Nationals Arm Race

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

Nats 2018 Draft Class; Highlights of picks 11-40 and overall class review

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Another  year in the books, and another 40 guys now potentially part of the Nats organization.  Ok well really more like 32-33 new guys; that’s about how many i’d expect to sign out of this class.

We reviewed the top 10 more in-depth in the previous post since, historically, the most likely eventual MLB impact players are all top-end draft picks.  Lets zip through the rest of the draft and do some quick commentary.

  • Round 11: Frankie Bartow, U Miami’s closer.  I like this as an 11th rounder, which in today’s draft system are the first time you can grab someone of note and have a decent shot at them.  Bartow has some career accolades (freshman all-american, finalist for collegiate closer of the year, etc).  Yes he’s a college closer and that’s all he’ll be, but I like this as an 11th rounder.
  • Round 12: Graham Lawson, also an 8th/9th inning guy for South Carolina.  Not as accomplished as Bartow, but similar role.
  • Round 13: Cody Wilson, a corner OF from FAU.  Good power this year (14 homers), good speed (nearly 20 SBs).  Not a bad 12th rounder.   College Junior though so he has some leverage but it doesn’t seem like he slipped really.
  • Round 14: Aaron Fletcher.  a Senior lefty starter from U Houston.  Um, this was Houston’s Friday starter, who pitched a 4-hit, 0 earned run gem in the CWS regional opener to beat Purdue.   Why wasn’t he picked up already?  College numbers look great for a good team in a decent conference, conference pitcher of the year in 2018.  Perhaps its because he doesn’t have massive K/9 numbers.  Nonetheless, I like this pick.
  • Round 15: Evan Lee, a two-way draft eligible sophomore player for Arkansas.  Lefty reliever and a corner OF.  This is a weird one; he doesn’t have great numbers on either side of the ball, but he was an absolute beast coming out of HS (all-american on every service, Gatorade player of the state, etc).  I wonder if this is an over slot candidate.
  • Round 16: Carson Teel, College Jr lefty starter from Oklahoma State.  Entered the weekend rotation mid-season, gave them 11 starts, including getting the Win over USF in last weekend’s regional.  Decent numbers on the season skewed by one bad outing against West Virginia.  Another value pick.
  • Round 17: Ridge Chapman, coll JR mid-week starter for South Carolina; looks like a guy with some inflation in his stats; his BAA is .189 on the year but his ERA is 4.95.   He’s a Juco transfer into South Carolina and his Juco numbers were pretty impressive; perhaps an area scout remembered him from 2017 (when he was drafted late but chose not to sign).
  • Round 18: Jacob Rhinesmith, Coll Jr center fielder from Western Kentucky (which, i’d like to point out, has completely ripped off the Nats Curly-W on their uniforms…).  14  homers, 13 SBs as a center fielder?  Another Juco transfer with very gaudy 2017 numbers.  Listed as 6’1″ 195, lefty.  Maybe he sticks in center?
  • Round 19: Zach Linginfelter, RHP coll Sophomore from Tennessee.  Was in relief most of the season, then put into the rotation towards the end of the year.  Pitched well in the SEC tourney.
  • Round 20: Onix Vega, a Juco C from Broward College.  Gotta have catchers for your short season teams.

Past Round 20, I’ll just note interesting guys; see the table above for the next 20 picks fully.  From here down honestly most guys are just one-and-done short-season players.

  • Round 21: Ryan Tapani, 5th year Sr RHP from Creighton.  Looks like Creighton’s Friday starter with pretty gaudy numbers (10-1, 2.38 ERA on the year).  Just named 3rd team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.  Son of former MLB player Kevin Tapani, a former pitcher who had more than 350 major league starts in a 13 year career. Nice 21st rounder senior sign.
  • Round 26: Colin Morse, a senior RHP from Shenandoah University by way of … McLean HS.  A local kid.  He seemed like a weekend starter for Shenandoah the last three  years, and he had starts in all four years of his career.
  • Round 30 Trey Vickers, senior SS from Wichita State.  Basically a four year starter at SS for a good baseball program.  Not flashy, but I like the career accomplishment for a higher profile program.
  • Two late round picks (Rounds 34 and 40 picks Tyler Baca and Michael Menhart both seem to be related to Nationals front-office staff (respectively,  Assistant Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Baca and Pitching Coordinator Paul Menhart).
  • Round 37 pick Cole Wilcox is an interesting throw-away pick; he was projected as a 1st rounder prior to the draft and was even tied to the Nats in some mocks, but he had a $3M price tag and so once he fell out of the 1st round he was guaranteed to go to school.  He announced his intent to honor his commitment to University of Georgia even before the Nats picked him, where he’ll be a draft eligible sophomore in two years’ time.

Its notable that every single pick the Nats had between rounds 25 and 32 (8 straight rounds) were College seniors.  And then, they ripped of five straight HS draftees from rounds 33-37, including a guy who was projected to go in the first round (Wilcox) in the 37th.   It is almost as if the team got to round 33 and was like, “eh, we’re good, pick a bunch of prep kids as favors to executives or who we have no chance of signing.”

Summary of the Draft class:

  • 23 Arms, 18 Position players, which adds up to 41 since we have a 2-way guy in Evan Lee.
  • 16 College Juniors (or draft-eligible Sophomores)
  • 14 College Seniors with no leverage
  • 3 Juco guys
  • 7 High Schoolers, 6 of which are basically throw-away picks in the late rounds.

Of the 30 4-year college guys:

  • 8 from SEC teams
  • 1 from Pac12 teams
  • 2 from ACC teams
  • 1 from Big10 teams
  • 2 from Big12 teams
  • 5 from non-major conference but still big-time Baseball programs (FAU, Houston, Sam Houston State, UConn, Wichita State)
  • 11 from smaller/non division 1 programs

Not surprisingly, a huge take from the SEC, which proved this year they’re unrivaled in terms of college baseball power.

Geographic Locations of picks:

  • 6 from Florida, 4 from Georgia
  • 4 from California, another 2 from Arizona
  • 4 From Texas, another 2 from Oklahoma and 2 from Arkansas
  • 3 from Tennessee, 2 from South Carolina and 2 from Kentucky
  • 5 from the Midwest (Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska)
  • 4 from random remaining states: one each from Connecticut, Wisconsin, Oregon and Virginia.

that’s 36 of the 40 picks from these 5 general areas.  We know that Florida, Georgia and California are the three heaviest areas for providing baseball talent, but normally we see a big focus in the Texas/Oklahoma area with our drafts.  Not this year; one quarter came from the two southeastern states this year.


 

Here’s a table with all 40 picks.

RoundOverallNamePositionCol/HSCollege or CmtmState
127Denaburg, MasonRHP (Str)HSFloridaFL
265Cate, TimLHP (Str)Coll JrUconnCT
3101Schaller, ReidRHP (Rel)Coll SoVanderbiltTN
4131Irvin, JakeRHP (Str)Coll JrOklahomaOK
5161Canning, GageOFColl JrArizona StateAZ
6191Karp, AndrewRHP (Str)Coll SrFlorida StateFL
7221Day, ChandlerRHP (Rel)Coll JrVanderbiltTN
8251Cropley, TylerCColl SrIowaIA
9281Driskill, TannerRHP (Str)Coll SrLamarTX
10311Shaddy, Carson2BColl SrArkansasAR
11341Bartow, FrankieRHP (Rel)Coll JrMiamiFL
12371Lawson, GrahamRHP (Rel)Coll JrSouth CarolinaSC
13401Wilson, CodyOF (Corner)Coll JrFlorida Atlantic UFL
14431Fletcher, AaronLHP (Str)Coll SrHoustonTX
15461Lee, EvanLHP (rel)/OFColl SoArkansasAR
16491Teel, CarsonLHP (Str)Coll JrOklahoma StateOK
17521Chapman, RidgeRHP (Str)Coll JrSouth CarolinaSC
18551Rhinesmith, JacobOF (CF)Coll JrWestern KentuckyKY
19581Linginfelter, ZachRHP (rel)Coll SoTennesseeTN
20611Vega, OnixCJC J1Broward CollegeFL
21641Tapani, RyanRHP (Str)Coll SrCreightonNB
22671Daily, ColeSSColl JrNotre DameIN
23701Hamilton, ColeCJC J1Linn Benton CCOR
24731Marinconz, KyleSSColl JrCal Poly San Luis ObispoCA
25761Vann, ChrisLHP (Str)Coll SrMercerGA
26791Morse, ColinRHP (Str)Coll SrShenandoah VA
27821O'Connor, Pablo2BColl SrAzusa Pacific UniversityCA
28851Chisolm, Blake1BColl SrSam Houston StateTX
29881Pogue, ColtonSSColl SrPittsburg State UKS
30911Vickers, TreySSColl SrWichita StateKS
31941Quintana, JonathanOFColl SrBarry UFL
32971Maley, AlecRHP (Str)Coll SrKentuckyKY
331001Haney, JackCHSCedartown HSGA
341031Baca, TylerOFHSThe Linfield School (CA)CA
351061Binelas, Alex1BHSOak Creek HS (WI)WI
361091Blessie, BoRHPHSRobert E Lee HS (TX)TX
371121Wilcox, ColeRHPHSHeritage HS (GA)GA
381151Milacki, BobbyRHPColl JrArizona Christian UAZ
391181Nardi, AndrewLHPJC J2Moorpark Col (CA)CA
401211Menhart, MichaelRHPHSRichmond Hill HSGA

2018 CWS tournament: Regional Results, Super-Regional Pairings

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CWS coverage for 2018:

Now we’re through the Regionals and the field has been winnowed from 64 to just 16.

We’ll review the 16 regionals in order of the larger bracket.  Bold is the host and Bolded Red is the winner.  We’ll also highlight significant players and/or guys who are big names in the upcoming draft as we get to them.

