Nationals Arm Race

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

Local draft-prospects to keep an eye in for the 2018 draft


Will Zack Hess get drafted or will he go back for another year of college? Photo via 247sports.

Will Zack Hess get drafted or will he go back for another year of college? Photo via 247sports.

Its draft day 2018!

Here’s one of the longer-running drafts in my system; I first created this post in July of 2015 and its now ready for publication just in time for tonight’s draft.  This is a quick guide to possible draft prospects with local ties.  Its kind of a “down” year for DC area prospects … with just a couple of UVA players (who are from elsewhere) getting 1st or 2nd round buzz this year.  This post has turned mostly into a list of “good” local kids, a few of which may get drafted.

The College players are mostly drawn from my 2015 Local High School draft coverage, listing guys who were HS seniors in 2015 who went to 3-year programs and who are now draft eligible.  From that time frame, here’s the 2015 pre-season list and then the Post-Draft/post-signing coverage from 2015.  Pop-up guys plus non-MD/VA native players playing at MD/VA colleges are added as they become serious draft prospects.

Major Local College Draft Prospects for 2018

  • Zack Hess, RHP from LSU by way of Liberty Christian Academy; will be a draft-eligible sophomore and is already making noise early in the 2017 season as LSU’s mid-week starter.  2nd team all-american Freshman.  Standout in the 2017 CWS, with announcers gushing over his stuff (95-96 fastball with movement, power curve).  2nd team 2018 collegiate pre-season All American.
  • Jake McCarthy, OF UVA.  2nd team 2018 collegiate pre-season All American.
  • Daniel Lynch, LHP UVA: has come on strong and put himself into 2nd round consideration.
  • Nick Dunn, inf U Maryland: may be a 3rd/4th rounder.

Lesser Local College draft eligibles w/ Local Ties

(Also includes juniors not drafted in 2017, which will all be round 7-10 under-slot fodder, too many to name here).

  • UVA: Evan SperlingConnor Eason, Nathan Eikhoff, Grant Donahue, Cameron Simmons
  • U of Maryland: A.J. Lee, Hunter Parsons, Marty Costes
  • Liberty: Jack DeGroat (by way of Loudoun Valley HS), D.J. Artis
  • Virginia Tech: Nic Enright, Stevie Mangrum, John DeFazio, Paul Hall, Sam Fragale, Tom Stoffel
  • South Carolina: Cody Morris, Danny Blair
  • Wake Forest: Harvey Logan
  • VCU: Brody Cook
  • UNC-Asheville: Jordan Carr
  • Campbell: James Monaghan
  • Towson: Richie Palacios
  • George Washington: Isaiah Pasteur

DC/MD/VA Local Prep players for 2018; it is definitely a down year for local prep prospects; we may not see many drafted from the DC area, if any.  Also, my apologies if i’ve got the college commits wrong; these things change all the time and I didn’t have time to look everyone up in

