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2017 Prep Baseball Update #3: Virginia State Champions crowned

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Update #3 for DC/MD/VA Prep baseball for 2017.

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, Northern VA Regional Champs crowned.  Covers: MD state finals, VA regionals finals.  Usually publishes first week of June.
    #3: Virginia State Champions crowned (this post) .  Covers: VA state tourneys, recaps MD, DC, Private School results.  Publishes mid-June once the Va state tourney wraps up.
  • #4: Players of the Year/All-State lists and final rankings; publishes early July once all the all-state lists are published.
  • #5: final post with all content in one place, plus my Ficticious tournament of Champs

Lost in the shuffle of last week’s Draft and CWS regionals was the Virginia state finals.  This post is more than a week old now, but here’s a rundown of the Virginia finals.


Virginia State tourney match-ups and tourney locations

All the state tourneys ran from June 8th-10th at the various sites.  All state brackets available from this link at VHSL, and the district and regional brackets are here.

Semifinals and Finals:
1A/2A – Spring Jubilee at Radford, Virginia Tech, June 8-10
3A/4A – Spring Jubilee at Salem, June 9-10
5A/6A– Spring Jubilee at James Robinson/Westfield, June 9-10

 


6-A State Finals: held at Robinson and Westfield HS in Northern Virginia.

  • 6-A North Winner Oakton, runner-up Patriot
  • 6-A South Winner Cox, runner-up Western Branch

6-A State Semis Results:  Both North Regional teams fell short in the state-semis; Oakton lost to Western Branch 3-0, while Patriot lost to a solid Cox team 4-1.  Oakton finishes the year 19-8, Patriot 21-4.

6-A State Final: Western Branch got revenge on Cox for the Regional final, winning 6-4 for their 2nd state championship in four years.

 


5-A State Finals: held at Robinson and Westfield HS in Northern Virginia.

  • 5-A North Winner Briar Woods, runner-up Halifax
  • 5-A South Winner Prince George, runner-up Menchville.

5-A State Semis Results:  Briar Woods kept up its great post-season run, topping Menchville 6-1 to earn a state final bid.  Halifax threw state player of the year Andrew Abbott, who threw a 2-hitter to shut down the top team in the state Prince George and lead his team to a regional rematch in the state title game.

5-A State Final: Briar Woods 5 Halifax 4 in 14 grueling innings on a hot saturday.  Great run for Briar Woods in the 2017 post-season.

 


4-A State Finals: held in Salem, VA.

  • 4-A East Winner Hanover, runner-up Great Bridge
  • 4-A West Winner Liberty Christian Academy, runner up Harrisonburg

4-A State Semis Results:  In a result that even the Richmond-Times had to explain, Hanover defeated Harrisonburg HS 31-3.  Thirty One runs.   In the other state semi, Liberty Christian eased past Great Bridge 7-4 to setup a rematch of last year’s ridiculously epic 13-12 4A State final.

The 4-A final wasn’t nearly as amazing as last year’s game; Liberty Christian Academy defeated Hanover 8-5 to take the title.

 


3-A State Finals: held in Salem, VA.

  • 3-A East Winner Riverside runner-up Spotsylvania
  • 3-A West Winner: Turner Ashby, runner-up Brookville

3-A State Semis Results: 2nd year program Riverside continues to impress, destroying Brookville 18-6 to earn a state title berth.  Turner Ashby took the other state semi final over Spotsylvania.

In the final between Riverside/Turner Ashby, Riverside’s run came to an end with a 14-3 demolition by 3A champs Turner Ashby.

 


Smaller Classifications: held at Radford & Va Tech.

  • 2-A match-ups: Both 2A West teams won their semis, with Dan River beating Madison County and John Battle beating Goochland.  In the final, Dan River 5, John Battle 4.
  • 1-A match-ups:  Both regional runners-up upset regional champs in the semis, with Stonewall Jackson and Auburn HS advancing to the final.  Auburn 6 Stonewall Jackson 0 in the final.

Recent Virginia HS champs:  Before 2014, we just AAA, AA and A; now we have 1-A through 6-A.  For next season (2018 for baseball) they’re re-doing the classifications again, changing up teams in divisions and regions but keeping the six classifications.  I don’t see any of the big-time 4A teams (Great Bridge,  Hanover, Liberty Christian) moving up though.

2016: See this post for 2016’s state tournament wrap-up for all 6 divisions

  • In 6-A, Chantilly d Battlefield 3-2.  Hylton & Cosby state semis.
  • In 5-A, Nansemond River defeated Mountain View 5-3.  Potomac, Mills Godwin semi finalists.
  • In 4-A, Hanover d Liberty Christian Academy 13-12.  Jamestown, Kettle Run semi finalists.
  • In the smaller classifications, Rustberg repeated 3-A, Maggie Walker won in 2-A and Rappahannock won 1-A.

2015: See this post for 2015’s state tournament wrapup for all 6 divisions:

  • In 6-A, Madison d Chantilly 6-5.  First Colonial & defending champ Western Branch were state semifinalists.
  • In 5-A, Stone Bridge d Marshall 9-4.  2014 finalists Hickory & Freeman were state semifinalists.
  • In 4-A, Glen Allen d Jefferson Forrest 9-3.  Fauquier & Hanover were state semifinalists.
  • In the smaller classifications, Lafayette won 3-A, Virginia High repeated in 2-A and William Campbell won 1-A.

2014: see this post for 2014’s state tournament wrap up for all 6 divisions.

  • In 6-A, Western Branch d Chantilly 6-4.  McLean and Cosby were state semifinalists.
  • In 5-A, Hickory d Freeman 6-4.  Stone bridge and the surprising Freedom-South Riding semi finalists.
  • In 4-A, Hanover d Millbrook 7-1.
  • In the smaller classifications, Loudoun Valley won 3-A, Virginia High won 2-A and Northumberland won 1-A.

2013: AAA: Hanover d Great Bridge. Hanover’s super-junior Derek Casey (committed to UVA) outlasts Great Bridge and their 1st round talent Connor Jones (now attending UVA after spurning a likely late 1st round draft position).  Lake Braddock and Oakton beaten in the semis.

2012: AAA: Lake Braddock d Kellam 4-0. Lake Braddock lost to West Springfield in the regional title game but then blitzed to a state championship.

2011: AAA: Great Bridge d South County in the state final, giving the powerful South County its first and only loss on the season after starting the season 28-0.  Lake Braddock was the regional finalist and lost to Great Bridge in the state quarters.

2010: AAA: West Springfield d Woodbridge in the final, giving Woodbridge its only loss on the year. WT Woodson regional finalist.

Complete history of Virginia HS Champions: from VHSL’s website.  Covers all sports and has results for a century.  Lots of fun to dig through.


 

That wraps up Virginia, the last local state to play its tourneys.  Next post we’ll publish all the all-state/all-region accolades that come out this time of year.

Written by Todd Boss

June 19th, 2017 at 11:10 am

Posted in Local Baseball

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Prep Baseball Update #2 2017: Maryland State Champs, Virginia Regional Champs crowned

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Update #2 for DC/MD/VA Prep baseball for 2017.

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, Northern VA Regional Champs crowned (this post).  Covers: MD state finals, VA regionals finals.  Usually publishes first week of June.
    #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: 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.

Text in Red are pending results, which we’ll pick up in the next post in this series.

All Virginia regional finals were played on 6/2/17; here’s the scoreboard with all results.  Winner highlighted in bold red.


Virginia

Here are the Virginia Conference champions, regular season and tournament.  All these playoff brackets, if they exist, are at this link at VHSL.  I won’t re-link all the playoff brackets per district/region below.

6-A North Regional  Conference Tournament Results

  • 6-A Conference 5/ConcordeOakton beat Westfield
  • 6-A Conference 6/Liberty: Madison squeaked by Langley
  • 6-A Conference 7/Potomac: West Springfield blanked South County
  • 6-A Conference 8/ Cedar Run: Patriot cruised to the district title over Osborne Park

Regional Tournament Results: The four expected #1 seeds advanced easily in the first round of the Regional tournament; Oakton, Madison, West Springfield and Patriot.  In the regional quarters, all four #1 seeds advanced again; Madison advanced easily over Lake Braddock 6-0, Oakton advanced over Battlefield 5-3, West Springfield easily handled Westfield 9-2, and Patriot downed Robinson 1-0 on a walk-off homer.   The regional semi-finals on 5/30/17 were both interrupted by a massive storm that moved through and were completed on 5/31/17.  In those regional semis, Oakton walked-off with a Sac Fly in the bottom of the 7th to top Madison 3-2 while Patriot held off West Springfield 4-3 to punch their tickets to the State tourney.  The Madison/Oakton game was a rematch of an earlier game this season, easily won by Madison, so that result was surprising.  Patriot over West Springfield was more expected, given Patriot’s traditional strength.

Regional Final: Oakton got a n extra-innings, 2-run walk-off homer  from Junior Eric Lingenbach to take the 6A regional title from Patriot 3-2.

 


6-A South Region: mostly covering Richmond, Roanoke and Virginia Beach area.  But there are just enough schools in Woodbridge proper to form a 6-A conference closer to DC with teams that are typically considered for All-Met rankings.   Unlike 6A-North, just the top two teams from each district make the Regional tournament.  Thus, the district tournaments here are lagging the district tournaments for the North region, which finished before theirs even began.

VHSL bracket link here.  Direct link to Tide-water area tourney schedules at Pilot Online.    Direct link to Richmond area tourney schedules at the Times-Dispatch.

  • 6-A Conference 1/Coastal: Cox defeated Kellam in a battle of Va Beach heavy-weights.
  • 6-A Conference 2/Monitor Merrimac: Western Branch beat Oscar Smith in an upset-filled district tourney where top-ranked Granby and Woodside were upset early.
  • 6-A Conference 3: Manchester d Thomas Dale in a district tourney that went chalk.
  • 6-A Conference 4Woodbridge d Colonial Forge 12-11 in a barn burner.

