Now Commenting On:

{"content":["first-year_player_draft" ] }

Late rounds can be just as productive

Late rounds can be just as productive

WASHINGTON -- What do the Nationals' Jason Bergmann, Willie Harris, John Lannan and Josh Willingham have in common? They were all drafted after Round 3 in the First-Year Player Draft.

While there wasn't any buzz when they were selected, they persevered and made it to the big leagues.

Take Bergmann and Lannan -- they were drafted in the 11th round by the Nationals/Expos in 2002 and '05, respectively. Lannan is the Nationals' No 1 starter on the staff, while Bergmann is making a contribution as a middle reliever.

"For me, I didn't have lofty expectations. I just came to the field every day and did what was asked of me with the best of my ability," Bergmann said. "It's just a matter of going out there and giving it your all. I have no regrets about playing baseball."

Harris, a 24th-rounder in the 1999 Draft with the Orioles, believes some of the best players get selected in the later rounds.

"I don't want to say the first round is overrated, but I would say 50 percent of the guys in the big leagues were low-round Draft picks or undrafted free agents," Harris said. "For guys drafted in the first round, it's good for them, but it does not clarify what type of player they are going to be at this level."

Willingham was a 17th-round pick in by the Marlins in 2000, and it took him four years to make his Major League debut.

"Everyone that is not a high pick wants a shot to play," Willingham said. "I took it one step at a time."

Nationals -- Top five selections
1RHPStephen StrasburgSan Diego St U
10RHPDrew StorenStanford U
502BJeffrey KobernusUC Berkeley
81RHPTrevor HolderU Georgia
112RHPAnthony MorrisKansas St U
Complete Nationals Draft results >

After 111 picks on Day 1 -- including Round 1, Compensation Round A, Round 2, Round 3 and Compensation Round B -- the Draft resumed on Wednesday. The Draft will conclude on Thursday with the 31st through 50th rounds, beginning at 11:30 a.m.

MLB.com's coverage will include a live pick-by-pick audio stream, expert commentary and the exclusive Draft Tracker, a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player, featuring statistics, scouting reports and video highlights.

Fans will not only be able to follow along every minute of the way online, but they'll be able to interact directly with Draft-eligible players and MLB.com Draft experts, among others.

The Draft Tracker will also feature the addition of Twitter, and the participation of "tweeters" such as MLB.com Draft expert @JonathanMayoB3, who will also be serving as on-air talent for all three days of the Draft; and reporter @LisaWinstonMLB, who will be writing the up-to-the-minute coverage for MLB.com.

In addition, MLB.com has created a Twitter account devoted to the Draft, where you can stay updated on every piece of info as it becomes available (@MLBDraft).

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["first-year_player_draft" ] }
{"content":["first-year_player_draft" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español