Nationals Arm Race

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

2015 Season Statistical Review of all Nats 2015 draft picks


Stevenson was our first pick, and also one of the best performers of the draft class. Photo via

Stevenson was our first pick, and also one of the best performers of the draft class. Photo via

Here’s a fast review of the 2015 draft class, looking at their 2015 numbers and making some snap judgements.

This post idea was stolen from’s John Sickels, who used to do this for nearly the entire draft class a couple of  years back.  It is quite a bit of clicking around so it isn’t surprising that he gave up on it.  I did this kind of review a couple of years ago and may try to find time to extend it to 2015 performances of the 2014 (and earlier) classes, because its a nice way to check in on everyone all at once.

Baseball America had some limited information for every kid taken in the first 10 rounds and this post expands on the BA information for our entire 2015 class all the way to round 40.

Web links to use while reading:

  • Stats are pulled from and/or; put the player name into the search bar to get his seasonal stats
  • The MLB Draft Tracker (which I believe is the best draft tracker out there) is the best place to get draft class information.
  • The Big Board and the Draft Tracker are the goto resources for prospects for any Nats fan.

At the end of each player write-up i’ll put in a color coded trending line for the player: Green for Trending UpBlue for Trending steady, Red for Trending Down.   This is just my knee-jerk opinion of the prospect status of the player system-wide.  And yes I realize this is their first pro ball season, short-sample sizes, scouting the stat line, etc etc.  So apologies in advance if you think i’m being too harsh passing judgement on a 15 inning sample size.  Of course I am; what else are we going to argue about this off-season?  🙂

Without further ado:

Round 1: forfeited by virtue of the Max Scherzer signing.  Would have been the 26th pick overall, which ended up being Taylor Ward, a C from Fresno State that many thought was an overdraft by the Angels but which looks pretty good in retrospect (he slashed .348/.457/.438 in his first pro season split between rookie and low-A).  Knowing the Nationals’ proclivities, they likely would have taken one of two polished college hurlers here if they had the pick: Jon Harris (who went 29th overall) or Kyle Funkhouser (who went 35th overall).  Also still on the board was well-regarded HS pitcher Mike Nikorak, who went just after Ward.  I’m not complaining about the loss of this pick as I did with the Rafael Soriano signing; just pointing out how things could have gone otherwise.

Round 2: Andrew Stevenson, OF (CF).  COL jr from Louisiana State.  Slashed .305/.358/.376 across 3 levels, getting promoted up to Hagerstown relatively quickly.  16/30 K/BB in 214 Abs, 1 homer, 23SBs in 55 games.  Stevenson so far is pretty much what we expected; a speedy plus defender in center with blazing speed (nearly a half a SB per game), little pop but a decent bat.  He had very few strikeouts (just 16 in 214 ABs across 55 games): a great trait for a guy who probably profiles as a lead-off hitter.  I’d like to see better OBP though going forward.  Whether this translates to MLB production eventually remains to be seen, but so far so good.  Trending Up.

Round 2: Blake Perkins, OF (CF) from Verrado HS, Buckeye, Ariz.  Slashed .210/.265/.281  in the Rookie league, with 36/13 K/BB in 166 Abs, 1 hr, 4sbs.  Somewhat disappointing debut for Perkins, who some had pegged as an even better prospect than Stevenson.  We’ll chalk this up to a youngster facing pro pitching for the first time.  His first full season should be telling, though its hard to see him breaking camp with a full-season squad after this debut.  Odds are he’ll be in XST until June and then will give Short-A a try.  Post-posting update: thanks to AndrewR in the comments section for the Baseball America 2015 Nats Draft class review link, where it is pointed out that Perkins was asked to start switch hitting this year.  Well no wonder his average was so low.  A quick look at his splits: .111/.122/.222 versus lefties (going just 5 for 45), .248/.316/.306 versus righties.  Now, what’s kind of odd about that split line is this: he already batted R when drafted and *added* a lefty swing … so why was the slash line so bad versus lefties?  You’d think the split would have been the other way around?  I could not find traditional splits as a L or as a R on either fangraphs or; not sure if I just missed them or if Perkins started switch hitting later in the year.  Either way, you have to give his overall split line a pass.   Trending steady.

Round 3: Rhett Wiseman, OF (corner), COL jr from Vanderbilt.  Slashed .248/.307/.376 in Short-A with 52/18 K/BB in 210 Abs, 5 homers.   Honestly, I would have expected a bit more from Wiseman, a very polished college hitter from a good program.  Just 5 homers in 210 ABs?  I know the NY-Penn is a pitchers league … but that’s just one homer every 42 ABs.  He profiled as a power-hitting corner outfielder out of college; is this what he can be? reports that he played a lot of CF, which would be a nice little bonus if he could stay at the position.  Trending steady.

