Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

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.


14 Responses to '2015 Draft Results: local player interest draft results.'

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  1. I’m not an expert on these things, but haven’t most colleges already enrolled their freshman classes? Most athletes seem to commit around junior year. If a player has yet to decide on college plans after they’ve already graduated, he’s probably hoping to go pro. The “yet” has got to be about leverage. No baseball program is holding any scholarship money or even a spot on the team for him this late in the game. Maybe they are looking at JuCo as the backup option?


    12 Jun 15 at 2:08 pm

  2. I don’t think that’s true. I am not sure of the mechanics but HS players seem able to enter draft and, if they don’t sign, go to the college that they committed too. Juco seems to be more of an option to renter the draft after 1 year, not 3.

    Maybe they enroll but teams pay them back their lost deposit, and enrolling doesn’t seem to hurt their ability to sign. I am pretty sure colleges make offers assuming some go pro, but honor it if they don’t. But it appears to happen all the time.


    12 Jun 15 at 5:35 pm

  3. Maybe I wasn’t clear in what I said. I’m talking about a kid who hasn’t decided yet where to go to college.

    By now, most college bound students know where they’re going to college because 4 year colleges require a deposit be put down by early May, and only to one school. The players with commitments have a spot in a college baseball program and that’s where they’ll go if they decide not to go pro. At this point, a kid who doesn’t have a plan for college isn’t going to have a scholarship or a spot waiting in a program. The recruiting classes have filled up, and he probably hasn’t been accepted into a school…his only options might be sign or go to JuCo.


    12 Jun 15 at 10:23 pm

  4. Great stuff, Todd. Thanks.

    Mark L

    13 Jun 15 at 9:17 am

  5. When I was browsing through players projected in the range of the Nats picks, I really wanted to like McCarthy for the Nats, but I just couldn’t. Even in his good years, his numbers didn’t strike me as those of a good major-league prospect. It’s not that he’s a bad player at all; he’s a heck of a college player. It’s just that the bar to be a major-league player is so high, particularly at a corner position.

    I’m sure we could all come up with several benchmark players, but one of mine has become Corey Brown. He was a phenomenal player, both in college and in the minors. In his junior (draft) year he hit 22 HRs (double McCarthy’s career total) and stole 23 bases (just two short of McCarthy’s career total). Brown has a career minor-league OPS of .820 and 149 HRs . . . and he’s never come close to sticking in the big leagues. Clint Robinson has a minor-league career OPS of .891 and 141 HRs and is only now getting a major-league look of any substance at age 30. Tyler Moore had back-to-back minor-league years with 31 HRs but struggles to stay on the major-league margins.

    I don’t mean this as an anti-McCarthy rant at all; one could substitute the name of most players picked this week. Heck, I think Bregman’s numbers look pretty comparable to what Difo has been doing in the minors, and no one would be picking Wilmer #2 overall!

    I’ll leave you with the numbers of another player, his final year at a top SEC school, from 2010, so in a comparable time frame to current players: 13 HRs, 49 RBIs, 23 SBs, and an OPS of .997. Would you be excited if your team drafted a guy with those numbers? I would. He did make the bigs, but just barely. His name is Matt den Dekker.


    13 Jun 15 at 1:59 pm

  6. Melissa: I’m sure the “yet” is all about leverage, especially for someone high profile. Consider Ljay Newsome; he was absolutely stellar in his final prep game, he’s not declared, he got drafted and he was just named to Louisville’s HS All-American list. He’s clearly known to colleges and to scouts. Furthermore, schools absolutely can still hold onto scholarship money for a guy like him; consider that every single guy HS guy picked has a college committment; those schools have clearly reserved a full ride for these high-end guys in the hopes they come to college. When they go pro, poof that’s a full ride that comes available and can be offered. Until the first day of the first semester in September, these teams can still acquire players.

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 15 at 10:08 pm

  7. KW: did den Dekker and Brown hit those numbers with the pre BBCOR bats or with the new ones? If before… well those numbers would be inflated. The last few years have seen limited flight bats in use in college, which has drastically reduced power. That’s what made Kris Bryant’s power figures so amazing in college. Now that being said, college baseball introduced a different ball this year that increased offense again. So they’re constantly tinkering.

    Understood though your point. McCarthy’s junior season was a complete waste; he was a known quantity going into this season. I’m guessing once he slipped out of the top few rounds he was going to be unsignable, with him figuring he would be a more valuable senior sign next year with a season to regain value. That’s what i’d do.

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 15 at 10:11 pm

  8. Yes, den Dekker’s big year was 2010, the last one before BBCOR, so point taken on that. Bryant’s 31 in 2013 is probably the new standard of the possible.

    But my larger point is how good one has to be to make it as a major leaguer. That’s something we often forget when we debate these “marginal” guys who should or shouldn’t be on an MLB bench.

    As for what McCarthy should do, that’s a tough call, as teams tend to underdraft seniors because they know that they have no leverage. Sure, if he came back and hit 20 HRs, he’d be in the first round, but that’s unlikely. Career-wise, he’d be better off biting the bullet and going on to A-ball, as the age clock really seems to work against prospects these days, as we’ve discussed recently with Souza and others.

    Speaking of whom, happy Trea Turner Liberation Day to all! Talk about a trade that is looking better than any of us imagined.


    14 Jun 15 at 8:15 am

  9. KW said “But my larger point is how good one has to be to make it as a major leaguer.”

    So, so true. I think we can get lulled into forgetting that sometimes. As exciting as it is to see a Difo emerge or Turner take off, it is a long, long way from where they are to taking over for Desmond and being as productive as he has been the last several years. My point isn’t that it shouldn’t be the plan, just that there is much more risk in its success than we sometimes give it.

    Melissa – sorry that I misunderstood your point earlier.


    14 Jun 15 at 3:43 pm

  10. Well, Ljay Newsome’s summer team has confirmed on Twitter that he’s signed with the Mariners, so that answers that question.


    15 Jun 15 at 12:10 am

  11. Melissa; that’s great intel; perfectgame doesn’t even have his summer team.

    Todd Boss

    15 Jun 15 at 8:50 am

  12. Found it:

    Demarini Stars; per the above twitter Newsome’s signed. I wonder how much he could have gotten; not much more than $100k.

    Todd Boss

    15 Jun 15 at 9:11 am

  13. […] the fourth year running (here’s 2013’s wrap-up, 2014’s wrap-up, and 2015’s wrap-up), we’re going to keep an eye on “local” draft prospects leading up to the 2016 […]

  14. […] after the rule-4 draft, we went over all the local players who got […]

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