Nationals Arm Race

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

Nats 2017 Draft Class; whole lotta College Arms

73 comments

So, is 2017 a one-player draft again? Photo via UHcougars.com

So, is 2017 a one-player draft again? Photo via UHcougars.com

We already did a quick reaction to the first day/first two picks and then the top 10 rounds.  Here’s a more holistic look at our 2017 draft class.  The team announced yesterday that it had already signed an amazing 25 guys, and I think that number is likely to rise to at least 33 players (assuming all top 10 round players and all College seniors sign).  That’s quite a few more than I initially projected.

I did want to make a statement though, following up on a back-and-forth in the comments on previous posts about 3rd rounder Nick Raquet (who, unsurprisingly to me, has already signed though no word on his bonus amount).  Some asked why I was so critical of the pick.  We’ll, here’s why: its about opportunity cost.  Raquet was indeed ranked on some boards (#145 in BA’s pre-draft list) but was absent from practically every other credible draft service (MLBpipeline.com for example ranked 200 players and didn’t rank him at all).   ESPN/Keith Law, MinorLeagueBall, 20/80 and Fangraphs all had him totally off their lists.  Baseball Draft Report had him in the 300s.

The Nats drafted him #103 overall, at the end of the 3rd round.

I have nothing against Raquet personally, nor his school in general (which I denigrated during the comments due to its lack of baseball pedigree).  What I have a problem with is taking a player in the third round who:

a) was a far inferior player versus where he was drafted,

b) if the team really, really wanted him would have been available probably 3 or 4 rounds later, and

c) the team chose to take in lieu of many, many better ranked players at the time of the pick.

You could make the same arguments, by the way, about our 4th rounder: a senior in Cole Freeman who again by BA’s rank was drafted at least two rounds too early and by anyone else’s rankings was drafted 5 rounds too early.

The drafting of these two players in the 3rd and 4th cost the team the opportunity to draft two far, far better players in those slots.  I don’t have a problem punting draft picks in the 6-10th round range if you’ve drafted quality players in 1-5 … but to purposely punt on 3rd and 4th round implies that their round 1 and 2 picks (Seth Romero and Wil Crowe) were both going to be over slot guys.  And that astounds me; Romero was kicked off his college team; how is he in a position to command more dollars than his slot?  Where’s he gonna player if he doesn’t sign?  Indy ball?  And Crowe is a 4th year player with a TJ on his resume who I suppose could go back for a 5th collegiate season, but really that’d be flushing a crucial year of development down the tubes, plus burning a year on his surgically repaired arm … with little chance he could improve his bonus amount or draft ranking over where he got drafted this year.  How are either guy demanding over-slot money?

I liken the situation to playing Fantasy sports.  When your buddy in your league drafts a kicker in the 8th round you mock him mercilessly.  Why?  Because that same kicker was going to be there 4 rounds later and because wasting an 8th round pick on a kicker is a sign of poor team management and a lack of understanding of how fantasy works.  Its the same thing wasting a 3rd rounder in the fashion the team just did.

So, frustration over punting two high draft picks so as to pay two other high draft picks more money than I think they’re worth leads me to the end of this diatribe.  We’ll have our answer soon enough; if Raquet signs for a piddling amount of money (his slot value is $522,300), and if Freeman similarly signs for under-slot (he’s at $390,000) then you’ll have confirmation of the punting on these picks.  I suppose both guys could sign for at or near slot, which would imply that they were worth the draft pick; if that happens i’ll be shocked.


 

Anyway, back to the draft class review overall.  Here’s a quick table 1-40 before doing some breakdowns:

 

