Nationals Arm Race

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The Race to the bottom: Phillies clinch #1 pick in 2016 draft and some candidates for that pick


This is the most exciting thing Phillies fans have seen in the last 6 weeks. Photo

This is the most exciting thing Phillies fans have seen in the last 6 weeks. Photo

First off; congrats to the Philadelphia Phillies, who thanks to late season collapse basically have locked up the #1 overall pick in 2016.  A five game game “lead” for the #1 overall pick next  year with just nine games left on your season is pretty unassailable, especially when you look at the lineups they’re putting out as of late.  Here’s the Reverse Standings for 2015.  And here’s the official 2016 draft order from MLB.

Your Washington Nationals are drafting 18th overall.  This is a somewhat precarious spot to be; high enough to guarantee a decent talent, low enough to tempt General Managers to punt the unprotected pick with a QO-attached free agent signing.  Somehow I doubt the Nats will go that route but you never know; the departures of our nine projected free agents will free up north of $60M of 2015 payroll, and you have to think Rizzo will be spending some of that to bolster the squad.

The top of the 2016 draft looks pretty amazing, and across the board pundits are talking about the strength of the 2016 class over the 2015 class.  I heard one pundit say that just 2-3 of the guys who went top10 this year would also go top-10 next year.  Here’s the leaders in the clubhouse for #1 overall pick next summer:

  • Alex Hansen: RHP from U of Oklahoma with a huge arm (94-98), huge size (6’8″) and who is improving.
  • AJ Puk: LHP from U of Florida; 2nd in the nation in K/9 last year as a sophomore friday starter for one of the best teams in the nation in the toughest conference … and will only get better.
  • Blake Rutherford: OF from Chaminade Prep in LA; basically has starred at every prep event he can enter (18-U National team member as a *junior*, USA tourney of Stars MVP, great showing at the Area Code Games).
  • Jason Groome: LHP from the IMG Academy.  Vanderbilt commit.  another USA tourney of Stars and Area code Game all-star, sits 91 and  hits 95 as a 17-yr old.  Attends the IMG Academy, formerly the Nick Bolloteri tennis academy but now basically a pro-prep HS with a $70k annual tuition that is rapidly becoming the best athletics school in the nation irrespective of the sport.  This is good b/c IMG has great in-house talent and will play a fantastic schedule of elite Florida programs and national invite tournaments since, well, the whole point of going there is to prepare yourself for drafting.
  • Riley Pint: RHP from Kansas, LSU commit.  Sits 92-95 and can hit 98, again as a 17yr old, so he projects pretty well.

Most of the pundits I read put one of these 5 guys as the #1 overall pick this year.  The Phillies have a new management team and may go the “safer” route with a college hurler (Puk or Hansen), but the only bat on this list (Rutherford) could be the better long term player with less injury risk.

The Braves (currently slotted for #3 overall pick) have to be pretty darn excited with their prospects; no matter who the Phillies and Reds ahead of them pick, they’ll still get to choose from several #1 overall quality guys.  Being the Braves, they’ll want to go with one of the Florida kids (Puk or Groome) even though neither hails from the area (Iowa and New Jersey respectably).

Written by Todd Boss

October 4th, 2015 at 8:08 pm

To Qualifying Offer, or not to Qualifying Offer (2015 version)


Zimmermann will get a QO: who else? Photo Unk.

Zimmermann will get a QO: who else? Photo Unk.

We’ve talked around and about this issue.  Here’s a post entirely about it.

Which Nats pending Free Agents should the team offer a Qualifying Offer (QO) to this coming off-season?

First, for completion of Analysis, here’s the canonical list of FAs on the 40-man roster as of the end of the 2015 season (using Cots as a source):

  • Jordan Zimmermann, Dan Uggla, Doug Fister, Ian Desmond, Denard Span, Nate McLouth, Casey Janssen, Matt Thornton, Reed Johnson

So, lets just get this out of the way; we’re not talking about Uggla, McLouth, Janssen, Thornton or Johnson here.  Maybe the team could think about re-signing some of these guys to non-guaranteed/minor league deals, or negotiate an extension for one of the relievers.  I wouldn’t be entirely against that (especially for Thornton, who has been pretty durn good both in general (2.43 ERA on the year even if he got hit hard a couple times in August) and against lefties in particular (.203 BAA against lefties on the year), but this post is about the 4 big names.

Important links for this analysis: Here’s the total 2016 FA list at and their take on the 2016 FA power rankings.  We won’t know what the QO amount is until mid-October, but we can estimate that it will likely be somewhere around $16.3M.  Here’s my Qualifying Offer worksheet, listing every player who has gotten one and their eventual signed contract details with Average Annual Values (AAVs) listed.

By the way, here’s some salient points ignored for the purposes of this post, but which could make this post obsolete.

  1. I’m assuming that all pending FA players are acting rationally and in their own interest, and not working in concert with the players union and en masse turning down the qualifying offers.  So far, evidence shows this point may not be the case, as we’ve seen several players who inexplicably turned down QOs in the past.  The most blatant examples were Michael Cuddyer in 2014 and Kendrys Morales in 2013.  Cuddyer in particular was curious mostly for the timing; he signed a 2yr/$21M deal even before officially rejecting the 1yr/$15.3M qualifying offer, and it is hard not to make the argument that Cuddyer would have been much better suited to just taking the one-year deal for what was nearly the entire sum of the two year deal he eventually took.  I have no idea if Cuddyer just desperately wanted out of Colorado, which could be true … but then his destination didn’t support that argument either (prior to the season, the Mets were projected to be just another also-ran in the NL East; nobody predicted their run to 90 wins).
  2. I’m assuming that Mike Rizzo hasn’t already made a “hand shake” deal with any of these players to specifically NOT offer the QO, since it can be such a huge damper on their eventual FA market.  We have argued this conspiracy theory before, with lack of QOs to both Adam LaRoche but especially Edwin Jackson being examples of players who may have had a gentlemen’s agreement prior to departing the franchise.

Lets take these guys one by one.

  • Zimmermann: he’s a member of the likely “big 4” of FA starting pitchers to be available this off-season (also including David Price, Johnny Cueto and presumably Zack Greinke if/when he opts out of his existing deal).  Given Cueto’s issues at the end of 2015, I’d likely put Zimmermann as the third most valuable starter available.  And he’ll have no shortage of suitors.  We know he spurned signing a longer term deal on two different occasions (first when they negotiated his 2-year arbitration-buyout deal and then again last off-season) and the rumors are that the Nationals management/Rizzo are hesitant to commit major dollars to a post-Tommy John survivor.  He seems likely to sign a nine-figure deal somewhere, easily outdistancing the AAV of the QO.  Verdict: Offer the QO, he’ll reject it and signs elsewhere for more money than the Nats are willing to commit.
  • Desmond: he’s *easily* the best middle infielder on the FA market, a good combination of offense and defense whose best season was in 2012 but has three straight Silver Sluggers and sort of rebounded towards the end of his otherwise dismal 2015.  I agree with other analysts; he likely was a fool to turn down $107m as has been widely reported, and will be lucky to get 60% of that in the FA market.  I’m guessing he gets a four year deal with an AAV of $18M or so.  Verdict: Offer the QO, he’ll reject it and signs elsewhere because that’s kind of the corner he’s painted himself into, and the Nats have their ready-made replacement for him in Trea Turner.

Those two were obvious.  These next two are not.

