Where Are They Now? 2016 Unsigned Draftees

John Nolan
Virginia Scouting Director & Managing Editor

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We continue our series of looks back on players who are recent prep graduates from Virginia/DC and how their careers have continued after high school. Today we look again back at the Class of 2016, which was a very deep and talented class of players who will be draft eligible again next spring. We checked in on the players from the class who were drafted and didn't sign during the spring, now we check in on them again with their spring and summer seasons complete.


Michael Bienlien RHP / Great Bridge, VA / 2016

Bienlien had a tough sophomore season at NC State but did show some encouraging improvement as he saw his strikeout rate increase without adding to his walk rate. He got hit pretty hard with a .354 batting average against, but he did show significant improvement in that regards with a strong summer for Harwich in the Cape Cod League. He threw 21 innings during the summer and allowed just 14 hits and struck out 17 while posting a 3.85 ERA.



Zack Hess RHP / 1B / Liberty Christian Academy, VA / 2016

For starters, Hess was a draft eligible sophomore in 2018 and was selected in the 34th round by the Braves. This is the second time he has been drafted and second time he has opted to skip pro ball to go to LSU. During his sophomore season, Hess spent most of the year as the Tigers' Friday night starter and led LSU in innings with 92.2. His ERA declined as the 2018 season progressed before it finished at 5.05. He did give up less than a hit per inning and strikeout 107 batters against some of the best amateur competition in the country. He made a short trip to the Cape, making two starts for Harwich and striking out 8 hitters while allowing 1 hit in 7 innings. Hess also threw for the College National Team during the summer, adding 9 innings of scoreless work, allowing just three hits and walking none while striking out 6.



Noah Murdock RHP / Colonial Heights, VA / 2016

Murdock had Tommy John surgery at the end of his 2017 season and saw limited action in 2018 for Virginia, throwing 13.1 innings and striking out 13 batters.



Jamie Sara RHP / 3B / West Potomac, VA / 2016

Sara saw his workload and ERA increase during his sophomore season at William & Mary, logging 34 innings with a 6.35 ERA. He held opponents to just a hit per inning and showed some swing and miss ability, picking up 38 strikeouts. He played for Alexandria in the Cal Ripken League during the summer of 2018 and struck out 18 batters in 11 innings of action. 


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