Nationals Arm Race

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

Pre-2016 Draft coverage; mocks and local players


Kansas prep star Riley Pint may not go #1 overall, but he'll be close. Photo via

Kansas prep star (and subject of Jeff Passan’s latest book “The Arm”) Riley Pint may not go #1 overall, but he’ll be close. Photo via

The MLB rule-4 (Amateur) draft starts tonight, 6/9/16 at 7pm.  The MLB Network will have full coverage of the first round of picks. This post is my dumping ground of draft coverage for 2016.

This post uses last year’s format, with links to use to see draft prospect rankings, links to help cover the draft (which I personally come back to time and time again), some blurbs on local players of interest, and then links to a bunch of mock drafts.

Draft Coverage so far at NAR for 2016:

  • Here’s the big post on all marquee DC/MD/VA prep players ahead of the 2016 season (only guys who are “significant” draft prospects are mentioned here).
  • Here’s the same for DC/MD/VA tied College players
  • After the draft happens, I’ll review both of the above posts and list who actually got picked and who’s going to school.

Draft Links of importance

Here’s a slew of Draft Prospect rankings : these are NOT the same as mock drafts; see further down for those.  You’re going to see the same locally tied names on nearly all of these lists; they’re all individually profiled further below.


Now, some news about College Players with local ties who are serious draft candidates (meaning first couple of rounds projected or present on top 100 draft ranking lists).  Note that I’ve got a far, far larger list of local players that I’ll follow-up on after the draft; these are just the significant/top 10 round types.

  • Connor Jones, UVA RHP via Great Bridge; at this point perhaps the 2nd or 3rd best college pitching prospect thanks to fall-offs from a number of other candidates.  Probably a mid-1st rounder, though some pundits (Keith Law) have him rated far lower.
  • Buddy Reed, OF from Florida via Finksburg, MD (NW of Baltimore).  Probably a late first rounder or sandwich pick, perhaps lower.
  • Matt Thaiss, UVA C who has shot up the rankings; now projected as early 2nd rounder.  Keith Law likes him as a late 1st rounder.
  • Mike Shawaryn: RHP for Maryland; stock has really fallen this season; now perhaps just a 4th rounder.  A late season push improved his draft status somewhat.
  • Andrew Knizner, C from NC State by way of Glen Allen, VA: gritty ballplayer who has played his way into perhaps 5th round discussions.
  • Errol Robinson, SS from Ole Miss by way of Maryland; struggled badly this season, dropping his stock from early 2nd round projections; no idea where he’s project to go now.

Local Prep players of note who are serious draft candidates:

  • Joe Rizzo, INF for Oakton HS.  Remains the highest ranked local draft prospect, projecting as anywhere between a mid-1st rounder and an early 2nd rounder.  South Carolina commit.’s write-up profiles his draft prospects the best.
  • Khalil Lee LHP/OF for Flint Hill.  Some have him 2nd-3rd round, others have him projected 4th-5th.  Part of the confusion is where to play him; he was an undersized speedy CF candidate… then suddenly flashed low 90s off the mound as a lefty starter this year.  Liberty commit.
  • Zack Hess, 1B/OF from Liberty Christian Academy (Lynchburg).  3rd round projection.  LSU commit.
  • Noah Murdock, a RHP from Colonial Heights (Richmond).  4th round projection by rank, UVA commit.
  • Garrett Stallings, RHP from Grassfield HS.  Not generally listed but may be rising, Tennessee commit.

Re-draft players of interest to Nats fans:  these are re-drafts that have come back up.  See the Draft Tracker for underclassmen draftees from last year and/or Prep draftees from 2013 who are now draft eligible again.

  • Garrett Hampson, SS from Long Beach State.  Nats 2013 26th round pick, now projecting as a 5th or 6th rounder.
  • Reid Humphreys, RHP/OF two-way player from Mississippi State.  Nats 2013 36th rounder, now projecting as a 4th/5th rounder.
  • Shaun Anderson, RHP from Florida.  Nats 2013 40th rounder, now projecting as a late 3rd rounder.
  • John Reeves, C from Rice.  Nats 2015 20th rounder who started 56 games for the CWS-bound Rice team and hit above .300; looks like a good choice to return to school.
  • Alec Rash, RHP from Missouri: Nats 23rd round pick in 2015.  Quit baseball altogether last fall to pursue collegiate basketball.
  • Blake Smith, RHP from WVA: Nats 24th round pick in 2015: posted a 2.20 ERA as West Virginia’s closer for the season with 8 saves and 25 appearances.
  • Mack Lemieux, LHP from Jupiter HS and then Palm Beach State CC.  Nats 14th round pick in 2015.


Mock Drafts

Every year I say i’ll stay away from the Mock Draft links … and every year I come back.  Here’s a running collection. has a master list of Mock drafts at this link that has many more than I’ve got listed below.