Round 4: Mariano Rivera Jr, rhp COL sr from Iona.  1-2, 5.45 ERA in Short-A with 26/3 K/BB in 33IP (19 app, 3 starts).  2.70 FIP, .388 babip.  Rivera was tried as a starter and quickly failed, getting moved to the pen, where he was much better.  Starter ERA: 13.00.  Reliever ERA: 2.63.  His seasonal ERA isn’t nearly as bad as it looks thanks to some bad luck; his FIP is good and his K/BB rate looks good as well.  He profiles like his father; slight, live arm, good stuff as a reliever.  I can see him moving up the ladder as a back-of-the-bullpen reliever.   Perhaps a disappointment that a 4th round pick was relegated to the bullpen after just three starts … but could be a quick moving arm on a team that clearly needs them.  Trending Up.

Round 5: Taylor Hearn, lhp COL jr from Oklahoma Baptist.  1-5, 3.56 in the GCL Short-A with a 38/13 K/BB in 43ip (10/10 starts), 3.40 fip, .346 babip.  (Editor note: he was in Auburn most of the year; he just started in GCL briefly).Perhaps too old to be in the GCL, but was decent nonetheless in 10 starts.    Nothing earth shattering here; I would like to have seen him going against other college hitters in Short-A frankly.  We’ll see what he does next year.    Hearn joined his fellow lefty first 10 round starters in the Auburn rotation and was completely effective, averaging nearly a K/inning with decent control.  He’s done nothing to jeopardize his advancement for 2016 and should compete for a low-A rotation gig.  Trending steady.

Round 6: Matt Crownover, lhp COL jr. from Clemson.  1-4, 3.81 ERA in Short-A with 34/9 K/BB in 49.2 ip (13 app, 10 starts), 3.40 fip, .301 babip.  As with Hearn’s numbers, nothing bad but nothing mind blowing out of Crownover’s numbers in Short-A.  Not a bad return for an under-slot ACC lefty starter.  I like the 4-1 K/BB ratio.  Trending steady.

Round 7: Grant Borne, lhp COL jr from Nicholls State.  1-4, 3.59 in Short-A with 32/7 K/BB in 47.2 ip (15 apps, 5 starts), 2.99 fip, .321 babip.  Its amazing how similar Hearn, Crownover and Borne’s numbers were, each profiling as a command/control lefty starter in Short-A.  Trending steady.

Round 8: Koda Glover, rhp COL sr from Oklahoma State. 1-1, 1.80 ERA across 2 levels, getting promoted to Low-A.  38/2 K/BB in 30 ip (19app), 2.44 fip, .288 babips in LowA where he spent most of the year.  38 to 2 (!!)  K/BB ratio in 30 innings.  That’s great.  No wonder he was an over-slot deal.  Glover profiled very well and should be in the mix for a High-A bullpen slot in 2016 already.  Trending Up.

Round 9: David Kerian, 1b COL sr from Illinois.  Slashed .251/.336/.338 in Short-A with 41/25 K/BB in 195 Abs, 0 homers.  Kerian signed for just $25k in the first of the Nats two big “save bonus money senior draftee” picks.  Zero homers as a first baseman and a .338 slugging?  That’s just not going to do it.  Trending Down.

Round 10: Taylor Guilbeau, lhp COL sr  from Alabama. 3-3, 3.54 in the GCL mostly in Short-A with 31/9 K/BB in 51 ip (11/10 starts) .2.89 fip, .356 babip.  Another senior sign, Gilbeau was 3-4 years older than his competition in the GCL yet “only” struck out 31 in 51 innings.  He may struggle to find a full-season job next year (what with all the other college lefties being drafted) and could quickly find himself out of organized ball.  Trending Down.  Turns out, I mis-read Guilbeau’s assignment; he was in Auburn basically the entire year and his FIP looks solid based on his competition.  I’m amending this report to say he’s Trending Steady based on his 2015.

Round 11: Andrew Lee, RHP COL jr from Tennessee.  Posted a 5-1, 1.63 ERA across 3 levels, ending up in Hagerstown.  47/10 K/BB in 38.2 innings (16/5 starts), 2.19 fip, .250 babip in lowA where he spent most of his time.  An intriguing arm for sure and more than held his own in 5 Low-A starts.  He’s in the mix for the Hagerstown 2016 rotation.  Trending Up.

Round 12: Tommy Peterson RHP COL jr  from South Florida.  0-0, 2.66 in Auburn with 13/4 K/BB in 20 relief innings, 2.83 fip, .318 babip as part time closer.   Not too many innings to judge on here; looks like a good option for the Hagerstown 2016 bullpen.  Trending steady.

