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2017 Draft coverage; Prospect ranks, important links and local players of note

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Scout-MLB-draft-central-2017-640

2016’s version of this post.

Its Draft Day!

The 2017 MLB rule-4 (Amateur) draft starts  6/12/17 at 7pm.  The MLB Network will have full coverage of the first round of picks. This post is my dumping ground of draft coverage for 2017.

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

Draft Coverage so far at NAR for 2017:

  • Local Draft prospects of note for 2017: namely, J.B. Bukauskas, Adam Haseley and Pavin Smith (see more below)
  • Mock Draft Overview for 2017.  The same top 5 names seem to appear … and the Nats are more and more rumored towards a problem child.

Draft Links of importance

  • MLB.com Official 2017 Draft Central home page.
  • MLB’s Awesome 2017 Draft Tracker; you can slice and dice the draft 10 different ways, search by schools and home states, etc.
  • Official MLB 2017 Draft Order, including slot values for the first few rounds. Nats pick 25th, then 65th, then 103rd, then 133rd and 30 more each add’l round.
  • Official Draft Bonus Pool totals for 2017.  Minnesota most with $14M, Nats have about $5.5M.
  • MLB Draft Database for all past drafts.
  • Baseball-Reference Draft Tools: links to their draft database plus some custom reports.
  • MinorLeagueBall.com’s 2017 Player profile index; an index of their profiles of all the top-end draft prospects for this year.

Here’s a slew of Draft Prospect rankings : these are NOT the same as mock drafts; these are independent rankings of the players without consideration to draft considerations.  Apologies in advance; many of these are insider/subscription.  Fork over the dollars and subscribe and support baseball coverage that you like!

(Pundits to track: D1Baseball, ESPN Law, MLBpipeline, MinorleagueBall, USAToday, BaseballAmerica, PerfectGame, Scout.com, MLBDraftReport, BeyondtheBoxScore)

Notice how nearly EVERY list has Greene as the best prospect in this draft?  That’s pretty consistent view … but there’s no chance that Greene goes #1 overall.  So thanks to the perverse risks associated with drafting prep kids, yet again we will likely see the best prospect not getting taken #1 overall.  This seems to happen nearly every year since the Strasburg/Harper drafts.   In 2011, Gerrit Cole went 1-1 when Anthony Rendon should have been.  In 2012 i think the “right guy” went 1-1 (Carlos Correa).  Imagine the Astros right now had they taken Kris Bryant instead of Mark Appel (who didn’t sign and who has yet to matriculate to the majors) in 2013 1-1 overall.  Brady Aiken 1-1 overall in 2014 was defensible at the time … but Carlos Rodon was the presumed 1-1 heading into the spring season.   I don’t think anyone disputes the Dansby Swanson 1-1 pick in 2015 (it was a weak class), but few think that Mickey Moniak was the best prospect in the 2016 class (most had it as Jason Groome or Riley Pint;  Groome fell to 12th thanks to some off-the-field stuff and is now hurt while Pint is struggling in low-A).  So its good to be the 2nd team picking this year.


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

  • J.B. Bukauskas: has had a fantastic junior season and has become perhaps the 2nd best collegiate pitcher this class.  Still undersized … but there are some 6’0″ guys with success in the majors right now.
  • Adam Haseley: has rocketed up draft boards by being perhaps the 2nd best two way player in college baseball.  Upper 1st round talent.
  • Pavin Smith: 1B only but a sweet, solid bat.  Upper 1st round talent.

At this point, all three of these players are projecting in the first half of the first round; no other local player seems close.  There’s a slew of other local college kids mentioned in the BA top 200, which means they’re all likely 5th-8th round material.

Local Prep players of note who are serious draft candidates: none this year.  Unlike last year, where Joe Rizzo and Khalil Lee both were top 5 round picks, there’s nobody anywhere in the DC/MD/VA landscape that is threatening to be a top-end prep pick (at least as far as I can tell right now).

Nats Re-Draft players of interest: these are guys who the Nats have previously drafted but who did not sign.  Using the Nats Draft Tracker as a guide, here’s some prep guys we drafted generally in 2014 who are now rising college juniors and are bigger names in this draft:

  • Stuart Fairchild, OF from Wake Forest: we drafted him in the 38th round in 2014; he’s now perhaps projected mid 2nd round.
  • Evan Skoug, C from TCU: we drafted him in the 34th round in 2014; now he’s perhaps projected as a 3rd rounder.
  • Tommy Doyle, RHP from Flint Hill HS/UVA: we drafted him in the 35th round in 2014, probably as a hat-tip to a local kid more than a possible signee.  He’s projected as a 6th rounder after a decent career at UVA coverting to relief.
  • Quinn Brodey, RHP from Stanford: we drafted him in the 37th round in 2016; now he’s perhaps a 6th-7th rounder projected.
  • Morgan CooperRHP from UTexas; we drafted him in the 34th round last  year in 2016: he chose to stay in school to build value and now is projected as a 5th-6th rounder.
  • Tristan Clarke and Cory Voss: two Juco draftees from 2016 who are draft eligible for 2017.  Clarke started for UNO and put up solid numbers, albeit in the weaker Southland conference.  Voss only played part-time at UofA and isn’t a draft prospect.
  • Other Prep draftees in 2014 not mentioned here who are not draft prospects:

Mock Drafts

See separate Mock Draft post.


 

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

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

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

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

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


Major Local College Draft Prospects for 2017

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

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

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

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

Lesser Local College draft eligibles w/ Local Ties

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gap between the above guys and the rest:

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

 

Sources used

Written by Todd Boss

June 1st, 2017 at 10:07 am

Posted in Draft,Local Baseball

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CWS 2017: Field of 64 announced with Regional predictions

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CWS-2017_calendar-narrow

Its that time of year again; Its College Baseball playoff season!

