Nationals Arm Race

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

2018 Draft coverage; Extended DC/MD/VA Draftee review


UVA's Daniel Lynch is the highest-drafted DC/MD/VA player for 2018. Photo via Richmond Times Dispatch

UVA’s Daniel Lynch is the highest-drafted DC/MD/VA player for 2018. Photo via Richmond Times Dispatch

Here’s a review of MLB Draftees in 2018 with Local ties.  By Local, I mean any player that either went to high school or college anywhere in DC, MD or VA.

We posted earlier about all the marquee names in the area who may get draft notice;  almost all of them went undrafted  this year and so lots of colleges are getting VA and MD based kids heading to school.

Its clear to me that several clubs in particular had strong area scouts in the Virginia area;

  • Chicago Cubs: the Cubs took four Virginia-tied players in the top 10 picks and a fifth later on.
  • Cleveland: they took three locally-tied players in the first 11 rounds
  • New York Yankees: took four locally-tied players in this draft, three between the 8th and 13th rounds.
  • Cincinnati took two VA-college players in the top 10 rounds (both likely senior sign/money savers)
  • Arizona took three VA-tied players, including a flier on Zach Hess in the later rounds after he so precipitously fell.

There are several high schoolers in the DC/MD/VA area with commits to major colleges who went completely un-drafted, surprising me.  Stephen Pelli (UNC commit), Cade Huntgate (Florida State), Will Schroeder (also UNC), Kody Milton (UMD), Tyler Casagrande (Vanderbilt), Jacob Steinberg (Miami), and Ryan Archibald (Arizona).   This list includes both the Virginia and Maryland Gatorade players of the year for 2018, normally guys who are getting significant draft attention.

Its kind of a down year for prep players in the area.  We didn’t see a DC/MD/VA prep player even picked until the 18th round, and then  just a handful of others with throw-away mid-30th round picks.

Here’s a full table of all locally tied kids drafted this year.

RoundOverallDC LocalStateDrafting TeamPlayerPositionCol/HSHSCollege (or Commit)
134NoVAKansas CityLynch, DanielLHP4YR JRFreeman (Richmond)UVA
1-supp39NoVAArizonaMcCarthy, JakeOF4YR JRScranton HS (Scranton PA)UVA
1-supp43NoVASt. LouisRoberts, GriffinRHP4YR JRJames River HS (Midlothian)Wake Forest
3103NoMDClevelandPalacios, RichardSS4YR JRBrooklyn NYTowson
5158NoVAChicago CubsWeber, Andy2B4YR JRAuburn, OHUVA
5154NoMDSt. LouisDunn, Nick2B4YR JRSunbury PAUMD
7218NoVAChicago CubsArtis, D.J.CF4YR JRGreensboro NCLiberty
7223YesMDClevelandMorris, CodyRHP4YR JRReservoir HS (Columbia)South Carolina
7214NoVAMinnesotaWinder, JoshRHP4YR JRJames River HS (Midlothian)VMI
8248YesVAChicago CubsMort, ZachRHP4YR JRCosby HS (Chesterfield)George Mason
8247YesVANew York YankeesVan Hoose, ConnorRHP4YR SRGonzaga HS (via Alexandria)Bucknell
9278NoVAChicago CubsCasey, DerekRHP4YR SRHanover HS (Richmond)UVA
9259NoVACincinnatiMcDonald, AndrewRHP4YR JRCincinnati, OHVirginia Tech
10292NoVAArizonaLanghorne, Brett3B4YR SRLee-Davis HS, MechanicsvilleCarson-Newman College
10288NoVACincinnatiSousa, BennettLHP4YR SRNorth Palm Beach, FLUVA
11344YesVAClevelandDeGroat, JackRHP4YR JRLoudoun Valley HSLiberty
12367NoVANew York YankeesPita, MattOF4YR JRCosby HS (Chesterfield)VMI
13397YesMDNew York YankeesPasteur, IsaiahRHP4YR SRWinters Mill HS, Westminster MDGeorgetown
15449NoVATexasSimmons, CameronRF4YR JRRoyersford, PAUVA
16473YesVAOaklandNightengale, BryceRHP4YR JRAllegany HS, Cumberland, MDGeorge Mason
16474NoVAPittsburghSelby, ColinRHP4YR JRWestern Branch HS, Chesapeake VARandolph-Macon
18535NoMDBaltimoreZebron, JakeRHPHSColonial Richardson HS, FederalsburgNC State (commit)
19564YesDCPittsburghKobos, WillRHP4YR JRCharlotte, NCGeorge Washington
20586YesVASan FranciscoManning, JeffSS4YR JRBattlefield HS, HaymarketAlabama
20596NoVATorontoKapra, VinnySS4YR SRMelbourne, FLRichmond
21632NoVAKansas CityEaton, NathanCF4YR SOThomas Dale HS (Richmond)VMI
21644NoVALos Angeles DodgersTodd, TreCF4YR JRNew JerseyLiberty
22672NoMDHoustonCostes, MartyOF4YR JRArchbishop Curley (Baltimore)UMD
23698NoVAChicago CubsTaylor, HunterCF4YR SRNandua HS (DelMarVA peninsula)South Carolina
25756YesDCColoradoMetz, Robert2B4YR 5SPoolesville George Washington
26783NoVASt. LouisCoward, ConnorRHP4YR JRPittsburgh, PAVirginia Tech
26813YesVAWashingtonMorse, ColinRHP (Str)4YR SRMcLean HS, McLean VAShenandoah
28836YesVATorontoMcGuire, Andy1B4YR JRMadison HS, ViennaTexas
29877NoVANew York YankeesBertsch, JacksonLHP4YR 5S?Liberty
30906NoVAColoradoHarlow, ColtonLHP4YR SR?JMU
32955NoMDBaltimoreSandridge, JayvienLHPHSMercersburg Academy (Hagerstown)UCF (commit)
341012NoVAArizonaHess, ZackRHP (Str)4YR SOLiberty Christian Academy (Lynchburg)LSU
351045YesVABaltimoreGrammes, ConorRHP4YR SOMcLean HS, McLean VAXavier
351038YesVAChicago White SoxMorgan, JasonRHP4YR SRChancellor HS (Fredericksburg)UNC
351037NoVAPhiladelphiaRoss, AustinRHP (Str)4YR 5S?Radford
381130NoVANew York MetsZona, NickSSHS SRHanover HS (Richmond)JMU (commit)
391172NoVAKansas CityHackenberg, AdamCHS SRMiller School of Albemarle (VA)Clemson (commit)
401205NoVAMilwaukeeClarke, WesCHS SRLiberty Christian Academy (Lynchburg)South Carolina (commit)