Round 13: Max Schrock, COL jr from South Carolina.  Slashed .308/.355/.448  in Short-A with 16/13 K/BB in 172 Abs, 2 homers.  Drafted as a 2B, played mostly SS.  Schrock was the big over-slot deal the team signed in 2015, getting $400k over-slot as a 13th rounder (the rough equivalent of a mid 4th rounder).  He hit pretty well in Short-A in his debut too, with a good OPS figure for a middle infielder who made a ton of contact (just 16 Ks) but also needs to work on his batting eye (just 13 walks).  Trending Up.

Round 14: Mack Lemieux LHP from Jupiter Community HS (FL): did not sign, never seemed like he was even close to signing from articles and twitter.  Committed to Florida Atlantic University (FAU).

Round 15: Kevin Mooney,  RHP COL jr from UofMaryland.  1-0, 5.40 ERA in Short-A with a 15/13 K/bb in 21.2 innings, 4.95 fip, .333 babip.  Not a great debut for the local kid Mooney, who was last seen blowing both super-regional games that enabled UVA to surprisingly make its way to the CWS (where even more surprisingly they ended up winning).  Far, far too many walks given how many punch-outs he had, his FIP was still way up there even given a BABIP not really that out of line.  Needs to step it up if he wants a full-season job.  Trending Down.

Round 16: Ian Sagdal, SS COL sr  from Washington State U.  Slashed .235/.323/.327 in Short-A with 36/20 K/BB in 162 Abs, 1 homer, 1 SB.  Played mostly 2B per despite being drafted as a SS.  No power, little speed evident, tough season in Auburn for Sagdal.  With the collection of middle infielders the Nats drafted in 2015 plus the rising DSL guys, Sagdal may not be long for the system.  Trending Down.

Round 17: Dalton Dulin, 2B from Northwest Mississippi CC.  Slashed .273/.410/.354 in Short-A 21/18 K/BB in 99 AB as part time 2B.  Not too bad for a younger guy in short-A ball.  Trending steady.

Round 18: Melvin Rodriguez 2B COL sr from Jackson State U. (MS).  Slashed .200/.294/.282 in Short-A with 17/15 K/BB in 110ABs, 0hr, 0sb as part time 2B.  Well, if you’re not going to hit for power, you need some speed.  And if you can’t show speed, you should show a good hit-tool.  Rodriguez didn’t show much of anything this year and may not make it out of spring next year.  Trending Down.

Round 19: Clayton Brandt SS COL sr from MidAmerica Nazarene U (KS).  Slashed just .193/.304/.261 in the Rookie league, with a 28/10 k/bb in 88 Abs, 0 hr as SS.  Not good, especially as a 22-yr old.  Trending Down.

Round 20: John Reeves C, COL sr  from Rice (TX): did not sign.  Despite being listed as a “College Senior” he really was a 4th year junior and opted to return for his 5th year.

Round 21: Matt Pirro, Matt RHP COL sr  from Wake Forest.  0-0 3.71 ERA  across two levels, ending in Short-A.   14/11 k/bb in 17ip, 4.52 fip, .372 babip in short-A.  Not great numbers; too many walks, but his ERA/FIP likely the result of a bit of unlucky babip.  In a battle to stay employed though going into next year by virtue of his senior sign status.   Trending Down.

Round 22: Adam Boghosian RHP COL 5s from North Greenville U. (SC).  3-0, 4.28 era across 2 levels with 16/18 k/bb in 27ip, 5.59 fip, .162 babip in short-A.  Anytime you have more walks than strike-outs, its a bad thing.  And he posted a mediocre ERA despite an unbelievably low babip; his numbers are likely even worse with a longer sample size.  Another senior sign that may get the axe once full-season rosters get set next spring.  Trending Down.

Round 23: Alec Rash, RHP COL jr from Missouri: did not sign.  Rash has barely pitched while in College and was a better bet to try to regain some draft value by pitching a full senior season.

Round 24: Blake Smith RHP COL jr  West Virginia: did not sign.  Listed in some places as a senior but WVU’s site lists him as a junior, so he still has eligibility and opted not to sign so as to increase his draft status with a good senior season.

Round 25: Calvin Copping RHP COL jr from Cal. State Northridge.  1-2, 4.76 ERA in the GCL 14/5 K/BB in 17ip, 4.01 fip, .305 babip.  So-So numbers for a college guy in the rookie league.  As with his fellow middle-of-the-road senior sign pitchers, he needs to show more dominance if he wants a job out of spring 2016.  Trending Down.

Round 26: Russell Harmening. RHP COL jr Westmont Coll (CA).  1-0, 2.86 ERA in the GCL with 16/4 K/BB in 22ip, 3.26 fip, .303 babip.  Better numbers than Copping or Pirro or Boghosian, so we’ll give him a leg up in next year’s bullpen competitions.  Trending steady.

