Bryce Harper to be featured on MLB Network’s ‘Play Ball’ series, with a special appearance by Anthony Rendon
MLB Network’s newest series, ‘Play Ball,’ will feature Bryce Harper with a special appearance by Anthony Rendon in tomorrow’s episode. Scheduled to air at 10:00 a.m., the episode will highlight Bryce and Anthony’s interactions with the scholar athletes during a recent visit to the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy.
‘Play Ball,’ is hosted by Harold Reynolds and features baseball demonstrations, discussions and advice for young athletes from some of the league’s top players. Be sure to tune in tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. on MLB Network, and again next Saturday, when Anthony will be featured on the show, with a special appearance by Bryce!
In the meantime, enjoy a few preview clips of Bryce from tomorrow’s show below.
Last night, ESPN’s “My Wish” featured OF Bryce Harper and Kaylan, a 16-year-old softball player from Gaithersburg, Md. Kaylan, who has battled a kidney condition since she was born, spent the day with Bryce earlier in July, fulfilling her wish. The full video, part of the 10th-anniversary season of the “My Wish” series, can be seen here.
Four Washington Nationals players were named 2016 Major League All-Stars on Tuesday evening, with outfielder Bryce Harper, second baseman Daniel Murphy, catcher Wilson Ramos, and right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg all awarded the annual mid-season honor.
This is just the second time in Nationals history (2005-present) that the club will send as many as four representatives to the Midsummer Classic. Washington also had four All-Star players in 2012. The Nationals’ four honorees are tied for second-most among NL clubs (with Miami), behind only the Chicago Cubs, who will send seven players to San Diego.
Harper will start in the National League outfield for the third time in his career. The 23-year-old earned his fourth career All-Star selection by garnering 2,865,095 fan votes, the highest vote total among all NL outfielders. The 2015 National League MVP, Harper currently leads the Major Leagues in walks (66), intentional walks (15) and walks-to-strikeouts ratio (1.22). He ranks fourth in the National League in on-base percentage (.404), while his 17 home runs are tied for fourth among all NL outfielders, and his OBP leads that group.
Harper joins Hall of Famers Gary Carter (4) and Andre Dawson (3) as the only players in franchise history (Nationals/Expos) to earn at least three fan elections to the All-Star Game.
For Murphy, who signed a three-year contract with Washington this past offseason, this is the second All-Star selection of his career (also 2014). The Nationals’ second baseman leads the National League in batting average (.347), hits (108), and multi-hit games (35). Murphy also leads the Major Leagues with 17 go-ahead RBI this season. The 31-year-old, a players’ selection to the NL squad, also leads all NL second basemen in doubles (22), RBI (56), and slugging (.579), while his 14 home runs rank second.
This is the first All-Star nod for Ramos, who currently leads all qualified Major League catchers in batting average (.340), on-base percentage (.396), slugging percentage (.563), RBI (46), home runs (T1st, 13), and fewest strikeouts (34). The 28-year-old also ranks third in the Major Leagues in batting average (second in the NL), and his .368 average with runners in scoring position is the 10th-best mark in MLB. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, after hitting .229 in 2015, Ramos is the only player in MLB to increase his average at least 100 points from last year to this year (min. 100 plate appearances in 2016 / 500 plate appearances in 2015). Ramos was elected via player vote.
For Strasburg, the only remaining qualified starting pitcher in MLB not to suffer a losing decision, the All-Star nod is the second of his career (also 2012). At 11-0 with a 2.71 ERA, Strasburg is the first National League starter to begin a season 11-0 since San Diego right-hander Andy Hawkins went 11-0 in 1985. The Nationals are 22-3 in his last 25 starts (dating to Aug. 2015), during which time Strasburg has struck out 215 batters and walked just 36. He was selected to the 2016 All-Star team by National League manager Terry Collins.
The 2016 Major League All-Star Game will take place at Petco Park in San Diego, Calif., on Tuesday, July 12.
The Washington Nationals have agreed to terms with 23 players from the 2016 First-Year Player Draft, including their first pick (No. 28 overall), shortstop Carter Kieboom, and second-round pick (No. 58 overall), third baseman Sheldon Neuse.
Kieboom, 18, will begin his professional career in Viera, Fla., playing for the Gulf Coast League Nationals. The standout infielder was 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 full list of signed players can be found in the press release below.
During this week’s series against the Cubs, MLB Network’s popular show Intentional Talk is on site at Nationals Park. Hosted by longtime MLB broadcaster Chris Rose and 2004 World Series champion Kevin Millar, the shows airs Monday through Friday at 5:00 p.m. ET.