Regional Results: all four district champs won their quarter final matchups, with Cox having the easiest time of it.   In the Semis, Cox beat Manchester 3-2 and Western Branch handled Woodbridge 5-3. 

Region Final:  Cox rallies to defeat Western Branch 4-3.


5-A North Region:

Conference winners:

  • 5-A Conference 13/Capitol: Marshall
  • 5-A Conference 14: Briar Woods
  • 5-A Conference 15: Potomac
  • 5-A Conference 16: Halifax

Regional Results: (5-a Regional bracket): There were some small upsets in the play-in games in the first round of the 5A North regional; an under-seeded Stafford fell to Stone Bridge (despite finishing the regular season 19-2) and#3 Seed Atlee easily beat #2 seed Wakefield.  The other #2 seeds (Orange and North Stafford) advanced as expected to face the #1 seeds in the quarters.  Stone Bridge faces one of the best teams in the state in Halifax, whose #1 starter (Andrew Abbott) has a ridiculous 133/3 K/BB ratio this spring and is UVA bound (h/t NovaBaseballMagazine.com).  In the quarters, #1 seeds Briar Woods, Potomac and Halifax all advanced, while North Stafford blanked Marshall to advance to the semis.  In the Semis, Briar Woods thrashed Potomac 8-1 while Halifax held off the surprising North Stafford team 2-1 in 12 innings.

Region Final: Briar Woods destroyed top 5-A team Halifax 10-0 to continue a surprising run in the post-season (they weren’t even the #1 seed in their own district).

 


5-A South Region

  • 5-A Conference 9/Atlantic: Kempsville d Hickory.
  • 5-A Conference 10/PenSouth: Menchville d Clouchester.
  • 5-A Conference 11: Deep Run d Mills Goodwin.
  • 5-A Conference 12: Prince George d Matoaca.

Quick predictions for 5-A south regional tourney: Prince George at 19-1 and Hickory are good bets to advance

Regional Results: as with the 6A-South tourney, all four district champs held serve in the quarter finals, mostly with ease.  In the Semis, Prince George and Menchville advanced, with the Menchville pitcher throwing a no-hitter to add insult to injury.

Region Final: Prince George continued 5A dominance, topping Menchville 13-5.


Smaller Virginia Classifications

4-A West:

  • 4-A Conference 21 East/A: Heritage upset #1 seed Loudoun Valley then #2 Seed Loudoun County to win the district.  Heritage and Loudoun County to regionals.
  • 4-A Conference 21 West/B: Harrisonburg beat Sherando in a 2/1 seed upset to advance to regionals.
  • 4-A Conference 22: Kettle Run easily won the region over Freedom to advance as the 4A North #1 seed with an unblemished 19-0 record.

4A Regionals preview: (bracket here): Kettle Run and Liberty Christian Academy look like they’re destined to meet in the 4A West regional final.  In the tournament though, Kettle Run was upset early by Lynchburg’s EC Glass.  Liberty Christian won on a walkoff, and they are joined by Harrisonburg and Freedom-South Riding (which recently dropped down from 5A).  The semis were a contrast in styles, as LCA won 1-0 over Freedom-South Riding while Harrisonburg topped EC Glass by a football-score of 14-13.

In the 4A regional final, Liberty Christian won another squeaker, topping Harrisonburg 1-0, validating their move to compete in the public schools VHSL.

4-A East (Bracket here)

Preview: I’d say that the two best teams here are Great Bridge (which has great baseball history as of late and just dropped down from 5A) and Hanover (which won the old AAA title just before reclassification and can easily compete with 5A and 6A schools).  In the 4A East quarters, Great Bridge, Dinwiddie, Hanover and Jamestown all advanced to the semis.  There, the expected wins for Hanover and Great Bridge occurred, setting up a great regional final (thought it took Hanover 13 innings to top Jamestown.

In the 4A East final, Hanover held on to top Great Bridge 4-3 in a battle of two of Virginia’s top high schools irrespective of division.  This matchup, coincidentally was the 2013 State Final just prior to going to 6 divisions.


3A West: Turner Ashby blanked Brookville 4-0 in the Regional final.

3A East: Riverside beat Spotsylvania in the final 9-6.  Riverside is in Ashburn and is coached by the former Stone Bridge coach Sam Plank, fyi.

Lower Divisions 2A and 1A features teams from the smaller areas of Virginia and we won’t bother covering them this year.  IF you want to see their regional and state brackets, visit the VHSL site above.


Maryland

Here’s the 2017 state finals results in Maryland, played over the 5/26/17 weekend.  Brackets here at the MPSAA website.

A quick list of past Maryland State champions by division:

The Maryland public high school seasons are now complete.


DC Public Schools/DCIAA:

  • DCIAA: (2017 playoff bracket): Wilson defeated School Without Walls 7-4 to take the DCIAA title and continue its ridiculous winning streak within DC public school competition.
  • DCSAA: (2017 Playoff Bracket): Gonzaga beat Wilson 9-1 to win the DCSAA baseball title (Wilson upset St. Albans to make the final).

DC public (and private) High school seasons are now complete.


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

State-level Private School tourneys:

  • MIAA: Regular Season: Calvert Hall, Spalding and Gilman were the class of the MIAA Class A all  year.  Boys Latin takes the Class B regular season title while St. Johns Catholic is again the Class C regular season title winner.   Loyola Blakefield came out of nowhere to beat Calvert Hall in the MIAA-A playoffs (their first title in 71 years), having just a .500 record during the season.  Boy’s Latin beat Severn to take the MIAA-B final.  St. Johns Catholic ended up beating Gerstell Academy 5-0 to win its 4th straight MIAA-C title.
  • VISAA: The VISAA playoff brackets show the top 8 private schools in each Virginia division.  In Division I; DC local schools Paul VI and Potomac School were upset early, with #3 seed Benedictine taking the VISAA Division I title.  The Miller School took the Division II title with defending champ Greenbrier Christian getting upset in the first round.  Southampton Academy repeated as VISSA Division III titleists.
  • Maryland Private School “Governor’s Flag” Tournament: tbd.  Draws are here. Only seems like there’s 4 teams for 2017: DeMatha, Spalding, McNamara and Avalon.  I’d guess this would be a cake-walk for Spalding.

DC-area Private School Leagues

Of note, Maryland baseball factory Riverdale Baptist won their 4th straight NACA National Championship, finished the year 30-1 and nationally ranked in every publication that attempts to rank national high schools.

All Area private schools’ seasons are now complete.


Individual Player Accolades Announced

In addition to being playoff-baseball time, this is also the time of the year that we start to see player awards.  I’ll put these in as they publish, but we won’t expect most of these until the end of June.

Gatorade announced their player of the year awards on 5/29/17:

  • MarylandHarold Cortijo, RHP/OF from Riverdale Baptist.  Committed to play at Seminole State U.
  • Washington DCJack Roberts, RHP/SS from St. Johns.  Committed to play at Elon.
  • VirginiaAndrew Abbott, LHP from Halifax County HS.  Committed to play for UVA.

Pending Awards to be announced/expected later this spring:

  • Louisville Slugger All-Americans: pending
  • Washington Post All-Met teams: pending
  • The Baltimore Sun’s All-Metro Team: pending
  • Richmond Times-Dispatch All-Richmond team (if exists): pending
  • Virginian Pilot All-tidewater team (if exists): pending
  • Virginia All 6-A North Regional team: Langley’s Danny Hosley is player of the year (no PG profile/unknown college commit).  Madison’s Jake Nielsen pitcher of the year (a Junior w/o a current college commitment).
  • Virginia All 5-A North Regional team: pending
  • Other Virginia All-Regional teams: pending
  • Northern Virginia All-District teams: Available at this link at Novabaseballmagazine.com, thanks to Joey Kamide for all his hard work.
  • VHSL All-State Teams: pending
  • VISAA’s All-State teams:
    • Division I All State Team with several Paul VI and Flint Hill players.  Player of the Year: Evan Justice– Collegiate School, a LHP from Richmond committed to NC State.
    • Division II All State Team.  Player of the year: Ethan Murray– Miller School, a Junior SS/RHP who sports a 4.0 and is an early commit to Duke.
    • Division III All State Team.   Player of the Year: Carter Davis– Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot, a C from Powhattan committed to St. Andrews Presbyterian College.
  • Maryland MIAA All-State teams (if exists): pending
  • All WCAC 2017Jack Roberts, RHP/SS from St. Johns player of the year.
  • All MAC 2017 and all IAC 2017 also at Novabaseballmagazine.com’s site.

My master list of links used to cover HS Baseball:

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

Prep Baseball Update #1 2017: DC/MD/VA District High School Tournament Report: 2017 post-season underway

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Welcome to my Prep Baseball Tourney coverage for 2017.  We’re a bit late to get started thanks to my out-of-town trip, and I’ve done little in the way of coverage this year since the local landscape of high-end players hasn’t been as interesting.  But here we go; its tournament time so might as well get started.

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.

Northern Virginia

Virginal district tournaments get started last weekend and most are scheduled to finish this week.  The VHSL site has some district brackets already published.  NovaBaseballMagazine has done a great job keeping up conference results and has links to the conference tournaments under its “Standings” links.  Here’s a preview of the district tournaments for local conferences with the leading contenders.

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.

  • 6-A Conference 5/ConcordeOakton beat Westfield for a district title repeat, not giving up a run in the process.  Robinson and the dangerous Centreville also advance.
  • 6-A Conference 6/Liberty: Madison squeaked by Langley for their 5th straight conference title; they finished the year with just two losses.  South Lakes and McLean also advance to regionals.
  • 6-A Conference 7/Potomac: West Springfield blanked South County in the final, Lake Braddock (the #1 seed) and West Potomac also advance to regionals.
  • 6-A Conference 8/ Cedar Run: Patriot cruised to the district title over Osborne Park.  Osborn and Battlefield also advance.

Regional Preview: The four expected #1 seeds advanced easily; Oakton, Madison, West Springfield and Patriot.  Unfortunately the two best teams (Oakton and Madison) are on the same side of the bracket.  I’m predicting a Madison-Patriot regional final and a Madison victory in a down year for the region.

