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2017 Draft coverage; Local draft-prospects to keep an eye in for the 2017 draft

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J.B. Bukauskas, three years after being a potential first round pick out of Stone Bridge in Ashburn, may be a top 10 pick in 2017 out of UNC. Photo via chapelboro.com

J.B. Bukauskas, three years after being a potential first round pick out of Stone Bridge in Ashburn, may be a top 10 pick in 2017 out of UNC. Photo via chapelboro.com

Hello all.  I’ve been slacking on local high school and college coverage this season, partly because there’s not nearly as exciting of a class as last year (when the DC area had two guys picked in the first three rounds in Joe Rizzo and Khalil Lee, in addition to a HS all-american in Zach Hess down at Liberty Christian).  But here’s a quick review of my 2017 Local Draft Prospect list.   By “local” I generally mean anyone from DC, MD or VA, with a focus on DC-Metro kids.

This list has essentially turned into a massive “Best players from the area” list, with mention given to nearly every kid who has shown up on an accolades list in the last couple of years.  Only a few of the prep kids are going to get drafted, but it is interesting to me to track where they’re going to school.  Lots of these college commitments may be out of date; an early commit often turns into a rejection once college coaches see how their recruiting classes gel.  So if I have a kid wrong, my apologies and let me know in the comments.


Major Local College Draft Prospects for 2017

This list started with my 2014 Local High School draft coverage, listing guys who were HS seniors in 2014 who went to 3-year programs and who are now eligible.  Since we’ve augmented it with locally tied guys who have put themselves into draft positions by virtue of collegiate or summer league performances.  I separate “major prospects” from the lower list in that these guys have usually gotten some sort of national press, top-100 list type of press, and are good bets all to get drafted in the first 5-6 rounds this coming June.  The first few names are all being talked about as potential 1st rounders or 2nd rounders.

  • “Jacob” J.B. Bukauskus, RHP from UNC by way of Stone Bridge HS in Ashburn.  A 2014 HS All American who chose to go to college.  Spent 2016 as UNC’s saturday starter and blew up to the tune of a 13 K/9 rate his sophomore year.  Projecting now as an upper 1st rounder.  2016 Collegiate National Team and briefly in the Cape.  Projecting as possible top-10 pick.  2017 Pre-Season Collegiate Baseball All-American 2nd team.
  • Pavin Smith is a big lefty 1B/OF at UVA; he has been a significant member of the UVA lineup during his career.  All-League Cape Cod league summer of 2016.  Projecting as possible end-of-1st rounder.  2017 Pre-Season Collegiate Baseball All-American 2nd team, fantastic 2017 season now has him projecting as a possible top-10 pick.
  • Adam Haseley, OF/RHP from UVA.  Great on the mound for UVA in 2016, worked solely in the field in Cape Cod League 2016.  Projecting now as 2nd rounder.  2017 Pre-Season Collegiate Baseball All-American 2nd team.  Like his teammate, Haseley’s 2017 season has put him in the upper first round territory.

From the top 3 guys here, there’s a gap to the next group:

  • Kevin Smith, INF From Maryland.  Cape Cod league summer standout of 2016, being named MVP of the final and All-League.  Projecting now as 2nd rounder.
  • Tyler Johnson RHP from South Carolina by way of Trinity Episcopal, Richmond.  8th/9th inning reliever for SC as a sophomore.   2016 Collegiate National Team.  Projecting as 3rd/4th rounder.
  • Ernie Clement, 2b/SS from UVA.  All League Cape Cod league summer of 2016.  Big Cape showing now pushing his draft stock way up; possible 3rd rounder.
  • Hunter Williams LHP from UNC by way of Cosby HS in Chesterfield, VA.  A mid-week starter in 2016, may move into the weekend rotation for 2017.  Cape Cod league summer of 2016, where he posted a 1.10 era.  Cape showing pushing him into 4th round discussions.
  • Tommy Doyle, RHP at UVA by way of Flint Hill HS (hometown: Vienna).  Began 2016 as UVA’s Sunday starter, converted to be their closer by season’s end.
  • Brian Mims, 2B/SS UNC-Wilmington by way of Forest Park HS in Woodbridge: Multiple All-american honors as a sophomore in 2016.  2016 Collegiate National Team invitee
  • Nick Feight, C UNC-Wilmington by way of Battlefield HS in Haymarket: Multiple All-american honors as a sophomore in 2016.  Cape Cod league summer of 2016.  2016 Collegiate National Team invitee.  2017 Pre-Season Collegiate Baseball All-American 1st team.