It was a crazy set of regionals; by Sunday night only 6 of the 16 brackets were decided; a slew of regionals were forced to monday games (two weather delays involved).  And we saw one of the biggest upsets in recent memory.  Read on.


Regional Recaps

1. Florida region finish: Florida, FAU, Jacksonville, Columbia.  FAU gave #1 overall seed a scare, but ultimately lost in the final.  They did put a beat-down on Florida #2 Jackson Kowar, which may have cost him 25 slots in the draft.
16. NC State region finish: Auburn, NC State, Army, Northeastern.  #3 seed Northeastern does not do a good job defending critics of their getting an at-large bid.  NC State inexplicably loses to Army to open the regional and cannot overcome Auburn to lose on its home turf.

2. Stanford region finish: Cal-State Fullerton, Stanford, Baylor, Wright State.  The #2 overall national seed goes out to perennial power Fullerton, losing two close games.  Fullerton advances as a #3 regional seed, probably under-seeded when all is said and done, but Baylor really under-performed here.
15. Coastal Carolina region finish: Washington, UConn, Coastal Carolina, LIU-Brooklyn.   Host CCU out early; they lost to Washington in the winner’s bracket and then Leesburg’s Zack Hopeck gave them 5 solid innings in the elimination game but the bullpen fell apart against UConn.  Pac-12 Washington advances as the #3 regional seed.

3. Oregon State region finish: Oregon State, LSU, Northwestern State, San Diego State; surprise 2-and-out showing from the Mountain West champ.  Oregon State absolutely destroyed this regional, outscoring their opponents 35-4 in three games.  Look out for this team.
14. Minnesota region finish: Minnesota, UCLA, Gonzaga, Canisius.  Minnesota cruised through this regional.

4. Ole Miss region finish: Tennessee Tech, Ole Miss,  Missouri State, St. Louis; huge upset here, with tiny Tennessee Tech ousting the #4 national seed Ole Miss, coming back through the loser’s bracket and beating them in a double header to end the weekend.
13. Texas region finish: Texas, Indiana, TAMU, Texas Southern.  In the end, a chalk finish though Indiana worked their way through the loser’s bracket to get to the regional final before losing a close one.

5. Arkansas region finish: Arkansas, Dallas Baptist, Southern Miss, Oral Roberts; host Arkansas wasn’t pushed til the final, overcoming regional powerhouse Dallas Baptist to advance.
12. ECU region finish: South Carolina, UNC-W, ECU, Ohio State.  Another poor showing from the Big10 as #3 Ohio State falls to CAA team UNC-W in the elimination game.  UNC-W is no slouch team, but its still an upset.  They made the region final as a #4 seed before falling to the SEC power.

6. UNC region finish: UNC, Houston, Purdue, NC A&T: UNC won a slug-fest over regional powerhouse Houston 19-11 to advance.
11. Stetson region finish: Stetson, Oklahoma State, South Florida, Hartford; Stetson dominated this regional and looks like a tough out.

7. Florida State region finish: Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Samford, Florida State.  The #7 national seed goes 2-and-out in its own regional.  There was some talk about Fla State not being as deserving of a national seed as some of its other ACC brothers … but nobody expected this.
10. Clemson region finish: Vanderbilt, Clemson, St. Johns, Morehead State.  Tough regional puts two quality teams together, and the SEC powerhouse Vanderbilt advances.

8. Georgia region finish: Duke, Georgia, Troy, Campbell.  Duke came out of the loser’s bracket after a shock opening game loss to win the regional and send the national #8 seed home.
9. Texas Tech region finish: Texas Tech, Louisville Kent State, New Mexico State; this regional  goes exactly chalk, with Texas Tech never really troubled (it won its three games by 7,6,5).


Predictions versus Actuals

My Predictions: Florida, Auburn, Stanford, Coastal Carolina, Oregon State, Minnesota, Ole Miss, TAMU, Arkansas, South Carolina, UNC, Stetson,  Florida State, Clemson, Georgia, Texas Tech

Actuals; Florida, Auburn, Cal-State Fullerton, Washington,  Oregon State, Minnesota, Tennessee Tech, Texas, Arkansas, South Carolina, UNC, Stetson, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Duke, Texas Tech

I got just 9 of 16 right.


Summary of Regionals statistically:

  • Just 8 of 16 hosts advanced.
  • Four of the 8 national seeds fell: #2 Stanford, #4 Ole Miss, #7 Florida State, #8 Georgia
  • #10, #12, #15 and #16 also fell: #10 Clemson, #12 ECU, #15 Coastal Carolina and #16 NC State.
  • 8 number one seeds, 6 number two seeds, 2 number three seeds, and 0 number four seeds advance to the super regionals.  
  • 1 number of #4 seeds who didn’t finish 4th in their regional; Northwestern State, Dallas Baptist (a strong #4),  Florida Atlantic, UNC-Wilmington, Kent State, Army, Wright State
  • 2: number of #4 seeds to get opening wins.  Army beat #1 seed NC State in the opener, Wright State (who beat Florida State in the opener)
  • Most surprising regional winner: Tennessee Tech, even though they were a #2 regional seed.
  • First time Super Regionalists: Tennessee Tech and Stetson.

Conference Breakdowns of the teams in the Super Regionals:

  • SEC: Florida, Auburn, Arkansas, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt
  • ACC: Duke, UNC
  • Big12: Texas Tech, Texas
  • Pac12: Oregon State, Washington
  • Big 10: Minnesota
  • Big West: Cal State Fullerton
  • Others: Tennessee Tech, Stetson

6 of the 16 remaining teams from the SEC; no other conference has more than two.  Interestingly though, all 6 SEC teams are matched up in the super regionals, guaranteeing 3 of the 8 CWS spots to be from the powerhouse conference.


Super Regional Matchups:  the higher ranked team is the host in each case.  I’ve organized this as they feed into CWS brackets, not 1-16 seeds.  In cases where neither ranked team advanced, the NCAA decides based on suitability of each site.  On 6/5/18 they announced the host sites and I’ve denoted them below.  Basically they decided to give the two more storied schools hosting duties.

  • #1 Florida vs Auburn
  • Duke vs #9 Texas Tech
  • #5 Arkansas vs South Carolina
  • Tennessee Tech vs #13 Texas
  • #3 Oregon State vs #14 Minnesota
  • #6 UNC  vs #11 Stetson
  • Mississippi State vs Vanderbilt (host)
  • Cal State Fullerton (host) vs Washington

 


Super Regional Thoughts/Predictions

  • #1 Florida vs Auburn: Florida took 2 of 3 at home against Auburn in the regular season, beating Casey Mize in the process.  
  • Duke vs #9 Texas Tech: Duke advanced while other, better ACC teams did not; I don’t know if they can top the powerful Texas Tech team.
  • #5 Arkansas vs South Carolina: Arkansas beat South Carolina in the SEC tourney opener; only time they played this year.
  • Tennessee Tech vs #13 Texas; Texas surprised me by coming out of a regional with an SEC team; you’d think they could overcome the tiny Tennessee Tech team.
  • #3 Oregon State vs #14 Minnesota.  Oregon State is my odds-on favorite to make the CWS final and Minnesota isn’t stopping them.
  • #6 UNC vs #11 Stetson: UNC is going to have to work for this one, as they likely get beat by Stetson’s ace Logan Gilbert on Friday.
  • Mississippi State vs Vanderbilt: Vandy swept Mississippi State on their turf late in the season, and probably sweep them this coming weekend.
  • Cal State Fullerton vs Washington; Fullerton just easily beat a better Pac-12 team in Stanford; do we think the 3rd place Pac-12 team is going to fare better?

 

Super Regional Star Power

Lots of top-end draft picks will be playing this weekend, just ahead of the MLB draft which starts on 6/12/17.  By Super Regional:

  • #1 Florida vs Auburn: #1 overall pick Casey Mize, top picks Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, Jonathan India (#5 overall) from Florida.  Great pitching match-ups in here.  
  • Duke vs #9 Texas Tech: Griffin Conine
  • #5 Arkansas vs South Carolina
  • Tennessee Tech vs #13 Texas
  • #3 Oregon State vs #14 Minnesota; Nick Madrigal (#4 overall), plus 1st-day picks Trevor Larnach and Cayden Grenier on a stacked OSU team.
  • #6 UNC vs #11 Stetson: Stetson’s ace Logan Gilbert was #14 overall pick.
  • Mississippi State vs Vanderbilt
  • Cal State Fullerton vs Washington

CWS Predictions: Florida, Texas Tech, Arkansas, Texas, Oregon State, Stetson, Vanderbilt, CS-Fullerton

This would probably favor a Florida-Oregon State final from the initial look of it, though Oregon State’s draw is much, much deeper than Florida’s potential path.


College CWS tournament references:

First Look: Quick overview of Nats top 10 Draft picks for 2018

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Mason Denaburg is our 2018 first rounder. Photo via usatodayhss.com

Mason Denaburg is our 2018 first rounder. Photo via usatodayhss.com

Here’s a first look at our top 10 draft picks, or where we stand after day 2.

At the top of round 1, the first four picks went pretty much as expected by the major pundits: Mize, Bart, Bohm, Madrigal.  From there we saw surprises, big names drop and some real value for teams later on day one.

How about the Nats picks?

