Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

Ask Collier 6/12/19

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Victor Robles ... under performing expectations in 2019? Photo via nbcsports

Victor Robles … under performing expectations in 2019? Photo via nbcsports

Hey team.  A surprise mailbag from MLB Nats beat reporter Jamal Collier, dated  6/12/19.  A good time for a mailbag, we’re post draft, post subtle winning streak, and now the Nats are kind of in seasonal limbo.

Here’s the questions he took and how i’d have answered them.

Q: Feeling good here — this stretch will at least make the season respectable. Question 1: How are you feeling after this run? Some on Nats Twitter want a fire sale of the team, saying everyone must go (for good return). Your thoughts?

A: This has been a good stretch.   The Nats bottomed out after the 4-game sweep in NY, sitting at 19-31.  From there the team has gone 12-4 against Miami, Atlanta, Cincinnati, San Diego and the Chicago White Sox to now sit exactly at 31-36.   Not to sound cynical, but really only two of those games were impressive (the two game mini-sweep at division-leading Atlanta).  Miami is awful, Cincinnati is 6 games under .500, and San Diego/Chicago WS are basically treading water at .500.  But, good teams beat mediocre to bad teams, so 12-4 is a good sign.

Their next Eleven games are against better teams, all with winning records but all at home.  A massive 11-game home-stand against Arizona, Philadelphia and Atlanta.   Right out of the gate the Nats are getting Arizona’s 1-2 starters in Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray (who, lest we forget, was a Nats draft pick many years ago).  After that the Diamondbacks throw one Taylor Clarke, who just happened to grow up in the DC area and went to Broad Run HS in Ashburn.  So an interesting weekend series for sure.  From there, we’ll have two pretty important show-me series against the two divisional leaders, and we know the way the rotations line up that they’ll get Jake Arrieta in the opener.  Which means they’ll then get Zack Eflin, another former Nats hand in Nick Pivetta, and then Aaron Nola if the expected rotation holds.   That’s tough: Eflin has been good all season, Nola has shown some life lately, and Pivetta has been awesome since his return from the minors.

You tell me; this smells like a 6-5 home-stand; a split with Arizona, a split with Philly and then a series win against Atlanta.  Maybe worse if the Nats run into hot Philly pitchers and/or Keuchel with Atlanta.

BUT, but, after that, their next 12 games taking them to the all-star break are against three of the worst teams in the league: Miami, Detroit and Kansas City.  I think this team can and should go 9-3 or 10-2 in those games.

So, assuming the team goes 6-5 in the homestand against quality teams and then 9-3 heading into the all star break, that’d have them sitting at 46-44.   That’s probably a good enough record to convince management to hang in there to compete in 2019 and not have a sell-off … at least not yet.    If the team was sitting a 2 games over .500 right now, they’d still be several games behind in the WC standings, but certainly not out of it.

But that doens’t mean the team won’t eventually do a sell-off.  Their schedule post-all star games goes like this: At Philly, at Baltimore, at Atlanta, home to Colorado, home to LA Dodgers, and then home to Atlanta, taking us up to the trade deadline of 7/31/19.  There’s your season.  If the Nats come out of the ASG break and fall flat in those first 9 away games, mostly against tough divisional opponents, that could be it.

So my new stance is this: Its nice that they went 12-4.  Yay!  Call me in mid July b/c that’s when we’ll really now if its go time or sell time.

Collier mentions the weakness of our recent competition, and says he’s positive about the team … but thinks they may have dug themselves too much of a hole.  He also notes that Atlanta just added a former Cy Young winner in Dallas Keuchel, which significantly improves their rotation and makes them even harder to catch.

Q: What is going on with Patrick Corbin? After that complete game, he’s been struggling. Is he overworked? Injured?

A: I wonder if this isn’t just what we get with Corbin.  Here’s his 2018 game log: check out the end of May/early June.  Inside of four starts, he saw his seasonal ERA jump from 2.47 to 3.48.  A full point in four starts.  Now look at his 2019 game log:  he’s jumped from 2.85 to 4.11 in his last three starts.

Its notable that his last three mediocre starts followed … a 9-inning complete game 116-pitch outing.  Was that a factor?  Doesn’t seem like it; if you notice he got an additional day of rest after 116 pitches, which wasn’t even his season high.

He mentioned in interviews perhaps a slight mechanical issue was at hand; I suspect he’s just run into a rough patch that a couple starts against crummy opponents may very well fix up.

Collins says no injury, just missing locations.  We’ll see what happens next.

Q: Is it fair to say that Victor Robles is underperforming expectations?

A: Yes.   So far he’s slashing .236/.310/.413.   That’s 50 points of a BA below last year’s sample and more than 100 slugging points.   And compare to his career ML slash line of .300/.392/.457.

I dunno; he is trending to a 20/20 season (currently sitting at 9 homers, 9 SBs).  And so far in 2019 he’s showing *really* bad range stats in CF (-17.4 UZR/150 so far after positive figures last year) to go along with a slightly positive DRS figure and negative arm values.   but, as Collier notes, he’s in the 89th percentile for a Stat-cast centric defensive measure.  So who knows (defensive stats are tough).

This for a prospect rated well ahead of compatriot Juan Soto, who has slightly cooled off from last year’s debut numbers, but is still rock-solid in the 128 OPS+ range right now for 2019.

Collier says he started hot, has cooled off significantly and perhaps we were all expecting too much from him.  All true.

Q: What is a realistic timetable for Ryan Zimmerman’s return?

A: Great question.  Planter Fasciitis (speaking as someone who once had it) can be a pretty bedeviling injury to overcome.  You can’t really “rest” a foot.  You kind of have to run on it.  So you’re constantly re-injuring it.  My cynical feeling is that, if  Ryan Zimmerman had been hitting .290 instead of .213 he’d still be starting, with shots of cortisone in his foot to help.

Collier says he traveled with the team to Chicago and is hitting in cages … just not running.  He’s guessing its still weeks away, and will have to include some rehab appearances in the minors.  Certainly his 2020 option decision is not looking good for the team.

Q: What is Koda Glover’s status? Haven’t heard anything about him in a long time.

A: wow, doesn’t this kind of feel like Christian Garcia redux?  What is Koda Glover doing?   Officially the injury is “Strained forearm” and the date was 2/24/19.  So we’re now nearly at 4 months onwards for a forearm injury for a former TJ guy.  Not good; if I had to guess (since that’s all we have) i’d say he probably re-tore the UCL and the team is rehabbing in lieu of a second TJ.

Side note: also with zero updates is Austen Williams, who struggled through one appearance, hit the D/L with a “Sprained shoulder” (notice the slightly more dangerous diagnosis sprain versus strain) … and yet still sits on the 10-day DL (now approaching two months), when clearly to me he could have also gone to the 60-day DL and the team could have then kept Austin Adams or maybe Jimmy Cordero …both of whom immediately got claimed by other teams and/or have had some success this year.

Collier says he’s playing catch and doing long toss.  That’s … not much for 4-months onward.  No pitching from flat ground, no mound work, no sim games, no XST competition.  

Q: What is your favorite HR celebration right now — Eaton/Kendrick going for a drive, Suzuki catching some waves, or a DJ Parra dance party?

A: I have no opinion here :-)

Collier says its the dance party.  You have to hand it to Gerardo Parra, he has definitely brought some intangibles to this team.  Its Narrative bs … but you can see it with your eyes.

2019 CWS Super Regional Recaps, CWS Omaha field and performance of Nats draft picks

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Here’s a recap of our CWS coverage so far for 2019:


CWS Super Regionals were played this past weekend.

Super Regional Recaps:  I’ve got these ordered by they way they’ll be playing into the CWS field (i.e. by bracket, with former National seeds 1,8,5,4 in the top and 6,3,7,2 in the bottom).  And this is the order they’re listed on d1baseball’s Tourney Central, the quickest way to find results.

  • #1 UCLA vs Michigan: In the opener, Michigan shocked UCLA to win game 1 3-2.  Nats 8th rounder Jeremy Ydens went 0-3 playing RF and batting 7th.   UCLA scored one late to take game 2 and force the decider (Ydens batted 8th and went 2-3 with a walk).    Michigan proved game 1 was no upset by going and sweeping UCLA to advance to its first CWS since 1984.   A huge upset, not only having the tournament lose the #1 seed (a team that had basically been #1 the entire season), but an upset by a regional 3rd seed.  Nats pick Ydens did his part in the 2nd, going 3-4, batting 6th and playing RF in likely his final collegiate game.
  • #8 Texas Tech vs #9 Oklahoma State; TTU held serve in the opener, winning 8-6.  OSU returned the favor, winning game two 6-5 to force the Sunday decider.  In the final, an amazing back-and-forth game featuring these two very powerful lineups ended up with the host Texas Tech coming out on top to advance.
  • #5 Arkansas vs #12 Ole Miss: Arkansas held serve in the opener winning easily 11-2.  Nats draftee Matt Cronin did not see action, as Arkansas’ starter Isaiah Campbell nearly pitched a CG.  In game 2, Ole Miss reversed the score, trouncing Arkansas 13-5 to force the Monday decider (again, no Cronin appearance).  In the decider, Ole Miss scored in the first…then didn’t score again as Arkansas ran up the score to win 14-1.  Cronin pitched the 9th in the win.
  • Florida State vs #13 LSU; Florida State got to Lynchburg’s Zach Hess in the 8th to seal a come-from-behind victory in game 1.  Nats draftee Todd Peterson went 4 1/3rd middle relief innings, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits.  Nats 3rd rounder Drew Mendoza batted 3rd for FSU and went 0-2 with 3 walks.  In a scintillating Game 2, FSU held off an LSU come-back and Mendoza got a walk-off RBI-single in the 12th to complete the sweep and send Florida State back to the CWS.
  • Auburn vs #14 UNC; Auburn surprised UNC 11-7 in game one, and then UNC blanked Auburn 2-0 in game two to force the Monday decider.  In that decider, Auburn scored 13 runs (!!) in the first inning to end it before it started, eventually winning 13-7 to advance to its first CWS trip since 1997.
  • #6 Mississippi State  vs #11 Stanford; In Game 1, Mississippi State got to Stanford’s starter early and held on for the upset win in game 1.  Game two wasn’t close, and Mississippi State punched a ticket to Omaha.
  • #7 Louisville vs #10 ECU: In Game 1, Louisville got to Jake Agnos in the 4th for 4 runs … so ECU pulled him and the bullpen melted, with Louisville winning 14-1.  It wasn’t any prettier in game 2, with Louisville blanking ECU 12-0 to become the first team to punch their ticket.   A pretty amazing performance, winning two games over a top-10 team like ECU by the combined score of 26-1.
  • #2 Vanderbilt vs Duke: In the opener, Duke got a flabbergasting win, destroying Vanderbilt 18-5.  In game 2, Kumar Rocker, who was one of the top prep arms in the 2018 draft before falling out of the 1st round and heading to Vanderbilt, threw a 131-pitch, 19 strikeout no-hitter to win game 2 and force the decider.  In the final, Vanderbilt ran away with the win 13-2 and advanced to Omaha, where they’re likely the favorite.