  • Span: Another guy who picked a really bad year to miss 2/3rds of the season.  Span’s 2015 numbers are exactly in line with his excellent 2014 numbers, a point that his agent will be making this off-season. His injuries however could give teams pause.  He had “core” surgery in the spring, recurring back issues in the summer and then a torn Hip labrum in August that put him out for good.  Would you want to risk signing a 31yr old center fielder who just had hip surgery?  A good question.  Span does have competition in the CF free agency market, with decent players like Dexter Fowler, Colby Rasmus and Austin Jackson in the space.  The interesting tidbit that just popped up though is Span’s announcing that he’s switched agents and is now with the Scott Boras Corporation.  Boras is Mr. Free Agency, and has gleefully advised several prior clients to decline QOs and go head long into free agency only to watch them flounder (see Kyle Lohse, Stephen Drew and the aforementioned Morales as examples of players under Boras advisement who declined QOs in seemingly ill-conceived decisions).  Why did Span just switch to the super-agent Boras unless he needed someone to go out and drum up a good offer?  I think this is evidence enough that he’ll decline the QO and test the market.  And, even if Span accepts the QO (which I don’t think he would), he’d be competing with Michael Taylor for the starting CF job … on a team where our starting OF missed hundreds of games in 2015 and where the presumed 4th OF got 500+ at-bats this year.  So having Span around (who, by the way, hits lefty on a team that desperately needs lefty-hitting players) wouldn’t be the end of the world if he accepted the offer.  Verdict: Offer the QO, Boras will tell him to decline it anyway and the Nats will get an additional comp pick.
  • Fister: Prior to 2015, Fister was one of the more under-rated starters in the league and seemed like a safe bet to sign one of these 5yr/$65M deals that we see all the time.  Believe it or not, Fister ranked 17th in the league in fWAR among starters for the combined seasons 2011-2014.  17th!  That’s better than the likes of Cueto, Darvish, Strasburg, and a whole  host of “better” pitchers.  Unfortunately, he chose his walk year to fall off a cliff, with his average fastball velocity (which has already been trending down for 4 seasons) falling more than a MPH and a half just this year.  He was ineffective in the rotation and was removed, and has been pitching out of the bullpen for weeks.  He’s making $11.4M this year but it seems like he’s going to be lucky to get a 1yr $8M deal now from a team willing to give him a shot at the back of their rotation.  If the Nats were to offer him a QO and he took it,  he’d likely be the leagues most expensive long-man (now that Tim Lincecum is out of contract that is) and/or he’d block a spot that really needs to go to either Joe Ross or Tanner Roark.  I just don’t see how the team can risk extending one.  VerdictNo QO, and Fister tries to find a pillow contract with a team like Oakland or San Diego where he can likely put up decent numbers.

So, that’s my thinking.  Nats make three QOs, cut ties with everyone, replace internally across the board like they were always planning to, and net a slew of extra supplemental first rounders in a 2016 draft that is significantly deeper than this year’s.  Sounds good to me.

Summer Prep Travel team guide & Summer Showcase/tourney schedule

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Back in the day, (no this isn’t a “get off my lawn” post), once you got to high school age as a baseball player, you had just two choices for summer ball once the high school season was done; you’d either play Legion ball (if they were the elite of the town) or Babe Ruth (which was still pretty good baseball), and scouts would generally depend on scouting high school and Legion games and to hang out with high school coaches to figure out who the draftable talents were.

No longer.

These days, every kid of note hoping for a Division 1 scholarship or pro interest out of high school plays on a travel team.  These same players also go to Showcase events throughout the  year, either by invitation (for the best of the best) or on their own dime, where scouts can see players in a “combine” like setting and gauge their skills in a relatively controlled environment.  More and more, the actual performance in HS is downgraded or ignored and performances in these elite events is highlighted, since the opponent skill levels are so elevated and consistent.  This move has badly hurt Legion ball and has decimated Babe Ruth (here locally leagues have had to combine with other towns just to field enough teams to compete, and they struggle to find enough pitching to make the games competitive), but its the way of the future.

When you try to track prep kids (as I’ve begun to do more and more), you constantly hear about these teams and these events.  So I’ve finally broken down and tried to summarize them for the local area as best as I can.

This is my attempt to characterize the landscape of Travel Baseball in the DC/MD/VA area.  A ton of this is drawn from participation in the recent Perfect Game Wood Bat 17-U championships, so I likely am missing teams that did not participate.  If you come across this post and i’m missing your team, please comment as such.

Elite Talent Teams

  • Evoshield Canes: Based in Fredericksburg, VA with “outposts” up and down the east-coast.  This franchise is huge, fielding multiple teams at the latest WWBA event.  One of the leading talent teams in the land, winner of recent national travel team championships.
  • Stars Showcase Red (formerly Demarini Stars): Based in Oakton, Va.  Also large enough to field multiple teams in national events.
  • Chandler World: based out of Norristown PA but with a couple local players of note for 2015.
  • The Dirtbags All-Blacks: based just across the border in North Carolina, but draws players from southern and SW Virginia.

Mid-level Talent Teams

  • Richmond Braves National: based in Richmond.
  • Virginia Cardinals; based in Midlothian, VA.  The best of the Richmond area players.
  • Diamond Elite 17U: Ashburn; was independent, now joined with Evoshield Canes as one of their off-spring.  Comprised mostly of Ashburn/Leesburg guys from leading high schools out there like Stone Bridge.
  • Mid Atlantic Red Sox: Frederick MD

Lower-end Talent Teams

  • RISE Baseball Midlothian VA: ; not at WWBA 17u.
  • Arena STARZ 17U out of Bel Air, MD.   Lots of Battlefield players on this roster despite its geographic location.
  • Diamond Skills Dodgers (Silver Spring): mostly St. Johns Prep players
  • Maryland Monarchs: Gambrils, MD: Anne Arundel county players
  • Rawlings MD Prospects: Millersville MD
  • Rawlings Prospects of VA Sandlot Elite Sterling, VA
  • Tidewater Orioles Virginia Beach, VA
  • Virginia Baseball Network: Mostly guys from Lynchburg and Forest based  high schools. (not at WWBA 17u)
  • CBA Rays: Chesapeake based, mostly from Chesapeake-based high schools Greenbrier Christian, Great Bridge and Grassfield.  Not at WWBA 17u.
  • Hampton Road Hurricanes: not at WWBA 17u
  • Baltimore Bandits 17u: travel team run out of Calvert Hall HS in Baltimore.  Not at WWBA 17u.
  • Old Dominion Hitters: some D-I talent, not at WWBA 17u.

It should also be noted that the big programs (Evoshield, Stars, DirtBags, etc) fielded a number of “alternate” teams that were not as talented as their leading “varsity” team.  Those squads, as fielded at WWBA 2015 were:

  • Evoshield Canes American: Fredericksburg
  • Evoshield North (NC): Raleigh
  • Evoshield South (SC): Columbia
  • Evoshield Seminoles (Richmond)
  • Evoshield Canes Mid-Atlantic
  • Evoshield Canes North
  • Richmond Braves American
  • Dirtbags Select (NC)
  • Stars Black
  • Stars Blue

Showcase Guide 2015

So, what events are these kids playing?  Spurred on by this excellent summer-kick off article from Jonathan Mayo, here’s a good guide for the 2015 summer/fall events that the upper end rising HS seniors will be participating in.  Some of these have already passed and are listed here for completion purposes: is *the* website for these kinds of things.  At PG’s events, all the teams, with their full rosters of players with home towns and college commits, are online and viewable.  Very good information if you’re interested in (say) one particular team’s roster of players.

