Nationals Arm Race

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

First Look: Nats top 10 draftees from 2015 Rule-4 Draft


LSU's Andrew Stevenson becomes the Nats highest 2015 draft pick.  Photo via

LSU’s Andrew Stevenson becomes the Nats highest 2015 draft pick. Photo via

As we did for the 2013 draft, and again in 2014, here’s a quick introduction to the Nats top 10 picks for 2015.

Here’s a slew of Draft Prospect rankings that I’ll refer to later on.

As he did last year,‘s Ryan Sullivan live-blogged the draft and does a great job of pulling up stats and observations on each pick.

Draft Links of importance

  • Official 2015 Draft Central home page.
  • MLB’s Awesome Draft Tracker; you can slice and dice the draft 10 different ways, search by schools and home states, etc.
  • Official MLB 2015 Draft Order (Nats first pick is #58 well into the 2nd round, next #69, then #103, then #134 in the 4th round, and then 134+30 picks there-after.
  • Official Draft Bonus Pool totals.  Astros have $17M (most).  Nats have 3rd least at $4.1M.
  • MLB Draft Database
  • Fangraphs Sortable Draft Board; a great new tool Fangraphs has that lets you slice and dice their top draft board.
  • Baseball-Reference Draft Tools: links to their draft database plus some custom reports.
  • Baseball America’s Draft Database for 2015; this will get updated with bonus amounts when the players sign.


Lets get to it!

1st round/#26 overall: in what would have been the Nationals first round pick had they not signed Max Scherzer and forfeited their pick, the Los Angeles Angels went way off-board and picked Taylor Ward, a Catcher from Fresno State.  He’s not even in Keith Law’s top 100 and is mostly in the 75-100 range of other ranking services, and players like Mike Nikorak, John Harris, Kyle Funkhouser, Daz Cameron and Mike Matuella (a Nationals special; a big righty with power and a Tommy John surgery) still on the board.  Unlike two years ago when I complained bitterly about the loss of the 1st rounder, here Scherzer is more than proving his worth and I’m not as worried about the loss of this pick in a weak draft.  But I wouldn’t have minded seeing how Harris or Funkhouser worked out.

2nd round/#57 overall: Andrew Stevenson, Jr. OF (CF) from LSU (hometown Youngsville, LA).  Rankings: Law outside #100, MLB #79, BA #168, Sickels #101, Draft Rpt #115.  A slightly built slap hitter who plays excellent CF for LSU but, from my limited observations, looks like he’s destined to be a spare outfielder at best.   More than one of the above draft guides mentioned Ben Revere as a comparison.  (This was the comp pick for last year’s non-signing of Andrew Suarez … who went 4 picks later).  FWIW, Law said he “fell out of his chair” when he saw the Nats taking him here.  I can only surmise what the team sees here; perhaps they got a deal on him and will apply some of the savings down the road.

2nd round/#69 overall: Blake Perkins, Prep OF (CF) from Verrado AZ HS (hometown: Phoenix, AZ).  Rankings: Law #96, MLB #162, BA #137, Sickels #148, Draft Rpt #283.  Perkins profiles similarly to Stevenson: slight build, very fast, great fielder, decent arm and a questionable hit tool.  He’s committed to Arizona State and hails from the Phoenix suburbs.  For what its worth, in Keith Law’s post-round 2 write-up, he specifically called out this pick as being a very good one.  But, he’s still *way* overdrafted according to most of the rankings.

3rd Round/#103 overall: Rhett Wiseman, Jr. OF (corner) from Vanderbilt (Hometown Mansfield, MA).  Rankings: Law outside #100, MLB #120, BA #88, Sickels #92, Draft Rpt #146.  Developed big-time power his junior year at Vanderbilt.  Probably projects as a LF but is no bigger than the CF draftees the Nats already have picked.

4th round/#134 overall: Mariano Rivera, JR, Jr. RHP (starter) from Iona (Hometown Harrison NY by way of the D.R.)  Rankings: Law #93, MLB #170, BA #142, Sickels #215, Draft Rp #198.  Well, you can’t argue with the pedigree.  He’s stepped it up this year as a junior with a huge velocity spike and *will* sign, but he barely weighs more than my labrador and one wonders if he can withstand the rigors if pitching in the pros.  Very little mileage on the arm (he didn’t pitch until he got to college reportedly).  Interesting pick.