Round 27: Ryan Brinley, RHP COL jr from Sam Houston State U. (TX).  Was 1-4 1.44 ERA  across 3 levels this year with a 16/1 K/BB in 31.1 ip, 3.85 fip, .292 babip in low-A (where he ended up).  Great 27th round find so far in Brinley, who may not have a ton of swing and miss but certainly seems to have some command (1 BB in 31 innings??).  Could be a nice little middle relief option going forward, someone who can keep his team in games.  Trending Up.

Round 28: Mick Van Vossen RHP COL sr from Michigan State U.  0-2, 4.83 ERA  across 2 levels.  23/13 K/BB in 31.2 ip, 4.09 fip, .260 babip in GCL (where he spent most of the year).  Nothing too special here; struggled when he got to Auburn but only had 6ip there.  Needs to show a better K/BB ratio to compete next  year.  Trending steady.

Round 29: Philip Diedrick OF COL sr  Western Kentucky U.  Slashed just .146/.208/.292  in the GCL with 33/6 k/bb in 89 Abs, 4 hr as LF.  Not a good season for Deidrick at all, striking out a third of the time with little in the way of average or OBP to show for it.  Trending Down.

Round 30: Jorge Pantoja RHP COL jr Alabama State U.  1-1, 5.84 ERA in the GCL, 11/3 K/BB in 12ip, 2.74fip, .395 babip.  Looks like some potential there with a K/inning and a FIP that flatters  his ERA.  Probably needs more time.  Trending steady.

Round 31: Nick Sprengel LHP from El Dorado HS (CA): did not sign.  A strong commitment to the U of San Diego, Sprengel was never likely to sign.

Round 32: Dalton DiNatale 3B COL jr Arizona State U.   Slashed just .232/.326/.341  in the GCL 23/10 K/bb in 82abs, 1 hr, 2 sbs.  I would have expected more from a Pac-12 hitter in the GCL.  Trending Down.

Round 33: Angelo La Bruna SS COL 5S  from U. Southern California.  Slashed .269/.303/.355 in the GCL with 15/3 k/bb in 93 Abs, 0 homers.  Drafted as a SS but played 1B; anytime you have a 5th year senior in the rookie league who hits zero homers, warning flags go up.  Trending Down.

Round 34: Tyler Watson LHP from Perry HS (AZ).  1-1, 0.00 ERA  and 16/4 k/bb in 13ip, 1.81 fip, .226 babip in the GCL.  The Nats final over-slot signee ($300k over slot likely on top of the $100k you can throw at any post 10th rounder compensates him on a par as a mid 4th rounder), Watson did not disappoint.  He’s young but he looked dominant in his first pro innings.  I’ll bet he stays in XST and debuts next year on a short-A squad.  Trending Up.

Round 35: Coco Montes SS from Coral Gables HS (FL): did not sign.  Montes honored his commitment to South Florida.

Round 36: Taylor Bush SS from The Linfield School (CA): did not sign.  Bush honored his commitment to Westmont College.

Round 37: Steven DiPuglia SS from Cooper City HS (FL): did not sign.  DiPuglia  honored his commitment to Western Kentucky.

Round 38: Matt Morales SS from Wellington Community HS (FL): did not sign.  Morales honored his commitment to Stetson University.

Round 39: Jake Jefferies 2B COL jr  from Cal. State Fullerton.  Slashed .241/.276/.296  in Short-A.  5/2 K/BB in 54ABs, 0 homers, 3 steals in part time MIF.  Zero power.  Good bat control though.  The Nats have drafted Jefferies multiple times so they clearly see something in him; he sticks around for a bit even given his unimpressive 2015 campaign.  Trending steady.

Round 40: Parker Quinn 1B from The Benjamin School (FL): did not sign.  Quinn honored his commitment to Hofstra.


Trending Summary:

  • Trending Up (7): Stevenson, Rivera, Glover, Lee, Schrock, Brinley, Watson
  • Trending steady (11): Perkins, Wiseman, Hearn, Crownover, Borne, Peterson, Dulin, Harmening, Van Vossen, Pantoja, Jefferies
  • Trending Down (12): Kerian, Guilbeau, Mooney, Sagdal, Rodriguez, Brandt, Pirro, Boghosian, Copping, Deitrick, DiNatale, La Bruna
  • Did Not Sign (10): Lemieux, Reeves, Rash, Smith, Sprengel, Montes, Bush, DiPuglia, Morales, Quinn

Executive Summary

I like what I see out of a handful of guys, and its great to see a couple of the lower-draft pick guys pop up a bit.  I want to see more out of Perkins and Wiseman in particular; their success makes or breaks this draft.  The three over-slot guys (Glover, Schrock, Watsh) all performed well, indicating great use of those funds by the Nats brain-trust.

