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.''

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Opening 2018 World Series Odds The 2018 World Series opening odds have been released. Who is favored, who is the biggest challenger, and who is also in the mix?
Thumbnail Astros vs. Dodgers Pick Are the Houston Astros going to clinch their first-ever World Series title Wednesday night in Game 7 with an upset win at the Los Angeles Dodgers? Game time is...
Thumbnail Astros vs. Dodgers Pick Can the Houston Astros clinch their first-ever World Series title Tuesday night in Game 6 at the Los Angeles...
Thumbnail Dodgers vs. Astros Pick Are the Los Angeles Dodgers going to ride Clayton Kershaw to a victory over the host Houston Astros in a pivotal Game 5 of the World Series Sunday night? First pitch is at...
Thumbnail Dodgers vs. Astros Pick Are the Houston Astros going to win a third straight game over the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday night in Game 4 of the World Series? First pitch is at...

MLB Team Pages