5th round/#164 overall: Taylor Hearn, Jr. LHP  starter from Oklahoma Baptist (Hometown Royse City, TX).  Rankings: … well, nobody ranked this kid.  Not even on the top 500 prospect list.  He was 9-0 for the NAIA team with good K/9 rates.  Not much else to be said.  The Nats have drafted twice before players from this school (Richie Mirowski and Matthew Page) with decent success and clearly have a scout working that area with success.  Is this a signability/money saving pick?  But for whom?  Perkins?

6th round/#194 overall: Matt Crownover, Jr. LHP starter from Clemson (Hometown: Ringgold, Ga.).  Rankings: BA #344, Draft Rpt #161.  Great numbers at Clemson: 10-3 with a 1.82 ERA.  Tommy John survivor, undersized.  Perhaps projects as a future reliever.

7th round/ #224 overall: Grant Borne, Jr. LHP starter from Nichols State (Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA).  BA #348, otherwise unranked.  Another mystery player.  6-5 with a 1.48 ERA as a starter for Nichols State.

8th round/#254 overall: Koda Glover, Sr. RHP Oklahoma State (Hometown: Heavener, OK).  Sickels #297, otherwise unranked.  Glover was a back-end reliever for Oklahoma State, having transferred in after two years at Juco.  MLB says he’s a senior, OK State says he’s a junior.  Either way, he’s a reliever who could be quicker to the majors, which isn’t too bad a pick for the 8th round.

9th round/#284 overall: David Kerian, Sr. switch hitting 1B from Illinois (Hometown: Dakota Dunes, SD).  He hit .366 with 14 homers on the year for one of the best teams in the country.  Not a bad pick.

10th round/#314 overall: Taylor Guilbeau, Sr lefty starter from Alabama (Hometown Slaughter, LA): nice sign here, getting a Friday starter in the SEC.  3-6 with a 3.69 ERA on his senior season, which ended in the SEC playoffs for Alabama this year.


Breakdown by position:

  • Three outfielders, two definite CFs and one corner OF.
  • One 1B who could feature as a corner OF
  • Five college starters: four LHP and one RHP
  • One college reliever (RHP)

His first three picks were outfielders … then 6 of the next 7 were arms.  Mostly left-handed college starters.  How many of these starters will profile as pro relievers?  Probabaly a few of them; Rivera for sure, likely Crownover, probably Guilbeau as well.

Breakdown by Player Demographic

  • One Prep/HS player
  • Six College Juniors, all four-year college picks
  • Three College Seniors, all from four-year colleges

Well, Rizzo likes college grads, and this shows it.  ONE prep player out of his first 10 picks.

Breakdown by Region

  • Southeastern US: 1 from LSU, 1 from Vanderbilt, 1 from Clemson, 1 from Nichols State, 1 from Alabama
  • Midwest: 1 from Oklahoma Baptist, 1 from Oklahoma State, 1 from Illinois
  • Southwest: 1 from Arizona
  • Northeast: 1 from Iona College

Its amazing to me, year after year we seem to see this.  The Nats draft so heavily from the southeast and midwest.  Meanwhile, everyone knows that the two best states for prospects are California and Florida.  If you look at the home towns of these top 10 picks, still nobody from the two major baseball states and just one guy who hails from Texas.  I guess Rizzo really trusts his area scouts down there.


Well, like in 2013 when you don’t have a 1st round pick … you’re not likely to end up with a name that you’ve heard in the pre-draft coverage.  And I hadn’t heard of practically any of these guys prior to seeing their names read.  Picks 8-10 seem like typical low-value senior signs, but you have to wonder where the draft bonus dollars are going here.  Is everyone signing for slot?  Are there any risky picks here?