On 5/28/17, a day before the entire field was announced, the 16 Regional hosts were announced.  These are also the top 16 seeds (though they only acknowledge the top 8 “national seeds”).  The following day, the entire field was announced.  Here’s a look at the 16 regional tournaments with some quickie thoughts.

Each of these 4-team sets is listed in the “seed” in the regional, starting with the host.  I’ve organized them as they’ll meet in the super regionals.

#1 Oregon State, with Nebraska, Yale and Holy Cross.  No challenges here for the #1 overall seed, which finished the season an amazing 49-4.
#16 Clemson, with Vanderbilt, St. Johns, UNC-Greensboro: Clemson draws the always-tough Vanderbilt, who may upset the Tigers.

#8 Stanford, with Cal State-Fullerton, BYU, Sacramento State: tough draw for Stanford, who has a national seed for the first time in a while.  Fullerton is always a tough out.
#9 Long Beach State, with Texas, UCLA, San Diego State: wouldn’t be surprised to see the scrappy SDSU team make some waves here, nor would I be surprised watching Texas win this.  Texas may be one of the weaker #2 seeds, but the rest of this regional is weaker too.

#5 Texas Tech, with Arizona, Sam Houston State, Delaware.  Texas Tech has quietly put together a monster season, and I see little to prevent them from sweeping through this regional.
#12 Florida State, with UCF, Auburn, Texas Tech.  We’ll get to the snubs below, but the fact that Florida State is hosting over UVA (not to mention Clemson) is kind of ridiculous.

#4 LSU, with Southeastern LA, Rice and Texas Southern.  Odd to see Rice with a #3 seed, odder still to see SELA with a #2 seed.  LSU should breeze here.
#13 Southern Miss, with Mississippi State, South Alabama and Illinois-Chicago.  Tough draw for Southern Miss; Illinois-Chicago has one one of the best staffs in the country.

#2 UNC with Florida Gulf-Coast, Michigan, Davidson.  Davidson’s first ever visit to the CWS tourney will be against the #2 team in the land …though they’ll probably save J.B. Bukauskas for the second game (likely against under-seeded Michigan).  Still, not much here to trouble UNC.
#15 Houston with Baylor, TAMU, Iowa.  Last team in TAMU, which did not suck in the SEC this year, probably makes this regional more interesting than Houston likely wants.  I could see either Houston or TAMU winning … but based on Houston having kicked off their #1 starter .. i’ll go TAMU.

#7 Louisville with Oklahoma, Xavier and Radford.  Good to see Radford representing the Commonwealth here; they’ll be two and out.  Louisville has the arms and shouldn’t be troubled by any of these teams.
#10 Kentucky with Indiana, NC State and Ohio.  NC State may give Kentucky a run for their money in this regional, but I don’t think they can beat them.

#6 TCU with UVA, Dallas-Baptist and Central Connecticut.  The last time UVA got snubbed so badly, they went to a stacked UC-Irvine regional, battered Stephen Strasburg in his final collegiate start, and made the CWS as a regional #3 seed.  Watch out TCU.
#11 Arkansas with Missouri State, Oklahoma State, Oral Roberts; I know little about any of these teams; Okla State is having a down year, Arkansas was 18-11 in the SEC West.  They’re a tough out.

#3 Florida with South Florida, Bethune-Cookman, Marist.  Man, what an easy draw for Florida.
#14 Wake Forest with West Virginia, Maryland, UMBC.  Well, the West Virginia-Maryland game should be interesting; does either team have enough to beat a good Wake Forest team?


 

Easiest Regionals: Oregon State & Florida

Hardest RegionalsTCU, Stanford

Regional Predictions (in the order listed above): Oregon State, Vanderbilt, CS-Fullerton, Long Beach State, Texas Tech, Florida State, LSU, Mississippi State, UNC, TAMU, Louisville, Kentucky, UVA, Arkansas, Florida, Wake Forest.

My Omaha predictions right now: #1 Oregon State, CS-Fullerton, #5 Texas Tech, #4 LSU on one side.   #2 UNC, #7 Louisville, UVA, #3 Florida.

DC/MD/VA rooting interests: UVA, Maryland, UMBC, Radford, plus Virginia-born players on UNC, NC State and Wake Forest rosters.


Snubs

The d1baseball.com guys think the last 3 teams out (roughly, ODU, Gonzaga and UConn) were more deserving than the last three teams in (roughly Maryland, St. Johns and TAMU).  But they also admit that its nit picking to some extent.  There were 6 or so “stolen bids” when the non-favored team won a 1-bid conference tourney … leaving a lot of deserving teams on the sidelines.

There’s some oddities in the draw; too many Big10 teams, which was only the 7th ranked conference, yet the Conference USA (higher ranked) only got two teams in (this goes to the ODU snub).

But the biggest, least defensible decision was to give Clemson the #16 seed/last host over UVA.  UVA beat Clemson 10-2 in the ACC tourney, finished with a better conference and overall record than Clemson, and (to say nothing about Clemson’s hosting) had similar arguments for hosting versus Florida State.  Then to add insult to injury … UVA gets sent to TCU’s regional.  Did UVA piss off the committee for some reason?