Prep tournament guide 2015



This is my first cut at this data.  I’m sure i’m missing local teams and showcases.  Please let me know if you disagree with my characterization of the talent level of these teams (mostly taken by eyeballing the college commits to gauge the strength of the roster), if you feel i’m missing any major teams, or if you think a show-case or tourney is missing.


Written by Todd Boss

July 27th, 2015 at 9:09 am

Posted in Draft,Local Baseball

Tagged with

2015 Local Drafted Players; signing results


Nathan Kirby is the highest drafted player with local ties for 2015.  Photo via

Nathan Kirby is the highest drafted player with local ties for 2015. Photo via

Now that the June 2015 draft signing deadline has passed, here’s a quick review of all DC/MD/VA players who got drafted with their signing bonuses (if known), and if not signed where they’re presumably heading to school.

This post at MinorLeagueBall lists all the top 20 round draft picks who did NOT sign.  This list has a ton of 20th round+ guys who we’re depending on assignments.

Chelsea James just did a nice summary of the Nats draft class at NatsJournal.  I’ll do a separate post to that end later on.

Important Draft-related links for this post:

  • MLB’s Awesome Draft Tracker; you can slice and dice the draft 10 different ways, search by schools and home states, etc.
  • Official Draft Bonus Pool totals.  Astros have $17M (most).  Nats have 3rd least at $4.1M.
  •’s Draft Signing and Bonus tracker; note this only goes through the first 10 rounds; after that, the bonus figures are treated differently.

College Players with local ties

  • Nathan Kirby LHP from UVA: went #40 (Supp 1st round) to Milwaukee.  Signed at the deadline for below slot value ($1.2M versus slot of $1.545M).
  • Josh Sborz, RHP closer for UVA: went #74 (Supp 2nd round) to the Dodgers.  Signed at the deadline for below slot ($722k vs $827k).
  • Taylor Clarke, who hails from Ashburn (Broad Run HS) went #76, first pick of the 3rd round to Arizona.  Signed for slot value of $801k.
  • Mike Matuella, of Great Falls (Georgetown Prep) and Duke: #78, to Texas in the 3rd round.  Signed for huge overslot deal of $2M.
  • Brandon Lowe: UMD infielder: 3rd round #87 overall to Tampa Bay.  Signed for $6k overslot ($697k); why $6,000 over slot?  weird figure.
  • Alex Robinson: UMD’s ace Lefty went in the 5th round (#140 overall) to Minnesota.  Signed for $5k under-slot ($382k)
  • Joe McCarthy, OF for UVA: 5th round, #148 overall to Tampa Bay.  Signed for slot value of $358k.
  • Brandon Waddell UVA Saturday/Sunday starter: 5th round (#157) to Pittsburgh.  Signed for slightly underslot bonus of $315k.
  • Jack Wynkoop of Virginia Beach (Cape Henry Collegiate HS), LHP starter for South Carolina: went in the 6th round to Colorado.  Signed for slot value of $298k.
  • Michael Boyle: Radford Ace.  13th rounder to the Dodgers.  Signed for unknown figure, currently in Rookie/Pioneer League Ogden.
  • Kevin Mooney: UMD closer: 15th rounder by the Nats.  Signed for unknown figure, currently in short-A Auburn.
  • Kenny Towns; 3B from UVA and the 2011 All-Met player of the year from Lake Braddock, went in the 20th to the Angels.  Signed for unknown figure, currently in Rookie/Pioneer League Orem.
  • Luke Willis, OF from George Mason and Oakton HS, in the 30th round to Kansas City.  Signed for unknown figure, currently in Rookie/Appalachian League Burlington.
  • Josh Swirchak, a MIF from Division II Wilmington University via Osbourne Park HS in Manassas, Signed with St. Louis as an undrafted free agent after the 2015 draft.   Currently at short-A State College.

There were no significant college draftee non-signings from the area.

There are quite a few other college players from the many baseball-playing colleges in the area drafted past the 10th round; search the MLB draft tracker and select the state of Virginia for many more local college players.

Local Prep players of note:

  • Jimmy Barnes, Deep Creek HS in Chesapeake; 11th rounder to the Angels.   Signed for unknown figure, currently in the Arizona Rookie League.
  • Nic Enright RHP from Steward HS in Richmond: 19th rounder to the Mets.  Did Not Sign, as noted on  Will presumably honor his committment to Virginia Tech.
  • Ljay Newsome of Chopticon (south of Waldorf): 26th rounder by Seattle.  Per his summer team’s twitter page, Newsome Signed with Seattle for an undisclosed amount.  Currently in the Arizona Rookie League.
  • Nathan Trevillian, RHP from small Amherst County HS; 22nd rounder to the Pirates.  Signed for  unknown figure, currently in GCL.
  • Stevie Mangrum, 3B from Western Albemarle HS in Charlottesville, 28th round pick by Boston.  Did Not Sign, will presumably honor his commitment to Virginia Tech.
  • Cody Morris, of Reservoir got picked up in 32nd round by Baltimore.   Did Not Sign, will honor his commitment to South Carolina.
  • Hunter Parsons of Parkside HS, picked up in the 40th round by Cleveland.  Did not Sign, will presumably honor commitment to Maryland.

At the end of the signing period, here’s what some of these local schools’ recruiting classes seem to look like in terms of local guys:

  • UVA: Connor Eason, Nathan Eikhoff, Evan Sperling, Grant Donahue
  • U of Maryland: A.J. Lee, Hunter Parsons
  • Virginia Tech: Nic Enright, Stevie Mangrum, John DeFazio, Paul Hall
  • South Carolina: Cody Morris, Danny Blair
  • Wake Forest: Harvey Logan
  • Liberty: Jack DeGroat
  • VCU: Brody Cook
  • UNC-Asheville: Jordan Carr
  • Campbell: James Monaghan
  • Uncommitted thus far: Kaleb Bowman, Hunter Byrnes

This Baseball America link has a list of all the major prep players who didn’t sign, listed by college commitment.  It has a couple more big names for some of the local baseball schools. also has a way to search by college commitment, but it doesn’t verify the results since its self-reported by the players (it has literally 20 names listed for UVA’s incoming 2016 class).

Nats re-draft/previously drafted Players (i’ve noted our previous draft position for each player)

  • Andrew Suarez , (2nd round pick 2014) LHP from Miami went in the 2nd round again, #61 overall this time to San Francisco.  Signed for slot of slightly more than $1M.
  • Skye Bolt, OF from UNC, went in the 4th round (#128 overall) to Oakland.  Signed over-slot deal of $610k.
  • Cody Poteet, (27th rounder in 2012) went in the 4th round (#116 overall) to Miami.  Signed slot deal of $488k.
  • Austin Byler, (9th rounder, 2014) OF from Nevada.  Was the first pick on day 3; 11th rounder by Arizona.  Signed for unknown amount.
  • Daniel Salters (22nd rounder 2014) C from Dallas Baptist: 13th round pick to Cleveland in 2015.  Signed for unknown amount.
  • Jake Jefferies (34th rounder in 2012): 2B from Cal State-Fullerton; Nats picked him up again, this time in the 39th round.  Signed for unknown amount with the Nats and is on the Auburn roster.

