Reporting Byron Kerr
Many prognosticators thought the Nationals could get four of their top five signed, but never Matt Purke.
Many believed the left-handed pitcher Purke would go back to Texas Christian University in hopes for a sweeter deal next year.
They didn’t ask Purke what he thought of the Nationals. He wanted to play for them.
General manager Mike Rizzo said Purke wanted to play in D.C. so bad he was willing to undergo an MRI, rare for a top draft pick.
Purke had been bothered by a sore shoulder. His medical reports came out clear.
The Nationals signed him to a major league deal reportedly in the $4 million range.
It was the icing on the cake for a tremendous draft class.
The Nationals assistant general manager and vice president of player personnel Roy Clark said that Purke, Anthony Rendon, Brian Goodwin and Alex Meyer represent some the best amateur players he has ever seen in one draft.
“It is the best draft I have ever been a part of, as far as the number of impact players that we are bringing into the system at once,” Clark said. “Just to give you an example of the top four guys, (director of scouting) Kris Kline and I both saw all four and both of us had all four evaluated as first round picks.”