Where Are They Now? 2015-17 Pro Signees


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. With the completion of the MLB season on Sunday and the completion of the minor league season in the previous week, its time to check in on our recent signees and see how their careers are progressing. We will look at the five members of the Classes of 2015, 2016, and 2017 who signed after being drafted out of high school.

 

Jimmy Barnes SS / 2B / Deep Creek, VA / 2015

Barnes was drafted by the Angels in the 11th round in 2015 and played most of 2017 in Rookie ball. In 2018, he was sent to the Low-A Midwest League and struggled in the first half of the season, hitting .118 with 2 home runs before he was released on June 30. Barnes remains a free agent.

 

 

Brenan Hanifee RHP / 3B / Turner Ashby, VA / 2016

Hanifee spent all of 2018 in Low-A Delmarva and compiled a strong campaign. He emerged this spring as one the Orioles' top pitching prospects. In 132 innings in the South Atlantic League this spring, he went 8-6 with a 2.86 ERA. He walked just 22 hitters and allowed only 120 hits for the season. Hanifee is poised to head to High-A in 2019 and could see himself move up a thin Baltimore system quickly if he continues his success. Hanifee did struggle to get swings and misses, only striking out 85 hitters in 2018.

 

 

Khalil Lee OF / LHP / Flint Hill, VA / 2016

Lee got off to a hot start in High-A Wilmington in April and used that to eventually earn a mid-season promotion to AA Northwest Arkansas. While in the Single-A Carolina League, he had a .402 OBP across 302 plate appearances while also chipping in 21 extra base hits and 14 stolen bases. In AA, he got his feet wet with a .330 OBP in 118 plate appearances, including 2 home runs during his time in the Texas League. In 2019, he should garner an invitation to the Royals Major League Spring Training before he likely returns to AA. If Lee can continue his development, he has a chance to make it to the Show in 2019 and could be a part of Kansas City's next contending outfield.

 

 

Nathan Perry C / 3B / Bassett, VA / 2017

Perry was the lone signee from the Class of 2017 and he went to the Rookie level Gulf Coast League after signing and hit .229 for the GCL Astros in 2017. In the 2018, he remained in extended Spring Training until the GCL season began after the draft. After 108 plate appearances and a .244 batting average, Perry was promoted to Short-Season A Tri-City for the rest of the season, where he had 69 plate appearances and hit .172 with a .217 OBP. Perry should hope to receive a full-season assignment to Low-A Quad Cities in 2019, where he can hopefully establish some offensive rhythm and start to show the power that he presented in high school and led to the Astros taking him in the sixth round.

 

 

Joe Rizzo 3B / Oakton, VA / 2016

Rizzo has yet to realize the raw power that he demonstrated in high school, but he continues to move up the ladder in the Mariners organization. In 2018, Rizzo spent the entire season in High-A Modesto. He hit .241 across 508 plate appearances and had 4 home runs and 21 2Bs. Rizzo played the bulk of his innings at third base, where he will need to show more power to advance to AA and eventually the Show, the doubles are a good sign and as he continues to get stronger and learns to access his power, those doubles become home runs. Rizzo did take reps at second base and first base in 2018, showing that he has the potential to at least become a lefthanded bench bat that can move around the infield if he doesn't make it is an everyday player.

 

 

 

 

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