06/09/10 3:30 AM ET
Kicking off Day 2, Nats draft big lefty
Selection of Solis precedes club's pick of shortstop Hague
By Greg Rosenstein / MLB.com
Washington selected Solis with the first pick of the second round in the First-Year Player Draft. The 6-foot-5, 228-pound left-hander was the 51st overall pick and came back after missing nearly all of the 2009 season with a herniated disc in his back.
Solis suffered the injury while lifting weights two years ago, and it limited him to two games in 2009. Opting against surgery, he spent an entire summer rehabbing and getting back in shape at "Athletes Performance" in Arizona.
"I've put in a lot of hours and a lot of hard work, and to have it finally pay off, especially with the Nationals, it's really exciting," Solis said. "The Nationals are young and up and coming. I know that they have good people in there, move guys up quick and are going to treat me right."
The left-hander went 9-2 with a 3.42 ERA for the Toreros this season, striking out 92 batters and walking 29 in 92 innings. All of the hard work he did in getting back from that injury eventually paid off.
"You never know how good I could have been had I not gotten hurt, but at the same time, I feel like I'm 100 percent," Solis said. "I can do anything -- run, lift and more."
Solis added that he hopes to sign soon and get started in the Minor Leagues toward a possible trip to Washington.
"I want to show what I can do," Solis said. "I want to make an immediate contribution to the team and hopefully move up quick."
After selecting Solis, Washington went with Rice University shortstop Rick Hague with the first pick in the third round. After leading Team USA in hitting a year ago, Hague batted .340 with 15 home runs, 88 hits and 55 RBIs for Rice in 2010.
The Nationals followed that choice by taking one of the top prep pitchers in the country, A.J. Cole, from Oviedo High School in Florida. He has size -- he's 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds -- and uses a 94-mph fastball and changeup to blow away hitters.
The Nationals focused Day 2 of the First-Year Player Draft on pitching, taking 14 hurlers out of their 29 selections.
Round 2, LHP Sammy Solis, University of San Diego: A big -- 6-foot-5, 228 pounds -- left-hander with good control of his fastball, breaking ball and changeup. Despite missing nearly all of 2009 with a herniated disk in his back, Solis pitched without problems this season for the Toreros.
Round 3, SS Rick Hague, Rice University: After leading Team USA in hitting a year ago, Hague batted .340 with 15 home runs, 88 hits and 55 RBIs for Rice in 2010. Hague was originally drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 37th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.
Round 4, RHP A.J. Cole, Oviedo HS: One of the top prep pitchers in the country, Cole has size -- 6-foot-4, 190 pounds -- and throws a 94-mph fastball and change up to blow past hitters. Cole has a good delivery and average command.
Round 5, SS Jason Martinson, Texas State
Round 6, C Cole Leonida, Georgia Tech
Round 7, RF Kevin Keyes, Texas
Round 8, LHP Matthew Grace, UCLA
Round 9, RHP Aaron Barrett, Ole Miss
Round 10, SS Blake Kelso, Houston
Round 11, RHP Neil Holland, Louisville
Round 12, LHP Robbie Ray, Brentwood HS (Tenn.)
Round 13, RHP Christopher McKenzie, San Jacinto College North
Round 14, SS Timothy Smalling, Virginia Tech
Round 15, C David Freitas, Hawaii
Round 16, RHP Mark Herrera, San Jacinto College North
Round 17, RHP Tyler Hanks, College of Southern Nevada
Round 18, 2B Justin Miller, Middle Tennessee State
Round 19, CF Wade More, Catawba College
Round 20, RF Chad Mozingo, Rice
Round 21, CF Connor Roe, Texas
Round 22, RHP Cameron Selik, Kansas
Round 23, RHP Colin Bates, UNC
Round 24, DH Russell Moldenhaur, Texas
Round 25, RHP Christian Meza, Santa Ana College
Round 26, LHP, Christopher Manno, Duke
Round 27, RHP, Sean Hoelscher, Texas A&M -- Corpus Christi
Round 28, RF Joseph Rapp, Chipola JC (Fl.)
Round 29, Rick Hughes, Marin CC (Ca.)
Round 30, 1B Timothy Kiene, Avon Old Farms School (Conn.)
Greg Rosenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.