Nationals Arm Race

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

2016 Season Statistical review of the 2016 Draft Class

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Dane Dunning was a 1st round pick and was arguably the best producer in 2016 of his draft class. Photo via gatorcountry.com

Dane Dunning was a 1st round pick and was arguably the best producer in 2016 of his draft class. Photo via gatorcountry.com

Editor note: from this post forward i’m going to start tweeting out via the new Nationals Arm Race twitter account.  @natsarmrace is the account.  I’m going to try to do a better job promoting the blog and its posts since, hey, why not.  Feel free to follow me there and retweet if you’re into that to get more people involved in the discussion.

In years past, I’ve adapted a topic stolen from minorleagueball.com’s John Sickels and reviewed all our draft classes statistically.  Last years set of posts (2015 draft class, 2014 draft class, 2013 draft class2012 draft class and 2011 draft class) turned into a great way to see how everyone was doing, and helped me write rotation reviews later on.  So let’s do it again!  Using last year’s posts to help make this year’s writing go better, we’re going to do another series of posts on each draft class.

First up; 2016’s class.  Here’s a fast review of the 2016 draft class, looking at their 2016 numbers and making some snap judgments.

Web links to use while reading:

  • Stats are pulled from milb.com and/or fangraphs.com; put the player name into the search bar to get his seasonal stats
  • The MLB.com 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.
  • More obscure stats on players are sometimes found at places like thebaseballcube.com, perfectgame.org, their college websites, twitter accounts for the players, and good old fashioned deep-dive googling.

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?  :-).  I solicit any and all feedback from those who actually saw the games, who think differently or who have inside information that i’ve missed here (like last year when we found out that Perkins was converting to switch hitting).

Without further ado:

Round 1: Carter Kieboom, SS, Walton HS (Georgia).  Slashed .244/.323/.452 in 135 at-bats in the GCL, signing four days after being drafted and thus getting as full of a season in as could be expected.  43/12 K/BB in 135 ABs, 4 homers, 1 SB in 36 games.  He played SS exclusively and made 9 errors in 31 games in the field.   When he did hit the ball, he hit for a decent amount of power (.452 slugging).  At age 18 he’s still a year and a half younger than the average age of the GCL, so this is a positive start.   Still, I think he’d be hard pressed to make a full season squad in 2017, so I’d expect him to repeat GCL in 2017.  Trending Steady.

Round 1: Dane Dunning, RHP (starter) Coll Jr from UFlorida.   3-2, 2.14 ERA in Short-A (ignoring 2 innings at the GCL) with 29/7 K/BB in 33 2/3IP (7 app, 7 starts, 1 CG).  0.98 whip, 2.57 FIP, .263 babip.   He gave up 26 hits and one homer in those 33 innings, which is more or less in-line with the numbers he posted for the University of Florida his junior  year in a swing-man role.  I like Dunning and I like his approach; he comes right at you, doesn’t shy away from contact, and makes you hit his pitch.  He had a sub 1.00 whip, which is great from a starter at any level.  He doesn’t have eye-popping stuff, but he seems to consistently getting guys out.  You can’t ask for a better apprenticeship than Florida and SEC baseball, so he seems like a good candidate to jump from Low-A to High-A next season.   Trending Up.

Round 2: Sheldon Neuse, 3B Coll Jr. from Oklahoma.  Slashed .230/.305/.341 in 36 games in Short-A.  26/13 K/BB in 126 ABs, 1HR, 2SB.  Played mostly 3B (filled in 6 games at Short) and made 5 errors in 222 innings while playing third.  Neuse struggled a bit in his first pro season, not hitting anywhere close to the .369/.465/.646 slash line he put up in his stellar junior year.   And he ended up missing nearly half the season in two separate stints of inactivity.  I’d definitely say this is a disappointing debut season, but luckily for Neuse he’s a big bonus kid so he’ll get plenty of time to work things out.  I fully expect to see him starting at 3B for Hagerstown next year; he’s not going to be kept in XST to start the year.  Though I will say it was interesting to see that a 17th rounder from this same draft “jumped” Neuse and finished the year starting at 3B for Low-A (more on that later).  Trending Steady, barely.

Round 3: Jesus Luzardo, LHP (starter) from S. Douglas HS (FL).  No Stats in 2016; he had Tommy John surgery on 3/22/16 and spent the season on the GCL D/L.  We’ll see him in the GCL next year.  Trending Steady.

Round 4: Nick Banks, OF (Corner) Coll Jr. from Texas A&M: Slashed .277/.310/.320 in 60 games in Short-A.  37/11 K/BB in 231 ABs, Zero homers, 7 SBs.   Not a ton of power from Banks in his first pro season; he slugged just 10 points higher than his OBP.  Banks is a tough one; I loved this pick back in June, so I’m not going to kill him yet, but clearly we need to see a bit more from a guy who is already relegated to a corner OF position.  I suppose its possible he’s still affected by the back surgery he had in late 2015 (that was the excuse for his college junior stats falling off), but that’s nearly a year in the rear-view mirror by now.   He’s presumably pushing Rhett Wiseman up a level since they’re both upper round-drafted corner-only outfielders.  Trending Down.

Round 5: Daniel Johnson, OF (CF) Coll Jr. from New Mexico State.  Slashed .265/.312/.347 in 62 games in Short A.   42/7 K/BB in 245 ABs, 1HR, 13SBs split between playing CF and RF.   Wow; just 7 walks in 245 ABs; that’s not good.  As with Neuse and Banks, the slash line isn’t that impressive though Johnson managed better power numbers by showing a bit of gap power (9 doubles, 4 triples).   He should move up with his draft class to low-A next year, but (again, as with Neuse and Banks) we need to see some improvement and some patience at the plate.   Trending Steady.

Round 6: Tres Barrera, C Coll Jr. from Texas.  Slashed .244/.337/.366 in 48 starts behind the dish for Short-A.  22/15 K/BB in 164 ABs, 3HR, 0SB.  A solid season for the catcher, who led Auburn’s qualifying players in OPS on the year.  An interesting decision may eventually await the team; is Barrera good enough for the team to decide to cut bait on Jakson Reetz?   Reetz improved his numbers greatly this year (which we’ll discuss in the 2015 draft class review post), and there’s a straightforward promotion path for Reetz, Raudy Read and for Barrera this year … but it is going to get crowded at the top and soon.   Trending Up.

Round 7: Jacob “Jake” Noll, 2B Coll Sr. from FGCU.  Hit .318 in 18 games in Auburn and earned a promotion on 8/1/16 to Hagerstown.  Slashed .275/.332/.401 across 3 levels in 2016.   26/15 K/BB, 5homers, 3SB in 207 ABs.   A good season for a senior sign, who should start at 2B again for Hagerstown in 2017 and look to continue his excellent start to his career.  Trending Up.

