Nationals Arm Race

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

2021 Draft coverage: Local draft-prospects to keep an eye on


First draft of this post?  5/31/2018 when all-region posts started coming out and some Freshmen got noticed.

The College players are mostly drawn from my 2018 Local High School draft coverage, listing guys who were HS seniors in 2018 who went to 3-year programs and who are now draft eligible.

Major Local College Draft Prospects for 2021

  • Andrew Abbott, LHP UVA (via Halifax Co).  2019 Collegiate National team extended-roster selection.  Went undrafted in 2020 despite being ranked #116 by MLBpipeline.  2021 Friday starter for UVA, over Vasil and Savino.  Great start to 2021 season, rising fast.  Now projecting late 2nd round.
  • Sean Burke, RHP UMaryland; TJ in 2019, good start to 2020.  Two-pitch guy, analytics driven analysis.  2021 friday starter, tons of Ks but ERA inflated.  Per Law, hitting 97 this spring plus a 55-grade changeup, pushing him into top 50 ranks and mid-2nd rounder.
  • Zack Gelof, 3B, UVA by way of Rehoboth Beach, DE.  2nd team All American pre-2020 season.  2018 Delaware Gatorate POTY.  Ranked in the 30s, projecting as 2nd rounder by BA draft prep 2021.
  • Mike Vasil, RHP UVA via Mass HS.  Was projected 1st rounder, declined to be drafted to go to Virginia in 2018.  Backed up velocity in college, more command/control guy, falling on charts.  Saturday starter in 2021, still projecting 2nd/3rd rounder.

Lesser Local College draft eligibles w/ Local Ties

  • Nic Kent, 2B/SS UVA; solid hitter, not as much power, good SB.  Fringe SS, likely 2B professionally.
  • Wes Clarke, C South Carolina (via LCA/Forest va): former Evoshield top-team player, moved to 1B at South Carolina, projecting 4th-5th round.
  • Max Costes, 1B UMaryland; 2021 preseason 1st team All American, huge 2020 stats.
  • Stephen Schoch, RHP (closer) UVA.  3rd team pre-season AA.

Top DC/MD/VA Local Prep players for 2021

  • Jackson Merrill, SS Severna Park HS, MD.  Fast riser 2021 spring, rocketing into 3rd round discussion.  Kentucky commit.  Ends up going 27th overall!
  • James Wood, OF IMG Academy (FL) by way of Olney, MD.  6’7″ committed to Mississippi State, could be top 15 guy.  2021 near a BA top 10 guy.  But struggling in 2021 spring, hitting near .200 and likely sending him to college.
  • James Triantos, RHP/SS Madison HS: great 2-way player, 92 on the mound, power bat showed at WWBA.  Undersized, commit to UNC. Not getting much scouting love b/c of size and lack of high end single tool.  Reclassified from 2022 to 2021, Madison’s Ace 2021.  PBR top recruit 2021, now getting 2nd round buzz in BA’s top 500.
  • Peter Heubeck, RHP from Gilman HS in Baltimore.  Wake Forest commit, getting top-100 buzz late in the spring 2021.
  • Brandon Clarke, LHP from Rock Ridge HS.  PBR Virginia top 10 for 2021 class mid 2019.  Dirtbags summer team.  had TJ to miss most of 2020.  Alabama commit, up to 96-97 spring 2021 and in BA top 50.  Big-time riser, possibly 1st rounder.  PBR top recruit 2021.  BA rankings dropping badly June 2021
  • Kyle Robinson, RHP from Marshall.  Texas Tech commit.  PBR top recruit 2021.  Likely ranked too low to go in top few rounds, seems bound for college.