34 Responses to 'First Look: Nats top 10 draftees from 2015 Rule-4 Draft'

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  1. The cynic’s approach: the Nats drafted late in a poor draft, wasted their first pick on a slap hitter and their second on a HS kid who won’t sign, their third on a smallish power guy who strikes out way too much, their fourth on a pitcher who weighs less than Renda, and their fifth on an NAIA beanpole who has jumped from school to school. All of them flop, with the Nats going 0 for 2015 in finding major-leaguers.

    The optimist’s approach: Stevenson = Span, Perkins = Taylor, Wiseman = Rendon (about the same size), Rivera Jr. = Rivera Sr. (OK, perhaps getting a little carried away), Hearn = Sidd Finch.

    –Not sure why they picked Stevenson first. I think he would have been there at 103. As noted, perhaps an under-slot deal, but saving money for who? Perkins? Really?

    –The cynic in me thinks that the Perkins pick might be sort of in hope that they don’t sign him and have another second rounder in the much better draft next year.

    –I like Wiseman and Kerian. I wish they had taken more hitters like them. Don’t miss the fact that Andrew Lee (11th round) showed some significant power at TN, although the Nats did announce him as a pitcher.

    –The Nats took A LOT of reliever prospects, including several current college closers (Glover, Mooney, Lee, Blake Smith). I confess, though, I’m intrigued by Rivera. He struck out 113 in 85 innings.

    –Five of seven picks in the second 10 went toward middle infielders, which I begged for in 2014. Schrock may be the only one with MLB potential, but his defense is said to be pretty limited.

    All in all, this looks like a draft of a lot of college players to try to restock the system quickly while waiting on the Dominicans. I’m really surprised they didn’t go for more power bats, and I was disappointed in the Stevenson pick. Here’s hoping he proves me wrong.


    10 Jun 15 at 8:44 pm

  2. My cynic approach seems to be saying that the 3rd rounder HS kid is the “find” and the 2nd rounder was to save cash on a kid they liked but could get to sign for a number.

    Who knows; maybe the Nats just think they know how to find gold at Oklahoma Podunk University year after year. Nichols State?

    I can NOT believe how many arms they took, and I think I write that every frigging year. Look at their arm breakdown for all 40 picks: 6 of top 10 were pitchers, 4 of the next 10 (they had to get a bunch of fielders for short-A), then EIGHT straight RHP from round 21-28. Most of the 30s were unsignable high schoolers.

    Todd Boss

    10 Jun 15 at 10:07 pm

  3. You know what I think this draft was about, the more I think about it? An over-reaction to the bullpen difficulties the team is having right now? If you get enough reliever candidates, you find a few that turn into tomorrow’s Barrett or Grace and you keep cycling through them at the MLB level.

    Todd Boss

    10 Jun 15 at 10:10 pm

  4. They took several HS kids in the 30’s, maybe they can snag one of them for some upside. But if they don’t sign Perkins, which I hadn’t heard was a risk, this draft may be a total washout.

    But assuming Perkins signs and they don’t get any of the kids in the 30’s, I think it is like the Johanson draft. Maybe someone works out into a quality major leaguer, but I wouldn’t think it highly likely.


    10 Jun 15 at 10:20 pm

  5. I find it difficult to get excited about any HS kid, particularly anyone who is available beyond the top 20 or so. Even if Perkins turns out to be a fast-rising stud, he probably wouldn’t make the majors until 2020 or so. So no, I don’t think the draft rides on Perkins. It rides more on them having any bats beyond Turner and Difo who can emerge from the system within the next two to three years. To that end, they painted themselves into a corner by not picking many.

    To me, Perkins looks a fair amount like Taylor, who has taken six years to fill out, develop some power, and make it, or at least be on the verge of making it.

    Todd, I completely agree with the bullpen overreaction comment. It’s one thing to pick to a need; it’s another to overwhelm the draft with it. The much greater need was for hitters. Look at the cattle call they had to have in the spring for bench bats. That’s going to be an annual show for the foreseeable future.


    11 Jun 15 at 5:26 am

  6. Rizzo’s theory is clearly that he can buy offense but needs to grow pitching. Other GMs are the exact reverse it seems. Its hard to type that sentence after watching him give $210 million to Scherzer.

