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With the 2021 season officially over, the Washington Nationals have secured the fifth spot in next year’s draft, and it isn’t too early to take a look at some of the possibilities on who the Nationals should draft next year.
After reviewing Baseball America’s Top Prospect List, one prospect stood out to me that would be a perfect fit for the Nationals: Jacob Berry.
If you take a look at Baseball America’s Top Prospect List, you will notice that the top of the list has two catchers, a shortstop, and a Right Hand Pitcher, all in the top five. With the Nationals already having top-tier pitching talent, two great catchers now in the majors, and the Nationals drafting a shortstop last year, one could assume that you can rule out those positions, which brings us to the next top prospect third baseman/ first baseman Jacob Berry.
Ever since Anthony Rendon left the team during the 2019 offseason, there has been a hole at third base, and the Carter Kieboom experiment has been a hit or miss, so it would be smart for Rizzo and Co, to possibly draft Berry at five. Let’s take a deeper dive into the background of Berry.
About Jacob Berry
Back in July of this year, Berry transferred to LSU after playing his freshman season with the University of Arizona’s Wildcats
Jacob Berry was a freshman All-American in 2021 after hitting .352/.439/.676 with 17 home runs and 19 doubles with the University of Arizona’s Wildcats. Berry ended the 2021 season with a .676 slugging percentage.
During the postseason with the University of Arizona’s Wildcats, Berry started in all eight games, where he hit .243 with six runs, three doubles, two home runs, and six RBI’s.
On the field, Berry does need some work at third base. In addition to playing third-base, Berry also plays at first base, which is another reason why the Nationals should consider drafting Berry. While at third base during the season, Berry logged a .833 fielding percentage on 18 chances and helped turn three double plays.
“Berry has defensive questions he’ll need to answer to improve his upside potential and profile, but after performing over the summer with Team USA (.387/.475/.871, four homers) scouts should have plenty of confidence in his bat,” according to Baseball America’s latest prospect profile.
Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com discusses Berry in a July 20th post: “He’s a switch-hitter who has the chance to hit for average and power and be a true run producer at the next level, one who has continued to hit well for USA Baseball this summer.”
Berry, a native of Queen Creek, Arizona, earned first-team All-American recognition from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. He also received second-team All-American honors from D1Baseball and Perfect Game. Collegiate Baseball Newspaper named him the national co-freshman of the year.