In the 5-A division:

  • 5-A Conference 13/Capitol: Marshall repeated as district winner, with Wakefield and Edison advancing to regionals.
  • 5-A Conference 14: Briar Woods upset #1 Stone Bridge for the district title, with Broad Run advancing to regionals.
  • 5-A Conference 15: Potomac took the title over upset-minded North Stafford.   #1 seed Stafford also advanced to regionals.
  • 5-A Conference 16: #1 seed Halifax cruised to the district title.  Orange and Atlee also advanced to regionals.

Regional Preview: (5-a Regional bracket): I’m predicting a Potomac-Marshall regional final with Potomac taking the title.  We’ll see how good Halifax is soon enough; they face off against perennial power Stone Bridge in the regional quarters.  Prep Report thinks Halifax is the best 5-A team in the state… but Stone Bridge just handled Stafford easily enough, who they thought were #2.

There are some DC-local teams in the 4th and smaller divisions (mostly in Loudoun County).  We’ll go through them once their brackets are made available on VHSL.  The best 4-A team out there is probably Kettle Run, #1 in Nova Baseball Magazine’s rankings.


Maryland

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

  • Maryland 4-A: 2012 champ Northwest defeated several perennial powerhouses to take the 4A-West region title.  Eleanor Roosevelt won an upset-laden 4A-South regional.  #1 seed and powerhouse Severna Park won the 4A-East title with ease, while Baltimore-based Howard upset several perennial contenders to take the 4A-North title.  In the state semis, Howard and Northwest advanced to meet in the state final.
  • Maryland 3-A: Poolesville over Thomas Johnson in the 3A-East, Huntington upsettting Rockville to win 3A-South, 2014 4-A state champ Chesapeake-AA beat River Hill to take the 3A-East, and 2010 state champ C. Milton Wright over Landsdown in a Baltimore-laden 3A-North Regional.  Poolesville will take on Chesapeake in the 3A-final.
  • Maryland 2-A: Middletown won the 2A-East, two-time defending 2-A champ Southern was beaten by former 3-A powerhouse La Plata in the 2A-South final, Fallston won 2A-East and last year’s finalist Eastern Tech won 2A-South.  Middletown and Fallston will battle for the state title.
  • Maryland 1-A:  (mostly smaller schools outside the DC area): Three repeat regional titleists in St. Michaels,  Patterson Mill,  and Pikesville, joined by Boonsboro.  Boonsboro will battle St. Michaels for the state title.

 


DC

  • DCIAA: (2017 playoff bracket): Wilson defeated School Without Walls 7-4 to take the DCIAA title and continue its ridiculous winning streak within DC public school competition.
  • DCSAA: (2017 Playoff Bracket): Gonzaga beat Wilson 9-1 to win the DCSAA baseball title (Wilson upset St. Albans to make the final).

 


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

State-level Private School tourneys:

  • MIAA: Calvert Hall, Spalding and Gilman were the class of the MIAA Class A all  year.  Boys Latin takes the Class B regular season title while St. Johns Catholic is again the Class C regular season title winner.   Loyola came out of nowhere to beat Calvert Hall in the MIAA-A playoffs.  Boy’s Latin beat Severn to take the MIAA-B final.  St. Johns Catholic ended up beating Gerstell 5-0 to win its 4th straight MIAA-C title.
  • VISAA: The VISAA playoff brackets show the top 8 private schools in each Virginia division.  In Division I; DC local schools Paul VI and Potomac School were upset early, with #3 seed Benedictine taking the VISAA Division I title.  The Miller School took the Division II title with defending champ Greenbrier Christian getting upset in the first round.  Southampton Academy repeated as VISSA Division III titleists.
  • We are waiting for the Maryland Private School Tournament to be announced; it should have some of the better private schools from Maryland, including the non-affiliated but perennial powerhouse Riverdale Baptist.  Details coming later.  It should be interesting to see if the big time MD MIAA schools can touch the nationally ranked Riverdale school.

DC-area Private School Leagues


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 25th, 2017 at 3:06 pm

Posted in Local Baseball

Tagged with

The 12 Posts of 2016; Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year!  Here’s a quick list of posts recapping the most “significant’ events month over month.

  • January: Drew Storen for Ben Revere; a trade that seems to work on both sides: In the end, not so much.  Revere lost his job and was non-tendered, Storen had a 6.21 ERA for Toronto before getting flipped to Seattle.
  • February: Spring Training 2016 NRI discussion: a review of all the Non Roster Invitees to 2016’s spring training; one eventually made the team (Chris Heisey).
  • March: Local HS draft-prospects to keep an eye in for the 2016 draft: 2016 was a banner year for local prep players, with two high-end picks from the Northern Virginia Area (Joe Rizzo and Khalil Lee), a 4th rounder out of the Richmond area (Brenan Hanifee), a 12th rounder from West Potomac who I had never heard of prior to his drafting (Jamie Sara), a 17th rounder from Maryland who I’m surprised wasn’t drafted earlier (Tyler Blohm), plus the expected slew of 30th+ round picks.  2017 isn’t looking nearly as promising.
  • April: Nats Prospects: Where to see them in 2016: I’ll do this again in 2017 … but its going to be a significantly different list of prospects after all the trades we’ve done.
  • May: Strasburg Extension Shocker! Pretty much the highest-risk thing that this management team has done.  Bigger than the Werth signing, more risky than the Scherzer signing.
  • June: “Those guys can kiss my *ss!”  Still makes me laugh.  Too bad we didn’t get to meet the Cubs in the NLCS.
  • July: Thou shalt not overreact to a blown save... .  And of course they did, flipping two lefty arms for a couple  months of Mark Melancon.
  • August: Do the Nats have a LOOGY problem?  Mike Rizzo certainly thought so, trading future Hall of Famer Max Schrock for Marc Rzepczynski for the stretch run.
  • September: Strasburg Flexor Mass; what’s plan B for the playoffs?  Plan Be turned out to be a shaky Joe Ross, but that wasn’t the reason we lost the NLDS.  At least Strasburg wasn’t badly hurt.
  • October: NLDS Game 5 via my “live texting” Made possibly by virtue of my texting back and forth late into the night with a buddy; it was a telling revisiting of the Game 5 meltdown.
  • November: Rule 5 protection analysis for 2016: the team ends up protecting 5 players, including future Hall of Famer and NAR lightening rod Matt Skole.
  • December: Huge Over-Pay for Eaton : the biggest trade of the Rizzo era goes down and its a large price to pay, but it also illustrates the modern economics of the game, where a cost controlled player is expensive to acquire.

Happy New Year!   January will have a couple of “clear the draft posts” articles about awards season, some HoF stuff probably since I just can’t resist, then I hope to get into the pitching staff reviews so that I can make 2017 staff predictions.  That’s the near-term plan!

Todd

Updated Master Prospect List in Google XLS

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The official Logo of the St. Louis Prospects. Apropos to this post.

The official Logo of the St. Louis Prospects. Apropos to this post.

Since we’ve been talking a lot about prospects, i thought i’d note that I’ve been catching up the Master Prospect rankings list (here’s the direct Google xls link) that I maintain.  Major edits lately:

  • I’ve noted those who have lost Rookie status in 2016: Trea Turner and Wilmer Difo, even if Baseball America and MinorLeagueBall insist on ranking him.  I’m not sure what to do with A.J Cole in this regard, nor Pedro Severino.  Koda Glover still seems to be a “prospect” by everyone’ standards so he’s still ranked.
  • I’ve noted those traded in 2016: Taylor Hearn, Max “future hall of famer” Schrock, Chris Bostick
  • I’ve noted those former “prospects” who were DFA/Waived/released in 2016: Abel de los Santos, Matthew Spann, Cutter Dykstra
  • I’ve noted those post-2016 MLFAs who at some point were ranked: Erik Davis, Paolo Espino, Kevin Keyes, Jason Martinson, Drew Vettleson, Neil Holland, Michael Brady.  If they re-sign, i’ll un-do the “out of the system” categorization.
  • Lastly, we’ve noted those prospects traded in the Winter Meetings: Dane Dunning, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez
  • I’ve now put in a couple of the early rankings from major pundits that have come out post-2016: BA top 10, minor league ball top 30, MLBpipeline’s top 30 as of the end of the 2016 season, and JP Schwartz’ post-2016 list.  We expect a ton more to hit in the Jan/Feb time-frame.

The Spreadsheet now has more than 100 “lists” from various sources dating to the beginning of the Nats franchise (Nov 2004 BA list, ahead of 2005 system).

Each off-season I generally expect to get 7-8 rankings lists from what I call the “major pundits” who follow prospects:

  • Baseball America/BA Prospect Handbook (J.J. Cooper, John Manuel, formerly Aaron Fitt)
  • Baseball Prospectus (Chris Mellon/Jason Parks/Ezra Wise):
  • MLB/MLBpipeline.com (Jim Callis/Jonathan Mayo/Mike Rosenbaum)
  • MinorLeagueBall.com (John Sickels/Nick Melotte)
  • Fangraphs (Dan Farnsworth, formerly Marc Hulet/Kiley McDaniel)
  • ESPN (Keith Law)
  • Prospect Digest ( Joseph Werner)
  • TopProspectAlert.com (J.P. Schwartz)

I’ve seen other pundits rankings in the past but not consistently year over year like the above seven lists.  If you know of any pundits who i’m missing, please let me know.

This year we’ll start to see a new #1 prospect in Victor Robles, after seeing 47 straight lists with Giolito ranked #1.  Robles becomes the 11th distinct player to be ranked #1 in our farm system at any point.

Enjoy!

 

 

2016 Season Statistical review of the 2016 Draft Class

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Dane Dunning was a 1st round pick and was arguably the best producer in 2016 of his draft class. Photo via gatorcountry.com

Dane Dunning was a 1st round pick and was arguably the best producer in 2016 of his draft class. Photo via gatorcountry.com

Editor note: from this post forward i’m going to start tweeting out via the new Nationals Arm Race twitter account.  @natsarmrace is the account.  I’m going to try to do a better job promoting the blog and its posts since, hey, why not.  Feel free to follow me there and retweet if you’re into that to get more people involved in the discussion.

