Oakton High School (VA) third baseman Joe Rizzo went into the 2016 MLB Draft as the No. 40 prospect in the country and projected to get pick in the first two rounds.
The Seattle Mariners took the local standout with the 50th pick in the first round.
“Besides his natural ability, he’s got a good approach,” Mariners director of scouting Tom McNamara said in a Seattle Times article. “We saw him a lot this summer. And he saw a lot of good pitchers. His ability to put himself in a lot of good counts and square the baseball up, we really liked. And he’s a strong kid.”
The Virginia 6A Player of the Year posted a .392 batting average, four home runs and 12 RBI. The South Carolina signee was selected to play in the Perfect Game All-American Classic in San Diego. In an article by the Washington Post, MLB Network analyst Mike Lowell said;
“He [Rizzo] looks like a guy that has a very good sense of what he wants to do at the plate. I think physically he’s much more developed than your traditional draft pick and I think he’s a guy that takes that approach at each level and will help him move up real quick.”