RoundOverallNamePositionCol/HSCollege or CmtmStateSlot Value
125Seth RomeroLHPCol JrHoustonTX2530400
265Wil CroweRHPCol SrSouth CarolinaSC946500
3103Nick RaquetLHPCol JrWilliam & MaryVA522300
4133Cole Freeman2BCol SrLSULA390000
5163Brigham HillRHPCol JrTAMUTX291200
6193Kyle JohnstonRHPCol JrTexasTX226100
7223Jackson TetreaultRHPJ2State Col Florida ManateeFL178100
8253Jared BrashnerRHPCol SrSamford Fl149600
9283Alex TroopLHPCol JrMichigan StateMI138000
10313Trey TurnerRHPCol JrMissouri StateMO131300
11343Justin ConnellOFHSAmerican Heritage SchoolFL
12373Jackson StoeckingerLHPJ2Col of Central FloridaFL
13403Eric SeniorOFJ2Midland ColTX
14433Anthony PeroniCJ2Mercer County CCNJ
15463Bryce Montes de OcaRHPCol JrMissouriMO
16493Jake Scudder1BCol SrKansas St UKS
17523Jared JohnsonLHPJ1Palm Beach State ColFL
18553Nick ChorubyOFCol SrTexas A&M UTX
19583Jonathan PryorOFCol SrWake Forest UNC
20613Jake CousinsRHPCol SrPennsylvaniaPA
21643Leif StromRHPJ2Pierce CollegeWA
22673Nelson GalindezLHPHSHaines City HSFL
23703Jamori Blash1BJ2Cochise ColGA
24733Tim RichardsSSCol SrCal State FullertonCA
25763David SmithRHPCol SrCal St Long BeachCA
26793Kameron EsthayOFCol SrBaylor UTX
27823Darren BakerSSHSJesuit HSCA
28853Nic PerkinsCCol JrDrury UniversityMO
29883Alex DunlapCCol SrStanfordCA
30913Austin GuiborOFCol JrFresno St UCA
31943Jeremy McKinneyRHPCol SrIndiana St UIN
32973Phil Caulfield2BCol SrLoyola Marymount UCA
331003Adalberto CarrilloCCol JrU Southern CaliforniaCA
341033Bennett SousaLHPCol JrVirginiaVA
351063Jackson Cramer1BCol SrWest VirginiaWV
361093Gabe KlobositsRHPCol SrAuburnAL
371123Kody Gratkowski3BHSFairhope HSAL
381153Jake BooneSSHSTorrey Pines HSCA
391183Kai NelsonOFHSFieldston HSNY
401213Max EngelbrektLHPCol Sr5Oregon St UOR

Here’s some breakdowns (note I wrote this prior to the team signing a bunch of these Juco guys plus a couple of HS guys):

  • 11 College Juniors, 16 College Seniors/5th year Seniors, 7 JuCo guys, 6 High Schoolers
  • 20 Pitchers, 20 hitters.  The pitchers broke down 12 RHP, 8 LHP.
  • 9 of the top 10 rounds are pitchers though: these are the guys nearly guaranteed to sign.
  • I count about 29 that i think are locks to sign; every guy in the first 20 rounds, plus all the 9 college seniors drafted in rounds 21-40.
    • Of these 29 guys: 17 are arms, 12 are bats.
  • I’m only guessing that one Prep guy signs: 11th rounder Justin Connell.
  • I count at least 4 under-slot guys: Nick RaquetCole Freeman ,8th rounder Jared Brashner and 10th rounder Trey Turner.  So that’s where the cost savings will come from to pay Romero, Crowe and perhaps Connell.

So, even though the draft splits even 20/20 bats and arms its heavily tilted at the top and in the signability department towards arms.  This should make for some serious carnage in the lower ends of our minor league ranks.  The Auburn roster is half stocked with late-round college seniors drafted in 2016 and rising IFAs from the DSL last year; I could see some moving of those guys down to GCL as needed and a shedding of 20th-some round 2016 signees to make room for all the guys they’ve picked up this year.  But the more I look at this draft, the more it looks like a one or two-player draft at the top.  Is that ok?  Sure; it is basically what the team did in the Lucas Giolito draft, and the industry was on record saying that the strength this year was college arms.  It should be interesting to see how quickly Romero moves up the ranks.

 

73 Responses to 'Nats 2017 Draft Class; whole lotta College Arms'

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  1. More thoughts when I have time, but a couple of brief notes. First of all, the only Nat signing showing with the amount on the Daily Dish is for Tetreault, at $122K over slot ($300K). That’s probably market price for someone in his position, but whether it’s worth it for a raw JUCO will remain to be seen.

    As for yesterday’s discussion, I’m not concerned yet about Senior and Montes de Oca the Killer Whale because the Nats likely have to get some savings from the top two picks to sign them, and maybe from Freeman and Hill as well. You can’t pay over-slot with money you haven’t saved yet, and you lose it entirely if the player from whom you’re saving doesn’t sign. They may also be expecting savings from Freeman and Hill.

