Nationals select SS Carter Kieboom, RHP Dane Dunning

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The Washington Nationals selected prep shortstop Carter Kieboom out of Walton (GA) High School with the 28th-overall pick in the 2016 First-Year Player Draft and followed that selection with collegiate right-handed pitcher Dane Dunning out of the University of Florida with the 29th-overall selection.

Kieboom, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound infielder is considered one of the best prep hitters in the 2016 First-Year Player Draft after hitting .366 (37-for-101) with nine doubles, two triples, five home runs, 37 RBI, 24 walks, seven stolen bases and 39 runs scored for Walton High School in Marietta, Ga. He posted a .504 on-base percentage and a .644 slugging percentage during his senior season.

The younger brother of Nationals catcher Spencer Kieboom, Carter has collected numerous prep All-America honors, including being named a 2016 Rawlings/Perfect Game preseason first-team All-American, 2016 Louisville Slugger first-team preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball and the 2015 Under Armour All-American Game MVP. He is rated by Perfect Game as the fifth-best high school prospect coming out of the talent-rich state of Georgia for the 2016 First-Year Player Draft.

Nationals Assistant General Manager and VP of Scouting Operations Kris Kline said: “He’s a very athletic high school shortstop that I think stays at shortstop. He has an advanced approach at the plate with very good tools. We think he’s going to be a very good big leaguer. He has good makeup and a really good feel for the game. He’s a baseball player.”

A shortstop in high school, Kieboom – who signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at Clemson (SC) University – also saw time on the mound for Walton as an ambidextrous pitcher.

Kieboom led Walton High School to its first state title in 2016, as the school claimed the Georgia Class 6A championship. In addition to Spencer, Carter’s other older brother, Trevor, just completed his junior season at the University of Georgia and is draft-eligible this year.

A 6-foot-3, 205-pound junior, Dunning is 5-3 with two saves and a 2.50 ERA (19 ER/68.1 IP) in 29 games (five starts) for the University of Florida. Dunning has struck out 78 batters and walked just 11 batters to this point in the 2016 season. Dunning will continue to pitch for the top-seeded Florida Gators as they advance to the Super Regional Round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

“He’s coming from one of the best staffs in college baseball right now,” explained Kris Kline. “If he was coming from another program, he would’ve been the Friday night starter for 95 percent of the teams in the country.”

A native of Fleming Island, Fla., Dunning attended Clay High School in Green Cove Springs, Fla. He was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 34th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, but chose to attend the University of Florida. He was named to the Rawlings/Perfect Game preseason second-team Florida All-Region prior to his senior year. As a senior at Clay, he earned all-state honors in Class 5A and was the school’s Athlete of the Year after going 5-2 with a 1.27 ERA.

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