Other DC/MD/VA Local Prep players for 2021

  • Elijah Lambrose, OF from Stafford,  All 5D region as a sophomore in 2019.  NovaNine top 100 for 2019 as sophomore.  1st team VHSL All-5A in 2019 as sophomore.  PBR 2019 Futures game invitee.  South Carolina commit, PBR top recruit 2021.
  • Casey Cook, SS/RHP from Freedom-South Riding.  NovaNine top 100 for 2019 as sophomore, early commit to  UNC.  PBR Virginia top 10 for 2021 class mid 2019.  Mariucci Starts summer team.  PBR top recruit 2021.
  • Wyatt Shenkman, RHP Riverside HS.  Early commit to ECU, PBR top recruit 2021.
  • Colin Tuft, Madison C, early commit to UVA.  PBR top  recruit 2021.
  • Nick Lottchea, OF Westfield; full time starter as a freshman.  All 6D region as a sophomore.  NovaNine top 100 for 2019 as sophomore.  2nd team VHSL All-6A in 2019 as sophomore.
  • Josh Goodrich, C TC Williams.  2nd team all Class 6 Occoquon Region in 2018 as a freshman.  Team Aces summer team.
  • Danny Salisbury, 1B Annandale.   2nd team all Class 6 Occoquon Region in 2018 as a freshman.  2nd team All 6C as sophomore in 2019.
  • Jacob Orr, MIF Thomas Johnson (Frederick).  At 2018 PG Junior Nationals.  Team Elite summer team, early commit to Maryland.
  • Nathan Knowles, RHP Yorktown.   All 6D region as a sophomore.  NovaNine top 100 for 2019 as sophomore.  PBR 2019 Futures game invitee
  • Nick Guerra, 2B from Justice (formerly JEB Stuart): all 6C region as sophomore in 2019.  NovaNine top 100 for 2019 as sophomore
  • Dean Kampschror, OF from Justice.  all 6C region as sophomore in 2019.  NovaNine top 100 for 2019 as sophomore
  • Nathan Williams, RHP from Forest Park.    all 6C region as sophomore in 2019.  NovaNine top 100 for 2019 as sophomore
  • Evan Smith, 2B from Briar Woods.  All 5C region as sophomore in 2019.  NovaNine top 100 for 2019 as sophomore.  2nd team VHSL All-5A in 2019 as sophomore
  • Devon Zavacky, OF from Paul VI.  VISAA Division I all-state in 2019 as sophomore.
  • Caleb McAlister, OF from Stafford,  All 5D region as a sophomore in 2019.  NovaNine top 100 for 2019 as sophomore
  • Mike Shanahan, DH from Massaponax.  All 5D region as a sophomore in 2019.
  • Kevin Mackmin, 2B from Westfield.  NovaNine top 100 for 2019 as sophomore.
  • Ryan Cuadros, OF from Lake Braddock.  PBR 2019 Futures game invitee
  • J.T. Carter, C from Fredericksburg Christian.  PBR 2019 Futures game invitee

Extended DC/MD/VA Prep players (outside DC Area) on the radar.

  •  T.R. (Timothy) Williams, RHP from Page County (the State Class 2 champs) is the State 2-A POTY as a *freshman*.  2nd team USA Today all-state as a Freshman in 2018.  Member of the US U15 National team that competed in Panama in 2018.  Early commit to Virginia Tech (despite interest from Vanderbilt, Auburn, UVA).  Region 2B POTY in 2019 as sophomore.  1st team VHSL all-2A in 2019 as sophomore
  • Jay Woolfolk, RHP/C, SS from Benedictine HS (Midlothian).  VISAA Division I all-state in 2019 as sophomore.  PBR Virginia class of 2021 #1 ranked player mid 2019.  BA #36 for 2021 class nationwide in Sept 2019
  • Griffin O’Ferrall, SS from St. Christophers (Richmond): VISAA Division I all-state in 2019 as sophomore
  • Ethan Ott, RHP/util from Greenbriar Christian (Chesapeake).  VISAA Division II all-state in 2019 as sophomore.  2019 All-tidewater as a sophomore.
  • Bryce Post, SS from Warren County HS.  All Region 3B 1st team 2019 as sophomore.  2nd team VHSL all-3A in 2019 as sophomore
  • Hunter Powell, Util from William Monroe HS.  All Region 3B 1st team 2019 as sophomore.
  • Sam Slevin, OF from Cox HS (Virginia Beach).  1st team VHSL All-6A in 2019 as sophomore.  1st team all-Tidewater 2019 as sophomore.
  • Fenwick Trimble, Util from Cox HS (Virginia Beach).  2nd team VHSL All-6A in 2019 as sophomore.
  • Christian Martin, DH Amherst County HS.  1st team VHSL all-4A in 2019 as sophomore
  • Bryce Suters, OF Broadway HS.  1st team VHSL all-3A in 2019 as sophomore
  • Matthew Buchanan, RHP Lebanon HS.    1st team VHSL all-2A in 2019 as sophomore
  • Matt Arnold, 3B Chatham HS.    1st team VHSL all-2A in 2019 as sophomore
  • Kolby Barnes, C Galax HS.  1st team VHSL all-aA in 2019 as sophomore
  • Carter Keith, OF Auburn HS.  1st team VHSL all-aA in 2019 as sophomore

Sources used

Written by Todd Boss

July 12th, 2021 at 12:04 pm

Posted in Draft,Local Baseball

33 Responses to '2021 Draft coverage: Local draft-prospects to keep an eye on'

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  1. I will move forward my 2d-round predictions. I do think that Abbott could be an outside shot for the Nats at #47, but there’s probably going to be some higher-ranked talent still on the board.