    KW

    21 Jun 17 at 11:26 am

  2. Todd, any scouting reports on Nat draftees from watching the CWS? I see that Timmy Richards homered in both Fullerton games. If he’s got that kind of pop and the versatility to play SS, he seems more valuable than Freeman, who has no pop and has limited utility value if he can’t play SS.

    KW

    21 Jun 17 at 11:45 am

  3. Overall, I’m very uneasy about this draft. The Nats only got two guys who, on paper, look like potential major leaguers, and both of them have significant issues. Romero could be one of the steals of the draft . . . or a head case who not only flames out, but also spreads poison along the way. Crowe could be one of the steals of the draft . . . or get “old” (in prospect terms) really fast. (Nevertheless, I still think Crowe was a steal at #65; Romero has so much baggage that he might have dropped a good bit more if the Nats hadn’t taken him, so not a “steal” in my book.)

    Beyond those two, who ya got? Anybody? Anybody at all? I could give you a few I think have a decent shot at AA, but that’s not the goal, is it? Their 40th round pick might be a better bet to make The Show than their 3d rounder. Aside from the overdrafts of Racquet and Freeman, it’s hard to say that any of them were awful picks, but it’s hard to get excited about any of them, either. If those picks had been cost-saving for some later surprise (Tristan Beck?), they would make sense. But cost-saving for a bonus for Tetreault? Really? I assume Connell got a bonus as well, and I’m not excited about him at all.

    I’m intrigued by Alex Troop (9th), Eric Senior (13th), Montes de Oca (15th), Blash (23d), Richards (24th), and Engelbrekt (40th). I’m not saying they’ll be better or worse than any of the others, just that they intrigue me.

    KW

    21 Jun 17 at 1:05 pm

  4. Just found that the MLB.com tracker has signing info on a number of guys:

    https://www.mlb.com/draft/tracker/nationals

    They sure are giving out several six-figure bonuses to JUCOs picked in the teens.

    KW

    21 Jun 17 at 1:09 pm

  5. Sousa (34) will not sign and as De Oca got an extra year of eligibility, it would be a big surprise to many to see him sign as well.

    The team does its homework ahead of time, and lets see whether the money moving yields (Senior and) de Oca.

    Overdraft is an unfair term that does not account for hype. People called Andrew Stevenson an overdraft. He struggled a lot when he got to AAA, but I wonder how many players in the first two rounds who were drafted ahead of him are now in AAA? Or if younger, have advanced three levels above their initial placement?

    forensicane

    21 Jun 17 at 2:12 pm

  6. Todays game was depressing. Dusty is getting too clever for himself. To waste a Scherzer gem by having Murphy and Zimmerman sit a Scherzer start in ridiculous. Play the B squad when the B pitchers are pitching and your win probability is lower anyway. If a guy is making $30 million a year and tens upon tens of thousands of dollars per pitch thrown, it only makes corporate sense to play your very best lineup in every one his games every time.

    Us getting only 5 hits put pressure on top of his no hit bid pressure.

    Turner needs a reboot at the plate. His mediocre stats even look much better than the eye test all year. Rick Schu needs to work overtime to get him right again.

    Marty C

    21 Jun 17 at 4:12 pm

  7. Scherzer losing a game where he carried a no-hitter into the 8th should never happen. He gave up 2 hits in 8 innings and took the L; those are Felix Hernandez undeserved losses.

    I’m defending Dusty here, but so far his strategy of resting his “older” players seems to be working. Its a marathon, not a sprint, and a day game after a night game is a perfect time to sit guys like Zimmerman and Murphy. Its a long season; no reason to burn his guys out in mid-june. I’ll take an unlucky loss if it means that my older stars stay fresh and are still producing w hen it counts.

    Todd Boss

    21 Jun 17 at 4:38 pm

  8. KW: here’s my take on our CWS-playing draftees:
    – Freeman kind of is what he was advertised to be; leadoff sparkplug. Lets hope he’s more Dustin Pedrioa and less, i dunno, name a 5’8″ guy who washed out in the low minors.
    – Brigham Hill might be an Austin Voth kinda guy; sneaky good, excellent college arm who rises up the system quickly. He was TAMU’s ace and to get him in the 5th seems like a really solid pick.
    – Nick Chouruby fits the mold of Rizzo’s dream leadoff-centerfielder type.
    – I couldn’t tell you a thing about Fullerton’s Tim Richards; he batted frigging cleanup for Fullerton though and hit homers in both of CSF’s losses. So a SS with power batting cleanup for a national power. Not a bad 24th round pick.
    – Engelbrekt I don’t think has pitched in weeks, and I don’t t hink he’s appeared this off-season either. He’s a RS-senior and may go back for his 5th year.