Round 8: A.J. Bogucki, RHP (starter) Coll Jr. from UNC.  0-6, 8.20 ERA in 10 games (6 starts) for Auburn.  17/14 K/BB in 26 1/3 IP.  1.97whip, 4.53 FIP, .378 BABIP.   So clearly a 4-point delta between his ERA and FIP highlights a bit of unluckiness in Bogucki’s numbers this year.  Still, nearly 2 baserunners an inning is an awful place to reside.  He had two especially bad outings that helped inflate his numbers, but overall its hard to see Bogucki having a guaranteed full-season spot next year.  I presume he’s in XST and then re-trying short-A in 2017.   Trending Down.

Round 9: Joey Harris, C Coll Sr. From Gonzaga.  Slashed .301/.414/.329 in 26 games catching roughly every third day in the GCL.   15/9 K/BB, zero HR, 1SB in 73ABs.  He had a nice average .. but non-existent power even despite being a 22yr old in a rookie league.  Harris was a cut-rate bonus senior sign and the odds of him making it past next season’s draft seem slim.   Trending Down.

Round 10: Paul Panaccione, SS/Util Coll Sr. from Grand Canyon U.  Slashed just .205/.254/.250 in 50 games serving as a utility backup for Auburn.   20/9 K/BB, zero homers, 1 SB in 176ABs.   There doesn’t seem to be any cinderella stories with the senior signs this year; like Harris above, Panaccione seems like he’s a quick release once the 2017 class starts signing.  Trending Down.

Round 11: Armond Upshaw, OF (CF) J2 from Pensacola State CC.  Slashed .325/.391/.400 in 13 games (40 ABs) for the GCL.  He missed a couple of weeks in July then did not play after August 1st.  He had a promising start for sure and, assuming there’s not a serious, long-term injury he should make sense to perhaps compete for a spot at Low-A Hagerstown in 2017.  It’s too small sample size to really pass too much judgement, so we’ll go with Trending Steady.

Round 12: Hayden Howard, LHP (reliever) Coll Jr. from Texas Tech.  0-2 with a 5.06 ERA in 11 games for Short-A.  12/9 K/BB in 21 1/3 innings, 1.73 whip, 4.03FIP, .365 babip.   Not the best start from Howard, who was one of the last drafted players to sign and start his career.  He mostly pitched 2-3 inning relief stints but didn’t show much in the way of swing-and-miss stuff.  His BABIP shows he was a bit unlucky, and at the risk of over-reacting to 21 innings, I’d say he’s already on a short leash.  He’ll be competing for a bullpen spot in Hagerstown next year.   Trending Down.

Round 13: Conner Simonetti, 1B Coll Jr. from Kent State.  Slashed .280/.333/.446 for the GCL Nats.  54/13 K/BB ratio, 6  homers, 0 ABs playing 1B for the rookie league squad.  A college junior should have at least made the Short-A team; i’m guessing Simonetti was pushed to the GCL thanks to a numbers game.  54 strikeouts in 42 games played against guys who were 1-2 years younger is the biggest concern i’d have here; I would like to have seen more contact.  Just based on where he played in 2017, i’m going to say Trending Down.

Round 14: Kyle Simonds, RHP (reliever) Coll Sr. from Texas A&M: 0-3 with a 2.51 ERA in 13 games (3 starts) for Auburn.  27/8 K/BB in 32 1/3 innings.  1.08 whip, 3.43 fip, .272 BABIP.  A nice little season for the senior sign Simonds, who got a few “starts” (which I put in quotes because clearly they were doing tandem starts) but mostly was a 2-3inning middle reliever.  Good K/BB ratio, good overall numbers, kept baserunners to a minimum.  I think he’s a shoe-in for middle relief in Hagerstown next year.   Trending Up.

Round 15: Ryan Williamson, LHP (starter) Coll Jr. from NC State: No Stats in 2016; he had Tommy John surgery on 6/22/16 with Dr. Andrews and spent the season on the GCL D/L.  We’ll see him in XST next year to start and then likely with Auburn in 2017.  If he recovers, this could be another nice pick for the Nats; he had promising numbers as a weekend starter for NC State this year (7-2, 2.69 ERA in 13 starts)   Trending Steady.

Round 16: Phil Morse, RHP (reliever) Coll Sr. from Shenandoah U (by way of McLean HS): 1-0, 7.79 ERA in 19 games as a late-innings reliever for Auburn.  23/13 K/BB ratio in 21 innings, 2.24 whip, 3.37 fip, .508 babip.  So, at first glance his ERA and WHIP look awful.  But look at his BABIP: above .500!  That’s 200 points or more above where it should be, and his FIP indicates it.  So, hopefully the Nats officials also see this vast discrepancy and give him another shot.  It looks like he was used as an 8th/9th inning guy because of stuff, so in short outings one string of hits can really inflate your stats.  I think he gets another look in the Hagerstown bullpen next year.  Trending Steady.

Round 17:  Tyler Beckwith, MIF Coll Sr. from URichmond; slashed .253/.330/.331 across 45 games across two levels.  44/16 K/BB ratio, 1HR, 5SB in 166 ABs.  Beckwith spent most of the season in the GCL despite being a college senior sign, then interestingly was promoted to Hagerstown to finish out the season.  He split time evenly between 2B, SS (his drafted position) and 3B.  In the GCL, his OBP was higher than his slugging, indicating very little power potential here.  He will compete for a full season job but already seems behind higher-drafted players from 2016 (Neuse, Noll) plus some aging IFAs from the D.R., plus some hangers on from prior drafts.  He could be a release candidate soon after the 2017 class is drafted.   Trending Down.

Round 18: Ben Braymer, LHP (Starter) Coll Jr. from Auburn: 0-2 with a 4.12 ERA in 8 games (2 starts).   24/13 K/BB in 19 2/3rds innings, 1.32whip, 3.02 fip, .289 babip.  Braymer was used as a notional “starter” despite not getting the official starts; he was kept on a starter’s regime for the GCL but was shut down in early August (unsure if injury or just innings limits).  He was a Junior out of Auburn, where he was a highly regarded Juco transfer and was used as a swingman.  I’d like to see how he’d fare against like-aged players; more than a K/inning but against rookie league guys.  I’m hoping he competes for at least the Hagerstown rotation next year.   Trending Steady.

Round 19: Jarrett Gonzales, C from Madison HS in San Antonio; did not sign, apparently honored his college commitment.  At the time of the draft, I had him committed to Grayson Junior College in Denison, North Texas.   However, perfectgame.org now has him committed to Dallas Baptist University.  He is cousins w/ Garrett (our 32nd round pick, see below) and nephew of Nats scout Jimmy Gonzalez.  Initially I thought this might have been a “favor pick,” but you don’t generally blow 19th round picks (35th round?  yes).  The fact that he’s going to a powerhouse baseball program lends a bit more credence to his drafting in this spot.

