With the sixth pick in the 2011 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, the Washington Nationals select …

…Taylor Jungmann?


While it is way too early to be making this kind of prediction, I’m going to anyway. And really, it does make a lot of sense.

The Pirates have the first pick and should take the consensus best player in the draft, third baseman Anthony Rendon. Pitchers Gerrit Cole (UCLA), Matt Pruke (TCU), Dan Norris (high school), and outfielder George Springer (UConn) seem to be the five best players in the draft.

That should leave Jungmann available and the Nationals on the board.

Nationals’ General Manager Mike Rizzo likes tall pitchers with power fastballs. Jungmann is 6’6” and has a fastball that consistently hits 93-95 mph. However, it’s more a “show me” pitch than an “out pitch.”

His curveball gets more swing-throughs than his fastball.

He has a solid slider that should one day be “devastating”, as baseballrumormill.com describes it. Like Ross Detwiler, though (who is also tall and lanky), his mechanics are unusual, and at times, cause him to lose his rhythm.

But that three-quarter delivery unnerves right-handed batters. It leaves Jungmann’s hand and heads straight for them. But just as the knees begin to buckle, it moves back over the plate.

In two years at Texas, Jungmann has gone a combined 19-6 with a 2.01 ERA, allowing 6.1 hits and 3.3 walks per nine innings while striking out 9.7. He’s called cold and heartless on the mound, in the Bob Gibson and Roger Clemens “I’d bean my own mother if it meant getting a win” mode.

Jungmann is mature and polished, and if he can get his mechanics a little more under control, it wouldn’t take long before he would be ready for the major leagues.

If God finally shines some sunlight down on the Nationals, the future could be quite bright for Washington’s team. Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann should lead the rotation for years.

Sammy Solis—last year’s second-round pick—has a strong fastball, good breaking ball and excellent change. He commands all three very well. He was described before last season’s amateur draft as a No. 3 starter, without a terribly high ceiling but polished enough to make it to the major leagues in a year or so.

Cuban defector Yunesky Maya’s poor showing with the Nationals last September was General Manager Mike Rizzo’s fault according to Rizzo himself. Maya pitched well in the minors last season but wasn’t prepared for Major League opposition. But in the just completed Dominican Winter League, he had a 1.32 ERA in eight starts with an unbelievable 42:9 strikeout to walk ratio.

He should be a quality fourth-starter for the next three or four years.

The fifth starter could be former first-round pick Ross Detwiler or any one of several minor league pitchers that include:

A.J. Cole: Cole would have been a first-round pick in 2010 but his scholarship to the University of Miami scared away most teams. The Nationals grabbed him in the fourth-round and gave him first-round money to sign. He has a mid 90’s fastball and a great curve and change.

Tom Milone: A 2008 10th-round pick, he has been sensational in his three minor league seasons, going 25-16, 2.98, 9.0/1.7/.7.6 and a 1.18 Whip. He’s not a top-10 prospect, but all he does is pitch well and win.

Daniel Rosenbaum: Taken in the 22nd round in 2009, he’s pitched even better than Malone, going 9-8, 2.19, 7.9/2.5/7.6 in 33 starts.

That’s a pretty good pool of talent that will be available in a couple of years. And if the Nationals are able to draft Jungmann, it will make the back of the rotation even stronger.

And really, wouldn’t it be cool to have to starting pitchers with their last name ending in double-N?

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com