    One would think that the Nats likely will have to take a college junior at #47 to stay around slot and have the scratch to sign House. A couple of interesting hitters are falling in OFs Jud Fabian and Ethan Wilson. There’s also catcher Adrian Del Castillo, who was once projected mid-1st-round. The Nats drafted 3B/1B Alex Binelas out of high school, but since they just took a 3B plus already have Kieboom, one would think that Binelas is not really a “need” pick. He’s also not as high on some boards as he is on others.

    The curious way the draft has fallen has made something we’ve discussed more of a possibility: wounded RHP Jaden Hill dropping to #47. He’s a great physical specimen, once thought of at least in the top 10-15 picks, who has been injured nearly every year in college. Less heralded but more refined is Tommy Mace out of FLA. The Nats took an LSU starter in 2020 and FLA ones in 2019 and 2016, so they’re quite familiar with those programs.


    12 Jul 21 at 1:01 pm

  2. Picks #47, 82, 112, 143, 173, etc.

    I so hate the concept of “competitive balance” picks, yet another bad Selig legacy. Let’s just reward teams that don’t spend enough, even if they make the playoffs, even the World Series.


    12 Jul 21 at 1:09 pm

  3. Fabian and Hill taken.


    12 Jul 21 at 1:18 pm

  4. Wow, another hitter, another high schooler.

    Daylen Lile profile from

    One of the best pure hitters in the high school class, Lile performed well on the showcase circuit throughout the summer, highlighted by a five-hit day at the Area Code Games. That effort included a single and triple against arguably the top prep left-hander in Josh Hartle, who usually chews up lefty hitters, and Lile beat the platoon disadvantage again to tag him for a double in the Perfect Game All-American Classic. He helped Trinity High (Louisville) win the Kentucky state tournament and earned his second straight Gatorade state high school player of the year award in 2021, and his bat may be good enough to land him in the top two rounds.

    Lile has a mature approach and a quick, compact left-handed stroke that produces repeated contact to all fields. He has shown the ability to make adjustments at the plate and control the strike zone. His swing presently is geared for line drives from gap to gap, though he has the hitting ability, bat speed and projectable strength for at least average power if not more.

    Some teams struggle with Lile’s profile because they aren’t sure how much pop he’ll develop. The Louisville recruit is an average runner and athlete but his fringy arm limits him to left field. If he doesn’t provide 20 or more homers per year, he might be more of a fourth outfielder than a regular.


    12 Jul 21 at 1:28 pm

  5. But why pass on Ethan Wilson (who the Phils took) to take Lile? Maybe an underslot for Lile to pay House? But high schoolers in the 2d round rarely take underslot.


    12 Jul 21 at 1:30 pm

  6. My immediate thought on Lile is “underslot deal.” Maybe to pay House, maybe for someone later. Brendan Beck went a few picks later and he’s a typical nats pick. They also passed on Andrew Abbott … who i know was a 2nd round projection but he just didn’t impress me that much.

    Todd Boss

    12 Jul 21 at 1:44 pm

  7. Nats draft trivia: Before 2021, only in 2005 and 2015 did the Nats not take a pitcher with one of their first two picks. They took hitters with their first three picks both years. Their second pick in 2005 was a fella named Justin Maxwell, who we’ve been seeing a lot of recently. We still see their first pick from that year as well.


    12 Jul 21 at 2:01 pm

  8. Mace and Del Castillo both gone in the insufferable second competitive balance round. How do the rich-as-God Cubs rate a competitive balance pick???


    12 Jul 21 at 2:16 pm

  9. Boissiere REALLY looks like an underslot. But I’ll take hitters. Interesting that the Nats drafted him as an OF, but this profile says 1B-only.


    Having a good bat to consider from the University of Arizona is nothing new. Austin Wells was a first-rounder in last year’s Draft, one of nine Wildcat hitters taken in the top five rounds since the 2016 Draft. Boissiere has hit since he set foot on campus in 2019 and that continued this year and he landed on the Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List.