Round 20:  Jake Barnett, LHP (starter) Coll Jr from Lewis-Clark State (Idaho).  0-0, 1.80 ERA in 2 games and just 5IP for the GCL.  Barnett signed on 6/20, reported to Florida on 6/24, pitched on 6/25 and then again on 7/1 … and then didn’t pitch again.  There’s no D/L assignment.  I guess we have to say he’s  Trending Steady until we find out his fate next spring.

Round 21: Jacob Howell RHP (reliever) Coll Jr. from Delta State (Miss.).  Posted a 2-1 record with a 3.49 ERA across 28.1 innings and three levels.   Looking just at his time in Hagerstown; 4.57 ERA, 15/7 K/BB in 21 2/3 innings.  1.25 WHIP, 3.59 FIP, .279 Babip.  Howell quickly moved from the GCL through Auburn to live in Hagerstown for most of the year, becoming the first 2016 draftee to matriculate to full-season ball.  Not bad for a 21st rounder from a small school.  His FIP indicates that his numbers are better, and his season was cut short a month with injury.  I’d suspect he’ll start again in Hagerstown in 2017 (unless his injury was serious) and move on up from there.  Good first pro season.  Trending Up.

Round 22: Sterling Sharp, RHP (starter)  Coll Jr. Drury (Mo.).  Posted a 3-0 record with a 3.24 ERA in 11 games (7 “starts”) in the GCL before getting an end-of-season promotion to Auburn.  35/6 K/BB in 41 2/3 innings in GCL.  1.27whip, 2.85 fip, .354 babip.  Nice looking numbers, much better than his college numbers this year, but done against younger competition even given the fact that he went to a smaller school.  His one Auburn start was solid and efficient; 5 innings, 2 runs on 69 pitches.  I like what I see, but will repeat the typical age-related caveat for all college kids in the GCL.  We’ll know more when he hits a Short-A or Full-season league.  Trending Up.

Round 23: Michael Rishwain,  RHP (reliever) Col Sr. Westmont (Calif.); was 1-0 with a 3.63 ERA in 13 relief appearances in the GCL.  14/5 K/BB in 17 1/3 innings.  1.90 whip, 2.58fip, .400 babip.  His usage was odd; he only pitched about every 5th day despite not being a “starter” in the GCL, and had several “gaps” of more than a week between appearances.    He also gave up a gazillion hits; 28 in his 17 innings to go along with a few walks, hence the inflated WHIP.  If they were holding him back to manage his innings that is one thing; if he was only getting brief looks because every time he got on the mound 2 guys got on base, then he may not be long for the season.  I see him as a long-shot to make a full-season bullpen and he may be a mid-season 2017 release.   Trending Down.

Round 24:  Joseph Baltrip RHP (reliever) J2 from Wharton County (Texas) JC; went 2-1 with a 1.38 ERA in 16 relief appearances in the GCL.  17/23 K/BB in 26IP.  1.46whip, 5.40 fip, .194 BABIP.  Well, I loved the ERA until I saw the K/BB ratio; he walked 23 guys in 26 innings.  Look at the delta between his ERA and FIP.  Despite being a J2 guy, he was 21 at the point of drafting so he’s the same age as a typical College Junior.  Clearly he’s got some control issues to work on.  As with previous college RHP relievers who were in the GCL all year, results need to be shown in like-age leagues and soon.   Trending Down.

Round 25:  Branden Boggetto, SS Col Sr. Southeast Missouri State.  Slashed .280/.328/.411 in 32 games in the GCL.  13/6 K/BB ratio, 3 homers, 2 SBs in 107 ABs.  Drafted as a SS, he played mostly 2B in the GCL this season.   Solid enough numbers for Boggetto, but (and I feel like a broken record) he’s 22.  I’m guessing he has a shot at a utility position for a team next season, but the roster’s crowded.  Trending Down.

Round 26:  Jack Sundberg OF (corner) Col Sr. Connecticut.  Slashed .256/.346/.340 while earning two promotions and ending the season in Hagerstown.  33/22 K/BB ratio, 1 homer, 12SB in his three stops.  You cannot complain about a 26th rounder who earned two promotions, even if the jump from Short-A to Low-A seemed odd based on his stat line in Auburn.  He played mostly LF, where you hope for a bit more power.   He did feature at CF a bit, so perhaps it was a positional thing.  A great first pro season.  Trending Up.

Round 27:  Jeremy McDonald, LHP (starter/reliever) Col Sr. California Baptist.  Went 2-1 with a 3.42 ERA in 11 appearances in the GCL.   27/5 K/BB ratio, 1.22 whip, 1.85 fip, .338 BABIP.  Yes he’s old for the level (he turned 23 just after the season ended), but clearly he’s got some command.  Nearly a 6-1 K-BB ratio is great.  I’m slightly surprised he didn’t get bumped up to one of the A-ball levels, but (like a few before him) he seemed to be on a starters schedule all season.  He generally went every 5th or 6th day even though he was only throwing 2-3 innings at a time.  I can see him competing for rotations in Low- or Short-A next year.   Trending Up.

Round 28:  Jonathan “Jonny” Reid, LHP (starter/reliever) Col Jr. Azusa Pacific (Calif.).  Went 3-1 with a 2.50 ERA across two levels, ending the year in Auburn.  24/7 K/BB, 0.94 whip, 4.41 fip (in Auburn), .281 babip (in Auburn).  Reid quickly proved to be unhittable in the GCL (8 hits in 15 2/3 innings) and got jumped to Auburn after a month.  There he pitched on a starter’s rotation, going every 5th day or so for 2-3 inning stints and finished with a 3.10 ERA in 7 outings.  He should compete nicely for a full-season rotation job or at least have a look at being a longer-man out of the pen.  Trending Up.

Round 29:  Sam Held RHP (starter/reliever) Col Sr. Nevada.  Went 1-2 with a 1.86 ERA across three levels, ending the year in Hagerstown.  22/8 K/BB ratio, 1.14whip combined for the year.  Like a couple guys before him. Held quickly showed he was too good for the GCL and got jumped to Auburn after three weeks.  There, he held his own for  a month of tandem starter appearances before finishing the last few weeks in Hagerstown.  He more than held his own once he got to full-season ball and should at least start there in 2017.  Trending Up.

Round 30:  Tristan Clarke, OF J2 Eastern Oklahoma State JC.  Did not sign, honored his commitment out of JuCo to attend the University of New Orleans.

Round 31:  C.J. Picerni, C Col Sr. New York.  Had just 8 ABs for the GCL, and it took 5 weeks for him to even get an appearance.   No idea what to think here; was he hurt?  Given his draft round and his lack of playing time, you can only assume he’s a short-timer until we get more information.  Trending Down.