    Todd Boss

    11 Jun 15 at 8:13 am

  7. I’d say it a little differently: I think Rizzo’s philosophy is to avoid, when he can, the high risk, high reward guys in favor of a surer thing. So he prefers a lot of low priced Int’l signings to one or two $2+m kids, and usually goes after the 18 yr olds, not the 16 yr olds; college draftees not HS draftees; and pitchers over Position players, since predicting how a pitchers stuff will play is easier than predicting whether a 19 yr old position player will maintain his hit tool at the upper levels.

    That’s just a rule of thumb, not an absolute, and he usually wants a little of the other types. But I even remember reading a quote from Rizzo about the Scherzer signing about his recommendation to the Lerners, along the lines of ‘if any pitcher is going to get one of these crazy, long term deals, it should be Scherzer because of his pitch count and injury profile…’


    11 Jun 15 at 8:32 am

  8. I wonder whether Rizzo just feels like he and his staff know pitching better than they do hitting, know what to look for in guys who are making it. Other than Harper (1/1) and Rendon (coulda been 1/1), his crew hasn’t had much luck picking hitters. Nor have the Nats been good in identifying young hitters in recent trades (Vettleson, Wooten, with Walters as a notable but rare exception).

    Rizzo has also found young arms, particularly college power arms, to be useful trade chips – see Meyer for Span and Karns for Lobaton, Rivero, and Vettleson. There were also three young arms in the Gio deal, and Robbie Ray was the centerpiece of the Fister trade.


    11 Jun 15 at 9:41 am

  9. And farewell to Renda, our second-rounder in 2012, for yet another reliever. My guess would be that means that Turner will be going to Harrisburg, with Difo switching to 2B.

    The Nats cut 2012 third-rounder Brett Mooneyham last week. We’re assuming that Giolito is going to make the majors if his arm stays connected, but he may be the only one out of that entire draft. There are a handful who still have a chance, but none who are making a strong case.


    11 Jun 15 at 12:21 pm

  10. I cannot and will not pass judgment on this draft or any other until the end of the next year. It seems to me that before 2015, we were (understandably) lamenting how bad the 2014 draft appeared. Other than Reetz, the organization had virtually nothing to show for the entire draft. In contrast, looking at the 2013 draft at the end of 2013, at least there were several performers who looked like keepers (Ward, Voth, Thomas, Ott, Walsh, Ballou). Flash forward to now, only months later, and we can see that van Orden and Williams are all stars, Carey, Gardner, Bach and Keller show some signs of life. Not great, but pretty different from a few months ago — and there is a whole slew of folks from 2014 that we have yet to see in Auburn starting next week.

    Let’s just see who signs. The fact that there ARE so many college products will enable competition to take over. I like that a lot. And they are mature kids who are acculturated and in some instances, have played major college/playoff atmospheres. you have to recruit champions and people who are used to winning and also, not used to losing.

    So I have no opinion, other than to say that I think we will see how good these kids really are sooner than expected because of organizational needs and the readiness to wash out those who just haven’t cut it or won’t crack the depth chart. The Mooneyham cut, the Renda trade, all of these are part of realistic and properly impatient retooling.

    My concerns are more with the apparent stalled development of many players, at every level in the minors, who should be playing far better and should be farther along in their development. Lots of folks got shuffled this offseason, and I wonder whether those promotions rewarded the individuals but put people in the wrong spots for optimal development of talent. We won’t know the answer until November-December.


    11 Jun 15 at 12:28 pm

  11. I think Turner has earned his ticket to Syracuse. I also would not be surprised to see him start in DC this year. He is likely to be regarded as one of the top prospects in baseball now, and Desmond and the moribund Nats are playing themselves into a shot in the butt move.

    Bostick is on fire at A+. Maybe he is not ready for AA, but it’s every bit as realistic to play Bostick-Difo at Harrisburg and have Turner at Syracuse, so both Difo and Turner get full tme reps at shortstop.