  • Kody Milton, 1B from Severna Park HS.  Honorable All-Met in 2015 as a freshman.  Evoshield Canes 16-U for 2016.  Early commit to Maryland.  All-Met 2017 as a junior.  Anne-Arundal county POTY 2017 as a junior.  PGNationals 2017.  Evoshield National 17U summer/WWBA 2017.  Baltimore Sun All-Metro player of the year in 2017 as a junior.  3rd team All American ABCA in 2017 as junior.
  • Will Schroeder, RHP/SS from Loudoun County HS.  2016 Conference 21B Player of the Year, Region 4A West All-Region first team and 2016 VHSL 4A All-State first team as a sophomore.  Loudoun County POTY for 2016 as a sophomore.  Stars 16U for summer 2016.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.  WWBA with Stars baseball 2017 as a junior.  Early commit to UNC.  PGNationals 2017.   Stars 17U Red at WWBA 2017.
  • Tyler Casagrande, OF from Paul VI via Leesburg; WWBA with Stars baseball 2017 as a junior, Visaa All State Division I in 2017.  2nd-team All-Met as jr in 2017.  Early commit to Arizona.  PGNationals 2017.  Stars 17U Red at WWBA 2017
  • Cristian Sanchez, RHP/MIF from Paul VI via Centreville.  WWBA with Stars baseball 2017 as a junior.  Stars 17U Red at WWBA 2017.  Early commit to Alabama, now UVA.
  • Wilson Ayers, RHP for Briar Woods.  VHSL All-state 5A as a junior in 2017.  Early commit to Navy.   Stars 17U Red at WWBA 2017.
  • Jacob Steinberg RHP St. Johns in DC.  2nd team 2016 American Family All-DC as sophomore.  Early commit to Miami.  Diamond Skills Dodgers at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  Evoshield Canes National 17-U team summer of 2017.
  • Brooks Bengston, OF from Georgetown Prep.  Evoshield 17U National team for WWBA 2017, High Point commit.
  • Joe Seidler, RHP Chesapeake AA.  2nd-team All-Met 2016 as a sophomore, 1st team All-Met in 2017 as a junior.  Playing summer ball for Mid-Atlantic Red Sox.  All-Anne-Arundal 2017 as junior.  Baltimore All-Metro 2017 as a junior.
  • Carter Bosch, RHP from the Potomac School.  All-Met 2017 as a junior.   All PBR Virginia state finalist as a junior in 2017.  D-bat Elite summer team.
  • Trendon Craig, OF from DeMatha.  All-Met 2017 as a junior.  Perfect Game profile has him graduating 2019 though and attending Riverdale Baptist.
  • Logan Cooper, OF for Loudoun Valley.  2016 Region 4A West All-Region first team as a sophomore.  2016 VHSL 4A All-State second team as a sophomore.  All Loudoun County 2016.  No PG profile.
  • Kyle Novak, 2B/SS from Madison HS in Vienna.  #3 hitter for the 2015 6-A champion Madison as a *freshman*.  First-team 6A Conference 6 and 2nd team All 6-A North region in 2016.  Repeated as 2nd team all 6-A North region as a junior.  Early commit to JMU.  Stars 17U Red at WWBA 2017
  • Jake Nielsen: RHP from Madison HS in Vienna.  2017 pitcher of the year and 6-A all region as a junior.  Son of former Madison star from the late 1980s Mike Nielsen, my former some-times teammate.
  • Eric Lingenbach, SS from Oakton HS.  2017 6-A all-region as a junior, huge walk-off homer to win the 6A title for Oakton.
  • Jose Rivera, SS from Riverdale Baptist.  2nd-team All-Met as jr in 2017.  Stars baseball summer team.
  • Corey Rosier, util from Riverdale Baptist.  2nd-team All-Met as jr in 2017.
  • Brady Pearre, RHP from Poolesville.    2nd-team All-Met as jr in 2017.
  • John Eames OF Langley.  6-A North all-region honorable mention in 2016.  1st team all-region as a Junior.  2nd team all 6A State as a junior in 2017.
  • Flynn Hopkins OF Robinson.  First-team 6A Conference 5 and 6-A North all-region honorable mention in 2016.
  • Jimmy Baumstark RHP Osbourn Park.   First-team 6A Conference 8 and 6-A North all-region honorable mention in 2016 as a sophomore.
  • Blaze O’Saben, SS Fauquier: A first-team 4A Conference 22 selection in 2016 as a sophomore
  • Justin Taylor, SS Flint Hill.  First team all-VISAA Division I in 2016 as a sophomore.
  • Matt Thomas, 3B Lake Braddock: Second-team 6A Conference 7 selection in 2016 as a sophomore.
  • Jack Weeks. Paul VI Catholic (formerly of Herndon HS).  Starter for VISAA-I state finalist in 2016 as a sophomore.

Extended DC/MD/VA Prep players (outside DC Area) on the radar.

