Bill Ladson

Nats open Day 2 with high school lefty Luzardo

Washington's selections in third, fourth rounds are coming off injuries

Nats open Day 2 with high school lefty Luzardo

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals are known to take chances on injured players, and Day 2 of the MLB Draft was no different. Their first two picks of the day, left-hander Jesus Luzardo and outfielder Nick Banks, are coming off injuries.

General manager Mike Rizzo believes Luzardo can develop into a quality pitcher.

"He was very carefully scouted," Rizzo said. "We had seen him for years. He is a guy that has now stuff and still has room to improve."

Track every Nationals pick from Day 2 of the 2016 MLB Draft, which consisted of Rounds 3-10.

The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on at noon ET.

Round 3 (94th overall), Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Stoneman Douglas High School (Parkland, Fla.)
Luzardo is coming off Tommy John surgery, but the Nationals have a history of drafting pitchers who needed elbow reconstruction. Before the Draft, Luzardo was considered the 77th-best prospect, according to When healthy, his fastball is clocked in the mid-90s and he is known to have a good curveball and changeup.

Round 4 (124th overall), Nick Banks, OF, Texas A&M
Banks was projected to be a 2015 first-round pick, but his batting average dropped 75 points this season. It didn't help that he had a cyst removed from his lower back. Some scouts believe his tools regressed this spring because of the injury.

Round 5 (154th overall), Daniel Johnson, OF, New Mexico State
This past season, Johnson proved he had the tools to be selected in the early rounds of the Draft. He was the 2016 Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year after leading the team in batting average (.416), slugging percentage (.720), hits (52), homers (eight) and stolen bases (15).

Round 6 (184th overall), Tres Barrera, C, University of Texas
The right-handed-hitting Barrera has raw power and has split time behind the plate, while also playing first and third base. The bad news is Barrera hit a combined .169 with wooden bats in the Cape Cod League the last two years. He is known to overswing and go for the home run too much.

2016 Draft: Tres Barrera, C

Round 7 (214th overall), Jacob Noll, 2B, Florida Gulf Coast
Knoll has good bat speed and has hit over .300 every year with FGCU. He doesn't move well at second base and could end up as a utility player.

Round 8 (244th overall), A.J. Bogucki, RHP, North Carolina
This is the second time he was drafted. Three years earlier, Bogucki was drafted by the Twins in the 31st round. The right-hander had an ERA close to 5.00 in 2015, but he had a better season in '16 with a 2.86 ERA out of the UNC bullpen. Opponents hit .212 against him, while he had 53 strikeouts in 50 1/3 innings.

Round 9 (274th overall), Joey Harris, C, Gonzaga
He is known for his skills behind the plate. In 2015, for example, he finished the regular season second in the nation with 28 runners caught stealing and a 50.9 caught-stealing percentage.

Round 10 (304th overall), Paul Panaccione, SS, Grand Canyon University
He was named the Preseason WAC Player of the Year by the conference's coaches and he didn't disappoint in 2016. Panaccione hit .363 with four home runs and 26 RBIs.

Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.