Lesser Local College draft eligibles w/ Local Ties

This list is defined as “lesser” prospects in that they’re not getting “first few rounds” publicity, but seem like in most cases draft candidates.  I don’t mean to imply that “lesser” means they’re any less of a player; they’re just not getting “J.B. Bukauskas” hype.  I’d guess most every name on this list will get called in June, some in the 6-8th round, perhaps others down in the 15-25th round range.  Some may opt to forgo the draft bonus they’re offered and return for their senior season.  Some are almost guaranteed to return thanks to injury or circumstance, but they’re all draft eligible this year.

  • Sam Donko, RHP (closer) from VCU. 2017 Pre-Season Collegiate Baseball All-American 1st team.
  • Cullen Large, 2B from W&M.  2017 Pre-Season Collegiate Baseball All-American 3rd team.
  • Keenan Bartlett, RHP from Richmond
  • Packy Naughton, RHP Virginia Tech.  All League Cape Code 2016, giving him some helium as potential 5th rounder.
  • Brian Shaffer, RHP at Maryland; on d1Bsaeball’s top 100 draft prospects lists, came out of nowhere.
  • Zach Rutherford, 2b/SS from ODU by way of Western Branch HS in Chesapeake VA.  Undrafted as a junior in 2016.  All-League Cape Cod league summer of 2016, which put him into 4th-5th round discussions.
  • Derek Casey, RHP from UVA by way of Hanover HS (Mechanicsville).  Underwent Tommy John surgery early in his sophomore year and never appeared his junior year, so likely returns to school to be a 4th year junior draftee in 2017.  However he’s draft eligible in 2017 and, if he has a great return season, he could put himself back in the conversation.
  • Taylor Lane, a shortstop from Chesapeake, transferred to IMG academy for college, went to Florida, transferred to Northwest Florida State and having a good 2016 season leading off for them.
  • Charlie Cody 3B from UVA by way of Great Bridge HS in Chesapeake.  Not starting as a sophomore; more of a super sub.
  • Jeff “Junior” Harding went to Cambridge-South Dorchester here locally.  He went to South Carolina, transferred to Chipola College in Florida, got drafted by KC in the 20th round last year.  I’m not entirely sure if he signed; he may either be in KC’s system or be draft eligible again in 2016.  Update: he got drafted again in 2017, in the 17th round, so no he didn’t sign last year.
  • Brodie Leftridge is an OF at U Tennessee by way of Highland MD/St. John’s HS in DC.  Part-time player at UT his sophomore year.
  • Hunter Taylor, a C at South Carolina by way of Nandua HS in Olney, VA.  Has barely played in 2016.
  • Bennett Sousa is a LHP from UVA; 2016 bullpen member, limited use.
  • Zach Clinton is a RHP from Liberty U by way of Liberty Christian HS.  He’s not on their active stat sheet but still seems to be on the roster; I cannot tell where he is these days.
  • Zack Hopeck, RHP from Coastal Carolina by way of Heritage HS in Leesburg.  Mid-week starter for CCU as a sophomore during their CWS run.
  • Canaan Cropper RHP from South Carolina by way of Salisbury HS.  Minimal action as a sophomore.
  • Nick Brown: RHP William & Mary by way of Patriot HS in Gainesville, VA.  Undrafted as a junior in 2016.  Cape Cod league summer of 2016.
  • Logan Farrar: VCU by way of Woodbridge HS.  Undrafted as a junior in 2016. Cape Cod league summer of 2016.
  • Ryan Selmer, RHP from Maryland by way of Riverdale Baptist HS (lives in Beltsville, MD).  Cape Cod league summer of 2016.
  • Robert Metz, 2b/SS from George Washington by way of Poolesville HS.  Undrafted as a junior in 2016. Cape Cod league summer of 2016.
  • Gavin Sheets, 1B from Wake Forest by way of Gilman HS in Lutherville, MD.  Cape Cod league summer of 2016.
  • Nicholas Dunn, INF from Maryland.  Cape Cod league summer of 2016.
  • Kyle Adams, C from Richmond.  Undrafted as a junior in 2016. Cape Cod league summer of 2016.
  • Joseph Freiday, C from Virginia Tech.   Undrafted as a junior in 2016. Cape Cod league summer of 2016.
  • D.J. Artis, OF from Liberty.  Cape Cod league summer of 2016.
  • Chase Pinder, OF from Clemson by way of Poquoson HS.  Cape Cod league summer of 2016.  Hit 11 homers playing CF in sophomore year; could be a draft board riser.
  • Peter Soloman, RHP from Notre Dame by way of Mt. St. Josephs HS in Ellicott City, MD.  Cape Cod league summer of 2016.
  • Jason Morgan, RHP from UNC by way of Chancellor HS in Fredericksburg, VA.  Cape Cod league summer of 2016.
  • Sam Sinnen, RHP from ODU by way of Kellam HS in Norfolk.  Cape Cod league summer of 2016.

