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Ross Detwiler

So anyone who really cares already knows that the Nationals selected Missouri State left-hander Ross Detwiler with the sixth pick in the major league draft.

(And anyone who cares about that also probably cares that Chad Cordero just gave up a tie-breaking leadoff homer to Jason Bay to start the ninth, putting the Pirates up 3-2.)

Detwiler, 21, went 4-5 with a 2.22 ERA in the Missouri Valley Conference this year. He was second-team.

Digest that a minute, then consider whether college stats mean anything. (He had 110 strikeouts in 89 innings and opponents hit .198 off of him.)

Just came back from press conference with Jim Bowden and other top brass. "We're thrilled with the pick," scouting director Dana Brown said. Others echoed that.

Here's the breakdown. Had either of the high school hitters from California been available -- Josh Vitters or Mike Moustakas -- or Georgia Tech catcher Matt Wieters (who some high-level Nats execs weren't crazy about), then Washington likely would have selected them. "There's always more risk of injury with a pitcher," Bowden said.

But in the end, the Nationals had Vanderbilt lefty David Price -- the No. 1 overall selection -- and Detwiler and Clemson lefty Daniel Moskos as the most major league ready pitchers in the draft, and high school right-hander Rick Porcello as the second-most talented behind Price. But Bowden admitted there could be "signability" issues with Porcello, so they went with a safer pick (who's closer to the majors anyway -- 2008 at some point or 2009 at the latest).

One thing that might work in their favor: Detwiler is represented by Casey Close and Brodie Van Wagenen of Creative Artists, who are the agents for Ryan Zimmerman. Both Bowden and Mike Rizzo have good working relationships with those two, so the process might be easier.

The game just ended, and I've got to run downstairs. I'll be on "Washington Post Live" discussing all of this at 6 p.m. tonight, and on "Washington Post Radio" at 6:50 p.m. At some point, I'll try to write a few stories, too.

By Barry Svrluga  |  June 7, 2007; 3:12 PM ET
 
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Comments

Anyone who really cares knows his name is Ross, not Ryan as your headline suggests.

Posted by: Brian | June 7, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Did we feel the need to get a lefty? The announcers, and I understand that they are not scouts, seem to like Philippe Aumont, that Canadian guy. Is this something the Nats just disagree on, or were we hunting for lefties?

Or is it we're just bitter at Canada for the lack of support...?

Posted by: NattyDelite! | June 7, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I think they were talking up the canadian because no one thought Detwiler would fall to 6. Some predictions earlier in the week had him going #2 to the Royals.

Also, he is closer to the majors than any of the high school pitchers like Aumont.

Posted by: court | June 7, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

The headline writer was just trying to up the team's Ryan roster.

---

Anyone who really cares knows his name is Ross, not Ryan as your headline suggests.

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 7, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

While I am not up to speed on the 2.3 million kids eligible for the draft, I like the idea of drafting 1) a pitcher and 2) a college kid... You really can't have too much pitching, and if you do, you can trade it for hitting. If everyone's expectations about the new stadium being more hitter-friendly pan out, and the Nats do what they say they are going to do and get a free-agent slugger, the hitting will be better just by default next year. What you'll need is pitchers that keep the other guys from getting touchdowns (see "Cincinnati Reds").

One of the subtexts I have been getting from "The Plan" is "grow your pitching, buy your hitting..."

(unless you're the Cubs, in which case you hospitalize your pitching and buy LAST YEAR'S hitting...)

Posted by: Wigi | June 7, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

..."(unless you're the Cubs, in which case you hospitalize your pitching and buy LAST YEAR'S hitting...)"


LOL!!!!!

Posted by: NatsNut | June 7, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps there's a signing bonus if Ross changes his name to Ryan...

If Schneider changes his name, he could be in the ballpark, just by losing the 'B'...

Rian Schneider...

Posted by: Wigi | June 7, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Certainly better news from the draft room than from the playing field. Didn't look like either team was hugely interested in producing a lot of runs on getaway day.

Save for Schneider's walk in the seventh and Zimmerman's double in the sixth and lineout in the ninth, the last five Nats innings were a virtual nonentity. Kearns had a couple OK at-bats earlier in the game, but then flied out on the first pitch in the ninth to end the game.

Guess there was a bonus for finishing up early.

Posted by: Hendo | June 7, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Re: "Rian Schneider"

No good, both Ray King and Don Sutton would say it "Ree-ann"

Does this mean anything? The Nats are tied for second within our division against our division. 14-14 against East teams (Atlanta is 18-18, New York 15-13)

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | June 7, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused, I thought the pitchers were supposed to hospitalize the catchers there?

---

..."(unless you're the Cubs, in which case you hospitalize your pitching and buy LAST YEAR'S hitting...)"

Posted by: natsfan1a | June 7, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse


"I'm confused, I thought the pitchers were supposed to hospitalize the catchers there?"

LOL Again. You comedians are on a roll.

Hey did you guys notice that our scouting team, the one chock full of smart, agressive, arrogant, competitive men, with a gajillion years of major league experience, actually agreed on 110 draftees? Man, do I ever wish Barry had been there in the middle of it. I'd love to read about it in his second book. hmmm....there was a mysterious absence earlier this week....

Posted by: NatsNut | June 7, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Natsfan1a:

HAHAHA!!!

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | June 7, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Great pick, Detwiler was slater to go even higher than that. He's definitely one of the most developed players in the draft.

Posted by: G-town | June 7, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Smoker and Burgess were amazing picks, if draft rankings are to be believed. If the Nats are going to avoid Scott Boras clients, they have to do EVERYTHING possible to sign everyone they pick, even paying over slot.