In years past, I’ve adapted a topic stolen from minorleagueball.com’s John Sickels and reviewed all our draft classes statistically.  Last years set of posts (2015 draft class, 2014 draft class, 2013 draft class2012 draft class and 2011 draft class) turned into a great way to see how everyone was doing, and helped me write rotation reviews later on.  So let’s do it again!  Using last year’s posts to help make this year’s writing go better, we’re going to do another series of posts on each draft class.

First up; 2016’s class.  Here’s a fast review of the 2016 draft class, looking at their 2016 numbers and making some snap judgments.

Web links to use while reading:

  • Stats are pulled from milb.com and/or fangraphs.com; put the player name into the search bar to get his seasonal stats
  • The MLB.com Draft Tracker (which I believe is the best draft tracker out there) is the best place to get draft class information.
  • The Big Board and the Draft Tracker are the goto resources for prospects for any Nats fan.
  • More obscure stats on players are sometimes found at places like thebaseballcube.com, perfectgame.org, their college websites, twitter accounts for the players, and good old fashioned deep-dive googling.

At the end of each player write-up i’ll put in a color coded trending line for the player: Green for Trending UpBlue for Trending steady, Red for Trending Down.   This is just my knee-jerk opinion of the prospect status of the player system-wide.  And yes I realize this is their first pro ball season, short-sample sizes, scouting the stat line, etc etc.  So apologies in advance if you think i’m being too harsh passing judgement on a 15 inning sample size.  Of course I am; what else are we going to argue about this off-season?  :-).  I solicit any and all feedback from those who actually saw the games, who think differently or who have inside information that i’ve missed here (like last year when we found out that Perkins was converting to switch hitting).

Without further ado:

Round 1: Carter Kieboom, SS, Walton HS (Georgia).  Slashed .244/.323/.452 in 135 at-bats in the GCL, signing four days after being drafted and thus getting as full of a season in as could be expected.  43/12 K/BB in 135 ABs, 4 homers, 1 SB in 36 games.  He played SS exclusively and made 9 errors in 31 games in the field.   When he did hit the ball, he hit for a decent amount of power (.452 slugging).  At age 18 he’s still a year and a half younger than the average age of the GCL, so this is a positive start.   Still, I think he’d be hard pressed to make a full season squad in 2017, so I’d expect him to repeat GCL in 2017.  Trending Steady.

Round 1: Dane Dunning, RHP (starter) Coll Jr from UFlorida.   3-2, 2.14 ERA in Short-A (ignoring 2 innings at the GCL) with 29/7 K/BB in 33 2/3IP (7 app, 7 starts, 1 CG).  0.98 whip, 2.57 FIP, .263 babip.   He gave up 26 hits and one homer in those 33 innings, which is more or less in-line with the numbers he posted for the University of Florida his junior  year in a swing-man role.  I like Dunning and I like his approach; he comes right at you, doesn’t shy away from contact, and makes you hit his pitch.  He had a sub 1.00 whip, which is great from a starter at any level.  He doesn’t have eye-popping stuff, but he seems to consistently getting guys out.  You can’t ask for a better apprenticeship than Florida and SEC baseball, so he seems like a good candidate to jump from Low-A to High-A next season.   Trending Up.

Round 2: Sheldon Neuse, 3B Coll Jr. from Oklahoma.  Slashed .230/.305/.341 in 36 games in Short-A.  26/13 K/BB in 126 ABs, 1HR, 2SB.  Played mostly 3B (filled in 6 games at Short) and made 5 errors in 222 innings while playing third.  Neuse struggled a bit in his first pro season, not hitting anywhere close to the .369/.465/.646 slash line he put up in his stellar junior year.   And he ended up missing nearly half the season in two separate stints of inactivity.  I’d definitely say this is a disappointing debut season, but luckily for Neuse he’s a big bonus kid so he’ll get plenty of time to work things out.  I fully expect to see him starting at 3B for Hagerstown next year; he’s not going to be kept in XST to start the year.  Though I will say it was interesting to see that a 17th rounder from this same draft “jumped” Neuse and finished the year starting at 3B for Low-A (more on that later).  Trending Steady, barely.

Round 3: Jesus Luzardo, LHP (starter) from S. Douglas HS (FL).  No Stats in 2016; he had Tommy John surgery on 3/22/16 and spent the season on the GCL D/L.  We’ll see him in the GCL next year.  Trending Steady.

Round 4: Nick Banks, OF (Corner) Coll Jr. from Texas A&M: Slashed .277/.310/.320 in 60 games in Short-A.  37/11 K/BB in 231 ABs, Zero homers, 7 SBs.   Not a ton of power from Banks in his first pro season; he slugged just 10 points higher than his OBP.  Banks is a tough one; I loved this pick back in June, so I’m not going to kill him yet, but clearly we need to see a bit more from a guy who is already relegated to a corner OF position.  I suppose its possible he’s still affected by the back surgery he had in late 2015 (that was the excuse for his college junior stats falling off), but that’s nearly a year in the rear-view mirror by now.   He’s presumably pushing Rhett Wiseman up a level since they’re both upper round-drafted corner-only outfielders.  Trending Down.

Round 5: Daniel Johnson, OF (CF) Coll Jr. from New Mexico State.  Slashed .265/.312/.347 in 62 games in Short A.   42/7 K/BB in 245 ABs, 1HR, 13SBs split between playing CF and RF.   Wow; just 7 walks in 245 ABs; that’s not good.  As with Neuse and Banks, the slash line isn’t that impressive though Johnson managed better power numbers by showing a bit of gap power (9 doubles, 4 triples).   He should move up with his draft class to low-A next year, but (again, as with Neuse and Banks) we need to see some improvement and some patience at the plate.   Trending Steady.

Round 6: Tres Barrera, C Coll Jr. from Texas.  Slashed .244/.337/.366 in 48 starts behind the dish for Short-A.  22/15 K/BB in 164 ABs, 3HR, 0SB.  A solid season for the catcher, who led Auburn’s qualifying players in OPS on the year.  An interesting decision may eventually await the team; is Barrera good enough for the team to decide to cut bait on Jakson Reetz?   Reetz improved his numbers greatly this year (which we’ll discuss in the 2015 draft class review post), and there’s a straightforward promotion path for Reetz, Raudy Read and for Barrera this year … but it is going to get crowded at the top and soon.   Trending Up.

Round 7: Jacob “Jake” Noll, 2B Coll Sr. from FGCU.  Hit .318 in 18 games in Auburn and earned a promotion on 8/1/16 to Hagerstown.  Slashed .275/.332/.401 across 3 levels in 2016.   26/15 K/BB, 5homers, 3SB in 207 ABs.   A good season for a senior sign, who should start at 2B again for Hagerstown in 2017 and look to continue his excellent start to his career.  Trending Up.

Round 8: A.J. Bogucki, RHP (starter) Coll Jr. from UNC.  0-6, 8.20 ERA in 10 games (6 starts) for Auburn.  17/14 K/BB in 26 1/3 IP.  1.97whip, 4.53 FIP, .378 BABIP.   So clearly a 4-point delta between his ERA and FIP highlights a bit of unluckiness in Bogucki’s numbers this year.  Still, nearly 2 baserunners an inning is an awful place to reside.  He had two especially bad outings that helped inflate his numbers, but overall its hard to see Bogucki having a guaranteed full-season spot next year.  I presume he’s in XST and then re-trying short-A in 2017.   Trending Down.

Round 9: Joey Harris, C Coll Sr. From Gonzaga.  Slashed .301/.414/.329 in 26 games catching roughly every third day in the GCL.   15/9 K/BB, zero HR, 1SB in 73ABs.  He had a nice average .. but non-existent power even despite being a 22yr old in a rookie league.  Harris was a cut-rate bonus senior sign and the odds of him making it past next season’s draft seem slim.   Trending Down.

Round 10: Paul Panaccione, SS/Util Coll Sr. from Grand Canyon U.  Slashed just .205/.254/.250 in 50 games serving as a utility backup for Auburn.   20/9 K/BB, zero homers, 1 SB in 176ABs.   There doesn’t seem to be any cinderella stories with the senior signs this year; like Harris above, Panaccione seems like he’s a quick release once the 2017 class starts signing.  Trending Down.

Round 11: Armond Upshaw, OF (CF) J2 from Pensacola State CC.  Slashed .325/.391/.400 in 13 games (40 ABs) for the GCL.  He missed a couple of weeks in July then did not play after August 1st.  He had a promising start for sure and, assuming there’s not a serious, long-term injury he should make sense to perhaps compete for a spot at Low-A Hagerstown in 2017.  It’s too small sample size to really pass too much judgement, so we’ll go with Trending Steady.

Round 12: Hayden Howard, LHP (reliever) Coll Jr. from Texas Tech.  0-2 with a 5.06 ERA in 11 games for Short-A.  12/9 K/BB in 21 1/3 innings, 1.73 whip, 4.03FIP, .365 babip.   Not the best start from Howard, who was one of the last drafted players to sign and start his career.  He mostly pitched 2-3 inning relief stints but didn’t show much in the way of swing-and-miss stuff.  His BABIP shows he was a bit unlucky, and at the risk of over-reacting to 21 innings, I’d say he’s already on a short leash.  He’ll be competing for a bullpen spot in Hagerstown next year.   Trending Down.

Round 13: Conner Simonetti, 1B Coll Jr. from Kent State.  Slashed .280/.333/.446 for the GCL Nats.  54/13 K/BB ratio, 6  homers, 0 ABs playing 1B for the rookie league squad.  A college junior should have at least made the Short-A team; i’m guessing Simonetti was pushed to the GCL thanks to a numbers game.  54 strikeouts in 42 games played against guys who were 1-2 years younger is the biggest concern i’d have here; I would like to have seen more contact.  Just based on where he played in 2017, i’m going to say Trending Down.