Previous local Draft posts:

Player Killers: what college programs are known for hurting pro prospects?


Did TCU destroy Purke's arm?  Photo AP/Nati Harnik

Did TCU destroy Purke’s arm? Photo AP/Nati Harnik

Its always dangerous to make a blanket statement in baseball.  If I say that “CollegeX is known for killing pitcher arms” then there’ll immediately be people who cite players who are exceptions to such a rule.

Nonetheless, while reading a ton of prospect-driven content on the web over the years, some common themes pop up.  And the crux of it is this: there are some college baseball programs out there that are accused of hurting their players’ professional prospects and draft statuses by virtue of the misguided or (in some cases) outdated coaching and usage of players.

Grantland’s Michael Baumann wrote an excellent article summarizing some of the “danger programs” in 2013, citing work done by Rany Jazayerli and Baseball Prospectus.  Some of this also comes from Keith Law‘s freely offered opinions on the topic, and he offers up plenty of supporting evidence in his columns and chats.

Here’s some trouble-maker programs (and by “programs” often times by implication you’re blaming the head coach as the decision maker):

  • Stanford: Law calls it the “Stanford Swing.”  Per Law, Stanford coaches emphasize going away, altering hitters’ swings to de-emphasize pull hitting, to the point apparently where players are outright benched for pulling the ball.  Now, there’s quite a few Stanford grads in the Majors right now, and the  hitters listed aren’t exactly an honor roll of top-hitting guys.  Jed Lowrie might be the best active hitter.  The career Stanford grad homer leader is the recently retired Carlos Quentin, out of baseball at 32.  So maybe there’s something to it.
  • TCU: Jim Schlossnagle is not well known for its handling of pitchers.  The Nats are well aware of this, having drafted damaged goods in Matthew Purke, who was 15-0 as a freshman and basically hasn’t been the same since.
  • Rice’s Wayne Graham: Law has provided an exhaustive list of pitchers who he accuses the Rice coaches of blatantly over-working and has flat out suggested that pitchers considering attending Rice should go elsewhere.  In fact, the most blatant example of this was the 2004 draft: Rice had three starters drafted in the first 8 picks (Philip Humber, Jeff Niemann, and Wade Townsend) and ALL three of them suffered shoulder injuries soon there after.
  • UNC‘s Mike Fox so over-used a reliever a few years back that the New York Times of all papers wrote about it.  And he had Matt Harvey, don’t forget, allowing Harvey to throw an astounding 157 pitches in a 2010 outing and 5 other instances of 120+ pitches.  Is it a coincidence that Harvey blew out his UCL just a couple years later?  Or just bad luck?
  • South Carolina‘s Ray Tanner: won back to back CWS’s … on the backs of his pitching staff.
  • Texas‘ legendary coach Augie Garrido already had a reputation for overuse before the infamous Texas-Boston College regional game in June of 2009.   Texas’ Austin Wood, a reliever, came out of the bullpen to throw 13 innings and 169 pitches in the 25-inning game.  Garrido really took a lot of heat for that … but his BC counterpart might have only been slightly less culpable.  BC threw its own guy Mike Belfiore for 129 pitches and 9 2/3 innings.  In Wood’s case, it was made even worse by the fact that he had thrown two innings *the day before.*  It is no surprise to report that Wood had to undergo Shoulder Surgery the next season, nor is it a surprise that the crusty Garrido disclaimed any responsibility for the injury by Wood’s usage in that game.  Belfiore, it should be noted, has never shown any evidence of injury, was a 1st round draft pick just prior to his appearance, and looks like a 4-A pitcher who is now in the Detroit organization but who had a cup of coffee in 2013.  Perhaps its because Belfiore was a starter and basically threw a start instead of Wood, who was clearly a reliever.

Pitch count guidelines: there’s research out there that basically shows that anything above 120 pitches in an outing is an indicator of fatigue-induced regression their next time out, and 130+ pitch outings might as well be prescriptions for injury.

Times have changed: no longer are A-1 pitching prospects left in games to rack up ridiculous pitch counts.  Mark Prior had at least 6 starts the year he was drafted where he threw 120-130+ pitches.  Ben McDonald was famously started in back to back CWS games, getting clobbered in the second game … all while having *already* been drafted by the Baltimore Orioles, who must have been screaming at the television set watching what was  unfolding as legendary LSU coach Skip Bertman set about destroying the best arm in the nation.

But then again, the more things change, the more they stay the same.  NC State, in a mad dash to make the post-season in 2014, let their Ace starter Carlos Rodon throw 120+ pitches seven times.  Rodon’s usage was also discussed in Baseball America.  Did that lead to Rodon’s diminished stuff and subsequent drop in the 2013 draft?  Maybe.  I’m sure the White Sox are ok with it, since he doesn’t seem to have suffered any ill effects and is in their rotation 2 years later.  Trevor Bauer, while at UCLA, *averaged* more than 120 pitches an outing the year he was drafted … but he seems like such an outlier because of his warm-up technique (which involves extreme long toss and clearly has built up his shoulder strength over the years).  Are NC State and UCLA trouble-programs?  I havn’t heard much since so i’m leaving them off for now.

Did I miss anyone?

2015 CWS Finals: Virginia wins!


WaddellBrandon via

Brandon Waddell pitched the game of his life in the CWS final. Photo via

Here’s a recap of our CWS coverage so far for 2015:


Here’s how the Finals played out.

  • In Game One on 6/22/15, UVA’s Connor Jones matched Vanderbilt’s ace Carson Fulmer zero for zero for the first five innings.  However, Vanderbilt got a well-timed opposite field double down the line to plate two and then scored three more, knocking Jones from the game in the 7th to win game one 5-1.  Fulmer was outstanding, holding UVA to just 2  hits through 7 2/3rds innings, leaving with a large lead in his final collegate appearance (he was drafted 8th overall by the White Sox).  Other players of note: #1 overall pick Dansby Swanson finally had a good game, going 2-4 with a run and an RBI.  Nats 3rd rounder Rhett Wiseman struggled; going 0-4 with the hat-track of three punch-outs.
  • In Game Two on 6/23/15, UVA turned to their regular outfielder Adam Haseley in somewhat of a shock, and he threw 5 shut-out innings before handing the ball to the most dominant pitcher this post-season has seen in Josh Sborz, who threw another 4 shutout innings to shore up the win 3-0 and force a game 3.  UVA’s offense was also unexpected; they were powered by their #8 and #9 hitters, the latter of which was walk-on senior Thomas Woodruff, who had a grand total of 67 ABs in his collegiate career.  It was Woodruff’s 2-run bases loaded single that provided the game winning runs.  Amazing.
  • In Game three on 6/24/15, UVA’s Brandon Waddell threw the game of his life, giving up 2 runs early but then shutting down Vanderbilt’s offense for the next six innings en route to a 4-2 win.  Vanderbilt’s Walker Buehler struggled with his control, giving up runs early and getting unceremoniously yanked in his last collegiate appearance.  Nathan Kirby came on to relieve Waddell, who threw 105 pitches on 3 days rest, and blew away Vanderbilt’s hitters in the 8th and 9th for his first (and last) career save.  3B Kenny Towns, a lowly 20th round pick by the Angels, was the game hero, with a very good diving stop to save a run early and a crucial go-ahead RBI late.   But it was freshman 1B Pavin Smith who was the offensive star of the game, clubbing a 2-run homer early to tie the game and deflate Vanderbilt.