Posted by: Kevin Costello | June 7, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

"Or is it we're just bitter at Canada for the lack of support...?"

... hey guys, Shawn Hill and I are doing the best we can. For my part, the bus just doesn't go as far as RFK.

... but seriously, I don't follow the gist of your comment. Could you explain a bit more what you're getting at?

Posted by: natscan reduxit | June 7, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

We just doubled the Zimm count, picking up a college RHP named Zimmermann (yes, two Ns) at 67.

Posted by: Hendo | June 7, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Natscan, re whom I'd want in trade for Young, one each of the following, at least:

Any pitcher at any level who's willing to throw strikes. Contact and groundballs are a plus. If they pan out no worse than Matt Chico did in the Livo deal -- and Matt looked very good today -- I will weep for joy.

Any hitter who is willing to look over a few pitches. The team's present walk rate illustrates why the Nats are not creating runs in the numbers and at the times we need to. If that doesn't improve by the end of the season, an unhappy milestone worthy of some strategic soul-searching will have been reached.

Posted by: Hendo | June 7, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Jordan Zimmermann has a rather flashy resume' as of late... in the Division III World Series, he leads in hitting, and is second in pitching with a 0.00 ERA (only second because the person ahead of him pitched twelve complete in one game).

http://www.titans.uwosh.edu/NCAAChampionship/2007/finals/statistics/lgsumm.htm#form.lgt

Posted by: Wigi | June 7, 2007 6:51 PM | Report abuse

natscan, it was just a joke since Aumont was talked up as someone who should go higher than Detwiler. So when we didn't get him it was curious to me, maybe we wanted a lefty, maybe we disagreed with the assessment on Aumont.

The punch line was, we didn't take him because Montreal wasn't filled. Tasteless? maybe. Funny? I hope you think so.

Posted by: NattyDelite! | June 7, 2007 6:55 PM | Report abuse

natscan, it was just a joke since Aumont was talked up as someone who should go higher than Detwiler. So when we didn't get him it was curious to me, maybe we wanted a lefty, maybe we disagreed with the assessment on Aumont.

The punch line was, we didn't take him because he's Canadian and the players are still mad at having to move. Tasteless? maybe. Funny? I hope you think so.

Posted by: NattyDelite! | June 7, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

sorry for the double post, I tried to edit it when I previewed it, clearly it didn't work out.

Posted by: NattyDelite! | June 7, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

NattyDelite!

... not a problem. I just thought I'd missed some salient point and was therefore behind in my understanding of things National.

... but while I'm on the subject, and on your screen, I want to say that I am very gratified about how well the rest of you guys have accepted me as a fellow Nats fan, in spite of a vast difference in geography, experience and nationality. I guess it proves that baseball is truly an international sport, not just on team rosters but also on fan blogs.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | June 7, 2007 7:47 PM | Report abuse

natscan:

Though I am also geographically removed from Washington, I was born and raised there, and remember only too well having the Senators stolen from my life as a kid... I followed the Rangers for a while, but it was a lot easier to be enthralled with the A's...

Anyway, I think most Washingtonian baseball fans ('specially older ones, like me) are kindred spirits... it sucks losing your team... So we're glad to have you.

Posted by: Wigi | June 7, 2007 7:53 PM | Report abuse

so where will these top 3 Nats picks (all of which were top 30 prospects) be placed? zimm was in AA to start right?

Posted by: erichardman | June 7, 2007 8:34 PM | Report abuse

I believe Zimm went to A ball for about an hour (a few days, actually).

Posted by: Wigi | June 7, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

re: Smoker. He's from my (Braves fan) brother's town, Calhoun, Georgia. Brother was excited because it looked like the Braves were going to pick him. But we got to him first, just two picks ahead of the Braves I think.
A little karma in the NatsNut/BravesNut family since they gave me such a hard time about Langerhans....

Posted by: NatsNut | June 7, 2007 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Barry, appreciate the draft coverage and the stories today. Glad that Manny is willing to kick a little butt and take a few names.

Natscan, the beauty of baseball is how it embraces, often in spite of itself, the diversity of its fans, even if it is sometimes (sometimes for decades) behind the curve in catching up to cultural trends. (Current example: Still no female umps in the majors. Why?) You'll find us from left to right on the radio dial here with respect to views on politics, religion, economic theory, and most anything else.

Bill James may have put it best in the introduction to Part I of his "Historical Baseball Abstract": "No matter how it is that your mind works, baseball reaches out to you. . . . if you have parents" -- but he could as easily have said family in general, neighbors, acquaintances, co-workers, etc. -- "and cannot talk to them, baseball is something you can still talk to them about."

Sounds right to me. Let's keep talking.

Posted by: Hendo | June 8, 2007 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Hi Hendo,

... exactly. When I was a young snapper of whippers - somewhere in the vicinity of the late 1950's - I would travel with my family every summer to visit my uncle in Boston. (aside fact: there are more family relationships between the Maritimes and new England, than between the Maritimes and the rest of Canada)

... my uncle had moved there to be a Baptist pastor and humanities professor. Boston is a huge education centre of course. As he made his life and family there, he became a dyed-in-the-wool baseball fan, and every year my dad and I would join him in a trip to Fenway. It was marvellous. The point he always made was how many of his academic friends from the university, as well as his Baptist friends were baseball fans just as he was. It was truly an egalitarian pursuit.

... the kicker for me was that my uncle was blind but was still able to enjoy the game as much as everyone else.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | June 8, 2007 8:03 AM | Report abuse

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