  • Fangraphs/Scott Moore‘s Mock #1: Groome, Senzel, Lewis, Puk, Pint.
  • BaseballAmerica/Hudson Belinsky‘s Mock #1: Groome, Senzel, Pint, Puk, Perez.
  • BaseballAmerica/Hudson Belinsky‘s Mock #2: Puk, Lewis, Pint, Moniak, Ray.
  • BaseballAmerica/John Manuel Mock #1: Puk, Lewis, Pint, Moniak, Groome.
  • BaseballAmerica/John Manual BA Mock #4: Moniak, Puk, Ray, Lewis, Pint
  • Manual Mock #5: Moniak, Puk, Lewis, Pint, Ray
  • ESPN/Keith Law Mock #1 (Insider only): Puk, Lewis, Groome, Pint, Ray.
  • ESPN/Keith Law Mock #2 (Insider only): Puk, Lewis, Groome, Moniak, Perez.
  • ESPN/Keith Law Mock #3: Puk, Lewis, Groome, Pint, Ray
  • ESPN/Keith Law Final Mock: Moniak, Puk, Lewis, Pint, Ray
  • Piliere Mock #1: Puk, Lewis, Groome, Pint, Ray.
  • Piliere Mock #2: Puk, Lewis, Ray, Groome, Perez
  • Callis Mock #1: Puk, Senzel, Lewis, Moniak, Ray.
  • Callis  Mock #2: Puk, Senzel, Lewis, Moniak, Perez.
  • Callis Final Mock: Moniak, Senzel, Ray, Puk, Collins
  • Mayo Mock #1: Puk, Senzel, Lewis, Groome, Perez.
  • Mayo Final Mock: Moniak, Senzel, Ray, Puk, Rutherford
  • MinorLeagueBall Mock #1 Part one and Part two: Lewis, Puk, Groome, Rutherford, Moniak
  • Ward Mock #1: Groome, Senzel, Rutherford, Lewis, Ray
  • Ward Mock #2: Puk, Ray, Lewis, Groome, Rutherford.
  • EllisMock #1: Groome, Hansen, Puk, Moniak, Pint
  • EllisMock #2: Senzel, Perez, Ray, Groome, Rutherford
  • EllisMock #3: Garrett, Groome, Rutherford, Senzel, Perez
  • EllisMock #4: Puk, Perez, Ray, Moniak, Rutherford
  • EllisMock #5: Puk, Lewis, Pint, Moniak, Rutherford
  • Ellis final Mock: Moniak, Puk, Lewis, Pint, Ray
  • Sullivan‘s Mock #1: Puck, Senzel, Lewis, Groome, Perez
  • Crawford‘s Last minute Mock Draft: Puk. Lewis, Groome, Pint, Ray
  • Baseball Prospectus; have not seen any mock drafts from BP this year.
  • Mock Drafts are Insider/Premium only; this link is to their 2016 Draft Coverage home page.


Todd Boss’ Mock draft?  Based on my vast level of expertise (sarcasm) and the thousands of man hours i’ve put in scouting players in person and cultivating industry sources (also sarcasm), and instead reading the tea leaves of the gazillion other mock drafts, I’ll take this as my initial guess for the top 5: Puk, Lewis, Groome, Pint, Moniak

The only thing that gives me pause is this: Puk *stunk* in the regional.  4 and a third, 5 hits and 5 runs given up to UConn.  Sorry; if you’re going to go 1-1 you need to do an outing like 7ip, 4hits, 10ks, 0 walks in your swan song.  I wonder if that was enough to have Philly move to a different pick.  And Perez just got popped for failing a drug test, instantly removing him from top-5 consideration.  So, given Puk’s stinker most of the last minute mocks have Philly off of Puk and doing Moniak as an under-slot deal.  And I can’t disagree.  So my final mock will be: Moniak, Puk, Lewis, Pint, Ray

And this top 5 means that Groome and Pint (who I think are the two best talents in this draft) fall to teams outside the top 5 and they’re going to be absolutely ecstatic.

ACTUAL DRAFT Results: Moniak, Senzel, Anderson (??), Pint and Ray.  Just like everyone predicted.

Who are the Nats going to take at #28 and #29?

No frigging idea.  Lots of these Mock drafts attempt to guess, to put some names with the Nats down that far.  But consider the 2011 draft.  Everyone had Anthony Rendon going 1-1.  Suddenly he slips and the Nats grab him at #6 in a total gift.  The point is this: we have no idea how even the top 5 picks will go, so predicting what’s going to happen at pick #6 is folly, let alone #28.  Nats will take BPA, probably will mix up a safer pick (aka college arm) with a riskier pick (aka a high school bat) and go back to back $2M bonus slots.  I also like the running theory that the nats will get the Scott Boras special and “package” two Boras clients together at 28/29 and basically split the bonus pools.  Names often mentioned here include Kyle Funkhauser and the prep pitcher/basketball player Matt Manning.  One would be an over draft, one would be a steal if he gets here.  We’ll see.


75 Responses to 'Pre-2016 Draft coverage; mocks and local players'

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  1. Puk seems to be dropping down to the #5-7 range from 1-2, but no one seems to know. And no one really knows where Perez’s fall is going to end. There does seem to be agreement that there are five or six players in the top tier talent-wise, and Perez is one of them. Yes, the Nats would be all over him if he falls (a la falling guys with “concerns” like Rendon and Giolito), but I really doubt he parachutes all the way to #28.

    I don’t think Manning makes it to #28, either, probably not beyond the teens.

    If Will Craig makes it that far, he’s my guy, best college bat in the draft. People can say “bad body” all they want, and I’ll just say “Berkman.” I don’t care if Craig ends up at 1B. Zimm won’t last forever. I just don’t want Craig at 1B for the Mets!

    If Craig isn’t available, and assuming Zach Collins will be gone, I’d take Matt Thaiss as a bat who can play somewhere. My other pick at 28/29 would be Bryan Reynolds. I’m all in for college bats.