 

DC/MD/VA Local Prep players for 2017.  It seems like its a “down” year for local prep players, especially compared to 2016 w/ Rizzo/Lee, but there’s still some very good prep players in the area.  I’m sure we’ll see some draft fliers on some of the names towards the top of this list.  Its tough to keep track of college commitments and I depend mostly on perfectgame.org, so if I have something wrong here definitely pipe up in the comments.

  • Kyle Whitten, RHP/1B from Osbourn Park in Manassas, VA. WWBA 2015 with Team Stars, 2016 Evoshield 17-U team.  At the USA Baseball 18U national trials in June 2016 (and made 40-man roster).  Early commit to UVA.  Evoshield 17U team at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  PBR Class of 2017 top 10.
  • Tyler Solomon, C/1B from Battlefield HS in Haymarket, VA.  2015 WWBA Team Evoshield 17-U, 2016 All 6-A North Region 2nd team.  2016 Evoshield 17-U team.  At PG National 2016.  At the USA Baseball 18U national trials in June 2016.  Early commit to Vanderbilt.  Evoshield 17U team at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.  PBR Class of 2017 top 10.  Area Code Games 2016. WWBA 2016 with Evoshield.
  • Austine Jeremy Arocho, SS from Old Mill HS in Glen Burnie, MD.  2015 WWBA Team Evoshield 17-U, 2016 Evoshield 17-U team.  At PG National 2016.   18U National team trials.  Evoshield 17U team at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  Area Code Games 2016. WWBA 2016 with Evoshield.  Was early commit to Maryland, Now committed to Northwest Florida State College.
  • Anthony Simonelli RHP from Millbrook in Winchester, VA.  WWBA 2015 with Team Stars.  All 4A West 2016 as a junior.  VHSL 4A 2nd team all-state as a junior.  At PG National 2016.  Early commit to Coastal Carolina.  Stars 17u Reds at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.  PBR Class of 2017 top 10.  WWBA with Stars baseball 2017.
  • Michael Ludowig, OF from Briar Woods.  2016 All-5A North Region as a junior.  Evoshield Canes 16-U team 2016, early commit to Wake Forest.  Evoshield Mid-Atlantic 17U team at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  PBR Class of 2017 top 10.
  • Connor Hartigan, OF from Millbrook in Winchester, VA.  WWBA 2015 with Team Stars.   All 4A West 2016 as a junior.  VHSL 4A 2nd team all-state as a junior.  At PG National 2016.  Stars 17u Reds at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  Was Early commit to Coastal Carolina, now committed to University of South Carolina-Sumter.
  • Harold Cortijo, OF/RHP from Riverdale Baptist.  2016 all-Met as a junior.  2016 American Family All-Maryland 1st team as a junior.  No summer team.  Early commit to  Seminole State College of Florida.  Huge 2017 put him on the map as Maryland gatorade player of the year.