Marquee Draft-related players to watch

I won’t go through all 64 teams, but here’s some of the more interesting names to keep an eye on:

  • #1 Oregon State’s lefty starter Luke Heimlich is their main draft-eligible player this year.  He leads the nation with a 0.81 ERA on the year.
  • #2 UNC’s #1 starter is of course Ashburn’s J.B. Bukauskas; he likely goes #6 overall in the draft.  They also have likely 2nd rounders Logan Warmoth and Brian Miller as high-end draft prospects.
  • #3 Florida’s #1 starter is Alex Faedo, who is probably an upper-first round talent.
  • #4 LSU is led by Alex Lange, who is tied to the Nats as a lower 1st round pick.
  • #7 Louisville’s star is top-5 pick Brendan McCay.
  • #8 Stanford’s top-ranked draft prospect is pitcher Tristan Beck, a draft-eligible sophomore who missed the whole season with a back injury.
  • #10 Kentucky has a good hitting prospect in 1B Evan White.
  • #11 Arkansas is led by RHP Blaine Knight.
  • #15 Houston’s former friday starter was LHP Seth Romero, kicked off the team for disciplinary purposes.
  • Vanderbilt has two 1st round talents in Kyle Wright and Jeren Kendall.
  • UVA also has two upper 1st round players in Pavin Smith and Adam Haseley.
  • Missouri State has big hitting 3B prospect Jake Burger (4th in the nation in Homers this year).
  • UCLA is led by RHP Griffin Canning, likely 2nd/3rd rounder.

Several back of the 1st round arms listed here, many of whom are rumored to be on the Nats radar at #25.  Keep an eye on Lange, Romero, Beck (even if he isn’t playing) and maybe even Faedo if he drops that far (doubtful).

Other News

Defending National Champ Coastal Carolina struggled on the year and failed to make the tourney.  Miami had a relatively mediocre season and broke an amazing streak of 44 straight appearances in the CWS tournament.  A light year for Virginia schools with decent teams like ODU getting snubbed, VCU getting upset in the conference tourney, Virginia Tech struggling, the three local “George” teams struggling George Mason, Georgetown, George Washington), etc.


College CWS tournament references: (i’ll put more here when they get posted).

College Baseball Kickoff for 2017

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TCU Baseball is pre-season #1 team in the land. My father in law (a TCU alum) would be proud.

TCU Baseball is pre-season #1 team in the land. My father in law (a TCU alum) would be proud.

I know pitchers and catchers just reported … but its also the kick off of the Collegiate Baseball Season.  And I like following college baseball; after all, its where the Nats get all of their draft picks!  :-)

The first games of the new season start on 2/17/17.  Here’s a quick post to publish some links of interest and high light some local teams as we kick off the new season.

College Season Previews:

Pre-season top 25 lists: (I’ll back-fill those that havn’t published as of the publication of this initially)

  • Baseball America: TCU, Florida, Florida State (aka FSU), LSU and South Carolina top 5.  Defending champ Coastal Carolina (aka CCU) #15.  Other ranked local teams or teams with local players: ECU #6, NC State #14, UVA #16, UNC #17, Maryland #24.
  • D1Baseball: TCU, Florida, FSU, South Carolina, LSU.   Other teams of interest: NC State #6, UNC #9, ECU #10, CCU #11, UVA #17, Maryland #22, UNC-W #24.
  • College Baseball Daily: tbd
  • College Baseball Central: TCU, FSU, LSU, Florida, Louisville.  Other teams: South Carolina #6, NC State #8, ECU #9, UNC #10, CCU #11, UVA #18, UNC-W #24.
  • Collegiate Baseball News: TCU, LSU, Florida, South Carolina, Oregon State.  Others: ECU #13, UNC #15, UVA #16, CCU #19.
  • NCBWA (National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association): TCU, Florida, LSU, FSU, South Carolina.  ECU/NC State/CCU/UNC and Clemson ranked 9-13 consecutively, UVA 19 and UMD 25.

So, why is TCU #1 across the board?  Because they return practically everyone from last year’s team, which made the CWS, and they add to it a good recruiting class that includes the highest 2016 draftee not to sign in Nick Lodolo.  They have a pre-season All-American starter in Brian Howard and an early easy pick for player of the year in Luken Baker, who took the sport by storm last year as a freshman, hitting .379 and destroying pitching in the post-season.

Florida is in everyone’s top 5 thanks to their pitching depth and high-end talent (despite multiple 1st rounders drafted off of last year’s team they return another weekend starter who is in talks to go 1-1 overall in Alex Faedo.   LSU, Florida State and South Carolina return their typical strong teams.

There’s a ton of teams in the Carolinas getting top 25 attention.  This should make the ACC and SEC league play as interesting as always.  Locally UVA and UMD getting back of the rankings recognition, though I suspect both teams may struggle to keep up with the level of play they’ve established over the last few  years in the face of better competition south.


Pre-Season All-America Lists with Local players noted: (i’ll backfill those that havn’t published as of the publication of this initially)

  • BaseballAmerica’s pre-season All American: tbd
  • D1Baseball.com’s pre-season all American list: UVA’s Ernie Clement gets 1st team honors at 2B, J.B. Bukauskas gets 1st team for SP.  Virginia-connected Pavan Smith, Brian Mimms, Nick Feight, and Adam Haseley all 2nd teamers.
  • College Baseball Daily: tbd
  • College Baseball Central: tbd
  • Collegiate Baseball News: 1st teamers Sam Donko (rhp reliever, VCU), Feight from UNC-W.  2nd teamers: Bukauskas from UNC and UVA’s Pavin Smith and Adam Haseley.
  • NCBWA: Feight and Brian Mimms from UNC-W, Andrew Beckwith from CCU, Bukaskas, Donko all 1st teamers.  UVA’s Ernie Clement a 3rd teamer.
  • USA Baseball pre-season Golden Spikes watch list: Bukauskas, Feight and Mimms, Beckwith, Haseley, Kevin Smith from UMD, Pavin Smith from  UVA are the local interest players on the pre-season list.

