Still Mulling Whom to Get With 6th Pick

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 7, 2007

With baseball's amateur draft beginning at 2 p.m. this afternoon, the Washington Nationals' crush to debate each and every pick is nearly over. Yesterday, the top baseball operations officials -- General Manager Jim Bowden, vice president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo, scouting director Dana Brown, vice president of player development Bob Boone and special advisor Chuck LaMar -- met with members of the Lerner family, which owns the team, to present their plan, which includes a ranking of 594 players.

"And we have consensus on the first 110 picks," Bowden said.

The pick that will generate the most discussion -- and the most hope -- is the sixth overall. The industry consensus is that the three top pitchers in the draft are Vanderbilt left-hander David Price (projected as the top pick to Tampa Bay), New Jersey high school right-hander Rick Porcello and Missouri State lefty Ross Detwiler. The top position players are Georgia Tech catcher Matt Wieters, third baseman Josh Vitters of Cypress, Calif., and first baseman-third baseman Mike Moustakas of Chatsworth, Calif.

Though some top Nationals executives prefer to take a hitter with the sixth pick, it's possible that Porcello, who will be represented by the notoriously hard-driving Scott Boras, could fall in the draft and be available at No. 6. The club would then have a choice -- take Porcello and risk not being able to sign him, or take another player they like less. A tweak in the draft rules, however, means the Nationals could select Porcello and, should they fail to sign him by Aug. 15, receive the same choice in next year's draft.

Still, several club officials would like to end up with either Vitters or Moustakas.

Logan, Langerhans to Platoon

Center fielder Nook Logan was told by Manager Manny Acta on Tuesday that he will likely platoon with Ryan Langerhans for the foreseeable future. That has led Logan to abandon switch-hitting.

"Right now, the way things have been going with me, my numbers right- and left-handed, why not just take a chance?" Logan said.

He is hitting .189 from the left side, and .294 from the right side.

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