    Todd Boss

    21 Jun 17 at 4:47 pm

  9. Bonus figures on the Nats page: remember, we don’t care about any bonus figure less than $125,000 for anyone drafted after round 11. So all those $100k juco guys? Don’t care; its no sweat off the bonus pool.

    So far, the only 11th round or higher bonus that matters is the $175k given to Stoeckinger; that dings the Nats bonus pool for $50k.

    So far, my notes show we’re $48k over slot for the known bonus figures: we over paid Tetreault, Troop, Stoeckinger. We saved cash on Brashner and Turner.

    Todd Boss

    21 Jun 17 at 4:53 pm

  10. MLBpipeline reporting Raquet signed for $475k, or about 47k under slot. http://m.mlb.com/news/article/237042574/2017-draft-signing-and-bonus-tracker/

    I’ve got a nifty little xls that i’ll post at some poitn with all of this for the Nats.

    Todd Boss

    21 Jun 17 at 4:54 pm

  11. Todd… you’re misinterpreting my comments again. I did not say do not rest your stars. My point was to plan their rest & take their days off when Ross or lately Roark is pitching.

    Marty C

    21 Jun 17 at 4:57 pm

  12. Don’t you have it backwards, under your theory? You want better hitters to support lesser pitchers, not the other way around. Isn’t the goal to try to win every game, not purposely tank every 5th game?

    Todd Boss

    21 Jun 17 at 4:59 pm

  13. Oh, and who cares about fielding a full lineup … In Miami. For a day game on a wednesday. I’d almost buy your argument marty, if it was a home game on a weekend night when they’d draw.

    Todd Boss

    21 Jun 17 at 5:03 pm

  14. Oh, an interesting side note on Scherzer; he’s easily in the lead for the NL Cy Young award right now and probably will be the NL starter in the All Star game. If Scherzer wins his 3rd Cy Young award, YOu can pretty much pencil him in for Cooperstown induction. The only guys with more than 2 Cy Young/MVPs who aren’t in are the PED champs Bonds and Clemens.

    First Curly-W in the Hall? He’ll have 5 formative seasons in Detroit but 7 in Washington….

    just sayin’ :-)

    Todd Boss

    21 Jun 17 at 5:05 pm

  15. Marty you have it backwards. You need to score fewer runs to win games pitched by Max and Stras because they give up fewer runs than Gio/Roark/Ross. You need more runs on your Gio/Roark/Ross days – the A lineup is more likely to make the difference between winning and losing on those days. The point is to maximize the total number of wins, not to maximize the chances of winning any single game (at least until we get to a pennant race/playoffs).

    Also, with an off day tomorrow, the rationale for resting guys today is even stronger.

    Derek

    21 Jun 17 at 5:11 pm

  16. I don’t think I have it backwards. Ross and Roark starts are a total crapshoot. Above average runs scored are often not enough. I’d rather get the high probability win when you can get it with your best team possible, then try to scrap or luck your way to wins when the B pitchers are up. Not to mention to try and protect and support your $30 million investment.

    That team out there today was bad defense + bad offense. A $1 million dollar investment pitching effort wasted. I’d rather waste Ross’ $10k start and rest some regulars that day.

    And that’s why Todd’s pronounced HOF Cy Young winner is 8-5. Zimmerman didn’t play in his last loss either.

    Marty C

    21 Jun 17 at 6:33 pm

  17. Sorry Marty, that’s nonsense.

    First of all, who cares what Scherzer’s W-L record is? The team’s W-L record is what’s important.

    Second, why on earth does it matter what the starting pitcher on a given day is making? Dusty’s job is to win the NL East. The best way to accomplish that is to win as many games as possible. Some games may be more important than others, e.g., games against the most likely rival, games during a pennant race. A game against the Marlins in mid-June doesn’t qualify as important. Pitcher salaries having nothing to do with it.

