Chuck Hixson, DC Baseball News
Brett Wallace, 1B/3B, Arizona State University
Wallace gives the Nationals the option of putting him at first or third base, with third being the first priority, but if his mechanics and footwork don't improve, first could always be a fallback for him and the Nationals. His plate presence is impressive; he's patient, has quick hands and doesn't try to over use his natural power, preferring to simply do what he can with a pitch. His natural power makes him a hitter that opponents will loath facing, especially when combined with his other plate skills.
Alonso looks like a Major League hitter at the plate and has a very mature, disciplined approach to hitting. He should be able to touch the 30 home run plateau in the majors when all is said and done and should hit for a decent enough average, with a very respectable on-base percentage. Defensively, he's adequate, but there won't be any gold gloves in his future and he's not strong enough defensively to move him any other place on the field.
Eric Hosmer, 1B, American Heritage HS (Florida)
Seeing a trend here? The Nationals seem to be destined to fill a need at first base, but there's no true consensus on which of the available first basemen that they'll take. Hosmer is not going to come cheaply and it would be an interesting pick because the Nationals aren't generally thought of as a team that likes to put a lot of commas on a check and Hosmer figures to have a couple, along with some pretty big numbers surrounding them. What the Nats may love is that he projects to move quickly and they prefer to get guys who won't be spending a lot of time taking minor league bus rides. He could move quickly because he's got such a strong approach to hitting. He is the type of hitter that could role out of bed at two-a.m. and get a hit. Baseball Prospectus points out that if they do think the price tag is going to be too high, the Nationals could go with right-hander Aaron Crow (Ole Miss) but he may not be much cheaper than Hosmer.
Jonathan Mayo, MLB.com
Kyle Skipworth, C, Patriot HS (California)
In all honesty, this is who I would have had the Nationals choosing, but I don't see him being there at number nine. The Marlins have scouted him a lot and are reported to be very high on him. For their part, the Nationals also did a lot of stalking when it came to Skipworth, but he didn't always perform well when they saw him and although he was their early favorite, he reportedly dropped in their eyes, but then again, that could be a decoy. He's going to need a little work, but when there's a catcher with his kind of skills sitting there, it's hard to resist.
John Sickels, Minor League Ball
Aaron Hicks, RHP, Woodrow Wilson HS (California)
No, it's not a typo. Sickels, who knows his way around the draft, predicts the Nationals will select Hicks, thought to be an outfield prospect, as a right-handed pitcher. Why not? After all, he throws in the mid-90s off the mound and has pitched some in high school. The upside is that you get a kid with a live arm, who is coachable and willing to learn the fine art of pitching all with very few miles on his shoulder and elbow. The downside is that he's going to have a longer learning curve and will take a slower route to the majors. If the Nationals are willing to be patient, it would be an interesting pick. Worst case scenario is they give up the idea and have a quality outfielder with a strong arm and good speed.
It's worth noting that Sickels also sees a scenario where Justin Smoak (1B, South Carolina) could fall to the Nationals. Smoak is one of the more respected offensive prospects in the draft and would be a nice find if he does fall to number nine.