Experience matters to Nats on Day 2 of Draft
College players, including Purke, account for 25 of 28 picks
On the second day of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, the Nationals continued a trend they established in Monday's first round and compensation round.
Washington took three college players on Day 1 and went the college route on 25 of its 28 selections on Day 2. The Nationals will have to compete with Ole Miss for two of their high school picks -- pitchers from Mississippi -- and their first pick of the day also comes with signability concerns, but plenty of upside.
The Nationals took Texas Christian left-hander Matthew Purke, who has injury concerns like sixth overall pick Anthony Rendon, with their first pick of Day 2 in the third round. But Purke has a ton of talent, and if Washington can sign the 2010 Baseball America Freshman of the Year, the finesse pitcher could be a steal at that stage of the Draft.
The Nationals did not have a second-round pick because they signed Jayson Werth in the offseason, but after drafting Purke, they selected with the sixth pick of every round. The day concluded with the Nationals selecting Bryan Harper, Bryce's older brother, in the 30th round. They will resume with the sixth pick of the final 20 rounds on Wednesday.
Live coverage of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft resumes at noon ET Wednesday on MLB.com, where fans will receive exclusive coverage of Day 3, featuring a live pick-by-pick stream, expert commentary and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player. You can also keep up to date at Draft Central and by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
A rundown of the Nationals' Day 2 selections:
Round 3, Matthew Purke, LHP, Texas Christian: The Draft-eligible sophomore entered 2011 as one of the top college arms, but his stock dropped when elbow bursitis ended his season after 11 starts. The Rangers drafted Purke with the 14th overall pick in 2009, and signability concerns remain for his second time around. His fastball is routinely in the 90-95 mph range, and he also throws a curveball, slider and changeup, which all have the potential to be plus-pitches.
Round 4, Kylin Turnbull, LHP, Santa Barbara CC: Turnbull improved his Draft stock after the White Sox took him in the 30th round last year. The 6-foot-4 southpaw throws a fastball around 93 mph and had a 2.47 ERA this season.
Round 5, Matt Skole, 3B, Georgia Tech: The left-handed-hitting Skole hit 47 home runs in his three-year college career. The Rangers selected his brother, Jake, with the 15th overall pick out of high school last year.
Round 6, David Hill, RHP, Vanderbilt: Hill improved his Draft stock with his senior season at Vanderbilt after the Indians took him in the 30th round last year. Hill started 16 games and went 5-1 with a 2.84 ERA for the Commodores.
Round 7, Brian Dupra, RHP, Notre Dame: The Rangers drafted Dupra out of high school in the 36th round, where he dropped due to a strong commitment to Notre Dame. Dupra went 16-20 with a 5.28 ERA in four years in South Bend, Ind.
Round 8, Gregory Holt, RHP, North Carolina: Holt began his career in Chapel Hill as a pitcher and designated hitter but moved exclusively to the bullpen for his final two seasons. He struck out 103 over 99 1/3 innings the past two years.
. Round 9, Dixon Anderson, RHP, University of California, Berkeley: After the Orioles drafted Anderson in the sixth round last year, he returned to Cal to go 4-3 with a 3.90 ERA.
Round 10, Manny Rodriguez, RHP, Barry University: Rodriguez set a school record this season, striking out 126 batters over 112 2/3 innings. He went 7-3 with a 2.00 ERA.
Round 11, Caleb Ramsey, OF, Houston: Ramsey hit .318 and drove in 46 runs in his senior season. He stole five bases and did not homer.
Round 12, Blake Monar, LHP, Indiana: A shoulder injury limited Monar to 3 1/3 innings a year ago, but he recovered to go 6-3 with a 3.52 ERA this season.
Round 13, Casey Kalenkosky, 1B, Texas State: Kalenkosky provides some pop, as his 21 home runs ranked sixth in the nation entering NCAA Regionals, but he also boasted a .327 batting average this season.
Round 14, Roland Stubbs, LF, Walters State CC: The Red Sox drafted Stubbs out of high school, but he went to Tennessee for a season before transferring to Walters State, where he also played for one season.
Round 15, Zachary Houchins, SS, Louisburg College: Houchins hit .349 with four home runs, 35 RBIs and seven stolen bases.
Round 16, Deion Williams, SS, Redan H.S. (Ga.): The 6-foot-3 shortstop signed a letter of intent at Georgia State after playing in the Under Armour All-American Game as a high school junior. His father and grandfather both played professionally in the Red Sox organization.
Round 17, Esteban Guzman, RHP, San Jose State: The 6-foot-4 Guzman struck out 74 batters over 75 2/3 innings with a 3.33 ERA.
Round 18, Nicholas Lee, LHP, Weatherford College: The Draft-eligible southpaw went 5-4 with a 2.80 ERA this season.
Round 19, Hawtin Buchanan, RHP, Biloxi H.S. (Miss.): The 6-foot-8 Buchanan dropped this low over fears that he will follow through on his commitment to Ole Miss. His fastball is in the low 90s.
Round 20, Josh Laxer, RHP, Madison Central H.S. (Miss.): Another Ole Miss commit, Laxer throws a 95 mph fastball. He struck out 110 batters and walked 19 in 68 innings this season.
Round 21, Todd Simko, LHP, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi: Simko had a 4.31 ERA and walked 46 batters in 96 innings but set a school record with 10 wins.
Round 22, Travis Henke, RHP, Arkansas-Little Rock: Henke worked out of the bullpen as a junior, but started 14 games with a 5.20 ERA as a senior.
Round 23, Khayyan Norfork, 2B, Tennessee: Norfork stole 43 bases in two seasons at Tennessee, where he hit .299.
Round 24, Kyle Ottoson, LHP, Arizona State: The Nationals are the fourth team to draft Ottoson, whom the Rockies selected in 2008, the Yankees picked in '09 and the Phillies took in '10.
Round 25, Erick Fernandez, C, Georgetown: The catcher consistently hit for average and finished his Georgetown career with a .325 mark.
Round 26, Shawn Pleffner, SS, Tampa: Pleffner hit .366, drove in 39 runs and scored 42 of his own after playing two seasons at Tallahassee Community College.
Round 27, Robert Lucas, LHP, George Washington: The 6-foot-4 left-hander struck out 11.92 batters per nine innings but went 2-8 with a 5.27 ERA in his first full season as a starter.
Round 28, Kenneth Ferrer, RHP, Elon: The Indians selected Ferrer in the 35th round last year, but he returned to Elon and went 5-3 with a 4.02 ERA.
Round 29, Sean Cotten, C, Tusculum College: Cotten shattered the school record with 186 RBIs in his four-year career. He hit 35 career home runs and stole 34 bases, while also hitting for average.
Round 30, Bryan Harper, LHP, South Carolina: The Nationals' selected Bryce Harper's older brother for the second time after taking him in the 31st round of the '08 Draft. He pitched 18 1/3 innings and allowed 11 runs in his only season at South Carolina.
Steven Miller is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.