Round 32:  Garrett Gonzales, 3B HS San Antonio HS in Texas.   Did not sign, honored his college commitment to Incarnate Word.  As noted above, he is cousins w/ Jarrett (our 19th round pick).  This seems like a “favor pick” for sure; he’s reportedly the son of a Nats area scout.

Round 33:  Ryan Wetzel SS Heritage Christian Academy in Overland Park, Kansas.   Did not sign, honored his college commitment to Pitt State.   The son of a special assistant to the GM for the Nationals, so definitely another “favor pick.”

Round 34:  Morgan Cooper, RHP (starter) Col Jr. Texas.  Did not sign, decided to return for his senior year (technically his redshirt junior year) at Texas.  He had Tommy John surgery, which caused him to miss the whole 2015 season.  In 2016 he was a mid-week starter for Texas, so likely he wanted to return to Texas to improve his draft standing for 2017.  Makes sense.  If he can produce as a weekend starter in the Big12 two  years removed from surgery he’ll be looking at a decent bonus next year.

Round 35:  Tristan Bayless LHP (starter) Hutto (Texas) HS.  Did not sign, honoring his commitment to McLennan Community College.  Bayless had a nice season on the mound for his prep team but was not a heavily scouted or recruited player apparently.  PerfectGame had very little on him and only some deep googling returned his Juco commitment.

Round 36:  Jordan McFarland OF  Waterloo (Ill.) HS.  Did not sign, honoring his commitment to Arkansas.  McFarland was a big-time player; a 2nd-team PerfectGame All American and this may have been the Nats planting a seed for a pick three years from now.

Round 37;  Cory Voss C J2 McLennan (Texas) CC.  Did not sign, honoring his planned transfer to U of Arizona for 2017.  Voss played his freshman year at New Mexico, went JuCo sophomore year and then was playing in the Cape this past summer.  He joins a very good recruiting class for Arizona and will be back in next year’s draft.

Round 38:  Noah Murdock RHP (starter) Colonial Heights (Va.) HS.  Did not sign, will honor his commitment to UVA.  Murdock was one of the players I was tracking all spring and once he passed out of the top 10 rounds it was clear he’d go to school.  He will help augment a UVA rotation that lost its ace and may be struggling for starters in 2017.

Round 39:  Matt Mervis 1B  Georgetown Prep HS, North Bethesda, Md.  Did not sign, will honor his commitment to Duke.   Another local kid drafted; Mervis was no favor pick.  He was highly ranked (the #1 prep player in Maryland according to one source Prep Baseball) but clearly going to Duke is a better alternative than a minimum bonus at this spot.

Round 40:  Sean Cook RHP (starter) Whitman HS, Bethesda, Md.  Did not sign, will attend Maryland and “attempt to walk-on.”  Definitely seems like a “favor” draft pick to someone, in that Cook was not on anyone’s radar, does not have a perfectgame profile and is not even a guarantee to make Maryland’s team.   Perhaps further evidence that the MLB draft is still 8-10 rounds too long.

 


Trending Summary:

  • Trending Up (10): Dunning, Barrera, Noll, Simonds, Howell, Sharp, Sundberg, McDonald, Reid, Held
  • Trending steady (7): Kieboom, Neuse,  Johnson, Upshaw, Morse, Braymer, Barnett
  • Trending steady b/c they’re injured all year (2): Luzardo, Williamson 
  • Trending Down (11): Banks, Bogucki, Harris, Panaccione, Howard, Simonetti, Beckwith, Rishwain, Baltrip, Boggetto, Picerni
  • Did Not Sign (11): Gonzales, Clarke, Gonzales, Wetzel, Cooper, Bayless, McFarland, Voss, Murdock, Mervis, Cook

Executive Summary

So far, the key names out of this draft have done decently.  I’m worried about Banks and (to a lesser extent) Neuse.  Its great to see 20th+ round guys like Reid and (especially) Held produce and earn promotions; that’s a feather in the cap of the scouting department for those finds.  Its just a half a season of course, but plenty of guys are on course or impressing out of this class.

 

48 Responses to '2016 Season Statistical review of the 2016 Draft Class'

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  1. Lots of stuff to dig into here, but not a lot of time. Quick random thoughts:

    — Much of the perceived success of this draft will ultimately ride on whether the two high-schoolers at the top of the draft make it, and whether Dunning can remain a starter.

    — Overall, the scouts seem to have made better calls on the pitchers than the hitters. This ain’t nothing new!

    — Good early returns on Dunning, despite his long college season. The hope would be that he can move through Hagerstown in good order in ’17 and spend perhaps half a season at Potomac.

    — Like Todd, I had hopes on Neuse and particularly Banks that have been somewhat shaken. The one positive I can point out on both is that neither struck out too much. Banks in particular had some contact issues in college. I’m willing to cut him a little slack after a long and somewhat disappointing college season/fall in draft stock. It will be interesting to see if they get social promotions for full seasons in Hagerstown.

    — I still don’t understand the big bonus for Upshaw. To me, he profiles a lot like Johnson.

    — Simonetti was probably held back due in part to his high K total, and in part because the Nats gave every chance in the world (and then some) to Ripken and Kerian at Auburn, blocking the 1B/DH path. I hope they show the same patience with Simonetti, who seems to have a lot more power than those guys.

    — Jacob Howell very quietly was the faster mover of the draft class. Is he this year’s Brinley?

    KW

    1 Nov 16 at 12:53 pm

  2. Todd, thank you for doing this. It’s generous and very helpful. Let me add a bit of color to items I might disagree with or perhaps need more elaboration.

    One point that is overlooked but ought to be heavily factored in to broader assessments; the Nats have swelling depth in the lower minor leagues at numerous positions. Into this depth dropped many college products. They kept some players in the GCL who otherwise would not be, and kept other players, even in the GCL, on the bench. So we have a number of players in the system who have promise but we would not know about it until next year. Some of those are draft picks as noted below.

    Also, the returns on the Nats international drafting and signing continue to hold promise. Lopez, Severino, and Difo’s ascent to the bigs are the most visible story, but the real story is the breakout tracks that Robles and now Juan Soto are on. The latter skiped the DSL and then blew up in the GCL. This was the biggest impact story in the Nats minor leagues this year, to me.

    Take a look at the GCL roster now – TWO underage players, recently drafted, are ALREADY to start 2017 skipping the DSL. TWO (Amoroso and Alvarado)! And they are not even the big bonus players that the Nats splashed with this year. This is pre-instructional league!

    So what we are seeing is a continuing maturing and indeed influence on the Nats organization from the bottom up on the affordable international level. This will affect everything from decisions about how long a leash players get to show their talent to how aggressive the team is in making Andrew Miller (overpay) types of deals next year. My early read of the Nats organization is that — depending on the success of this draft class next year — we will see a greater depth and depth from which to make the necessary acquisitions mid-season. How that translates now, in the off season, is unclear.