RoundOverallNamePositionCol/HSCollege or CmtmState
127Denaburg, MasonRHPHSFloridaFL
265Cate, TimLHPColl JrUconnCT
3101Schaller, ReidRHPColl SoVanderbiltTN
4131Irvin, JakeRHPColl JrOklahomaOK
5161Canning, GageOFColl JrArizona StateAZ
6191Karp, AndrewRHPColl SrFlorida StateFL
7221Day, ChandlerRHPColl JrVanderbiltTN
8251Cropley, TylerCColl SrIowaIA
9281Driskill, TannerRHPColl SrLamarTX
10311Shaddy, Carson2BColl SrU Arkansas FayettevilleAR

Pick by Pick:  I’ve included draft board rankings if they’re ranked on the main prospect ranking sites I like (see links at bottom for the sources);

  • 1st Round/#27 overall: Mason Denaburg, prep RHP from FL high school with Florida commit. (#29 ESPN/Law, #24 MLBpipeline, #16 Fangraphs, #69 BDR, #13 20/80).  Draft Announcement link.  Mid-1st round pick before a bicep tendinitis issue dropped him to the point where most every major draft pundit was predicting the Nats would grab him.   Under-18 Team USA member.   This pick is consistent with the behavior we saw when the team selected Lucas Giolito; high-value guy getting picked about 15 spots lower than he should have.  Look for an over-slot bonus here to buy him out of his Florida committment/make up for his falling on the boards.  I like this pick; his fastball is mid-90s and lively, his mechanics are clean and easy, and his curve breaks very hard.   A nice profile with some good video is at Minorleagueball.com here.  A couple of the draft ranking boards really rated Denaburg, while others had him ranked about where he went.
  • 2nd Round/#65 overall: Tim Cate, LHP coll Jr from UConn. (#65 ESPN/Law, #62 MLBpipeline, #80 Fangraphs, #57 BDR, #79 20/80 ).  Draft announcement link.  pick I like: Cate missed time this year with an injury, which again cost him slots.  So the Nats get a guy perhaps a round early, tough to do in the second round.  I think this is a solid pick; he was on Team USA last summer at the same time Denaburg was on the under-18 squad.  The various rankings are all projecting him 2nd to 3rd round, the Nats picked him at #65 so that’s right in-line with projections.
  • 3rd Round/#101: Reid Schaller RHP Coll Soph from Vanderbilt (#71 ESPN/Law, #157 MLBPipeline); Vanderbilt reliever red-shirt freshman/sophomore who missed two whole years with TJ surgery … but sits mid 90s, hits 99 and pitched out of Vanderbilt’s bullpen this year.  36Ks in 26 innings, big arm but got hit this year.  Law is bullish on him and I wonder if he’s destined for the rotation or the pen.  As a red-shirt freshman I wonder if he’s signable: doe he want more time at school?  Of course, in today’s world, teams call ahead and basically ask a kid, “will you sign for $X?”  and if they say yes, they get picked.  This definitely isn’t a throw-away pick, but may be destined quickly for the bullpen.
  • 4th Round/#131: Jake Irvin, RHP Coll Jr. from Oklahoma (#76 ESPN/Law, #152 MLBPipeline): Oklahoma’s friday starter is huge (6’6″), sits in low 90s and had an excellent junior year.  No injury history, just a solid college guy with a high floor but low ceiling.
  • 5th Round/#161: Gage Canning OF (CF) Coll JR. from Arizona State (#106 MLBPipeline).  3-year starter with solid numbers at Arizona State, moved to CF this year from the corner.  Slashed .369/.426/.648 in the Pac-12 (a good but not SEC-level baseball conference).   Lots of Ks though; nearly one a game in college, which would be fine if it was accompanied by more homers.
  • 6th Round/#191: Andrew Karp, RHP Coll Sr From Florida State (NR).  Weekend starter for #7 CWS seeded Florida State with decent numbers on the year.  A College senior but I don’t think this is a dumped draft pick; perhaps he goes under-slot somewhat but he looks like a solid pick here.  Not ranked/rated anywhere but you’re not a weekend starter for a top-10 team unless you’re good.
  •  7th Round: #221: Chandler Day, RHP Coll Jr from Vanderbilt (NR).  Used kind of as a swing man by Vandy this year (he had 3 starts and 18 appearances), again with decent numbers.   Little else known; not ranked/discussed by the regular scouting circuits.
  • 8th Round/#251: Tyler Cropley, C Coll Sr from Iowa.  This one screams senior sign/bonus savings/make sure you get a catcher for your Short-A team.
  • 9th Round/#281: Tanner Driskill, RHP  Coll Sr from Lamar University in Texas.  Another low-leverage senior, but he was Lamar’s friday starter for most of the second half of this year.  I’ll take an Ace senior sign/9th rounder any day.
  • 10 Round/#311: Carson Shaddy, 2B Coll Sr from U Arkansas-Fayetteville.  Similar to Cropley, a senior sign middle infielder type for your Auburn 2018 squad.

First 10 rounds worth of picks breakdown:

  • 7 arms, 3 position player.perhaps
  • 9 college (0 juco), 1 high schooler.
  • At least 3 money-saving senior sign picks: their 8th, 9th and 10th rounders.
  • Heavy influence from major college programs: Florida, two from Vanderbilt, Oklahoma, Arizona State, Florida State.

Conclusion: I liked the first two picks.  There were some more “famous” names available/on the board at #27 that some may have preferred, but the Nats clearly rated Denaburg as a value pick and got good value on him.  I like the Tate pick; a team-USA guy in the second round who has good stuff.  I like the 3rd rounder for value; big arm, not a ton of mileage, and I like getting a big-time team’s friday starter in the 4th round; it reminds me of their A.J. Morris pick a few years back in the same position.  They also picked up a weekend starter for a top-10 ACC team and the friday-ace for a smaller Texas team.

What do you guys think of it?


Draft Links of Use

  1. Mlbpipeline’s Draft Tracker for 2018 for the Nats picks.
  2. All 10 rounds of slot bonus figures for 2018
  3. BA’s draft database with search options by team, state, etc.
  4. Perfect Game to get profiles on more obscure draftees.

Draft Rankings referred to within here:

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

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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 perfectgame.org.

  • 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

Prep Baseball Update #2 2018: Maryland State Champs, Virginia Regional Champs crowned

3 comments

Welcome to my DC Area Prep Baseball Tourney coverage for 2018.

Here’s the rough schedule of posting and what we’ll cover:

  • #1: DC/MD/VA District High School Tournament Report: post-season kickoff .  Covers: MD regionals, VA district brackets, Private school tourney updates.  Usually publishes the week before Memorial day tournament finals.
  • #2: Maryland State Champs, Virginia District Champs crowned (this post).   Covers: MD state finals, VA regionals tourneys, DC playoff results.  Usually publishes after the Memorial Day weekend tournaments finish up.
  • #3: Virginia State Champions crowned.  Covers: VA state tourneys, recaps MD, DC, Private School results.  Publishes mid-June once the Va state tourney wraps up.
  • #4: My theoretical “All DC/MD/VA Dream tournament” pairings, once all the state champs are finalized.
  • #5: Players of the Year/All-State lists and final rankings; publishes early July once all the all-state lists are published.

Lets see where we stand now with Virginia having completed their regional tournaments and setup state semi finals’ matchups.

All Virginia regional finals were played on 6/1/18.  District and Regional Winners in all cases highlighted in bold red.


Northern Virginia

Virginia district tournaments start up on 5/16/18 and Regionals started up on 5/23/18.  All local district playoff brackets are well kept at NovaBaseballmagazine.com.

A reminder that there was some major re-alignment from last year; regional powerhouse Madison was moved out of the Liberty district for the first time in decades, now joins the strong Concorde division with some bigger schools.  There are now mixed conferences, splitting teams up that were formerly 4A, 5A and 6A.   Northern Va districts are pretty consistent; mostly consisting of all 6A or 5A teams … but other districts around the state are a mess, having teams spanning in some cases 4 class sizes.  In 6A, we’ll have 6-A Region A and B from the Richmond/Va Beach areas and Regions C & D from the Northern Virginia areas.  New district to region alignment table here.

In a first in my memory, nearly a week of rain forced organizers to literally abandon playoff games and just hand out district titles.  See below.

Regional brackets are here at NovaBaseball and here at VHSL’s site.

Class 6 Region C “Occoquan Region”

  • Cardinal (mostly 6-A): Forest Park won the title over Potomac (who went to the 5-C tourney)
  • Gunston District (6-A): #1 West Potomac takes the title.
  • Patriot (6-A): #1 Lake Braddock took the title.

In the Regional tournament (draw here), the District winners were seeded West Potomac, Forest Park, Lake Braddock and at-large Woodbridge.  In the quarters on 5/25/18,  WT Woodson upset West Potomac, West Springfield beat Robinson, Lake Braddock beat Colgan, and Forest Park  held off Stuart.  The expected top seeds Lake Braddock and West Springfield advanced to the final/qualified for states and West Springfield springs the upset over perhaps NoVa’s top team to win the regional title.

Class 6 Region D “Northern Region”

  • Concorde District (6-A): Madison beat Chantilly.
  • Cedar Run (6-A): Battlefield given the title by default over Patriot.
  • Liberty (6-A): #4 Yorktown took the title

In the Regional tournament (draw here), the District winners were seeded Yorktown, Battlefield, Madison and at-large Marshall (who competes in a weird 6a/5a district).  I probably would have seeded it so that Madison/Battlefield was a final but Marshall may be favored to beat the upstart Yorktown.  Quick prediction: Battlefield over Marshall in the final.  In the Quarters on 5/25/18, Centreville upset Yorktown, Chantilly upset Marshall, South Lakes upset Madison and only Battlefield held serve in an upset-laden regional, so my predictions were way off.  I still sense Battlefield is the power of the region.  In the semis, Chantilly beat their neighborhood rivals Centreville and Battlefield held off the upstart South Lakes to make the Regional final/qualify for states.  In the Northern Region final, Battlefield turned a 4-1 deficit quickly into a 7-4 lead and made it stick, beating Chantilly for the region crown.


Southern Virginia Class 6 Regions:

Class 6 Region A

  • Beach District (5a and 6a): sends Ocean Lakes, First Colonial, Cox, and Kellam.
  • Eastern District (mix): only 6A team Grandby
  • Peninsula District (mix): sends only 6A team Woodside
  • Southeastern District (mix): sends Western Branch, Oscar Smith

In the Regionals (draw here)… Grandby, Western Branch (your defending state champ), Ocean Lakes and First Colonial are the seeds.  Oscar Smith beat Ocean Lakes in the 1st round; other seeds held.  First Colonial upset Grandby while Western Branch advanced to the regional final/qualified for states.  In the final, First Colonial continued their upsetting ways, topping one of the best teams in the state after nearly squandering an 8 run lead to win the Region title.