  • Adam Hackenberg, C from the Miller School (was Fork Union HS).  First team all-VISAA Division I in 2016 as a sophomore.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.  #50 on Keith Law’s top 100 draft prospects.  Committed to Clemson.
  • Ryan Archibald 3B from John Carroll HS in Churchville.  PGNationals 2017.  Evoshields 17U National summer team for WWBA 2017.  Early commit to UMaryland, now committed to Arizona.  Gatorade MD player of the year 2018.
  • Cade Huntgate, RHP/SS for Abingdon.  Evoshield Canes 16-U 2016, Committed to Florida State.  Gatorade VA player of the year 2018.
  • Jack Dragum, RHP Hanover (Richmond).  Starter as a sophomore on great 2016 team.  Evoshield Canes 16-U 2016. Early commit to UVA.  Evoshield 17U team at 2016 Marietta/Cobb.  All-Richmond 2017 as junior.  Evoshield National 17-U summer 2017.
  • Wesley Clarke, C with Liberty Christian Academy.  2016 Region 4A West All-Region second team as a sophomore.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.  Evoshield National 17U team for WWBA 2017.  South Carolina commit.
  • Stephen Pelli, RHP for St. Marys in Arnold, Maryland.  Evoshield Canes 16-U 2016. Evoshield National 17U  for WWBA 2017.  PGNationals 2017.  Early commit to Virginia Tech, now North Carolina.
  • Matt Sykes, LHP/OF from the Miller School in Richmond.   Evoshields 17U National summer team for WWBA 2017.
  • Tevin Tucker,  SS from Prince George  HS in Prince George VA.  Virginia Cardinals 16-U for 2016.  Second team VHSL all 5A in 2016 as a sophomore.  All-Richmond 2017 as junior.  Early WVU commit.
  • Nick Zona, SS from Hanover in  Mechanicsburg/Richmond.  At Area Code Games 2017, the SOLE DC/MD/VA kid there.  Early commit to JMU.
  • Clay Lloyd, C with Halifax.  VHSL 1st team all State 5A as a junior.
  • Zach Thomas SS with Eastern View HS:  VHSL 1st team all State 4A as a junior.
  • Kyle Horton, OF with Liberty Christian Academy.  Starter as a sophomore on great 2016 team.   PGNationals 2017.  Evoshield Canes National 17U team for WWBA 2017: South Carolina commit, now Charleston Southern
  • Tristan McDonough, RHP from Decatur HS.  PGNationals 2017.  Early commit to Miami??
  • Connor Butler, 2B/SS from Western Branch.  All 6A South in 2017 as a junior.  Tidewater Orioles summer team.  All 6A Virginia State in 2017 as a junior.
  • Jon Sawyer, RHP /OF for Atlantic Shores Christian.  All Tidewater 2017 as junior, early commit to ODU.
  • Cam Nolet, RHP from St. Marys.  Anne-Arundal county POTY 2017 as a junior.
  • Austin Gault, OF Poquoson, Soph.  3-A East all-region 1st team in 2016.
  • Gage Williams, RHP Nansemond River.  Starter on excellent 2016 team as a sophomore.
  • Cory O’Shea, ? position on Mills Godwin.  Starter on excellent 2016 team as a sophomore.
  • Scott McDonough: ? position on Mills Godwin.  Starter on excellent 2016 team as a sophomore.
  • John Kish, RHP for Cosby.  Starter on excellent 2016 team as a sophomore.
  • Ethan Williams, C for Cosby.  Starter on excellent 2016 team as a sophomore.
  • Tyler Bailey, INF/RHP for Thomas Dale in Chester (Richmond), VA.  Virginia Cardinals 16-U for 2016.
  • Tucker Bushby, OF/LHP for James River in Midlothian (Richmond), VA.  Virginia Cardinals 16-U for 2016.
  • Wes Glass, 1b/LHP for Riverside HS in Leesburg VA.  Virginia Cardinals 16-U for 2016.
  • Michael Peterson, OF from Prince George  HS in Prince George VA.  Virginia Cardinals 16-U for 2016.
  • Scooter Ray, C Manchester HS in Chesterfield, VA.  Virginia Cardinals 16-U for 2016.
  • Gregory Ryan, SS Benedictine HS in North Chesterfield, VA.  Virginia Cardinals 16-U for 2016.  Early commit to Pittsburgh.
  • Tomas Sanchez, OF from Dinwiddie.  2016 VHSL 4A All-State first team as a sophomore.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.
  • Cole Harness, 1B from Eastside HS.  First team VHSL all 1A in 2016 as a sophomore.
  • Jacob Council, OF from Windsor HS.  First team VHSL all 1A in 2016 as a sophomore.
  • Tanner Bailey, OF from Fort Chiswall HS.  First team VHSL all 1A in 2016 as a sophomore.
  • Jonathan Walton, 1B from Prince George HS.  First team VHSL all 5A in 2016 as a sophomore.
  • Thomas Francisco, 2b from Abington HS.   First team VHSL all 3A West Region and all 3-A state in 2016 as a sophomore.  All PBR DC/VA team 2016.
  • Nic Kent, INF, St. Anne’s-Belfield (Charlottesville) . American Family 2016 2nd team All-Virginia as a sophomore.
  • Chance Davis, Inf Fort Chiswell, All PBR DC/VA team 2016.
  • Kris Artis, RHP from Grandby HS in Norfolk. All 6A South in 2017 as a junior, 2nd team All 6A State in 2017.  Early commit to ODU.
  • Ty Hanchy, C from Grandby HS in Norfolk.  2nd team All 6A South in 2017 as a junior.
  • Xavier Anderson, OF from Grandby HS in Norfolk.  2nd team All 6A South in 2017 as a junior.
  • Shane Stinard, OF from Cox HS in Va Beach.  2nd team All 6A South in 2017 as a junior.
  • Andrew Melnyk, LHP from Kellam HS in Va Beach.   2nd team All 6A South in 2017 as a junior.
  • Skylar Petry, RHP from James RIver HS in Richmond.   2nd team All 6A South in 2017 as a junior.
  • Ethan Williams, C from Cosby HS in Moseley/Richmond.   2nd team All 6A South in 2017 as a junior.  Evoshields Mid-Atlantic summer team.
  • James Deloatch, OF from Grandby HS in Norfolk.  2nd team All 6A South in 2017 as a junior.
  • Pearce Bucher, 3B from Sherando.  2nd team all VHSL 4A as a junior in 2017.
  • Maxwell Costes, Inf from Gilman.  Baltimore All-Metro 2017 as a junior.
  • A.J. Holcomb, OF from Loyola-Blakefield.  Baltimore All-Metro 2017 as a junior, early commit to Va Tech.
  • Austin Koehn, RHP from Patterson Mill.  Baltimore All-Metro 2017 as a junior.
  • J.P. Murphy, OF from Calvert hall.  Baltimore All-Metro 2017 as a junior, early commit to High Point.


