June 5, 2011

Super Six

The consensus on Monday’s first round suggests there isn’t an obvious No. 1 pick. But there is a clear-cut top tier that goes six deep. Choosing sixth, the Nationals are in position to land one of these players.

1  Gerrit Cole, RHP, UCLA

 Chance the Nats pick him: 2 percent.

The Yankees drafted him in the late first round out of high school, but he chose college. Scouts think he has the best stuff in the draft, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has reported the Pirates are intent on taking him with the first pick.

2 Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice

 Chance the Nats pick him: 10 percent

The projected top pick most of the year, a shoulder injury limited his time in the field and raised questions. He’s still the most polished bat in the draft.

3 Danny Hultzen, LHP, Virginia

 Chance the Nats pick him: 1 percent

The St. Albans product was named the ACC player of the year after a dominant junior season. He throws 95 mph, and his makeup could help him reach the majors quickly.

4 Trevor Bauer, RHP, UCLA

 Chance the Nats pick him: 5 percent

Scouts believe Bauer, with his funky delivery and mid-90’s fastball, is the closest thing to Tim Lincecum since the Giants drafted The Freak in 2006. The Nats are high on him, but a late surge likely pushed him to the top five.

5 Dylan Bundy, RHP, Owasso (Okla.) High

 Chance the Nats pick him: 2 percent

Regarded as the top high school pitcher in the draft, though fellow Oklahoma high schooler Archie Bradley, who throws 100 mph, is close.

6 Bubba Starling, CF, Gardner-Edgerton (Kan.) High

 Chance the Nats pick him: 80 percent

He could play quarterback at Nebraska next fall and his adviser is Scott Boras, so he might be the most difficult player to sign in the entire draft. But with his size (6-5, 195) and blistering speed, he may also have the best potential.

— Adam Kilgore

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