Class 6 Region B

  • Dominion District (mix of 3,4,5,6A teams): Manchester, James River, Cosby and Clover Hill advanced to the Regional tourney, in that seed order.
  • Central District (mostly 5A): sent its only 6A team Thomas Dale
  • Commonwealth District (mostly 5A): sent its two 6A team Colonial Forge and Riverbend to the regionals.
  • Piedmont Distrct (mostly 3A and 4A): sent its only 6A team Franklin County to the regionals.

In the Regionals (draw here), Manchester, James River, Thomas Dale and Cosby are the top 4 seeds in order.  Manchester was upset in the first round by Roanoke power Franklin County; other seeds went through to the semis.  Cosby and Thomas Dale advanced to the final/qualified for states.   There, Cosby beat Thomas Dale 8-1 to win the region.

 


Northern Virginia Class 5 Regions

Class 5 Region C

  • Potomac (5-A): #1 Freedom-South Riding and #2 Stone Bridge.  Freedom beat Briar Woods in the district final.   Sent Freedom, Briar Woods (defending state champs), Rock Ridge, Potomac Falls and Stone Bridge.
  • National (mostly 5-A): #1 Marshall faces off against #3 Edison for the title.  Marshall destroyed Edison for the title and got an “at-large” bid into the 6-A regional tourney.  Edison, Wakefield and Stuart to the 5A region.

In the Regional tournament (draw here), the top 3 teams from National (not including the 6A teams) and the top 5 teams from Potomac made for an 8-team regional.  Top seeds are Freedom-South Riding and Edison.   Edison was upset in the first round en route to all the National district teams being defeated by stronger Potomac district rivals.  Freedom-South Riding and defending state champ Briar Woods to the regional final/state qualification, where Freedom-South Riding easily beat Briar Woods 9-3 to win the region.

Class 5 Region D

  • Cardinal (mostly 6-A)Forest Park won the title over Potomac, which was the only 5A team in the district and is the #1 seed in the regional tourney.
  • Commonwealth District (mostly 5A):  Mountain View given the title by rain-induced default.  sent Massoponax, North Stafford, Mountain View, Stafford, Brooke Point,
  • Piedmont District (mix): sent Halifax county.
  • Jefferson District: sent Orange, Albemarle,
  • River Ridge District: sent Prince Henry (Roanoke)
  • Valley District: sent Harrisonburg
  • Blue Ridge District: sent William Fleming

Seven districts to send 12 teams to regionals.

In the regional tournament (draw here), Potomac, and Halifax were the two top seeds, split by “north” and “south” areas of this region.  They played out essentially two mini regional tourneys, with the winners meeting at the end but both going to states.  Potomac and Halifax held serve and made the regional final/qualified for states.  Potomac beat their southern Virginia rivals for the region title 4-2, their first regional title since their awesome run in the late 1980s.


Southern Virginia Class 5 Regions:

Class 5 Region A (mostly Tidewater area teams)

In the regional tournament (draw here), Mencheville and  Maury the top seeds.  Both advanced to the regional final/qualified for the state tournament, though Maury was beaten on the field by Hickory, who then had to forfeit due to their starter throwing 118 pitches (the limit is 110).  In the final, Menchville won 6-3.

Class 5 Region B (mostly Richmond teams)

In the regional tournament (draw here), Godwin and Prince George the top seeds.  #8 Regional seed Deep Run upset #1 seeded Godwin then destroyed Freeman to make the regional final against #2 seed Prince George.  There, the #8 seed continued its run, topping one of the best teams in the state to win the region title.  Deep Run over Prince George.

 


Class 4

Class 4A Region A (Tidewater): Draw here: Grafton and  traditional power Great Bridge the top seeds, but Great Bridge upset early.  Grafton easily advanced over Deep Creek and Jamestown to the Region final/qualify for the State tournament.  Grafton beat Jamestown to win the region.

Class 4A Region B (Richmond): Draw here: Louisa and Powhatan the top seeds.  2017 State runner-up and traditional power Hanover #6 seed.  Dinwiddie upset Louisia and Powhatan got by Hanover to make the Region final and qualify for the State tournament.  Dinwiddie beat Powhatan 11-5 for the Regional title.

Class 4A Region C (Northern Virginia):

  • Dulles DistrictRiverside (the 2017 3A state runners-up, now in 4A) beat Woodgrove for the district title.
  • Northwestern DistrictMillbrooke beat Fauquier for the district title.

Regional draw here: Woodgrove and Fauquier upset the district winners to advance to the regional final/qualify for state tournament.  There, Fauquier beat Woodgrove for the regional title.

Class 4A Region D (Lynchburg/Roanoke): Draw here: defending state champ Liberty Christian and  Salem the top seeds.  In a massive upset, LCA was beaten in the first round by William Byrd, giving them their first loss of the season and ending it at the same time.  MaxPreps #1 ranked Virginia team is out early.   Salem and Amherst County advance to regional final/qualify for state tournament and Salem wins 3-2 to take the regional title.


Virginia 3A, 2A, 1A: see vhsl site for draws and results for these smaller classifications of mostly non-DC area schools.

 


Maryland

At this point, the Maryland State tournament is complete.  Full Brackets here at the MPSAA website and direct links to the four State-wide brackets are linked directly below.

  • Maryland 4-A: Regional champs Howard, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, CH Flowers, and Severna Park face off for the state title.  Howard downed B-CC, Severna Park beat the favored CH Flowers in the semis.  In the final, Severna Park took a 4-1 lead into the 7th … and Howard scored four to walk-off as state champs after finishing last year as runners-up.
  • Maryland 3-A: Regional champs Towson, Thomas Johnson, Huntingtown and Chesapeake-Anne Arundel face off for the state title.  In the state semis, Thomas Johnson and Huntingtown advanced to the final, and there Thomas Johnson beat Huntington for the state title.
  • Maryland 2-A: Regional champs Hereford, Century, North East and power-house La Plata face off for the state title.  In the state semis, Century and La Plata advanced to the final, where Century held off La Plata for the state title.
  • Maryland 1-A: Regional champs Sparrows Point, Boonsboro, McDonough and defending state champ St. Michaels face off for the state title.   St. Michaels and Boonsboro both advanced to force a re-match of the 2017 final, where Boonsboro turned the tides and took the state title.

A quick list of past Maryland State champions by division:


DC

Past DC Winners:

  • 2018: DCIAA = Wilson.  DCSAA = Wilson.
  • 2017: DCIAA = Wilson.  DCSAA = Gonzaga
  • 2016: DCIAA = Wilson.  DCSAA = St. Albans
  • 2015: DCIAA = Wilson.  DCSAA = Gonzaga
  • 2014: DCIAA = Wilson.  DCSAA = St. Johns
  • 2013 and prior: Wilson hasn’t lost in the DCIAA in 20 years … finding DCSAA tourney winners on google is tough.

Private Leagues: WCAC/MAC/IAC and VISAA/Maryland Private

State-level Private School tourneys:

DC-area Private School Leagues

  • WCAC: St. Johns won 5th straight title with a walk-off homer
  • MAC: The Potomac School walked-off against St. James in a surprise final.
  • IAC: Georgetown Prep won the regular season title.  St. Albans downed Georgetown Prep in the 3rd game of the playoffs to win a “share” of the title for themselves.
  • PVAC: (need results)

Local and National High School Baseball Ranking Lists:

These National rankings are dominated by teams in Texas, Florida and California, as you might expect.  These teams can play nearly 40 games and usually have at least 15-20 under their belts before DC/MD/VA teams even get going.  So its somewhat of an accomplishment just to have a local team get some recognition.  In fact, any cold-weather state team appearing in these lists is pretty special.


Major Newspaper Links/Resources for following prep baseball around the state

Local Newspaper Coverage, including links to many local papers covering smaller jurisdictions.

Non-newspaper Links for Local and National Prep Baseball Coverage

Good Twitter accounts to follow:

  • https://twitter.com/toddeboss/lists/prepbaseball: I maintain an open list at my twitter account via this link, which contains direct links to dozens of local resources (including all the below).  Way too many retweets from the travel team accounts especially, but its a good way to keep up with local ball.
  • https://twitter.com/PBRVirginiaDC: Prep Baseball Report VA/DC coverage
  • https://twitter.com/NVBaseballMag: NoVa Baseball Magazine
  • https://twitter.com/NoVAHSBB
  • https://twitter.com/DynamicBaseball

Written by Todd Boss

June 2nd, 2018 at 2:49 pm

Posted in Local Baseball

Tagged with ,

2018 Draft coverage; Mock Draft mania plus my projected top-5 and Nats picks

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Casey Mize has been the consensus 1-1 for 2018 for most of the season. Photo d1baseball.com

Casey Mize has been the consensus 1-1 for 2018 for most of the season. Photo d1baseball.com

Mock Draft mania!  Since the draft is Monday i’ll publish this now to talk about it and talk about who we’d like to see the Nats pick.  I’ll keep adding mocks as they get published and update this post all the way til gametime.

First, here’s a preview of the names we’re talking about for the upper end of the first round.  This is an evolving list, with names who were prominently mentioned last fall falling by the way-side and helium guys rising up.  At publication, i’ve separated those who have fallen as indicated below.

