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Matt Purke, LHP, NationalsPurke was a lightning rod of a subject in the days leading up to the 2011 draft. Entering the spring as a potential first overall pick, Purke never looked right during the season, often struggling to get out of the mid- to upper 80s with his fastball. Purke even had a visit to Dr. James Andrews, who diagnosed him with bursitis, but no permanent damage. Purke’s performance, injury risk, and no reduction in bonus demands dropped him to the third round, where the aggressive Nationals scooped him up and finally got him to sign at the deadline for $2.75 million. Making his first start for the Scorpions on Friday, Purke faced eight batters and retired one while also walking one, hitting another, and giving up two doubles, a triple, and a home run. While he's been getting into the low-90s with his fastball, his command is all but nonexistent, his slider is flat, and his changeup isn’t deceptive. Rustiness and still not being 100 percent certainly are factors here, but at the same time, Purke doesn't seem any less risky of a player than he was in May.
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