34 Responses to '2018 Draft coverage; Extended DC/MD/VA Draftee review'

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  1. Interesting that three top teams are trolling the Nats’ back yard while the Nats are almost completely ignoring it.

    As for the college commits who weren’t drafted, that has become an interesting game, hasn’t it? It’s almost like teams are only going to take a shot at the big talents in the first two or three rounds. Many of the college commits are now falling into the rounds in the 30s or are going undrafted. The Nats did get Watson to sign for a nice bonus ($400K?) from the 30s about three years ago, but otherwise I don’t think they’ve even made many attempts. In that case, it’s probably better to just spend the picks on college seniors and hope you hit paydirt on a few.


    12 Jun 18 at 9:41 am

  2. I’ll post my comments on Law’s draft take here. First of all, not sure where he’s getting this: “The Nats have never been afraid to shoot for the moon on an athletic, high-upside prep arm with an injury question.” Um, there was Giolito in ’12 and Luzardo in ’16. I don’t see a trend here. College wounded wings, yes, with Fedde and Purke, as well as a number of TJ guys in later rounds, including Glover. But the HS reference is a bit off the mark.

    Law seems high on Denaburg; I’ve seen other sites that make him out to be a #3 or #4 at best, though. We’ll see. Denaburg and Schaller are definitely gambles. Law’s take on Cate is pretty similar to mine, that he may have trouble sticking as a starter (and therefore, in my mind, becomes an overdraft).


    12 Jun 18 at 9:48 am

  3. Scouting the area: I’ve always felt the Nats have taken a very specific geographic approach to scouting; focus on Florida, Georgia, Texas.

    Their HS class this year seems to be almost entirely about legacy picks.

    KW: I think you exactly articulated the “trend.” When the team takes a HS prep arm lately .. its one that has an injury concern and has fallen. That’s the trend I see, whether its HS or college. They’re constantly taking shots at guys who have fallen due to injury or makeup issues … thus getting “value” for the drafting dollar.

    Law definitely high on Denaburg. But Law is also high on a lot of prep arms, routinely rating them higher than others. He admits it too; dream on the potential.