College Upper 1st round names in the mix

  • Casey Mize RHP, Auburn. 2017 USA Nat’l team star, quickly rising to be the consensus 1-1 pick in 2018.
  • Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech.  Helium candidate in spring 2018
  • Alec Bohm, 3B Wichita State.  Helium guy with strong 2018.
  • Brady Singer RHP, Florida. Dominant in 2016 CWS. 2017 USA Nat’l team.
  • Nick Madrigal 2B, Oregon State: Golden spikes semi-finalist 2017 as sophomore. All-american as Soph. 2017 USA Nat’l team.
  • Jonathan India, 3B, Florida. another Helium guy in spring 2018; was always solid but now hitting .400 in the SEC

College Candidates who have fallen to mid-1st round status: basically i’d be happy with nearly any pick on this list dropping to the Nats at #27.

  • Logan Gilbert, RHP Stetson; top Cape Code league prospect 2017
  • Ryan Rolison, LHP from Ole Miss; #1 pitching prospect from Cape 2017 league.
  • Travis Swaggerty, CF, South Alabama; has not hit well in 2018, lowering stock slightly.
  • Tristan Beck, RHP Stanford.  solid starter who missed significant time with back injury.
  • Sean Hjelle, RHP Kentucky: huge guy (6’11”) who doesn’t throw hard, but it appears so b/c of his reach.
  • Griffin Conine OF, Duke. Jeff Conine‘s son. Exploded in Cape Cod League 2017, All-Cape 2017, named top prospect, but has fallen precipitously in 2018
  • Luken Baker, 1B TCU; more “famous” than draft prospect thanks to lack of defensive value.  Suffered broke leg Apr 2018 after an arm injury in 2017, lowering stock.
  • Seth Beer, 1B Clemson: another “famous” name in the draft; his OBP skills may push him to 1st round.
  • Jackson Kowar, RHP Florida; U-Florida’s saturday starter who has scuffled a bit this spring but still should be a 1st rounder.

High School

  • Carter Stewart, RHP, Eau Gallie HS, Melbourne, FL.  Mississippi State commit, highest spin rate ever recorded?  helium guy spring 2018, jumping up over many names to be first prep player taken.
  • Matt Liberatore LHP, Mountain Ridge (AZ) (Arizona commit).  18U team, Gold Medal game starter, but has had inconsistent spring 2018, not consistently showing 96-97.
  • Jared Kelenic OF, Waukesha (WI) (Louisville commit). 18U team.  Considered best prep hit tool in the class.
  • Nolan Gorman, 3B Sandra Day O’conner HS (AZ): (Arizona commit).  18U team.  best power bat in the class, struggling spring 2018 b/c of being walked all the time.
  • Cole Winn, RHP, Orange Lutheran HS (CA).  Mississippi State commit, helium guy spring 2018.

High School guys whose stock has fallen:

  • Brice Turang SS, Santiago (CA) (LSU commit). 18U team.  Questions on hit took spring 2018; polarizing player among scouts.
  • Ethan Hankins RHP, Forsyth Central (GA): (Vanderbilt commit). 18U team.  Shoulder injury has lowered his stock.
  • Kumar Rocker RHP, North Oconee (GA) (Vanderbilt commit). 18U team.  Has lost velocity this spring, lowering his stock.
  • Nander de Sedas, SS, Montverde FL (Florida State commit): great 2017 summer.

Here’s the Mock draft collection.  I’ve generally listed their top-5 and then who they project the Nats to take at #27 (if they project out that far).  I got the first Mock draft link here just after the end of the 2017 season, when the BA guys did a mock once we knew the draft order.  I’ll continue to add in mocks as they get published post-posting up until the draft.

  • Baseball America (John Manuel) 2018 Mock Draft v1.0 dated 10/6/17: Singer, Hankins, Turang, de Sedas, Gorman.  Nats taking prep RHP Slade Cecconi from a FL HS who can hit 97 with 3 pitches.
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) 2018 Mock Draft v1.0 dated 5/11/18: (behind a pay wall)
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) 2018 Mock Draft v2.0 dated 5/18/18: (behind a pay wall)
  • Baseball Draft Report (Rob Ozga) 2018 Mock Draft v1.0 dated 10/7/17: Gilbert, Madrigal, Singer, Hankins, Rolison.  Nats taking LHP Konnor Pilkington from Mississippi State, a 2017 USA Nat’l team member.
  • MLBPipeline (Jim Callis) 2018 Early Mock Draft dated 12/5/17: Singer, Hankins, Liberatore, de Sedas, Turang.  Only projected top 10 so no Nats pick.
  • MLBPipeline (Jim Callis) 2018 Mock Draft dated 5/11/18: Mize, Bart, Bohm, Madrigal, Singer.   Nats taking prep RHP Cole Wilcox, RHP, Heritage HS (Ringgold, Ga.)
  • MLBPipeline (Jim Callis) 2018 Mock Draft dated 5/24/18: Mize, Bart, Bohm, Singer, Madrigal.   Has Nats on Mason Denaburg, a prep RHP from Florida (with a Florida commit) who is someone i hadn’t heard of prior to seeing it in print  here.  He was projected higher until shut down with biceps tendinitis; this could be a classic Nats move of taking a top-10 talent later in the 1st thanks to a slight injury issue.
  • MLBPipeline (Jim Callis) 2018 Final Mock Draft dated 6/4/18: Mize, Bart, Madrigal, Singer, India.  Still has Nats on Denaburg.
  • MLBPipeline (Jonathan Mayo): 2018 Early Mock Draft dated 12/5/17:  Singer, de Sedas, Hankins, Kowar, Madrigal.  Only projected top 10 so no Nats pick.
  • MLBPipeline (Jonathan Mayo): 2018 Mock Draft projection dated 4/30/18:  Mize, Singer, Madrigal, Bohm, Stewart.  has Nats on Xavier Edwards, SS, North Broward Prep (Coconut Creek, Fla.), an undersized but good prospect with a strong Vanderbilt commitment.
  • MLBPipeline (Jonathan Mayo): 2018 Mock Draft projection dated 5/17/18:  Mize, Bart, Bohm, Singer, Madrigal.  Has Nats on Denaburg.
  • MLBPipeline (Jonathan Mayo): 2018 Mock Draft projection dated 5/31/18:  Mize, Bart, Madrigal, Singer, India.  Nats again on Denaburg.
  • MLBPipeline (Jonathan Mayo) 2018 Final Mock Draft dated 6/4/18: Mize, Bart, Madrigal, Singer, India.  now has Nats on Xavier Edwards, a prep SS from Florida.
  • Fangraphs (Eric Longenhagen/Kiley McDaniel): 2018 Mock Draft v1.0 dated 4/19/18: Mize, Bohm, Madrigal, Swaggerty, Kelenic.  Only projected top 10, but notes that Washington wants a “quick moving” college pitcher (just like every year) and is tied to either Tristan Beck or Sean Hjelle.
  • Fangraphs (Eric Longenhagen/Kiley McDaniel): 2018 Mock Draft v2.0 dated 5/15/18: Mize, Bart, Bohn, Madrigal, Singer.  Also has Nats on Denaburg.
  • Fangraphs (Eric Longenhagen/Kiley McDaniel): 2018 Mock Draft v3.0 dated 6/1/18: Mize, Bart, Bohm, Singer, Madrigal.  Now has Nats on Wilcox.
  • Seedlings to the Stars/Calltothepen.com (Benjamin Chase) Mock draft v1.0 4/30/18: Mize, Bohm, Libratadore, Kelenic, Madrigal.  Has the Nats on Mike Vasil, a HS RHP pitcher from a Boston, MA high school  (with a commit to UVA/Virginia) with some possible arm issues so could be following their pattern of buying low in injured guys.
  • Seedlings to the Stars/Calltothepen.com (Benjamin ChaseMock draft v2.0 5/7/18: Mize, Madrigal, Bohm, Winn, Libratadore.  Has Nats on de Sedas, which would fit the Nats’ predilection of taking “famous” names.
  • Seedlings to the Stars/Calltothepen.com (Benjamin ChaseMock draft v3.0 5/15/18: Mize, Bart, India, Bohm, Singer.  Also has Nats on Denaburg.
  • Seedlings to the Stars/Calltothepen.com (Benjamin ChaseMock draft v4.0 5/21/18: Mize, Bart, Bohm, Madrigal, Singer.   Has Nats now on Wilcox instead of Denaburg now.
  • Seedlings to the Stars/Calltothepen.com (Benjamin ChaseMock draft v5.1 5/28/18: Mize, Bart, Bohm, Singer, Madrigal.  Has Nats back on Denaburg.
  • Seedlings to the Stars/Calltothepen.com (Benjamin ChaseMock draft v6.2 6/4/18: Mize, Bart, Bohm, Singer, Madrigal.  Same top 5 as last few iterations.  Has Nats back on Wilcox.
  • ESPN/Keith Law Mock draft v1.0 5/2/18: Mize, Singer, Bohm, Bart, Madrigal.  Has the Nats taking a prep RHP named J.T. Ginn from Mississippi, or perhaps taking one of the more “famous” prep arms if they fall (Hankins, Turang).
  • ESPN/Keith Law Mock draft v2.0 5/17/18: Mize, Bart, Bohm, Madrigal, Singer.  Has the Nats on Rocker, or perhaps one of the other prep guys who are “famous” but who are falling this spring, looking for value.
  • ESPN/Keith Law Mock draft v3.0 5/31/18: Mize, Winn, Bart, Singer, Madrigal.  Has the Nats on Denaburg.
  • ESPN/Keith Law Mock draft v4.0 6/4/18: Bart, Winn, Mize, Singer, Madrigal.  Still has the Nats on Denaburg.
  • Sporting News Mock Draft v1.0 5/17/18: Mize, Libratadore, Singer, Madrigal, Stewart.  Has the Nats taking Seth Beer, which I wouldn’t be totally against.
  • TheBigLead.com (Ryan Phillips) Mock Draft v1.0 5/17/18: Mize, Bart, Bohm, Madrigal, Singer (same as Law).  Only projects top 10, so no Nats pick.
  • TheBigLead.com (Ryan PhillipsMock Draft v2.0 5/30/18: Mize, Bart, Bohm, Madrigal, Singer (same as his first mock).  Has Nats on Wilcox.
  • TheBigLead.com (Ryan PhillipsMock Draft v3.0 6/3/18: Mize, Bart, Bohm, Madrigal, Singer (same as his first two mocks).  Has Nats on Ethan Hankins now.
  • PerfectGame.org (Brian Sakowski) Mock Draft v1.0: 4/20/18: Mize, Kelenic, Madrigal, McClanahan, Hankins.  has Nats on Grayson Rodriguez, prep RHP from Texas HS.
  • PerfectGame.org (Brian Sakowski) Mock Draft v2.0: 5/10/18: Mize, Stewart, Bohm, Singer, Madrigal.  Nats on Kumar Rocker as well; I’d love this pick if it happened.
  • PerfectGame.org (Brian Sakowski) Mock Draft v3.0 5/24/18: Mize, Bart, Bohm, Madrigal, Singer.  Nats on Jackson Kowar, RHP weekend starter for Florida.  Um, if Kowar makes it here, i’d be ecstatic and it’d be a great pick.
  • PerfectGame.org (Brian Sakowski) Mock Draft v4.0 6/4/18: Mize, Bart, Bohm, Singer, Madrigal.  Nats on Denaburg.
  • Prospect Digest (Joseph Werner) Mock Draft 6/4/18: Mize, Liberatore, Madrigal, McClanahan, Stewart.  Nats picking Stanford’s Tristan Beck.