Sources used


Written by Todd Boss

June 4th, 2018 at 8:17 am

61 Responses to 'Local draft-prospects to keep an eye in for the 2018 draft'

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  1. I’m pretty clueless about what the Nats will do in the 1st round. There is no consensus beyond the top 10 picks or so. Some guys various sites have projected to the Nats at #27 are no better than picks in the 60s on other mocks. That’s a huge difference of opinion.

    I think they will be picking at the end of the second tier of college arms. Will there be value at that spot, with the better ones from that cohort gone? Or will they be compelled to reach?

    Last year, there were about five college arms and five hitters I was hoping would be there at #25. All the hitters were gone. Most of the pitchers were still there. Alex Lange, who I preferred, has numbers similar to Wil Crowe in the Carolina League. Life would be good if both were at Potomac, probably ending the year in AA. Alas . . .


    4 Jun 18 at 10:00 am

  2. Pretty much every mock draft i’ve seen from reputable sources in the last 3 weeks have the same name for the nats: Mason Denaburg. They got our pick right last year in Romero and i’m trusting them this year.

    Todd Boss

    4 Jun 18 at 10:26 am

  3. It would be great if they could get two good arms at the top of this draft, wherever they be had. Like Todd, I think the Nats have been a little predictable lately (IIRC, Carter kieboom was also touted by pundits). So I am curious what all this prep arm talk means in terms of their philosophy. if you believe in precedent have a large impact, maybe its Luzardo’s rise that has them bullish on predicting prep/HS guys


    4 Jun 18 at 10:38 am

  4. Write=up on Denaburg with good video:

    breaking ball looks good, fastball has movement for sure.

    Todd Boss

    4 Jun 18 at 11:06 am

  5. The other HS arm popping up attached to the Nats is Cole Wilcox.

    The word on the street last year about the Nats taking Romero may have been right, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an awful, terrible, no good, very bad pick. It was a massive mistake, which they compounded by paying the idiot overslot even though he couldn’t go back to school. I’m really surprised people haven’t slammed Rizzo more for that mistake.

    “Overslot” is an issue with my thinking this year as well. The Nats have the third-smallest draft pool. If they have to empty the bank to buy a high schooler off his college commitment, the rest of their draft is going to be a whole bunch of Cole Freemans.

    Because of the flux and differences of opinion in this draft beyond the top 10 picks, I think there’s going to be more of an opportunity for a real bargain at #65, like the Nats got with Crowe in the 2d round last year. I’d prefer to save a little more for that slot cash and go for the bargain there, rather than with a reach at the end of the 1st round. Some projections have guys like Beer, Beck, and Hjelle still available in the 60s.


    4 Jun 18 at 11:43 am

  6. By the way, I should mention that I’ve seen one mock with the Nats taking Zach Hess in the 2d round.


    4 Jun 18 at 11:49 am

  7. Hess really struggled this year and he looked awful in the regional game. Honestly, I think he should stay in school, start another year and he likely becomes a first rounder.

    Of course, that being said, if Hess gets offered slot money for 2nd round from nats … its right around $1m. hard to turn that down, especially as a pitcher who could at any time blow out arm and get practically nothing.