    A left-handed hitter and fielder, Boissiere has shown off an advanced approach at the plate for three years. He can drive the ball to all fields, work counts and draws walks while limiting his strikeouts. While he hasn’t put up huge power numbers, he’s shown more extra-base authority this spring and there’s average power in there.

    While Boissiere is limited to first base, he has very good actions there, with good hands and agility to be an above-average defender at the position. Some see a little Mark Grace in him and a team that likes college performers could take Boissiere off the board at some point on Day 2.


    12 Jul 21 at 2:25 pm

  10. Boissiere played 29 games in the OF as a frosh, but only one since then. He doesn’t have much HR power.


    12 Jul 21 at 2:38 pm

  11. Curious pick in Boissiere.

    The cubs did not have a comp balance pick.

    Todd Boss

    12 Jul 21 at 2:38 pm

  12. Cubs did indeed in CB-B. They took Mace.


    12 Jul 21 at 2:50 pm

  13. Some higher-profile HS guys still on the board for the 4th if the Nats haven’t been saving all of their money for House. Or Christian Franklin, who was a heck of a college player.


    12 Jul 21 at 2:53 pm

  14. Also Hunter Goodman, catcher from Memphis.


    12 Jul 21 at 2:54 pm

  15. And yet ANOTHER underslot guy in the 4th. I think we’re getting the picture of why House dropped. They’re sacrificing this whole draft for him, basically. Hope he’s worth it.

    Saenz, from

    A useful swingman during his first three seasons at Texas A&M, Saenz finally got the chance to be a full-time starter in 2021. He recorded double-digit strikeouts against Samford, Georgia and Missouri during the first seven weeks of the season but has struggled for the most part during Southeastern Conference play. He still holds appeal as a lefty with a solid slider and could sneak into the first five rounds.

    Saenz relies heavily on his low-80s slider, which has quality horizontal and vertical break and works against both left-handers and right-handers. He sets it up with a 90-93 mph fastball that tops out at 95 with some sink and is most effective when he keeps it down in the zone. He also has a low-80s changeup that he’ll mix in against righties but he doesn’t trust it very much.

    Because the 5-foot-11 Saenz lacks physicality, many scouts believe his best long-term role is as a multi-inning reliever. When he’s fresh, he locates his pitches well, his slider plays more consistently as a plus offering and his fastball has more life. His competitive nature also would serve him well in high-leverage situations later in games.


    12 Jul 21 at 3:02 pm

  16. Oops, I’m wrong, the logo for the Mace pick was for the Indians.


    12 Jul 21 at 3:07 pm

  17. It is altogether possible House gave team stop-5 money demands and now they have to “find” that extra $1.5M or so.

    Todd Boss

    12 Jul 21 at 3:18 pm

  18. Another HS OF from off the board in the 5th round. So yeah, House is getting the whole pot. None of these are total dogs (I know nothing about White), but neither were any of them highly touted. One suspects the front office has done A LOT of calling around about signing price points over the last 18 hours.


    12 Jul 21 at 3:34 pm

  19. White’s BA scouting report:
    TJ White
    Dorman HS, Roebuck, S.C.OF
    Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 210 | B-T: B-R
    Commit/Drafted: Indiana
    Age At Draft: 18.0

    White is a 6-foot-2, 210-pound outfielder committed to Indiana who performed last summer as a switch-hitter with impressive raw power. Some scouts have gone as far as putting 70-grade raw power on White, which would give him an obvious carrying tool, especially when combined with the hitting performance he showed last summer and fall. He’s a corner outfielder for his high school team, and scouts think he’ll certainly be limited to a corner at the next level and might have to move to first base as a below-average runner now who could get bigger and slow down even more in the future.

    Todd Boss

    12 Jul 21 at 3:35 pm

  20. So they’re all in on House turning out to be a legit 1/1 type player. We’ll see how that turns out! I mean, they’ve basically sacrificed this whole draft for him.

    I know I just up and down to get hitters, but I actually find it curious that they didn’t use some of these reach picks for pitchers, particularly college pitchers from big programs, since that’s the area where they usually have their best success. Only Saenz fits that profile.


    12 Jul 21 at 3:37 pm

  21. The intriguing points on White’s profile are big power and young age.


    12 Jul 21 at 3:39 pm

  22. White:

    He and House are almost a full year younger than a lot of the high schoolers who just got drafted, and already bigger.