Mock draft posters from 2017 who didn’t seem to do one this year.:

  • D1Baseball (Frankie Piliere)
  • HeroSports.com (Chris Crawford/Jason Crawford)
  • MinorleagueBall.com (John Sickels)
  • SI.com (Jay Jaffe), now with Fangraphs, so probably not doing prospect work anymore.
  • CBSsports (Mike Axisa)

Todd Boss’ Mock draft top-5 prediction?

My top 5: Mize, Bart, Bohm, Singer, Madrigal.   It seems like most all the pundits have arrived at this as a top 5 and it seems to make sense.

ACTUAL DRAFT Results (added after the draft): top 5 went Mize, Bart, Bohm, Madrigal, India.  First four no surprise … India at #5 a surprise.  So was Kyler Murray at #9 to Oakland … that came out of nowhere.

Who are the Nats going to take at #27:  Mason Denaburg

Its really, really difficult to project to the 27th pick; you just have no idea who will be there.  Just consider the 2011 draft; the Nats sat at the #6 spot and figured they’d have zero shot at Anthony Rendon, who for most of his college career was considered a 1-1 guy.  Suddenly Rendon has a slight injury, the first few teams pass on him … and he falls into the Nat’s lap.

Historically, Mike Rizzo drafts college guys.  And historically, he drafts college arms up high.  However, most of the mocks above have the Nats taking prep arms in the first.

The clear “word on the street” out of the Nats camp this year is prep arm.  Why?  I have no idea.  How many high school arms have you ever seen Mike Rizzo draft at the top of the draft?  How about in the top 10 rounds altogether?   I’ll give you the answer to the latter question: Three: Rizzo has drafted exactly three prep arms in the top 10 rounds in the entirety of his Nats career, dating to 2009.  Jesus LuzardoLucas Giolito and A.J. Cole.   That’s it.  Cole was under the prior bonus rules, when they threw 1st round money at him in the 4th.  Giolito was a case where he dropped precipitously thanks to an arm injury and the Nats snagged him mid 1st (which kind of fits the Denaburg projection this year) … and Luzardo was a 3rd rounder with 1st round talent but a TJ surgery on his resume who they got great value on.  So why would anyone think Rizzo is going to pick a prep arm unless its a Giolito situation where a top-5 projected guy suddenly falls?

Normally, i’d firmly in the camp that the Nats will follow their typical pattern here for later 1st round picks: college arm.  I like the mocks that project guys like Beck or Hjelle, or any one of several solid college arms who might drop down because of a crummy regional performance.  Ole Miss’ Ryan Rolison fits the bill here as a guy who might be available at 27, as does Jackson Kowar.

What about one of the famous “bats” in this draft?  Namely, Seth Beer or Luken Baker or Griffen Conine?  All seem like no-position/defensive liability sluggers, which may end up being tweeners between Late 1st round and mid 2nd round … so they’d be reaches for the Nats in the 1st but gone by our 2nd round pick.

 

Actual Nats #27 Pick (added after the draft): Mason Denaburg.  For the second year in a row, the Nats tip their hand and have their first round pick predicted by every major pundit.

CWS 2018: Field of 64 announced with Regional predictions

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CWS-2018_calendar-narrow

First College Baseball post of the season!   And it comes with the announcement of the field of 64 for the 2018 tournament.

Here’s a nice summary of the field from d1baseball.com, including a conference breakdown.

Quick summary of the field: No Miami, no UVA, no TCU in big surprises for big programs.  The field is also missing perennial powers like Rice and Wichita State this year.  Kentucky seems to be the biggest snub … but they were sub .500 in their league and was one-and-done in the SEC tournament.  One win there and they’re probably in.  Northeastern probably the most controversial at-large bid, having their one-bid conference slot “stolen” by UNC-W but not really having earned it on their season.  There’s some sniffling at the national seeding of (in particular) the ACC teams, but otherwise most of the pundits I read think this is a pretty solid field.

Here’s your National seeds:

1. Florida
2. Stanford
3. Oregon State
4. Ole Miss
5. Arkansas
6. UNC
7. Florida State
8. Georgia

That’s a solid SEC showing; four of the top 8 national seeds and 10 teams overall in the tourney.

Next seeds

9. Texas Tech
10. Clemson
11. Stetson
12. ECU
13. Texas
14. Minnesota
15. Coastal Carolina
16. NC State.


 

Quick predictions (here i’ve put in the teams by Super Regional match-up):

1. Florida; cakewalk regional; their #2 is Jacksonville?  See you in a couple weeks.
16. NC State: Get the seed over Auburn; if they save their Ace NC State could be in the Loser’s bracket really quickly.  I think Auburn advances here.

2. Stanford: got no favors by getting the always-tough Cal State Fullerton team in their regional, but their #2 seed Baylor is manageable.
15. Coastal Carolina: gets UConn as their #2 seed and their tough arm Tim Cate.  Coastal has played tough down the stretch though and should advance.

3. Oregon State; tough regional with LSU and San Diego State; Oregon State will have to earn this.  Part of me hopes they go out early so the Heimlich stories die soon.
14. Minnesota; gets two west coast teams in UCLA and Gonzaga; i do not give Big10 baseball teams much credit … but they might be able to handle UCLA this year.

4. Ole Miss; gets a tough Missouri State team (with top draft prospect Jeremey Eierman), but i’m not sure they’re that scared of their #2 Tennessee Tech.
13. Texas: i’d be more scared of TAMU as a 3-seed than Indiana as a #2 seed this year.  TAMU somehow is a #3 seed despite being a top 16 team by RPI and possibly being in the host discussion.  Meanwhile Texas is not as strong as its #13 seed in this tournament looks … I smell an upset here.

5. Arkansas: gets two traditional smaller-school baseball powers in Southern Miss and Dallas Baptist; does anyone ever know how these teams will fare?
12. ECU: gets a tough #2 in South Carolina; can they survive the SEC power?  I’m not sure they can and think South Carolina advances.

6. UNC: gets a manageable region thanks to a Big10 team as their #2 seed.
11. Stetson: two great arms in this region in Gilbert and McClanahan with USF … but Oklahoma State looms too.

7. Florida State: A solid regional here with SEC and Big12 powers.  Florida State is always a tough out though.
10. Clemson gets Vanderbilt again … which means one good team goes home early, again.

8. Georgia: they should be able to get past Duke in this weaker regional.
9. Texas Tech has to face off against Louisville, who for the first time in a few years doesn’t have a top-10 draft pick leading their line.


 

Local rooting interests in the tournament: amazingly, zero DC/MD/VA colleges made this tournament.  No UVA, no Maryland, no Liberty, no VCU or ODU or any of the CAA teams that sometimes sneak in.  Here’s a quick peek at the DC/MD/VA players I could think of who will be playing:

  • #12 Seed ECU has the former dominant LHP Jake Agnos (Battlefield HS in Haymarket) on their staff; he had 80 Ks in 60 innings split between starting and relief roles and stepped it up in the post-season tourney.
  • LSU moved Zach Hess (Lynchburg/Liberty Christian Academy) into the rotation this year and he was the saturday starter all spring; he went 7-5 with a 4.43 ERA and saw his draft stock drop significantly (he’s a draft-eligible sophomore this year).  I wonder if he stays in school another year to rebuild value as a starter.
  • #15 Coastal Carolina has several Virginia-natives in starting roles, including weekend starter Zack Hopeck (Heritage HS in Leesburg) and starting OF Kieton Rivers (Nansemond River HS in Suffolk).
  • #16 NC State has three VA-natives on their pitching staff, including staff-ERA leading Kent Klyman (Jamestown HS in Williamsburg).
  • South Carolina’s friday starter is Cody Morris, who dominated Maryland prep for Reservoir HS in Laurel.  They also feature a starting catcher Hunter Taylor from Nandua HS in Onley VA.