UVA wins the first Baseball title for the ACC since 1955, an amazing stat considering the baseball-playing pedigree of the conference.  Super reliever Josh Sborz recieved the MVP award for his CWS work; final tally:  3IP on 6/13, 2IP on 6/15, and 4ip on 6/20, and 4IP on 6/23.  All Scoreless.

UVA completes a pretty amazing season all things considered; they suffered injuries to a number of their key guys, struggled in conference all season and likely only even made the field by virtue of a sweep of UNC in their final ACC season series.  But, for those who thought the final was a fluke based on the seedings of the two teams, consider this: Vanderbilt was the consensus pre-season #1 team by every poll out there, and UVA was either 2nd, 3rd or 4th in those same polls.  So these teams were expected to return to the CWS at the very least … they just to circuitous paths there.

Your 2015 College World Series Champion: The University of Virginia

This concludes the College Baseball season and our coverage of it for 2015.  I have some draft posts about summer leagues and summer travel teams of note for high schoolers that I may dig out again, for those interested.


College CWS tournament references:

Nats 2015 Draftee Signing Status


Where do we stand on our signees?

Per the MLB draft bonus tracker, which is the best information i’ve seen on draft signings, here’s where we stand on our first 10 picks:

Round Name/Position Col/HS School Signed?
2 Stevenson, Andrew* OF COL jr LSU not yet signed; just gone done playing in CWS.
2 Perkins, Blake OF HS Verrado HS (AZ) signed for $800k, $93k under slot.
3 Wiseman, Rhett* OF COL jr Vanderbilt not yet signed; still playing in CWS.
4 Rivera, Mariano Jr. RHP COL sr Iona (NY) signed for $410k, exactly slot.
5 Hearn, Taylor LHP COL jr Oklahoma Baptist U. signed for $275k, 37k under slot
6 Crownover, Matt LHP COL jr Clemson signed for $160k, 70k under slot.
7 Borne, Grant LHP COL jr Nicholls State (LA) signed for $150k, 27k under slot.
8 Glover, Koda RHP COL sr Oklahoma State signed for $200k, 34k over slot.
9 Kerian, David# 1B COL sr Illinois signed for $25k, 130k under slot
10 Guilbeau, Taylor LHP COL sr Alabama signed for $25k, 124k under slot

Total savings from top 10 picks: $93k + $37k + $70k + 27k – 34k + $130k + $124k = $447k of savings before Stevenson/Wiseman go.

My intuition is that Stevenson signs for under slot and Wiseman for slightly over slot.

What about the rest of the draft?  What have we heard?  As I was writing this post, WP’s James Wagner reports that the Nats have signed 23 of their 40 picks.  But his post included no details  Who else do we know about?  From the MLB Draft Tracker, and per the Nats Draft Tracker XLS, here’s the rest of our draft and signing status.

If 8 of the top 10 have signed, that means another 15 from rounds 11-40 have signed.  Lets do some sleuthing.

Picks 11-30 included ten 4th or 5th year seniors; I’m going to assume they’ve all already signed at this point (they have no leverage and can either choose to sign for whatever the Nats give them or opt to go to indy ball).

Here’s the 10 senior draftees from the later rounds:

Round Name/Position Col/HS School
16 Sagdal, Ian* SS COL sr Washington State U.
18 Rodriguez, Melvin* 2B COL sr Jackson State U. (MS)
19 Brandt, Clayton SS COL sr MidAmerica Nazarene U (KS)
20 Reeves, John C COL sr Rice (TX)
21 Pirro, Matt RHP COL sr Wake Forest
22 Boghosian, Adam RHP COL 5s North Greenville U. (SC)
24 Smith, Blake RHP COL sr West Virginia
28 Van Vossen, Mick RHP COL sr Michigan State U.
29 Diedrick, Philip* OF COL sr Western Kentucky U.
33 La Bruna, Angelo SS COL 5S U. Southern California

So that leaves 3 non-senior signs that likely have signed on the dotted line.  Here’s what I’ve found:

11 Lee, Andrew RHP COL jr Tennessee
12 Peterson, Tommy RHP COL jr South Florida
17 Dulin, Dalton# 2B CC Northwest Mississippi CC

11th rounder Andrew Lee has signed per his twitter page.   12th rounder Tommy Peterson has signed per his twitter page.  and 17th rounder Dalton Dulin has signed per this link.

So that’s your 23 of 40 so far.  I’m guessing that the team doesn’t sign any of the players taken in rounds 31-40 (with the exception of 5th year senior 33rd rounder Angelo La Bruna), since they’re mostly high schoolers, so in reality their target for signing is really 31 players.  So they’ve signed 23 of the 31 they could expect to sign.

If anyone has heard anything else about potential signees, chime in.




CWS Group Winners and CWS Final preview

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Here’s a recap of our CWS coverage so far for 2015:

Lets review the CWS group play.  The CWS plays just one or two games a day; a far cry from the first weekend, where 64 teams played hundreds of games over the course of a long weekend.  So this post has been written in one or two sentence increments for a week and a half…

My pre-CWS predictions were Florida from the top and LSU from the bottom.  Lets see how things turned out.

In the Left Bracket (UVA, Arkansas, #5 Miami and #4 Florida)

  • In the opening games, UVA took out Arkansas 5-3 behind a decent effort from Connor Jones (Great Bridge HS) but an even better effort from 2nd rounder Josh Sborz, who shut down Arkansas for the win.  Both teams’ premier hitters (Andrew Benintendi and Joe McCarthy) hit solo shots during the game.  In the other opener,  Florida destroyed Miami 15-3, knocking out Andrew Suarez after just 3 1/3 innings.
  • In the first elimination game, Miami got two hits in the bottom of the 9th to walk off and eliminate Arkansas 4-3.
  • In the winners bracket game to take control of the group, UVA’s #2 Brandon Waddell pitched perhaps the game of his career, shutting down Florida on just 2 hits for 7 scoreless innings before Sborz got the 2-inning save, giving UVA a 1-0 victory and a surprising (to me) clear path to the CWS finals for the 2nd year in a row.
  • In the play-in game to the group final, Florida jumped all over Miami’s starter, so they brought back Suarez on short rest (which I’m sure his drafting team (San Francisco) was thrilled about), but the game was over early and Florida eliminated Miami 10-2 to setup a rematch with UVA for a berth in the finals.
  • In the group final, UVA’s gambit of throwing ace Nathan Kirby after being side-lined for months backfired; he was hit hard early and UVA’s notional 3rd starters (Alec Bettinger) just couldn’t keep Florida at bay long enough to allow his offense to come back.  Florida wins 10-5 to force a winner-take-all game and wreak havoc on UVA’s pitching matchup strategy.  Luckily for UVA, they have Josh Sborz, who relieved Waddell and threw four shut-out innings, enough to give UVA’s offense time to scrape together the winning run and advance to the CWS final.