My CWS Predictions vs Actuals:

Predicted: #1 UCLA, #8 Texas Tech, #12 Ole Miss, #13 LSU, Auburn, #6 Mississippi State, #7 Louisville, #2 Vanderbilt

Actuals: Michigan, #8 Texas Tech, #5 Arkansas, Florida State, Auburn, #6 Mississippi State, #7 Louisville, #2 Vanderbilt

I got the entire bottom bracket right, including the Auburn upset of host UNC.  Didn’t get much else right.

 


CWS Field and Profiles

Top Bracket: (records through Super-Regionals)

  • Michigan: 46-20, 16-7 Big 10.  2nd place Big-10 reg season, semis of Big-10 tourney, #3 regional seed.
  • #8 Texas Tech: 44-18, 16-8 Big-12.  Regular season champs, semis of Big-12 tourney
  • #5 Arkansas 46-18, 20-10 SEC.  SEC West division regular season co-champ, lost in qtrs of SEC tourney.
  • Florida State: 41-21, 17-13 ACC.  3rd Place, ACC Atlantic Division regular season, eliminated in pool play in tourney.

Bottom Bracket

  • Auburn: 38-26, 14-16 SEC.  6th in SEC West division regular season, eliminated in 2nd round of SEC tourney.
  • #6 Mississippi State: 51-13, 20-10 SEC.  SEC West division regular season co-champ, lost in qtrs of SEC tourney
  • #7 Louisville: 49-16, 21-9 ACC.  ACC Atlantic division regular season champ, eliminated in pool play in tourney.
  • #2 Vanderbilt: SEC East division regular season champ.  SEC tournament champ.

CWS field review by the numbers

  • SEC: 4
  • Pac12: 0
  • ACC: 2
  • Big12: 1
  • Big10: 1
  • National top 8 Seeds: 5
  • Regional Hosts (i.e. top 16 seeds): 6
  • First time programs: none

CWS Field thoughts

Lots of big time baseball programs here: Vanderbilt, Louisville, Florida State.  Half the field is SEC teams, fitting b/c 10 of them made the field of 64.

The field looks bottom heavy, with three National seeds advancing and three SEC teams competing with a tough ACC team.  in Regular season play, Mississippi State beat Auburn 2 of 3 and Auburn got swept by Vanderbilt (in addition to getting pounded 11-1 in the SEC tourney), so i’d guess Auburn is finishing last in this bracket.   Mississippi State and Vandy only played once; a 1-0 win by Vandy en route to their SEC tournament title.   The wildcard seems to be Louisville, who powered up to advance to the CWS but struggled when it had to play quality opponents (losing 2 of 3 versus UConn, Georgia Tech, Clemson, and UVA).  I think the bottom bracket goes Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Louisville, Auburn.

Meanwhile, the top features a couple of rather stunning upsets, with two regional #3 seeds advancing to the CWS.  Both the remaining seeded teams were stretched to three games in the Super Regional … though to me Texas Tech (despite being the lower seeded team) looked like the superior team.  Interestingly, Arkansas and Texas Tech also made last year’s CWS … and also faced each other in the group stage.  They also get the weakest team in Omaha first (Michigan).  I think the top bracket goes Texas Tech, Arkansas, Florida State and Michigan.

Quick predictions:

Final: Vanderbilt over Texas Tech.

Player Star power in this CWS: By team, here’s the top-end draft talents still playing.

  • Michigan: three picks in the first 3 rounds: two of their starters in Tommy Henry and Karl Kauffmann, plus CF Jordan Brewer in the 3rd.
  • #8 Texas Tech: 1st rounder and 8th overall Josh Jung, who was a monster in the Super Regional is the main draft talent.  TTU had 6 other players drafted in rounds 7 onward.
  • #5 Arkansas has two Comp-B round picks in OF Dominic Fletcher and senior starter Isaiah Campbell, in addition to the Nats 4th rounder Cronin.
  • Florida State: Nats 3rd rounder Mendoza, plus 4th rounder OF/closer J.C. Flowers along with an 8th and 9th rounder.

Bottom Bracket

  • Auburn: 5th rounder SS Will Holland, 7th rounder RHP Davis Daniel, and 3 lower round picks.
  • #6 Mississippi State: 1st rounder (28th overall) Ethan Small, 4th rounder Jake Mangum.
  • #7 Louisville: 5 guys in the top 7 rounds, including 2nd rounder 1B Logan Wyatt.
  • #2 Vanderbilt: no less than 13 drafted players, led by 4th overall pick J.J. Bleday.

 

Nats 2019 Draftees still playing in the CWS:

  • 3rd rounder Drew Mendoza will have his signing delayed a few more weeks; he’s the key slugger for FSU and will keep slugging in Omaha.
  • 4th rounder Matt Cronin got just 1 inning in the Super Regional.

College CWS tournament references:

2019 CWS Regional Results, Super Regional Pairings, Nats picks still playing

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Our CWS coverage for 2019 got a little compressed due to time this year.   We didn’t announce the full field (link to d1baseball’s 64-field announcement), and we’re combining a couple different posts this year upon the completion of Regionals.

Now we’re through the Regionals and the field has been winnowed from 64 to just 16.

 


Regional Recaps

We’ll review the 16 regionals in order of the larger bracket.  Bold is the host/seed and Bolded Red is the winner.

1. UCLA region finish: UCLA, the top seed in the tourney, survived a scare by sweeping Loyola Marymount out of the losers’ bracket to advance.  Seed finish: 1-3-2-4
16. Oregon State region finish: Michigan outlasted Creighton in this upset-filled regional.  Host Oregon State, your defending National champ, was 2-and-out, robbing a national stage for its presumed #1 overall pick Adley Rutschman.  Seed finish: 3-2-4-1

2. Vanderbilt region finish: Vanderbilt cruised to the title in this chalk regional.  Seed finish: chalk 1-2-3-4
15. West Virginia region finish: #3 seed Duke got to WVU’s top pick Alex Manoah in the winner’s bracket game and WVU couldn’t recover.  Seed finish: 3-2-1-4

3. Georgia Tech region finish: Auburn takes two close ones to beat the host and 3rd overall seed.  Seed finish: 2-1-3-4
14. UNC region finish: UNC topped all three teams en route to the title in a “familiar” regional of teams who play frequently.  Seed finish: chalk 1-2-3-4.

4. Georgia region finish: Florida State advances as a #3 regional seed, battering the field by winnings its 3 games 13-7, 12-3, 10-1.  Seed finish: 3-1-2-4.
13. LSU region finish: LSU held serve and advances.  Seed finish: 1-3-2-4

5. Arkansas region finish: Arkansas cruises undefeated to the win.  Last-team-in TCU makes the regional final to prove critics wrong.   Seed finish: 1-3-4-2
12. Ole Miss region finish: Ole Miss fends off the feisty 4th seeded Jacksonville State to advance.   Overseeded Illinois goes 2-and-out.  Seed finish: 1-4-3-2.

6. Mississippi State region finish: Mississippi State takes out Miami, who came out of the loser’s bracket to challenge.  Seed finish chalk 1-2-3-4.
11. Stanford region finish: Stanford  came out of the losers bracket to outlast upstart Fresno State in a monday finish.  Seed finish: 1-3-4-2

7. Louisville region finish: Louisville  came through the loser’s bracket to advance.  This regional marred by a ridiculous “ump show” where the Louisville closer got ejected for saying “that’s horrible” after a close call.  4-game suspension.  For saying two words, basically to himself.  Seed finish: 1-3-2-4.
10. ECU region finish: ECU survived an embarrassing opening loss to minnow Quinnipiac to advance past the surprising Campbell, who helped give ACC power NC State an equally embarrassing 2 and out.  Seed finish: 1-3-4-2

8. Texas Tech region finish: Texas Tech won a straightforward regional, where Dallas Baptist beat Florida twice.  Seed finish: chalk 1-2-3-4.
9. Oklahoma State region finish: Oklahoma State was extended an extra game by UConn but advanced.  Seed fish: chalk 1-2-3-4 but not straight-forward way to get there.


Predictions versus Actuals: no prediction piece this year for the Regionals.


DC/MD/VA team performance at Regionals

Here’s how teams of note either from the DC/MD/VA or with known players who hail from the region performed at Regionals.

  • Coastal Carolina (which has several VA-tied players) finished 3rd in a tough regional.
  • Liberty got a win, then got crushed by eventual regional champ UNC.
  • Tennessee lost the 1st round behind VA based Garrett Stallings on the mound, but rallied to make the regional final.  they also feature 1B 3rd-4th rounder Andre Lipicus, who hails from Williamsburg and got drafted in the 3rd round.
  • UNC Wilmington (which has several VA-tied players) was 2-and-out in the UNC regional.
  • ECU was a top-10 team all year and the #10th seed here.  NoVa product Jake Agnos (4th round pick) pitched a great winner’s bracket game and gets another start in the Super Regional.
  • West Virginia: has a few MD/VA based freshman this  year.
  • Clemson has some VA-based depth that didn’t appear in the regional.

 


Summary of Regionals statistically:

  • 12 of 16  hosts advanced.  A very chalk-y CWS so far.  Falling Seeds/Hosts: #3 Georgia Tech, #4 Georgia, #16 Oregon State, #15 West Virginia, 
  • 2 of the 8 national seeds fell: Georgia and Georgia Tech.
  • 2 of the 9-16 seeds fell: WVU and OSU.
  • 12 number one seeds, 1 number two seeds, 3 number three seeds, and 0 number four seeds advance to the super regionals.  
  • 5 number of #4 seeds who didn’t finish 4th in their regional; Cincinnati, Central Connecticut, Jacksonville State, Sacramento State. Quinnipiac.
  • 2: number of #4 seeds to get opening wins.  Cincinnati beat Oregon State, Quinnipaic beat ECU.
  • Most surprising regional winner: Michigan.
  • # of “extended” regionals: 5.

Conference Breakdowns of the teams in the Super Regionals:

  • SEC: Arkansas, Ole Miss, LSU, Auburn, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt
  • ACC: FSU, UNC, Louisville, Duke
  • Big12: Texas Tech, Oklahoma State
  • Pac12: UCLA, Stanford
  • Big 10: Michigan
  • Others: ECU (AAC)

Very top heavy; SEC gets 6 of the 16 super regionalists and has a good shot of sending 5 teams to Omaha.


Super Regional Matchups:  the higher ranked team is the host unless otherwise noted (official hosts and start times here)

  • #1 UCLA vs Michigan
  • #8 Texas Tech vs #9 Oklahoma State
  • #5 Arkansas vs #12 Ole Miss
  • Florida State vs #13 LSU
  • Auburn vs #14 UNC
  • #6 Mississippi State  vs #11 Stanford
  • #7 Louisville vs #10 ECU
  • #2 Vanderbilt vs Duke:

Super Regional Thoughts/Predictions

  • #1 UCLA vs Michigan: Michigan advanced by beating a top 25  team in Creighton … but should be no match for UCLA.
  • #8 Texas Tech vs #9 Oklahoma State: a Big12 showdown; they met in late april, a 3-game sweep at Texas Tech, where this will be hosted.  I see a similar beat down this weekend.
  • #5 Arkansas vs #12 Ole Miss: SEC showdown: despite the seeding and despite home field advantage, Ole Miss took 2 of 3 in Arkansas at the end of March.  The two teams then split games at the SEC tourney, with Ole Miss eliminating the Razorbacks.  I like Ole Miss’ chances here.
  • Florida State vs #13 LSU; a great match-up of traditional college baseball powers.  LSU should advance, especially as the host seed even given Florida State’s pedigree.
  • Auburn vs #14 UNC: I like Auburn here, who just beat a better ACC team than UNC to advance, despite UNC getting surprise super regional hosting duties.
  • #6 Mississippi State  vs #11 Stanford: While I like the Pac12 baseball this year, and at one point Stanford was much higher ranked, I don’t think they can hang with SEC royalty like Mississippi State.
  • #7 Louisville vs #10 ECU: I don’t think ECU can hang with Louisville, especially after struggling with a relatively weak regional.
  • #2 Vanderbilt vs Duke:  a brain-y match-up of two great academic schools that have good baseball pedigree.  But Vanderbilt should trounce Duke here as one of the best teams in the country.