    My concern with hess is that he’s a closer. Not that that is a bad thing … but in the upper rounds of the draft you want to try to find starters and position players, not 1-inning closers that you can basically invent out of thin air at any poitn in the minors.

    Todd Boss

    4 Jun 18 at 11:58 am

  8. Agree on all counts on Hess. But as you say, if someone offers me $1M, I’m probably turning pro!


    4 Jun 18 at 12:23 pm

  9. Here’s a quick rundown of why HS pitchers are such a gamble. In the 2011 and 2012 drafts, there were 60 picks apiece in the “1st” round. Of those 120 picks, 29 were high school pitchers. Of those, 15 have made the majors, but 14 haven’t, including one picked as high as #7 overall. Only four have exceeded 5 bWAR. Two of those were drafted highly (Dylan Bundy and Jose Fernandez [RIP]), while two were picked in the 40s (Michael Fulmer and Lance McCullers). Of those, there was exactly one real stud — Fernandez.

    Meanwhile, the three college pitchers picked after Giolito in 2012 were Michael Wacha, Chris Stratton, and Marcus Stroman. The Nats had drafted Stroman out of HS and no doubt had followed him.

    In short, high school pitchers are an incredibly risky proposition. They’re more of a lottery than anything else in the draft. But every year, teams keep lining up to play.


    4 Jun 18 at 12:39 pm

  10. Well, since I keep going against KW, the other kid I like is Lenny Torres. I don’t see him getting to the Nats since he isn’t high enough for their first pick and will be gone before 65. But he looks really good. he is super young, though.

    KLaw had his last mock – any idea who he slotted for the Nats?


    4 Jun 18 at 1:29 pm

  11. Well, I can guess. From his chat:
    Keith Law


    Nothing is cemented because 1) someone could fall to a team they didn’t expect to get a chance to pick or 2) a likely predraft deal doesn’t pan out, but I think Stewart to Atlanta, Adams to Texas, and Denaburg to Washington all are “very likely if the players get there” sort of picks.


    4 Jun 18 at 1:31 pm

  12. Is this the same Keith Law who told us that Seth Romero would be in a major-league bullpen by the end of the 2017 season?

    Yes, I’m going to hate on any HS pitcher, even if he’s projected to be the next Giolito (7.53 ERA, 1.70 WHIP, by the way, six years after he was drafted). I’ll be OK with most any college arm other than Heimlich. I think there would be more value with taking a college bat at #27, but I doubt the Nats will go in that direction.

    I have tried to search to see who among draft eligibles is represented by Boras, but I can’t find any rundown of them.


    4 Jun 18 at 1:52 pm

  13. Did Keith Law claim that about Romero?? If so I don’t recall seeing it.

    “He has top-10 stuff, a questionable delivery, some injury history and grade 20 makeup.” That doesn’t sound like anything like someone who would advocate that a draft pick would race up the system and debut the same year as being drafted. Which, by the way, has only happened a couple times in the last 5 years (Brandon Finnegan, paco Rodriguez perhaps a couple others).

    Todd Boss

    4 Jun 18 at 2:17 pm

  14. There was more than one claim out there that Romero could be in the majors by the end of the year. Maybe Law said it in one of his chats. Kris Kline said he had MLB stuff “right now” after he was drafted. Never mind that Pothead was so out of shape that it took him a month after he signed to even appear in a minor-league game. Whoever did the due diligence on Romero failed miserably.

    Actually, I see someone else made the Finnegan comparison in his initial summary:
    (Sorry Todd, couldn’t resist; you had obviously seen the comparison somewhere.)

    And of course to make things triply worse, the Nats paid him OVERslot.

    Sigh. Romero has now been away of the Nats’ system for a full three months now. I’m sure he’s been working out and cleansing his system!


    4 Jun 18 at 3:12 pm

  15. I guess what I’ve got to hope for is that some college kid too good to pass up falls to the Nats — Kowar, Rolison, or Swaggerty. I’m afraid #27 would be too high for them to think about Beck, Hjelle, or Beer. The top 200 has more college hitters in the #27 vicinity than arms: Trevor Larnach, Jeremy Eierman, Steele Walker. No college arms between Rolison at #17 and Beck at #35. (There was actually some scuttlebutt about the Nats and Beck last year.)


    4 Jun 18 at 3:24 pm

  16. Ha. reading my text on Romero … i put an awful lot of hedging in there 🙂

    STILL cannot believe we paid him over slot. Its almost like Boras has naked pictures of Rizzo from college.

