With their second pick in the 2008 draft, the Washington Nationals selected Destin Hood. Hood is a tremendous athlete who prior to the draft had committed to play both football (3 star wide receiver recruit) and baseball at Alabama. His tremendous natural power and athleticism reminds you of a Mike Cameron or a Torri Hunter, but his raw skills make you realize that he will have to work hard to achieve Major League readiness.
Hood played shortstop for his high school, but he will likely be converted to an outfielder by the Nats. He has poor hands and his height and speed really convert perfectly to the outfield. The only thing he will need to do is improve his arm. His power in batting practice is incredible but it has yet to translate to in game success. This isn’t uncommon for pure athletes. Once he better understands the game and how to approach pitch counts, he will start turning on, and driving balls out of the park.
The biggest question is whether or not the Nats will offer enough money to Hood to keep him from going to Alabama and not the Nats minor leagues. Hood Claims to love baseball the most, and a million dollar contract is hard for anyone to turn down. Still, Hood wouldn’t be the first person to turn down a big contract to play in college.
Here’s hood talking about his future after being taken 55th overall in the 2008 draft.
|Destin Hood on draft|
Destin Hood's football highlights, check out the athleticism.
Danny Espinosa is a good fielding shortstop from the shortstop factory of Long Beach State University. His predecessors; Bobby Crosby, Troy Tulowitzki, and Evan Longoria, have all made the conversion to the Major Leagues very quickly and effectively. While Espinosa does not have the flair from the plate that these hitters had coming out of college, he is more then competent from both sides and his glove is already major league ready.
Espinosa is another college player who is very polished. He has experience of three years in college, as well as participating for Team USA baseball and he became one of the only freshman to compete in the Cape Cod league back in 2006. While he still needs to improve his consistency from the left side, Espinosa’s instincts make him a very solid line drive hitter who can someday be a very solid major league shortstop. His plus arm and smart positioning in the field will make his transition that much easier, as he will only need to focus on improving his bat in the minors.