There’s a gap between the above and this next group:

  • Antonio Menendez RHP Herndon HS.  2016 All 6-A North Region 2nd team.  Wake Forest early commit.  Team Dirtbags at WWBA 2016 (the champs)
  • Randy Bednar LHP from Landon by way of Bethesda MD, early commit to Maryland.  2015 All-Met as a *sophomore*.
  • Will Liverpool, RHP from Mclean HS in McLean, VA.  WWBA 2015 with Team Stars.  Early commit to West Virginia.
  • Christian Pitura, SS/OF from Chantilly in Fairfax, VA.  2015 WWBA with Virginia Cardinals.  No college commitment yet but looking at a slew of virginia schools.
  • Brett Boggs, OF Battlefield HS from Haymarket, VA.  2016 All 6-A North Region and all 6-A State.  No summer team, early commit to VMI.
  • Isaak Lyons Utility Player West Springfield HS.  2016 All 6-A North Region 2nd team.  Stars summer 2016, just committed to GMU.
  • Ryan Miles, inf/RHP from Woodbridge,   Richmond Braves 2016 team, just committed to GMU.
  • Jake Williams Pitcher West Springfield HS.  2016 All 6-A North Region 2nd team.  No summer team, no college commitment.
  • James Price RHP Patriot HS in Bristow, VA.   2016 Stars.  Committed to GMU.
  • Evan Antonellis, SS from Potomac HS in Woodbridge.  2016 All 5-A North region 1st team.  2016 All-5A State.  2nd-team All-Met 2016.  No perfectgame.org profile.
  • Will Merriken, LHP from Kettle Run.  #1 Starter on 2016 state semifinalist team.
  • Justin Pearson, LHP from Mountain View.  #3 starter on 2016 state semifinalist team.
  • Raffy Baumgarner, Util from Bulliss.  2nd-team All-Met 2016.
  • Sam Ewald, ? position Kettle Run.  All 4A West 2016 as a junior.
  • Josh Simon, OF St. Johns in DC.  American Family 2016 1st team All-DC as a junior.
  • Toma Shigaki-Than, RHP Oakton HS.  Stars Showcase Baseball 17U at PG nationals 2016.  Committed to Duke.  WWBA with Stars baseball 2017.

Extended DC/MD/VA Prep players (outside DC Area) on the radar.  Most of these players are south of here, from Richmond or the Tidewater area.  There’s good baseball down south.  :-)

  • Matt Cooper, C/1B from Norfolk Academy.  2016 VISAA Division I all-state.  2016 Evoshield 17-U team.  At PG National 2016.  Early commit to Clemson.  2nd Team all-Tidewater 2016 as a junior.  American Family 2016 1st team All-Virginia as a junior.  Evoshield 17U team at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.   PBR Class of 2017 top 10.  Area Code Games 2016.
  • Tanner Morris, MIF from St Anne’s-Belfield HS/Miller School of Albemarle.  2015 WWBA Team Evoshield 17-U, VISAA A All-State 2016.  2016 VISAA Division II all-state.  2016 Evoshield 17-U team.   At PG National 2016.  Early commit to UVA.  American Family 2016 1st team All-Virginia as a junior.  Evoshield 17U team at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.   PBR Class of 2017 top 10.  Area Code Games 2016.  WWBA 2016 with Evoshield.  BA Top 100 list #78 (only local player on list).
  • Hunter “Will” Perdue, RHP/1B from Grassfield HS in  Chesapeake, VA.  2015 WWBA with Richmond Braves, early commit to UVA.  2nd Team all-Tidewater 2016 as a junior.  American Family 2016 1st team All-Virginia as a junior.  Richmond Braves 17u Jones at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  PBR Class of 2017 top 10.  WWBA 2016 with Evoshield.
  • Andrew Abbott, LHP from Halifax County HS in Nathalie, VA .  2015 WWBA Team Evoshield.  2016 Evoshield 17-U team.   2016 All-5A North Region as a junior.  2016 All-5A State.  Early commit to UVA.   Evoshield 17U team at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  PBR Class of 2017 top 10.  WWBA 2016 with Evoshield.
  • Mikey Polansky, 1b/3B from Hickory HS.  2016 Evoshield 17-U team.  VHSL 2016 2nd team All-5A State as a junior.  Early commit to Virginia Tech.  2nd Team all-Tidewater 2016 as a junior.  Evoshield 17U team at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  PBR Class of 2017 top 10.  WWBA 2016 with Evoshield.