I’ve highlighted mostly players with DC/MV/VA ties here but its worth noting there are several big-time names on every one of these lists.  When we do the draft previews you’ll see all the big names for the 2017 draft who are also at the top of these pre-season all-american lists: Jeren Kendall, Brendan McKay, Alex Faedo, Alex Lange, Kyle Wright primarily.  However there’s two sophomores who may be set to go 1-2 already in the 2018 draft: Seth Beer and Luken Baker.  Both had monster freshman years at the plate and should both be in the mix for the College player of the year in 2017.


 

Major College Site Index/Home pages; landing/jump pages for coverage at the major sites covering the game.

Local teams of interest and who they’re playing this first week:

  • UVA: at the Citadel tournament in Charleston, SC, playing Liberty, The Citadel and Kansas.  A UVA-buddy of mine sent me this link where UVA set their weekend rotation: it looks to me like they’re playing match-ups because I can’t imagine a pre-season All-American like Haseley being their #3 starter.
  • UMD: at the Clearwater Tournament, Clearwater, FL, playing Ball State. Louisville and Alabama State.
  • UNC:  hosting Kentucky, with Bukauskas likely going friday night in the opener.
  • GW: At Auburn for a 4-game opening series.
  • George Mason: at the Hughes Brothers Challenge in wilmington, playing UNC-W, App State and VMI.
  • Georgetown: At Davidson University in North Carolina
  • Coastal Carolina (aka CCU): your defending national champs are hosting the Caravelle Resort Baseball at the Beach in Conway (aka Myrtle Beach): they’ll play Richmond, W. Carolina, JMU and St. Johns.
  • JMU: also at CCU’s tournament, playing NC A&T, St. Johns and CCU.
  • Willam & Mary and VCU are both travelling to Florida powers (#2 Florida and #3 Florida State) respectively for challenging openers.
  • NC State though has the best trip: they’re At Hawaii.  That’s a heck of a travel budget they’re blowing through early.

College Baseball Kickoff – Opening Weekend review and some pre-season ranking lists

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UVA's Connor Jones kicked off this year with a gem. Photo via UVA sports

UVA’s Connor Jones kicked off this year with a gem. Photo via UVA sports

Welcome to the 2016 College Baseball Season!  Despite there still being snow on the ground here,  D1 programs all over the country played their first series this past weekend.

I know; I’m one of the few guys out there (at least in DC blogger-land) covering the College game.  So i’m ok if you keep moving on.  I probably got really turned onto the College game as I started to really look at the college arms the Nats were drafting, and the focus the Mike Rizzo establishment puts on college players.  Its a very “Billy Beane-esque” strategy; college players have more ABs, more consistent stats and more experience playing against “known quantities” of talent (especially those guys in the top baseball leagues like the SEC and ACC).  Now with two very good local programs (UVA and UMD) and a ton of local guys who i’ve been following long enough to track them from HS draft prospect to College draft prospect, I continue coverage of the College game.

Quick rundown of the top local prospects first weekend in action;

  • UVA’s Connor Jones threw 7 shut-out innings in a UVA win over Kent State.
  • Maryland’s Mike Shawaryn gave up 2 runs on 3 hits in a loss at Alabama
  • UVA’s Matt Thaiss went 6-13 in the kickoff tournament down in Myrtle Beach.
  • Ole Miss’ Error Robinson (a dc-native but quickly rising on the draft boards) went 2-for-7 with 3 walks and 4 runs in a their opening series sweep against FIU.
  • UNC’s J.B. Bukauskas had 9 Ks in 4 2/3’s innings but got a hook after showing some wildness in an eventual UNC loss.

I have a comprehensive post about all DC-area prospects coming, headlined by these four guys but also including all the local prep and college players, which we’ll post once HS season starts up.

Meanwhile, here’s some pre-season top-X lists for the new year: you’re going to see the same 4 teams at the top of every list.  There’s only 5 or so main sites covering the game, so we’ll go back to these blogs and sites constantly.  D1baseball.com and BaseballAmerica.com are the leaders but the other Collegiate Baseball sites are good as well.

  • D1Baseball’s pre-season top 25: Florida, Louisville, TAMU, Vandy, Oregon State.
  • Baseball America’s pre-season top-25: Florida, Louisville, TAMU then surprisingly UVA #4.
  • College Baseball Daily pre-season top 25 from 2/1/16: Louisville #1, TAMU #2, Vanderbilt #3 and Florida #4.  Virginia #8, Maryland #22.
  • College Baseball Central’s pre-season top 25 January 2016: Florida #1, Louisville #2
  • Collegiate Baseball News pre-season top-40 announced in Dec 2015.  Florida #1, Louisville #2, which isn’t surprising since both teams have multiple pre-season first team all-americans on their team.  Local teams mentioned: UVA #9, Maryland #28.
  • NCBWA (National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association)’s pre-season top-30: Florida, Louisville, Vandy and TAMU.

And here’s some pre-season All-America lists.  You’ll recognize a lot of these names if you’ve followed any pre-2016 draft coverage, and this list will eventually comprise a huge percentage of the first round draft this coming June.

