With the 1213th pick, in the 40th round, the Washington Nationals have selected Oregon State senior LHP Max Engelbrekt. Congratulations, Max!
For those unfamiliar with the lefty, Engelbrekt is a smart pitcher who plays within himself. Although he doesn’t dominate hitters with his high-80s fastball, he’s been very effective over his career by mixing pitches and changing speeds.
A fifth-year senior, he’s a older than the average prospect and he’s coming off of not one, but two, tears of his ACL. These things would seem to work against him, but Engelbrekt is as steady and accomplished a college reliever as you’re likely to find at this point in the draft. In his career, he’s made 80 appearances for the Beavers, with an excellent 1.97 ERA against traditionally strong college competition. Opponents have hit .218 against him, and he’s chalked up more than 20 saves over four years.
This season, amidst injury and a comically deep Oregon State Beaver bullpen that limited innings across the board, Engelbrekt still made 16 appearances, recording 5 saves with a minuscule 0.48 ERA. On June 12th, he was also named the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He’s currently working on a graduate degree in Business Administration and carries a strong GPA of 3.63.
As a high school senior, in 2012, Engelbrekt posted 7 complete games, but as a pro he will most likely continue as a reliever. Whether he makes it to the Big Leagues or tops out as a strong organizational player for the Nationals, this is a low-risk pick with some potential.