Nats have West Coast focus early on Day 2
Position players also dominate selections through Round 15
WASHINGTON -- After selecting right-hander Lucas Giolito, a high-schooler from California, Monday night in the first round of the First-Year Player Draft, the Nationals continued to look to the Golden State for their second- and third-round picks.
Second baseman Tony Renda, from the University of California, Berkeley, was the Nats' pick in the second round (No. 80 overall). Renda, at 5-foot-8, draws immediate comparisons to Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia due to his short stature, but he is nevertheless considered a prospect with a plus bat who can hit for power. In 2012, Renda, a junior, led the Golden Bears with 75 hits while batting .342 with five home runs and 27 RBIs. Immediately after the pick, Nationals director of scouting Kris Kline praised Renda's swing and work ethic.
"In our opinion, Tony has the quickest bat in the draft," Kline said, via the @NationalsPR Twitter feed. "He has always hit. He brings controlled aggression and a strong, compact swing. He has tremendous makeup and is a great kid."
Left-hander Brett Mooneyham, from Stanford, was the Nats' third-round pick at No. 111 overall. Mooneyham has been drafted twice before, including by the Nationals in the 38th round of the 2011 Draft. A 6-foot-5, 235-pound lefty, Mooneyham finished his fourth-year junior season at Stanford with a 7-5 record, 4.26 ERA, 90 strikeouts and 37 walks in 82 1/3 innings pitched.
"[Mooneyham is] a plus athlete with a fastball that touches 97 [mph] to go along with a plus curveball and changeup," Kline said, via the @Nationals PR Twitter feed. "Mooneyham projects as high as a [No. 3] starter."
Here are the Nationals' other Day 2 Draft picks:
Round 4 (No. 144), OF Brandon Miller, Samford: Like Mooneyham, Miller is also a re-Draft prospect (48th round in 2010). Miller batted .301 with a .650 slugging percentage and a .395 on-base percentage in his senior season, and he also led the Bulldogs with 23 home runs and 65 RBIs. While he mainly played right field at Samford, Miller can also play catcher. Eric Robinson, the Nats' area supervisor for the Southeast region, said Miller's profile reminds him of Tyler Moore.
Round 5 (No. 174), C Spencer Kieboom, Clemson: Kieboom is a strong defensive catcher who committed just six errors in his three years at Clemson. He batted .250 in 2012, adding three home runs and 33 RBIs.
Round 6 (No. 204), CF Hayden Jennings, Evangel Christian Academy (La.): In his senior year at Evangel, Jennings hit. 439 while posting a 0.00 ERA in three starts on the mound. He batted in the leadoff spot and stole 23 bases in as many at-bats, though he also proved his power potential with 12 home runs and 31 RBIs. Jennings has committed to Louisiana State University.
Round 7 (No. 234), RHP Robert Benincasa, Florida State: Allowed only five earned runs in 35 innings pitched in 2012 for a 1.29 ERA. A finalist for Stopper of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, Benincasa is likely to be a reliever with the Nats. He has a sinker that he throws between 90 and 92 mph and a slider that is utilized more as an out pitch. "He's a strike thrower with good command and good feel," Kline said. "He should progress quickly through the system."
Round 8 (No. 264), SS Stephen Perez, Miami: Originally drafted by the Reds in 2009, Perez is an infielder that mostly played shortstop at Miami. Though he is a switch-hitter, Perez is more of a defensive player, having batted .247 in 2012 with five home runs and 29 RBIs. He did lead the Hurricanes with 18 stolen bases in 22 attempts.
Round 9 (No. 294), RHP Derek Self, Louisville: A 6-foot-3, 210-pound righty, Self is a ground-ball reliever who finished his senior season with a 3.41 ERA (12 earned runs in 31 2/3 innings pitched). In his freshman season in 2009, Self closed out the final three innings of Louisville's NCAA Regional win over Middle Tennessee by throwing 27 strikes in 29 pitches.
Round 10 (No. 324), C Craig Manuel, Rice: Manuel batted .275 with two home runs and 25 RBIs in 2012, though he improved dramatically behind the plate (zero errors, down from seven in 2011).
Round 11 (No. 354), RHP Brian Rauh, Chapman: In 14 starts as a junior, Rauh posted an 8-1 record and a 1.27 ERA with 122 strikeouts and 29 walks.
Round 12 (No. 384), 3B Carlos Lopez, Wake Forest: Another college senior, Lopez led Wake Forest with a .294 batting average and a .527 slugging percentage. He hit 10 home runs and added 51 RBIs primarily as a third baseman.
Round 13 (No. 414), LHP Elliott Waterman, University of San Francisco: A closer as a junior, Waterman notched seven saves while posting a 2.36 ERA in 45 2/3 innings pitched. He exhibited excellent control, striking out 40 batters while walking only 12.
Round 14 (No. 444), RF Jordan Poole, Chipola College (Fla.): As a junior college sophomore in 2012, Poole batted .340 with seven home runs and 36 RBIs.
Round 15 (No. 474), CF Brandon Smith, Woodbridge HS (Calif.): The fourth high schooler in the Nats' Draft class through Day 2, Smith batted batted .429 this season, with a .688 slugging percentage and a .527 on-base percentage.
Mike Fiammetta is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.