    What we do know is that the delicate decision making of last year (losing JZimm, Span, Fister, and Desmond) was largely validated. None of those players would have made a difference for the nats this year, and I have been the biggest “big bat” advocate for years (Desmond would have stunk up the Dodger series as he has before).

    And we all know how Daniel Murphy turned out. WORTH every bit the draft pick he cost.

    So with all of those reference points noted….

    1) Dunning – Thought to be overdrafted, and as it turns out, acquitted himself well as a starting pitcher. Good scouting sign for the guys running the draft — especially since both he and Kieboom were signability picks.

    2)Neuse – He was such an underperformer offensively that one has to HOPE that a start after a year’s rest will make a difference with a big rebound next year.

    3) Luzardo – He will be largely irrelevant next year, but we draft-and-forgot Fedde as well. He obviously is turning out quite well.

    6) Barrera – I continue to be high on Jakson Reetz. Where he starts next year is anybody’s guess, but it won’t be Barrera that displaces him. In fact, lower level catching is logjammed in the system. Jeyner Baez is one of those kids who could not see the field (injury?) but has yet to fail. I don;t see Barrera having the defensive skills to make it all the way. Nor do I see that in Raudy Read (yet). Next year is Reetz’ opportunity to make a move at age 21, especially with Kieboom fading, Severino’s fate ripening and Wilson at least temporarily out of the picture. Which brings me to…

    9) Joey Harris – Old for the level but defensively elite. Handles the tools of ignorance too well to be cast aside and he won’t be.

    11) Upshaw – is a mystery talent with nice measurables and athleticism with little manifest power now — in a system with many athletic CF types right now. The Nats threw a lot of money at him, though, and seeing how that worked with players like Schrock, he bears watching.

    12) Howard – When you go from deep in the College World series to riding the bus after a long year, a letdown is not necessarily a shock. A lefty reliever with a good pedigree will get needed attention over the off season and come back fresh. I’m not so disenchanted.

    13) Simonetti – So long as Ryan Ripken was in the system, he had nowhere to shine, so he showcased his power in the GCL. It’s the end of the line for players like Ripken and David Kerian, so I think we will see Simonetti get a chance that the others did.

    14) Kyle Simonds – I think he has a future as a starting pitcher, and we may see that next year unless there is too much depth in front of him at Hagerstown (which gets the whole complement of the exciting Auburn starting staff – Watson, Davis, Dunning, Ramirez, Mills). He has a whole offseason to compete and has major college experience behind him.

    forensicane

    1 Nov 16 at 1:49 pm

  3. It bears repeating that players ripen in their first year over the minor league instructional session. Byron Kerr does a great job of telegraphing who the comers are every year and this year he was the first to call attention to Weston Davis, McKenzie Mills, and Ian Sagdal, three players whose results prior to that provided no cause for optimism at all.

    All three of them blossomed this year and will be heard from. At this time next year, hopefully we will have had other pleasant surprises from the draft class.

    The one thing 2016 is lacking is the dominant performances we saw in 2015 from Koda Glover and Andrew Lee. The Nats continue to show their highest ceiling talent emerging from the Latin pool, and I hope that is why they signed so many (19!!!!) this year. Good forward thinking.

    forensicane

    1 Nov 16 at 2:11 pm

  4. Great post, Todd. I am still enthusiastic about this group, and put almost no stock in how a prospect does in the year that he is drafted. I figure the adjustment to pro ball and length of season makes that a crapshoot that they just need to get through unscathed.

    I’ll look forward to seeing their performance this year. As for the other guys, I also like some of the less heralded guys Fore mentions, especially Davis and Sagdal. Sagdal pops up occasionally in other writers chats/reports too, and seems like he is just a pure hitter.

    Wally

    1 Nov 16 at 8:18 pm

  5. I want to echo what forensicane said about Reetz, who was only 20 this past season and would be preparing to be drafted next year if had he gone to college. Reetz elevated his OPS to back over .700 as one of the youngest players in the Sally League. He also hit twice as many home runs and nearly twice as many doubles as Severino did at Syracuse in roughly the same number of at bats. This next season will be key for Reetz, another big leap forward in his performance would really put him on the prospect radar.

    Karl Kolchack

    1 Nov 16 at 10:59 pm

  6. Someone, possibly Karl, pointed out at Nats Prospects recently, relative to Drew Ward, that the last everyday regular for the home team that the franchise has produced from a high school draft pick is . . . Desmond, who was technically an Expo draftee. That was a stark reminder of just how difficult it is to get a high schooler to the finish line, as we ponder guys like Kieboom, Luzardo, and Reetz. Michael Taylor was a high schooler who still hasn’t made it as a regular. Souza more or less has, but with another team.

    Anonymous

    2 Nov 16 at 8:28 am

  7. Anon was me.

    KW

    2 Nov 16 at 8:29 am

  8. My thing with Upshaw has to do with drafting yet another CF with little or no power . . . after spending the top two picks last year on Stevenson and Perkins. They’ve also got Bautista and Robles, with everyone still crossing fingers that Robles finds a power stroke. Perkins and Robles may be younger than Upshaw and and are younger than Johnson. But as absolutely devoid of power as this organization is, perhaps a few picks and Upshaw’s bonus money might have been better spent on some larger lugs with a few dingers to their credit.

    I’m not specifically targeting Upshaw, who did pretty well for himself. It’s more the high picks on guys like Johnson and the bonus money for Upshaw for an area that isn’t one of need for the organization.

    KW

    2 Nov 16 at 8:48 am

  9. High School draftees: its a great point, and is probably why Rizzo is so college-heavy (technically isn’t Bryce Harper a HS draftee though? :-) I mean, he was 17 at the time of his draft even if he was from “college.”

    Giolito will be a great test case; HS pitchers are even worse odds of making it than HS bats.

    Todd Boss

    2 Nov 16 at 9:35 am

  10. Bryce won the Golden Spikes award as college player of the year . . . at a JUCO! . . . in the year he should have been a HS junior . . .

    KW

    2 Nov 16 at 10:10 am

  11. Yeah, Bryce should count as an HS draftee, but he’s not really an example of the organization developing HS talent to the big league level (because he’s no ordinary HS talent).

    Derek

    2 Nov 16 at 11:41 am

  12. Even the most talented of the Nat HS prospects — Desi, Taylor, Souza, Hood, Drew Ward now — have through the years had serious K issues. Whether you write that off more to the Nats not trying to teach contact, or the Nats not really drafting high-contact guys, I don’t know. Kieboom averaged more than a K a game in his GCL look as well.

