State Preview: Washington D.C.

Draft : : State Preview
Allan Simpson        
Published: Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In the weeks leading up to the draft, Perfect Game will be providing a detailed overview of each state in the U.S., including the District of Columbia, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. These overviews will list the state's strengths, weaknesses and the players with the best tools, as well as providing mini-scouting reports on all Group 1 and 2 players.

Washington D.C. State-by-State List

Washington D.C. Overview:
D.C. Prep Product Howard Hopes to Follow Same Career Path As Hultzen

Their career paths are eerily similar, but it might be too tall an order at this point to compare St. John’s College Prep two-way talent Nick Howard to University of Virginia sensation Danny Hultzen, projected to be one of the top picks in this year’s draft.

Both players live in Maryland, and chose to attend prep school in Washington, D.C. Like Howard, Hultzen was a significant two-way player in high school, and has continued to go both ways throughout his college career. Hultzen led his school, St. Alban’s Prep, to a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title as a senior, and Howard did the same this spring for St. John’s, hammering a decisive grand slam in the championship game.

Though Howard is three years behind Hultzen in the development process, he will follow in his footsteps by attending college at Virginia, if he doesn’t sign in this year’s draft.

Hultzen was a 10th-round pick out of high school, and Howard was initially targeted to go about the same area this year, but he pitched sparingly because of a sore arm and didn’t swing the bat with the same authority as in the past, raising his chances of playing for the Cavaliers. Unlike Hultzen, who has always had more upside on the mound, Howard’s preferred course of action down the road is as a position player.

Howard played primarily at shortstop for his high-school team, but below-average speed is almost certain to push him to third base at the next level, whether in college or pro ball. He has plenty of arm strength for the hot corner, along with developing power in his 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame. Prior to being slowed by his arm issues, Howard’s fastball had reached 92-93 mph, and he flashed a hard slider.

While most of the attention in D.C. is concentrated on the two Division I colleges in town, Georgetown and George Washington, neither school had a particularly positive 2011 season. Between them, they were 42-68. Georgetown has a shot to produce as many as three draft picks in the middle rounds, though, in sophomore third baseman Mike Garza (.306-4-39), junior outfielder Reid Ravnass (.352-5-37, 26 SB) and senior catcher Erick Fernandez (.315-4-35). Ravnass put up solid numbers and has impressive tools, but scouts are not enthralled with his swing mechanics.

The player, though, that has caused the most buzz at the collegiate level is a player that doesn’t even play baseball in college because his school, American University, doesn’t field a team.

Instead, the 6-foot-9, 225-pound Lumpkins is a basketball star, of sorts, for American, and led that team in rebounds (8.2 rpg) and was second in scoring (13.5 ppg) this year. But baseball is his career of choice and Lumpkins has worked out extensively for scouts over the last two years in bullpen sessions and was even drafted in the 42nd round last year by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

He turned down that opportunity, but ended up pitching last summer in the Cal Ripken Collegiate League, where his fastball was clocked from 90-92 mph. Scouts envision Lumpkins throwing even harder once he focuses solely on baseball.

Washington D.C. in a Nutshell:

STRENGTH:
Marginal college talent.
WEAKNESS: Depth of high-school talent.
OVERALL RATING (1-to-5 scale): 2.

BEST COLLEGE TEAM:
George Washington.
BEST HIGH SCHOOL TEAM: St. John’s College Prep.

BEST OUT-OF-STATE PROSPECT, Washington, D.C. Connection:
Danny Hultzen, lhp, University of Virginia (attended high school in Washington, D.C.).
TOP 2012 PROSPECT: Justin Leeson, of/c, Georgetown University.
TOP 2013 PROSPECT: Alex Baker, rhp, Georgetown University.

HIGHEST DRAFT PICKS
Draft History: L.J. Hoes, of, St. John’s College Prep (2008, Orioles/3rd round).
2006 Draft: Derrik Lutz, rhp, George Washington U. (Reds/19th round).
2007 Draft: Matt Bouchard, ss, Georgetown U. (Mets/11th round).
2008 Draft: L.J. Hoes, of, St. John’s College Prep (Orioles/3rd round).
2009 Draft: Pat Lehman, rhp, George Washington U. (Nationals/13th round).
2010 Draft: Eric Cantrell, rhp, George Washington University (Royals/7th round).

TOP PROSPECTS, GROUPS ONE and TWO

GROUP TWO
(Projected MID-Round Draft / Rounds 4-10)

1. NICK HOWARD, 3b/rhp, St. John’s College Prep
Two-way talent; more upside as field player; developing power, 92-93 mph arm; has frame for power at 3B.

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