Commentary

2009 draft in review: National League

Mike Leake got to the majors first, but the Nats and Strasburg are likely winners

Originally Published: May 26, 2010
By Keith Law and Jason A. Churchill | ESPN Insider
Getty ImagesStephen Strasburg is expected to debut in the majors within the next three weeks.

When looking back at the drafts of all 30 teams this past June (full coverage can be found here), one thing is clear: The main winner appears to be the Washington Nationals. They were not, of course, the only winner. (For fun: How we reacted on the live blog when the Nats took Stephen Strasburg can be found here.) What follows is a team-by-team look at the NL squads in relation to the 2009 draft, 351 days after the opening round last year.

Arizona Diamondbacks:
Arizona had a slew of picks last year. It didn't pay more than the slot salary recommended by MLB but generally found good value with most of its selections. Top pick A.J. Pollock has yet to play this spring after suffering a fractured growth plate in his elbow, but he should be back by midseason. Fellow first-rounder Bobby Borchering has bounced back from a slow start in South Bend, while sweet-swinging third baseman Matt Davidson and shortstop Chris Owings have hit well at that level -- but with the horrendous K/BB ratios you'd expect from teenagers in a full-season league. Lefty Mike Belfiore's conversion to the rotation has seen mixed results so far, and his future probably remains in relief. Left fielder Marc Krauss leads the crop of college bats sent to high A with his .319/.400/.509 (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) line in the hitter-friendly Cal League.

Atlanta Braves:
The Braves tabbed Mike Minor with pick No. 7, and the left-hander has not disappointed. He dominated in four starts in the South Atlantic League this past summer and, aside from the occasional control problem, has dominated again this spring in nine starts in Double-A. Third-rounder David Hale has struggled to stay on top of his fastball, posting a 6.16 ERA and allowing 45 hits in 30.2 innings for Class A Rome. Shortstop Mycal Jones, the club's fourth-rounder and third selection in June, has had problems making contact in Class A.