Predictions: #1 UCLA, #8 Texas Tech, #12 Ole Miss, #13 LSU, Auburn, #6 Mississippi State, #7 Louisville and #2 Vanderbilt


Super Regional Star Power

Lots of top-end draft picks will be playing this weekend, just ahead of the MLB draft which starts on 6/12/17.  (note: I wrote most of the below before the draft and have not updated it with exact picks)  By Super Regional:

  • #1 UCLA vs Michigan; 1st rounder Michael Toglia and 2nd rounder Chase Strumpf pace UCLA’s offense.   Two Michigan starters (Tommy Henry and Karl Kauffmann) were comp-b picks.
  • #8 Texas Tech vs #9 Oklahoma State: Mid-1st rounder Josh Jung is TTU’s 3B, and likely 3rd rounder Gabe  Holt is on OF/2B.
  • #5 Arkansas vs #12 Ole Miss: Arkansas’ #1 starter is Isaiah Campbell, likely a 2nd rounder.  Matt Cronin is a LHP likely 3rd rounder, OF Dominic Fletcher likely a 4th rounder.   Ole Miss’ catcher duo of Thomas Diller and Cooper Johnson both project as 3rd rounders.
  • Florida State vs #13 LSU:  FSU’s Drew Mendoza was the Nats 3rd round pick..  LSU has three guys projecting in the late 2nd/3rd round: SS Josh Smith, RHP Zach Hess (who hails from Lynchburg VA), and OF Zach Watson.
  • Auburn vs #14 UNC: UNC’s 1st baseman Michael Busch is a likely back-of-the-1st rounder.  UNC stater Tyler Baum projects as a 3rd rounder. Auburn SS Will Holland projects as a late 2nd rounder.  Auburn RHP David Daniel likely a 5th-6th rounder.
  • #6 Mississippi State vs #11 Stanford: Mississippi State’s rotation is led by Ethan Small, a LHP likely going in the 2nd round.  Stanford’s CF Kyle Stower was a 2nd round Baltimore pick.
  • #7 Louisville vs #10 ECU: Louisville’s top bat is 1b Logan Wyatt went early in the 2nd   ECU has several players projected to go in rounds 3-5, including local product Zach Agnos.
  • #2 Vanderbilt vs Duke: Vanderbilt’s J.J. Bleday is projecting as a top-5 pick and is probably the highest-ranked collegiate player whose team advanced to the super regionals.  Vandy has a couple other guys projecting as 5th/6th rounders: Drake Fellows RHP and C Philip Clarke.  Duke’s LHP Graeme Stinson projects as a 3rd rounder.

Nats 2019 Draft Picks in the Super Regionals

  • 3rd rounder Drew Mendoza from FSU
  • 4th rounder Matt Cronin is in Arkansas’ bullpenn.
  • 7th Rounder Todd Peterson is in LSU’s bullpen as a setup/closer.
  • 8th Rounder Jeremy Ydens is starting in #1 UCLA’s outfield after missing most of the season with injury.

 


CWS Predictions:

Early CWS final prediction:  I like #1 vs #2: UCLA vs Vanderbilt right now, with Vandy coming out on top.


College CWS tournament references:

Nats 2019 Draft Class; Highlights of picks 11-40 and overall class breakdowns

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Arruda is the first pick on day three. Photo via Fresno State Athletics department

Arruda is the first pick on day three. Photo via Fresno State Athletics department

Another  year in the books, and another 40 guys now potentially part of the Nats organization.

We reviewed the top 10 more in-depth in the previous post. Lets zip through the rest of the draft and do some quick commentary as needed.  I’m basically depending on BA’s scouting reports for observations (hey, I finally subscribed, so might as well use them).

  • Round 11: J.T. Arruda, Fresno State’s starting SS.  Redshirt Sophomore, with no Baseball America scouting profile (which is odd, because they have hundreds and hundreds of them).  Stat line at Fresno State looks good, but so does everyone else’s on that solid team.  But he does have a good combo of power and speed.  Undersized (5’10”) and clearly a 2B/SS type guy.  An interesting selection with #11, which is generally where  you try to find guys who slipped out of the top 5-6 rounds who may sign.  I’d like to see something like a Max Schrock or Steven Lombardozzi career out of him; good hit tool, utility infielder who can stick around and help.
  • Round 12: Orlando Ribaltra, Miami Dade Juco RHP.  Graduated HS in 2016 so he’s basically a College Jr.  Already a reliever, hit 97 and scouts think he can go higher.  Secondary pitches lacking (hence already being a reliever, even in Juco).  I’m guessing he’s straight tot he closer role in Short-A and stays there all the way up.  BA lists no xfer commitment and I think its safe to say he’ll sign for the $125k or close to it.
  • Round 13: Jake Randa, NW Florida State Juco Corner OF.  BA says he’s one of the best JuCo hitters in the country; he slashed .412/.507/.753 as a freshman before cooling a bit in 2019.   He also impressed this past summer in the Wood bat Northwoods league.  He was projected to go in the 6th-7th round or so this year and slipped.  Has committed to transfer to Mississippi State and I think he’s a tough sign here; if he was projected 6th round and has an SEC xfer commitment, why would he sign for $125k when he could do one more year of school on the big stage and really make himself some money?
  • Round 14: Lucas Knowles, Central Arizona Juco LHP.  Interesting story; he was a weekend starter as a RS freshman for U-Washington, then left when they didn’t pony up a scholarship.  He does have an xfer commitment to Kentucky for his Junior  year, but he’s already got three college years (he redshirted with TJ surgery, so this Juco year was his 3rd college season).  He profiles like a Tom Glavine type: 88-91, control lefty with four pitches.   I think he signs in lieu of xferring to his 3rd program in four years and gets started.  I’d like to think he’s a 2019 Short-A/2020 Low-A rotation guy for us.
  • Round 15: Davis Moore, Fresno State weekend RHP starter.  Numbers don’t look great (3.91 ERA) but its also a hitter’s league (the Mountain West Conference has teams in Vegas, Reno, Colorado Springs, Albequerque and Fresno, all altitude/dry air places.  Even San Jose, despite being on the Pacific coast, is in a dryer climate that far inland).  He really pitched well against Stanford in the regional too, perhaps impressing scouts to bump him a bit.  Sinkerballer, not a ton of velocity but scouts think his sinker will really play against wood bats.  I like his profile especially against lower-level wood bats.
  • Round 16: Junior Martina, Western OK State Juco SS.  BA doesn’t have a scouting report on him, and Western Oklahoma State’s stat page doesn’t have him on the roster, at least not by the name “Junior Martina.”   If he goes by “Junior Osebo” instead, then he was a middle reliever with decent stuff and decent stats.  I don’t know if he’s got a 4yr transfer commitment.  An enigma.
  • Round 17: Amos Willingham, RHP starter from Georgia Tech.  No BA scouting report, but he ended the season as the #1/Friday night starter for one of the best collegiate teams in the country this year and pitched for them in the opener of their CWS regional (getting a 6ip 2-run quality start win).   His stat line on the season is poor: 5.19 ERA, but he came on strong at the end.   Some internet research showed that he was a Juco xfer to Georgia Tech, and sometimes suffers from a strength-sapping stomach ailment that may explain some bouts of ineffectiveness.   I wonder if he’s signable, given that he’s at a big-time program, finally started to shine in Ga Tech’s rotation towards the end of the year, and may want another shot at improving upon his ERA as a senior.
  • Round 18: Mason Doolittle, C from Palm Beach Juco in Fl.  No BA scouting report, but does have an xfer commitment to Appalachian State.
  • Round 19: Tyler Yankowsky, RHP reliever from Division II Millersville U.  He’s already been dumped from the rotation to the bullpen in a Div-II school, but BA says he’s mid-90s with a good cutter and a fringe curve.  BA’s scouting report also has this weird quote: “An excellent golfer in high school, Yankowsky’s command and delivery explain why he’s a reliever.”   I’m not sure what his command and delivery have to do with the fact that he was a good golfer in  high school; frankly, most every top baseball hitter I know is also a good golfer.  Why?  because golf requires the exact same hand-eye coordination that hitting a baseball requires.  Anyway; he’s 6’6″ with a two-pitch mix; sounds like a good pro reliever for the time being.
  • Round 20: Jack Dunn, Senior SS from baseball hot-bed Northwestern.   1st team all big-10 his senior year.  Not much else out there about him; no BA scouting report.  He’s from Georgia and was decently regarded out of HS.  Looks like a lead-off hitter for Northwestern, decent stats, decent OBP.   Maybe he’s the 2B half of a double play combo in Short-A with Arruda.

Past Round 20, I’ll just note interesting guys; see the table above for the next 20 picks fully.

  • Seven of the Ten picks in the Rounds 21-30 are college seniors, mostly position players, likely filling out Short-season squads with $5k-$10k players.
  • Round 22: Allan Berrios, a Juco 3rd year Catcher from the same Western Oklahoma State team as 16th rounder Martina.  Perfect game has absolutely nothing on the guy, not even ranked coming out of Florida as a prep.  BA has nothing.  An interesting pick.    But here’s the guy’s slash line this year: .427/.484/.729.  In 53 games he had 12 homers, a 20/17 K/BB ratio and even had 17 SBs.  Holy cow.   He was batting above .500 for more than half the season.  I get that this is Juco and not as competitive as 4-year conferences, but this is also not exactly slow-pitch softball, and to hit this well against guys trying to get you out is pretty impressive.
  • Round 23; Michael Cuevas, the first Prep/HS player taken by the Nats in the 2019 draft.  Drafted as a RHP, committed to a JuCo program, so this seems like an odd pick here.
  • Round 25: Quinn Parker, a 1b from Hofstra.  Notable b/c the Nats also drafted him in 2015 out of HS, in the 40th round.
  • Round 29: Brandon Gonzales is the 2nd Prep/HS player taken; he may be a legacy pick as the Nats central region cross checker is Jimmy Gonzales.  He’s committed to a texas Juco.
  • Round 33: Cutter Clawson is a prep LHP with a BYU commit (which usually means Morman, which usually is a tough commitment to buy out), so this seems like a throw-away pick.
  • Round 35: Bryce Osmond was a top 50 prospect heading into the draft, and when he fell out of the top two rounds he basically guaranteed his attendance to college (in his case, top program Oklahoma State).
  • Round 37: Tei Cruz, notable b/c he’s a third generation baseball player (grand father Jose Cruz, father Jose Cruz Jr.).  He’s at Rice, seems like a good bet now to stay there.
  • Round 39: Jake Bennett is a LHP committed to Oklahoma.

