Third baseman Gunter goes to Nats in sixth
With the 196th pick in the First-Year Player Draft on Friday, the Nationals selected third baseman Cody Gunter of Grayson County College in Denison, Texas.
Gunter was a solid prospect coming out of Flower Mound High School (Texas), but he didn't sign with the Marlins after he was selected in the 19th round of the 2012 Draft. He opted for junior college instead of a four-year school so he would be Draft-eligible again this year.
Gunter played third base and was the closer for Grayson Community College and has skills in both areas. He batted .321 with seven home runs and 39 RBIs, while allowing just one earned run in 15 innings on the mound. He bats left-handed and throws right-handed.
"Early in the year, he was used as a closer and he'd come in throwing 93-94 [mph], but he's going to be a third baseman," Nationals assistant general manager and vice president of player personnel Roy Clark said. "Again, strong power bat kind of guy."
Gunter has an advanced approach at the plate and enough strength to generate good power. He also drew 57 walks last season, twice as many as any other player on his team. His plus arm gives him an advantage both at third base and on the pitching mound, where he has a low-90s fastball and solid slider.