    I don’t want Buddy Reed, though. He’s struggled too much this year. If they want someone like that, they can look at Ryan Boldt or Anfernee Grier, either of whom might be there in the second round. I like Grier better, as he had a significant power boost this year. Boldt looks like another Stevenson.

    I also think that Funkhouser might be there in the second round, and an even better bet that Hansen might be. I’d gamble on Hansen in the second (if he doesn’t want too much), but not in the first. I think the Nats are going to be tempted by Funkhouser in the first, though.

    If I had to guess what the Nats will actually do in the first, I’d say Funkhouser and Reynolds. But it’s really, really hard to say, as after the top 10-12 players, the next 30 or so are very close, and it’s like throwing darts to try to figure out where they’ll go.


    9 Jun 16 at 9:38 am

  2. Would love to see Will Craig fall to the Nats; he’s a masher and just what this team needs. Agreed; Manning probably doens’t make it. Maybe Perez does; do you risk his make-up given his talent?

    Also agree; I like Reynolds. Thaiss i’m not as convinced on.

    hansen is an interesting one; is he Alex Meyer 2.0 though?

    Todd Boss

    9 Jun 16 at 9:53 am

  3. I’m actually afraid that Meyer would be the ceiling for Hansen, with Johansen as the floor. Still, if the Nats believe that Hansen’s near-100 velocity is still there, it would be hard to let that pass in the second round. (It would be a major reach to take him in the first.)

    With Perez, I wonder how much the Nats have even scouted and vetted him, since there seemed like little chance he would be available when they’re picking. I still don’t think he’ll fall all the way to #28.

    Speaking of high schoolers, there’s been a lot of buzz about the Nats and Drew Mendoza, a SS who probably projects to 3B. He said to have a firm commitment to FSU, though (read: well above slot buyout). I just don’t think it’s worth it at that point in the draft.

    I really don’t know who I’d want if Craig and Reynolds are already gone at #28 and we take your word that Thaiss isn’t worth going that high. A couple of mocks have mentioned Grier for the Nats in such case, although many seem convinced that he’s more of a second-rounder. Nick Banks was once a sure-fire mid-first-rounder but now hardly shows up in any mocks. I’m not sure his power will develop, though. I’d be interested in him in the second or third, but not the first.

    There will be some good college arms still on the board at 28 and 29, though. I still think they’ll take a bat and an arm.


    9 Jun 16 at 10:12 am

  4. I’d be ok with Craig if he gets there, but as I said on Luke’s site, I think the college guys will go earlier and leave a bunch of highly rated prep guys sitting there. So some guys I like that may be there are Manning (whom I agree is less likely to fall), Wentz, Whitley and Muller amongst the prep pitchers (Muller best), and Nolan Jones, Trammell, and Kiriloff among the bats (Jones best). There is a small chance that Dunn or Lauer fall to them, and I could see them popping one of them. But I also think that the Nats will be opportunistic if someone unexpected falls to them.

    I do not like the profile of Mendoza and Tyler, who are linked most often to the Nats. Too boom or bust for me.

    In the second round, I really hope Okey falls to them. Failing that, I like Dane Dunning out of Florida.


    9 Jun 16 at 10:24 am

  5. I’d be OK with Okey in the second round but wouldn’t be excited about him in the first. They could do worse, though.

    A big “no” from me on Trammell; I’ve seen too many concerns about him, with low contact and not much projectable power. I’m intrigued by Wentz, as both pitcher and hitter (plenty of power).

    Yes, I’m on a “power” trip. The organization is severely lacking in it.


    9 Jun 16 at 10:29 am

  6. Many excellent prep bats in this draft, some that are rated higher than collegiate bats. In this draft, the bats will play.


    9 Jun 16 at 10:47 am

  7. Joe, since you seem to know the local HS scene, what’s your take on Joe Rizzo?


    9 Jun 16 at 11:02 am

  8. Todd,

    This is one of my very favorite features that you run every year, one I truly look forward to. Thank you so much for diligencing it and the level of care you put into these multi-link blog posts. “Outstanding work” is not an overstatement.

    The data on the 2016 A- and A+ all star selections is telling. Hagerstown has three international products – one a “bonus baby (Robles)”, one a scouting gem (Gutierrez), one a converted position player and developmental success (JRodriguez), two college products (Rivera), one of whom was thought to have fallen and scooped up for high round money (Schrock).

    Considering the system’s rep of being depleted at the corners, the all-star selections of Gutierrez and Ward are notable, especially with Franco now cooling his heels in XST. Ward has apparently made great defensive strides as well. Kudos to the minor league infield instruction and to his Potomac coaching staff and perhaps, the folks who worked with him in the AFL. Always great when one is reminded yet again that there is more than just numbers to meet the eye.

    Potomac all star selections were ALL draft selections, three of which from college and recent picks. And two of them, (Brinley and Keller) were lower round picks, and one (Stevenson) seemingly drafted higher than ranked — therefore another scouting success.

    This data supports other data points, such as the w-l records and the performance successes of so so many of the draft picks. In fact, all 5 of the picks after round twenty have shown success in the system.

    The HS pipeline is, naturally, the international pool. Since it is unregulated and will be only for a limited time, it behooves the Nats to exploit the affordable and accessible talent before a draft is imposed by the majors. Now that the Nats have inspired confidence in their international scouting and Dominican Academy, their additional investment this year will flush HS aged players into the system to enter GCL in 2018. There is already enough talent to sustain the lower levels from previous quantity signing.