    Todd Boss

    12 Jun 18 at 11:45 am


    this is Benjamin Chase’s review of the draft. comments on top 2 picks:

    “Both of these selections make a lot of sense for the Nationals, who tend to focus on pitchers with some injury history in order to get better players for a discount in the draft process. Denaburg certainly fits that, with stuff that profiles right alongside the top of the high school class when he’s 100%, but he had some health issues this season. Cate’s curveball is one of the best in the entire draft, but he struggled late in the season with shoulder issues, dropping him from a borderline first round selection to the back of the 2nd round.”

    He loved Canning. Notes most of our rounds 3-10 guys are destined for bullpen. Only mentions our 2-way guy Lee from day 3.

    Todd Boss

    12 Jun 18 at 11:50 am

  5. Insofar as no one is typically able to assess the quality of a Nats draft relative to that of any other team, it’s worth using, as a reference point of two years to the future, the Nats 2016 as a comparison point.

    The Potomac Nats have 6(!) all stars this year – most in at least five years. Sharp, Kieboom, Noll, and Barrera were all 2016 draftees. So was SAL all-star Banks, but he is obviously low for his age. And that class has Daniel Johnson as well, along with departees Neuse, Dunning, and Luzardo.

    I look at 2016 as a class in the era of current slots that sets the pace for the low drafting Nats.


    13 Jun 18 at 1:01 am

  6. signed (or def signing), from upper rounds



    13 Jun 18 at 4:06 am

  7. Where did you find the signings, Fire?


    13 Jun 18 at 10:06 am

  8. Shaddy is still playing so can’t have signed. For the Nats’ sake, I’m glad Schaller and Day got eliminated so they can get signed and farmed out . . . if Schaller will sign.


    13 Jun 18 at 12:31 pm

  9. Callis has Cate signing at slot.


    13 Jun 18 at 12:32 pm

  10. has the Nats having signed just Cate, Bartow, Fletcher.

    Great news on the latter two; both 11th+ rounders who I think had some leverage.

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 18 at 2:14 pm

  11. Schaller will sign. the team wouldn’t have drafted him if he wasn’t going to sign. There’s just too much at stake for the top 10 draft picks in terms of bonus pool moeny for teams.

    Todd Boss

    13 Jun 18 at 3:09 pm

  12. transactions list the following 22 draftees that have signed:
    #2 Tim Cate
    #5 Cage Ganning
    #6 Andrew Karp
    #8 Tyler Cropley
    #9 Tanner Driscoll
    #11 Frankie Bartow
    #13 Cody Wilson
    #14 Aaron Fletcher
    #16 Carson Teel
    #18 Jacob Rhinesmith
    #20 Onix Vega
    #21 Ryan Tapani
    #22 Cole Daily
    #25 Chris Vann
    #26 Colin Morse
    #27 Pablo O’Connor
    #28 Blake Chisholm
    #29 Colton Pogue
    #30 Trey Vickers
    #31 Jonathon Quintana
    #32 Alec Maley
    #38 Bobby Milacki


    13 Jun 18 at 5:33 pm

  13. Picks in rounds 3, 7, 10, 12, 15, and 17 were still playing through the weekend, and 10 and 15 are in CWS.

    Yes, very good to see Barlow and Fletcher already signed. An Auburn OF of Gage Canning, Cody Wilson, and Jacob Rhinesmith could be interesting.


    13 Jun 18 at 7:30 pm

  14. Hot takes:

    — Justin Miller is an amazing find.

    — Juan Soto may have played his last minor-league game.

    — Erick Fedde probably hasn’t. I still don’t know what to think about him. He showed some gumption, but he also missed the plate way too often and hung a few fat ones.


    13 Jun 18 at 9:31 pm

  15. . . . and I wrote that before Soto’s second one, which is still going.


    13 Jun 18 at 9:34 pm

  16. Soto CRUSHED that second one. Man, that was smoked.


    13 Jun 18 at 9:36 pm

  17. If they get their top 10 + Linginfelter signed, that’s a pretty good haul. Would love to add a few more in the teens, like Chapman and Lawson, but maybe I shouldn’t get greedy.


    13 Jun 18 at 9:45 pm

  18. Chapman and Lawson were still in NCAA action. Don’t give up on them.


    13 Jun 18 at 9:46 pm

  19. Had to go back and look at the minor-league numbers. Soto is up to 19 homers on the year.


    13 Jun 18 at 9:48 pm

  20. Soto-Harper-Eaton needs to be the every day outfield. I like subbing/double-switching MAT in for defense if the situation warrants it.