    If you’re striking out a lot in the minors, that number’s going up in the big leagues. See Taylor and Souza as just the most recent examples. If I’m remembering correctly, most clubs, in trying to figure the K jump from AAA to MLB, add about 20% in their major-league equivalences.

    KW

    2 Nov 16 at 2:09 pm

  13. Jeff Todd at MLBTR is up with the Nats’ offseason preview:

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2016/11/offseason-outlook-washington-nationals-6.html

    He covers a truckload of potential deals, including my Moss suggestion to take time from Zim and Werth, and Wally’s long-desired deal for Gardner.

    KW

    2 Nov 16 at 5:55 pm

  14. I don’t mind these speedy, defense-and-contact guys. I enjoy that style of play, which is probably why I am ok with it. But for a player to be good, they need a good hit tool. Power is nice but they can be very productive without it. Out of all those guys they have right now, excluding Robles, I think Perkins will have the best career. Not sure why, just a feeling.

    KW – I’m off Gardner now. Two years too late, he’s fading as a player. Eaton is now my guy. I’m willing to put Giolito or Ross into play for him. If they hadn’t signed Stras long term, then I wouldn’t but I think that Eaton fits very well now, and as Werth and Harp leave.

    I also find myself wanting to take a run at Trout. Ross, Lopez, Rendon and Robles for Trout too much :-)

    Wally

    2 Nov 16 at 7:58 pm

  15. Let the offseason officially begin! I’m not a Cubs fan at all, but at least now we can stop hearing about the dang curse . . . which nearly struck again. The curse of the overused closer.

    Wally, I’ve also been thinking through all the recent discussion about a Trout trade, although I’ve been hesitant to bring it up since no one thinks they’ll trade him. Of your proposal, the only one that it would really pain me to include would be Rendon, but it might have to happen. Here’s how I would load the bus: Gio, Giolito, Fedde, Cole, Gott, Espinosa, Taylor, Robles, Abreau, and Mejia. (For those counting, that’s 10 for 1.) If they want some other prospects, we’ll include them instead/in addition. The Angels have two gaping holes: pitching and prospects. That’s why I think the Nats can find some common trade ground with them, if not for Trout, then maybe for Simmons or Calhoun.

    Wouldn’t the baseball world, not to mention ESPN and Fox, just be beside itself with Trout and Harper in the same OF? You want some way to make people shut up about the Cubs, this would be it!

    KW

    3 Nov 16 at 5:28 am

  16. Well, at least we know that to get to a championship, the Nats have to build up to get to the Cubs level. There is a measurable spread between the two franchises.

    Count me among those who would welcome a run at a superstar bat — or two! Not all initiatives work out. The Cubs got Chapman, and they got Heyward, and the got Zobrist (and they are operating with a TV contract). They tinker and keep tinkering. So the Nats have work to do. I hope they resign Melancon.

    The Nats have some assets to trade, and I hope they bundle well. Rizzo has made some great trades, but the Escobar deal was underwhelming. So was the Schrock trade (I know, I know). So whether it is Danny or Taylor, I hope they bundle the players they are ready to move well and get a jump on inventory.

    Per above, some of the players who do not apparently have power may yet develop it in time, and I mean Upshaw. He is a raw athlete but he is not Daviel Johnson, who looks to be no bigger than 5’7 (maybe). Players mature and so will Upshaw.

    forensicane

    3 Nov 16 at 5:38 am

  17. Great stuff. Todd.
    The best part of Dunning is he was a reliever in college, so the coach didn’t have a chance to shred his arm while there.

    Banks was a big disappointment; 2017 is huge for him.

    Mark L

    3 Nov 16 at 7:59 am

  18. I don’t see that 10 for 1 trade being nearly enough. More than half wouldn’t register as valuable trade pieces. But the bigger caution is that I find it hard to see the Nats paying trout his $30+m salary with their current commitments. Not without MASN resolution, which looks a long way off. But it’s fun to dream on. I’d even consider a Harper + pitching for trout trade.

    Wally

    3 Nov 16 at 8:28 am

  19. Trout trade: I just don’t think he’s trade-able. No matter what the cost. Keep in mind he’s also on a 9-figure deal. Yes he’s the best player in the game, but he’s “only” a 10-win player. You could make a reasonable argument that a like for like deal from a WAR and money perspective would be something far less than 10 for 1. Like, Rendon (2016 bWAR 4.1 for $4M), Roark (5.5 bWAR for the MLB min), plus a couple of good prospects (likely our two best so Giolito/Lopez or more likely Giolito/Robles since Robles projects as a like for like replacement). So I look at this deal and say, hmm, that’s not too bad. But everyone else would be like that’s not nearly enough. But in terms of what he’s owed and the the max that he can provide in terms of value … there’s an upper limit. I just don’t see how anyone could make a trade for him that ends up looking “acceptable” to the owner of that franchise (who, it should be noted, has done a great job of running well-considered executives out of town and has by far the worst farm system in the league).

    Todd Boss

    3 Nov 16 at 8:59 am

  20. Another comment on FA considerations; remember, every deal the Nats are offering is half now, half later. As we discussed ad naseum last off-season, this likely cost us several players who ended up taking “less” money elsewhere (but “less” meant more now, not some now some later). And as long as this ridiculousness goes on with the MASN deal I can’t see how the Lerners don’t continue to operate in this fashion.

    One-off on FA market: just saw this nugget: https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2016/11/ian-desmond-switches-agencies.html . Desmond finally dumped the agent that gave him all that awful advice and cost him somewhere in the range of $50-$60M of career earnings. He should sue for malpractice. he’s still going to be screwed this coming off-season; he had just good enough of a season to likely warrant another debilitating QO but smart GMs will look at his season and be like, Yeah no way.

    So, who are the Boras clients heading into FA this off-season? By eyeballing the FA list and depending on mlbtraderumors Agency database, I see some names that maybe could pop up on the Nats radar as a result of our cozy relationship: Pedro Alvarez, Stephen Drew on a return (which i’d like), Carlos Gomez (interesting), Greg Holland (another very interesting possibility as a closer replacement), Matt Holliday (not that we need another aging OF).

    Todd Boss

    3 Nov 16 at 9:25 am

  21. Boz said in his chat this week that the MASN mess shouldn’t affect how the Nats do business. His point was that the Lerners have more than enough money to cover whatever they want to do, all the more so since they know that they’ll get the back pay eventually. That struck me as a very subtle calling out of the Lerners. We’ll see.

    I don’t know that Trout would be available, either, but hey, it’s the opening day of the offseason, so hope springs eternal! Part of the reason of why the Angels should consider trading him is to get out from under the impending financial obligation to him. Why should Arte pony up that much cash for one player when the rest of the team isn’t capable of doing anything?