    Where the F is Romero btw? Is he really still sitting at home in Houston? I’d be forcing his ass to sit in Viera, work out, eat all 3 meals at the compound, have an 8pm curfew and maybe gets some sense into him. Maybe he has a clause in his contract they can trigger that gets them a refund.

    Todd Boss

    4 Jun 18 at 3:25 pm

  17. I’d take Rolison, or Beck. I’d take Kumar Rocker. I likeed what i saw in that video of Denaburg honestly. Clean mechanics, movement on his fastball, good frame, really good sharp break on his pitches.

    Todd Boss

    4 Jun 18 at 3:35 pm

  18. No way on Beck in 1st round. 3rd round? No problem.

    Denaburg does look good, and I like the well rounded aspect to him (C, Power hitter). Kowar and Lynch are interesting to me too, and meet KW’s college fetish.

    I don’t see them taking a bat high. But what do I know


    4 Jun 18 at 5:05 pm

  19. I think we’re all programmed to think in terms of the NFL draft, where if you don’t like the guys available where you’re picking you trade up or trade down. The MLB draft doesn’t work that way. If Beck is the best college pitcher left on their board, the Nats have to decide whether to go on and take him at #27 or hope he falls through to #65. Would he be “a reach” at #27? According to some boards, yeah, but if you take the HS players off the boards (if for no other reason than the Nats have tiny bonus money), then Beck is easily within your top 27 players.

    We’ll see. Beyond the crap-shoot nature of HS arms, I would hate to see them blow their limited budget on just one guy and be left taking nine Cole Freeman types.


    4 Jun 18 at 8:13 pm

  20. Well, the way this is going, you may have Singer for your pick. I assume you’d be ok with that? 🙂


    4 Jun 18 at 8:34 pm

  21. It looks like the Nats. Will have their pick of Kowar, Lynch, Denaberg or Wilcox. I’d take Lynch


    4 Jun 18 at 9:47 pm

  22. Welp, Rizzo is not a KW disciple. Passes on Kowar and Lynch for Denaberg. If he’s healthy, I’m a fan of this kid.


    4 Jun 18 at 10:03 pm

  23. Before I get into the draft stuff, I just want to say that I don’t think I’ve ever seen Zim more fired up than he was with Max leading the “Let’s Go Caps” cheer last night. Sure hope both of those guys (as well as Bryce, pulling for the other team) got a sense of the magnitude of what they could bring to the city if they can actually get their postseason act together.


    5 Jun 18 at 8:00 am

  24. All I can say is that the Royals must have peed their pants to get Singer, Kowar, AND Lynch. All of those guys have a shot to be in the majors next year, certainly by 2020. It was an insanely good draft day for KC.

    I don’t flat-out “hate” Denaburg like I passionately hated the Romero pick last year. That was just a dumb-dumb-dumb pick. That said, the Nats made a clear choice of Denaburg over Kowar, just like they made a choice — one that now looks like a pretty bad one — of Giolito over Wacha or Stroman. I sorta understood the Giolito logic because he truly had been a 1/1 potential guy, and everyone thought he was a potential #1 starter. Denaburg and Kowar are lot closer in projected ceiling. There’s also only a two-year ago gap, as Denaburg is old for a HS Sr. and Kowar is young for a D1 Jr. Kowar likely with get to the big leagues 2-3 years ahead of Denaburg. When you add in the fact that Denaburg will cost more to buy out of his UF commitment and likely will leave the Nats bargain-hunting for the rest of the draft, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

    I don’t know that much about Cate. Several sites say he has the best curve in the draft, FWIW. I like that he’s a college arm and a lefty. At 6-0, he seems small for the Nats’ usual “type.” Here are his college stats:

    Very good K numbers, walks somewhat high, leading to higher WHIP.


    5 Jun 18 at 8:17 am

  25. Rocker and Wilcox fell all the way through yesterday so must have signability issues. Not sure why Beck fell through, unless there continue to be medical concerns with him. I think he would have been a higher-ceiling pick for the Nats at #65 than Cate, but he also might have been out of their price range after taking a HS kid who will blow their pool.

    Here are the best players left per

    Hess is among those still on the board. I expect the Nats to be totally on college players today because of the pool situation, probably looking for a fair number of college seniors. Interestingly, the highest ranked college senior on the list is a 2017 Nat draftee, Bryce Montes de Oca the Killer Whale. A guy who was a top name last year, Drew Rasmussen, is also out there as a senior (after his second TJ — sure sounds like a Nats type), as is J. J. Schwarz, a catcher out of Florida.