    The Nats demonstrably excellent college scouting – 5 college draft pick all stars, and only one of them a first rounder — (2,4, and THREE outside the regulated first ten slots) reinforces my impression that the team should be heavy college unless a “thought unsignable” special talent like a Ward, Reetz, or Watson falls to them with extra bonus money or well below slot.

    Gather resources saved from signing pick 28 & 29, draft aggressively and bid aggressively after round 10, using money left over on premium HS or college junior talent.

    Recall Byler, the 9th rd pick they did not sign a couple of years back. he signed as a senior and had a great pro start, then got suspended for PED. Schrock’s signing, in my eyes, was learning a lesson from the Byler whiff.

    To me, the draft of 2015 was such a leap forward from 2013 and 2014 that we should be giving it more credit and accolades. Of course, there are those stuck in the mindset that the Nats are presumed to draft players simply because they have had injured arms. That’s just stupid and I don’t see it happening unless it is a top 5 arm and a TJ.


    9 Jun 16 at 11:13 am

  9. Thanks forensicane. I just wish that three of my favorite things to cover (high school tourneys, College regionals and the Draft) didn’t hit the same week! I’ve got all this content that i’ve been working on for ever and it all gets posted in 3 days. 🙂

    Todd Boss

    9 Jun 16 at 11:15 am

  10. KW: wouldn’t be right to comment on him. I can comment on anyone else but Joe.


    9 Jun 16 at 11:41 am

  11. Joe: fair enough. Who else with regional ties gets you excited, and who do you think is overhyped?

    FWIW, I’d like to see the Nats give J. Rizzo a long look in the 2d or 3d round if he’s still there and they haven’t already taken other HS kids who will skew their draft pool. “Projectable power” always plays.


    9 Jun 16 at 12:00 pm

  12. I haven’t seen much mention of Heath Quinn in the mocks as a potential first-rounder, but he’s got serious pop (21 HRs), did well on the Cape last summer, and played essentially at the same level as Lewis. I’m adding him to my rounds 2-5 wish list.


    9 Jun 16 at 12:07 pm

  13. Fore, you’ve got a good point on the Nats investing more in younger-than-college talent internationally than they have in high schoolers. In the Rizzo era, they’ve typically taken one HS kid in rounds 2-5, only once in the first round in a very special case (Giolito). The progressions of guys like Ward and Reetz show how long it often takes for things to click for HS draftees. A.J. Cole still hasn’t quite made it, and he’s 24.

    This said, I find it curious that so many mocks have the Nats taking one, or even two, HS kids in the first round. It could happen, but it would be against their MO. And it would be more likely for a falling star like Perez, Manning, or even Groome (dream on) than it would be for someone like Mendoza.

    Besides, why drop a couple of million on Mendoza when you’ve already got Anderson Franco? Or on Trammell when you’ve got Robles? I would think that Robles, Franco, and Avila would all be first-rounders if they were in this year’s draft pool, with Robles getting 1/1 consideration. But he and Avila are already proven commodities in the SALY League, not putting up their stats against 16-year-olds.

    I don’t want to get too far afield here, though. You have to find talent through all paths to stay competitive. And the Nats are doing it better than most, particularly if you look at the quality depth they got in the 2015 draft. Here’s hoping they have as much success in ’16 as they did in ’15.


    9 Jun 16 at 12:46 pm

  14. KW

    9 Jun 16 at 1:52 pm

  15. KW: I don’t think anyone in the area has been overhyped. The only hyping (is that a word?) has been around the top 10-15. In our HS area, Khalil is a great prospect, Jake Agnos is getting much attention, as is Pete Nielsen. All GREAT kids.


    9 Jun 16 at 2:12 pm

  16. Always good to hear that they’re “GREAT kids.” Nielsen is supposed to have a pretty solid commitment to BYU. Rizzo may be the only one drafted in a slot to get significant enough money to tempt foregoing college, unless some of them just don’t want to do that “college thing.” The Nats threw several hundred K at a late-round LHP HS kid last year (Watson), but he’s 6’5″, which Lee and Agnos aren’t.


    9 Jun 16 at 3:10 pm

  17. That Sickles write up makes Rizzo sound a lot like Drew Ward. They even check in at the same listed weight, though Rizzo is four inches shorter. If he were to hit as expected, he might make a great projected replacement for Zimmerman or Rendon, both of whom will be free agents after 2019 (assuming Zim’s 2020 option is not picked up).

    Karl Kolchack

    9 Jun 16 at 6:46 pm

  18. OK, wow, Kieboom and Dunning. Obviously there’s a family connection with the Kiebooms. Carter projects more as 3B than SS, has size to develop some power. This is obviously a pick for beyond the three-year window, as it will be a long time before he’s seen on South Capitol.

    With Dunning, the first thought is that this has to be an under-slot deal. The second is that the Nats know pitching, so I guess we have to trust their scouts here. There were a truckload of big-name college arms still on the board, including Hudson. Really surprising how much the college arms have dropped. It seems certain that another “name” college pitcher or three will still be there at #58. Many of the college bats are still there as well, although I don’t think Reynolds will keep falling to 58. I’ll have to read about it in the morning, though . . .


    9 Jun 16 at 9:58 pm

  19. Jeez–while I might end up feeling differently five years from now, that certainly was something of a disappointment. A HS bat to complete our collection of Kiebooms and a college relief pitcher, both of whom were a reach on the boards.