  • Collegiate Baseball News announced in Dec 2015 their pre-season All Americans and it contains a whole slew of names in contention for 1-1 in 2016.  A.J. Puk, Alec Hanson, Corey Ray along with other big-time names such as Kyle Funkhouser, Nick Banks.  Maryland’s Mike Shawaryn is a 1st teamer, UVA’s Connor Jones and the Navy’s Luke Gillingham a 2nd-teamer, and Matt Thaiss (UVA), Charley Gould (W&M) and Michael Morman (Richmond) are 3rd teamers.
  • D1Baseball.com’s pre-season all American list: the two aces for local college teams UVA and UMD are listed (Jones and Shawaryn).   UVA’s Thaiss is a 2nd teamer.  D1baseball also has a list of the Top 300 College draft prospects for 2016.
  • BaseballAmerica’s pre-season All American team is here.  No local guys on 1st team, Shawaryn, Jones and Pavin Smith are on the 2nd and 3rd teams.
  • USA Baseball pre-season Golden Spikes watch list: includes most major D1 prospects and local guys Shawaryn, Jones, Thaiss and Gillingham.

A full overview of D1Baseball’s coverage is here.  BaseballAmerica’s College index is here.

 

 

2015 CWS Finals: Virginia wins!

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WaddellBrandon via 247sports.com

Brandon Waddell pitched the game of his life in the CWS final. Photo via 247sports.com

Here’s a recap of our CWS coverage so far for 2015:

 


Here’s how the Finals played out.

  • In Game One on 6/22/15, UVA’s Connor Jones matched Vanderbilt’s ace Carson Fulmer zero for zero for the first five innings.  However, Vanderbilt got a well-timed opposite field double down the line to plate two and then scored three more, knocking Jones from the game in the 7th to win game one 5-1.  Fulmer was outstanding, holding UVA to just 2  hits through 7 2/3rds innings, leaving with a large lead in his final collegate appearance (he was drafted 8th overall by the White Sox).  Other players of note: #1 overall pick Dansby Swanson finally had a good game, going 2-4 with a run and an RBI.  Nats 3rd rounder Rhett Wiseman struggled; going 0-4 with the hat-track of three punch-outs.
  • In Game Two on 6/23/15, UVA turned to their regular outfielder Adam Haseley in somewhat of a shock, and he threw 5 shut-out innings before handing the ball to the most dominant pitcher this post-season has seen in Josh Sborz, who threw another 4 shutout innings to shore up the win 3-0 and force a game 3.  UVA’s offense was also unexpected; they were powered by their #8 and #9 hitters, the latter of which was walk-on senior Thomas Woodruff, who had a grand total of 67 ABs in his collegiate career.  It was Woodruff’s 2-run bases loaded single that provided the game winning runs.  Amazing.
  • In Game three on 6/24/15, UVA’s Brandon Waddell threw the game of his life, giving up 2 runs early but then shutting down Vanderbilt’s offense for the next six innings en route to a 4-2 win.  Vanderbilt’s Walker Buehler struggled with his control, giving up runs early and getting unceremoniously yanked in his last collegiate appearance.  Nathan Kirby came on to relieve Waddell, who threw 105 pitches on 3 days rest, and blew away Vanderbilt’s hitters in the 8th and 9th for his first (and last) career save.  3B Kenny Towns, a lowly 20th round pick by the Angels, was the game hero, with a very good diving stop to save a run early and a crucial go-ahead RBI late.   But it was freshman 1B Pavin Smith who was the offensive star of the game, clubbing a 2-run homer early to tie the game and deflate Vanderbilt.

UVA wins the first Baseball title for the ACC since 1955, an amazing stat considering the baseball-playing pedigree of the conference.  Super reliever Josh Sborz recieved the MVP award for his CWS work; final tally:  3IP on 6/13, 2IP on 6/15, and 4ip on 6/20, and 4IP on 6/23.  All Scoreless.

UVA completes a pretty amazing season all things considered; they suffered injuries to a number of their key guys, struggled in conference all season and likely only even made the field by virtue of a sweep of UNC in their final ACC season series.  But, for those who thought the final was a fluke based on the seedings of the two teams, consider this: Vanderbilt was the consensus pre-season #1 team by every poll out there, and UVA was either 2nd, 3rd or 4th in those same polls.  So these teams were expected to return to the CWS at the very least … they just to circuitous paths there.

Your 2015 College World Series Champion: The University of Virginia

This concludes the College Baseball season and our coverage of it for 2015.  I have some draft posts about summer leagues and summer travel teams of note for high schoolers that I may dig out again, for those interested.

 


College CWS tournament references:

UVA’s 2015 baseball recruiting class ranked top-10

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The publication Collegiate Baseball Newspaper recently announced its Top 40 college baseball recruiting classes, and 2014 CWS runner-up UVA was ranked 9th.  LSU, Wichita State, Florida, San Diego and Oklahoma State comprise the surprising top 5, though the rest of the top 10 contains some of the expected collegiate powerhouse programs.  In late October, Baseball America ranked UVA’s class even higher, at #2 in the country behind only LSU.

(Also: UVA announced their 2015 schedule on 9/25/14, schedule here).

UVA published their own press release, which detailed the names in their recruiting class.  A good friend (UVA alumni who has taken a big interest in the squad with their recent success) asked me to react to the class with what I knew.  Here’s what I wrote:

(Here’s what I wrote about UVA-committed players after the 2014 draft, and some of these guys were covered in my “pre-2014 season draft prospects” piece).

