Byler parlays position switch into Nats' ninth pick

Byler parlays position switch into Nats' ninth pick

After selecting three pitchers in the early stages of Day 2 of the First-Year Player Draft on Friday, the Nationals turned their focus to college position players.

With the No. 274 overall pick in the ninth round, Washington drafted first baseman Austin Byler out of Nevada. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound junior spent his first two seasons at Nevada as a third baseman, but he made the transition to first for the 2014 season and finished with a .998 fielding percentage.

The Draft concludes on Saturday with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on at 1 p.m. ET.

Byler complemented his stout fielding with stellar hitting. He batted .326 with 14 home runs and 47 RBIs in 57 games this season. He also compiled a .420 on-base percentage and a .624 slugging percentage, while swiping seven bases.

Daniel Popper is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.