 

Summary of the Draft class:

  • 19 Arms, 20 bats.
  • 14 College Juniors (or draft-eligible Sophomores)
  • 9 College Seniors with no leverage
  • 8 Juco guys (!)
  • 8 High Schoolers, 7 of which are basically throw-away picks in later rounds or legacy picks.

No less than 8 Juco guys, most of which were in the 11-20 range.  This is an interesting strategy.

Of the 23 4-year college guys:

  • 3 from SEC teams: Arkansas, Florida, LSU
  • 1 from Pac-12 teams: UCLA
  • 3 from ACC teams: Florida State, Georgia Tech, Boston College
  • 1 from Big10 teams: Northwestern
  • 0 from Big12 teams
  • 2 from MWC teams: Fresno State (2)
  • 1 from C-USA teams; Rice
  • 7 from smaller Div 1 programs: BYU, Texas State (2), Tennessee Tech, Hofstra, College of Charleston, UC Irvine
  • 5 from non division 1 programs: Lubbock Christian, Millersville, Biola, South Dakota State,  Berry,

Not one team from the typical feeding ground of Big-12 Texas/Oklahoma programs this year.  Instead, a lot of geographic diversity from a ton of different programs.

Geographic Locations of picks:

  • 9 from Texas Schools
  • 6 from California schools
  • 5 from Florida schools
  • 4 from Oklahoma schools

that’s 24 of 39 picks just from four states.  And the Texas/Oklahoma area again is well represented in our draft class.

Signability:  my quick glance at this class, assuming there’s no signing issues with anyone in our top 10,  I think we end up signing somewhere around 28 of these draftees.   Here’s my predictions:

  • 6 of the 8 JuCo guys sign, missing out on #13 Randa and #34 Battles
  • all 9 College Srs sign
  • Just 1 of the 8 HS guys sign (#23 Cuevas)
  • 12 of the 14 College So/Jrs sign, missing out on #17 Amos and #37 Cruz.

Here’s a table with all our picks picks.

RoundOverallNamePositionCol/HSCollege or CmtmStateSlot Value
117Rutledge, JacksonRHP (Starter)Col J2San Jacinto College North (TXTX3609700
257forfeitedforfeited
394Mendoza, Drew3BCol JrFlorida State UFL618200
4123Cronin, MattLHP (Reliever)Col JrArkansasAR464500
4-comp139forfeitedforfeited
5153Dyson, TylerRHP (Starter)Col JrFloridaFL346800
6183Cluff, JacksonSSCol SoBYUUT266000
7213Peterson, ToddRHP (Reliever)Col JrLSULA208200
8243Ydens, JeremyOF (CF)Col JrUCLACA169500
9273McMahon, HunterRHP (Starter)Col JrTexas StateTX152600
10303Pratt, AndrewCCol SrLubbock ChristianTX144100
11333Arruda, J.T.SSCol JrFresno StateCA
12363Ribalta, OrlandoRHP (Reliever)Col J2Miami DadeFL
13393Randa, JakeOF (corner)Col J2NW Florida StateFL
14423Knowles, LucasLHP (Starter)Col J3Central Arizona CollegeAZ
15453Moore, DavisRHP (Starter)Col JrFresno StateCA
16483Martina, JuniorSSCol J2Western Oklahoma StateOK
17513Willingham, AmosRHP (Starter)Col JrGeorgia TechGA
18543Doolittle, MasonCCol J2Palm Beach CCFL
19573Yankosky, TylerRHP (Reliever)Col JrMillersville UniversityPA
20603Dunn, JackSSCol SrNorthwesternIL
21633Strohschein, Kevin1BCol SrTennessee TechTN
22663Berrios, AllanCCol J3Western Oklahoma StateOK
23693Cuevas, MichaelRHP (Starter)HSTexas Rio Grande ValleyTX
24723Alu, Jake3BCol SrBoston CollegeMA
25753Quinn, Parker1BCol SrHofstraNY
26783Hart, Dupree2BCol SrCollege of CharlestonSC
27813Hubbard, Jaylen3BCol 5SrTexas StateTX
28843Bocko, JordanRHPCol SrUC IrvineCA
29873Gonzales, BrandonSSHSGreyson County CollegeTX
30903Stainbrook, TroyLHPCol SrBiola UniversityCA
31933Stover, BradyLHPCol JrSouth Dakota StateSD
32963Beasley, DylanRHPCol JrBerry CollegeGA
33993Clawson, CutterLHP (Starter)HSBYUCA
341023Battles, JalenSSCol J1McLennan CCTX
351053Osmond, BryceRHP (Starter)HSOklahoma StateOK
361083Wibbels, SamRHP (Starter)HSKentuckyNE
371113Cruz, TreiSSCol SoRiceTX
381143LaRue, TylerCHSUncommittedTX
391173Bennett, JakeRHP (Starter)HSOklahomaOK
401203Brown, JadenSSHSKentuckyCAN

 

Nats 2019 Draft: 1st and 2nd Day Reactions of top 10 picks

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Mendoza is our 2nd highest 2019 pick out of FSU. Photo via the Daily Nole

Mendoza is our 2nd highest 2019 pick out of FSU. Photo via the Daily Nole

Here’s a first look at our top 10 rounds worth of draft picks, or where we stand after day 2 of the MLB Draft.

Overall, the mock draft pundits really nailed the top of this draft, perfectly predicting the first 7 picks.  Starting around pick 8 though, we started to see enough surprises/reaches that allowed the Nats to end up with a guy ranked as  high as #12 on most pre-draft boards at the #17 pick, pretty good value all things considered.  They also got pretty good “value” with their 3rd and 4th rounders.

How about the Nats picks?

RoundOverallNamePositionCol/HSCollege or CmtmStateSlot Value
117Rutledge, JacksonRHP (Starter)Col J2San Jacinto College North (TXTX3609700
257forfeitedforfeited
394Mendoza, Drew3BCol JrFlorida State UFL618200
4124Cronin, MattLHP (reliever)Col JrArkansasAR464500
4comp139forfeitedforfeited
5155Dyson, TylerRHP (starter)Col JrFloridaFL346800
6184Cluff, JacksonSSCol SoBYUUT266000
7214Peterson, ToddRHP (reliever)Col JrLSULA208200
8244Ydens, JeremyOF (corner)Col JrUCLACA169500
9274McMahon, HunterRHP (starter)Col Jr.Texas StateTX152600
10304Pratt, AndrewCCol SrLubbock ChristianTX144100

Pick by Pick:  I’ve included draft board rankings if they’re ranked on the main prospect ranking sites I like (see links at bottom for the sources);

  • 1st Round/#17 overall: Jackson Rutledge, RHP from Texas Juco.  See stand-alone post on Rutledge for more.  Pre-draft Ranks: #15th by Keith Law, 12th by MLB, 14th by Baseball America, 13th by 20/80, 21st by Fangraphs.
  • (2nd Round/#57 overall): forfeited in the Patrick Corbin signing.   #57 pick ended up being Matt Gorski, a College Jr CF from Indiana U as selected by Pittsburgh.
  • 3rd Round/#94 overall: Drew Mendoza, 3B from Florida State.  Ranks: #55 on MLBpipeline, #84 on 20/80, #52 on Fangraphs, #75 on BA.  Was a 1st-2nd round prospect coming out of HS, is a huge guy (6’5″).  Left-handed hitting, big power guy.  67/65 K/BB ratio in 60 college games for a gaudy slash line of .320/.482/.631 with 16 homers.  Of concern: 15 errors in 60 games at the hot corner.  Seems like he’s headed to 1B.  Hey, as long as he hits.  I like the general rankings of Mendoza (50s to 70s) versus his draft spot (94), that’s almost a round worth of value.
  • 4th Round/#123 overall: Matt Cronin, LHP (reliever) from Arkansas.  Ranks: #74 Keith Law, #73 MLB, #99 fangraphs, #71 BA, #72 20/80.  Arkansas’ closer, posted 40/14 K/BB in 27 innings.  .163 BAA and a WHIP just above 1.00.  Reportedly hits 98 with little in the way of secondary pitches, so sounds like a lefty reliever all the way.  The Nats also drafted some reliever-only guys high up in 2018 (Reid Schaller was exclusively in the bullpen in college, but then did nothing but start in short season in 2018), so it remains to be seen how he’d be used.  As with Mendoza, lots of value here.  He’s ranked generally in the mid 70s by nearly every pundit but lasts until #123 in the draft.
  • (4th round comp/138 overall): also forfeited in the Corbin singing.  Actual pick at #138 was Darrell Hernatz, prep HS SS from Texas.
  • 5th round/#154 overall: Tyler Dyson, RHP (starter/reliever) from Florida.  Ranks: #123 BA, #142 MLB.  Hard throwing but wild starter who was a pre-season All American selection .. but ended up kicked out of U-Florida’s rotation.  It sounds to me like he’s a project; a two pitch guy who’s lost faith in one of them and thus gotten whacked around.  With refinement of a 2nd pitch, he’s a useful bullpen guy.  With the reclamation of a third pitch, he’s back to being an effective starter.  He’s a 1st round talent without the 1st round consistency.  An interesting risk pick here.
  • 6th round/184 overall: Jackson Cluff, SS draft-eligible Soph. from BYU.  He’s a bit older (he missed 2 years with a Mission), hence why he’s draft eligible sophomore.   BA reports him has being basically a utility infielder type, able to play 2B, SS, 3B, with decent hitting and good speed (12-for-12 SBs on the  year).   He is unranked by any service, making me think perhaps this is a slot-savings pick.
  • 7th round/214 overall: Todd Peterson, RHP reliever from LSU.  #218 on BA.  Reliever-only guy for LSU, sharing closer duties this year.  BA scouting report says he’s a 2-pitch guy with some inconsistencies.
  • 8th round/244 overall: Jeremy Ydens, corner OF for UCLA, college Jr.  BA scouting report says he made the All Star team in the Cape Cod league last summer, broke a finger early this season and barely played.  I wonder if he’s even signable here; slot value is $169k: I wonder if he’d roll the dice and return to school.  That being said, basically every player taken in the top 10 rounds has a pre-selection deal verbally agreed to, so there shouldn’t be any surprises.
  • 9th round: 274 overall: Hunter McMahon, a RHP starter for Texas State.  He’s a RS sophomore, so this isn’t a senior slot savings pick.  He was a weekend starter for Texas State with crummy numbers on the season, but some flashes of brilliance (a complete game with 11 Ks and 0 walks against Louisiana-Lafayatte for example).  BA has little to no scouting on the guy.
  • 10th round/304 overall: Andrew Pratt, college Sr C from Lubbock Christian.  This seems like the sole “senior slot” guy the Nats are taking and its a classic; senior from a small school with no scouting reports on any major service.  PG notes that he was committed to New Mexico out of high school; perhaps he transferred to the smaller school to maintain eligibility.  Kudos to saving bonus money and getting a college catcher.

First 10 rounds worth of picks breakdown:

  • 5 arms, 4 position players
  • 9 college (1 juco), 0 high schoolers.
  • Of the 5 arms: 2 starters, 2 relievers, and one starter-dumped-to-relief arm.
  • Just 1 slot-saving senior draftee; 10th round Pratt pick.
  • Heavy influence from major college programs: Florida, two from Vanderbilt, Oklahoma, Arizona State, Florida State.