Before the game yesterday, the hosts previewed the upcoming series, interviewed special guests Ryan Zimmerman and Ben Revere, tasted food available at various concession stands around Nationals Park and were joined by the Racing Presidents.
Be sure to check out these behind-the-scenes pictures from yesterday, and tune in to MLB Network for the second episode of Intentional Talk live from Nationals Park today at 5 p.m. ET!
On Saturday evening, Nationals players, coaches and guests from around the region celebrated the “Power of Baseball” at the 11th annual Dream Gala, held at the Marriott Marquis Washington DC. As the primary fundraiser for the Nationals Dream Foundation, the 2016 Dream Gala netted more than $400,000 for the Foundation’s initiatives focused on academics, the arts, nutrition and sports for children and teens in the Washington, D.C. region.
The event featured a cocktail reception and silent auction, as well as a dinner program and a live auction hosted by Nationals radio broadcaster Charlie Slowes. Live auction items included memorabilia from Max Scherzer’s two no-hitters in 2015, and an autographed watercolor painting of 2015 National League MVP, Bryce Harper. Experiences included a trip to Hawaii, spending the day with the Nationals Baseball Operations team and General Manager Mike Rizzo, as well as the once-in-a-lifetime experience to travel with the team to Citi Field in July when they face the New York Mets.
A 501(c)3 charitable organization, the Dream Foundation is committed to improving the lives of children and teens in the Washington, D.C. region through community partnerships. Enjoy the above photos, and to find out more information on the Dream Foundation or to make a donation, visit www.nationals.com/dream.
The second day of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft kicks off at 1:00 P.M. ET with rounds 3-10. The Nationals will have the 17th pick in the third round (No. 94 overall) and the 18th pick in each round the rest of the way.
Stay tuned to Curly W Live for a running blog of the picks throughout the day!
The Nationals kicked off today’s action by selecting prep left-handed pitcher Jesus Luzardo out of Stoneman Douglas High Schoool in Parkland, Fla. Luzardo is rated as the No. 45 draft prospect in the 2016 First-Year Player Draft, per Baseball America and the No. 77 prospect according to MLB.com. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound lefty went 4-0 with a 0.66 ERA (2 ER/21.0 IP) in four starts in 2016. He underwent “Tommy John” ligament replacement surgery (Dr. James Andrews) on March 22, 2016. Prior to the 2016 season, Luzardo was named a Rawlings/Perfect game preseason first-team All-American and Louisville Slugger preseason first-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball.
In the fourth round, the Nationals selected Nick Banks, an outfielder from Texas A&M University. Banks is hitting .289 (66-for-288) with 13 doubles, three triples, nine home runs, 49 RBI, 22 walks, seven stolen bases and 47 runs scored. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound junior was named MVP of the 2016 SEC Tournament and will continue to play for the Aggies as they advance to the Super Regionals of the NCAA Tournament. As a sophomore in 2015, Banks earned American Baseball Coaches Association third-team All-America honors and was named second-team All-SEC He ranked fourth in the SEC in batting average (.364), fifth in on-base percentage (.450), and sixth in hits (87).
The Nationals selected outfielder Daniel Johnson, the 2016 Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year, in the fifth round. The 5-foot-10, 185 pound lefty led the league in batting average (.416), slugging percentage (.720), home runs (8), hits (52), total bases (90), runs (36) and stolen bases (15) during conference play. On the season, he hit .382 (94-for-246) with 11 doubles, seven triples, 12 homers, 50 RBI, 18 walks, 29 stolen bases and 67 runs scored in 57 total games. Johnson began his career at Northeast Oklahoma A&M Junior College before transferring to New Mexico State.
In the sixth round, Washington selected Tres Barrera a 6-foot, 215-pound catcher from the University of Texas. Barrera hit .289 (61-for-211) with 17 doubles, six homers, 37 RBI, 28 walks and 35 runs scored in 57 games as Texas’ primary backstop in 2016. He was named honorable mention All-Big 12 following the season.
The Nationals selected the Atlantic Sun Player of the Year, Jacob Noll, in the seventh round. The 6-foot-1 righty led the conference in nearly every offensive category, hitting .367 (87-for-237) with 20 doubles, two triples, 12 homers, 61 RBI, 20 walks, nine stolen bases and 58 runs scored. In addition to player of the year honors, Noll was also named a second-team All-American by Baseball America and a Louisville Slugger second-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball. Noll was second-team Atlantic Sun in 2015 and in 2014, he was named the Louisville slugger National Freshman Player of the Year, Louisville Slugger third-team All-American, NCBWA 2014 Freshman All-American, Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year and first-team Atlantic Sun.
