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Nationals adjust to drafting in middle of pack

Sunday - 6/3/2012, 3:06pm  ET

By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer

WASHINGTON - Because the Washington Nationals have drafted so well in recent years, they're stuck picking in the middle of the pack.

Washington has the 16th overall selection in Monday night's major league draft, their worst position since 2003, when they had the 20th choice.

The Nationals went 80-81 last year, an 11-game improvement from 2010. And Washington entered play Sunday in first place in the NL East.

The team's success can be attributed to drafting in the top 10 in six of the last seven years.

General manager Mike Rizzo said Sunday, "We've built the whole ballclub on the draft."

Picking 16th, Rizzo said, makes the selection "a lot less clear." He says he will take the best player remaining on his list after the other 15 teams have drafted.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)