Photo: (BYU Athletics)
Since its inception in 2012, the DC Grays have had a successful line of players march through Southeast Washington and onto the Major League Draft with hopes of playing professional baseball. Since 2015, seven Grays alumni have signed pro contracts – five of whom were drafted by Major League clubs. Find out where some of our alums are today!
Colton Shaver – 2015
Catcher and corner infielder Colton Shaver (BYU) came to DC after a standout freshman year with the Cougars in 2015, hitting .313 with a 1.000 OPS in 53 games. With the Grays, he was an on-base machine, drawing 25 walks in 36 games – good for a .415 on-base-percentage. Since leaving DC, Shaver went on to play in the Cape Cod League and was selected in the 39th round by the Houston Astros in 2017. The Astros sent him to the Arizona Fall League in 2019 – an off-season league filled with baseball’s best prospects – and Shaver reached as high as Triple-A in 2021. He is now with the Lancaster Barnstormers in the Atlantic League.
Maverik Buffo – 2015
Pitcher Maverik Buffo, who was Shaver’s teammate with the Grays and at BYU, pitched to a 3.22 ERA in 36 ⅓ innings in DC. He was picked by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 34th round in 2017. He pitched in the Jays system for three seasons before being released in April 2019, making it to High-A and then the Arizona Fall League in 2019. Buffo didn’t play during the height of the pandemic in 2020, but returned to the mound in 2021 for the Cleburne Railroaders (American Association).
Darren Baker – 2017
You might remember Darren Baker (California) from the 2002 World Series when he ran on to the field to collect a bat in the midst of play as a bat boy for the San Francisco Giants. Or you might recognize his last name, because, well, his dad managed the Washington Nationals from 2016-17. But you also might remember him playing second base and batting .263 for the Grays in 2017. Since then, he played two years in the Cape Cod League (2018-19), was an All-PAC-12 player at Cal, and drafted in the 10th round by the Nationals in 2021. He’s had a successful start to his pro career, hitting .303 in 53 games between Low-A and High-A since making his debut last summer.
Christian Robinson – 2017
Playing alongside Baker in 2017, Christian Robinson (Stanford) roamed the outfield in for the Grays as a rising freshman. He slashed .298/.340/.511 with the Grays, which set him up for success in the Northwoods and Cape Cod leagues as well as the Atlanta Braves’ 15th round pick in 2021. He made his pro ball debut last summer in Low-A, playing in 35 games and began the 2022 season in High-A with the Braves’ organization.
Harrison Freed – 2017
Playing with Robinson in the outfield, Harrison Freed (Butler) was an everyday player with the Grays back in 2017, where he started 35 games and slashed .330/.360/.609 with seven homers and made the All-Ripken League team. Freed went on to play in the Northwoods League in 2018 before becoming a 13th round selection by the San Francisco Giants in 2019. He’s moved up the ranks each year from Low-A in 2019 to High-A in 2021 and now to Double-A Richmond in 2022. In 118 career Minor League games, Freed has hit a respectable .247 with 15 homers.
Lamar Briggs – 2015-2017
Lamar Briggs (Jackson State) may arguably have the best Grays’ career of any player that has come through DC since the club’s inception. He spent three years with the Grays, hitting over .300 with an on-base-percentage of .394 in 112 games - and batted an even .400 in 2017. With Jackson State, the outfielder .328 in his four-year career that spanned for nearly 200 games. His success allowed him to land a contract with the Westside Wooly Mammoths (United Shore League) in 2020 and 2021 before signing with the Lake Country DockHounds in 2022. In three seasons in independent ball, Briggs has hit .350 in over 70 games with 10 home runs and an OPS nearing 1.000.
JP Woodward – 2018
A 6-foot-6 left-hander, JP Woodward transitioned from the bullpen as a freshman at Lafayette to a starting pitcher with the Grays in 2018. In DC, Woodward pitched to a 2.41 ERA in seven starts and 41 innings. He returned to Lafayette the next fall as the Leopards Friday night starter and eventually moved on to the Cape Cod League in 2019. With the shortened MLB Draft in 2020, Woodward signed a Minor League contract with the Philadelphia Phillies and has since transitioned back to the bullpen. Now, he’s pitching for the Phillies High-A affiliate after recording a 2.08 ERA in 14 games in 2021.