Gap between the above guys and the rest:

  • Eric Stock, SS from Greenbrier Christian.  PBR Class of 2017 top 10.  Early commit to ODU.
  • Brandon Dorsey, 3B from Calvert Hall HS in Mount Airy, MD.  At PG National 2016.  Early commit to UNC.
  • Ethan Gallagher, OF from Mount St. Josephs HS in Catonsville.   At PG National 2016.  Early commit to Wake Forest.
  • Nolan Caler, MIF from Hanover  HS in Mechanicsville, VA.   2015 WWBA with Virginia Cardinals.  Virginia Cardinals summer of 2016.
  • Hunter Cochrane RHP/1B from Glen Allen HS in Glen Allen, VA.  2015 WWBA with Virginia Cardinals.  Virginia Cardinals summer of 2016.  Committed to Hampden-Sydney College.
  • Eli Ottinger, RHP from Benedictine HS, Glen Allen, VA.  2015 WWBA with Virginia Cardinals.  2016 VISAA Division I all-state.  Virginia Cardinals summer of 2016.  2nd-team 2016 all Richmond metro as a junior.
  • Josh Pittman, RHP/MIF from Highland School in Elkwood, VA.  2015 WWBA with Virginia Cardinals.  2016 VISAA Division II all-state.  Virginia Cardinals summer of 2016.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.
  • Timmy Stephan, ? position from Highland School in Elkwood, VA.  2016 VISAA Division II all-state.
  • Callaway Sigler, OF from Deep Run HS in Glen Allen, VA.  2015 WWBA with Virginia Cardinals.  Virginia Cardinals summer of 2016.
  • William “Will”  Simon, 1B/RHP from Benedictine HS, Richmond, VA.  2015 WWBA with Virginia Cardinals.  2016 VISAA Division I all-state.  Early commit to URichmond.
  • Evan Justice, RHP from Collegiate School.  2016 VISAA Division I all-state.  2nd-team 2016 all Richmond metro as a junior.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.
  • Daniel Brooks, RHP Spotsylvania.  3-A East all-region 1st team in 2016.
  • RJ Payne, 1B William Monroe.  1st team 3-A Wast all-region and all-state in 2016.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.
  • Cole Jackson, Util Poquoson.  3-A East all-region 1st team in 2016.
  • Chin Moss, SS First Colonial.  All 6-A south region 2016.  All-Tidewater 2016 as a junior.
  • Eric Zimmerman, OF Colonial Forge.  All 6-A south region 2016
  • Pearce Howard OF, Liberty Christian Academy. All 4A West 2016 as a junior.  VHSL 4A 2nd team all-state as a junior.
  • Noah Cook, MIF Liberty Christian Academy.  Starters on great 2016 team.  Early commit to VMI.
  • Hunter Johnson, MIF Liberty Christian Academy.  All 4A West 2016 as a junior.  VHSL 4A all-state as a junior
  • Junior Devine, RHP from Jamestown (Williamsburg).  #2 starter on great 2016 team.
  • Michael Schmidt, ? position from Jamestown (Williamsburg).  #2 starter on great 2016 team.
  • Jarrid Johnson, ? position from Nansemond River.  Starter on good 2016 team.
  • Harrison Moncure, RHP for Mills Godwin.  Starter on good 2016 team.
  • Cale Agee, 2B from Louisa.  4A East All-Region 2016 as a junior.  VHSL 4A all-state as a junior.
  • Aaron Robinson, C from Monacan.  4A East All-Region 2016 as a junior.  VHSL 4A 2nd team all-state as a junior.  Virginia Cardinals summer of 2016.  2nd-team 2016 all Richmond metro as a junior.
  • Matthew Culbreath, 3B from Dinwiddie.  4A East All-Region 2016 as a junior.  VHSL 4A 2nd team all-state as a junior.
  • Matt Carter, Util from Caroline HS.  4A East All-Region 2016 as a junior.   VHSL 4A 2nd team all-state as a junior.
  • Matt Pinson, RHP from Maggie Walker HS.  VHSL 2A player of the year as a junior.  2nd-team 2016 all Richmond metro as a junior.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.
  • Hunter Gregory, RHP from Hickory HS.  VHSL 2016 2nd team All-5A State as a junior.  All-Tidewater 2016 as a junior.
  • Tyler Knapp, Util from Menchville HS.  VHSL 2016 2nd team All-5A State as a junior.
  • Riley Clifford, 2b/SS from First Colonial HS.  All-Tidewater 2016 as a junior.
  • Rufus Hurdle, OF from Western Branch HS.  All-Tidewater 2016 as a junior.  All 6-A South Region and all 6-A State as a junior.
  • Hogan Brown, OF from Cox.  2nd Team all-Tidewater 2016 as a junior.
  • Alec Giles, OF from First Colonial.  2nd Team all-Tidewater 2016 as a junior.
  • Dalton Jackson, 1B from Great Bridge. 2nd Team all-Tidewater 2016 as a junior.
  • Logan Barker, 2B from Colonial Forge.  First team All 6-A south region 2016, 1st team All 6-A State as a junior.  Evoshield North 17U team at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  Early commit to Marshall U.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.
  • Carson Stanley, util from Rustburg.   1st team 3-A Wast all-region and all-state in 2016.
  • Grant Burleson, inf from Parkside HS in Salisbury.  2016 American Family All-Maryland 2nd team as a junior.  Evoshield Mid-Atlantic 17U team at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  Early commit to Maryland.
  • Austin Smallwood, ? from Eastside HS.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.