Group winner advancing to the CWS finals: UVA

In the Right Bracket (#2 LSU, #7 TCU, #11 Vanderbilt and #14 Cal State-Fullerton)

  • In the opening games, TCU stunned LSU 10-3, with TCU’s ace (and Chicago Cub 8th rounder) Preston Morrison shutting down LSU’s offense.  Nats 2nd rounder Andrew Stevenson was 1-4 with an RBI.   Meanwhile, Cal State – Fullerton got to Vanderbilt ace Carson Fulmer while their own ace (2nd round pick Thomas Eshelman) showed why he’s got 80 command, throwing 5+ scoreless, walk-less innings before weather forced the suspension of the opener.  Luckily for Vanderbilt, the rest of CSF’s staff wasn’t as effective, and Vanderbilt got a 4-3 walk-off win.
  • In the first elimination game, LSU’s Alex Lange pitched a complete game to defeat Cal State-Fullerton and eliminate them from the CWS.
  • In the winners bracket game to take control of the group, Vanderbilt’s clean-up hitter Zander Weil hit a solo homer in the 7th to provide the only offense of the night as Vanderbilt beat TCU 1-0 to take control of the group and make it seem more and more likely of a CWS rematch.
  • In the play-in game to the group final, TCU punished LSU’s bullpen and took an easy 8-4 win to eliminate the highest seed in the CWS and force a rematch with Vanderbilt for a spot in the CWS final. 
  • In the group final, Vanderbilt threw their 1st rounder Walker Buehler for the first time in 3 weeks and he was sparkling; he pitched into the 7th, allowing just 4 hits.  Meanwhile Nats 3rd round pick Rhett Wiseman, after taking a ball to the neck in the 1st, absolutely crushed a homer to put the game out of reach for Vanderbilt, who go on to win 7-1 and advance.

Group winner advancing to the CWS finals: #11 seed Vanderbilt.

CWS finals discussion: Games 1,2,3 set for 6/22-6/24/15.  Vanderbilt’s pitching staff for the CWS final looks like this:

  • Ace Fulmer threw 6 innings and 104pitches on 6/14/15.   He’ll be on 7 days rest for game 1.
  • #3 Philip Pfeifer threw 7 innings and 112 pitches on 6/16/15.  He’ll be on 6 days rest for game 2.
  • #2 Buehler, who threw 6 2/3rds innings on 6/19/15 would be on 4 days rest for a decider on 6/24/15, normal rest for a pro but a little short for a college guy.  Otherwise, some-time starter John Kilichowski, who threw 2+ in both the 2nd and 3rd games of the CWS group play, could be available depending his usage in the first two games.

Meanwhile, UVA’s pitching staff is in trouble.  Here’s where they stand:

Sborz meanwhile threw multiple innings in each group win: 3IP on 6/13, 2IP on 6/15, and 4ip on 6/20.   And all of those were very high leverage innings, with UVA either tied or clinging to a small lead.  UVA almost has to consider throwing one of its mid-week starters in Game 2.  That would give them Kirby on 4 days rest in the final, to be relieved by Waddell on 3 days rest.  You just can’t take a guy who hasn’t thrown in months and then pitch him back to back on the shortest rest of his life.

You have to like the way the CWS lines up for Vanderbilt’s staff.  Jones wasn’t exactly overpowering against Arkansas in his start (3 runs in 6ip) and Vanderbilt’s got a better offense.

I’m note quite sure how Vanderbilt slipped to an #11 seed in this tournament, given the talent and leadership on their squad.   It is worth noting they had no less than nine draftees in the 2015 draft; 3 first rounders (1st, 8th and 24th overall), 2 third rounders and a 6th of note.  That’s a ton of talent.  You have to think they’re the favorites in the final to repeat.

Prediction: Vanderbilt in 2.


College CWS tournament references:

Final 2015 Prep Baseball Update: Virginia State Champions crowned, Player of the Year lists


Madison HS is your 2015 6-A state champ.

Madison HS is your 2015 Virginia 6-A state champ.

Here’s our final post on High School baseball for 2015 in the area.  We previously posted updates on:

In this post, we will cover the various Player/Teams of the year that have been released, Virginia State tournaments and re-cap MD, DC and private schools.

All the Virginia state tourneys ran the weekend of 6/12/15 to 6/13/15.  All Virginia state brackets available from this link at

Player of the Year Awards

Before we get to the Virginia playoff results, some player of the year and all-area teams have been announced.

Gatorade announced their State player of the year awards:

  • Maryland: Chopticon’s Ljay Newsome, who pitched the game of his life in the Maryland 3-A championship, won the award in Maryland.  He has yet to declare for a college but was drafted (26th round by Seattle).
  • Washington DC: St. John’s A.J. Lee won the award for the 2nd consecutive year.  Committed to Maryland.
  • Virginia: The Steward School (Richmond)’s Nic Enright won the award in Virginia.   He’s committed to Virginia Tech.

Louisville Slugger All-Americans announced; Ljay Newsome and A.J. Lee were named to the first team All-American.

Locally, some local player of the year awards:

  • The Washington Post’s 2015 All-Met announcement, with mostly familiar names that we’ve discussed in this blog this spring.  A.J. Lee was your All-Met player of the year.  Cody Morris named to his third straight All-Met team despite his Tommy John surgery.
  • The Baltimore Sun’s 2015 All-Metro Baseball Team.  Player of the year is Truman Thomas of Southern (2-time defending Maryland 2-A champ).  Ironically Morris was only Baltimore 2nd team.
  • Richmond 2015 All-Metro team: pending
  • Tidewater area
  • All 2015 6-A North region teams via  6-A North player of the year was Oakton’s Joe Rizzo, a *junior* who hit over .600 for the season.  He’s an early commit to South Carolina.
  • All 2015 6-A South Region team: co-players of the year Bodie Sheehan, First Colonial, a Lefty committed to William & Mary and Nathan Eaton, Thomas Dale, a SS/RHP committed to VMI.
  • All 5-A North: Marshall HS C Mitch Blackstone (Cornell commit) named the 5-A player of the year (he was also all-Met).
  • All 5-A South: pending
  • All 4-A North and 4-A south teams: pending
  • All 3-A East: Loudoun Valley’s Jack DeGroat (Liberty) the regional player of the year.
  • VHSL All-State Teams: pending
  • VISAA’s 2015 All-State teams, Division I, II and III
  • Maryland MIAA All-State teams: pending.

6-A State Finals: held at Robinson and Lake Braddock HS in Northern Virginia (which are odd-choices; Robinson and Lake Braddock’s fields aren’t exactly the nicest available fields in the area.  Nor do they have the largest stands.  But, those are the two biggest high schools around, so perhaps that’s why they were selected.  Of course, in previous years Fairfax HS was frequently used, with its ridiculously short LF porch, so maybe Robinson’s larger field is better.  Most people believe Madison has one of the nicest HS fields in the area … but it rarely gets selected as a host for some reason when the cycle for hosting comes back to NoVa).

  • 6-A North: Winner Madison (Vienna) (22-5) , runner-up Chantilly (20-6)
  • 6-A South: Winner Western Branch (Chesapeake) (22-3), runner-up First Colonial (Virginia Beach) (21-4)

6-A State Semis Results: Madison pecked away at First Colonial and ended up breezing to a 7-2 victory in the first semi.  Madison’s senior ace Brian Eckert (Radford commit) pitched 6+ innings of one run ball in his final appearance for the Warhawks.  In the nightcap, Chantilly got revenge from last year’s state final and pounded the defending 6-A champ Western Branch 8-3 to make the 6-A state final a rematch of the regional title game and an all-northern Virginia affair.

