despite his solid speed, which plays better in center field. He has fine instincts and gets good jumps, which should allow him to remain up the middle in pro ball. His arm strength is fringy, which precludes him from playing right field.”"
Round Six (171st overall): Nathaniel Ochoa, SS, Norte Dame HS Ontario
Committed to playing at Alabama, Nathaniel Ochoa is a project who is expected to move to third.
Round Seven (201st overall): Riley Cornelio, RHP, TCU
In 75 innings with TCU this year, Riley Cornelio went 4-5, with a 4.68 ERA, and 77 strikeouts, while walking 35. His best pitch is his slider which sits in the mid-80s that racks up most of his strikeouts. His heater has touched 99 mph but doesn’t generate many swing and misses. His changeup does better against lefties, sitting in the upper 80s due to how it fades. Cornelio may end up moving to the bullpen and with a focus on his slider.
Round Eight (231st overall): Chance Huff, RHP, Georgia Tech
Chance Huff started his college career at Vanderbilt before transferring to Georgia Tech. This past season he went 5-4, with a 6.98 ERA, and 74 strikeouts while walking 24.
"Huff is a is a big-bodied starter profile with an above average slider, though he lacks consistent velocity and projection on the bump. That said, he did touch 97 this season and has the low-release meta going for him. That could get him drafted as high as the third round. He works in the low-90s with a sinking fastball, setting up for a slider that can get swing-and-miss. Huff has a chance to be a 5-and-dive type guy or an innings eater at the back of the bullpen."
Round Nine (261st overall): Maxwell Romero Jr., Catcher, Miami
Drafted by the Reds in the 38th round in 2019, Maxwell Romero Jr. honored his commitment to Vanderbilt instead — later transferring to the University of Miami. This past season he slashed .272/.378/.507, with 12 homers, 54 RBIs, and an OPS of .885. It’s expected he will stay behind the plate but the question is if his bat will translate.
"A big, strong, quintessential catchers body, Romero has a thick, sturdy lower half and a muscular upper body. Stuck behind CJ Rodriguez at Vanderbilt for much of 2021, Romero transferred to Miami where he figures to handle the pitching staff for the Hurricanes in 2022. He’s got above average raw power that he’s been able to get into in game, as well as a strong throwing arm. Romero has worked diligently in his ability to get quicker out of the crouch. A well below-average runner, Romero represents the famous power bat-power arm catcher who’s a leader of men behind the plate."
Round 10 (291st overall): Murphy Stehly 3B, Texas
Murphy Stehly was fifth in all of NCAA D1 baseball this past season in hits (102). On the season he slashed .367/.424/.662, with 19 homers 61 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.086. Despite his monstrous season, he’s fallen to the 10th round due to being 23. His bat will be his calling card.