    Finally, and most fundamentally, increasing the probability of winning games you’re more likely to win doesn’t help you as much as increasing the probability of games you’re less likely to win. It’s the same principle behind political candidates campaigning in swing states. Max is like California or Texas – the Nats are always going to be favored in almost all of his starts because he’s awesome, just like candidates from certain parties are going to be favored in California and Texas. Roark and Ross are like swing states.

    Even so, Ross and Roark aren’t “total crapshoots.” We have a lot of information that tells us how many runs they’re likely to give up on a given day. Let’s say the Nats with Zim score 5.5 runs a game and without him score 4.5 runs. Max’s ERA 2.25 and Roark’s is 4.8. On average, the team without Zim is going to score more runs than necessary when Max is pitching whereas Zim, on average, is going to be the difference between winning and losing when Roark pitches. The extra run doesn’t help you win Max’s starts most of the time (though it certainly would have helped today).

    Of course you’d like the best team on the field at all times, and today’s loss was tough (teams/pitchers don’t always perform as expected). But if you have the choice about when to sit someone like Zim, do it when he’s less likely to be the difference between winning and losing. Doing what you suggest would result in fewer wins over the course of the season, which is bad.

    Derek

    21 Jun 17 at 8:25 pm

  18. You know, I agree with Marty here. Rest Zim and Murph yesterday, but when you have the pitching advantage with Max or Stras, use those days to also optimize your lineup and maximize the chance for a W. enhancing Ross or Roark just gets you closer to a coin toss. Take the win while it’s there (I don’t really care about supporting a $30m pitcher though, just team wins).

    The bigger point, and I really think it’s a big one, is that Dusty needs to dial back the usage of Max and Stras. Big time. Use the lead and skip a start here and there. Or cap them at 90 pitches for a while. We’ve seen the toll that extended usage gets, just look at the Mets and the Cubs (who at least did it in the playoffs). I’m worried that he is going to burn them out protecting a 10 game lead because everyone else is unreliable. I know it sucks to see these other guys cough it up, but he has to take care of those two guys or we have zero chance in the playoffs.

    If he won’t do it (and where is Maddux in all this) then Rizzo should give them each a 10 day DL stint to rest them, like the Dodgers do.

    Wally

    21 Jun 17 at 10:44 pm

  19. I share KW’s uneasiness with the draft. I hope I’m wrong.

    Gee Todd, do you think the Nats read you’re earlier post before signing Raquet before signing him underslot? Just wondering.

    Mark L

    21 Jun 17 at 11:22 pm

  20. Disagree Derek. Huge probability we win that game with Zimm, and Murphy playing.

    Play the B team with Roark or Ross and hope the backups freak in that game to vulture a win with your JV squad. Otherwise you’re setting up for a losing streak as you wasted your stopper.

    Marty C

    21 Jun 17 at 11:59 pm

  21. Fore, I don’t think it would be a “big surprise” to see Montes de Oca sign. He’d be a senior next year and have no leverage, so he can get more this year. We don’t know anything about his asking price, but it seems safe to assume that it’s high since he had a draft grade as high as 3d round but fell to the 14th.

    Sousa was basically going to get bus money in the 34th, so it’s probably wise to stay and get the degree. Other than him, I think the Nats should have a good chance at signing everyone except Baker and the HS picks from rounds 37-39.

    KW

    22 Jun 17 at 8:11 am

  22. Here’s the big question about drafts in general, one that we kicked around in the offseason in Todd’s reviews of drafts from other years: how do you define a “successful” draft? I’ve forgotten what we concluded, though. In the ballpark, it was something like you would expect to get at least one MLB regular out of the draft, either an everyday player or a pitching starter. You would expect at least a couple of others to stick in the majors and contribute, either as a reliever or a bench player. You would hope at least two or three others beyond those get a cup of coffee. So let’s say at least five should make The Show. Another five should make AA/AAA, and eight to ten beyond those should make A+.

    Is that too much to ask? It seems thin to expect one starter from a group of 40 (or so) picks, but in many cases, that’s actually ambitious. The Nats don’t have anyone on their 25-man roster who they have drafted SINCE 2011! Let that one sink in for a minute. No one since Rendon (2011) has made it as an MLB regular, although Pivetta is trying to establish himself. Billy Burns was for a while, but he’s also from the 2011 class. Pivetta, in fact, is the only one from the Nat 2013 class to make the majors at all, although there’s still some hope for Ward and Voth. Fedde may be the only one from the 2014 class to make it, although HS draftees Reetz, McKenzie Mills, and Weston Davis are still progressing but not even to A+ yet.