Significant Draft picks from the top seeds worth noting: here’s some of the guys we’re hearing rumors about being 1st rounders in June:

  • Florida; no wonder they’re #1: they may have three guys taken in the top 10 picks.  Weekend starters Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar and clean-up hitter Jonathan India the players to watch, plus Michael Byrne who was All American pre-season as their closer.
  • Stanford: paced by two top-end starters getting 1st round buzz in Kris Bubic and Tristan Beck.
  • Oregon State: Nick Madrigal may be a top 5 guy and be lightening fast to the majors.  Ace is the highly controversial Luke Heimlich (if you don’t know who he is … he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated a few weeks back; google it).  OF Trevor Larnach is getting some 1st round buzz too.
  • Ole Miss; Ace starter Ryan Rolison was the top prospect in the Cape Cod league last  year.
  • Florida State: Tyler Holton was All-American last year and pre-season All American again this year.
  • Auburn: likely 1-1 Casey Mize is their friday starter.
  • Stetson: ace Logan Gilbert has seen his stock fall but is still likely a mid-1st rounder.
  • South Florida’s ace Shane McClanahan could go high.
  • Duke’s Griffin Conine has a famous pedigree and could be a 1st-day pick.
  • Texas Tech’s starter Steve Gingery has a long line of awards behind his name.
  • Clemson’s Seth Beer has been mashing ever since he arrived at school, winning the Dick Howser award as a freshman.  He could be a sleeper pick late in the 1st round.

Someone is finally doing it: Tampa using “Openers” instead of “Starters”

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Sergio Romo; Tampa's new #3 starter.

Sergio Romo; Tampa’s new #3 starter.  And #4 starter sometimes … photo via Zimbio.

The Tampa Bay Rays, thanks to a run of injuries to their starting rotation this spring, and perhaps a bit of typical organizational ingenuity, are doing something this year that has a lot of people talking; they’re essentially using a closer-quality pitcher to start games, get through the top of the opposing team’s order the first time, then hands it over to the real “starter” (or in most cases longer man) who pitches a typical starter-length outing.

They seem to be sticking to conventional outings for their two best starters (Chris Archer and Blake Snell) even now, but spring training elbow injuries to planned starters Brett Honeywell and Jose De Leon (both Tommy John surguries), plus recent injuries to #3 starter Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos  (not Laurel Chirinos!) and Nathan Eovaldi and a lack of upper-end SP prospects has led them to this point.

This strategy is getting put to its biggest test over the Memorial Day weekend series they have with Baltimore, announcing that they’ll be “starting” relievers all three games.

So far this season, they’ve used the strategy at least twice; with Sergio Romo starting on back to back nights.

  • 5/20/18: Romo pitches the first and strikes out the side before handing off to starter Ryan Yarborough, who pitches 6+ and gets the win.
  • 5/21/18:  Romo, going back to back nights, faces the first 6 batters; walks two, gets the other four out, zero runs; the rest of the game is a bullpen game, but the team loses to Shohei Ohtani and the Angels.

Of course, reaction to the moves is already as you’d expect it to be, given our current climate of hot-take/knee jerk reactions.  You’ve got “get off my lawn” types talking about how this isn’t “good for the game.”  You’ve got Joel Sherman (who has been around the sport long enough to know what they’re doing) calling the strategy “Bizarre.”  And you’ve got progressive types like Houston’s A.J. Hinch praising the move.


 

So, what do I think of this?

Well …. honestly this is the natural evolution of the trend towards specialized relievers that we’ve been seeing lately.  A mediocre/failed starter can be converted to a highly valuable reliever by just having them throw harder and focus on mastering two pitches instead of attempting to master three or four, and it happens All The Time.  See Rivera, Mariano and Eckersley, Dennis for hall of fame exhibits A and B here (ok .. to be fair Eckersley was by  no means a failed starter … but he would not be in Cooperstown had he not become a dominant closer).

Well, what if you had an entire roster of specialized relievers instead of spending tens of millions of dollars on a rotation?

Take the Nats: our top four starters this year are earning north of $80M this season.  What if you had spread that $80M around on a bunch of closer/near-closer types, the kinds of guys who go for significantly less per annum?  What if you had an entire team of guys like Ryan Madsen ($7.6M) or Sean Doolittle ($4.3M) or Brandon Knitzler ($5.5M).  Heck, why not load up y our team with pre-arb guys like Sammy Solis ($560k) and Matt Grace ($557k) and spend that $80M on improving the out-field players?

I’ve often wondered if a team couldn’t just have essentially 12 relievers and would basically turn every game into a bullpen game.  What if you deployed your staff kind of like this:

  • Three “Closer” quality guys (like our Doolittle)
  • Three solid RH 7th/8th inning types like Madsen and Kelley.
  • Three left-handed match-up guys (Solis, Grace)
  • Three long-men types who could soak up innings but who can’t turn over a lineup more than twice (kind of like Jeremy Hellickson but perhaps more like a 4-A starter, or what Edwin Jackson is doing in AAA).

You take half this squad and they’re the A-team; that gives you 5-6 arms to pitch the first game of the week.  Then, they all get a break and the other 5-6 arms get the next game.  In a typical week every reliever then gets three to four days off with off-games and off-days.   The long-men only go every two days, since you’re asking them to do 3-4 innings, but still get plenty of rest.  So a pattern of games could look like this:

  • Game 1: Closer1 pitches the 1st, RH1 and LH1 combine to pitch 2nd and 3rd.  Longman1 comes in and throws 4th through the 7th.  Then depending on where you are in the game he returns for the 8th or you go to your RH2/LH2 guy before handing off to Closer2 in the 9th.  So that’s 5 to 6 arms used in the first game.
  • Game 2: Closer3 starts.  RH3 throws next two innings.  Longman2 throws innings 4-7.  LH3 finishes it out, perhaps throwing Closer1 a second day in a row if need be.
  • Game 3: Closer2 starts.  Perhaps you go right to Longman3 for a 5 inning stint.  Back to RH1 and LH1 for the 7th/8th, then either let these guys do a 2 inning stint or go back to Closer3 for back-to-backs to finish the game.

So the workload for a 3-game series goes like this:

  • Closers: 2 innings each with an off-day
  • RH guys: 2-3 innings each with an off-day
  • LH guys: 2-3 innings each with an off-day
  • Long-men: 3-4 innings each with two off-days

That’s basically 27 innings across three games, assuming your middle relievers throw a couple of 2-inning stints in there, or one of your long-men does 4 innings instead of three.

Tell me why this wouldn’t work?  Everyone gets a ton of rest, and if you burn out one of your longmen you just call up re-inforcements from AAA to do mop-up games here and there.  You always have a closer going against the top of the order in the first inning, then you try to work it out so that you can do match-ups the next time they come up with a 7th/8th inning quality guy.  The best hitters on the other team will eventually get a shot at your “long man…” but under this plan, they’re getting four at bats generally against four different arms.  That’s going to give the advantage to the pitcher every time; batters don’t get to study up the opposing starter every night for research; they’re going to be seeing gas, trick pitches and one-trick ponies that have ridiculous BAAs and BABIPs thanks to their specialty.


So, who would love this?

  • Owners.  no more 9-figure contracts for starters who have like a 50% injury rate.
  • Some Pitchers: more opportunities for guys who just couldn’t cut it as starters but who crush it as releivers.

Who wouldn’t like this?

  • High end starters: less jobs, less demand for you.  Maybe.  I mean, right now Tampa is sticking with their two solid starters and only doing this for the other slots.  Maybe a team with two Aces like the nats just lets them roll normally then does this kind of bullpen game the other three games out of five.
  • Any baseball fan born before 1970, since they hate any change, any game modification.  I mean come on, there’s people demanding that we ban the shift (including the commissioner).
  • The Players union; you’d have to think salaries would plummet
  • Maybe most every baseball fan?  Offense drives fan interest … and this plan is specifically designed to neutralize the opposing team’s best hitters.

Thoughts?

Prep Baseball Update #1 2018: DC/MD/VA District High School Tournament Report: 2018 post-season underway

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Congrats to Wilson, both public and city champs!

Congrats to Wilson, both public and city champs!

Welcome to my DC Area Prep Baseball Tourney coverage for 2018.

Here’s the rough schedule of posting and what we’ll cover:

  • #1: DC/MD/VA District High School Tournament Report: post-season kickoff (this post).  Covers: MD regionals, VA district brackets, Private school tourney updates.  Usually publishes the week before Memorial day tournament finals.
  • #2: Maryland State Champs, Northern VA Regional Champs crowned.  Covers: MD state finals, VA regionals tourneys, DC regular season results.  Usually publishes after the Memorial Day weekend tournaments finish up.
    #3: Virginia Regional Results, DC Tourneys.  Covers: VA regional results, State brackets, DC tourney results.  Usually publishes the first week of June.
    #4: Final Prep Baseball Update: Virginia State Champions crowned.  Covers: VA state tourneys, recaps MD, DC, Private School results.  Publishes mid-June once the Va state tourney wraps up.
  • #5: Players of the Year/All-State lists and final rankings; publishes early July once all the all-state lists are published.
  • #6: my theoretical “All DC/MD/VA Dream tournament” pairings, once all the state champs are finalized.

Northern Virginia

Virginal district tournaments start up on 5/16/18 and regionals start up on 5/23/18.  All local district playoff brackets are well kept at NovaBaseballmagazine.com.

The top four teams from each district tourney form the 16-team regional brackets, to be published later on once all the divisions are finalized.

A reminder that there was some slight re-alignment from last year; regional powerhouse Madison was moved out of the Liberty district for the first time in decades, now joins the strong Concorde division with some bigger schools.  There are now mixed conferences, splitting teams up that were formerly 4A, 5A and 6A.  Plus there does not seem to be the old “Northern” and “NorthWest” regions.  Just 7 mixed-division districts for the whole upper area of the state.

In a first in my memory, 7 straight days of rain forced organizers to literally abandon playoff games and just hand out district titles.