Conclusion: I liked the Rutledge pick, based on the run on college bats ahead of it and the selection of Rutledge over other college arms that went just after him.  I like Mendoza, even if it seems like he’s destined for 1B.   Cronin & Dyson seem like relievers now, but with professional coaching perhaps can make a return to the rotation (much like last year’s Reid Schaller).   Ydens could be a good value pick, a guy who slid several rounds from his true talent thanks to hand injury this year.  Peterson, like the other two relievers, maybe uses some coaching to improve.  Cluff and Pratt seem like short-A utility guys.  I’m curious to see how McMahon fares against better competition than C-USA.  All in all, not a bad collection of picks given the lack of a 2nd rounder.

What do you guys think of it?


Draft Links of Use

  1. Mlbpipeline’s Draft Tracker for 2019
  2. All 10 rounds of slot bonus figures for 2019
  3. BA’s draft database with search options by team, state, etc. (behind a paywall)
  4. Perfect Game to get profiles on more obscure draftees.

Draft Rankings referred to within here:

Nats 2019 Draft: Reaction to Day 1/1st round pick Jackson Rutledge

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Nats throw everyone a curveball with Rutledge pick. photo via 3rdmanin.com

Nats throw everyone a curveball with Rutledge pick. photo via 3rdmanin.com

Well, nobody saw this coming.

After reviewing dozens of mock drafts, most of which (in the last couple of weeks or so) had the Nats clearly focusing on Florida prep RHP Matthew Allan as their pick … ended up selecting a guy that not one Mock draft I read had the Nats picking.  The Nats with the 17th pick take Jackson Rutledge, a huge RHP from San Jacinto College in Texas, having transferred out of Arkansas after one season in 2018.

So, how did Rutledge get to the Nats?  And, how did the Nats take him over their presumed pick?

I went back and looked at all the later mock drafts; Most had Rutledge going in the 11-14 range.  Toronto and Philadelphia both were presumed to be taking college arms, and Rutledge was a common name falling to them.  MLBPipeline had him going 9th to the Braves.  So what happened?

  • the Braves took Shea Langeliers at #9 probably earlier than many thought.
  • Toronto at 11 indeed took a college arm; they grabbed WVA starter Alex Manoah.
  • Then, at 14 Philadelphia found possible top 10 guy Bryson Stott available and grabbed him.

So that left Rutledge available at 17 for the Nats.  Who did they pass up on at this point?  In the picks right after, we saw guys that the Nats had been associated with go in fast order: Quinn Priester (prep RHP), Zack Thompson  (lefty college starter from U-Kentucky), and George Kirby (RHP from Elon).

Matthew Allan went unsigned, despite being (by far) the BPA on MLBpipeline’s draft boards (he was ranked #13).  In fact, on the broadcast for the draft I noticed that once the draft reached the back part of the 1st round … they summarily removed Allan from the top of the BPA list, presumably because they realized that if he didn’t go in the upper part of the 1st round, then it was almost guaranteed that he was going to go to college and not get his $4M bonus demand.

As for Rutledge, he was very highly ranked pre-draft: 15th by Keith Law, 12th by MLB, 14th by Baseball America, 13th by 20/80, 21st by Fangraphs.

So, what do we have?  We have a massive guy: 6’8″ 250.  He throws over the top, is up to 98-99 on the fastball with a mid 80s cutter, a wipe out slider, a 12-6 curve and some deception due to what’s described as “unusual short arm” mechanics.  I’m hoping we’re getting something closer to Randy Johnson and not a rehashing of Jake Johansen.

Quick Verdict: I think, (like a lot of Nats fans), that i’m happy the team with with a college arm and not another prep guy.  It does seem like they got decent value; they got a guy at 17 who most pundits thought was ranked higher in this class and was going higher.  I like Rutledge more than Kirby and Thompson (the two next best college guys) for various reasons (health and pedigree mostly).  So I’m happy with this pick.

2019 Draft Coverage: Local Draft prospects to keep an eye on

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After a tumultuous college career, where will hess get drafted? Photo via 247sports.

After a tumultuous college career, where will hess get drafted?
Photo via 247sports.

Its never too early to think about draft prospects.  In this case, the first cut of this post was saved in draft post format in June 2017.  Why so early?  Because that’s when we started to see collegiate “all-american” lists come out, and there’s a Freshman all-american designation for players who generally are going to be drafted in the 2019 draft.

We continually augment this post over the course of years and many posts, finally publishing just before the 2019 draft.  Today, 6/3/19, the day of the 2019 draft, we finally publish.

The College players are mostly drawn from my 2015 Local High School draft coverage, listing guys who were HS seniors in 2015 who went to 3-year programs and who are now draft eligible.  From that time frame, here’s the 2015 pre-season list and then the Post-Draft/post-signing coverage from 2015.  Pop-up guys plus non-MD/VA native players playing at MD/VA colleges are added as they become serious draft prospects.

Major Local College Draft Prospects for 2019

  • Zack Hess, RHP from LSU via Liberty Christian Academy.  was draft-eligible soph in 2018, back to school.  Projecting as 2nd rounder but needs solid 2019.  #46 on d1baseball’s top 50 list Dec18
  • Jake Agnos, LHP from ECU by way of Battlefield HS.  3.22 ERA in 10 mid-week/Sunday starts and 16 games overall.  #54 on d1baseball’s early 2019 list.  ECU’s friday night starter all year, finished with an 8-inning dominant regional performance and may get super regional appearance if ECU advances.
  • Tyler Blohm, LHP from UMaryland by way of Spalding HS.  2017 Freshman all-american. #40 on d1baseball’s early 2019 list.
  • Garrett Stallings, RHP from Tennessee by way of Grassfield HS in Chesapeake.  20 games, 8 starts as a freshman.  Struggled in the CWS regional, getting battered by Duke en route to a loss.
  • Conor Grammes, 3B/RHP from Xavier by way of McLean HS.  Shot up to #30 o d1baseball’s Dec 18 top 50 list.
  • Noah Song, Sr. RHP from Navy by way of Claremont, CA.  Has really shot-up on draft boards to be a 1st-2nd rounder with ridiculous K/9 rates, but what kind of Navy commitment does he have?
  • Nick Morreale, RHP from Georgetown.  #85 on d1baseball’s Sept 2018 list.  Mentioned by Jim Callis by name as a DC metro talent to watch for.

Lesser Local College draft eligibles w/ Local Ties

  • Paul Witt, SS from VMI.  d1baseball early 2019 list
  • Nathan Eaton, RHP from VCU.  d1baseball early 2019 list
  • Mac McCarty, RHP (reliever) from VCU: 2nd team pre-season All American from Collegiate Baseball
  • Zach Biggers, 2B from Navy: 2nd team pre-season All American from Collegiate Baseball
  • John Wilson, LHP for ODU: 2017 Freshman all-american.
  • Kevin Kelly, RHP from JMU by way of Paul VI.  2017 Freshman all-american.
  • Vinnie Pasquantino, a 1B from ODU by way of James River HS (Richmond); 2017 Freshman all-american.
  • Spencer Horwitz, a C/1B from Radford by way of St. Paul HS in Timonium, MD:  2017 Freshman all-american.
  • Andre Lipcius: 1B from Tennessee by way of Lafayette HS in Williamsburg, VA.  2017 Freshman all-american, starter/cleanup hitter for U-Tenn at regionals
  • Brandon Raquet, OF from W&M.  2017 Freshman all-american.  Brother of Nats 2017 3rd rounder Nick Raquet.
  • Kyle Battle, OF from ODU by way of Glen Allen.  2017 Freshman all-american.
  • Fox Semones, DH/RHP from JMU by way of Hylton.  2017 Freshman all-american.
  • Jared DiCesare, 3B from George Mason by way of Chantilly HS.  Cape Code league 2018.
  • Logan Driscoll C from George Mason by way of Lake Braddock HS.  Cape Code league 2018.  Mentioned by Jim Callis as a sleeper in the draft as a decent-hitting catcher in a thin position.
  • Wade Strain, RHP from William & Mary by way of Lake Braddock HS.
  • Tanner Morris, SS UVA; long time dominant prep player with decent college career.

DC/MD/VA Local Prep players for 2019

  • Zach Agnos, RHP from Battlefield.  Brother of legendary local player and ECU starter Jake Agnos.   1st team all 6-A North Region 2018 as a junior.  NovaNine as a junior. early commit to ECU (where his brother goes).  1st team VHSL class 6 all-state in 2018 as Junior.  2nd team All-Met 2018 as junior.
  • Brody Mack, 1B/LHP from Potomac.  2nd team all 5A North Region as a sophomore in 2017.  Cardinal District POTY as a Jr 2018.  NovaNine as a junior.  1st team VHSL class 5 all-state in 2018 as Junior.
  • Carson Swank, SS from Riverside.  Dulles District POTY in 2019 as a junior.  Class 4 Region Co-player of the year in 2018 as a junior.  Diamond Elite summer team.  NovaNine as a junior.  Early Yale Commit.  All Met 1st team as junior in 2018
  • Clark Klitenic, LHP from St. Albans (via Bethesda, MD).  IAC POTY, All-Met 1st team as a junior.  Committed to Duke.
  • Tyler Demartino, Inf.  Evoshield Canes Prospect WWBA 2017 championship team.  PG Nationals 2018.  Early commit to West Virginia.  Canes Nat’l team WWBA 2018
  • Cortland Lawson, SS/RHP from Paul VI in Fairfax (by way of Potomac Falls, VA). Evoshield Canes Prospect WWBA 2017 championship team, early commit to Tennessee.  At PG Nationals 2018.  Canes Nat’l team WWBA 2018
  • Michael Bauma, INF from Sherwood HS.  All Met 1st team as junior in 2018.
  • Ryan Terrents, SS Huntington HS.  All-Maryland State by PBR in 2018 as a junior.  Mid-Atlantic Red Sox summer team.  2nd team All-Met 2018 as junior.
  • Brady Pearre, SS/3B from Poolesville HS.  Evoshield Canes Prospect WWBA 2017 championship team, early commit to  High Point.
  • Lyle Miller-Green, RHP at Lake Braddock.  2nd-team all 6A North Region as a sophomore in 2017.  Early commit to Va Tech.   2nd team VHSL class 6 all-state in 2018 as Junior.
  • Ben Vok, RHP from Sherwood (Olney): Montgomery County pitcher of the year as a Jr in 2018.
  • Ethan Lipp, RHP from Madison.  1st team all 6-A North Region 2018 as a junior.  Evoshield Mid-Atlantic.
  • Matt Howat, LHP from Madison.  1st team all 6-A North Region 2018 as a junior.  Marucci Stars summer team.
  • Dylan Wilkinson, SS from Fairfax.  1st team Class 6 Occoquan all-region as a junior.  MVP Royals summer team.
  • Magnus Ellerts, RHP from Woodbridge.   1st team Class 6 Occoquan all-region as a junior.
  • Luke Burner, ? position from the Highland School (Warrenton): All VISAA-II state 2018.
  • Nick Lockhart, RHP Woodgrove HS.  2018 All Region 4C selection.  Early Virginia Tech signing.
  • Michael Tolson, RHP Stafford HS.  2018 All Region 5C selection.  2018 Commonwealth district POTY as junior.  ODU commit.
  • Dylan Weber, LHP Dominion HS.  2nd team all Region 4C 2018 as junior.
  • Thomas Keehn, SS DeMatha HS.  PG Nationals 2018, early commit to Duke.