    I don’t totally mean this as a direct criticism of the Nats, although those 2012, 2013, and 2014 Nat drafts are looking pretty bad. But go to Baseball-Reference and click through the 2d, 3d, and 4th rounds of those drafts and look for any guys who have made the majors who have a career WAR over 2.0 or so. There aren’t many. In general, MLB teams suck at drafting beyond the first round; ALL of them. Now, is the player depth that bad, or are they all just missing that badly? That would be hard to know, but with all the analytics that have supposedly come into front offices, the end results don’t seem to be changing much.

    All of this gets back around to the point that Romero had better stick, because nearly all draft classes seem to ride on the first pick.

    KW

    22 Jun 17 at 9:29 am

  23. de Oca was given an extra year of eligibility and will be a junior.

    KW – your last comment in a way cuts through it all. We are in the echo chamber of comparing our drafts to our previous drafts. What IS a successful draft to look like?

    It might be worth a post for our fearless leader :) to look into the 2014 or 15 draft and compare the helium of the picks for each of the 30 MLB organizations. The few that clearly had the highest yield will show us what expectations are reasonable and what are utopian. That is the proper cohort.

    forensicane

    22 Jun 17 at 11:08 am

  24. What makes for a successful draft? I did exactly this analysis once: I published this right after the 2014 draft, which I thought was a bust. Here was my conclusion for judging a draft:

    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 (this was before the new slotting systems incentivised teams to punt on these picks more often to save money)
    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

    So if you can get 4 MLB players out of a draft you’re doing well. Anything from 11th round onwards is a gift. That was my opinion at the time. Debate.

    Todd Boss

    22 Jun 17 at 12:02 pm

  25. Todd, I think in theory what you propose about draft success is what teams would like to think they can do. In practice, it hardly ever plays out that way. In scanning recent 1st rounds, it’s really the guys from the top 15 picks or so who are semi-consistently panning out to be the above-average regulars. Obviously there are a few outliers like Trout, but most of the star-level talent seems to be coming from the top 10-20 picks. The Nats have generally thrived in this picking zone, unless you count Giolito (#16) as a miss. Much of the franchise success has been built on the quality they got from picking Zim, Stras, Storen, Harper, and Rendon in the top 10. One could argue that they could have gotten a bigger contributor than Storen, but he wasn’t a “miss” by any means. One could also argue that it would be hard to screw up so many high picks, but a number of teams have.

    Beyond the top 15 picks, it looks like around two-thirds of the rest of the 1st rounders (the number of which has varied widely due to comp picks) make the majors, but much fewer of them are stars. With 2d rounders, it looks in eyeballing it like 50-60% are making the majors, with very few above-average players. After the 2d round, it’s already a crap-shoot to even have guys making The Show.

    Admittedly, a number of the front offices have been run by idiots, but jeez, the track record across the board isn’t good. I imagine every team in baseball now has an analytics dept. running stat profiles on the type of players who make it and those who don’t, but I haven’t noticed any team exactly gaming the system. Teams like the Cubs and the Braves that have stockpiled young talent have done it as much with trades as they have with the draft. Well, and the luck of having the Astros take Appel over Kris Bryant. (Can you imagine the ‘stros with Bryant?!)

    So while I agree with your expectations for a draft, which seem logical, I don’t think any team is regularly meeting that standard, particularly not teams that are picking toward the end of the 1st round like the Nats usually are.

    KW

    22 Jun 17 at 2:59 pm

  26. It would be super interesting to see those numbers leaguewide, KW. It’s a massive research project though. I couldn’t do it but I would happily read it. But the counting has to include any prospect drafted and signed by an org that reaches the pros, regardless of which org it happens with. Have to credit an org if they develop a guy worth enough value to trade.

    But the conclusion we drew was said by KW, which is that the Nats hit massively well on their very topic picks, and what looks poor from everywhere else. We just didn’t know how to compare them to other orgs

    Wally

    22 Jun 17 at 7:55 pm

  27. Yeah, I don’t have the time to tackle something like that, either. The scary thing, though, is that I’m sure teams have made various studies of their own and yet no one seems to be doing better . . . and this is 15 years after the famous Moneyball draft of 2002.