PS: I created an XLS to do this analysis; if you prefer, you can look at it in Google XLS or use the select cut-n-pasted info below:

Round Player/Pos 2015 Level Basic Stats
2 Andrew Stevenson, of GCL-Short-A->LowA .305/.358/.376
2 Blake Perkins, of GCL .210/.265/.281
3 Rhett Wiseman, of Short-A .248/.307/.376
4 Mariano Rivera, rhp Short-A 1-2, 5.45
5 Taylor Hearn, lhp GCL 1-5, 3.56
6 Matt Crownover, lhp Short-A 1-4, 3.81
7 Grant Borne, lhp Short-A 1-4, 3.59
8 Koda Glover, rhp Short-A -> LowA 1-1, 1.80
9 David Kerian, 1b Short-A .251/.336/.338
10 Taylor Guilbeau, lhp GCL 3-3, 3.54
11 Lee, Andrew RHP GCL-Short-A->LowA 5-1, 1.63 ERA
12 Peterson, Tommy RHP Short-A 0-0, 2.66
13 Schrock, Max 2B Short-A .308/.355/.448
14 Lemieux, Mack LHP did not sign
15 Mooney, Kevin RHP Short-A 1-0, 5.40 ERA
16 Sagdal, Ian SS Short-A .235/.323/.327
17 Dulin, Dalton 2B Short-A .273/.410/.354
18 Rodriguez, Melvin 2B Short-A .200/.294/.282
19 Brandt, Clayton SS GCL .193/.304/.261
20 Reeves, John C did not sign
21 Pirro, Matt RHP GCL -> ShortA 0-0 3.71 ERA
22 Boghosian, Adam RHP GCL -> ShortA 3-0, 4.28 era
23 Rash, Alec RHP did not sign
24 Smith, Blake RHP did not sign
25 Copping, Calvin RHP GCL 1-2, 4.76 ERA
26 Harmening, Russell RHP GCL 1-0, 2.86 ERA
27 Brinley, Ryan RHP GCL-Short-A->LowA 1-4 1.44 ERA
28 Vanvossen, Mick RHP GCL -> ShortA 0-2, 4.83 ERA
29 Diedrick, Philip OF GCL .146/.208/.292
30 Pantoja, Jorge RHP GCL 1-1, 5.84 ERA
31 Sprengel, Nick LHP did not sign
32 DiNatale, Dalton 3B GCL .232/.326/.341
33 La Bruna, Angelo SS GCL .269/.303/.355
34 Watson, Tyler LHP GCL 1-1, 0.00 ERA
35 Montes, Coco SS did not sign
36 Bush, Taylor SS did not sign
37 DiPuglia, Steven SS did not sign
38 Morales, Matt SS did not sign
39 Jefferies, Jake 2B Short-A .241/.276/.296
40 Quinn, Parker 1B did not sign

22 Responses to '2015 Season Statistical Review of all Nats 2015 draft picks'

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  1. Todd, thanks for doing the full roll-up. I had tried to follow some of these guys but hadn’t paid much attention to others. Here are some random thoughts:

    – The steals of the draft appear to be Lee and Glover, Lee all the more so if he can stick as a starter. Lee had a dominant 0.34 ERA until giving up six runs in his last start. Considering the Nats’ bullpen woes, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to think that Glover could make it all the way to DC in 2016 if he continues to dominate. Potomac is definitely a step up for pitchers, though, as even Giolito and Lopez discovered.

    – I didn’t understand the picks of Stevenson and Perkins at the time and still don’t, all the more so with how highly the organization thought of Robles. At least Stevenson showed some promise that his game can translate to the pros before tailing off some late at Hagerstown. Robles has already eclipsed Perkins and will quickly do so with Stevenson as well if he develops power.

    – Give yourself some credit on Wiseman. When he was drafted, you pointed out the big hole in the upper part of his strike zone. Turns out the other 29 organizations had ESPN as well. If he wants to have a career, he had better figure out how to compensate sooner rather than later. When he was drafted, I tagged his upside as Rasmus if he developed his power, den Dekker if he didn’t. That still looks like a pretty good guess.

    – I would give Rivera no better than “trending steady.” If he can’t stick as a starter as a 4th rounder, I see that as disappointing. Obviously I reserve the right to change that opinion if he turns into his father, but right now, I’ve got more back-of-bullpen hope in Glover. I wonder if the Nats will try Rivera as a starter one more time when he’s not coming into it at the end of a college season.

    – They backed up the truck for lefty starters at picks 5, 6, 7, and 10, but thus far, none have stood out. I had the most hope for Crownover (ACC background) and Hearn (size and all the times he’s been drafted). Watson may catch up with/pass some of these guys pretty quickly.

    – I’m reserving more judgment than some on Schrock. I was surprised to see that he had played so much SS when the reports at the time of the draft were that he struggled defensively even at 2B. We’ll see. If he starts taking more walks and gets up to the 10 HR range, then I’ll get interested. It will be interesting to see if Schrock and Dulin end up doing any better than the Latin infielders moving through the ranks. Other than Bostick, there are not many guys ahead of them who are showing much promise.


