Washington Nationals: A Look at Where Top Draft Picks from 2010 Are Now

Andrew Rocco@@Andy_RoccoContributor IMay 31, 2013

Washington Nationals: A Look at Where Top Draft Picks from 2010 Are Now

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    The MLB amateur draft is one of the most exciting times of the season. Every year, a fresh crop of talented young players make their way to new teams. Expectations and hopes for an organization's youth are at a yearly highand for good reason.

    The 2010 MLB draft featured quite an impressive talent pool, including future superstars Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Matt Harvey and Chris Sale. They all went in the first round and have enjoyed high levels of success early in their careers.

    Aside from the obvious gem of the 2010 draft, Bryce Harper, the Nationals have yet to get much in return from the rest of their draft picks. 

    Of the five players drafted in the Nats' first five rounds, only Harper is active with the team, and only one seems to have a solid chance at breaking in with the team in the near future.

    The following slideshow will cover where the Washington Nationals' top five picks from the 2010 MLB draft are now.

    All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and are current through May 29, 2013.

    The 2010 MLB Draft recap for the Nationals can be seen here.

Jason Martinson

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    The Nationals' fifth-round pick in 2010 out of Texas State, Martinson hit .241/.346/.344 in his debut with Vermont that summer. In 2011, the shortstop improved across the board during a promotion to Low-A Hagerstown, finishing with a .252 average, 22 doubles, 19 home runs and 26 steals.

    After starting the 2012 season back in Low-A, where he hit .272 in 69 games, Martinson was promoted to High-A Potomac, where he posted a .215/.279/.409 line in 66 games.

    His habit to swing and miss could hamper any offensive potential he has, and his ceiling seems limited to begin with.

    Martinson still has work to do against High-A pitching and will likely need the bulk of the 2013 season back at Potomac to get his offensive game in order.

    He could move to Double-A late in the year and spend much of 2014 at the same level. If he continues to show pop, some speed and versatility, he could sneak onto the big league radar as a utility option during the 2015 season.

A.J. Cole

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    The Washington Nationals' fourth-round pick in 2010, right-hander A.J. Cole was reacquired this past winter after being dealt to the Oakland A's in 2011 in the deal that brought Gio Gonzalez to the nation's capital.

    After a less-than-impressive season in the A's system, the Nationals brought back the pitcher in the three-team deal that sent Michael Morse to the Seattle Mariners.

    Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo later admitted that including Cole was the toughest part of the Gonzalez trade. He was never concerned about the numbers the pitcher put up in the California League in 2012.

    The early returns are impressive. Through six starts for the High-A Potomac Nationals in 2013, Cole is 1-1 with a 3.94 ERA, 2.45 FIP, six walks (1.69 BB/9) and 34 Ks (9.56 K/9) in 32.0 IP.

    The right-hander was also recently named the Carolina League's Pitcher of the Week, an obvious positive for the former 2010 draft pick.

    If he keeps up this pace, he will undoubtedly be an integral part of the Washington Nationals' rotation in the next year or two.

Rick Hague

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    A former teammate of Anthony Rendon at Rice University, Rick Hague doesn’t have the same kind of firepower as the Nationals’ top prospect, but he’s still considered one of the Nationals' top prospects.

    Hague was an All-Conference USA selection, and he proved to be an offensive commodity during his three-year college career. As a member of Team USA in 2008, he also won the Best Hitter Award in the World Baseball Challenge.

    After the Nationals selected him in the third round of the 2010 draft, Hague needed little time to adjust to the pros. He totaled a .327/.386/.522 in the South Atlantic League in 2010. An injured rotator cuff sustained in April 2011 quickly wiped out his progress, and he didn’t end up playing another regular-season game until May, 2012.

    Hague’s shoulder surgery certainly set him back. Now, he’s entering his mid-20s and is only now getting regular at-bats in Double-A, so it’s important for him to put together a strong 2013 campaign and push his way to Syracuse if he wants to maintain his prospect status. Four weeks in to 2013, things aren’t looking too promising.

    When he’s right, Hague is one of the best pure hitters in the Nationals’ system, He takes a short, compact swing, and he uses the whole field. He also works the count like a veteran big leaguer.

    Hague has a lot of improvements to make before he can set his sights on a major league job. His fielding is subpar, and his swing appears to have softened since injuring his shoulder. So, for now, Hague needs to focus on staying healthy, getting his swing back and getting out of Double-A in one piece.

Sammy Solis

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    The Washington Nationals' second-round pick in 2010, Solis has recently recovered from Tommy John surgery. He has been throwing in games in extended spring training at the Nationals' training facility in Florida.

    Solis was scheduled this past week for three innings with the Potomac Nationals. His outing went without any major issue or setback, and he’ll now be ramped up to four and then five innings in successive starts.

    Solis was hitting the mid-90s prior to Tommy John surgery, and the Nationals are hoping he can return to a similar velocity range, although they will not push the young left-hander.

    His velocity has been strong and consistent since returning, and the Nationals' front office believes he is right where he should be in that aspect of his game.

    Solis had Tommy John surgery on March 6, 2012. He was 8-3 with a 3.26 ERA in 17 starts in the minors from 2009-2011, with 93 strikeouts and 23 walks. He last pitched for Potomac in 2011, when he went 6-2 with a 2.72 ERA in 10 starts.

    For now, the expectations for Solis have been tempered because of his injury. It’s worth keeping an eye on him and his progress next season, as his continued rehabilitation and development will be important for the future of the Nationals' rotation.

Bryce Harper

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    As the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 MLB draft, there was certainly no shortage of hype surrounding Bryce Harper. The development of the early stages of his career was highly chronicled throughout the press.

    As the only member of the Nationals' 2010 draft class actually playing at the major league level, Harper has undoubtedly exceeded all expectations. He was called up early in the 2012 season at the age of 19 and flourished throughout the year, aside from a couple of minor slumps.

    Thus far, through the first two months of the 2013 season, it sure seems as if he completely bypassed the daunted "sophomore slump." He is putting up monster numbers while hitting in the heart of the Nationals' lineup.

    Harper's currently sporting an impressive .287/.386/.587 triple-slash this season. Throw in 12 home runs, 23 RBI and 29 runs scored, and it's evident that Harper is here to stay.

    While Harper is now nursing a couple of minor injuries, he's recently come under scrutiny due to his high-intensity style of play. Aside from this minor hiccup, Harper's progression has been almost flawless. He's lived up to the hype that has surrounded him from the age of 16, and he continues to get better offensively and defensively.

    As an organization, the Nationals certainly cannot ask for much more than that.