WASHINGTON (AP) -The Nationals signed left-handed pitcher Josh Smoker, the 31st player chosen in the June draft, on Tuesday and assigned him to the Gulf Coast League.
The 18-year-old Smoker was signed one day before the deadline for drafted players to reach a deal. Smoker, who graduated from Calhoun (Ga.) High School this spring, will report to the Nationals rookie team in the GCL on Saturday.
``He's a dominating left-handed pitcher,'' Nationals general manager Jim Bowden said. ``We were very pleased he was still there when we selected.''
Washington has signed 19 of its first 20 draft picks. Jack McGeary, another left-handed high school pitcher, who was selected in the sixth round, has yet to reach a deal. McGeary will attend Stanford if he doesn't sign with the Nationals.
Smoker, who went 13-0 with a 1.24 ERA in his senior year, was one of two picks the Nationals received as compensation for the Chicago Cubs' signing of outfielder Alfonso Soriano.
Smoker was confident he would sign with Washington even as Wednesday's deadline loomed.
``There's always the possibility, but we knew our adviser would get the job done,'' he said. ``It was only a matter of time.''

Recent MLB Discussions

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Cardinals vs. Dodgers Prediction Will Clayton Kershaw lead the Dodgers to a runline win versus the Cardinals tonight at 10:10PM ET?
Thumbnail Marlins vs. A's Prediction Will Jesse Hahn lead the A’s to a win over the Marlins tonight when the two teams clash at 10:05PM ET?
Thumbnail Blue Jays vs. Brewers Prediction Will the Brewers stay hot with a win over the Blue Jays tonight at 7:40PM ET in Milwaukee?
Thumbnail Pirates vs. Braves Prediction Are the Braves the play tonight against the Pirates when the two teams meet in Atlanta at 7:35PM ET?
Thumbnail Angels vs. Rays Prediction Are the Angels a good underdog play tonight when they visit the Rays at 7:10PM ET?

MLB Team Pages