Extended DC/MD/VA Prep players (outside DC Area) on the radar.

  • Jamari Baylor, SS Benedictine HS (Glen Allen).  At PG Nationals 2018.  Top 100 d1baseball ranked player in VA.  Committed to JuCo.  VA Gatorade POTY 2019.
  • Zack Beach, 1B/DH from Atlee HS in Mechanicsburg.   2nd team all 5A North Region as a sophomore in 2017.  Early commit to Coastal Carolina.
  • Jamison Covey, RHP from Colonial Richardson HS in Preston MD.  Early commit to Ole Miss.  On the stacked East Coast Sox Select WWBA 17 team.
  • Griffen Agee, 1b/LHP from Jefferson Forest HS in Forest (Lynchburg), VA.  Early commit to UVA.  Evoshield Canes Prospect WWBA 2017 championship team.  PG Nationals 2018.  Canes Nat’l team WWBA 2018
  • Marcus Lee Sang, OF from Northern HS in Olney, MD.  2018 Area Code Games
  • Geo Rivera, RHP Lafayette HS in Williamsburg.  2018 Area code games.
  • Jimmy Starnes,  RHP IMG Academy (by way of Richmond VA).  PG Nationals 2018, early commit to West Virginia.
  • Casey Greene, 3B/RHP from Benedictine HS in Chesterfield, VA.  Evoshield Canes Prospect WWBA 2017 championship team.  Early commit to Coastal Carolina.  Canes Nat’l team WWBA 2018
  • Liam Deegan, 3B from Mils Godwin  HS in Richmond.  Early commit to UVA, top prospect PBF 2018.  At PG Nationals 2018.
  • Carson Jones, LHP from Deep Run HS.  Early commit to UVA, top prospect PBF 2018.
  • Reece Early, of/RHP from Gerstell Academy in Reistertown, MD.  Evoshield Canes Prospect WWBA 2017 championship team.
  • Drew Harlow, SS/RHP from Halifax County HS in Halifax, VA.  Evoshield Canes Prospect WWBA 2017 championship team.
  • Jacob Williams, 1B from Harrisonburg HS.  2nd team all 4A West Region as a sophomore in 2017.
  • Austin Custer, SS/RHP from Bassett HS in Fieldale, VA.  2nd team all 4A West Region as a sophomore in 2017.  Dirtbags summer team.
  • Ricky Jones, OF/CF from Hopewell HS.  1st team all 3A West as a sophomore in 2017.  1st team VHSL Class 3 all-state 2018 as junior.
  • Dylan Young, RHP from Chesapeake-AA.  All Anne-Arundel county in 2017 as sophomore.
  • Garrett Stanard, 2B from Arundel HS.  All Anne-Arundel county in 2017 as sophomore.
  • Justin Starke C from Prince George HS.  2nd team VHSL All state 5A as sophomore in 2017.  2nd Team All-Richmond 2017 as sophomore.  Early commit to VMI.
  • Bryce Frederick, SS Dulaney HS.  All-Maryland State by PBR in 2018 as a junior.
  • Buck Forbes, RHP for Prince George HS.  Pitched 1-hit shutout in 2018 state title game as junior.  1st team VHSL class 5 all-state in 2018 as Junior.
  • Andrew Potojecki, RHP for Chatham HS.  1st team VHSL All State Class 2 2018 as a junior.  Dirtbags  WWBA 2018 team, early commit to Longwood.
  • Justin Lewis, 1B for Virginia HS.  1st team VHSL All State Class 2 2018 as a junior.
  • Pell Collins, 2B for LCA.  1st team VHSK All State Class 4 2018 as a junior.
  • Emmanuel Johnson, OF for LCA.    1st team VHSK All State Class 4 2018 as a junior.
  • Brooks Mazey, 2B Deep Run HS. 1st team VHSL class 5 all-state in 2018 as Junior.
  • Ahmaad Goldson, Util Menchville HS.  1st team VHSL class 5 all-state in 2018 as Junior.
  • Ethan Iannuzzi, OF Cosby.   1st team VHSL class 6 all-state in 2018 as Junior.
  • Zane Eggleston, RHP Manchester.  2nd team VHSL class 6 all-state in 2018 as Junior.
  • Tanner Barrs, RHP Abingdon HS.  1st team VHSL Class 3 all-state 2018 as junior.

Sources used

2019 Draft coverage; Mock Draft mania plus my projected top-5 and Nats picks

3 comments

mlbdraft2019

I began this post the day after the 2018 draft, when the first “way too early” mock draft came out on MLBpipeline.  So its exactly 364 days in the making.

For a preview of the names you see below, see a previous post that talks about all the marquee names with some stats:

2019 Draft coverage; Overview of top Draft prospects


 

Todd Boss’ Mock draft top-5 prediction?

My top 5 prediction: Rutschman, Witt, Vaughn, Bleday, Greene

Who are the Nats going to take at #17:

So, looking at all of the mock drafts, and listening/reading your typical draft pundits, here’s some information on this year’s draft:

  • Its a relatively weak draft compared to recent memory.
  • Its very weak on college pitching
  • Its thus heavier on college and prep bats, which most pundits are predicting will at be at least the top 6 picks.

Meanwhile … the Nats are generally a team that very heavily focuses on college pitching in drafts, and who generally looks for “famous” names in the 1st who may have dropped slightly due to signability or injury, looking for “value.”  This was the case with Mason Denaburg in 2018 (was a top 10 prospect, had biceps issue, dropped), the case with Seth Romero (was a top prospect before getting kicked off his college team in 2017),  the case with Jesus Luzardo in 2016 (he had TJ surgery ahead of the draft), definitely the case with Erick Fedde in 2014, etc.  So, it should be an interesting draft to follow.

The Nats have the

  • #17 pick in the first draft
  • lost their 2nd rounder to the Patrick Corbin signing (would have been 57th overall)
  • 94th in the 3rd round
  • 124th in the 4th round
  • 139th in the 4th round comp round (compensation for Bryce Harper)
  • Lost their 5th rounder, also for the Corbin signing (they lost 2 picks thanks to screwing up the salary cap in 2018 for the 2nd year running)
  • then pick 214th and every 30 picks there after.

The lack of a 2nd rounder really means they have to hit on their 1st this year.  So, who do Mock drafters generally have the Nats picking?  You generally see draft pundits with the Nats picking one of these names:

  • Shea Langeliers, C from Baylor.  This fits the Nats M.O. of picking better players who have dropped slightly in the 1st due to injury.  Langeliers broke a hamate bone this year, which has hampered his offense and dropped him.  This would be a classic Nats 1st round pick.
  • Matt Allan, prep RHSP from Florida HS, rated as one of the best (if not the best) prep RHP in the draft.  Committed to Florida, apparently has huge bonus demands.
  • Josh Jung, 3B from Texas Tech who has been on draft radars for a while.

I’ve also seen some mocks with the Nats taking George Kirby, Kameron Misner, Brett Bady.  But i’d bet its one of these three above names.

My prediction: Every mock draft pundit for the last week or so has the Nats taking Allan and spending the money.  Its looking more and more that the type of college bat that the Nats would normally take (Langeliers, Jung, Misner) are going to be gone … so i’m betting the Nats stake the entire 2019 draft on Allan.

 


Here’s the Mock draft collection.  I’ve generally listed their top-5 and then who they project the Nats to take at #17 (if they project out that far).  this year i’m ordering them Chronologically as rec’d instead of grouping by pundit…. this should let us see kind of an evolution of the top of the draft.

  • MLBPipeline (Jonathan Mayo): way-too-early-Mock-Draft June 2018: Witt, Rutschman, Barco, Langeliers, Greene.
  • MLBPipeline (Jonathan Mayo): Dec 2018 Mock Draft: Rutschman, Witt, Vaughn, Jung, Stinson.
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo): Apr 2019 Mock v4.0: Rutschman, Vaughn, Witt, Abrams, Greene.  Nats on Shea Langeliers, C from Baylor and #2 C prospect in the draft
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo): 5/2/19 Mock v5.0: Rutschman, Witt, Vaughn,  Greene, Bleday.  Nats on Quinn Priester, prep RHP from Cary, IL.  Helium arm.
  • Fangraphs (Kiley McDaniel): Apr 2019 v1.0: Rutschman, Witt, Vaughn, Abrams, Greene.
  • MLBPipeline (Jim Callis): 5/3/19 mock draft: Rutschman, Witt, Abrams, Vaughn, Greene.  Nats on George Kirby, rhp from Elon.
  • 20/80 baseball (Nick Faleris/Burke Granger); 5/5/2019 Mock draft: Rutchman, Witt, Vaughn, Abrams, Bleday.  Nats on Matt Allan, prep RHSP from Florida HS.
  • CBSsports (Mike Axisa) Mock Draft 5/6/19: Rutschman, Witt, Bleday, Greene, Abrams.  Nats on Kameron Misner, toolsy Missouri OF.
  • ESPN (Keith Law) May 2019 v1.0:  Rutschman, Witt, Vaughn, Bleday, Greene.  Nats on Langeliers, under the theory that he’s a -pick who has dropped due to his hand injury.
  • TheBigLead.com (Ryan Phillips) v1.0 May 2019: Rutschman, Witt, Vaughn, Abrams, Bleday.  Only projecting top 10.
  • Fangraphs (Eric Longenhagen/Kiley McDaniel): v2.0 May 2019 mockRutschman, Witt, Abrams, Bleday, Vaughn.  Nats on Langeliers.
  • TheBigLead.com (Ryan Phillipsv2.0 May 2019: Rutschman, Witt, Vaughn, Abrams, Bleday.   No change in top 5 since his previous mock.   Nats on Langeliers like everyone else.
  • BleacherReport.com (Joel Reuter) May 2019 mock: Rutschman, Witt, Abrams, Vaughn, Greene.  Nats on Priester.
  • Fangraphs (Kiley McDaniel/Eric Longenhagen): 5/14/19 Mock v2.0: Rutschman, Witt, Abrams, Bleday, Vaughn.  Nats on Langeliers.
  • MLBPipeline (Jim Callis): 5/17/19 mock draft: Rutschman, Witt, Abrams, Bleday, Vaughn.  Nats on Jung.
  • MyMLBDraft.com (? pundit): 5/22/19 Mock draft: Rutchman, Witt, Vaughn, Abrahms, Greene.  Nats on Allan.
  • MLBPipeline (Jonathan Mayo): 5/23/19 Mock draft: Rutschman, Witt, Abrams, Vaughn, Greene.  Nats on Josh Jung, 3B from Texas Tech who has been on draft radars for a while.
  • PerfectGame.org (Brian Sakowski): Mock Draft v3.0 5/23/19: Rutschman, Witt, Abrahms, Bleday, Vaughn.  Nats on Kirby.
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo): 5/24/19 Mock Draft: Rutschman, Witt, Abrams, Bleday, Vaughn.  Nats on Brett Bady, prep 3B from Texas HS.
  • ESPN (Keith LawMay 28 2019 v2.0: Rutschman, Witt, Vaughn, Bleday, Greene.  Nats on Allan.
  • BleacherReport.com (Joel ReuterMay 2019 mock v2.0: Rutschman, Witt, Bleday, Vaughn, Abrams.  Nats on Jung.
  • Video Baseball Scout (Benjamin Chase): May v8.9 mock draft: Rutschman, Witt, Abrams, Bleday, Vaughn.  Nats on Gunnar Henderson, prep SS from Alabama HS.
  • The Athletic Staff (beat reporters collectively): May 2019 Mock Draft: Rutchman, Witt, Abrams, Vaughn, Bleday.  Nats on Misner.
  • Fangraphs (Kiley McDaniel/Eric Longenhagen): 5/29/19 Mock v3.0: Rutschman, Witt, Abrams, Bleday, Vaughn.  Nats still on Langeliers.
  • The Athletic (Melissa Lockhard) 5/29/19 Mock Draft: Rutchman, Witt, Vaughn, Abrams, Greene.  Nats on Allan.
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo): 5/31/19 Mock Draft v9.0; Rutschman, Witt, Vaughn, Bleday, Greene.  Nats on Zack Thompson, LHP from Kentucky with some medical issues.
  • Beyond the Box Score (Daniel Epstein): 6/1/19 Aggregate Mock Draft (an analysis/aggregate of other mocks): Rutschman, Witt, Abrams, Vaughn, Bleday.  Nats on Allan.
  • TheBigLead.com (Ryan Phillipsv3.0 May 2019: Rutschman, Witt, Vaughn, Bleday, Greene.  Nats on Allan.
  • MLBPipeline (Jonathan Mayo): 6/3/19 day-of Mock: Rutschman, Witt, Vaughn, Bleday, Greene.  Nats on Allan.
  • ESPN (Keith Law): 6/3/19 day-of final mock: Rutschman, Witt, Vaughn, Bleday, Greene.  Nats on Allan; it really seems like Allan is going to be the pick here.
  • CBSsports (Mike Axisa) Final Mock Draft 6/3/19: Rutschman, Witt, Abrams, Bleday, Vaughn.  Nats on Allan too.
  • Fangraphs (Kiley McDaniel/Eric Longenhagen): 6/3/19 Morning of Mock v4.0: Rutschman, Witt, Vaughn, Bleday, Greene.  Nats on Allan.
  • TheBigLead.com (Ryan Phillips) 6/3/19 last chance mock: Rutschman, Witt, Vaughn, Bleday, Greene.  Nats on Allan.
  • 20/80 baseball (Nick Faleris); draft day mock 6/3/19: Rutschman, Witt, Vaughn, Bleday, Greene.  Nats on Allan.

