WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have built an organization with the intention of being perennial contenders, competitive each year while also maintaining a strong farm system. And as they have become accustomed to drafting near the end of the first round during their run of success the past five seasons, it
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have built an organization with the intention of being perennial contenders, competitive each year while also maintaining a strong farm system. And as they have become accustomed to drafting near the end of the first round during their run of success the past five seasons, it makes their preparation for the Draft that much more important.
The 2017 Draft will take place from Monday through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m ET on Monday. MLB Network will broadcast the first 36 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 75 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, starting at 1 p.m. ET. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on June 14, beginning at noon ET.
Go to MLB.com/draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, projected top picks from MLBPipeline.com analysts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying.
:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::
Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the Nationals, whose first selection is the No. 25 overall pick.
In about 50 words
The Nationals could use some reinforcements to the pitching depth in their system, after they traded away their top three pitching prospects this offseason -- Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning -- to the White Sox in exchange for outfielder Adam Eaton.
This organization is built off the strength of its pitching staff, and Washington has never been shy about taking a pitcher it likes early in the Draft, including with its first-round selection. But with that in mind -- and the pitching needs -- the Nationals will not shy away from a position player they like.
In the most recent mock drafts from Mayo and Callis, they each had the Nationals taking right-hander Alex Lange from Louisiana State University. Callis says Lange, who leads the SEC in strikeouts, could be a good value pick for the Nats. However, the Nationals have not shied away from players other teams steer clear from. So, Callis reports that many teams believe if any club uses a first-round pick on former University of Houston left-hander Seth Romero -- who may have been a top-10 selection if he had not been suspended for multiple violations of university and athletic department policies -- it would be Washington.
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $125,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.
Any team going up to five percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75-percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75-percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100-percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100-percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.
This year, the Nationals have a pool of $5,503,500 to spend in the first 10 rounds, including $2,530,400 to spend on their first selection.
If all goes well for the Nationals this Draft, they will help replenish the pitching depth lost from the trades they have made during the past year, including trading left-hander Felipe Rivero to the Pirates for closer Mark Melancon, who is now with the Giants.
While college position players are more of a certainty, the Nationals are not afraid to use their first-round pick on a pitcher. In fact, eight of their last 11 first-round selections have been pitchers, dating back to 2007. The only exceptions were outfielder Bryce Harper (2010), third baseman Anthony Rendon (2011) and shortstop Carter Kieboom (2016).
Recent Draft history
The Nationals had two first-round Draft picks from last season, but traded Dunning to the White Sox. They have high hopes for Kieboom. Still only 19, Kieboom has some growing to do, and is currently on the disabled list with a right hamstring injury. But he was off to a good start, hitting .333 with six homers in his first 29 games with Class A Hagerstown.
The rapid rise of Koda Glover has been a story to watch in the Nationals' system. He was drafted in the eighth round in 2015 out of Oklahoma State University, ascended through the Minors to make his Major League debut in 2016 and is now the closer for the first-place Nationals in 2017.
In the Show
Glover made the Majors barely a year removed from college. He is one of seven Nationals on the current roster that were drafted by the club, including: Stephen Strasburg, Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman, Brian Goodwin, Harper and Michael Taylor.
The Nationals' recent top picks
2016: Dane Dunning, RHP, traded to White Sox; Carter Kieboom, SS, Class A Hagerstown
2015: Andrew Stevenson, OF, Triple-A Syracuse
2014: Erick Fedde, RHP, Triple-A Syracuse
2013: Jake Johansen, RHP, Class A Advanced Winston-Salem (White Sox)
2012: Lucas Giolito, RHP, traded to White Sox
Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.