    12 Jul 21 at 3:51 pm

  23. And the next Klobotsis, a 6-6, 260-lb pitcher out of Louisville! He’s a senior, so presumably getting $10K or so.

    Kirian stats:


    12 Jul 21 at 4:00 pm

  24. Jacob Young was a pretty darn good player in the SEC:


    12 Jul 21 at 4:31 pm

  25. Will Frizzell, 19 HRs in the SEC this season along with this slash line: .343/.451/.686. Definitely worth a look.

    Cole Quintanilla was really good this year: 1.35 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 9.5 K/9. Maybe they saw him while scouting Madden.

    LOL’d when I saw that they drafted Dusty’s kid again. He had only one HR in four college seasons, but he did steal 28 bases this year, with no help from J. T. Snow.


    12 Jul 21 at 6:59 pm

  26. I’m going to guess that they promised House around $6 million — top 5 money. So they have to come up with an extra $1.5M.


    12 Jul 21 at 7:08 pm

  27. This very much looks like the 2012 Giolito draft where somebody fell to them but they basically tanked the rest of the draft on signability picks to pay the first rounder.

    Not sure how I feel about that — I think “quality from quantity” is a better approach, but the Nats have been so bad at finding quality in the 2nd-5th rounds recently that maybe it doesn’t matter.

    Also, calling it now, Boissiere=Bill Rhinehart 2.0.


    12 Jul 21 at 7:39 pm

  28. Yep, 2012 seems like a good comp — sell the farm for one high schooler. The only two others to even have cups of coffee from that draft were Tony Renda and Spencer Kieboom. Giolito’s MLB BA (.188) is actually higher than Renda’s (.183).

    And in honor of Renda and Jeff Kobernus, the Nats took yet another slight 2B from Cal, Darren Baker. At least they didn’t take him in the 2d round.


    12 Jul 21 at 9:11 pm

  29. I’m tending to agree with NG about this now being a one-player draft. and hey, if they had House as the #2 or #3 player on their board and they called him and he gave them a $6M number, so be it. Its worth the gamble if House is really that good.

    Todd Boss

    13 Jul 21 at 9:19 am

  30. The game really is trending in the way of the big boppers, for worse or better. The Nats saw an opportunity to grab the biggest bopper in this draft, and they went for it. It’s high-risk. House has issues that may lead to him struggling. But he’s also said to have Alonso-like ridiculous power, and he just turned 18, so he’s still grow. Same with T. J. White, who also has big power and won’t turn 18 for 18 more days.

    It’s really hard to know whether the rest of the picks are “junk.” Nearly every one was taken over where each was graded, so each could be paid under slot. But that doesn’t mean that they’re bad players. I like the profiles of Lile and White better than I did that of Blake Perkins, who was always a head-scratching overpay to me. Young, Boissiere, and Frizzell were above-average college players, although that hasn’t translated particularly into pro success among so many recent Nat picks. This farm system REALLY needs some solid field-position players, though, and if they can stick and progress at least to AA, they will improve the system overall. If one or more break through to the majors, then it’s a big score.

    We’ve debated what makes a “successful” draft, and it’s really hard to say. Obviously, you should expect to get at least one regularly contributing major leaguer. But you also hope to get three or four who can at least make the Show, and a good crop of players who can advance a few levels in your system. A lot with the Nats seem have hit the wall at A+ over the last decade or so. So even getting several of these to AA would be an improvement.


    13 Jul 21 at 11:41 am

  31. And even though Soto wore himself eliminating Othani, as well as posting a hardly mentioned all-time Home Run Contest distance of 520 feet, I did love his Zen-focused three-pitch swing-off. Wow. That sequence was, in a nutshell, why he’s so special.

    Oh, and Karl Ravich, Soto was also carrying the banner of a baseball-proud nation in that competition, even though you didn’t seem to realize it in all of your fawning over Othani. Also, let me know when Othani, or Alonso, has a hit to win a wild card, crushes Kershaw deep into the night in an elimination game, bombs away with an epic bat carry in a WS elimination game, and on and on. It was just bizarre that Soto, who also had an epic statistical season in 2020, was treated like a sideshow who wasn’t supposed to be there. Sorry he ruined your pre-scripted narrative.


    13 Jul 21 at 11:50 am

  32. Now we go for JUCO arm from Florida in round 11. The Nats I know are back!


    13 Jul 21 at 12:34 pm

  33. new posted on top 10 picks.

    Todd Boss

    13 Jul 21 at 12:47 pm

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