One of the great things about baseball's Collective Bargaining Agreement is that when Small Market (or bad) teams have star players who leave during free agency, those teams get something in return. And thats just what happened for those Nats when Adam Dunn chose to sign a 4 year deal with the White Sox. Regardless of the team Dunn signed with, the Nationals would have received two compensation picks due to Dunn's past performance, but the Nats lucked out in that the White Sox were just out of the woods for "protected pick" status; meaning, they had a good enough record last year that their 1st round pick wasn't protected. It should be noted that the Nats had a protected pick, and therefore lost their 2nd round pick to the Phillies for signing Jayson Werth.
By not trading Dunn midseason last year, the Nats took a chance that they wouldn't even get solid compensation in return if he signed with a struggling team. Anyway, the Nats seem to have won out of this deal, seeing as though as of today the Nats are going to be picking 23rd (White Sox 1st round spot) and 34th overall (1st pick in the Compensation or "Sandwich" round). And lets be honest, imagine getting two top 35 picks for Adam Dunn considering his performance so far this year: .179 AVG, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 78 K in 184 ABs.
And with the 23rd overall pick in the 2011 Draft, the Nationals were able to select 6' 9" RHP Alex Meyer from the University of Kentucky. Obviously the height is the first thing that jumps out, the second being his fastball which he can throw consistently in the upper 90s. MLBNetwork's player evalutation rates his fastball at a 8 (on the 2-8 scouting scale), with his slider projeccted to get to a 6, change up at 6, and control at a 5. According to Adam Kilgore, scouts in the room are elated at his "Jet Fuel"-type fastball. Considering the Nats were thinking about taking him at 6th overall, its a steal to get him all the way down at 23.
[UPDATE - 10:19PM]
With the first pick of the Sandwich round, the Nationals start off by taking OF Brian Goodwin from the Miami Dade College. He hit .382 with 8 HR this year in JuCo action. A very toolsy outfielder with raw power is how the MLBN team describes the speedy Goodwin.
Stay tuned for more MLB Draft coverage tomorrow!