Derek Casey: he’s the player I’d be most happy about coming to school, were I a UVA fan.  He was a 3rd round talent, undefeated in his HS pitching career, 93-94 on the gun.  He should go far towards replacing the arms UVA stands to lose after next season to the draft (basically, all three of their projected weekend starters are Juniors in 2015).
Pavin Smith probably replaces Mike Papi like-for-like in the lineup; big lefty 1B/OF type.  Well regarded nationally.
Charlie Cody was more highly ranked on prospect boards before his Senior year; he’s a good bat addition.  At one point early in 2014 he was ranked as high as #34 for all HS prospects nation-wide by one ranking service.
Bennett Sousa is another guy who got a lot of national recognition even if he wasn’t drafted.  93mph from the left hand side, another future starter.
Tommy Doyle: its hard to say just how good he is: yes he got drafted (by the Nats in the 34th round) but his drafting seemed to be one of those “draft a local kid to appease a part-owner’s buddy” kind of things.  He pitched at a small high school (Flint Hill Prep in Oakton) with almost no competition, making it really tough to gauge how good he is.  He also played for a no-name travel team instead of someone like the Evoshield Canes.  What he does have going for him is his size: he’s 6’6″ and hitting 91, which probably comes out of his hand about a foot closer to the plate than a guy who is 6′ even, making it look that much faster.  If he can add a few mph, he’ll be a beast.
Jack Gerstenmaier, like Cody, had his stock drop in 2014 for whatever reason.  He was a 1st team PerfectGame All-American for the region at one point.  But Gerstenmaier-Cody could be UVA’s double play combo for years.

Of the rest of UVA’s announced class, I don’t know anything about them, even the local guys.  I’d guess that a couple of them are good talents … but most of them might be on minimal-to-no scholarship.

UVA lost a big-time recruit last minute in Devon Fisher (no relation to 2014 supp-1st round pick Derek Fisher); he was a catcher from Portsmouth who got drafted and then signed with Boston.  20th rounder so probably not for a lot of cash, which makes it that much more of a surprise.  He would have pushed this class up the rankings for sure.

With the new draft rules in place, its likely that guys like Cody, Casey and Gerstenmaier let it be known they had strong college commitments and thus that hampered their draft status.  Same thing happened to Conner Jones last year.  Good for UVA that they draw so well.

It seems UVA is quite setup for the future in terms of arms:

  • 2015 rotation: Kirby, Waddel, Sborz on weekends, one of the freshman/sophomores (Jones?) mid-week.
  • 2016 rotation: Choosing from Jones, Bettinger, Sousa, Doyle and Casey.  not bad.

Local 2014 Draft Prospects: Post-draft summary

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Jacob Bukauskas was among the area's highest ranked draft prospect. Where'd he go? John McDonnell/Washington Post via getty images

Jacob Bukauskas was among the area’s highest ranked draft prospect. Where’d he go? John McDonnell/Washington Post via getty images

We started looking at DC-local draft prospects early this spring with a comprehensive pre-season review of all local draft prospects.  Then at mid-spring season we took at look at just the best local prospects.   Now that the Rule 4 draft has occurred, lets talk about some of these big-time names from DC/MD/VA and who went where.

I’ll list these players with local ties in the order they were drafted, which it should be noted, turned out to be vastly different from their pre-draft ranking order.  Like with other posts, I’ll put in rankings for the player from four reputable ranking sources pre-draft for prospects: Keith LawBaseball AmericaMLB.com and MinorLeagueBall (though, as we’ll see by the rankings below, I’m not sure I think MinorLeagueBall’s rankings are worthy; they’re *way* off on some players who went in the upper rounds).  After the 10th round, we’ll just focus on “name players” or high schoolers who got previous mention; lets be honest, the odds of a high school star being bought out of his college commitment drastically drops after just the first few rounds.

Editor’s note: post-signing deadline I updated this with signing status and bonus for first 10 rounds of picks.  Actual bonus tracker from MLB.com here, slot values for each pick here.

The MLB Draft Tracker is the best tool out there for finding info on players and is used heavily here.