    11 Jun 15 at 12:32 pm

  12. forensicane – I really doubt we’ll see Turner before September, and even then they will likely initially start him at Syracuse next year to set back his free agency clock. Even so, they can’t allow their frustrations with Desmond cause them to push Turner too quickly. The Nats are going to sink or swim this year based on whether veterans Desmond, Zimmerman, Strasburg and Fister start playing better. Expecting Turner to step in this season and make a significant impact would be a bit much.

    Karl Kolchak

    11 Jun 15 at 1:13 pm

  13. Renda never did anything to impress me; i’m glad we flipped him for something of use…

    Todd Boss

    11 Jun 15 at 1:39 pm

  14. It’s not just a matter of frustrations with Desmond. It’s whether they can get a great return for him before he hits free agency and think that a replacement plan of Escobar, Espinosa, and or Turner is a risk they feel they can take for that return in a playoff run.

    None of us know what the brass really thinks. But they have been scouting him closely. Offensively, it is obvious that Turner is more successful than Rendon was when he was promoted to play out of position — which worked out. They’ve been watching him play defense and they know the variables. Another possibility, of course, is that Difo gets promoted to Syracuse to play SS every day.

    The point I am making is that Turner is much better than we anticipated and other factors may accelerate his advancement, whether he is ready or not.

    At the very least, a guy with his baserunning ability has to be seen as a helpful September addition.


    11 Jun 15 at 1:41 pm

  15. I’d be shocked if there was a Desmond trade. (1) he is not doing well so they’d be selling low and Rizzo will compare deals to his RoS performance plus comp pick, (2) yes, they do have replacements for this year in Espy and Escobar ( I don’t think that includes Turner unless there is an injury after a trade), but neither has Desmond’s track record of offense.

    The other thing about turner is that he is perceived to be doing it in high altitude, hitters environments. It’s great what he is doing, but there is a bit of ‘show it to me in normal parks’ going on, which suggests that they aren’t planning for him to have an impact this year.


    11 Jun 15 at 2:57 pm

  16. Difo left today’s Harrisburg game in the second inning. Is something afoot, or is he hurt? He could be A) hot-footing it to Milwaukee, with some Nat headed for the DL, B) leaving early for a promotion to Syracuse (doubtful), C) a trade piece on the eve of Turner’s arrival, or D) he’s hurt.

    Wally and Karl pretty much covered what I would say about Desi and Turner. I’ll add that the market for a half season of Desmond would be small. I doubt the Nats would trade him to an NL contender, so that limits the conversation to AL contenders, probably limited even more to teams that think they could re-sign him.

    As for Turner, there’s no way they start the clock on him before late April next year, probably not before June.

    But I’ve been wrong many times before!

    I do agree with forensicane that Turner has been better offensively than I thought he would be, I’m sure helped a bit by the Texas League. Turner and Ross are looking like quite a nice return.


    11 Jun 15 at 3:23 pm

  17. You don’t trade away your starters when you’re in a playoff race. that’s why Desmond isn’t going anywhere. If the Nats were projected to be a 4th place team and were sub .500 right now? Sure.

    Love what Turner is doing; He’s in the Texas League, which projects as middle of the road for minor leagues in terms of offense ( BA’s stats show it more recently as being 4th best minor league for hitting out of 10.

    More importantly … he jumped high-A and is doing it against that level of competition.

    Todd Boss

    11 Jun 15 at 3:23 pm

  18. Let’s add a few more things to Turner. he would now be leading the entire Nats system in RBI. He is younger than his league. Never mind the “hitter’s league.” He’s raking in a bad lineup. He’s not even stealing bases like he would be in the Nats system.

    Espinosa is hitting and cna play defense, Rendon is back, Escobar is an everyday player, and Desmond lags. Even before Turner comes into the system, Desmond is being outperformed. You sit starters who don’t get it done.

    You don’t trade starters in a pennant race, but the team has really lagged and is dull. I Desmond’s transient tie to the long term is his own liability that will keep you from winning, because his head is in his arse, and you get the right offer, you face reality. Rizzo has bucked convention, if it helps short and long term because he gets an incredible offer from an AL team, why not?

    Now let’s look at it another way — what if Turner comes up to AAA and sustains his performance and impresses as a dynamic, winning, team leader ballplayer. Do you give a hoot about his player clock when you’ve got plantar fasciitis here and oblique there and wrist there?