    20 Oct 15 at 1:05 pm

  2. – Lee & Glover as steals: yeah definitely, though i’d also include the other over-slot guys Watson and Schrock. Schrock in particular I heard other pundits immediately call “a huge steal” during draft time.

    – Stevenson: very underslot signing … could be a factor in judging him. $308k under slot which basically dollar for dollar allowed them to sign Watson in the 34th. Plus (to your comment about Robles); in baseball you just can’t draft for need, you drat BPA almost always. And they probably didn’t know how much Robles was going to pop this year. Perkins may be slower to market so he’s a longer term play. Gotta be patient. Look how patient we had to be with Souza and Taylor.

    – Wiseman; havn’t seen video on him … but yeah 52 Ks in 210 ABs is …. not good. I’m ok with that many Ks if he had hit 15 homers in 210 abs.

    – Rivera; agree … i said “trending up” because I think he can move quickly, being a senior, now being a reliever. If he’s got 2 good pitches and has a lively arm he could be in play for the bullpen by mid next season. That was it. Much easier to make it as a reliever. NOt “trending up” because he had a stellar year. Totally agree that his failure to stick as a starter as a 4th rounder already makes him somewhat of a disappointment.

    – MIF depth in the system in general; very thin. Bats very thing all things considered. But this is what we get with Rizzo; draft a gazillion arms, trade/sign for bats.

    Todd Boss

    20 Oct 15 at 2:21 pm

  3. I thought it was you who had seen Wiseman on the CWS and pointed out how susceptible he is to swing through high strikes.

    I forgot to add my lack-of-power rant. Out of all the draftees, Wiseman and Kerian were the only ones who seemed to have any power potential coming out of college, then Kerian laid a goose egg in HRs at Auburn and Wiseman didn’t connect much. There was a lot of buzz about redrafting Byler, just for the power. I did see somewhere, I think in comments on Luke’s site, that Byler got suspended for PEDs.

    The whole Nat minor-league system has very, very little power right now, but that’s another rant for another time.


    20 Oct 15 at 7:51 pm

  4. I think that Perkins should get a lot of time before being judged. He’s a young kid being asked to try switch hitting at the pro level. There is no way to gauge what that does to him in all facets of the game right now, it’s a lot going on in his head right now. I’d say that he needs 3-4 years before judging the pick.

    As for the rest of the draft, I am not terribly hopeful. Rizzo seems to do well when he has a big pick. Many teams whiff on high picks, but he seems to get it right a lot more than wrong. But he hasn’t seemed to find many diamond in the rough types. I don’t know if that’s supported by facts, or just a feeling, but the roster seems populated by a lot of high picks. Just feels like other teams hit on the random 8th or 10th rounder that turns into a solid supporting player more than the Nats do.


    20 Oct 15 at 10:04 pm

  5. Todd, this type of thing is definitely in your wheelhouse. Great job, just don’t step on it.
    There is no where else to find stuff like this.

    Congratulations on your son’s birthday.

    Mark L

    20 Oct 15 at 11:30 pm

  6. Good list and review. Thanks! Few things:

    1) Wasn’t Perkins told to switch hit for the first time in his career, thereby increasing his value but probably hurting his numbers?

    2) Hearn definitely pitched some games for Auburn. We got his autograph there in early August, the day after he pitched a game.

    Andrew R

    21 Oct 15 at 12:35 am

  7. I do think I remember hearing that Perkins was trying switch-hitting. To be clear, I’m not meaning to put down Perkins specifically. My concern is much more with spending such a high pick on a high schooler who may be six years from the majors, during which time a lot can happen (see Souza’s winding road, or Hood’s failed journey, and Hood was an off-the-charts athlete).

    Wally, I would agree with you about Rizzo’s general draft record. Other than with the very high-profile picks, it hasn’t been spectacular. Some very high picks like Renda, Mooneyham, Johansen, and Goodwin (the last two still hanging on with the Nats) haven’t worked out at all, nor has throwing the overslot money at Purke. That said, there are a bunch of young RH arms from lower rounds who are progressing well through the system. Very, very few non-Latin hitters, though.

    Playoffs: The Mets are killing me! The poor Cubs look cursed for another hundred years. In the other series, we got another football score, and that second TD may have done in the Jays for good.


    21 Oct 15 at 5:28 am

  8. I guess it depends on where you draw the line between high picks and long shots. A.J. Cole and Nick Pivetta were 4th round picks, for example. But from where I’m sitting the reason we don’t think that Rizzo hits with the later round picks is that Rizzo leverages his hits into big league players. Robbie Ray was a 12th round pick, Lombardozzi a 19th round pick, and Rizzo turned them into two years of Doug Fister. Billy Burns was a 32nd round pick, and Rizzo turned him into Matt den Dekker (through Jerry Blevins). Nate Karns was a 12th round pick that Rizzo turned into three players in Jose Lobaton, Felipe Rivero and Drew Vettleson. Just because the players are not on the Nationals doesn’t mean that Rizzo hasn’t gotten value out of those picks.