  • 1st Round/#19 overall by Cincinnati: Nick Howard, UVA rhp reliever (Law #63/BA #25/MLB #31/MinorLeagueBall #40).  Jim Callis reports that Howard’s stock was rising fast ahead of the draft, and MlbDraftInsider predicted an early 2nd round pick for Howard.  Shocking everyone, he went right after the Nats picked at #19 in the first round.  A surprise pick; he was projected to be just the third UVA player selected and perhaps a 2nd rounder.   He was a Sunday starter for UVA but moved to the bullpen in 2014 and showed a significant strike-out tool (he had a 15.88 K/9 rate on the year, albeit in just 28 innings closing games for UVA).  I wonder if Cincinnati is thinking they can move him back to a starting role, because drafting a reliever this high is (in some pundit’s minds) a waste of a first round pick.  Signed for $1.995M, $100k under slot.
  • Supp-1st Round/#37 overall by Houston: Derek Fisher, UVA OF (#15/#31/#26/#31).  Keith Law video breakdown.  Law predicted back of first round despite his ranking him as the 15th best prospect.  Scout.com predicted the same.  MlbDraftInsider predicted mid-first round.  They were all wrong; Fisher lasted until the mid supplemental 1st round, and odds are that Houston got a steal of a player here.  Fisher’s production was hampered by a broken hamate bone this season, causing him to miss time and lose power, so this pick was projecting his excellent sophomore season.  I think Houston will find a quick-to-the-majors corner outfielder who can slot nicely into a #2 or #6 slot.  Signed for $1.534M, exactly slot.
  • Supp-1st Round/#38 overall by Cleveland: Mike Papi, UVA 1B/OF (#43/#43/#45/#81.  Keith Law video breakdown.  Law predicted mid 2nd round.  MlbDraftInsider predicted early 2nd round.  But Papi’s strong finish clearly jumped him on Cleveland’s board, who nabbed him in the supplemental first round.  He profiles as a professional hitter, lots of line drives, lots of walks (I think of Nick Johnson).  Signed for $1.25M, about $250k under slot.
  • 2nd Round/#45 overall by Chicago Cubs: Jake Stinnett, SR RHP from U of Maryland (#51/#67/#72/#213??).  Stinnett clearly made himself a ton of money with his showings at the ACC tournament (8ip, 3 ER and 10ks versus UVA) and the CWS regional (8ip, 3runs against ODU).  He is the first college senior off the board, to a team (the Cubs) that is trying to rebuild itself, so one may wonder if this is a pre-negotiated/below-slot deal with a guy who won’t have a ton of leverage so that the Cubs can throw extra cash later on.  Either way, Stinnett was likely to go in the 2nd round regardless, so the Cubs don’t do much of an over-draft here.  Signed for exactly $1M, about $250k under slot.
  • 3rd round/#78 overall by Chicago Cubs: Mark Zagunas, C from Virginia Tech ((Law out of top 100/#111/#149/#106).  Zagunas profiles as a Jason Kendall like catcher; good defense, contact hitter who doesn’t strike out a ton.  But Law thinks he projects as a backup catcher and thinks this is a bit of an over-draft.  No matter; Zagunas became one of the first players to sign when he took an under-slot deal over the weekend.  Signed for 615K, about $100k underslot.
  • 3rd round/#83 overall by Toronto: Nick Wells is a LHP from Battlefield HS in Gainesville (Law out of top 100/#119/Out of MLB’s top 200/#343) who has a College of Charleston commit and who sits low-90s on the gun.  He’s popped up from being just a good HS pitcher to being a potential 3rd-4th rounder.   Slot is $661k.  Might be signable; that’s a lot of money.   Battlefield lost in the 6-A north regional quarters to McLean; i’m not sure which game Wells pitched (perhaps their first round game, a 4-0 win).  UPdate: named to Baseball America’s 2nd team All-American team for 2014.  Signed for $661k, exactly slot.
  • 4th Round/#111 overall by Seattle: Ryan Yarbrough, a senior LHP from ODU (na/#407/na/na) who I hadn’t seen on any pre-draft rankings.   I was surprised to find him at least on BA’s list.  He was a weekend starter (some Friday, some Saturday) for ODU this year but struggled to a 6-7, 4.50 ERA on the season.  In the CWS regional he pitched in relief in the first of their two-and-out losses to Maryland.  No offense to Yarbrough, but a 4th round senior draftee (slot value $471k) who likely is an org-arm more befitting of a mid-20s round pick looks like a complete money-saving move by Seattle to free up cash for other picks.  Signed for just $40k, more than $430k under slot.  Seattle went WAY over-slot with its 1st rounder and supp-2nd rounder and needed to make up for it with a ton of under-slot guys.
  • 4th Round/#116 overall by Milwaukee: Troy Stokes from Calvert Hall College in Baltimore (na/#316/na/#260).  He profiles as an undersized lead-off/CF and is committed to Maryland.  I can see him signing for slot frankly based on this draft position.  Maryland loses a recruit that could have really helped them.  Signed for $400k, about $50k underslot.
  • 4th Round/#127 overall by Tampa Bay: Blake Bivens is an RHP from George Washington HS (aka GW-Danville near the NC border) (na/#124/na/#140).  He’s committed to Liberty but has been consistently 90-93 on the gun with reports of good secondary stuff.  Projected as possible 3rd-4th rounder and indeed that’s where he went.  GW-Danville is a 4-A school that got upset in their conference semis, hence his absence from the prep radar.  His slot value is $404k; is that enough to get him out of going to Liberty?  I would think so, even given Liberty’s run to the CWS this year we’re not talking about a big-time program (though, that being said, I don’t know jack about Bivens personally, and he might be quite religious, which would explain his commitment to small-school liberty despite his talents).  Named to Baseball America’s 3rd team all-american.  Signed for $462k, about $60k above slot.
  • 7th Round/#213 overall by Kansas City: Brandon Downes, CF from UVA.  I’d accuse this of being a money-saving senior sign draft pick, but Downes is a junior.   Slot is $176k; if he gets slot he may sign.  That’s a lot of money.  Signed for $150k, about $25k under slot.  Not bad for a senior sign.
  • 7th Round/#222 overall by Oakland: Brandon Cogswell, ss/2b from UVA (na/228/na/268).  MLB’s profile projects him as either a 2nd baseman or a utility guy professionally.   I wonder if he’ll sign; slot figure is $164k and he’s a college junior.  Maybe this is a peak for him.  Signed for $200k, about $35k over slot.
  • 8th/#226 by Houston: Bobby Boyd, an undersized junior CF from West Virginia U (not ranked on any list) but who hails from Silver Spring and who went to St. Johns.   Completely unnoticed by any pre-draft ranking team; is this a punt of a draft pick?  .356 average (good) but just a .389 OBP (bad … just 10 walks all year).  Signed for $140k, about $20k under slot.
  • 8th/#250 by Detroit: Artie Lewicki, UVA’s mid-week/4th starter who got a ton of work in the ACC and regional tournaments.  A nice senior draftee for Detroit.  Signed for $60k, about $90k underslot.

