After what was then thought of an aberration this category returns after a year layoff.
With the new CBA effectively delaying the starts of many draft picks—thanks to the elimination of a SS-A team—many of the draft picks either start late (Brady House) or not at all (Jake Bennett). So this may be a new watchlist feature from now on.
Because I’m too busy (or don’t have enough time; this is a hobby, after all) covering the players the Nats do have to worry about the players the Nats might get, this is often how I get to know them.
So, without further ado…
Nathaniel Ochoa Leyva
Leyva continues the Nats’ recent foray into drafting HS position players. He was a 2021 Canadian Junior National Team member and took part in the 2022 MLB Draft League with the Trenton Thunder before Washington took him in the 6th Rd. He played six games in the FCL and would seem he would return there until such time as there’s a spot for him in Fredericksburg.
Presumably spotted while the Nats were on their Big 12 forays, the Nats drafted the 22-y.o. out of TCU in the 7th Rd. He went 4-5 with a 4.68 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP while averaging a little more than a K per 9IP. Older scouting reports refer to his 3/4 delivery with a lot of deception and a FB/SL/CH repertoire. He did not pitch in the minors last summer.
Huff, no relation to Aubrey, was taken in the 8th Rd. out of Ga. Tech and split time between the FCL (three appearances) and Low-A (four appearances) after signing in August. The 22-y.o. features a low-90s FB that touches 96 and throws a CV, SL, and a CH with the curve being his best secondary pitch.
A bit undersized at 6′, 170, Young was picked 11th out of Midland (Junior) College. He features a mid-90s FB and a high-70s SLV that enabled him to strike out 110 in 79⅔ innings. He pitched in the Northwoods collegiate wood-bat league prior to signing in August. He was assigned to the FCL but did not pitch in any games that counted.
Marquis Grissom Jr.
The Nats’ fetish with legacies continues with the 13th Rd. pick, who was scouted along with Huff at Ga. Tech. Like Huff, Grissom Jr. split time between the FCL and Low-A with a total of 10 innings pitched, five runs allowed on ten hits and five walks.