 

Mock draft posters from past years who didn’t seem to do one this year.:

  • D1Baseball (Frankie Piliere); took a job with Seattle, no longer at d1baseball.
  • HeroSports.com (Christopher Crawford); moved to nbcsports/roto world, unclear if still doing draft work.
  • MinorleagueBall.com (John Sickels); moved to TheAthletic, site seems dead.
  • SI.com (Jay Jaffe), now with Fangraphs, so probably not doing prospect work anymore.
  • Baseball America (John Manuel): seems to have passed the torch at BA to Reuter.
  • Baseball Draft Report (Rob Ozga); Last post was Sept 2018; out of business?
  • Seedlings to the Stars/Calltothepen.com: main writer left to form Video Baseball Scout.
  • Prospect Digest (Joseph Werner); just draft profiles for 2019, no mocks/ranks.
  • Sporting News: can’t find content.

 

Draft Rankings: these are prospect ranking lists, NOT mock drafts.

Past prospect rankers that have issues this year 2019.

  • Baseball Draft Report (Rob Ozga); Last post was Sept 2018; out of business?
  • Video Baseball Scout; Mocks, no rankings.
  • The Athletic: no content this year.
  • MinorLeagueBall.com Draft Prospect list: didn’t do one this year, just individual profiles.
  • PerfectGame 2019 Draft Rankings database/top 600 players (mostly behind a paywall)

 


ACTUAL TOP 5 DRAFT Results (added after the draft): went almost entirely chalk to latest mocks: Rutschman, Witt, Vaughn, Bleday, Greene.

Actual Nats #17 Pick (added after the draft): Jackson Rutledge, RHP from Texas Juco.  See separate post on him.


 

 

 

2019 Draft coverage; Overview of top Draft prospects

14 comments

Rutschman is the clear 1-1 favorite. Photo via oregonlive.com

Rutschman is the clear 1-1 favorite. Photo via oregonlive.com

This is a review of the marquee names that have been in discussion for the top-end of the 1st round for the 2019 draft.  Since (especially high schoolers) guys constantly are moving up or down draft boards, each section is divided into two areas: those 4-5 names really in talks to go 1-1 overall (“1-1” means 1st round, 1st overall) and then those who have fallen to “just” being 1st or 2nd rounders.

By now, the top of the draft seems settled, but this post contains a slew of names that were once talked about as “top of the draft” talents but who have slipped.  Most of these names are back part of the 1st round/2nd rounders now, with some dropping to the point that they’ll honor college commitments and thus be 35th-40th rounders instead.

We’ll follow this up with a mock draft collection tomorrow; this is a good reference point for the names you’re going to hear day-1 of the draft.


 

College Upper 1st round names in the mix for 1-1

  • Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State.  Switch-hitting Middle of the Order bat for the 2018 team, powered them to the CWS.  2nd team AA PG/Rawlings 2018 (behind Joey Bart).  1st team d1baseball AA 2018.  2018 USA Collegiate National Team.  Clear consensus 1-1 heading into 2019 spring season, and has stayed there, being almost guaranteed to go 1-1.
  • Andrew Vaughn, 1B California.  1st Team AA PG/Rawlings 2018.  1st team d1baseball AA 2018.  2018 USA Collegiate National Team, 2018 Golden spikes winner as a Sophomore.  Best  hitter in class.  Seems guaranteed to go in the 2-4 range.
  • Nick Lodolo, LHP, Texas Christian.  Supplemental 1st rounder in 2016 out of HS, 2017 freshman AA 1st or 2nd team.  3 year starter for TCU.  Mid-90s FB from left hand side.  #1 college arm, seems likely to go in the 6-8 range.
  • Alek Manoah, RHP West Virginia.  Huge 2018 Cape season vaulted into 1st round territory, huge guy with big arm.  Now #2 college arm in draft, perhaps #1 b/c of durability.  Likely going in the 6-8 range.
  • JJ Bleday, OF, Vanderbilt.  Solid 2018 in Cape, rising star, corner OF.  Leading power hitter in d1baseball, has pushed his way into the top 5 discussion.

College Candidates who have fallen out of  1-1 contention

  • Jackson Rutledge, RHP San Jacinto JC.  Xfer out of 4-yr program (Arkansas) to become 2019 draft eligible.  Hits 97 from deceptive slot, could be sneaky 1st rounder, now mentioned as a top 10 pick.
  • Josh Jung, 3B Texas Tech.  3rd team AA PG/Rawlings 2018 as sophomore.   2nd team d1baseball AA 2018.  2018 USA Collegiate National Team, nearly hit .400 sophomore year, can also play OF.
  • Bryson Stott, SS UNLV.  2018 USA Collegiate National Team, staying at SS.
  • Zack Thompson, LHP, Kentucky; 2017 freshman All-American (2nd team d1baseball fresh AA in 2017).  Some elbow injury issues, but pitched well for team USA in 2018.
  • Hunter Bishop, OF Arizona State: helium 2019 guy, found power.
  • Michael Busch, 1B UNC.
  • Kameron Misner, OF, Missouri.  injured in 2018, true CF.
  • Graeme Stinson, LHP Duke.  big lefty, can be dominant, could be fast riser.
  • Shea Langeliers, C, Baylor.  2018 USA Collegiate National Team, performed well.  Still looks like top-10 pick b/c of position, but broke Hamate bone spr19.  Lots of pundits have him pegged as the Nats #1 pick.
  • Will Holland, SS Auburn.
  • Matt Wallner, OF, Southern Miss.  2018 USA Collegiate National Team.   Also pitches for Southern Miss; is their closer with upper 90s FB.
  • Logan Davidson, SS Clemson.  Combo of power and defensive ability to stick at SS.
  • Andrew Pallante, RHP for UC-Irvine.  2nd team AA PG/Rawlings 2018 as a sophomore.  2018 USA Collegiate National Team
  • Bryant Packard, OF ECU.  1st Team AA PG/Rawlings 2018.  2nd team d1baseball AA 2018.
  • Kyle Brnovich, RHP Elon.  1st Team AA PG/Rawlings 2018.  2nd team d1baseball AA 2018.  2018 USA Collegiate National Team.
  • Jack Little, RHP (closer) from Stanford.   1st Team AA PG/Rawlings 2018.  1st team d1baseball AA 2018.
  • Chase Strumpf, 2B UCLA.   2nd team AA PG/Rawlings 2018 (behind Kody Clemens).  2nd team d1baseball AA 2018.
  • Sean Mooney, RHP St. Johns.  3rd team AA PG/Rawlings 2018 as sophomore.
  • Grant Little, OF Texas Tech.   3rd team AA PG/Rawlings 2018 as sophomore.   2nd team d1baseball AA 2018.
  • Parker Caracci, RHP Ole Miss.  2nd team d1baseball AA 2018.
  • Zack Hess, RHP LSU via LCA in Lynchburg VA.  2018 USA Collegiate National Team, but really struggling as a starter, may be pushed down several rounds.
  • Mike Toglia, OF UCLA.
  • Carter Stewart, RHP Fla JuCo.  9th overall pick out of HS in 2018 enrolled in Juco, but stuff has faltered, costing him draft position in 2019.   Recently signed a pro contract in Japan, and no longer eligible in the draft.

High School Upper 1st round names in the mix for 1-1

  • Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Colleyville (Texas) Heritage HS.  PG underclassman All-American as both soph and jr.   3rd Team USA today HS AA as a junior in 2018.  Son of Bobby Witt.  Oklahoma commit.  East Cobb Sox summer team.  At TOS 2018.  1st team Max Preps all-american in 2018 as a junior.  Likely going 2nd overall.
  • C.J. Abrams, SS, Blessed Trinity HS (Alpharetta, Ga.) PG underclassman All-American as both soph and jr.  Alabama commit.  At TOS 2018.  Likely going in the 4-6 range.
  • Matthew Allan, RHP Seminole HS (Fla).  Evoshield Canes national team, PG underclassman AA all three years eligible.  Florida commit.  93-97 spring 19, rising up.  Top prep arm in draft?   Huge bonus demands may cause him to drop.
  • Riley Greene, OF, Hagerty HS (Oviedo, Fla.).  PG underclassman All-American as both soph and jr.  3rd Team USA today HS AA as a junior in 2018.   Florida commit.  At TOS 2018.  Best HS hitter in class?