In the eighth round, the Nationals selected right-handed pitcher A.J. Bogucki from the University of North Carolina. Bogucki went 5-5 with a 2.86 ERA (16 ER/50.1 IP) in 28 appearances for the Tar Heels in 2016. He struck out 53, walked 25 and surrendered 39 hits.
Washington selected Joesph Harris, a catcher from Gonzaga (WA) University, with their ninth round pick. Harris, a senior, hit .274 (38-for-154) with 10 doubles, two homers, 22 RBI, 22 walks and 38 runs scored in 47 games for the Bulldogs. As a junior in 2015, Harris was West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year after finishing the regular season second in nation with 28 runners caught stealing and .509 caught stealing percentage.
In the tenth and final round of the day, the Nationals selected shortstop Paul Panaccione from Grand Canyon (AZ) University. He hit .363 (53-for-146) with nine doubles, one triple, four homers, 26 RBI, 25 walks and 36 runs scored in 41 games during his senior season.
The Washington Nationals selected third baseman Sheldon Neuse out of the University of Oklahoma with the 58th-overall selection in the 2016 First-Year Player Draft.
A 6-foot, 195-pound junior, Neuse hit .369 (73-for-198) with 15 doubles, five triples, 10 home runs, 48 RBI, 39 walks, 12 stolen bases and 42 runs scored in 55 games for the University of Oklahoma. He led the Big 12 Conference in slugging percentage (.646), tied for the conference lead in triples (5) and ranked among league leaders in total bases (T2nd, 128), on-base percentage (4th, .465), home runs (T4th, 10), walks (T4th, 39), batting average (5th, .369), RBI (7th, 48) and stolen bases (T8th, 12).
For his efforts, Neuse was named first-team All-Big 12, a Louisville Slugger second team All-American by Collegiate Baseball and is a semifinalist for the National College Baseball Writers Association Dick Howser Trophy and USA Baseball’s Golden Spikes Award, awarded annually to the top collegiate player and top amateur player, respectively. He is also a semifinalist for the John Olerud Award, awarded to the top two-way player in college baseball and the Brooks Wallace Award, given to the top shortstop in college baseball.
“He’s a good bat. He’s got power. He catches the baseball. He hardly had any errors the last two years. Really good throwing arm,” said Nationals Midwest Crosschecker Jimmy Gonzales. “Super ballplayer. Great kid. Really love the makeup on him. Overall, good package there.”
On the mound, Neuse went 4-1 with five saves and a 1.40 ERA (3 ER/19.1 IP) in a career-high 14 appearances out of Oklahoma’s bullpen. His five saves were tied for seventh in the Big 12.
The 2014 Big 12 Freshman of the Year, Neuse was one of the top offensive players in the Big 12 the last three seasons, earning three consecutive unanimous first-team All-Big 12 selections while becoming the 40th player in Oklahoma’s program history to score at least 100 runs and record at least 100 RBI in his career. He is one of just 10 players in Big 12 history to be selected to the first team All-Big 12 three times and just the second player to be unanimously selected three times.
In three collegiate seasons, Neuse hit .313 with 42 doubles, 15 triples, 23 home runs, 138 RBI, 90 walks, 29 stolen bases and 11 runs scored in 174 games (all starts). He posted a .525 slugging percentage and a .390 on-base percentage. On the mound, he went 6-2 with seven saves and a 1.60 ERA (7 ER/39.1 IP) and 36 strikeouts in 29 appearances out of the bullpen.
Neuse is a native of Fort Worth, Tex., and attended Keller Fossil Ridge High School where he was District MVP as a junior and a senior and hit 30 home runs during his high school career. He was originally selected by the Texas Rangers in the 38th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.
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.
In honor of the beginning of the Copa América Centenario, the soccer tournament commemorating the 100th anniversary of CONMEBOL and the Copa América, we’re flashing back to a few weeks ago when members of the Nationals had the chance to meet players from the U.S. Men’s National Team.
Before their game against the Miami Marlins on May 20, several members of the Nationals met with players from the USMNT. Nationals OF Bryce Harper and 2B Daniel Murphy exchanged jerseys (Harper) and a bat (Murphy) with USMNT goalies Tim Howard and Brad Guzan. Manager Dusty Baker also got a chance to interact with Howard, one of the heroes of the 2014 World Cup.
Video of the visit can be seen below (fast forward to 2:00 for Nationals content).
Good luck to the USMNT tonight as they begin the tournament against Colombia in Santa Clara!