Round 16 – RHP Ronald Pena, Palm Beach State JC
Decent size (6’3” 201 lbs) to go with a fastball that reaches 94 MPH. Secondary pitches inconsistent, but very good at times. Control called poor by Baseball America, but 35 BB in 76 innings (4.14 BB/9) isn’t close to the worst I’ve seen lately. 2012 stats are good (2.72 ERA, 9-2 record) and suggest that he was much better than his competition and/or the quality of competition was poor. Played at College of Charleston his freshman year and will head back there if he doesn’t sign; C of C head coach Monte Lee called him a candidate to be a weekend starter in 2013. #410 on Baseball America’s top 500.
Round 17 – RHP Blake Schwartz, Oklahoma City University
The Minnesota native started at Minnesota State – Mankato before transferring to Oklahoma City University for his senior season. Schwartz was listed by College Summer Baseball as the #1 pitcher in the Northwoods League in 2011, where he went 6-1 with a 1.71 ERA, 75 K and 15 BB in 63 innings. In his 4 college years between MS-M and OCU, he went 35-9 with a 3.34 ERA, 8.39 K/9 and 1.88 BB/9.
Round 18 – RHP Dave Fischer, Connecticut
Fischer is a tall guy at 6’5” with room to add a little weight and as a result perhaps add some velocity onto his already 94 MPH fastball. The senior finally got a grasp of his command in 2012, going 5-6 with a 3.47 ERA in 80 and 1/3 innings for UConn, allowing 27 walks (and in the meantime dropping 1.2 off of his career BB/9) and striking out 68 hitters. We’ll see him in the Auburn bullpen pretty soon I’m sure. Ranked #4 in lower New England region by Baseball America (but not in their top 500).
Round 19 – 3B Bryan Lippincott, Concordia St. Paul
Another college senior, another small school guy. Lippincott had a 4.0 GPA in college (and he didn’t major in something BS like I did, it was in finance). Hit .428/.497/.715 in his 4 years of college and improved across the board each year. I like the power/speed combination (averaged 7 HR and 10 SB per year) and plate discipline (69 BB/62 K). If baseball doesn’t work out for him, he has a job lined up with Minneapolis Financial Group as a financial advisor (but they’ve graciously agreed to work with him if/when he got drafted).
Round 20 – SS James Brooks, Utah
The Australian Ute hit .372/.415/.583 in his junior year in 2011 and .304/.363/.529 in his senior year this year. Brooks showed more speed than power in 2011 (3 HR, 11 SB) but did the opposite in 2012 (10 HR, 1 SB). His plate discipline is a huge concern (30 BB/104 K over 2 years), but the power in the middle infield is a plus. Not sure how Brooks Laich will feel about an Australian baseball playing counterpart who goes by Brooksy, but a little competition never hurts.
Round 21 – C Austin Chubb, Florida Southern
Another senior? Sure, why not. Chubb spent 2 seasons at the State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota before transferring to Florida Southern for the 2011 and 2012 seasons.With a .295/.368/.485 triple slash during his junior year (5 HR in 132 AB, 13 BB/12 K) and a .291/.339/.539 in his senior campaign (8 HR, 8 BB and 27 K in 165 AB), it is apparent that he can handle the bat fairly well. His arm needs work (only threw out 5 out of 55 attempted base stealers this season), so he could be a candidate to move to 1B.
Round 22 – RHP Will Hudgins, Notre Dame
Another another senior? Sure! The great nephew of former Senators pitcher Jim Pearce (h/t @NFA_Brian) had a pretty solid career at Notre Dame; the article from Notre Dame's web site states that only two pitchers in Notre Dame history had a lower ERA than him with more innings pitched. 2012 was the only year in which Hudgins started, but his performance was better than ever; in 15 starts, Hudgins went 5-3 with a 2.06 ERA, 90 K and 24 BB in 96 and 1/3 innings. The Richmond native went to Douglas S. Freeman HS and his father played basketball for VCU.
Round 23 – LHP Casey Selsor, Texas-San Antonio
First of all, the dude's got some awesome flow. Maybe that's why the Nats drafted him twice (they took him out of high school in 2008). His numbers as a hitter this year (.302/.358/.471 with 10 triples and 17 SB) were far more impressive this year than as a pitcher (5.55 ERA, 43 BB/54 K in 84 and 1/3 innings), but he was the Roadrunners' staff ace in 2011 (2.90 ERA, 38 BB/79 K in 99 and 1/3 innings). It will be interesting to see what the Nats end up doing with the athletic lefty/lefty, as he has a bunch of useful tools for both the mound and the field.
Round 24 – RHP Austin DiCharry, Texas
DiCharry was very good as a freshman in 2009 (2.28 ERA, 59 K and 28 BB alolowed in 59 and 1/3 IP). Then shoulder injuries struck; he threw 27 and 1/3 innings his sophomore season in 2010 and just 1 inning during his 2011 junior year. He got healthy enough to throw 20 innings as a senior and pitched well with them, finishing his time in Austin with a 2.25 ERA a 9.0 K/9 and a 2.25 BB/9.
SB Nation Texas Longhorns blog Burnt Orange Nation had a nice "Senior Salute" to Dicharry last month and Crawfish Boxes, an Houston Astros SB Nation blog had an in-depth draft profile on him as well. Looks like a very interesting choice with a decent amount of upside if he can stay healthy. Big if, obviously, and shoulder injuries are pretty scary for pitchers..
Here's how the conversation between the 8 straight senior picks and the Nats likely went:
Scout: We really like your (arm, batting average, jean size, facial hair, lack of an arrest record). Here's $1000 and a Wendy's coupon book. Want to join our organization?
Player: HELL FREAKING YES!
Round 25 – RHP Freddy Avis, California HS
Avis almost certainly won't sign, but it's a good idea to take a couple of solid HS guys as the Nats did in rounds 25-27 to throw the excess slot money saved by drafting conservatively in rounds 2-10 in case Giolito doesn't sign. The Stanford commit throws in the mid 90s with a decent curveball/change combination that will be helped by some time in college. Avis was ranked #56 in Baseball America's top 500.