6-A State Final: In the state final, Madison’s junior lefty Matt Favero started the game … and he finished it.  Madison jumped ahead 3-0 but Favero got knocked out in the 4th after giving up 5 hits and 5 unearned runs.  Madison clawed their way back though, tying the game in the 6th and then loading the bases in the bottom of the 7th with no outs.  There, Favero came up and got the walk-off hit (twitter link to video of the hit) to clinch Madison’s 4th state title (2015, 2002, 1971 and 1968).  Kudos to Chantilly; two straight state finals; their coach (Kevin Ford) deserves his coach of the year accolades.

Madison’s feat is all the more impressive when looking at their lineup; outside of their ace lefty Eckert and one position player, the rest of their starting lineup in the state tournament are underclassmen.  They could be quite dominant in 2016.

6-A State champ: Madison (Vienna) with a 24-5 record on the season.

5-A State Finals: held at Robinson and Lake Braddock HS in Northern Virginia

  • 5-A North: Winner Stone Bridge (Ashburn) (21-5), runner-up Marshall (McLean) (21-5)
  • 5-A South: Winner Hickory (Chesapeake) (22-3), runner-up Freeman (NW Richmond) (19-6)

Stone Bridge plays at 3pm at Lake Braddock, Marshall at 7pm.

5-A State Semis Results: As with the 6-A tournament, the 5-A final will be an all-Northern Virginia affair as both local teams won.  Stone Bridge’s Brett Kreyer threw a one-hitter as Stone Bridge beat Freeman 6-0 in one semi.  Marshall took advantage of an ill-timed error that would have ended an inning and a rally and eventually beat the defending champ’s Hickory 7-4.

5-A State Final: In the state final, Stone Bridge fulfilled its “ewing theory” credentials by getting further without J.B. Bukauskas than they ever did with him, handling Marshall 9-4 for its first state title.

5-A State champ: Stone Bridge with a 23-5 record on the season.

4-A State Finals: held at Liberty University in Lynchburg.

  • 4-A North: Winner Jefferson Forest (Forest/Lynchburg) (19-7), Fauquier (Warrenton) (19-6), runner-up (by fft after the fact)
  • 4-A South: Winner Glen Allen (N. Richmond) (21-3), runner-up Hanover (N. Richmond)  (18-5)

4-A State Semis Results: Glen Allen took out Fauquier in the first state semi final 6-4, facing the Warrenton team after they had to forfeit their 4-A north final victory and settle for second place.  In the other semi, Jefferson Forest outlasted two-time defending state champion Hanover 4-3 in extra innings.

4-A State Final: In the final, Glen Allen scored four early and was never threatened, beating Jefferson Forest 9-3.

4-A State champ: Glen Allen (N. Richmond) with a 23-3 record on the season.

3-A State Finals: held at Liberty University in Lynchburg.

  • 3-A East: Winner Loudoun Valley (Purcelville) (22-2), Runner-up Lafayette (Williamsburg) (18-6-1) (note: these teams were declared co-champs; the positions must have been determined by a coin-flip).
  • 3-A West: Winner Monticello (Charlottesville), runner-up Rustberg (outside of Lynchburg)

3-A State Semis Results: In the first semi, Loudoun Valley upended Rustberg 6-0 with Liberty commit Jack DeGroat throwing a complete game 2-hitter with 17 strikeouts.  On the other side, Lafayette destroyed Monticello 11-0 to setup the state final that should have been the regional final.

3-A State Final: In the state final, Lafayette hit a solo homer for the winning run in the top of the 7th before closing out Purcellville’s Loudoun Valley 5-4 for Lafayette’s first ever state baseball title.

3-A State champ: Lafayette (Williamsburg) with a 20-6-1 record on the season.

Smaller Classifications: held in Salem and at Radford University.

  • 2-A match-ups: Strasburg (corner of I-66 & I-81) (25-1) vs Lebanon (SW corner of Virginia), Virginia High (Bristow) (24-2) vs Maggie Walker (Downtown Richmond).  In the semis, Virginia High ended Maggie Walter’s season 8-3, and Lebanon ended Strasburg’s excellent season 8-2.  In the 2-A West rematch for the state title, Virginia High bashed their way to a 16-8 victory to repeat as Virginia 2-A champs..
  • 1-A match-ups: Honaker (SW corner of Virginia) v Lancaster (King George peninsula), William Campbell (Gladys south of Lynchburg) vs Radford.  In the semis, the two 1-A east teams advanced for a rematch, wherein William Campbell turned the tables on Lancaster, winning the 1-A title 16-4.

Recent Virginia HS champs:  Before 2014, we just covered AAA, which now is split between 4-A, 5-A and 6-A divisions.

2014: see this post for 2014’s state tournament wrap up for all 6 divisions.

  • In 6-A, Western Branch d Chantilly 6-4.  McLean and Cosby were state semifinalists.
  • In 5-A, Hickory d Freeman 6-4.  Stone Bridge and the surprising Freedom-South Riding semi finalists.
  • In 4-A, Hanover d Millbrook 7-1.
  • In the smaller classifications, Loudoun Valley (Purcellville) won 3-A, Virginia High (Bristol) won 2-A and Northumberland (Heathesville, on the King George peninsula) won 1-A.

2013 AAA: Hanover d Great Bridge. Hanover’s super-junior Derek Casey (now at UVA) outlasts Great Bridge and their 1st round talent Connor Jones (now UVA’s Friday starter after spurning a likely late 1st round draft position).  Lake Braddock and Oakton beaten in the semis.

2012 AAA: Lake Braddock d Kellam 4-0. Lake Braddock lost to West Springfield in the regional title game but then blitzed to a state championship.

2011 AAA: Great Bridge d South County in the state final, giving the powerful South County its first and only loss on the season after starting the season 28-0.  Lake Braddock was the regional finalist and lost to Great Bridge in the state quarters.

2010 AAA: West Springfield d Woodbridge in the final, giving Woodbridge its only loss on the year. WT Woodson regional finalist.

Complete history of Virginia HS Champions: from VHSL’s website.  Covers all sports and has results for a century.

Maryland Recap

See previous post for MD state final wrap-ups.  Brackets here at the MPSAA website.

A quick list of past Maryland State champions by division:

The Maryland public high school seasons are now complete.


DC Public Schools/DCIAA/DCSAA Recaps

  • DCIAA: Wilson won its 23rd consecutive DCIAA regular season title, extending its city league winning streak in the process.  DCIAA tournament supposedly ran through 6/3/15, though I cannot find any evidence that it occurred.  Perhaps it has been replaced in total by the DCSAA tourney.
  • DCSAA:  In the DCSAA final, Gonzaga beat St. Albans 2-1 at Nats Park on a controversial interference call that turned a tag-out at the plate into the decisive run.


Private Leagues: WCAC/MAC/IAC and VISAA/Maryland Private

All local area Private schools’ seasons are now complete.

Local and National High School Baseball Ranking Lists:

  • Washington Post All Met Sports Final Baseball top 10: Updated/finalized 6/17/15 at the end of the spring prep season.  Madison 1, Gaithersburg 2.  If I had ranked them, I likely would have gone Madison 1, Gaithersburg 2, Spalding 3, Stone Bridge 4, Chopticon 5, Chantilly 6, Loudoun Valley 7, St. Johns 8, Oakton 9 and Marshall 10.  Battlefield HM.  I was pretty close.
  • Baltimore Sun Final Rankings page : dated 5/25/15: They also have Spalding #1, then Calvert Hall, St. Marys, 4-A finalist Severna Park and then 3-A finalist Mt. Hebron.  Reservoir 6th.
  • Hampton Roads Baseball top 10 page: dated 5/19/15: Western Branch #1, then Grassfield, Hickory and First Colonial.  Needs updating.
  • Baseball America’s High School top 50 (Final ranking 6/17/15): Madison #24 in final poll, Stone Bridge #42.
  • USA Today High School top 25 (most recent ranking 6/17/15): Madison at #36, Liberty Christian #43, Spalding #44 and Western Branch #49.
  • MaxPreps top 25/top 50 lists, which has a hand-picked and a computer/power ranking list.  6/15/15 rankings.  No DC/MD/VA teams in MaxPrep’s “Excellent 50.”  Highest ranked teams in the extended rankings are Liberty Christian at #71, Chopticon at #95.  Madison is in the #400s, making one question these rankings slightly.


