At this point the odds appear very good that both Nationals' 2016 draft picks will sign contracts with the team despite both having the option to attend college for the 2016-17 school year.
Shortstop Carter Kieboom, the 28th pick, can go to Clemson University in the fall to begin his collegiate career if he wants. Florida pitcher Dane Dunning, taken 29th, can return to the Gators for his senior season.
That doesn't seem to be in the plans for either player, as both expect to make their decisions soon. Dunning has already said he plans to sign. Kieboom expects to make the call in the next few days.
Both players are ready to get to work in the Nationals' farm system. And for Kieboom, there is cool opportunity to play with his older brother, Spencer, some time down the road. Spencer is currently a catcher with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators.
"To be selected by the Nationals is very special. I've never been able to play with my older brothers just because how much older they are than me. Now to be given the opportunity to potentially play with Spencer in a few years, I think that'd be a very cool scenario for that to take place," Carter said.
Carter visted Spencer with the Senators when they were in Richmond to play the Flying Squirrels on June 3. He was in the area to work out for the Nationals ahead of the draft.
"I got to hang out on the field and go through the clubhouse. It just kind of gave me a heads up of what I'm walking into. The real difference is the diversity of the locker room. You've got guys coming over from all different angles," he said.
And how about that workout?
"I went up there and had a phenomenal workout. I hit very well. I was very sound defensively," he said.
Dunning didn't have quite as much evidence the Nationals would take him. He was surprised the Nats selected him in the first round and after getting off the phone with them, chose not to tell his parents so they could watch it develop live on television.
"I'm extremely blessed to be taken where I was at," Dunning said.
It's been a busy few weeks for Dunning in the leadup to the draft, as his Florida Gators are still alive in the NCAA Tournament. He is currently preparing to face the Florida State Seminoles in the Super Regional round.
Despite all that was going on, Dunning said it wasn't difficult to compartmentalize.
“Throughout the season I tried not to really think about the draft at all. I just kind of went out there and tried to win games for my team. This past week, after regionals and all that, was really the first time I sat down and talked to my parents and talked to my advisor just about how the draft is going to play out. It hasn’t really been too hectic. I just had a short conversation about it. I've just been going about my business, just going to practice, working hard," he said.
Dunning, who pitched out of the bullpen for 24 of his 29 appearances this season with Florida, is thrilled the Nationals plan to develop him as a starter.
“Extremely grateful that they are fortunate enough to let me become a starter. I’ve always wanted to be a starter my whole entire life. Either way I’m really happy with with any decision, but being able to start is a dream come true," he said.