Round 14: Kyle Simonds, RHP (reliever) Coll Sr. from Texas A&M: 0-3 with a 2.51 ERA in 13 games (3 starts) for Auburn.  27/8 K/BB in 32 1/3 innings.  1.08 whip, 3.43 fip, .272 BABIP.  A nice little season for the senior sign Simonds, who got a few “starts” (which I put in quotes because clearly they were doing tandem starts) but mostly was a 2-3inning middle reliever.  Good K/BB ratio, good overall numbers, kept baserunners to a minimum.  I think he’s a shoe-in for middle relief in Hagerstown next year.   Trending Up.

Round 15: Ryan Williamson, LHP (starter) Coll Jr. from NC State: No Stats in 2016; he had Tommy John surgery on 6/22/16 with Dr. Andrews and spent the season on the GCL D/L.  We’ll see him in XST next year to start and then likely with Auburn in 2017.  If he recovers, this could be another nice pick for the Nats; he had promising numbers as a weekend starter for NC State this year (7-2, 2.69 ERA in 13 starts)   Trending Steady.

Round 16: Phil Morse, RHP (reliever) Coll Sr. from Shenandoah U (by way of McLean HS): 1-0, 7.79 ERA in 19 games as a late-innings reliever for Auburn.  23/13 K/BB ratio in 21 innings, 2.24 whip, 3.37 fip, .508 babip.  So, at first glance his ERA and WHIP look awful.  But look at his BABIP: above .500!  That’s 200 points or more above where it should be, and his FIP indicates it.  So, hopefully the Nats officials also see this vast discrepancy and give him another shot.  It looks like he was used as an 8th/9th inning guy because of stuff, so in short outings one string of hits can really inflate your stats.  I think he gets another look in the Hagerstown bullpen next year.  Trending Steady.

Round 17:  Tyler Beckwith, MIF Coll Sr. from URichmond; slashed .253/.330/.331 across 45 games across two levels.  44/16 K/BB ratio, 1HR, 5SB in 166 ABs.  Beckwith spent most of the season in the GCL despite being a college senior sign, then interestingly was promoted to Hagerstown to finish out the season.  He split time evenly between 2B, SS (his drafted position) and 3B.  In the GCL, his OBP was higher than his slugging, indicating very little power potential here.  He will compete for a full season job but already seems behind higher-drafted players from 2016 (Neuse, Noll) plus some aging IFAs from the D.R., plus some hangers on from prior drafts.  He could be a release candidate soon after the 2017 class is drafted.   Trending Down.

Round 18: Ben Braymer, LHP (Starter) Coll Jr. from Auburn: 0-2 with a 4.12 ERA in 8 games (2 starts).   24/13 K/BB in 19 2/3rds innings, 1.32whip, 3.02 fip, .289 babip.  Braymer was used as a notional “starter” despite not getting the official starts; he was kept on a starter’s regime for the GCL but was shut down in early August (unsure if injury or just innings limits).  He was a Junior out of Auburn, where he was a highly regarded Juco transfer and was used as a swingman.  I’d like to see how he’d fare against like-aged players; more than a K/inning but against rookie league guys.  I’m hoping he competes for at least the Hagerstown rotation next year.   Trending Steady.

Round 19: Jarrett Gonzales, C from Madison HS in San Antonio; did not sign, apparently honored his college commitment.  At the time of the draft, I had him committed to Grayson Junior College in Denison, North Texas.   However, perfectgame.org now has him committed to Dallas Baptist University.  He is cousins w/ Garrett (our 32nd round pick, see below) and nephew of Nats scout Jimmy Gonzalez.  Initially I thought this might have been a “favor pick,” but you don’t generally blow 19th round picks (35th round?  yes).  The fact that he’s going to a powerhouse baseball program lends a bit more credence to his drafting in this spot.

Round 20:  Jake Barnett, LHP (starter) Coll Jr from Lewis-Clark State (Idaho).  0-0, 1.80 ERA in 2 games and just 5IP for the GCL.  Barnett signed on 6/20, reported to Florida on 6/24, pitched on 6/25 and then again on 7/1 … and then didn’t pitch again.  There’s no D/L assignment.  I guess we have to say he’s  Trending Steady until we find out his fate next spring.

Round 21: Jacob Howell RHP (reliever) Coll Jr. from Delta State (Miss.).  Posted a 2-1 record with a 3.49 ERA across 28.1 innings and three levels.   Looking just at his time in Hagerstown; 4.57 ERA, 15/7 K/BB in 21 2/3 innings.  1.25 WHIP, 3.59 FIP, .279 Babip.  Howell quickly moved from the GCL through Auburn to live in Hagerstown for most of the year, becoming the first 2016 draftee to matriculate to full-season ball.  Not bad for a 21st rounder from a small school.  His FIP indicates that his numbers are better, and his season was cut short a month with injury.  I’d suspect he’ll start again in Hagerstown in 2017 (unless his injury was serious) and move on up from there.  Good first pro season.  Trending Up.

Round 22: Sterling Sharp, RHP (starter)  Coll Jr. Drury (Mo.).  Posted a 3-0 record with a 3.24 ERA in 11 games (7 “starts”) in the GCL before getting an end-of-season promotion to Auburn.  35/6 K/BB in 41 2/3 innings in GCL.  1.27whip, 2.85 fip, .354 babip.  Nice looking numbers, much better than his college numbers this year, but done against younger competition even given the fact that he went to a smaller school.  His one Auburn start was solid and efficient; 5 innings, 2 runs on 69 pitches.  I like what I see, but will repeat the typical age-related caveat for all college kids in the GCL.  We’ll know more when he hits a Short-A or Full-season league.  Trending Up.

Round 23: Michael Rishwain,  RHP (reliever) Col Sr. Westmont (Calif.); was 1-0 with a 3.63 ERA in 13 relief appearances in the GCL.  14/5 K/BB in 17 1/3 innings.  1.90 whip, 2.58fip, .400 babip.  His usage was odd; he only pitched about every 5th day despite not being a “starter” in the GCL, and had several “gaps” of more than a week between appearances.    He also gave up a gazillion hits; 28 in his 17 innings to go along with a few walks, hence the inflated WHIP.  If they were holding him back to manage his innings that is one thing; if he was only getting brief looks because every time he got on the mound 2 guys got on base, then he may not be long for the season.  I see him as a long-shot to make a full-season bullpen and he may be a mid-season 2017 release.   Trending Down.

Round 24:  Joseph Baltrip RHP (reliever) J2 from Wharton County (Texas) JC; went 2-1 with a 1.38 ERA in 16 relief appearances in the GCL.  17/23 K/BB in 26IP.  1.46whip, 5.40 fip, .194 BABIP.  Well, I loved the ERA until I saw the K/BB ratio; he walked 23 guys in 26 innings.  Look at the delta between his ERA and FIP.  Despite being a J2 guy, he was 21 at the point of drafting so he’s the same age as a typical College Junior.  Clearly he’s got some control issues to work on.  As with previous college RHP relievers who were in the GCL all year, results need to be shown in like-age leagues and soon.   Trending Down.

Round 25:  Branden Boggetto, SS Col Sr. Southeast Missouri State.  Slashed .280/.328/.411 in 32 games in the GCL.  13/6 K/BB ratio, 3 homers, 2 SBs in 107 ABs.  Drafted as a SS, he played mostly 2B in the GCL this season.   Solid enough numbers for Boggetto, but (and I feel like a broken record) he’s 22.  I’m guessing he has a shot at a utility position for a team next season, but the roster’s crowded.  Trending Down.

Round 26:  Jack Sundberg OF (corner) Col Sr. Connecticut.  Slashed .256/.346/.340 while earning two promotions and ending the season in Hagerstown.  33/22 K/BB ratio, 1 homer, 12SB in his three stops.  You cannot complain about a 26th rounder who earned two promotions, even if the jump from Short-A to Low-A seemed odd based on his stat line in Auburn.  He played mostly LF, where you hope for a bit more power.   He did feature at CF a bit, so perhaps it was a positional thing.  A great first pro season.  Trending Up.

Round 27:  Jeremy McDonald, LHP (starter/reliever) Col Sr. California Baptist.  Went 2-1 with a 3.42 ERA in 11 appearances in the GCL.   27/5 K/BB ratio, 1.22 whip, 1.85 fip, .338 BABIP.  Yes he’s old for the level (he turned 23 just after the season ended), but clearly he’s got some command.  Nearly a 6-1 K-BB ratio is great.  I’m slightly surprised he didn’t get bumped up to one of the A-ball levels, but (like a few before him) he seemed to be on a starters schedule all season.  He generally went every 5th or 6th day even though he was only throwing 2-3 innings at a time.  I can see him competing for rotations in Low- or Short-A next year.   Trending Up.

Round 28:  Jonathan “Jonny” Reid, LHP (starter/reliever) Col Jr. Azusa Pacific (Calif.).  Went 3-1 with a 2.50 ERA across two levels, ending the year in Auburn.  24/7 K/BB, 0.94 whip, 4.41 fip (in Auburn), .281 babip (in Auburn).  Reid quickly proved to be unhittable in the GCL (8 hits in 15 2/3 innings) and got jumped to Auburn after a month.  There he pitched on a starter’s rotation, going every 5th day or so for 2-3 inning stints and finished with a 3.10 ERA in 7 outings.  He should compete nicely for a full-season rotation job or at least have a look at being a longer-man out of the pen.  Trending Up.

Round 29:  Sam Held RHP (starter/reliever) Col Sr. Nevada.  Went 1-2 with a 1.86 ERA across three levels, ending the year in Hagerstown.  22/8 K/BB ratio, 1.14whip combined for the year.  Like a couple guys before him. Held quickly showed he was too good for the GCL and got jumped to Auburn after three weeks.  There, he held his own for  a month of tandem starter appearances before finishing the last few weeks in Hagerstown.  He more than held his own once he got to full-season ball and should at least start there in 2017.  Trending Up.

Round 30:  Tristan Clarke, OF J2 Eastern Oklahoma State JC.  Did not sign, honored his commitment out of JuCo to attend the University of New Orleans.

