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Nationals sign 22 draft picks

The Nationals have signed 22 of their 50 draft choices, including 15 of the top 25, the team announced in a release. Fifth-round choice Jason Martinson, a shortstop from Texas State, was the highest-picked player signed.

The Nationals believe outfielder Bryce Harper (first overall), left-handed pitch Sammy Solis (second round), right-handed pitcher A.J. Cole (fourth round) and left-handed pitcher Robbie Ray (12th round) will be the most difficult players to sign. Amateur scouting director Kris Kline planned Friday to reach out to the agent of shortsop Rick Hague, a third-round choice, and begin contract discussions.

Here's the full list of players whom the Nationals signed:

Shortstop Jason Martinson (fifth round)
Catcher Cole Leonida (sixth round)
Right-handed pitcher Aaron Barrett (ninth round)
Shortstop Blake Kelso (10th round)
Right-handed pitcher Neil Holland (11th round)
Right-handed pitcher Christopher McKenzie (13th round)
Catcher David Freitas (15th round)
Right-handed pitcher Mark Herrera (16th round)
Right-handed pitcher Tyler Hanks (17th round)
Second baseman Justin Miller (18th round)
Center fielder Wade Moore (19th round)
Right fielder Chad Mozingo (20th round)
Right-handed pitcher Cameron Selik (22nd round)
Right-handed pitcher Colin Bates (23rd round)
Left-handed pitcher Christian Meza (25th round)
Left-handed pitcher Christopher Manno (26th round)
Catcher Jeremy Mayo (31st round)
Left-handed pitcher Ryan Sherriff (33rd round)
First baseman Robert Oliver (35th round)
Left-handed pitcher Nicholas Serino (37th round)
Right-handed pitcher Kevin Cahill (41st round)
Outfielder Dimetrius Hatcher (49th round)

The Nationals also announced the signings of shortstop Mille Rogers (Carson-Newman College) and right-handed pitchers Tim Dupuis (Assumption College), Mike Gallo (Milligan College), Zach Gerler (Austin Peay University) and Ben Graham (Emporia State) as non-drafted free agents.

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 14, 2010; 5:29 PM ET
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Next: Nationals making progress in right field


Excellent news!

On the Nyger question, I agree with the point made about Rizzo's stubbornness possibly being a factor in the Nats' seeming obsession with running Niger out there for about 600 ABs this year. If Rizzo indeed thinks that Nijer is the best centerfielder in the NL, he's certainly going to give Nighjer every opportunity to prove him right.

As ouitlandish as it may seem, but connected with the Nats' brass attachment to Knijer, is the upcoming Neigher Morgan Bobblehead Night. The Nats have invested a
lot in promoting the "Cult of Nyejer," and I don't think they want to bench him--thereby admitting that they were wrong--before celebrating Nayejher's big day.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | June 14, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

I understand Harper since bor-azz is his agent. But what's so special about solis, cole and ray?

Posted by: M20832 | June 14, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

High schoolers can freely decline and enter the draft. because they can go to college. So they have more leverage.

Posted by: swang30 | June 14, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I meant re-enter (after their 1 year anniversary, that is.)

Posted by: swang30 | June 14, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Cole is a particularly special case. At 18, the kid runs it up there in the mid-90s.

Baseball America had him going in the first round. He slipped in the draft because he has committed to Miami. Signing him would be a big coup for Rizzo. I'd love to have Cole as a complement to Strasburg and Zimmermann.

Posted by: Drew8 | June 14, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I believe this is the most signees in the shortest time since the NATS came to town. Very good. All the Bloggrs/Journalists seem to agree that AJ Cole is the key to NATS haveing an okay draft and haveing a great draft. I hope my gut is correct and that the NATS give the kid the 1 1.5 million that it might take to forget the Miami sunshine. Maybe "K" can have a chat with him.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: ehardwick | June 14, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the AJ Cole pick and his signability, I simply trust that Rizzo has done his homework and has a really good idea of what it will take to sign the kid.

So for me, I'm counting this kid as signed.
Just gotta wait 5 - 6 weeks until it gets done.

Posted by: Sunderland | June 14, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

NY ---- JAY!!!!!!! -- ER


Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 14, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Sunderland, I agree. Both Cole and Solis made it clear that they were expecting big, above slot money - well, not Cole as he was expecting to go in the first if he was without baggage - so you have to trust Rizzo knows that and will act accordingly.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | June 14, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

A change in subject -- I thought, given all the info I could find, that Strasburg was pitching Friday. I knew the Saturday game was made earlier so it could be on the networks, but no one explicitly said Strasburg was going to pitch Saturday, while someone DID say specifically that he was pitching Friday. Am I, a loyal fan, being lied to?

Posted by: sbuck | June 14, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Sbuck, all I can say at this point is, go read Mark Zuckerman's post. Just go read that.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 14, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Especially this one:

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 14, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

@SCNatsFan, Sunderland: That's probably a fair read on those two (Cole & Solis). IMO, Solis might come on-board for around $2-2.5M+, while Cole might bite on an offer of slightly over $1.25M. However, Hague at #3 could settle the value for Solis, if he signs early.
Once the early siging values are established, the board starts to clarify a bit.

Posted by: BinM | June 14, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I want to see Nyjer's name spelled right, too, but I hope you're not with the poster who reasoned that those who can't spell it don't deserve to have an opinion. (and I'll admit CapPeterson's spelling was especially egregious, although possibly on purpose.)

Otherwise, we'd be down on Zendo for botching "MisteRogers.''

And Jimmy Dean's passing yesterday brought memories of your song for Livan.
A season highlight, for sure

Posted by: nats24 | June 15, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Nats24 - if you can't spell nyjer after the100+ games he's been a Nat then you must not ever turn on masn during the games. That, or you're a complete donk. Either way I can't take the opinion seriously. I mean by now you think people would know the mans name. I could see when we had just traded for him, but it's getting ridiculous.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | June 15, 2010 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Well, I gotta tell you that, working with people who get paid to spell names right, I wish I could say they always do. This being an online blog, I tend to be a bit more tolerant, not being perfect myself.

Posted by: nats24 | June 15, 2010 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Just to be fair to CapPeterson1, I should have said "clearly on purpose''

Posted by: nats24 | June 15, 2010 1:40 AM | Report abuse

@@Nats24: Hey, they're only opinions. Everybody's got one; nobody's perfect. IMO, I'm going to continue to yell at people who can't spell, and be shamed when I misspell something, especially a five-letter name we've been typing for going on a year already.
And yes, of course he was kidding. That was funny.

And re: Jimmy Dean, rip: how many remember Rolph, the dog--the first TV muppet for Jim Henson--on the Jimmy Dean show in the late 60s?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 15, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

(raises hand)


And re: Jimmy Dean, rip: how many remember Rolph, the dog--the first TV muppet for Jim Henson--on the Jimmy Dean show in the late 60s?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 15, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

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