 

Sources used

Written by Todd Boss

June 1st, 2017 at 10:07 am

Posted in Draft,Local Baseball

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11 Responses to '2017 Draft coverage; Local draft-prospects to keep an eye in for the 2017 draft'

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  1. The Nats lead the whole division by 10 games on June 1. Amazing. It might be even more amazing that the Cubs have a losing record at the moment.

    KW

    1 Jun 17 at 9:36 pm

  2. Great list, Todd. You should get yourself on the All-Met payroll!

    It would be great if the stars aligned for the Nats to be able to draft a top-tier local player. Zim’s whole VA connection has meant a lot to the franchise. Alas, your “big three” are very likely to be gone within the first 15 picks. It would be shocking if any of them fell all the way to #25. Kevin Smith might be there when the Nats pick at #65, maybe even when they’re picking at #103. His high K numbers concern me, though.

    The safest bet would be that the Nats take a 6’4″+ college pitcher with a mid-90s heater in the first round (Lange/Schmidt/Peterson). If some of the better college hitters like Hiura or Rooker are still on the board at #25, though, I’d be upset if the Nats pass on them. Also, don’t sleep on Stuart Fairchild, who the Nats drafted in 2014 (38th round). It might be a little high for him at #25, though, but he might be the best college bat left after Hiura/Rooker/White in the second half of the first round.

    No to Seth Romero!

    KW

    1 Jun 17 at 10:04 pm

  3. There’s also a slight chance that Warmoth or Burger could fall to #25. With those two plus White, Hiura, and Rooker likely available in the second half of the first round, that makes it much more likely than usual that a quality college hitter will still be available when the Nats pick.

    I’ve also seem some speculation linking the Nats to HS OF Bubba Thompson, who would have to be bought out of a commitment to Bama. I’m not a fan of high HS picks, though. The college class is deeper this year than it was last year.

