Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Round 3: Matt Purke, LHP, Texas Christian University

(from USA Today)

Sean's one sentence analysis: The lefty starter fell to the third round due to injury concerns, but snagging him here was a great coup for the Nats; elite talent does not grow on trees.

Thoughts from the community: 
"Purke got hit hard in his initial AFL outings last fall but settled down with four straight scoreless outings. He held his own in two spring outings, but more importantly he seemed healthy. Purke features a low-to-mid 90s FB and a plus low-80s SL. Like Ross Detwiler, he has a history of dropping his arm slot and throwing across his body, flattening his stuff. He's set to begin the 2012 campaign in Potomac, and all indications at this point are that he'll be in the starting rotation." - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com (@nats_prospects)

Previous analysis and notes:
I was ecstatic with the pick when it happened. While Purke was obviously no guarantee to sign both because of his injury and his sophomore eligibility, it was the right place to take a risk.The Nats would have gotten a compensation pick at the end of the 3rd in 2012 if he didn't sign.
From John Sickels, Minor League Ball, 6/14/2011: "Huge wild card. Put up great numbers (1.71 ERA, 61/20 K/BB in 53 IP, 36 hits) despite injury issues and loss of velocity. Has sophomore leverage. If he looks good this summer, he could earn first round money, but my psychic powers say he heads back to college."
From Keith Law via Amanda Comak, The Washington Times, 6/7/2011: "I could craft you an explanation about how the time off cost him arm strength, and how he didn't have time to rehab the arm and regain both velocity and durability, and it would all make sense. I'm not dismissing the possibility that given time and the right strengthening program, Purke can again pitch like he did during his healthy and successful freshman year. But the bottom line is that pitchers with big price tags need to show big stuff, and Purke didn't do it in what is likely his last opportunity before the draft to show he's worth what he's expected to demand."
From John Manuel, Baseball America, 6/7/2011: "Purke was never quite right in 2011. He didn't pitch last summer or fall and wasn't able to recapture his '10 form in 2011. Purke's fastball hit the mid-90s last year and sat at average this year, and his stuff across the board was down, plus he missed time with arm issues. He was an unsigned first-rounder in 2009 and might be the toughest sign in this draft, considering he agreed to a $6 million deal in '09 before it was vetoed by the commissioner's office."

According to Jim Callis of Baseball America, Purke signed a Major League deal worth around $4.4 mil.

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