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Washington Nationals’ prospect Jake Boone takes aim at history...

Signed out of Princeton this year, NDFA hopes to become the fourth generation of his family to make the majors …

Princeton University baseball vs. Brown University, Princeton, NJ, April 27, 2019. Photo © and courtesy Beverly Schaefer.

WASHINGTON – Jake Boone played college baseball at Princeton, one of the nation’s historic schools, which was founded in 1746.

Now the infielder from San Diego will try to make history with the Washington Nationals – aiming to become the fourth generation of his family to reach the big leagues.

Boone turned down a chance to finish his career at Princeton by signing with the Nationals as a non-drafted free agent this summer. He has been in Instructional League this month in West Palm Beach, Florida.

“He has fit in well,” Mark Scialabba, assistant general manager, player development, told Federal Baseball.

“He is someone that players gravitate to with his knowledge of the game.”

“He works extremely hard defensively. He is showing that he belongs. He has quick hands and a strong throwing arm. He can play up the middle, he can play on the corners. We are excited about him.”

“Obviously it’s something I’ve worked for my whole life,” the 6-foot Boone told, a newspaper in Princeton, after he signed.

“To have a club give me an opportunity like the Nationals, I couldn’t be more excited. I can’t wait to start working and start continuing toward my dream. This is just another step. I’m excited.”

His great-grandfather, Ray, played in the majors from 1948 to 1960 and died in his native San Diego in 2004 at the age of 81.

Jake Boone at bat. Photo © and courtesy Beverly Schaefer.

Bob Boone, 72, the grandfather of Jake, was an All-Star and Gold Glove catcher in the majors from 1972 to 1990 and has worked for several years in the front office of the Nationals as the senior advisor to the general manager in player development.

Brett, the father of Jake, played in the majors from 1992 to 2005. He had 141 RBI for Seattle in 2001 during an All-Star season. His uncle, Aaron, is the manager of the New York Yankees and played for the Nationals in 2008 as an infielder.

According to Princeton, the family has combined for two World Series titles, 11 Gold Gloves, and 10 all-star appearances.

Jake Boone, who bats right-handed, went to high school in San Diego and was drafted in the 37th round by the Nationals in 2017. He turned down a chance to turn pro and headed to Princeton, where he started all 40 games in 2019 and led the team in hits with 54.

The pandemic shut down college baseball this past spring as he played in just seven games as a junior at the New Jersey school.

And the uncertainty of college sports played a part in the decision for Boone to sign with the Nationals.

“I was kind of leaning towards going back to school, finishing up, and playing that last year of college,” he told the New Jersey paper.

“But following some announcements from Princeton and just how I saw the rest of the year playing out, my family and I decided it might be best for me to seek out a professional contract this year. That happened in mid- to late-July and that’s when we got the ball rolling to find somewhere to sign. I got an opportunity in late July with the Nationals.”

Scialabba told Federal Baseball this month that Boone continues to work on his degree online at Princeton.

Bob Boone has been to Florida this month to see his grandson, according to Scialabba.

“My grandpa has worked with the Nationals for a while,” Jake Boone told the New Jersey paper when he signed. “When I was little, I would go down to Spring Training and run around with him the Spring Training facility and see all the guys and look up to them. I’ve been around the Nationals organization. It’s a great organization. I can’t wait to be a part of it. I think it’s a great opportunity.”