    Fedde was fine yesterday. The homer to Bird was a bad hung slider; the homer to Torres was a good pitch.

    If I had to choose between him and Hellickson for the rest of the year, I’d pick Fedde. But luckily we don’t have to choose. If Hellickson is healthy, we can use him until he turns into a pumpkin (which hopefully never happens).


    14 Jun 18 at 10:15 am

  21. Yeah, the Bird “homer” only went something like 354 feet, a can ‘o corn in even most high school ballparks. It was on a terrible pitch, though.

    Like you, I fear that Hellickson will revert to the mean at some point. His FIP and WHIP suggest that what he’s done thus far isn’t a fluke, though.

    I’m still not completely confident in Fedde, not as long as he’s nibbling and missing so much. His AAA numbers also don’t inspire confidence.


    14 Jun 18 at 10:36 am

  22. I guess we’ll just have to disagree about the AAA numbers. I think a 2.71 FIP and more than 9.5 K/9 with low walk numbers inspires quite a bit of confidence.

    I agree that he’s nibbling (or that he nibbled yesterday) but I think that’s to be expected for a guy like him. I think his stuff plays and he’ll figure that out if he stays healthy.


    14 Jun 18 at 11:45 am

  23. Big news in Natsland with the official transfer of power from Ted Lerner to Mark Lerner. A couple of things come to mind. First of all, the scuttlebutt was that Mark was really the one behind pushing to move on from Dusty. We’ll likely never know whether that was true, but that was the scuttlebutt. Makes you wonder what Rizzo will think of this change, since the word on the street was that Riz wanted to bring Dusty back. (And yes, I know all this is/was based on conjecture.)

    What is more well known is that Ted is the one who has had the direct relationship with Boras. Yeah, there are some deals with Boras clients that have smelled a bit, but in my mind, they’re a tiny price to pay for the ride we’ve had with Bryce, Stras, Rendon, and Max. Can Mark develop a similar relationship with Boras?

    The other thing known about Mark is that he’s more openly a fan. That’s no necessarily a bad thing; it just makes him different from his dad. Did the fandom lead him to push harder for Dusty’s removal? Would it lead him to advocate some questionable spending on fading all-stars, a la Dan Snyder? I’m not saying that’s going to happen at all, in part because the Nats have a strong and smart GM, completely different than what they’ve had in Ashburn. It’s just a point that came to mind to watch. It’s also possible that Mark is more emotionally attached to Bryce than his dad is and might be willing to bid higher.

    Just some random possibilities that the news brought to my mind.


    14 Jun 18 at 11:56 am

  24. Derek — Fedde’s AAA K/9 and FIP are at career-high levels, which are good things, but his 1.48 WHIP is also very high compared to what he’s done before, and his 4.76 ERA can’t be dismissed. He’s giving up more walks (nibbling), and he’s getting hit. His GB rate is better than it was last year, though.

    So I still don’t know what to think. He’s certainly more confident on a big stage than Giolito ever was. He made some good pitches in tight situations. I didn’t hate what I saw. But I’ve also yet to see an MLB outing from Fedde that says “I’m here to stay.” He’s certainly done nothing in his two starts to unseat Hellickson. (We’re just hoping it’s nothing serious with Stras.)


    14 Jun 18 at 12:15 pm

  25. The WHIP and the ERA are both explained by the same thing – a .393 BABIP. This is not going to continue. The walks have gone up too, but the level is still quite low (his BB rate in AAA is similar to Strasburg’s career rate). The ERA and the WHIP are both coming down for him.

    Here’s a choice:

    Pitcher A: 2.71 FIP/4.76 ERA
    Pitcher B: 4.76 FIP/2.71 ERA
    Pitcher C: 3.50 FIP/3.50 ERA

    If given that choice, I take Pitcher A 100 times out of 100. I don’t think Fedde is a 2.71 FIP pitcher (2017 Strasburg had a 2.72 FIP), but I think he’s a good bet to be sub 4.00 in MLB. That will play.


    14 Jun 18 at 2:44 pm

  26. Speaking of FIP, Justin Miller’s is currently -0.84. His K/9 is 17.72. I know it won’t last, but those are insane numbers.

    Roark’s career FIP is 3.87. Joe Ross’s is 3.90. That seems a fair ballpark to slot Fedde expectations, although perhaps not quite what folks hoped when he was the 18th overall pick. Right now, Fedde’s 2018 MLB FIP is 4.41. Hellickson’s career FIP is 4.47. I hate to pin everything on one stat, but I’ll buy these as reasonable comp expectations.

