With their first pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, No. 68 overall, the Washington Nationals selected RHP Jake Johansen, a 6’6″, 235 pitcher from Dallas Baptist University. Johansen was a starter in college, but with his big fastball and currently fringe-average secondary pitches he profiles more as a reliever in professional baseball.
Johansen was ranked No. 182 by Baseball America heading into the draft. Keith Law of ESPN.com had Johansen at No. 66.
As a junior, Johansen went 7-6 with a 5.40 ERA in 88 1/3 innings this season.
Nationals scouting director Kris Kline described Johansen as being similar to Josh Beckett, and that the team believes he profiles as a No. 3 starter, with a top fastball and a good feel for his secondary pitches. Kline believes Johansen has a solid-average breaking ball and a strong slider that needs to have better consistency.
Nats Assistant GM for Player Personnel Roy Clark thinks there are a couple of “quick fixes” that could turn Johansen into a quality starter very quickly.
“We think this guy is a great second-round pick,” Clark said, “and we think Rafael Soriano was a great first-round pick.” The Nats surrendered their first round pick in this year’s draft after signing Soriano as a free agent last off-season.
From MLB.com’s draft profile:
Built like the prototypical Texas right-hander, Johansen is Dallas Baptist’s Friday night starter. His results have been inconsistent this year and he has occasionally shied away from attacking hitters. Though he has a four-pitch arsenal, Johansen is still learning how to pitch. He is still more of a thrower and must improve his command of his low-90s fastball. Johansen also throws a curveball, changeup and slider, all of which need more development. Johansen may fit best in the bullpen as a professional, where his fastball would play up and he could concentrate on one off-speed pitch.
From the Nats press release:
The 6-foot-6, 235 lbs. Johansen cemented his status as one of college baseball’s top power arms after striking out 75 in 88.1 innings as a junior. Johansen went 7-6 with a 5.40 ERA in 15 starts and posted strong strikeout-to-walk (2.9/1) and walks per 9.0 inning (2.6) ratios. Twice during his junior campaign, Johansen posted double-digit strikeout totals (10 on both April 26 vs. University of Texas-San Antonio and February 22 vs. Mississippi Valley State).
In three seasons at Dallas Baptist, Johansen finished 13-7 with one save and a 6.03 ERA (99 ER/147.2 IP) in 46 games/23 starts.
Johansen is a graduate of Allen (TX) High School and participated in the Texas Scout Association All-Star Game in the Spring of 2011.