2015 Draft Results: local player interest draft results.



Nathan Kirby is the highest drafted player with local ties.  Photo via

Nathan Kirby is the highest drafted player with local ties. Photo via

Here’s how some of the players of local interest fared in the 2015 draft.  Per section, i’ve ordered these guys by the order they were taken chronologically, not by any pre-draft rankings.

At the beginning of the season, we profiled a ton of local prep and college players.  And then we talked about the higher-profile local players in our Pre-draft coverage.  At the end of the day, almost none of the prep guys were drafted and those that were are almost certain to go to school.

College Players with local ties

  • Nathan Kirby LHP from UVA: went #40 (Supp 1st round) to Seattle, a huge drop from where he was projected.  His injury and the drop in his stuff this year really hurt his draft status.
  • Josh Sborz, RHP closer for UVA: went #74 (Supp 2nd round) to the Dodgers, who had a fantastic draft picking big-name college arms who fell due to performance.  Sborz can start (and did start both this year and last).
  • Taylor Clarke, who hails from Ashburn (Broad Run HS) went #76, first pick of the 3rd round to Arizona.
  • Mike Matuella, of Great Falls (Georgetown Prep) and Duke: went two picks later, #78, to Texas in the 3rd round.  An amazing drop for Matuella, who was rumored as a top 5 pick earlier in the season but who dropped probably 3 full rounds thanks to the surgery and questions about his medicals.  And there’s no reason for him to head back to school; thanks to the timing he isn’t even back on a mound until midway through his senior year.  Maybe he does go back to school (he’s going to Duke after all; he may want to finish his degree) and try to get himself back into the 1st round.  We’ll see.
  • Brandon Lowe: UMD infielder: 3rd round #87 overall to Tampa Bay.
  • Alex Robinson: UMD’s ace Lefty went in the 5th round (#140 overall) to Minnesota.
  • Joe McCarthy, OF for UVA: 5th round, #148 overall to Tampa Bay.  Man, Joe had a rough junior year.  He went from a back-0f-the-first rounder to a 5th rounder.  Will he hold out for above slot money as a result, possibly going back to school for his Senior year to regain value?  I would.
  • Brandon Waddell UVA Saturday/Sunday starter: 5th round (#157) to Pittsburgh.  Another guy who was supposed to be higher but who dropped.
  • Jack Wynkoop of Virginia Beach (Cape Henry Collegiate HS), LHP starter for South Carolina: went in the 6th round to Colorado.
  • Michael Boyle: Radford Ace.  13th rounder to the Dodgers, who just *cleaned up* on high-profile college arms in this draft.
  • Kevin Mooney: UMD closer: 15th rounder by the Nats!
  • Kenny Towns; 3B from UVA and the 2011 All-Met player of the year from Lake Braddock, went in the 20th to the Angels.
  • Luke Willis, OF from George Mason and Oakton HS, in the 30th round to Kansas City.

There are quite a few other college players from the many baseball-playing colleges in the area drafted past the 10th round; search the MLB draft tracker and select the state of Virginia for many more local college players.

Local Prep players of note: nobody got drafted high enough to seriously consider changing their college frankly.

Fyi: Washington Post announced their All Met teams last night.  Nearly every local kid we’ve talked about this year is mentioned, including a number of these guys below:

  • Jimmy Barnes, Deep Creek HS in Chesapeake; 11th rounder to the Angels.  Interesting selection; the 11th round is the first round where you can “get away” from the bonus structure of the first 10; Barnes hasn’t committed to a college and is a SS from the baseball hotbed of Chesapeake VA.  Signable?
  • Nic Enright of Steward HS in Richmond: 19th rounder to the Mets.  Looks like he’s going to Virginia Tech.
  • Ljay Newsome of Chopticon (south of Waldorf): 26th rounder by Seattle.  Wonder what happens here: Newsome has not declared for a college yet.  Is he signable as a 26th rounder?  Post Publishing update: per his summer team’s twitter page, Newsome signed.
  • Nathan Trevillian, RHP from small Amherst County HS; committed to Liberty.  22nd rounder to the Mets.
  • Stevie Mangrum, 3B from Western Albemarle HS in Charlottesville.  Va Tech commit, 28th round pick by Boston.
  • Cody Morris, of Reservoir with a South Carolina commit and a TJ surgery: got picked up in 32nd round by Baltimore, probably the team sending a message to a local kid.
  • Hunter Parsons of Parkside HS, picked up in the 40th round by Cleveland.  Maryland commit.

I only see one of these prep kids going signing (Barnes in the 11th).  That means, reaching back to my pre-season coverage, the following colleges are going to see their early commits come to school.  Here’s a list of all the Prep players profiled early on with verbal commits (link to’s Recruit Watch) Not all of these commits are set in stone, but here’s what some local schools signing classes could look like:

  • UVA: Connor Eason, Nathan Eikhoff, Evan Sperling, Grant Donahue
  • U of Maryland: A.J. Lee, Hunter Parsons
  • Virginia Tech: Nic Enright, Stevie Mangrum, John DeFazio, Paul Hall
  • South Carolina: Cody Morris, Danny Blair
  • Wake Forest: Harvey Logan
  • Liberty: Nathan Trevillian, Jack DeGroat
  • VCU: Brody Cook
  • UNC-Asheville: Jordan Carr
  • Campbell: James Monaghan
  • Uncommitted thus far: Ljay Newsome, Jimmy Barnes, Kaleb Bowman, Hunter Byrnes


Nats re-draft/previously drafted Players (i’ve noted our previous draft position for each player)

  • Andrew Suarez , (2nd round pick 2014) LHP from Miami went in the 2nd round again, #61 overall this time to San Francisco.  A few picks after he went last year; did he make a mistake spurning the Nats offer?  (disclaimer: who knows what the Nats offered).
  • Skye Bolt, OF from UNC, went in the 4th round (#128 overall) to Oakland.
  • Cody Poteet, (27th rounder in 2012) went in the 4th round (#116 overall) to Miami.
  • Austin Byler, (9th rounder, 2014) OF from Nevada.  Was the first pick on day 3; 11th rounder by Arizona.  His decision to head back to school may have cost him (though, to be fair, we have no idea what he turned down from the Nats).
  • Daniel Salters (22nd rounder 2014) C from Dallas Baptist: 13th round pick to Cleveland in 2015.
  • Jake Jefferies (34th rounder in 2012): 2B from Cal State-Fullerton; Nats picked him up again, this time in the 39th round.  He’s a junior now, clearly the Nats like him and probably just wanted to send a message, setting him up for next year.

There’s a couple more guys who were HS draftees in 2012 who should be draft eligible juniors now but who were not drafted.  They may not even still be playing for all we know.