    KW

    2 Jun 17 at 8:01 am

  4. I see that a JUCO hurler who had been linked to the Nats, Nate Pearson, threw 102 for scouts last week and may have moved up in the first round. Meanwhile, a HS arm linked to the the Nats, Sam Carlson, may be moving down into their range. With all the good young arms at Hagerstown right now, though, a HS arm doesn’t make much sense to me, at least not in the first round.

    Yet another SEC arm in the Nat range could be Tanner Houck. I like Lange better among the college arms, if he’s still available.

    KW

    2 Jun 17 at 10:35 am

  5. KW – even though I punted on this in my last post, I will say that from a process point, you have to be a little careful with drafting a certain profile rather than an evaluation of skill set. Meaning don’t grab for the best available college bat just because you want a college hitter, and you’d like him in two years because Bryce is leaving. because the college kid may not grade out as even an average regular while the higher risk HS kid grades out as an above average regular. I think you have to take the prospect you believe becomes the highest value player even if they don’t fit into your org profile, because the failure rate is so high. Your safe picks may not make it past AA either.

    Wally

    2 Jun 17 at 10:58 am

  6. If you’re saying that you have to play to the strength of the draft, then I agree. Last year’s draft was very HS-heavy, much better HS talent than college talent. So I didn’t hate that the Nats invested in Kieboom and the Luzardo lottery ticket. They also passed on a number of the top college starters to take a reliever who they thought had better pro starting potential. I thought Will Craig was the last top-flight college hitter, and he was gone at #22.

    This year, there seem to be a lot more 1st-round-caliber college bats, to the point that at least two or three of them will probably be available when the Nats pick. Obviously the Nats will have to weigh the hitters left against the pitchers still on the board. Lange is a top-tier talent and threw seven shutout innings in his SEC tourney start. Schmidt might be an even better pitcher but will drop because of the TJ. Likewise, Hiura might have been a top 10-15 guy if not for his possible TJ.

    All I know is that the Nats have very little power in their system, and haven’t had much for several years. But “power” is also one of the hardest things to draft. The Nats also don’t have much top-end pitching talent in the upper minors beyond Fedde. They’ve also had more success in identifying successful pitchers than they have successful hitters, so there’s always the temptation to go back to the well where you’ve been successful.

    I don’t know that anyone the Nats draft now would be ready to help by 2019 when Harper, Murphy, Weiters, and Gio may be gone. But who knows? Rendon made the majors after only half a healthy season in the minors. It can be done. But it’s very rare these days.

    KW

    2 Jun 17 at 12:06 pm

  7. I was saying something a little different, I think. If you have a college hitter with a 50 grade and a HS hitter with a 55, take the HS kid even if you would prefer someone further advanced and closer to the majors. Those grades take into account risk and distance from majors. So your 55 HS kid is probably a 60 if he makes it, and is discounted for the added risk.

    Wally

    2 Jun 17 at 2:19 pm

  8. Yeah, but the HS kids ISN’T discounted; you pay a premium to buy him out of his college commitment. Then you wait five or six years to see if you’ve got anything.

    As I said, I’m not against getting a HS kid when a comparable college player isn’t available. That’s what the Nats did last year. But the college talent is much deeper this year. Rooker has a 1.348 OPS and 21 HRs this year playing in the SEC. Hiura is at 1.260. Schmidt had a 1.34 ERA in the SEC when he went down. Lange has a career 2.79 ERA and 10.42 K/9. These are top-tier players who may still be available in the 20s. That’s not saying that the Nats shouldn’t consider a top 10 HS talent who drops because of signing issues. But, as you say, it would have to be a really high-ceiling HS guy to wave them off of solid college choices.

    KW

    2 Jun 17 at 3:05 pm

  9. […] 2017 Draft Preview with coverage of Local College-age eligible players of note (publishing closer to the draft) […]

  10. […] Local Draft prospects of note for 2017: namely, J.B. Bukauskas, Adam Haseley and Pavin Smith (see more below) […]

  11. […] 2017 Draft coverage; Local draft-prospects to keep an eye in for the 2017 draft […]

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