 

  • 10th and 14th rounds: the only two JMU players were taken; Ty McFarland and Chris Huffman.  McFarland is a senior third baseman and son of the longtime JMU coach Spanky McFarland while Huffman is a junior RH who may opt to return in hopes of a bigger bonus next year.
  • 15th/#454 by Washington: Ryan Ripken, 1B from Indian River CC but more famous for being the son of Cal Ripken, Jr.  You can’t help but make mention of this pick, not only because it was the Nats, but because of who it is.  I can’t find much of any scouting reports on the guy.  MLB.com has a story with some more data.
  • 17th/#540 by Washington: Alec Keller, a senior CF out of Princeton but who went to Douglas Freeman in Richmond.   I had never heard of Keller, but then again I didn’t really start following prep baseball closely until recently.  Of interest; perfectgame lists him at 5’6″, 110lb but mlb.com lists him at 6’2″, 200lbs.  That’s one heck of a college growth spurt :-).  I hope Keller gets some playing time in Viera and earns another summer of pro ball.
  • 20th/#600 by Arizona: Jacob Bukauskus, RHP from Stone Bridge HS in Ashburn.  Keith Law video breakdown.   The local area’s top ranked prospect, projected as a mid-to-late first round pick, goes 600th overall.  Bukauskas had informed all interested teams that he’s honoring his commitment to UNC.  the thought was that a team might draft him early 2nd round and offer him a huge-overslot deal (as Law thought would happen, with a potential $2M bonus).  Alas it did not, and this 20th round pick seems like a waste of a pick frankly.  In late May he was named the Gatorade State player of the year.  Baseball America 1st team All-American for 2014.  Stats for the season: 7-0, 0.00 ERA.  Word came out during the regional tournament that Bukauskas was being shut-down due to shoulder tendinitis; this likely was the reason he didn’t get drafted earlier.  It looks like he’s getting his wish and going to school.  UNC must be ecstatic.
  • 20th/#614 by Boston: Devon Fisher is a catcher from 6-A south champions and state favorite Western Branch HS (Portsmouth).   UVA commit.  Projects as a 4th rounder, not picked til the 20th.  Another likely victim of the new draft rules; in years past a saavy team like Boston would just throw $1M at him in the 20th and he’d sign.  Instead UVA likely gets a big-time player coming to school.  Update: Fisher signed with Boston instead of going to UVA.
  • 21st/#634 by Washington: Connor Bach, SR LHP from VMI.   I had no recollection of him previously, but NatsGM Ryan Sullivan reports that he played in the Cal Ripken league and left an impression.
  • 22nd/#675 by St. Louis: Derek Casey is an RHP from Hanover HS (Mechanicsville) with a UVA commit.  93-94 on the gun.  Projects as possible 3rd rounder.  Casey led Hanover to the 2013 AAA Virginia state title and Hanover is the favorite to win the 4-A title this year.  Another great sign for UVA; Casey likely is going to school.
  • 32nd/#958 by San Francisco: Hunter Williams is a two-way lefty player from Cosby HS in Chesterfield, VA who has skills both on the mound at at the plate.  He’s limited to first base in the field, which may make it tougher for him to get drafted and developed.  91 on the gun.  UNC commit, it should be interesting to see which way he focuses.   Projects as a 4th-5th rounder.
  • 35th/#1050 by Arizona: Justin Morris is a C from DeMatha HS who plays for the 2013 PerfectGame national champions EvoShield Canes traveling team (east-coast based travel team with a ton of big-time names matriculating these days).  He’s a Maryland commit but didn’t improve his draft stock much throughout the year.  He was #295 on minorleagueball’s pre-season list but doesn’t get picked until garbage time in the draft.  Pre-season PG all-Atlantic 1st  team.
  • 35th/#1054 by Washington: Flint Hill’s Tommy Doyle, a UVA commit who I didn’t think was a draft prospect, but who the Nats picked up in the 35th round likely to curry favor to a local interest.
  • 40th/#1096 by Milwaukee, Taylor Lane, a shortstop from Chesapeake but attending HS in Florida at the IMG academy.  Florida commit.

Local Names of note not drafted at all:

  • Charlie Cody is a 3B from the same Great Bridge HS in Chesapeake that just graduated Connor Jones.  He’s committed to UVA.  His stock seems to have dropped this spring and he’s joining Jones at UVA; he did not get picked at all.
  • Jeff Harding is a senior RHP from the Cambridge-South Dorchester school that just made it to Maryland 1-A’s state semis (after winning the title last year).  He’s committed to South Carolina.  I thought he’d at least get a late-round courtesy pick, but I guess not.
  • Brodie Leftridge is an OF from Highland MD who played for St. Johns in DC with a Tennessee commit.
  • Zach Clinton is a RHP from Forest, VA, plays for Liberty Christian HS (the Virginia state private schools champ) and is committed to Liberty.  On 5/27/14 he was named the co-state player of the year for private schools (along with Tommy Doyle).  No love from MLB teams though; he went undrafted and looks like he’s heading to his home town college.
  • Hunter Taylor, a C from Nandua HS in Olney, VA.  Named to the Baseball America 2nd team all-American list, was not drafted.  Committed to South Carolina.
  • Pavin Smith is a big lefty 1B/OF two-way player from Florida who will attend UVA after not signing.  It seems like he could slot right into the departing Mike Papi/Derek Fisher lineup holes.
  • Bennett Sousa is a LHP from Florida who now will attend UVA.  93mph, seems like he will slot into their rotation in a year’s time.

Summary: UVA has a ton of players drafted (no less than 8, and 7 of them likely are signing).  But they have a ton of commits from major names who didn’t get drafted and/or who got drafted so late that they stand little chance of signing.  Devon Fisher, Derek Casey, Tommy Doyle and Charlie Cody are all UVA commits likely going to school.  UNC also makes out like a bandit, getting both Bukauskas and Williams to school.  And Maryland looks like it will get at least two very decent players coming to school in Morris and Harding.


Some useful draft links for you: