The Nationals stayed within the family with their first pick in the 2016 MLB Draft on Thursday night by selecting high school shortstop Carter Kieboom with the 28th overall pick. Kieboom's brother, Spencer, is a catcher for their Double-A affilliate Harrisburg Senators.
With the 29th overall pick, the Nationals selected right-hander Dane Dunning out of the University of Florida. Dunning's Gators are still alive in the NCAA Tournament.
The Nationals then selected Sheldon Neuse out of the University of Oklahoma with the 58th overall pick in the second round. Neuse was both an infielder and closer for the Sooners this season.
"I think we got who we targeted," Nationals assistant GM Kris Kline said. "Beauty's in the eye of the beholder. We identified Carter and Dane early in the year and I think we feel really fortunate to get those guys. Then Neuse kind of fell in our lap. We really liked him too."
Kieboom, 18, hails from Walton High School in Georgia. He's listed at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds and bats right-handed. He is currently committed to play at Clemson University, where Spencer also played.
"He's a very athletic high school shortstop that I think stays at shortstop," Kline said. "He has an advanced approach at the plate. Very good tools with some above average, some solid average. He's going to be a very good big leaguer. Good makeup. Just has a really good feel for the game. He's a baseball player."
Dunning, 21, is 6-foot-4 and throws a fastball in the mid-90s. He has a 2.95 ERA in 29 appearances, five of them starts, for the Gators this year. The Nats plan to develop Dunning as a starter and send him to the short-season Auburn Doubledays once he is signed.
Dunning was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 34th round of the 2013 draft out of high school, but didn't sign. He is currently a junior at Florida.
Kieboom hit .366 (37-for-101) with five home runs, 37 RBI, 24 walks, seven steals and 39 runs scored as a senior. He held a .504 on-base percentage and a .644 slugging percentage for Walton, which is located in Marietta, Ga. He was also an ambidextrous pitcher in high school.
Neuse, 21, hit .369 with 10 homers, five triples and 48 RBI on offense this season. As a pitcher, he held a 1.40 ERA with five saves in 14 appearances. He was an All-Big 12 selection in 2016.
Nats crosschecker Jimmy Gonzales explained Neuse's skillset:
"Good bat. He's got power. He catches the baseball. Hardly had any errors the last two years. Really good throwing arm. Super ballplayer. Great kid. Really love the makeup on him. Overall, good package there," he said.
Kieboom has the option of going to school at Clemson instead of signing, and Dunning and Neuse can return to college as juniors. Kline, though, believes the Nationals will sign all three by the July 15 deadline.
"I feel very confident that we'll end up getting them all done before the deadline," he said.