    The reasons for the Nats to take on that obligation are that Trout would give them win-now firepower AND would extend “the window” out to at least four years, no matter whether Bryce and Murph stick around. Since Trout’s an East Coast guy, I would also think that the Nats might have a better chance of keeping him on the East Coast than they do Harper.

    It ain’t gonna happen . . . but it’s fun to dream.

    KW

    3 Nov 16 at 9:28 am

  22. Mark — I had a similar thought at the time of the draft, that Dunning would be a low-mileage college arm for a starter. Bogucki is a similar case, and I thought they might do the same thing with Hayden Howard. Howard, incidentally, is built pretty similarly to Andrew Miller, if we REALLY want to dream . . .

    Incidentally, this multi-inning use of reliever stuff that’s all the rage this postseason is nothing new. The colleges have never stopped doing it, with Dunning and Howard as prime examples.

    KW

    3 Nov 16 at 9:34 am

  23. On the Lerners: Yes we know they’re multi-billionares. But what evidence do we have to this point that indicates they’re willing to subsidize a loss on this team? I see none. I have plenty of observational and reported evidence that they’re treating the Nats like a business unit of Lerner Construction and it has to pull its weight. We’ve heard plenty of noise about how Detroit’s owner is willing to spend to win; have you ever heard or seen the Nats ownership do the same? No; every contract lately is deferred money, they just asked Werth to re-structure his deal, all in the name of pushing present dollars into the future.

    Todd Boss

    3 Nov 16 at 9:37 am

  24. Dunning: saw more than one analysis say that Dunning was the find on that Florida roster. In fact if you look at the usage of the Florida pitchers throughout the season, it was clear they thought AJ Puk was at best their third best arm despite all the noise about him going 1-1. I think the nats got a find and hopefully he matriculates into a very Tanner Roark-esque arm; not a mid 90s guy but a smart pitcher commanding the zone and working out to out.

    Todd Boss

    3 Nov 16 at 9:39 am

  25. Fore — yes, I think the bonus to Upshaw, and particularly the big bonus to Perkins, had a lot to do with “projectable power.” Is there such a thing? Scouts certainly believe in it. I remain a skeptic. I’m also a “power tool” skeptic on Robles after having seen him. He looked more like a gap-power type to me, more line drives than bombs. We’ll see. Taylor hit 13 HRs at age 20. That would be a good progression line to look for with these guys. Right now, the only one I truly believe will be hitting milestones like that is Soto.

    KW

    3 Nov 16 at 9:42 am

  26. Nats picked up Gio’s option, declined Petit’s. The offseason has begun. Five-day window with our own FA’s. I’d put 4/$60M in front of Melancon. Ramos . . . I still don’t know. Might listen more to what his agent is thinking than actually put anything out there at the start. The agent might ask if 3/$30M is still an option.

    There’s a lot of talk about getting Drew back. He’s still young enough to (rightly) believe that he could be an everyday player somewhere. He probably wants three years, even if he stays. He was awful in ’14, not great in ’15 except for dingers, so took the pillow contract in ’16. Would he do 3/$15M? Or is that risking another McLouth? I would think he and Boras are going to want more, though.

    Who knows about Heisey. His overall numbers weren’t that good, but boy did he deliver big-time in the clutch more than once.

    I wouldn’t mind having Belisle back, although the Nats have a lot of young RH arms. Scrabble could be more useful, but only at the right price. I’d only have Burnett and Latos back on minor-league deals.

    KW

    3 Nov 16 at 1:26 pm

  27. Regarding the Lerners, I don’t think you need look any further than this year’s trading deadline to see that they aren’t interested in doing anything that will cause them to take a loss on revenue, even if it cost the team a chance at a pennant. Of course, I think they are being very short sighted in not recognizing how much a WS victory would permanently increase their fan base (and therefore revenues) given that Washington is starving for a winner in any pro sport.

    You need look no further that the team’s tepid attendance in September to see that the novelty of the Nats being merely good has really worn off. Would a similarly situated Cardinals, Dodgers, Red Sox or Cubs team play to a half empty stadium every weeknight as they cruise to a divisional title? I think not.

    Long winded way of saying that I think what happens with season ticket renewals will be a key in how much the Nats allocate for payroll next year. If it drops again as it did between 2015 & 2016, I wouldn’t expect to see any major free agent signings.

    Karl Kolchack

    3 Nov 16 at 7:45 pm

  28. Karl on Attendance: I wonder if their “tepid” attendance once school starts isn’t just an indicator of the problem of having a stadium situated where it is. There’s no way in Hell I’d try to go to a mid-week game with a kid in school right now. I live in Vienna; its a 2 hour commitment to get to that stadium. Driving and Metro are both atrocious options. Now, if they had put the stadium where their fan base is … like say in the NoVa suburbs, I wonder if it isn’t a better option. Lets face it; south capital street is not exactly an enticing place to go visit. It isn’t wrigley ville with dozens of good restaurants and bars surrounding the stadium. it isn’t San Franciso with a beautiful stadium on the water just outside of a fun bustling area South of Market. its in the middle of nowhere. On one side is a bunch of office buildings that empty out at 4pm and on the other side is a cement factory and low-income housing. Honestly, I don’t ever see this team drawing well on a mid-week night when school is in session …

    When I lived in Arlington i had tickets and would go all the time … from Rosslyn to that stadium was STILL an hour by car.

    Todd Boss

    3 Nov 16 at 8:22 pm

  29. Todd, have you been to the Stadium lately? The neighborhood has changed a LOT, and more change is coming. They’ve moved the cement factory next to the river and put in a dock and a park. The Yards Park (between Nats Park and the Navy Yard) is a lovely walk – I was astonished when I went there late last year. New condominimum buildings are going up all over the place.

    http://www.capitolriverfront.org/do-business-here/development

    And I live between Rosslyn and the Courthouse Metro; when I drive home from Fort McNair during most games I’d be home in less than 30 minutes. After the playoff games no – but that was a result of sellout crowds that stayed until the end combined with no Metro at all.

    John C.

    3 Nov 16 at 11:06 pm

  30. KW — There’s a chance Ramos’s days as a catcher are over. I think he’s gone and will probably spend the rest of his career in the American League.

    I too would offer Melancon $4/60 even if the last 2 years of that might be iffy.

    Figure on 1 major trade this offseason; the teams makeup needs changing.

    Mark L

    4 Nov 16 at 8:15 am

  31. JohnC: yes was there for NLDS game and for a game in Sept. My impression of the area remains the same. Cement factory still there, low-rise low-income housing still there. The only thing between the metro and the stadium are a bunch of bars. Not exactly family friendly. Yes I know there’s been dev on the Navy yard side … but is it a destination yet? Nope.