  • Cardinal (mostly 6-A): #1 Potomac, #2 Forest Park, Forest Park won the title over Potomac after both being handed rain-out passes to the final.
  • Cedar Run (6-A): the two top seeds (#1 Battlefield and #2 Patriot) and frequent rivals advanced to the final … which was rained out and cancelled, giving Battlefield the title.
  • Commonwealth (mostly 5-A): #1 Mountain View and #2 Stafford were given passes to regionals as the entire post-season tournament was cancelled.
  • Concorde District (6-A): #1 Madison, #2 Centreville; Madison beat Chantilly in the final for its 6th straight district title.
  • Dulles (4-A): #1 Riverside, #2 Woodgrove; semis scheduled for 5/23/18 weather permitting.
  • Gunston District (6-A): #1 West Potomac, #2 T.C. Williams, who lost to #3 Annandale setting up a 5/18/18 final.
  • Liberty (6-A): #4 seed Yorktown won the play-in then crushed #1 seeded McLean to advance to the final versus #2 South Lakes.  Yorktown took the title in an upset to secure a bye in the regionals.
  • National (mostly 5-A): #1 Marshall faces off against #3 Edison for the title.  Marshall destroyed Edison for the title and got an “at-large” bid into the 6-A regional tourney.
  • Northwest (6-A): #1 Fauquier and #2 Sherando; playoffs not scheduled to occur til the 5/25/18 weekend.
  • Patriot (6-A): #1 Lake Braddock faces off versus #2 West Springfield in a battle of perennial powers, with LB (perhaps the area’s top public team) winning.
  • Potomac (5-A): #1 Freedom-South Riding and #2 Stone Bridge; final 5/25/18.

We’ll cover the Regional brackets once all the teams are qualified for their respective divisions.

 


Maryland

At this point, the Maryland State tournament is nearly complete; the state finals are this coming weekend.  Brackets here at the MPSAA website and direct links to the four State-wide brackets are linked directly below.

  • Maryland 4-A: Regional champs Howard, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, CH Flowers, and Severna Park face off for the state title.
  • Maryland 3-A: Regional champs Towson, Thomas Johnson, Huntingtown and Chesapeake-Anne Arundel face off for the state title.
  • Maryland 2-A: Regional champs Hereford, Century, North East and power-house La Plata face off for the state title.
  • Maryland 1-A: Regional champs Sparrows Point (a favorite), Boonsboro, McDonough and defending state champ St. Michaels face off for the state title.

DC

  • DCIAA: (2018 playoff bracket): Wilson won its 26th consecutive DCIAA championship 5-0 over School Without Walls on 5/10/18.   This is perhaps not even the most startling stat about Wilson right now.  The went 11-0 in conference play, outscoring their opponents 168-1.  That’s right; they gave up one run in league play all year.  Deadspin featured the school and did some more research into its past; their piece is worth a read.
  • DCSAA: (2018 Playoff Bracket): the DCSAA tourney runs from 5/16 to 5/20.  Wilson is the #1 seed and advanced to the final against #2 seeded St. Albans (the IAC champ).  There, on 5/22/18, for the first time in its history, Wilson won the DC “state” title, beating St. Albans in extra innings.  They’ve won 26 straight public school titles but had never won the city title until now.

Private Leagues: WCAC/MAC/IAC and VISAA/Maryland Private

State-level Private School tourneys:

  • MIAA:
    • Division A: play started on 5/11/18: Archbishop Curley, John Carroll, Calvert Hall, Loyola, Archbishop Spalding and Gilman the 6 entrants.  Loyola the defending state champ.  In the final, #1 seeded Curley beat #6 Gilman.
    • Division B: play started on 5/11/18.  Mostly smaller private schools around the state of Maryland; powerhouse Boy’s Latin #1 seed.  In the end, Boy’s Latin won its 3rd straight title.
    • Division C: (difficult to find information)
  • VISAA: The Virginial Private State-wide tournament kicked off on 5/14/18 with play-ins.  Here’s a review of the local teams involved:
    • Division I: The Potomac School (#8 seed) lost its play-in game and was eliminated early.  Local teams Paul VI (#3) and Flint Hill (#6) faced off in the quarters on 5/15/18. and Paul VI came out on top, ending Flint Hill’s season without any titles.  All the other schools are from Richmond or Norfolk areas, including the top seeded St. Christopher’s and Benedictine.  #2 seed Benedictine was upset by #7 Norfolk Academy, and #5 Collegiate upset #4 Norfolk Christian to setup some unexpected semis.  In the final, the dominant St. Christophers team took the title.
    • Division II: no DC-area schools: the Miller school (coached by former MLB pitcher, Virginia native and HoFame candidate Billy Wagner) and Highland School are the top seeds.  Powerhouse #4 seed Greenbriar Christian was upset in the first round.  Miller faced off against Steward in the final, and ended up winning to repeat as champs.
    • Division III: no DC-area schools: Walsingham and Southampton academies are the top seeds.  In the end, Walsingham beat the Fuqua School 6-5 on a walk-off SB-error in the bottom of the 10th.
  • Maryland Private School Tournament; tbd: it did not seem to occur in 2017, we’ll see for 2018.

DC-area Private School Leagues

  • WCAC: DeMatha ousted #1 seed Paul VI to face off against WCAC power St. Johns for the title.  The title series went to the decisive third game, which went 12-innings and ended with a walk-off homer win for St. Johns.  This is St. John’s fifth straight WCAC title.
  • MAC: The Potomac School walked-off against St. James in a surprise final; MAC powerhouse Flint Hill was upset early.
  • IAC: Georgetown Prep won the regular season title.  St. Albans downed Georgetown Prep in the 3rd game of the playoffs to win a “share” of the title for themselves.
  • PVAC: (difficult to find information).

Local and National High School Baseball Ranking Lists:

These National rankings are dominated by teams in Texas, Florida and California, as you might expect.  These teams can play nearly 40 games and usually have at least 15-20 under their belts before DC/MD/VA teams even get going.  So its somewhat of an accomplishment just to have a local team get some recognition.  In fact, any cold-weather state team appearing in these lists is pretty special.


Major Newspaper Links/Resources for following prep baseball around the state

  • Washington Post’s AllMetSports section with standings and schedule results.
  • The Baltimore Sun’s high school page has information on some of the programs outside the DC area mentioned in the Maryland section
  • InsideNova.com‘s coverage of high school sports, but has put limits on the number of stories you can read.
  • Richmond Times-Dispatch has a HS scoreboard.
  • Hampton Roads Pilot (Hampton Roads) has scores for teams in the Chesapeake/Norfolk/Va Beach area.
  • NovaBaseballMagazine: great coverage of Prep baseball in NorthernVirginia (thanks to Joe Antonellis for the heads up on this great new resource).

Local Newspaper Coverage, including links to many local papers covering smaller jurisdictions.

Non-newspaper Links for Local and National Prep Baseball Coverage

Good Twitter accounts to follow:

  • https://twitter.com/toddeboss/lists/prepbaseball: I maintain an open list at my twitter account via this link, which contains direct links to dozens of local resources (including all the below).  Way too many retweets from the travel team accounts especially, but its a good way to keep up with local ball.
  • https://twitter.com/PBRVirginiaDC: Prep Baseball Report VA/DC coverage
  • https://twitter.com/NVBaseballMag: NoVa Baseball Magazine
  • https://twitter.com/NoVAHSBB
  • https://twitter.com/DynamicBaseball

Written by Todd Boss

May 23rd, 2018 at 9:31 am

Posted in Local Baseball

Nats on a tear … while being hobbled on the D/L

16 comments

What a difference a year makes. Last year he was MLB's POTM; this year he's hitting .217 and is now on the D/L. Photo via WashingtonTimes.com

What a difference a year makes. Last year he was MLB’s POTM; this year he’s hitting .217 and is now on the D/L. Photo via WashingtonTimes.com

Another day, another D/L trip.  The latest is Ryan Zimmerman, whose position is more than ably being filled by Matt Adams, heading to the 10-day d/L with “back soreness” but which we know to be an oblique (which is a notoriously iffy injury, if indeed he has a real injury and this isn’t some sort of paper maneuver to get Adams more ABs.  Yes I’m a cynic).  This a day after starting catcher and $10M “homage to Scott Boras‘ ability to undermine Mike Rizzo‘s plans by repeatedly going over his head to ownership” Matt Wieters goes down with a “hamstring” injury (btw: he looked like a 50-yr old man running to first base; was it any surprise he came up hobbled?)

The Nats, as of 5/13/18, now have 10 guys on the D/L and an 11th suspended.  Only three of them even have a vague return date defined, and one of those is Joe Ross, who is recovering from Tommy John and whose return date is listed as “probably 2018.”  Nine of the 10 guys (not including Read) arguably are part of the “best 25” that our team would field, meaning we’re playing 9 guys out of 25 who should be in AAA.

This number of current players on the D/L, not surprisingly, leads the league and their cumulative totals of number of players, games lost and payroll wasted for the season is at or near the top.

Great.

Yet, somehow, during this period the team is on fire.   They’ve won 12 of 14.  They’re 13-7 in their last 20.  Went into the hot Arizona team and crushed them on their turf.

What’s going on?  How is this happening?

Part of this is the particular guys getting hurt; i.e. none of the rotation.  We’re getting a ton of quality starts, guys pitching deep into the games.  Under-rated at the time signing Jeremy Hellickson took a perfect game into the 7th.  That’s the definition of “found gold” for a 5th starter.   Five of the top Eight season-to-date guys by bWAR are the 5 rotation members.

But for the most part it has been part-time players stepping up big time.

  • Pedro Severino in for Wieters (and before that Miguel Montero, 2018’s first “Oblivion” candidate): posting a 98 OPS+ and providing stellar defense behind the plate.
  • Howie Kendrick in for Daniel Murphy?  113 OPS+ thank you very much.  Great signing.
  • Wilmer Difo covering for Anthony Rendon while he missed half the season thus far?  102 OPS+
  • Adams, as previously noted, is crushing the ball right now: 178 OPS+.
  • The hodge-podge of left fielders not named Adams?  well … that’s another story.  Thankfully  we can put most any ole stiff out there and still get production.

I thought this team did amazingly well last  year given its injuries … but now its looking even worse this year.   Yet they’re right where they need to be after a sluggish start.  What I worry about is missing a month of Scherzer, or having Harper  go down ye t again.