    With Harper’s numbers comes something more – it’s his dynamism and it wins. Turner’s success is more than numbers. he’s got that “it” factor. Don;t think the Nats don;t know that.


    11 Jun 15 at 4:09 pm

  19. Garciaparra in 2004.

    Rizzo is bold enough to trade Desi if he can get the right return. I still think it’s Taijuan Walker.

    Andrew R

    11 Jun 15 at 4:10 pm

  20. Miller is the top AL SS in terms of WAR


    11 Jun 15 at 4:34 pm

  21. I think this draft was more about getting a high volume of guys, which makes sense considering the small draft pool and lack of a first rounder. Probably several of the 11-40 round guys will get overslot deals. Unlike last year, it doesn’t seem like any of the HSers in those rounds will sign, maybe one maximum.

    Speaking of HSers a couple outlets before the draft had Perkins as likely to go in the 5th or 6th round with a chance to improve to the 1st or 2nd round after 3 years in college, so the Nats probably think they can help him get there. Maybe they thought someone would snatch him in the third round.

    At the very least, according to his college coach, it appears Schlock is getting an overslot deal and signing, and he was rated around the 6th round by some.

    Melissa Machlis

    11 Jun 15 at 4:47 pm

  22. Unlike the previous 2 years, the token high school player was taken in round 2 instead of round 3, so where Ward and Reetz both got 2nd round money in overslot deals, Perkins was actually selected in the 2nd round, so it doesn’t seem like any saved money would go to him.

    Melissa Machlis

    11 Jun 15 at 5:04 pm

  23. Melissa, thanks for getting us back to the draft. I saw something else on Schlock that said he had thought he was going to be a 4th or 5th rounder, so he was hoping for considerably more money. His defense is supposedly highly suspect, both at 2B and in LF. He seems the best offensively of the rounds 13-19 run on middle infielders, though. He has a little pop, certainly more than Renda. It seems like he would be a good bargain find if he will sign.


    11 Jun 15 at 8:24 pm

  24. The game story on Harrisburg doesn’t include anything about Difo.


    11 Jun 15 at 8:31 pm

  25. Thanks KW, I was wondering about Difo.

    Melissa – why would they want a high volume of players? Do you see them letting a bunch of minor leaguers go? It seems most of the opportunities would be at the upper levels, which is hard to fill through the draft.

    As for the draft, I guess time will tell whether they hit on any of these guys. I am guessing no, but would love to be proven wrong. I think this may be a year where they spend more than usual in the international market, though, both July 2 and Cuban. I think Rizzo sees an international draft coming, and this may be one of the last opportunities to spend some money and pick up some talent. I wouldn’t be shocked to see them approach Moncada money for the Cuban CF.


    11 Jun 15 at 9:07 pm

  26. Scklock needs to return to earth. He’ll get third round money when he gets drafted in the third round. Like, never. His ceiling is not going to get higher by returning to college, and Austin Byler is a better comparison, great season, great ranking, lower draft choice. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.

    Reetz had college to leverage to turn into a first round pick and the Nats pounced wisely.

    Volume creates conditions for competition. The organization is better for having a “next man up” philosophy like you see in NCAA football. Player goes down, his replacement is promoted, whose replacement is in Viera. Developing lots of talent and signing volume internationally (32 last year) makes that possible.

    I love the idea of all of these middle infielders with common profiles and proven success. Let ’em sort it out on the field.


    11 Jun 15 at 10:22 pm

  27. First off, I feel bad because I misspelled Schrock’s name. I think they can go as high as 100-200k overslot for him and still have a successful draft, but he’s not getting the money he wants; that’s probably a negotiation tactic.

    Wally – I like the comparison to the international signings. With a lower signing pool, knowing that you aren’t going to get the high end player, you go after volume hoping some players will break out.

