Washington Nationals: 2016 MLB Draft First Round Analysis

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Jun 20, 2015; Omaha, NE, USA; Florida Gators pitcher Dane Dunning (3) throws against the Virginia Cavaliers in the first inning at the 2015 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 20, 2015; Omaha, NE, USA; Florida Gators pitcher Dane Dunning (3) throws against the Virginia Cavaliers in the first inning at the 2015 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tonight, the Washington Nationals selected Carter Kieboom and Dane Dunning with their first two picks in the 2016 MLB Draft

For the first time since 2014, the Washington Nationals made a selection in the first round of the MLB Draft. With their two selections, they went with shortstop Carter Kieboom from Walton High School in Georgia with the 28th pick and they took right-handed pitcher Dane Dunning out of the University of Florida with the 29th pick.

The name Kieboom might sound familiar because the Washington Nationals have his brother, Spencer, in their farm system. Spencer is currently the catcher at double-A Harrisburg. While Carter is currently a shortstop, most of the draft experts think he is going to move to third base.

Kieboom, who is currently committed to Clemson, is 6”2 and weighs 190 pounds. Benjamin Chase, who is the draft expert over at FanSided’s baseball site, Call To The Pen, gave his insight on the pick on their draft thread earlier tonight:

"“I love Carter Kieboom. He has a great approach at the plate with a power hitting approach. He’s been talked about moving to third, but this year he’s shown a lot of scouts that he could stick at shortstop. He’s got some of the biggest raw power in the high school class, winning the home run derby at the Under Armour All-Star game this last summer.”"

 

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As for Dunning, the 21-year-old right-hander went 5-3 this season at Florida with a 2.50 ERA and had five saves in 29 games. Dunning had 78 K’s, which is the most of any Gator reliever. Last season, when he was mainly a starter, he went 5-2 with a 4.03 ERA in 16 games (14 starts),

The Florida Gators’ pitching staff had two players selected in the first round of this draft with A.J. Puk going to the Oakland Athletics with the sixth pick. Dunning was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 34th round back in 2013 before deciding to go to college.

According to MLB.com, Dunning’s pitch arsenal includes “a plus fastball, up to 95 mph, sitting 92-93 mph and with outstanding movement. He has a very good feel for his changeup as well. His breaking ball is fringy, but shows glimpses of being an average offering.”

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If you want to watch Dunning pitch, you can do that this weekend when Florida takes on Florida State in the Super Regionals of the NCAA Tournament. The Gators are the number one overall seed in this year’s tournament. Back on March 15, Dunning went 5.2 innings, gave up seven hits, struck out five, and walked one in a win over the Seminoles.

Game 1 of the best-of-three series is Saturday night at 6 p.m ET in Gainesville. You can watch the game on ESPN2. The Washington Nationals still have one more pick tonight as they have one second round pick (58th overall).

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