    5 Jun 18 at 8:32 am

  26. KW

    5 Jun 18 at 8:34 am

  27. J. J. Schwarz: .325/.404/.601, with 12 HRs and 16 doubles. Nats already have a Gator catcher in the organization with Gushue.


    5 Jun 18 at 8:37 am

  28. For all the folks who thought that Beer would be a reach at #27, please note that he went at #28 to a team well known for a good eye for young talent. It almost seems unfair that the world champs may have gotten the best bat in the draft. Kinda reminds me of the ’97 draft when the Astros took a bad-body/great-bat kid by the name of Berkman. I think that worked out OK for them. And heck, they even played him in CF for a time!


    5 Jun 18 at 8:49 am

  29. I agree, KC did really well. I also liked CLE a lot. TBR didn’t take advantage of their picks as well after Libby.

    The Nats draft will depend on health (obviously). I’m not crazy about the profile of Cate, even if he is from my alma mater. These short curveball lefties are common and rarely work out. Everyone thinks they are getting Gio but in reality it’s Gilmartin.

    I like this Pilkington kid. If they get him in the 3rd it would be quite a coup. I agree that Rocker and Wilcox are going to college unless someone can give them $2-3m.


    5 Jun 18 at 9:52 am

  30. Wally, my first inclination is to agree with your first impression of Cate. However, I also know that when the Nats have gone more toward big guys who look good in a uniform but who haven’t gotten results in college (Johanssen, Mooneyham), that plan hasn’t worked out well, either. We’ll see. My second inclination is that Cate = cheap.

    Generally, guys with Cate’s profile can make a relatively quick run to A+ but then stall out there or trying to make the jump to AA. Crownover would be a good current example.


    5 Jun 18 at 12:06 pm

  31. Just looking at Ryan Sullivan’s stuff (Nats GM). He was also all in for Kowar, so I wasn’t alone.


    5 Jun 18 at 12:19 pm

  32. Kowar got absolutely shelled in the regionals … probably why he fell so badly. I saw Ryan’s write-up too … i’m guessing its a case similar to the Giolito year, where the team had Giolito one spot ahead of Wacha and stuck to their guns when he fell.

    Kowar’s stock fell a lot this year. And his stats in the SEC were not great; 41 walks in 98 innings and less than a K/inning. 93 hits given up in 98 innigns too. Compare that to his rotation mate Singer; in innings Singer gave up just 64 hits and 19 walks.

    I dunno. Is Kowar just more “famous” than Denaburg and thats why we think he should have been taken?

    Todd Boss

    5 Jun 18 at 12:27 pm

  33. And yet Singer fell as well. Dumbest team in baseball? The one that’s the next stop up I-95. The O’s DESPERATELY need MLB-ready pitching but passed on every D1 pitcher other than Mize to take a high schooler. They passed on Singer! He’s probably better than half the guys in their rotation right now!

    For whatever reasons, the Nats seem to have been fixated on Denaburg for a while, as he’s been connected to them in mocks for a month or so. The fix was in. Did they have second thoughts when Kowar fell? We’ll never know.

    Projectables on Denaburg and Kowar seem pretty similar, although Kowar is bigger and, most importantly, has a healthier arm. Denaburg is nearly 19, so the age benefit of the high schooler is reduced, all the more so if he has to be shut down this summer. Kowar has pitched at the highest level of amateur competition, although he has struggled some this year. Kowar probably would have signed for slot, or close to it. Denaburg won’t. We’ll see today how much the Denaburg selection has compromised who the Nats can get in rounds 3-10.

    Maybe Denaburg is a stud whose arm is now healthy and can move up rapidly. Maybe he’s shut down this year and still in the GCL next year, while Kowar is in AA.


    5 Jun 18 at 1:04 pm

  34. Wally, I think Pilkington has a higher upside than Cate. I just wonder whether the Nats will have enough money left to sign an SEC JR in the 3d.


    5 Jun 18 at 1:17 pm

  35. Pilkington gone with pick 3/3.


    5 Jun 18 at 1:30 pm

  36. Plinkington: another guy who I wonder if he didn’t fall b/c of his last outing:

    He, like Kowar, looked pretty bad in the CWS regional, 3 1/3 innings, 7 hits, 4 walks and 7 runs given up to Missouri State.

    That being said, he only haed a 4.61 ERA on the season.

    Todd Boss

    5 Jun 18 at 1:31 pm

  37. Well, if you didn’t like the first two picks b/c of injury concerns … you’re not going to like the 3rd rounder iether.

