Recruiting Notebook: Forest Park’s Boone to Play at VCU


July 17 - Forest Park infielder Griffin Boone committed yesterday to play at Virginia Commonwealth University, announcing his intention via Twitter. 

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound shortstop helped the Bruins advance to the Region 6C semifinals before falling to West Springfield this past spring after playing a key role in Forest Park’s run to the Cardinal District championship in 2018.

Boone is a two-time first-team all-district selection, hitting .449 with 31 hits, 20 runs and eight RBI as a sophomore and .326 with a .545 on-base percentage, 15 hits, 20 runs, and 11 RBI despite missing four games with a knee injury this year. He was hit by a pitch 10 times and drew 13 walks.

He will follow two area players, right-hander Hunter Bell (Centreville) and catcher Nick Ericsson (C.D. Hylton), who were part of VCU’s 2019 recruiting class. This past season, the Rams rostered three players from Northern Virginia schools - third baseman Brett Norwood (Chantilly), right-hander Sam Ryan (Fairfax) and catcher Matt Stallings (West Springfield) - who helped them go 39-19 under coach Shawn Stiffler. 

Boone’s commitment continues a busy recruiting period for members of the Marucci Stars travel program. Six Stars players have committed to Division I programs this summer, including rising seniors Boone as well as Colgan left-hander Everett Catlett (Georgetown), Potomac catcher/pitcher Braden Mack (Cornell), McLean right-hander Teddy Merritt (High Point) and Osbourn Park infielder Jed Barrett (Virginia Military Institute) and one rising junior in Madison outfielder Collin Tuft (Virginia). 

Freedom’s Cook, Rock Ridge’s Clarke Among PBR’s Top ‘21 Recruits

Two-way standout Casey Cook (Freedom-South Riding) and left-hander Brandon Clarke (Rock Ridge) are among the state’s top 10 players in Prep Baseball Report’s latest Class of 2021 rankings, released last week. 

Cook is ranked No. 3 and Clarke is No. 5 in the updated rankings. Jay Woolfork from Richmond’s Benedictine is PBR’s top-rated player from schools in Virginia and Washington, D.C. 

Cook, a shortstop and right-handed pitcher who has committed to North Carolina, hit .465 with a .545 on-base percentage, 20 hits, 14 RBI and 10 stolen bases before an injury cut his season short. He plays with the Marucci Stars travel program during the offseason. Clarke, who has reportedly had his fastball clocked as high as 89 MPH, remains uncommitted. He is playing this summer for the North Carolina-based Dirtbags travel program.  

Local Players Invited to PBR’s Futures Games in Georgia

Four area players have accepted invitations to attend Prep Baseball Report’s Futures Games at the LakePoint facility in Cartersville, GA, an event that drew over 250 college coaches last summer. 

Stafford outfielder Elijah Lambros, Yorktown right-hander Nathan Knowles, Lake Braddock outfielder Ryan Cuadros and Fredericksburg Christian catcher J.T. Carter will be among the uncommitted rising juniors and select rising sophomores invited to attend the event. 

From July 31 to Aug. 3, the four players will play three games and participate in a showcase workout that includes a 60-yard-dash, batting practice and defensive evaluations. 

Photos of, clockwise from left, Griffin Boone by Joey Kamide, Freedom’s Casey Cook by Joey Kamide, and Lake Braddock’s Ryan Cuadros by Gregg Zelkin