    It’s rare when longshots make it – that’s why they’re longshots. So before I take Rizzo to task for the middle and later rounds I would be interested in seeing some kind of analysis of how productive those rounds have been for the Nats compared to that of the 29 other teams.

    John C.

    21 Oct 15 at 9:27 am

  9. Wiseman; yes i did point out he seemed to have holes in his swing in CWs: what I meant was, I havn’t seen whether or not he’s “fixed” them once he got into the Nats system.

    Perkins told to switch hit? That’s news to me and would definitely explain his poor numbers.

    Hearn in Auburn: did I miss that? My apologies. I have him in the Auburn rotation to end the year in my systme notes file (which I’ve yet to turn into summaries) but i got it wrong here. I’ll fix.

    Todd Boss

    21 Oct 15 at 10:57 am

  10. JohnC: agree on passing judgement on late round picks. Frankly (and I think you see this in my writing) when I see a mid 20s pick performing well and getting promoted, that’s a HUGE deal to me. That’s a guy who other teams have passed on 20 or 25 times and could have been had likely for the cash sitting in Rizzo’s wallet at the time, yet turned into a productive player. Wait til you see the 2014 and 2013 reviews (which are coming soon). there’s some amazing stories in there.

    A quibble though: Cole was paid like a 1st rounder, Ray was paid like a 2nd rounder. So its easy to kinda say those are one offs. Karns and Burns and Lombardozzi though? nO question: awesome picks, great player development.

    Todd Boss

    21 Oct 15 at 11:04 am

  11. All of this just goes to show what a crapshoot the draft remains, particularly beyond the top 15 picks or so.

    John’s point is well taken, along with Todd’s caveats on the overpays for Cole and Ray (not to mention Cole’s trade and return). The Nats have quite a number MiLB pitchers out there now who have made themselves good trade potential: Simms, Austen Williams, Mapes, Rauh, Bacus, etc., and that’s not even getting into the more premium level of Giolito, Lopez, and maybe Voth. I’d be shocked it they trade Giolito, but they’ll listen on the other guys.

    With Karns, if I’m not mistaken, he was a TJ coming out of college, which is why he dropped. His numbers weren’t even that good in college.


    21 Oct 15 at 1:22 pm

  12. My big beef with draft classes is with “misses” in the first and second rounds. If you’re plunking down a million bucks for someone, you just can’t miss. And when you’re plunking down a million bucks on a college player, with a very established playing history and no real questions about the level of competition he’s playing and you still miss? Inexcusable.

    Todd Boss

    21 Oct 15 at 3:28 pm

  13. Ironically, BA article from yesterday briefly mentioning Perkins switch hitting.

    Andrew R

    21 Oct 15 at 6:47 pm

  14. The way I look at the minor league system is that it needs to be able to produce 2-4 guys per year for the big league team. They spread their chips around the draft and hope to get a few winners per year.

    While it would be nice to hit on the expensive guys, it’s not that easy. Reminds me of my fantasy football league where my first pick Eddie Lacy is terrible but Cam Newton was a late round pick and is doing really well. The team is doing well so that’s fine.

    The fact that we have cheap guys like Difo and Severino about ready to make an impact is a huge help.

    Andrew R

    21 Oct 15 at 6:51 pm

  15. The point about trading guys who turn into contributors for other teams is a good one but its way more complicated than I can do to figure that out for each team, and then compare them. And also to parcel out what is due to scouting v. player development, and which real gains in PD occurred on which team’s watch, in case of trades. That was hard just to type it.

    But teams miss all the time. I’d guess the failure rate on top 10 picks in the first round – the closest to a sure thing – is ~30%. And increases dramatically as you slide down the first round and even more into the second. It’s just the nature of the beast. Predicting hitting is very hard and involves much more than measuring bat speed, and you really can’t tell how someone is going to do until they get to the majors. It’s why a guy like Dom Brown can be the #1 overall prospect in baseball and yet never really be a quality MLB player.

    So I think it’s to Rizzo’s credit that when he has had a high pick, he has hit on it. Even Storen was a hit, although quite possibly not the best pick at 10.


    22 Oct 15 at 9:27 am

  16. Great link at BA AndrewR; i was waiting for the Nats “draft report card” to come out. I’ll edit the original post to account for the Perkins switch hitting; clearly I should not have judged him as hard.