    Todd Boss

    5 Jun 18 at 1:54 pm

  38. Schaller (3d round) said to be touching 98, though. But man, what will it take for them to pick a guy with a healthy arm?! Schaller in 2018: 4.05 ERA in 26.2 IP, 36 Ks but 12 walks and a .290 avg. against.


    5 Jun 18 at 2:06 pm

  39. Drat, Beck to the Braves. Don’t want to see them getting more polished arms. He must have had a high asking price to fall to the 4th round.


    5 Jun 18 at 2:18 pm

  40. Schaller redshirted in ’16 and missed ’17 with elbow injury (presumably TJ), so ’18 is his only collegiate season. He’s young, just turned 21 in April.


    5 Jun 18 at 2:20 pm

  41. Schaller has to be a cheap sign.


    5 Jun 18 at 2:23 pm

  42. Tristan Beck; just 73 Ks in 90 innings this year in a weaker conference. Rated below and drafted after Bubic. I wonder if he dropped b/c he’s damaged goods.

    Todd Boss

    5 Jun 18 at 2:28 pm

  43. Schaller; not a ton of mileage on the arm post TJ …. maybe they’re thinking they can get him into their program and get him going fast.

    Todd Boss

    5 Jun 18 at 2:28 pm

  44. I doubt beck ever sees the majors. I’m not worried about him


    5 Jun 18 at 2:31 pm

  45. Ryan Sullivan is going to be PO’d. He’s been lobbying for Alex McKenna for two rounds, but the Astros took him right after the Nats picked in the 4th.


    5 Jun 18 at 2:39 pm

  46. Jake Irvin stats:

    He’d be having a darn good year if not for giving up 11 homers.


    5 Jun 18 at 2:41 pm

  47. Is Hess still out there?


    5 Jun 18 at 2:47 pm

  48. Hess has yet to be drafted as of mid-5th round. He’d be a very good value for the Nats in the 5th.


    5 Jun 18 at 2:56 pm

  49. Weird (and probably cheap) pick in the 5th, Gage Canning, a smallish CF out of AZ State:

    Lots of triples but not SBs, strikes out too much. Not seeing how he adds much to a system that already has Stevenson, Robles, Bautista, Perkins, Upshaw, et al. Another speedy CF wasn’t exactly a need.


    5 Jun 18 at 3:31 pm

  50. Well, you know the adage in baseball; you don’t draft for need, you draft BPA. At least at the top. I’m not sure what Canning is. His SB/SBA numbers were awful this year but he slashed great. So he’s a line drive hitter possibly relegated to a corner? Maybe he hopes he’s someone like an Adam Eaton; solid D corner OF who doesn’t hit 30 homers but gets on base.

    Todd Boss

    5 Jun 18 at 3:33 pm

  51. . . . and you don’t even draft BPA when you’ve got overslot to pay!


    5 Jun 18 at 3:37 pm

  52. Well Keith law liked the first four arms the Nats drafted:

    2:52 No surprise that the Nats have focused on pitching in this draft. Any thoughts on the arms the Nats have drafted so far?

    Keith Law
    2:52 Really like their draft through round 4. Schaller is super intriguing – has the frame, body, fastball you want, just hadn’t pitched in two-plus years after TJ.

    Todd Boss

    5 Jun 18 at 3:45 pm

  53. Is it just me, or do you want to pronounce his name Cage Ganning? I’ve heard of this guy, at least.


    5 Jun 18 at 3:48 pm

  54. KW – what do you mean by the BPA/overslot comment?


    5 Jun 18 at 3:48 pm

  55. That they’re not able to take the best players available because they’ve already committed so much overslot money to Denaburg.

    We’ll see. Just getting a chance to see what they’ve done with rounds 6-10. So they’ve now drafted 17 pitchers over the top 20 picks in ’17 and ’18. Hmm, I sense a trend.

    Hess wasn’t drafted in the top 10 rounds. Very curious.


    5 Jun 18 at 6:40 pm

  56. Interesting to compare the stats of Gage Canning with 1/10 pick Travis Swaggerty. Swaggerty strikes out less and walks more, but Canning appears to have significantly more “gap power.” We’ll see.


    5 Jun 18 at 6:57 pm

  57. New posted. On Hess … like others mentioned today he was awful in his last start on the biggest stage … and his numbers this year weren’t awesome. I can’t help but wonder if he’d have fared better had he just stayed as LSU’s awesome closer.

    Todd Boss

    5 Jun 18 at 7:53 pm

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