High School guys in the 1st couple rounds:

  • Quinn Priester, RHP, Cary, Ill.  HS.  TCU commit.  91-93 on the mound.
  • Brett Baty, Inf from Lake Austin HS (Tex.).  Gatorade Texas state POTY as a junior in 2018, 1st team Max Preps all-american in 2018 as a junior.
  • Corbin Carroll, OF, Lakeside School (Seattle).  Helium guy summer 2018, smaller guy.  Canes summer team, UCLA commit.  Athletic guy, may be interesting argument.
  • Brennan Malone, RHP Matthews (NC) HS.   PG underclassman All-American as both soph and jr.  Up to 95 as 17yr old.  UNC commit.  At TOS 2018, hitting 97 now.
  • Rece Hinds, SS/3B, Niceville (Fla.) HS.  PG underclassman All-American as both soph and jr.   2nd Team USA today HS AA as a junior in 2018.  LSU commit.  Big power guy.
  • Daniel Espino, RHP, Georgia Premier Academy (Statesboro, Ga.).  Helium guy summer 2018, up to 99 at events.  LSU commit.  Possible mechanics issues.
  • Jack Leiter, RHP NJ HS.  Son of Al Leiter, Vanderbilt commit, may be 4th best prep arm but will cost $$ to buy him out of Vanderbilt commitment.
  • Matthew Thompson, RHP Cyprus Ranch (Tex) HS.  PG underclassman All-American as both soph and jr.  TAMU commit.  Evoshield Canes National summer team.  At TOS 2018.
  • JJ Goss, RHP Cypress Ranch HS (Houston, TX).  Rising fast.
  • Hunter Barco, LHP, The Bolles School (Jacksonville, Fla.).  PG underclassman All-American as both soph and jr.  UVA verbal commit.  East Cobb Astros summer team.  At TOS 2018.  polarizing prospect, some love him, some hat him.
  • Jerrian Ealy, OF Jackson Prep (Miss.) HS.  3rd Team USA today HS AA as a junior in 2018.   Ole Miss commit.  At TOS 2018.  2-way star, playing both Football and Baseball at Ole Miss.
  • Wesley Scott, RHP Woodcrest Christian (Cal.) HS.  Vanderbilt commit.  95 as a junior.
  • Sam Hliboki, RHP from Harvard-Westlake HS (Cal.).  2nd team Max Preps all-american in 2018 as a junior.
  • Logan Britt, OF All Saints Episcopal High School (Tex.)  TAMU commit.
  • Connor Phillips RHP Magnolia West High School (Tex).  LSU commit.
  • Matt McCormick, C St. Laurence (Burbank, Ill.).  3rd Team USA today HS AA as a junior in 2018.   West Virginia commit.  2nd team Max Preps all-american in 2018 as a junior
  • Joseph Charles, RHP The First Academy (Fla.) HS.  UNC Commit.  94 as a junior.
  • Nolan Hudi, LHP Calvary Christian (Clearwater, Fla.).  1st Team USA today HS AA as a junior in 2018.  TCU commit.
  • Geoffrey Gilbert, LHP Bishop England (Charleston, S.C.).  3rd Team USA today HS AA as a junior in 2018.   Clemson commit.
  • Carter Young, SS/2B Selah, Was.  At TOS 2018.
  • Jonathan French, C Parkview GA.  At TOS 2018.
  • GlenAllen  Hill Jr., OF Santa Cruz, Calif.  At TOS 2018.
  • Sam Ireland, SS from Mountain Vista HS (Col.).  State POTY for several publications in 2018 as a junior, 2nd team Max Preps AA.

 


 

Sources used to create this list

If we’re waiving the white flag … what moves should we do?

24 comments

Rendon; to trade or not to trade? Photo Nats Official via espn.com

Rendon; to trade or not to trade? Photo Nats Official via espn.com

Yeah, the team just won 3 of 4 from Miami.  They’re still almost guaranteed at this point not to make the playoffs.  As suggested in the comments from the previous post … Here’s a sweep through the 40-man roster as of today, to talk about possible trade chips and who may or may not be in the future of this team.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vnTLwaXYeHFjahCNrTFLzAVebGw0Fj_-__igrTplZA0/edit#gid=1393584019

Outright Free Agents after 2019:

  • Anthony Rendon: who would also be the most likely to fetch prospects in trade mid-season, but who also is someone the Nats may very much want to sign to an extension.  Will the ownership group learn their lesson after dragging their feet last year with Bryce Harper, costing them the Houston trade that almost certainly would have brought back better stuff than a post 4th round pick (#139 overall, which is what we got instead thanks to criminal cap mismanagement over the past two years).  Is this leadership group going to keep him instead of trading him because they think trading him for half a season will damage their negotiations with him?  Trust me, Rendon WANTS to be traded; it removes the Qualifying Offer from burdening his off-season negotiations.   Frankly, getting moved to a contender shouldn’t preclude his returning to the Nats on a long term contract, but a bigger question is what is he worth?  Unlike other major 3B players who signed mega deals lately (Nolan ArenadoManny Machado), Rendon will be 30 upon signing, has injury history, and thus his value is limited.  This is a tangent conversation to the subject at hand, but factors in.
  • Brian Dozier; so far, he’s not only not earning his 2019 $9M salary, he’s putting his career in serious jeopardy.  If he is still hitting .210 at the end of the year, its hard to see him getting a guaranteed contract next year at age 33.
  • Howie Kendrick, who it should be noted was expected to be basically a 4th OF/utility guy and has been batting frigging cleanup for the team lately.  He continues to be a professional hitter even at advancing age (he’s in his age 35 season), and should be worthy of some halfway decent return in prospects in trade.
  • Jeremy Hellickson: for as good as he was in 2018, he’s been as bad in 2019.  He’s not going to fetch anything in trade, and is closer to a release than a trade.
  • Javy Guerrero: we’ll see if  he even makes it to July 1.  Fungible asset, trade if you can get anything.
  • Gerardo Parra: we’re paying him a pro-rated MLB min … as with Guerrero, trade if you can get anything for him.

If you waive the white flag on 2019, every one of these players should get moved for whatever you can get, if anything.  Rendon and Kendrick bring the most back at this point.

Players with 2020 Options

  • Ryan Zimmerman: boy, is he putting the team into a tough position.  Instead of producing in his possible walk year, he’s been awful at the plate and has gotten hurt with a typical “old guy” injury (Planter Fasciitis).  Yes he’s the Face of the Franchise, yes he’s the longest tenured player, yes he was the first player the team ever drafted, yes he’s the clubhouse leader, yes he means a ton to the community, yes he holds a massive fundraiser each year, yes he’s set down DC roots, yes he’s got a 5 year personal-services contract with the team (since deemed illegal in the CBA), and yes he wants to be with the team post playing career.  Yes to all of that.  However, there’s no way he’s worth his 2020 option of $18M.  that’s 10% of the payroll for a guy who is easily replaced with readily available mid-30s sluggers for a quarter of the price.  This is going to be ugly.  I don’t think you trade him (who would want him and who would give up prospects?), but I also don’t think you sign him at his option.  I privately suspect the team will renegotiate his $18M option to something like a 4-yr/$20M deal that pays him right around what Matt Adams is making, takes him to his late 30s, establishes him as a utility/bench bat for the duration, and keeps him in the fold til that point in his career where inarguably he is done playing.
  • Adam Eaton: his 2020 and 2021 options are ridiculously affordable ($9.5M and $10.5M).  The team gutted its top-end starting pitcher depth to acquire him (a decision that looks worse and worse as Lucas Giolito throws 4-hit shutouts and Reynaldo Lopez maintains 12 K/9 rates and Dane Dunning remains a viable future MLB starter even despite his TJ surgery).  But Eaton is now 30, and his 5-6 bWAR seasons seem past him.  If he’s a 1-2 win player, he’s worth the salary and picking up the options.  If he ends 2019 hitting a punchless .273 …. do you dare cut him or trade him?  Maybe not after 2019, but another season of this after 2020 and they may be cutting bait.
  • Yan Gomes: $9M 2020 option.  While the team didn’t trade as much for Gomes, catchers are difficult to come by in this sport.  So even despite his current BA, I can’t see the team cutting him loose after this year and declining his option.
  • Sean Doolittle has a ridiculously cheap $6.5M 2020 option and is the first stable closer we’ve had under longer term team control since Drew Storen.  He’s not going anywhere.
  • Trevor Rosenthal: $10M option on the table which increases to $15M player option if he pitches in 50 games (he’s appeared in 7 so far).  You may laugh right now at even considering this option; what if he comes back and pitches lights out in June and July?  I think you trade him for whatever you can get and let his options be someone else’s issue.  More likely, he’s going to come back from his “rehab” appearances, continue to struggle and the team will summarily cut him, and he’s exhibit 1A for the 2019 team’s issues.
  • Matt Adams: $4M 2020 mutual option; he’s not earning it right now.  Trade him for what you can get, and find some other middle 30s lefty slugger on the open market next year.
  • Tony Sipp: $2.5M 2020 option, that’s a steal.  But he’s got a 5.40 ERA in limited action; would you pick up this option?

Of this group, i’d move Rosenthal, Adams and Sipp if you can get anything.

Signed for 2020/longer term:

  • Max Scherzer; signed through 2021, and  honestly if he wins another Cy Young he’ll be wearing a Nats cap in Cooperstown.  can’t move him.
  • Stephen Strasburg: signed through 2023, can’t move him.
  • Patrick Corbin; just signed new deal through 2024, why would we want to move him.
  • Anibal Sanchez: $9M for 2020 guaranteed … but he’s not really putting himself into position to get anything back in trade based on performance and injury so far.
  • Kurt Suzuki: $6M for 2020, and he’s playing great.  If you move him you just have to replace him and what has changed in terms of our ML catcher depth from last off-season to now?  We still don’t trust Spencer Kieboom with major league ABs, i’m not sure why Raudy Read continues to take up space on the 40-man, and our best prospect Israel Pineda is in Low-A.  So we need Suzuki for 2020.

I’d keep the big 3 starters and Suzuki; move Sanchez if you can (doubtful).  I just don’t see how you can justify moving any of our big 3 starters unless you’re planning a complete, 59 win season overhaul.

Arbitration eligible next year: 

  • Trea Turner
  • Michael Taylor
  • Kyle Barraclough
  • Justin Miller
  • Wilmer Difo
  • Matt Grace
  • Koda Glover
  • Joe Ross

An interesting set of players.  I’d say the team faces some interesting tender choices next off-season.   Right now looking at this list i’d clearly tender Turner, Barraclough and Ross, I’d probably take a hard look at Miller, Difo, Grace but eventually tender, and I’d probably cut loose Taylor and Glover.  Who of these guys are trade bait?  Honestly, everyone but Turner, Ross and Barraclough.

In terms of Trade deadline … i’m not sure i’d trade any of these guys … they’re all either untouchable or un-tradeable.

Pre-Arbitration players:

  • Juan Soto, Wander Suero, Andrew Stevenson, Victor Robles, Jake Noll, James Bourque, Erick Fedde, Spencer Kieboom, Kyle McGowin, Tanner Rainey, Raudy Read, Adrian Sanchez, Austin Voth, Austen Williams, Carter Kieboom.

No reason to part ways with anyone here; if they’re starters (Soto, Robles, Fedde, etc) they’re too valuable on their current $575k (or so) contracts, and if they’re role players they’re fungible assets who are probably not really trade-able.

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Summary: there’s not really a ton of return value here.  Rendon, Kendrick, Adams seem to be the best trade chips.

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added bonus: CBS sports did some similar analysis of Nats potential trade chips: https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mlb-trade-deadline-anthony-rendon-and-other-nationals-trade-chips-ranked-if-they-become-sellers-by-july-31/  .  They came up with similar names here.