    Draft Class hits/misses: after the 2014 draft (which I hated), i wrote a huge post trying to explain what I consider a “good” or a “bad” draft class. . It had these six criteria:
    a. 1st rounder: future MLB above average regular to all-star
    b. 2nd rounder: future MLB regular
    c. 3rd-5th: expect at least one future MLB player in at least a backup/bullpen role
    d. 6th-10th: hope for at least one player to reach the MLB level.
    e. 11th-20th: hope for at least three players who matriculate to AA or higher
    f. 20th and above: hope for one-two players to matriculate to AA or higher

    This is kind of consistent with AndrewR’s “2-4 MLB players” out of each class … and frankly now with the new bonus rules rounds 6-10 are generally like drafting 30th rounders in the past, so these criteria need to be slightly modified going forward.

    Todd Boss

    22 Oct 15 at 9:50 am

  17. Non-draft news: Mattingly out with the Dodgers. Does he immediately become a leading contender for the Nats’ job, or do the Nats need to pick up their selection pace before the Dodgers up the ante?

    My favorite thus far on the managerial interviewee front thus far has been Wotus. He’s seen up close, and had a hand in, a lot of playoff success.


    22 Oct 15 at 11:58 am

  18. Todd, I was just thinking about your draft success/failure post this morning and was going to ask if you could post a link. I’d refine things a little more, sort of as Wally has, and make top 15 picks a separate category. On that level, really the most important one, the Nats haven’t missed since Crow. Strasburg, Storen, Harper, Rendon, and Giolito are legit and have more or less become the foundation of the franchise. One could quibble (many have) with using a pick on a reliever, but Storen made the majors quickly and by and large has been successful. (And no, they likely wouldn’t have picked Trout instead, considering how many other teams passed on him.) I’ve also wondered for a long time whether Wacha would have made more sense than Giolito for a team already on the cusp, but Giolito still has the chance to be the #1 starter than Wacha isn’t.

    While all of these picks now seem like slam-dunks, teams miss on top 15 picks every year, so I do give Rizzo & Co. a lot of credit for not blowing any of them.

    It’s at the next level where the Nats have really failed, late first-rounders through the second round. They haven’t had a truly successful second rounder since JZimm in ’07. (Solis is still sorta in the picture, but as a reliever). They flipped late first-rounder Meyer for Span, but Meyer himself still hasn’t really made it and will probably be a reliever. From the same category, Goodwin has his career currently on life-support after being demoted to AA and struggling. The failures at this level, and the barely marginal success in rounds 3-5, have left the team desperate for depth and in the bullpen.

    All in all, the Nats have had a consistent problem IDing solid guys beyond the top 15 overall prospects. That’s not all Rizzo’s fault, of course. In fact, I blame a fair amount of it on Roy Clark, the supposed draft guru who was poached by the Dodgers. Yes, there have been a few later-round successes here and there, but some draft years are looking like wastelands. Giolito may be the only guy to make the majors out of 2012, unless Kieboom or Rauh straggle through. There may be a few from 2013 and 2014 who make it, but the overall starts from those classes are not promising. I’m more encouraged by the start of the 2015 class, but I don’t know that there are any stars in it unless Glover or Lee turn out to be a lights-out closer. So the Nats are left filling out their MLB roster with trades, FAs, and cattle calls like the one that found Clint Robinson. I foresee a similar call next spring for RH bats to upgrade from TMo and Uggla. That player sure doesn’t exist among their current minor-leaguers.


    22 Oct 15 at 12:33 pm

  19. I wonder if Mattingly won’t take some time off instead of immediately jumping into the fray and interviewing.

    I like Bud Black from SD.

    Todd Boss

    22 Oct 15 at 4:00 pm

  20. Hard to quibble with the Storen pick since it had no safety net on it; they just had to pick a guy they knew would sign, knowing the pick would disappear if he didn’t sign.

    I think the story on Wacha vs Giolito was that at the time of the pick, Nats had them 1-2 on the board and went with Giolito as the up-side play. One more pick and maybe they get Wacha.

    Totally agree that they’ve blown way too many 2nd rounders. Their 2nd round performance has been atrocious frankly. Stevenson/Perkins?, Suarez (didn’t sign), Johansen (may be closer to getting released than producting), Tony Renda and Jeff Kobernus; weak hitting 2nd basemen from lesser college programs, why? Sammy Solis; yes he’s finally made it but as a marginal loogy. Hood=fail. You have to go back before Rizzo was even here to find a good 2nd rounder; 2007’s Jordan Zimmermann.

    Todd Boss

    22 Oct 15 at 4:04 pm

  21. Saw you had Taylor Guilbeau in the GCL and he was actually only there for 2 weeks. Wa in Auburn the rest of the A Short Season.


    31 Oct 15 at 9:16 pm

  22. […] John Sickels and reviewed all our draft classes statistically.  Last years set of posts (2015 draft class, 2014 draft class, 2013 draft class, 2012 draft class and 2011 draft class) turned into a great […]

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