    That doesn’t get Fedde into the Gio neighborhood, though (3.56 career; 3.24 for 2018), and Gio is the one who more will immediately need to be replaced. Either Fedde or Ross is going to be a dropoff from Gio if one has to step is as a #3.


    14 Jun 18 at 3:19 pm

  27. I think a Roark-like career for Fedde should be considered a huge success. Keith Law posted an article earlier this year where he re-drafted the 2008 draft and listed Roark as the #7 pick, between Charlie Blackmon and Josh Harrison:

    If Fedde turns in to Tanner, I think that’s a big success for a #18 pick. Of course, a huge component of Tanner’s value is his durability, and I have no reason to think Fedde will match that, even if he matches Tanner on a rate-basis.

    Speaking of Charlie Blackmon, right now Juan Soto is projected to be roughly the same quality hitter as Blackmon for the rest of the season:

    This is insane – and I mean insane not in terms of “don’t believe the projections” but “holy cow, I can’t believe how good he is.”


    14 Jun 18 at 3:55 pm

  28. Callis has Schaller signing at slot.


    14 Jun 18 at 6:56 pm

  29. Derek — I read the Fangraphs piece and agree with “Holy Cow,” and I’ve been one who has been hyping Soto for a while. I never expected this, but I’ve been positing that he might turn out to be more valuable than Robles because he has more power. We’ll see. I don’t think either one is going anywhere, so the Nats don’t have to “choose.”

    A big part of the reason to believe the hype about Soto is the amazing plate discipline he has shown thus far. He’s been almost Murph-like in his selectivity, looking like a 10-year vet, so far ahead of where MAT is in his 9th pro season that it’s almost embarrassing.

    We’ll see. I’m as amazed as anyone else. I thought a great 2018 for Soto would culminate with him playing well in the Arizona Fall League, so what do I know?


    14 Jun 18 at 7:04 pm

  30. Justin Miller’s success is arguably as shocking as Soto, For different reasons. A middling journeyman reliever turns into prime Aroldis Chapman at 31? Totally nuts. My only worry is that Davey burns him to a crisp. But good for him and good for us. Maybe they should try McGowin next as an older minor leaguer who looks to have found something.

    Btw, I’m feeling better about Davey’s bullpen use. I still get a little bit of a gut clench about overuse but I think he’s learning.


    14 Jun 18 at 8:58 pm

  31. What would it take to build some interest in a trade with the Pirates for C Francisco Cervelli? The folks at Nats Talk jump up and down every day for Realmuto, but I just don’t see the Nats giving up the level of prospects (plural) the Fish would want in return. There’s no hiding that the Nat catcher hitting situation is pretty bad, though. I’ve tried to tell people for years that Severino wouldn’t hit enough to be an MLB starter. I did fall into the fallacy that he could hit better than Sheriff Lobo, though.

    Anyway, the Nats have dealt with the Pirates before, and I would think that Cervelli, who is signed though 2019, could be had for some mid-level piece, maybe someone like Jefry Rodriguez. (He’s having a good year, though, so I’m not sure I would offer him. But if he’s not really in the team’s plans as a starter, why not?)


    15 Jun 18 at 9:58 am

  32. Wally, I’m also on the McGowin bandwagon. He’s posting terrific numbers at AA, better than J-Rod’s, which are good.

    Justin Miller has become a significant part of the ‘pen. Can it last? At least there was some evidence in Albers’s past that he had a few good years. There isn’t in Miller’s. But heck, ride Miller for as long as he can keep it going.


    15 Jun 18 at 10:03 am

  33. I can’t find comprehensive info anywhere, but from what I see, the only Nat under slot thus far is Karp, with a savings of $39.6K. Not sure what’s up with Irvin; maybe the Nats promised him a little extra since he was projected higher. Either that, or they’re trying to squeeze him to get a little more for Denaburg.

    On paper, Karp looks pretty promising, coming out of a strong ACC program. He had a 1.20 WHIP this season and a 10.69 K/9. However, he did surrender 13 HRs in 2018. He doesn’t have a lot of mileage on his arm.


    15 Jun 18 at 11:58 am

  34. KW: for now I have same info; only slot-affecting signing so far is karp. is missing bonus numbers for all the senior signs that would be biggest impact.

    Todd Boss

    16 Jun 18 at 5:47 pm

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