Round 31:  C.J. Picerni, C Col Sr. New York.  Had just 8 ABs for the GCL, and it took 5 weeks for him to even get an appearance.   No idea what to think here; was he hurt?  Given his draft round and his lack of playing time, you can only assume he’s a short-timer until we get more information.  Trending Down.

Round 32:  Garrett Gonzales, 3B HS San Antonio HS in Texas.   Did not sign, honored his college commitment to Incarnate Word.  As noted above, he is cousins w/ Jarrett (our 19th round pick).  This seems like a “favor pick” for sure; he’s reportedly the son of a Nats area scout.

Round 33:  Ryan Wetzel SS Heritage Christian Academy in Overland Park, Kansas.   Did not sign, honored his college commitment to Pitt State.   The son of a special assistant to the GM for the Nationals, so definitely another “favor pick.”

Round 34:  Morgan Cooper, RHP (starter) Col Jr. Texas.  Did not sign, decided to return for his senior year (technically his redshirt junior year) at Texas.  He had Tommy John surgery, which caused him to miss the whole 2015 season.  In 2016 he was a mid-week starter for Texas, so likely he wanted to return to Texas to improve his draft standing for 2017.  Makes sense.  If he can produce as a weekend starter in the Big12 two  years removed from surgery he’ll be looking at a decent bonus next year.

Round 35:  Tristan Bayless LHP (starter) Hutto (Texas) HS.  Did not sign, honoring his commitment to McLennan Community College.  Bayless had a nice season on the mound for his prep team but was not a heavily scouted or recruited player apparently.  PerfectGame had very little on him and only some deep googling returned his Juco commitment.

Round 36:  Jordan McFarland OF  Waterloo (Ill.) HS.  Did not sign, honoring his commitment to Arkansas.  McFarland was a big-time player; a 2nd-team PerfectGame All American and this may have been the Nats planting a seed for a pick three years from now.

Round 37;  Cory Voss C J2 McLennan (Texas) CC.  Did not sign, honoring his planned transfer to U of Arizona for 2017.  Voss played his freshman year at New Mexico, went JuCo sophomore year and then was playing in the Cape this past summer.  He joins a very good recruiting class for Arizona and will be back in next year’s draft.

Round 38:  Noah Murdock RHP (starter) Colonial Heights (Va.) HS.  Did not sign, will honor his commitment to UVA.  Murdock was one of the players I was tracking all spring and once he passed out of the top 10 rounds it was clear he’d go to school.  He will help augment a UVA rotation that lost its ace and may be struggling for starters in 2017.

Round 39:  Matt Mervis 1B  Georgetown Prep HS, North Bethesda, Md.  Did not sign, will honor his commitment to Duke.   Another local kid drafted; Mervis was no favor pick.  He was highly ranked (the #1 prep player in Maryland according to one source Prep Baseball) but clearly going to Duke is a better alternative than a minimum bonus at this spot.

Round 40:  Sean Cook RHP (starter) Whitman HS, Bethesda, Md.  Did not sign, will attend Maryland and “attempt to walk-on.”  Definitely seems like a “favor” draft pick to someone, in that Cook was not on anyone’s radar, does not have a perfectgame profile and is not even a guarantee to make Maryland’s team.   Perhaps further evidence that the MLB draft is still 8-10 rounds too long.

 


Trending Summary:

  • Trending Up (10): Dunning, Barrera, Noll, Simonds, Howell, Sharp, Sundberg, McDonald, Reid, Held
  • Trending steady (7): Kieboom, Neuse,  Johnson, Upshaw, Morse, Braymer, Barnett
  • Trending steady b/c they’re injured all year (2): Luzardo, Williamson 
  • Trending Down (11): Banks, Bogucki, Harris, Panaccione, Howard, Simonetti, Beckwith, Rishwain, Baltrip, Boggetto, Picerni
  • Did Not Sign (11): Gonzales, Clarke, Gonzales, Wetzel, Cooper, Bayless, McFarland, Voss, Murdock, Mervis, Cook

Executive Summary

So far, the key names out of this draft have done decently.  I’m worried about Banks and (to a lesser extent) Neuse.  Its great to see 20th+ round guys like Reid and (especially) Held produce and earn promotions; that’s a feather in the cap of the scouting department for those finds.  Its just a half a season of course, but plenty of guys are on course or impressing out of this class.

 

1000th Post at NationalsArmRace

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Happy 1000th post!

With this post, if I trust my WordPress engine to tell me the right number of published articles, we have hit 1000 posts in the history of this blog.

Here’s some useless information for you about the first 1000 posts:

Posts by year:

  • 2010: (starting in June): 2+11+30+8+6+13+12 = 82 for the year
  • 2011: 2+20+25+23+23+20+17+13+26+18+21+19 = 227 for the year
  • 2012: 13+7+10+8+5+7+4+5+15+21+20+17 = 132 for the year
  • 2013: 21+15+22+22+20+26+18+20+13+31+10+19 = 237 for the year
  • 2014: 10+10+9+14+13+14+12+4+8+16+12+8 = 130 for the year
  • 2015: 8+5+9+13+11+12+8+7+4+15+13+10=115 for the year
  • 2016: 8+8+8+9+6+11+7+4+9+7=77 for 2016, including this post.  We may hit 100 in the next 3 months with all the off-season stuff we generally do.

I really got into the blog in 2011, and the post count was way up for rotation reviews of both major and minor leagues.  A new job curtailed my time immensely in mid 2012, though by the end of the season I had geared back up.  I was pretty regular with a post about 2 of every 3 days in 2013, with a whole slew of short posts in October 2013 to preview pitching match-ups for playoff games.  2014 scaled off a bit… a trend continuing into 2015 and 2016.

Milestone Posts

Random Blog milestones

  • 17th post: 8/9/10 “2011 Rotation Competition” First post where I started the formatting theme of bolding a proper name the first time it appears in a post.  I started this to highlight those players who I was specifically talking about.
  • 55th post: 10/20/10: “Contract Value for FA Starting Pitchers: The Cliff Lee Lesson to-be” First post where I started incorporating pictures into the blog posts.  I got the idea from Mark Zuckerman‘s blog, where he always uses a single picture at the top of each blog post.  Initially I used images.google.com to find the images and then attempt to give proper photo credit.  Coincidentally, at some point in the past I did a ton of research on the use of photos on the internet and had a discussion on the subject (in the comments section of this May 2011 post).  Now I generally use pictures from wiki and/or flickr where the author has granted free use.
  • 221st post:  8/25/11, “My Answers to Boswell’s Chat Questions 8/22/11 edition.”  This was the earliest post that I regularly started using “tags” for player names.  I started doing this after turning on the “tag cloud” along the right hand side.  The tags also serve as a nice searching method for a particular player.  (I’ve since gone through some effort to “tag” the posts prior to this one but am not entirely caught up to the history of the blog).
  • 243rd post: 9/25/11, “New Theme!”  I changed the look and feel of the blog from an out-of-the-box WordPress theme to a custom theme.  I was doing this primarily to figure out a way to get the blog slogan (the Earl Weaver quote at the top) to be more visible.
  • 1/12/12: Posted a missive about “What are non-MLB associated baseball league talent equivalents?” which suddenly got picked up by a major media outlet and I started getting hits from all over the place.  I still go back and update this post to this day.
  • 6/13/12: My first post covering the College World Series: College World Series Preview/Regionals Recap.  I now cover the College season at least starting with the field of 64 and sometimes (time allowing) with previews of local college teams.
  • 3/28/13: My first post covering local prep players: Local HS players to keep an eye on this Spring.  I now try to cover any halfway decent player anywhere in DC, MD or VA in its entirety.
  • 5/23/13: My first post covering the local High school tournaments: Local Prep Baseball: Oakton & Madison win District titles; Regional tourney set.  I now cover all the local high school baseball tournaments in a series of posts throughout May and June.
  • 6/11/13: The first post really covering college draftees with local ties, to go along with the local prep players.  MLB Draft Results for Players with Local Ties.  Now in 2016, i’ve got a running history of both prep and college players and can track those prep players who went to school in 2013 who are now draft eligible, so future posts are that much easier to write.
  • Oct 2015: a series of posts reviewing the 2015 Season Statistical Review of all Nats 2015 draft picks and going back to the 2011 class.  I like this series and look forward to doing it again this year.

I guess I havn’t really done too many new features lately.

Count of posts by category: (note that these will add up to greater than 1000 since some posts get multiple categories):

  • 30 for 30: 9 posts, mostly older.  I used to try to review ESPN’s “30 for 30” shows when they aired but lost track.  I still have several in draft form but they’re several years old and not worth posting at this point.
  • Awards: 22 posts.  These are generally predictions for BBWAA awards and some in-depth analysis of fielding awards that I try to do every year.
  • Baseball in General: 218 posts; these are usually the tag that I give to non-Nats, non-other issue.
  • Chat/Mailbag Responses: 100: I really like doing this and keep forgetting that Tom Boswell does monday chats.  They’re generally arguable questions about the kinds of things we’re always talking about anyways; moves, trades, what should we do with so-and-so, etc.
  • College/CWS: 32 posts; just a few each year covering the big CWS tournament.
  • Draft: 76 posts, surprised its not more.
  • Fantasy: 12 posts, which works out to almost exactly two a  year (one when I draft the team, one where I tell you how badly I did).
  • Hall of Fame: 37 posts, which are mostly older because I have gotten quite sick of arguing about Hall of Fame voting.
  • Local Baseball: 54 posts, mostly about High School tourney coverage, local draft candidates and even some Little League and local adult area baseball thrown in.
  • Majors Pitching: 317 posts; lots of discussion about the state of the pitching.
  • Minor League Pitching: 133 posts.
  • Minor League Rotation Reviews: 29 posts; used to be more frequent, now just an annual check-in.
  • Nats in General: 356 posts, the most frequently used tag.
  • Nats rotation Reviews: 30 posts; as with the Minor League rotation reviews, these were sacrificed to the gods of time.
  • Non-Baseball; just 33 posts, and only one since Nov 2014.  I guess I’m very focused on baseball here :-)
  • Post-Season: 54 posts about, well, post-season.  Predictions, reviews of Nats games, etc.
  • Rule-5: 30 posts, since we talk about it over and over every year.  Ironically some pundits like Keith Law th ink the rule-5 draft is useless since such marginal prospects now reside at the ends of most 40-man roster teams, but I still think they’re useful precisely because those edge cases are so compelling to discuss.
  • Weekly News: 22 posts, an older feature where I used to cut and paste cool links I had read on a week to week basis.  That’s crazy to think about now; i just scan through everything these days.
  • World Baseball Classic: just 12 posts; but with another one coming up soon, we’ll revisit.  I cannot wait to see Cuba’s team this year.

