The Nationals picked Karsten Whitson in the 37th round of the draft. This is a very intriguing pick because Whitson was the number nine overall pick in the 2010 draft and turned down 2.1 million to go to Florida. Rarely to players picked in the top 10 turn down the million dollar payday . The reason he slipped over 1000 positions in the draft is he has been injured the last few years after posting a very good freshmen year. He had surgery performed by Dr. James Andrews and chose to red shirt last year. With most teams this would be a throw away pick; One of those that just lets a player know we like you.
Let me paint an interesting scenario when it comes to Whitson. What if the Nats were able to convince him that his gamble to play college ball is a failure, and he needs to start his professional career as soon as possible. He could be convinced that the Nats are one team that takes pitchers health seriously(see Strasburg) and doing rehab and getting paid is better than sitting in college and hoping that you get your fastball back. The Nats can offer a $99,999 signing bonus to rehab on top of that.
He is probably going to go back to school in hopes of getting into the top 8 rounds, which is where the bonus money exceeds 100K. The Nationals might be able to make a persuasive case.
- Karstens has shoulder surgery (triblive.com)
- 2013 MLB Draft: Players With Signability Questions (minorleagueball.com)
- Locals selected in third day of MLB draft (jacksonville.com)