    Hopefully, the plan is to save some bonus money on the 1st rounders (who are much more of a crapshoot this far down anyway) and use it in the latter rounds.

    Karl Kolchack

    9 Jun 16 at 10:04 pm

  20. This has a real underslot feel on both parts. Perhaps if Kieboom gets them a hometeam discount and Dunning saves them more as well, then the draft will be one to appreciate. Still lots of talent to be had at 58. Maybe we will still get our college polished bat….


    9 Jun 16 at 10:07 pm

  21. KW – we must have been typing at the same time. I guess the Nats figure they have plenty of near-MLB ready starters right now and didn’t need another one who having dropped wouldn’t be amenable to an under-slot deal. Makes sense if you believe that the Nats will need a lot of bodies so some are potentially ready around 2018-2020, when most of their current stars will hit free agency.

    Karl Kolchack

    9 Jun 16 at 10:12 pm

  22. Don’t get the Dunning pick, at all. Agree; it seems like an underslot deal. Look at the arms going just after him; Hudson, Sheffield, Jeffries, Tyler. All four of them far, far higher regarded. makes no sense. A strange couple of picks for sure.

    Todd Boss

    9 Jun 16 at 10:31 pm

  23. Yeah, I’m disappointed too because there were some quality guys there. I really wanted Wentz or Muller (both to ATL).

    But I am going to defer to these guys, they know what they are doing. I assume both of these picks will be underslot and we’ll see some value later on. Holding out hope Nolan Jones drops to 58


    9 Jun 16 at 10:46 pm

  24. In Rizzo we trust, in Rizzo we trust, in Rizzo we trust . . . but geez, they passed on a huge amount of talent that went in the first part of the second round, then passed on Reynolds again to take another reach at 3B . . . where they’ve already got Ward, Gutierrez, and Franco. They’re going to have a logjam in the lower minors with Kieboom, Neuse, and Franco.

    Meanwhile, they passed on a roll call of top college arms to take Dunning (Billy Beane has to be peeing in his pants to get Puk AND Shore), and passed on Reynolds a second time to take Neuse. I would say that they may be looking at Neuse on the mound, but they drafted him as a hitter.

    There do seem to be a lot of projections that Dunning has what it takes to stretch out to be a starter. He has a phenomenal K/BB ratio, and not a lot of mileage on his arm as a reliever. The Nats did have good success from the ’15 draft stretching out a hard-throwing SEC reliever in Andrew Lee. So we’ll see.

    I give the Nats more of the benefit of the doubt with pitchers than I do with hitters. I just don’t get the two 3Bs. It was not a position of need, and it’s hard to argue that they were the “best players available.” But they are probably signable.

    FWIW, Funkhouser and Mendoza are still on the board (both Boras clients), although the Nats would have absolutely, positively no need for Mendoza now after taking two 3Bs. Would Funkhouser drop 16 more picks? Is that who the Nats are saving the money for? (But why overpay for a senior???) Honestly, all three of these picks seem like under-slot guys, saving up for . . . something.

    Congrats to Joe Rizzo going #50, ahead of some pretty elite players. Now to see if he sticks with SC . . .


    10 Jun 16 at 6:28 am

  25. In the Post write-up, Kris Kline says that Kieboom will stay at SS (for now at least) and that they drafted Neuse as a bat, probably for 3B.


    10 Jun 16 at 6:53 am

  26. Callis says that Kieboom was one of the better overall HS bats and “barrels up the ball” well. He also thinks Dunning projects well as a starter.


    10 Jun 16 at 7:17 am

  27. I liked what ATL, CIN, CLE and COL did in the draft. CIN and ATL especially, which is no surprise given their draft pools.

    As for ours, it follows almost every one they’ve ever had: I read about prospects, develop a liking for a few of them, and the Nats take someone else. Keith Law nailed it exactly, which is pretty impressive given how low they picked.

    But they profile fine, especially if Dunning sticks as a starter, and I assume that they are saving money to add better players later, like Schrock last year. So I am optimistic that they’ll add good players


    10 Jun 16 at 8:00 am

  28. Wally, you did mention Dunning yesterday, so you get at least partial credit. I was on Wiseman last year, and Andrew Lee (as a hitter), but that’s about it for my recent Nat draft prognostication. But I’ll keep hoping for Heath Quinn in the 3d round today.


    10 Jun 16 at 8:32 am

  29. Its worth noting that some Florida pundits think that Dunning is a better pitcher than Puk. And when Puk sh*t the bed in his regional start .. guess who relieved him and saved the day? Dunning came in with 2 runners on, got out of the jam, and went 3 2/3rs giving up just 1 hit and one walk.

    I’m tempted to write a reaction piece to the 1st round picks but just don’t have time today. quick thoughts: I’m not a professional, but man we passed on some serious names to take Kieboom and Dunning. And i’d never heard of the Neuse guy. So who knows.

    Todd Boss

    10 Jun 16 at 8:52 am

  30. I think the Nats scouting of college pitching talent, and scouting Oklahoma (Ward, Glover) talent, has earned our trust.

    As I asserted in the post above, if the Nats sign two top picks at under market, that’s a lot of coin to save for a Schrock and Watson. Take a look at where the all stars emerged from, and you will remember that the real draft and its yield starts on the second day.