Top 10 player names mentioned (since I started typing them in as Tags; this is definitely weighted more towards the the past season than earlier, as catching up hundreds of posts with updated tags is not an effort worth finishing frankly)

  1. Stephen Strasburg: 248 mentions; lost of angst about him over the years.
  2. Jordan Zimmermann: 193
  3. Mike Rizzo: 185
  4. Bryce Harper: 184
  5. Ross Detwiler: 167; really?  How is it that he’s the 5th most mentioned player in this blog??
  6. Gio Gonzalez: 163
  7. Danny Espinosa: 139
  8. Ryan Zimmerman: 138
  9. Drew Storen: 138
  10. Jayson Werth: 131

Items I wish I still had time to do:

  • The rotational reviews, especially in the minor leagues.  I maintained these for the first half of 2011, but a vacation in July of 2011 left me a couple weeks behind and I just never could catch up.  I didn’t even attempt to try these for 2012 or going forward.  Its unfortunate; the whole reason I started this blog was to study and be up on the minor league pitching, especially the starters.  I feel, and still feel, that developing quality starting pitching is the most important aspect of the farm system, and that a successful pre-arbitration pitcher is the most valuable commodity in the sport.
  • Nightly Reviews of MLB pitching performances; this requires the time to sit down each night and watch the games … I love baseball, but I just cannot commit that kind of time, especially with a young kid and a busy job.
  • Actually going to eyeball these players in the minor leagues and not just rely on stat lines.  Again, time and life priorities.
  • Honestly, I think I could do a better job “advertising” this blog.  Should I be pushing the

#1 item I wish I could incorporate: I’d love to do interviews of pitching coaches and pitchers at the various levels to talk about pitching strategy, mechanics and whatnot.  I briefly pursued getting a Nats press pass but got the impression that the team is less inclined to hand out press passes to blogs such as mine (which provide a heavy amount of opinion and commentary) versus blogs like Federal Baseball and DC Pro Sports Report (which act more like beat reporters and focus on doing pre-game and post-game reports).  Fair enough.

#1 technical issue I would like to change: I installed hit counters to try to gauge readership, but I still cannot reliably answer the question, “how many people read your blog?”  I have a plug-in installed to the WordPress engine called “Counterize” that gives me some sense of hits, but there’s so much garbage/hacker trolling going on that I cannot tell how many legitimate readers I have.


 

Post #1001 is coming soon after this one: i’m uncharacteristically going to do three posts in quick succession because I want to get the LCS preview/prediction post out before the LCS actually starts.  :-)  Lets you guys think I’m making predictions after the series starts…

Fantasy Baseball 2016 Post-Mortem

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Altuve was a huge driving factor for me in Fantasy this year ... but it wasn't enough to win the championship. Photo via mlblogs.com

Altuve was a huge driving factor for me in Fantasy this year … but it wasn’t enough to win the championship. Photo via mlblogs.com

Usual caveats apply; if you don’t care about Fantasy Baseball, you probably won’t care about this post.  I’ll return to Nats next week and am hoping to return to my detailed per-level pitching reviews this year….

Fantasy Baseball has wrapped up for the year; most leagues are doing their playoff finals this week.  This is my post-mortem for the year.  Here was my 2016 team preview article at the beginning of the year to show my drafted team.

My strategy for this year (pulled from the preview article):

  • focus on hitting; don’t load up on OF early.
  • wait on pitching.  With the conversion to QS, I felt like there was a ton of value later on with starters instead of burning early spots.
  • I wanted four closers (and got them … though the last one is really iffy).
  • I only wanted the minimum hitters, figuring I could start churning and burning based on the lower-end starters that weren’t working out.
  • I wanted a good mix of solid dependable players with a couple of high-end rookies (advice I liked after hearing it on a podcast)
  • Lastly I didn’t want to spend early on either C or 1B; catcher since there’s just so much turnover, 1B since there’s so much value later in the draft.

Results: My strategy worked out pretty well.  I had very good hitters, I got quality starters late and off waivers, I kept 3-4 closers all year, and I finished the regular season in 1st place by 3 games.  I was able (as always) to find quality OF and 1B on the waiver wire (in my case, Will Myers who exploded).  My one strategy miss may have been waiting on a Catcher; my catcher was awful all year and there was no  help on the waiver wire until later (see below for who I picked up).

Even despite finishing in 1st place regular season, my pitchers badly declined later in the year, I had an off-week offensively in the playoffs and I got bounced by the 5th place team in the semis.  And when I say bounced, I mean I lost 2-8 on the week.  So, a disappointing finish.  But i think the strategy was sound and I’ll do it again next year.

Here’s how I ended up in team stats for the season:

  • Runs; 3rd
  • HRs: 1st
  • RBIs: 4th
  • SBs: 9th
  • OBP: 2nd
  • Saves: 1st
  • Ks: 3rd
  • ERA: 5th
  • Whip: 3rd
  • QS: 3rd

Yeah; too bad we’re not playing Rotisserie.  The only category i was guaranteed to lose nearly every week was Steals.  Overall I had a pretty good year.


Here’s my initial draft and the player disposition on the year.

I drafted 9th out of 10 spots.  Here is my team (the two numbers are Round and # overall).

  1. 9    Nolan Arenado, Col 3B: Kept all year and finished #6 in Yahoo.
  2. 12    Jose Altuve, Hou 2B: Kept all year and finished #11 in Yahoo; he was much higher but has really struggled this last month, hurting his September value.
  3. 29    George Springer, Hou OF; Kept all year and finished #29 in Yahoo, almost exactly in line with his ADP and his rank.  Also struggled badly in september.
  4. 32    J.D. Martinez, Det OF: Missed 6 weeks mid-season so I dropped him, but picked him back up and he was not awesome but certainly not contributing as a 4th round pick.
  5. 49    Miguel Sano, Min DH; was decent early, then fell off a cliff and eventually missed time.  He ended up on the Waiver wire.
  6. 52    Carlos Carrasco, Cle SP: kept him all year even though he hit the D/L at some point and was awful in September.  I lost K’s by 9 in the playoffs … and got nothing from him thanks to the ill-timed line drive through the box.
  7. 69    Corey Seager, LAD SS: Kept all year; finished #67 in Yahoo.  A very shrewd pickup here.
  8. 72    Jeurys Familia, NYM RP: Kept all year, finished #71 in Yahoo.  Very solid Closer.
  9. 89    Cody Allen, Cle RP: I dropped him when the Indians acquired Andrew Miller … then missed out when Allen turned out to be mostly the closer again.  So
  10. 92    Danny Salazar, Cle SP: Another cleveland SP who spent time on the D/L but who was good when active; I dropped him during the playoffs when he strained his forearm.
  11. 109    David Peralta, Ari OF: My first real draft miss; he was ok for the first 6 weeks, then hit the D/L for a bit, then kept getting injured and didn’t play after early August.
  12. 112    Carlos Martinez, StL SP: My biggest “impatient drop” of the year; he struggled all the way through May and I dumped him; he got picked up by (ironically) the guy who beat me in the playoffs and he was stellar the rest of the way.
  13. 129    Adam Eaton, CWS OF: I dumped him at some point and he was basically on waivers the whole year; never good enough to pick up versus whoever had the hot hand.
  14. 132    Salvador Perez, KC C: Ugh; depth at Fantasy C is so thin, I stuck with him for almost the entire year.  Luckily I got to Gary Sanchez before anyone else, and rode him through the playoffs.
  15. 149    Jeff Samardzija, SF SP: Had him for a bit, thinking he’d be good in SF.  He was so streaky up and down that I dumped him.  He eventually got picked up by a competitor but was never really *that* good.
  16. 152    Justin Verlander, Det SP: My other big “impatient drop.”  I had Verlander two years ago and thought i’d get a find; he had a 6.49 ERA through his first 6 games.  I dumped him … and he finished the year Yahoo ranked #20.  Ugh.
  17. 169    Fernando Rodney, SD RP: A huge closer steal for yours truly; he was lights out right up until he got traded to be a setup guy.  That was a bummer.
  18. 172    Lucas Duda, NYM 1B: My perennail late-round 1B pickup, only this year he got hurt and was never really a fantasy player.
  19. 189    Lance McCullers, Hou SP: this late-round flier was on my D/L for weeks until it became apparent he wasn’t going to shwo up any time soon; he made just 2 starts all year.
  20. 192    Yordano Ventura, KC SP: awful all year; yahoo ranked #732.
  21. 209    J.J. Hoover, Cin RP: a flier on a closer-by-committee was the first player I dropped.  Luckily I caught on with some lower-end closers and did very well.  I got Luke Gregerson in Houston, who did well for a time.

So, just 8 of 21 players on my team all year from the draft.  And not one player drafted after the 10th round made it all the way though.  I’m not sure if that’s an indictment of my drafting, or just the nature of fantasy baseball.

