Prep Baseball Report

VA/DC 2016 Draft Recap

Unsigned Senior Games
Follow @PBRVirginiaDC
By John Nolan
Assistant Director of Scouting/Content Management 

The 2016 Major League Rule IV or Amateur Draft was held last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The thirty Major League teams drafted for forty rounds, taking 1200 players in the draft. The next few weeks will see contract negotiations and signings, or players deciding to continue their careers in college before entering the draft again in the future. Here are the prep players from our coverage area that were drafted last week:

Joe Rizzo, 3B, Oakton, 2nd Round, Mariners
Rizzo is a South Carolina commit and was the top-ranked player in our Class of 2016 Rankings. He played shortstop this season for Oakton but will move third base in pro ball, with second base as another option. Rizzo’s best tools are his bat and his power potential, see our Assignment Scout, Bill Buck’s Scout Card on Rizzo.

Khalil Lee, OF/LHP, Flint Hill, 3rd Round, Royals
Lee is a Liberty commit and was our second-ranked player in the Class of 2016. As the draft approached, there was speculation as to whether Lee would be selected as an outfielder or as a pitcher, the Royals announced him as a centerfielder and will likely send him off to rookie ball in that capacity, with the ability to convert him to a pitcher if his bat does not develop. Lee is the picture of athleticism, with the potential to be a true five tool player. He is a good defender in center with a big arm. He has some speed and a ton of bat speed with some power potential. See Buck’s Scout Card on Lee. 

Brenan Hanifee, RHP, Turner Ashby, 4th Round, Orioles
Hanifee is an East Carolina commit who had a lot of late helium, gaining a ton of momentum late in the draft process, ultimately moving up to fifth in our rankings in late May. When we saw Hanifee, he was high 80’s, with a clean arm action and the makings of a good slider. He is lanky with a projectable frame and a ton of velocity upside. We had reports from scouts that in earlier outings he had sat 90-92, touching 93. 

Jamie Sara, RHP, West Potomac, 12th Round, Padres
Sara is a William & Mary commit and like Hanifee, is another projectable righthander with a ton of upside. Sara stayed a bit more under the radar than Hanifee did, but the two of them are similar prospects. Sara has a lanky frame with room to fill out. His fastball sat 88-91 and touched 92 during all seven innings of a late May start. He showed a slider that has potential and good feel for a change-up as well. 

Zack Hess, RHP, Liberty Christian Academy, 35th Round, Yankees
Hess is a big righty and a Louisiana State commit. He was our third-ranked prospect and will likely end up attending LSU in the fall. He was projected as a much higher pick, and once he was not selected by the end of the tenth round Friday, it was very likely that he was going to go late and not sign. Hess throws from a three-quarters slot with a fastball that will sit 88-93 and can touch as high as 95. He has a good slider that projects to be a major league average pitch. Here is Buck’s Scout Card on Hess. 

Noah Murdock, RHP, Colonial Heights, 38th Round, Nationals
Murdock was our fourth ranked player but sent a letter to scouts early in the season stating his desire to honor his commitment to Virginia. The tall righty has a very lanky frame and a low-90s fastball with a ton of upside. Expect him to be in Charlottesville in the fall with his name likely being called significantly higher in the 2019 draft. 

Michael Bienlien, RHP, Great Bridge, 40th Round, Reds
Bienlien has been ranked in our Class of 2016 top ten almost the entire time that there has been one. The North Carolina State commit is very likely to honor his commitment and arrive on campus in the fall. He has a consistent high 80s fastball and can sit in the low 90s for stretches. 

In summary 22 players that attended the 2016 Super 60 Showcase in February were drafted. Fifteen players who attended the PBR Future Games as sophomores were drafted. We are still looking for players to fill out the roster for this summer’s Team Mid-Atlantic at the Future Games.

TP North