    On the other end of the spectrum is the 2012 draft. Shelling out the money for the first pick who had fallen to the Nats, leaving little to work with for the rest of the draft. With no first round pick, this strategy makes little sense for the 2015 Nats draft because there isn’t one prospect left at pick 59 worth taking all seniors for the next nine picks.

    forensicane – If the Nats break the bank during this International signing period, they can’t sign anyone from next year’s, which wouldn’t make too much sense because there will be a bigger pool next year since the Nats aren’t going to finish with the second best record in the majors. Better to wait until a year the team’s doing well so that they will lose out on a very small bonus pool. Plus, the strategy has been working out recently, so why abandon it?


    11 Jun 15 at 11:28 pm

  28. While I agree that Renda didn’t look like he’d be much more than a AAAA type middle infielder, the fact that the Nats were so desperate as to trade their No. 22 prospect (according to for a reliever who was just DFA’ed speaks volumes about how desperate they’ve become for veteran bullpen arms. It is also a ringing indictment of the poor job Rizzo did in assembling this year’s bullpen. Only Storen’s outstanding season as the closer has prevented this year’s collective pen meltdown from looking like the 2009 debacle.

    And tonight, right on cue, Roark finally falls off the tightrope his 4.1 K/9 ratio indicated he’s been walking this year.

    Karl Kolchack

    11 Jun 15 at 11:45 pm

  29. Melissa, I agree with you, for the reasons noted above. Volume is in. You can’t sign volume when you are giving a ton to a player or two. Bencosme, their biggest signee last year, got less than half of what they gave Anderson Franco in 2013.


    12 Jun 15 at 5:32 am

  30. Karl’s comment brings us right back to why Rizzo drafted so many college relievers . . . which may speak to the “volume” comments as well.

    Honestly, if any of the players from this draft make it to the big club, it likely will be in relief/bench roles. I don’t see any who are prime starter material, either on the mound or in the field. Perkins might have a chance, but as noted, I would expect a long Taylor-like development. For Wiseman to be considered as a regular LF with a contender, he’d need to show 25 HR power. Rivera has been a starter in college, but he’d need to add 20 pounds to become Greg Maddux. I will be curious to see if the Nats give him a chance to stay a starter.


    12 Jun 15 at 6:18 am

  31. I can’t put all of this on a bad assembly job — although the Blevins trade and Cedeno DFA are now regrettable in hindsight. Grace was very promising in spring, Stammen is hurt, Jannsen got hurt, Davis did not come back and was hurt, Martin came up like a meteor and transformed into HRod meltdown ineffectiveness, and Roark has been pressed into starting duty. To me, the miscalculations were limited to Cedeno vs. Grace, really. denDekker is young, controllable and may yet work out in time.

    The farm system’s ability to feed the ML evaporated, and that made things worse. Delcarmen = done, Davis = struggling to regain form, Martin = flameout, Benincasa got hurt after a fast start (and he was drafted as the next closer), deLos Santos (trade) was promising but has really struggled, Mendez hit a wall, so that’s a lot of options that evaporated at the same time that Treinen was inconsistent and Barrett a lot worse.

    Filling up the system with a lot of arms who are a year from AA is the necessary safety valve away from reliance upon the journeymen they have to pluck from the independent leagues. I think it’s a smart strategy that takes into account that arms in this day are like NFL careers. Injuries are to be expected and pitcher life expectancy is much shorter.
    Redundancy is the next level of depth.


    12 Jun 15 at 8:53 am

  32. The other thing, bad starters expose a more limited bullpen. This vaunted rotation is not getting past the sixth inning often enough. That catches up with you.

    In the end, Renda still became expendable and they acquired a guy who gave them problems in the past. Good trade. Now the Turner watch is on.


    12 Jun 15 at 8:56 am

  33. Son of Sandman:

    He weighs 40 pounds less than his dad, so perhaps there is still room for some growth. The Yanks kept dad down on the farm for six years, so perhaps he had to do some filling out during that time as well. He also spent nearly all of it as a starter.

    It does sound like Jr. is planning to sign.


    12 Jun 15 at 12:21 pm

  34. Mariano Rivera Jr is already off Iona’s 2016 roster (as pointed out somewhere that I read), so yeah he’s signing. He’s ready to go pro.

    Todd Boss

    12 Jun 15 at 12:43 pm

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