Here was my team (save for playoff transactions) at the end of the year:

  • C: Gary Sanchez: What a monster; #11 for the month of September.
  • 1B: Wil Myers: another waiver-wire monster: He ended up yahoo ranked #30 on the year and I had  him for most of it.
  • 2B, SS, 3B: Altuve, Seager, Arenado: never once varied all year.
  • OF: Martinez, Springer and I had Keon Broxton at the end, trying to get Steals.  I played the waiver wire heavily for OFers, cycling through the likes of Justin Upton, Joc Peterson, Rajai Davis, Kendrys Morales, and for a long time Marcelle Ozuna.  In fact, for weeks I rolled out Martinez, Springer and Ozuna and had an extra random 1B (like Duda, or Napoli, or Travis Shaw) type filling in at utility.
  • Starting Pitchers: Anchors were Salazar and Carrasco.  All my other SPs were waiver pickups.  Teheran, Sanchez and Fulmer did the best for me, also had Smyly, Odorizzi at the end.  I cycled through a few SPs that in retrospect I wish I had kept versus what I ran out during the playoffs: Maeda, Gray, Bauer, Straily, etc.
  • Closers: Familia was the leader, also had Thornberg, Watson and Johnson at the end.  Really worked waivers to get closer replacements when my original guys were traded/got layered/lost out.  Allen and Rodney were really strong for me the first half, and then I just was quick on the trigger to grab Thornberg and Watson when their closers were traded.

So, how do we improve for next year?  My downfall was depending on waiver wire starters who faltered late.  I definitely had too many rookies (Sanchez and Fulmer in particular) leading the line.

I need to be patient with starters of course, but that’s the same thing every year.

I need to focus on getting a SB threat in the draft.

I need better luck.  Or to go rotisserie.  Or to get some transactions during the playoffs (which became a huge issue in our league, especially as I lost 3 different guys to injury during the playoffs).

 

A couple of quick pictures from the 9/11/16 pre-game ceremony

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I think this is just the 2nd or 3rd game at the park for me this year … and we picked a great day and a great game.  We got there early and caught the pre-game ceremony.  Here’s a couple of pictures from the day.

Pre-game Ceremony at Nats Park 9/11/16. Photo Todd Boss

Pre-game Ceremony at Nats Park 9/11/16. Photo Todd Boss

 

Here’s a view using IPhone’s panoramic view.

Panorama of 9/11/16 pre-game.  Photo Todd Boss

Panorama of 9/11/16 pre-game. Photo Todd Boss

 

No other analysis/comment here; just wanted to put these two cool pictures up.  I wasn’t fast enough to get the fly-over.

Written by Todd Boss

September 12th, 2016 at 12:38 pm

Posted in Nats in General

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DC/MD/VA High School Baseball Champions Tournament concept

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(Nats fans: a first half review coming this week; wanted to get this published before it got too “old”).

Now that all the seasons for all the DC/MD/VA area teams are completed, I have a fun idea.  What if we could do a “Champions” tournament of the various schools who won titles?

I first started thinking about this tournament when Virginia split from AAA/AA/A to the six divisions and the reigning AAA state champion at the time (Hanover) was dumped down to 4-A.  The idea was sort of “Indiana Basketball” ish in nature: what would a tourney of all the six Virginia state champs look like?  Then that morphed to all the various scenarios below.

I know these kind of event would never happen (rules on number of games, kids graduating, etc); but it’s a fun thought exercise for those of us who follow HS baseball in the area.

Here’s a few interesting ideas for post-season tournaments.  Using my final 2016 post-season wrap-up as reference for all the tourney champs, here’s some ideas.


Tourney Idea #1: The Virginia Public Champions league tourney

This is my original concept.  Using the Six Virginia public school champions, you could play a mini weekend tournament with two brackets:

Bracket 1:
6A: Chantilly
3A: Rustburg
2A: Maggie Walker

Bracket 2:
5A: Nansemond River
4A: Hanover
1A: Rappahannock

Play a double header round robin on Saturday intra-bracket, then the bracket winners play Sunday.  It’d be a nice little way to determine who is the “Best of the Best” among the divisional champs.  I sense that there’s not a ton of difference between the 6-A, 5-A and 4-A champs but sense there’s a bit of a gap from 4-A to the 3-A/2-A/1-A teams.  It has been suggested to me to spread this tourney across a week or two weekends so as not to completely dilute the pitching and that’s a good point; none of these teams likely could play and be competitive in a three games-in-two-days situation, so perhaps a DH one weekend and a final the next would give the best pitching match-ups.

Theoretical Tournament Predictions: Hanover beats out a tough Nansemond River to advance and beats Chantilly in the final.


Tourney Idea #2: The All-Virginia champions league

This adds in the three state-wide private school champs.  Using 2016’s champions from both the public leagues and the three private leagues, your qualifiers are:

6A: Chantilly (Northern Virginia)
5A: Nansemond River (Suffolk)
4A: Hanover (Mechanicsville/Richmond)
3A: Rustburg (Lynchburg)
2A: Maggie Walker (Richmond)
1A: Rappahannock (King George County)

VISSA Division I: Collegiate (Richmond)
VISSA Division II: Greenbrier Christian (Chesapeake)
VISSA Division III: Southampton Academy (Franklin)

What if you seeded this 1-9 based on classifications and played a single elimination tourney?  You’d have the two smallest schools (1-A and VISAA division III) in a play-in and then seed the rest roughly by their size.

8/9 play-in: Rappahannock versus Southampton

1 vs 8/9: Chantilly vs Rappahannock/Southampton Academy
2 vs 7: Nansemond River vs Maggie Walker
3 vs 6: Collegiate versus Rustburg
4 vs 5:  Hanover versus Greenbrier Christian

Most of these teams are Central or Southern Virginia and are proximate to Richmond.  A tournament there would be best for all travelers.

Theoretical Tournament Predictions: Seeds hold in the quarter finals, though Hanover struggles to beat Greenbrier.   Hanover beats Chantilly in one semi, Nansemond River in the other, and Hanover wins the title.


Tourney Idea #3: The DC/MD/VA showdown; an 8-team competition of local champions.

Here we’d take the champions of the “local” divisions in the Washington DC metropolitan area:

– Virginia 6-A North champ: Chantilly
– Virginia 5-A North champ: Mountain View
– WCAC champ; St. Johns
– DCIAA champ: Wilson
– DCSAA champ: St. Albans
– IAC champ: Landon
– Maryland 4A West champ: Quince Orchard
– Maryland 3A West champ: Damascus

Seed this 1-8 and do a small tourney.  I’d probably seed it Virginia 6-A, Maryland 4A, Virginia 5A, WCAC, Maryland 3A, DCSAA, DCIAA and IAC.  So the bracket would be:

  • 1-8: Chantilly v Landon
  • 2-7: Quince Orchard v Wilson
  • 3-6: Mountain View v St. Albans
  • 4-5: St. Johns vs Damascus

The only problem here is that you leave out some of the smaller private school leagues and the independent powerhouse Riverdale Baptist.

 

Theoretical Tournament Predictions: I think seeds would pretty much hold and Chantilly beats Quince Orchard in the final.


Tourney Idea #4. The Maryland-Virginia Public School Show Down

Virginia Public champs
6A: Chantilly (Northern Virginia)
5A: Nansemond River (Suffolk)
4A: Hanover (Mechanicsville/Richmond)
3A: Rustburg (Lynchburg)
2A: Maggie Walker (Richmond)
1A: Rappahannock (King George County)

Maryland Public Champs:
4-A: Bel Air (North of Baltimore)
3-A: Huntingtown (Soloman’s Island)
2-A: La Plata (SE of Waldorf)
1-A: Brunswick (Frederick County)

Maybe you seed it 1-10 and have play-ins with the smallest teams.  Nearly every first round match-up ends up being MD vs VA team.

8-9: Maggie Walker vs Brunswick
7-10: Rustburg vs Rappahannock

1 Chantilly vs Maggie Walker/Brunswick winner
2 Bel Air vs Rustburg/Rappahannock winner
3 Nansemond River vs La Plata
4 Huntington vs Hanover

Theoretical Tournament Predictions: despite being the 5th seed here, Hanover upsets  Huntington and Chantilly to get to the final, where it meets Bel Air (a close winner over Nansemond River).  Hanover prevails.


Tourney Idea #5. The All Private School showdowns

VISSA Division I: Collegiate (Richmond)
VISSA Division II: Greenbrier Christian (Chesapeake)
VISSA Division III: Southampton Academy (Franklin)

MIAA Class A: Spalding (Severna Park, south of Baltimore)
MIAA Class B: Boys Latin (North Baltimore)
MIAA Class C: St. John’s Catholic Prep (Frederick)

WCAC: St. Johns (Northwest DC)
IAC: Landon (Bethesda)

Maryland Private Schools: Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro)
DCSAA: St. Albans (Northwest DC)
MAC: Potomac School (McLean)
PVAC: Sandy Spring (Olney)

I’d probably seed this: Spalding, Collegiate, Riverdale Baptist, Greenbrier Christian, St. Johns DC, St. Albans, Boy’s Latin, and Landon.  Then the four smallest schools (Southampton Academy, St. Johns Catholic, Potomac School and Sandy Spring) could be play-in games to the top seeds.  So your bracket could be:

  • 5-12: St. Johns DC vs Sandy Spring
  • 6-11: St. Albans vs Potomac School
  • 7-10: Boy’s Latin vs St. Johns Catholic
  • 8-9: Landon vs Southampton
  • 1-8/9: Spalding vs Landon/Southampton
  • 2-7/10: Collegiate vs boy’s Latin/St. Johns Catholic
  • 3-6: Riverdale Baptist vs St. Albans/Potomac
  • 4-5: Greenbrier Christian vs St. Johns DC/Sandy Spring

That’s a fun little tourney, especially if seeds hold and you have the four elite MD/VA private schools meeting.  Its notable that the Prep Baseball Report thinks that Greenbrier Christian is the best school in the state of Virginia, irrespective of its size.  So perhaps seeding it 4th in this tournament isn’t fair.  My seedings are mostly driven by the “size” of the divisions these schools play in.

Theoretical Tournament Predictions: Seeds hold in the quarters, Greenbrier beats Spalding in one semi while Riverdale Baptist wins the other, and Greenbrier takes Riverdale in the final.


What do you think?  Would you like to see any of these fantasy tournaments?  Do you think my “theoretical predictions” are off?  I realize this post doesn’t really appeal to many of our Nats-interested readers, but it was a fun thought exercise for me :-)

 

Written by Todd Boss

July 11th, 2016 at 8:18 am

Posted in Local Baseball

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