    Pundits are grossly overrated. And whether we blindly trust Rizzo or not on Neuse-Reynolds decisions, the Nats have clearly seen these players play more than we have. The fun is just starting.

    I am certain of one thing. That Spencer gave them enough intel on what it would take to get Carter in the fold. And as far as Dunning goes, there is everything right about signing players that win and know how to and play in the clutch.


    10 Jun 16 at 9:26 am

  31. What forensicane said: It’s amazing to me how many people get paid big bucks to obsess over this stuff and then don’t do any better with their predictions than one of us could have done.

    Just like last year, the Nats’ strategy seems to be that if they can’t draft high enough to take an elite player, it’s better to save some money at the top end and bring in as many potential prospects as possible. It is the opposite of the strategy they used in 2012 and 2014, when they more or less put all of their eggs into one basket by taking Giolito and Fedde, who fell to them due to injuries.

    That would be fine if indeed Giolito turns out to be Strasburg 2.0, but if he should disappoint it will mean that the entire 2012 draft was a waste. Fedde’s success is even less certain, and the 2014 draft class behind him in which they failed to sign their 2nd and 9th rounders so far looks just as bad as 2012.

    Karl Kolchack

    10 Jun 16 at 10:24 am

  32. I look at photos of Neuse and I see an Uggla build, albeit with a rocket arm. If he can produce near-Uggla pop but with a better contact rate and better defense, that would be be something. Neuse sounds very much like a real “gamer.” His OU manager called him the best player he’s ever coached. It sounds like he was the best hitter in the Big 12.

    In addition to the family connection, Kieboom went to the same high school that produced Billy Burns, so the Nats have lots of contacts there. Kieboom looks promising; I’m just not keen on drafting high-schoolers in general, or overpaying them to forego college.

    We’ll see. I definitely trust the guys who ran the ’15 draft for the Nats on pitching, no doubt. The number of arms from that draft who look to be panning out is amazing. We were always told that Roy Clark was a draft guru, but as Karl mentioned, it’s looking like there’s not going to be much to show for his years, other than at the very top of the classes.


    10 Jun 16 at 11:23 am

  33. Top players still remaining on the big board:


    10 Jun 16 at 11:26 am

  34. All I needed to hear was that Kris Kline said that Neuse “fell into our lap” in round two. If they were surprised he was on the board at 58, that’s fine with me.

    The guy had a great year. Cape cod was last summer. How good was Drew Ward in 2015?


    10 Jun 16 at 12:46 pm

  35. The draft is deep. So buckle up! Watching LHP and power bats, catchers.


    10 Jun 16 at 12:47 pm

  36. As a Nats fan, just a tad disappointed that a particular prospect was not selected (but was selected by the Mariners), but the Nats selected a good one in Carter K.


    10 Jun 16 at 1:02 pm

  37. Jesus Lazardo on Rd 3. TJ guy but top 20 guy if healthy. I like the pick assuming they get him signed


    10 Jun 16 at 1:47 pm

  38. And the Giants AGAIN follow with a guy I wanted, Heath Quinn.

    Luzardo said to have been a first-rounder until TJ. One would hope the TJ will make him easier to sign. Typical Rizzo MO. There’s your first lefty, Forensicane.

    Funkhouser *still* hasn’t gone. How much money has he lost by now? Good call, Scott.


    10 Jun 16 at 1:52 pm

  39. I am ok with Funkhauser now, if they pop him. There were also rumors about a deal with a prep kid called Mcfarland


    10 Jun 16 at 2:01 pm

  40. Local kid Khalil Lee (Flint Hill) to the Royals at #103.

    Yes, getting Funkhouser at #124 would be pretty amazing.


    10 Jun 16 at 2:03 pm

  41. Funkhouser to the Tigers at #115.

    Saw something on Luzardo that said he was thought to be the most advanced HS LHP in the draft before TJ hit.


    10 Jun 16 at 2:22 pm

  42. Hey, hey, someone I actually mentioned, Nick Banks. Coming off of last season, he was a prospective mid-first-rounder, mentioned in the same breath as Corey Ray. Very good value in the fourth round. Not a lot of power, though. Actually profiles somewhat similarly to Wiseman, as I recall.


    10 Jun 16 at 2:31 pm

  43. Q&A from Keith law’s chat:

    Wally: You nailed the Nats two picks at the end of the 1st round, which is like a 90′ putt. Is that one of the organizations that you feel like you have good contacts/relationship, or was it a SWAG? What did you think of their Day 1 picks?

    KLaw: I seldom get info like that direct from an organization about its own picks, and did not here. Really, really liked their day one. Hell, I like their day two so far too.


    10 Jun 16 at 2:36 pm

  44. Nick Banks – for us in Rd 4?


    10 Jun 16 at 2:36 pm

  45. Yes, to the Nats.

    Good scoop with KLaw.


    10 Jun 16 at 2:42 pm

  46. 5th round for Nats, pick 154, Daniel Johnson, OF, New Mexico State. Looks like another under-slot guy. Smallish, but had 12 HRs this season to go with 29 SBs.


    10 Jun 16 at 3:15 pm

  47. KW

    10 Jun 16 at 3:20 pm

  48. Banks hit two bombs (one over the bullpen and into the trees) against FLA in the SEC championship game:

    Looks like there’s some power potential there to me. He apparently struggled after offseason surgery, and perhaps with draft expectations.


    10 Jun 16 at 3:35 pm

  49. So was the plan to used the “saved” bonus money on Lozardo all along?

    The team’s well earned reputation for being careful rather than reckless with TJ arms (cough, cough…Mets…cough, cough) should make him more amenable to taking the guaranteed cash rather than risk the surgery not going well and ending up with nothing.

    Karl Kolchack

    10 Jun 16 at 3:48 pm

  50. Here’s Frankie Pilierre on KW’s boy Banks:
    Struggles or not Nick Banks is a great pick by the #Nationals down this far. At one time was known as the top bat in this college class


    10 Jun 16 at 3:52 pm

  51. Luzardo had the surgery in March, with James Andrews, who presumably can testify on the Nats’ behalf (if not the Redskins’!).

    Kieboom says he will announce tomorrow whether he will sign.

    This is the point in the draft last season where the Nats started picking seemingly every LHP left on the board, all of whom have panned out, more or less.


    10 Jun 16 at 3:58 pm

  52. Here’s Forensicane catcher in round 6, Tres Barrera from U of Texas. Another guy who has showed good promise but dropped a little with an average season.


    10 Jun 16 at 4:10 pm

  53. Karl Kolchack

    10 Jun 16 at 4:47 pm

  54. There is a big difference between drafting a first round talent, and lefthanded starter yet, and high schooler in the third round as opposed to the first round.

    Here the Nats organization can leverage the success they have had in rehabbing TJ in their negotiations. I would expect Lazardo’s agent to pump the idea that the Nats gave Fedde what he wanted, but Lazardo is not the refined college product that was Fedde. Again, I don’t think the Nats fail to sign him, either.

    As for Banks, we all want power bats and big hitters and 2 HR under pressure baseball separates men from the boys. I’m a bit surprised that we have not been seeing starting pitching arms, but perhaps that is where the senior targets come in. Kieboom was a 5th round pick out of college thought to be a glove first guy. The Nats have whiffed on other catcher draftees they did not sign recently. Reetz has a low average but his OBP is very impressive at age 20 in A-. Reetz is very much on my radar. But Read is fading and there is room for catching depth unless some of the promising Dominican class of 2014 returns to form this year. That will tell us how Barrera (who can speak Spanish to a just-immigrated Latino pitcher) fits in at the low levels.


    10 Jun 16 at 5:17 pm

  55. Still looking for power bats at 1B and lefthanded starters, closer prospects and catchers. Let’s see what comes….


    10 Jun 16 at 5:18 pm

  56. KW – Nice pickup on Johnson, thank you. Best line of the day:

    “I will sign”

    Great to get a talent with power/speed rocket arm in round 5.


    10 Jun 16 at 5:24 pm

  57. Dan Jennings joins the Nats’ front office and they draft three guys from the state of FLA in the first seven rounds. Coincidence? Between FLA and whoever the SW regional scout is, they’ve covered most of the Nats’ draft thus far.

    Article on Noll, who has good pop for a middle INF:


    10 Jun 16 at 5:39 pm

  58. Harris, the 9th rounder, is a defense first catcher probably slated for org. depth:

    Karl Kolchack

    10 Jun 16 at 6:11 pm

  59. It is notable that the first 9 selections are underclassmen. Always a risk when dealing with the draft pool. Let’s hope they collect a lot of savings.


    10 Jun 16 at 6:21 pm

  60. 11 picks thus far:

    * 4 INFs with some pop
    * 3 pitchers who throw in the mid-90s
    (& Neuse does as well)
    * 2 OFs with double-digit HRs
    * 2 catchers


    10 Jun 16 at 7:16 pm

  61. One point I haven’t seen mentioned much in various reactions to the Nats’ draft is how small their draft pool money is, 26th overall, with the top teams having nearly three times as much. That leaves the Nats, and the other teams at the bottom, trying to thread a needle. I’ve seen some carping about the pick of Dunning, but without taking a guy like Dunning at that slot, they wouldn’t have a chance of signing Kieboom and Luzardo.

    And actually, when connected guys like Law and Callis like the Dunning pick, you start to think that the Nats may have found their next Andrew Lee, a college reliever who can stretch out. Not bad to have a prospective starter coming out of college with only 150 innings total, either (plus whatever he adds in the remaining tourney games). Bogucki has only 90 total innings in college, including a few midweek starts. He profiles more as a reliever, though.


    10 Jun 16 at 7:41 pm

  62. Beckwith, the 17th rounder, is a SS out of the University of Richmond who hit two grand slams in one game during the final week of his final season as a collegiate:

    Karl Kolchack

    11 Jun 16 at 3:06 pm

  63. Just a reminder as the Nats load up on arms on day 3 that Tanner Roark was a 25th-rounder. So you never know. I’m intrigued by Ryan Williamson, a lefty starter from NC State who’ll be joining Luzardo in TJ rehab if they both sign.

    Todd, the Nats also have a draftee from Vienna, Phil Morse, although he’s McLean HS, not Madison (by way of Shenandoah U).


    11 Jun 16 at 3:22 pm

  64. Weirdly, the Nats took a pair of high school teammates out of Texas with virtually identical names who are NOT twin brothers at #19 & #32. Both are committed small schools (one is JuCo), so they do not appear to be unsignable potential blue chippers:!Garrett-Gonzales-signs-with-UIW/yzrrr/573388a50cf284cf213fca04!Madisons-Jarrett-Gonzales-signs-with-Grayson-Junior-College/yzrrr/57338ab10cf284cf213fccf3

    Karl Kolchack

    11 Jun 16 at 5:08 pm

  65. Karl, the Nats have a scout in the area named Jimmy Gonzales. I know it’s a common name, but my guess would be that there’s some connection. And boy, are the Nats loading up on players from that region.


    11 Jun 16 at 5:20 pm

  66. Ryan at the Nats GM site has Garrett as Jimmy G’s son; he couldn’t find much info on Jarrett. Hard to think they’re not brothers with names like that, though. The 33d pick is also the son of someone in the Nats’ front office.


    11 Jun 16 at 5:25 pm

  67. Wally, there’s the McFarland kid, in the 36th round. If the Nats make a Tyler Watson-like bid to buy a late-rounder out of college, he’s it. Our old “friend” Drew Mendoza also went in the 36th, to the Tigers.


    11 Jun 16 at 5:28 pm

  68. McFarland apparently scared off teams with his price:


    11 Jun 16 at 5:45 pm

  69. KW – In the pictures of the two Gonzales kids, they don’t look at all related, though that doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t. I’m not up on the Nats scouting apparatus, but I figured they must have someone covering that area pretty close.

    Karl Kolchack

    11 Jun 16 at 8:17 pm

  70. Seems like a pretty solid draft, if they sign the top 4. Neuse, especially, seems pretty intriguing. I haven’t had a chance to look at the picks beyond 10 yet but was surprised there weren’t more HS kids.

    This, coupled with their expected big outlay for Jul 2 kids, should restock the lower levels well.


    11 Jun 16 at 8:37 pm

  71. Has anyone seen any news on Kieboom and his decision? He had said he would decide on Sat. In general, the HS kids are lottery tickets, though. They’re guys for 2021, beyond the horizon.

    I’m also intrigued by Neuse. He’s bigger and more versatile than Schrock and may have a higher ceiling (although there’s nothing to fault about what Schrock has done at the plate to this point).

    I wonder whether Banks is giving thought to not signing and trying to improve his draft stock as a senior. If he signs, his path forward would seem to be as more of a Rendon-type hitter, gap power, but needing to show perhaps 15-20 HR range to be an MLB regular at a corner OF spot. He’s listed at right about the same size as Wiseman. Banks is supposed to have a bit more speed, Wiseman perhaps a bit more power. But they profile pretty closely. (After a very slow start at Hagerstown this year, the light has gone on for Wiseman, and he should be able to move up at some point and finish his first full pro season at Potomac.)


    12 Jun 16 at 8:05 am

  72. I know he tweeted this yesterday
    ‘Extremely excited to be joining the @Nationals organization and to be able to play with @KieBOOM22 Go #Nats!’

    IIRC, the Nats don’t usually announce signings like other teams so I haven’t read anything official. There aren’t many [any?] senior signs, so I hope that they did their homework about signing these guys. Sounds like the top 2 are in the fold. Really don’t want to miss on Neuse and Luzardo.

    I read speculation somewhere that Neuse could convert to C. He does seem to have the right body type and arm for it, and his bat could make him an above average regular, but I haven’t heard the Nats say anything like that so I assume it was more ‘he could convert to C’ rather than anything planned.

    Banks could be an interesting guy too. Read that he wasn’t the same after having a cyst removed from his back. If it’s truly a medical reason for his fall off, that could be encouraging news for a bounce back. Was considered better than Corey Ray as recently as last summer.

    Turning to Jul 2, Nats rumored for 3 big million dollar signs, one @ $4m, which is just staggering to me for a 16 yr old. I can’t remember their names except for Garcia, a SS from the DR who looks like a high quality prospect.


    12 Jun 16 at 9:04 am

  73. Overall, it appears that just like last year the Nats had a detailed plan for the draft that minimized the chances of it being disrupted by other teams’ picks and they stuck with it. Much better than in 2014 when they failed to sign their #2 and #9 picks. Now let’s get these kids signed!

    Karl Kolchack

    12 Jun 16 at 1:42 pm

  74. That tweet sure sounds like Kieboom is in the fold. Now let’s see what we’ve got. Can he graduate from the GCL, get to Auburn, and hold his own with the college boys? Robles and Franco got some time at Auburn last summer at 18 and 17, respectively, so the Nats aren’t afraid to challenge their top younger prospects.

    The guys on the MLB draft coverage mentioned the rumor about some teams talking to Neuse about catching, so it’s definitely a “thing.” Kris Kline just said that he had been drafted as “a bat” and that they’d figure out where to play him. (Kline also said that the Nats intend to keep Kieboom at SS at present.)

    If you Google Banks and look at the articles from before this season, he was universally thought to be a mid-first-rounder. There were obviously some widespread questions to drop him to mid-fourth, though. We’ll see. He’s definitely worth a shot in the fourth.

    I don’t have much comment on the pitchers other than that the Nats’ recent track record on arms is terrific, so they seem to know what to look for. They certainly sidestepped a number of the “name” college starters to chart their own course.

    My main regret from the draft? Not much power. I’m not sure how much there was to be had, though, particularly among the college players. Craig was about the only one who stood out, and his field options seem limited. But if you look at how the draft fell, he’s the only bigger bat the Nats “missed” because of the Murphy signing (Collins and Thaiss were gone by when they would have picked), so no regrets on Murph whatsoever now. It’s hard to imagine where the Nats would be without him.


    12 Jun 16 at 2:42 pm

  75. […] 2016’s version of this post. […]

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