    I understand patience is required. But this isn’t the MCI center, located directly on top of a metro and surrounded by areas easily converted to restaurant and mixed use. Its literally impossible to get to in a timely manner if you live in the western parts of Northern Virginia. And, not that i’ve necessarily seen a demographics study of the typical Nats fan … but i’d wager a guess that most of them are coming from the immediate northwest suburbs of the city and both of those areas are seeing massive growth upwards and outwards (Germantown, Frederick, Ashburn, Leesburg). Who is driving to a game from there on a regular basis, or on a school night?

    Todd Boss

    4 Nov 16 at 8:50 am

  32. Mark, I agree that Ramos may be ticketed for the AL for DH/1B type duty. The one thing the Nats have going from them right now is that they’ve got the initial surgery and rehab info on him. They have a better read than any other team on what he may or may not be able to do.

    I wouldn’t have a problem with just letting the Buffalo limp away and wish him well were he not such a big bat in the lineup, and were there any decent alternatives, external or internal. But if Ramos still can catch, he’s one of the best-hitting catchers on the planet (or at least he was for one season). That’s the point that makes us cling to hope in magic knee-recovery pixie dust . . . and in a short and reasonable contract. But all in all, I’d probably say that there’s at least a 60% chance that he leaves, even more of one if they don’t get a deal done with him this week.

    Elsewhere as far as needs, I would like to see the team get a closer. I’m not sure how good Melancon will be in four years, but as we’ve discussed, I think it will take four to get him signed. There are other options, including internal, but to me, he’s the best combo of quality/signability/reasonable affordability. I think the Chapman and Jansen contracts are going to be $75M+.

    KW

    4 Nov 16 at 9:00 am

  33. Do the Nats require a “big trade” or a “big bat”? I don’t know. I’ve seen a fair amount of chatter, particularly on other sites, that the Nats have to make some big moves to be able to compete with the Cubs.

    I have some issues with the underlying thesis. The Nats won 95 games, won their division by eight games, and were a clutch hit or two away from advancing in the playoffs despite missing one of the best starters in baseball and the guy who had been their second-best hitter during the season. So in the offseason, first do no harm. It ain’t broke, so don’t try to fix it.

    As I’ve said, I think if the Nats did absolutely nothing, signed or re-signed no one, they’d still be the favorites to win the division, or no worse than co-favorites if the Mets somehow manage to get Cespedes and Walker back (which likely won’t happen).

    The first and overriding goal in baseball is to win the division and get into the playoffs. This season in the playoffs, the “best” team did actually win it all, but by the hairs of its chiny-chin-chin. But it’s rare that the best team wins; getting in the tourney is the bigger thing, to have a chance.

    We all know that the one big thing the Nats haven’t done is advance in the playoffs. The second big thing they haven’t done is win the division in back-to-back years. Part of the reason is that in their quest to make a leap forward in that next season, they’ve ended up making themselves worse. So first, do no harm. Keep the chemistry solid and the core good.

    That said, of course I’d like to see them get a closer, a CF or SS improvement over Danny, and maybe something better than Severino at catcher. We’ll see.

    KW

    4 Nov 16 at 9:16 am

  34. Gio for Blake Swihart. Who says no?

    Wally

    4 Nov 16 at 2:20 pm

  35. Maybe they need to add Joe Kelly

    Wally

    4 Nov 16 at 2:20 pm

  36. Wally, you must see something in Kelly that I don’t; 5.18 ERA and 1.700 WHIP???

    Swihart is an interesting thought. He broke his ankle playing LF, or something weird. Apparently they doubt his catching defensive skills, or something. In looking at his stats, he hasn’t shown enough power to get me excited about a guy who is supposedly an offense-first catcher.

    Is it too late to reconsider the DFA of Sandy Leon?

    KW

    4 Nov 16 at 4:13 pm

  37. Yeah Joe Kelly might be available on a MLFA deal. Leon’s peripherals show just how lukcy his hot streak was … i think we’re ok :-)

    Todd Boss

    4 Nov 16 at 4:41 pm

  38. I’ll bet Kelly turns into a good reliever. So maybe they add Travis Shaw? I still think that has the makings of a fit

    Wally

    4 Nov 16 at 7:03 pm

  39. Shaw might be a possibility to be that 1B/LF alt starter, but I’d prefer someone with more contact.

    KW

    4 Nov 16 at 8:11 pm

  40. Just looking at MLBTR, and a couple of guys popped up on the waiver wire who interest me: C/1B Steve Clevinger and OF Justin Ruggiano. Ruggiano would have more defensive flexibility than Heisey. Clevinger is a LH-hitting catcher who doesn’t totally suck at the plate. Would he take a minor-league contract?

    Among the higher profile FA’s, the one I keep coming back to is Reddick. He’d have no QO and a reasonable price tag, I would guess $10-12M per at most, maybe less. He could be the regular OF addition in RF (with Bryce in CF), or he could be the LH guy to be the alt LF/1B, with much better contact than Moss. He’s not star level, but he could be a solid contributor.

    KW

    5 Nov 16 at 8:42 am

  41. If we moved Harper to CF, Reddick is one that would make a ton of sense to man RF. And that wouldn’t break the bank. I just did some back of the envelope calcs on payroll and (assuming we non-tender Revere) we’ll probably have in the neighborhood of $12M to play with to make the payroll match last year’s $145M level. I probably will make this a blog post to show my work.

    Of course, if we traded Gio and replaced him in the rotation with Lopez/Giolito, that “saves” another $11.6M less whatever we acquire in return. That could help too. but it kinda goes back to what we “need”

    Todd Boss

    5 Nov 16 at 9:09 am

  42. I think one of the big questions of the offseason is whether Gio + Danny + X would net an OF > Reddick. If you can get someone better than Reddick without dipping into your core, then go for it. If not, then sign Reddick and unload Danny for a loogy or something. But Riddick is definitely > Danny, career 106 OPS+ > Danny’s 86 (and only 81 last season, despite the 24 HRs). Reddick’s career bWAR is twice as much.

    KW

    6 Nov 16 at 7:35 am

  43. KW: just new posted on some possible FA scenarios given where our payroll is … and how Reddick could factor in.

    Todd Boss

    7 Nov 16 at 6:11 am

  44. […] Second in our set of Draft class Reviews.  First was the 2016 class. […]

  45. […] in our set of Draft class Reviews for the 2016 season.  First was the 2016 class, then the 2015 […]

  46. […] Meetings hoopla).  Fourth in our set of Draft class Reviews for the 2016 season.  First was the 2016 class, then the 2015 class then the 2014 […]

  47. […] in our set of Draft class Reviews for the 2016 season.  First was the 2016 class, then the 2015 class then the 2014 class, then the 2013 […]

  48. […] and last in our set of Draft class Reviews for the 2016 season.  First was the 2016 class, then the 2015 class then the 2014 class, then the 2013 class, then the 2012 […]

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