    Incidentally, I know some folks have taken to ragging on the A’s for that draft since they didn’t come up with seven stars. But with their first pick (1/16), they got an above-average player in Swisher. With their second (1/24), they got a starting pitcher in Blanton. Both of those guys went on to long MLB careers. Six other players they drafted and signed made the majors, of whom Jared Burton appeared in 367 MLB games. Five other players they drafted but didn’t sign made the majors, including Papelbon and Ziegler. Ziegler was still a 20th-round pick the next year when he was drafted and signed, so he wasn’t a “given” at all. So the A’s drafted 13 players that year who made the majors, eight of whom they signed.

    One thing that looked like a trend as I flipped through the drafts was that most of the high school draftees who made it, particularly those who made it big, were taken in the 1st round. The vast majority of those making it from rounds 2-5 were college/JUCO guys. Of course some of the biggest 1st-round busts were also high schoolers, so that has remained a boom-or-bust proposition. My takeaway is that the crop of high schoolers each year who are truly exceptional enough to jump into pro ball is very small, and that if you can’t get one of the top 15 of them, you’re better off taking a college kid.

    But in general, I don’t have the answers. I’m just amazed that no one else seems to, either.

    KW

    22 Jun 17 at 8:51 pm

  28. I don’t either, really. Meaning I haven’t heard of a format to evaluate this that I totally buy into. I think the reason is the dichotomy between scouting and player development. We outsiders just don’t know how to value each part. Is Mike Trout a scouting victory or a player development success? If you went back in time and Trout was drafted very high but by the Marlins, would he still be the player he currently is? What about a player who is drafted reasonably high, got good coaching but was a knucklehead his first 5 years and almost washes out? Then gets his head right, dedicates himself and becoames a quality player, like Josh Hamilton or Souza. Which org gets credit for that? Usually the last one, but the value added was whomever helped the kid mature, if anyone, and the last one may only have been the beneficiary.

    So my way of assessing this is to count all prospects drafted, IFA or acquired at A or below that make the majors, for you or someone else. Far from perfect but it reflects that systems are built multiple ways and tries to isolate where value is added to the player’s development. My grossly oversimplified cutoff is that I don’t even look at players below A unless they are recently drafted or something else unusual, and High A is the first time I’LL check a box score. So if they get him lower than that, there must be some scouting involved as well as PD. If that guy turns out to be a major leaguer, I’d call it a success. And to make the trade part clear, if we acquire a guy at AA or AAA, I think he’s mostly been developed and I’d give the credit to the other org.

    Wally

    23 Jun 17 at 7:24 am

  29. And I give zero credit to drafting a guy that you don’t sign

    Wally

    23 Jun 17 at 7:25 am

  30. Ok, I have a little extra time to play around today so been thinking of trades. It seems like the Nats are going to have to make some moves to go for it. I hate the kind of moves where they give value for middling or short term guys. So with that in mind, here’s a couple for everyone to hate:
    Ross, Robles, Neuse and Lora for Sonny Gray, Ryan madson and Liam Hendricks

    MAT For Justin Wilson.

    I dunno, I don’t really love it either, and do we do for CF this year? But I just worry that they give away almost as much talent without getting quality back.

    Wally

    23 Jun 17 at 12:46 pm

  31. That’s way too much to give up for the version of Sonny Gray who has a collective ERA over 5.00 for this season and last. And while I’m no MAT fan at all, it would be very difficult for the club to trade him right now. Yeah, Goodwin might be able to step in, but the options to fill in for Werth are limited.

    It would be an interesting thought to flip Ross for Gray, though, if you didn’t have to add much to the deal. That’s betting against Ross and his four more years of control, though, verses two for Gray.

    I wouldn’t hate getting Justin Wilson, for something less than Taylor. I still haven’t wrapped my brain around who would be the “best” closer trade candidate. There just aren’t a lot of “great” relief options out there with noncontending teams. I sorta think it will all come back around to Robertson sooner or later, but the Nats aren’t going to get the Chisox to pick up his entire salary for the next two seasons.

    My mega-trade is still for the Nats to go after Bumgarner, even if it takes three top prospects and other stuff. There’s no other player out there who might even sorta be available who would do more toward improving the Nat chances of actually winning a championship. Plus he’s closed games on the biggest stages multiple times. It’s not gonna happen, but it’s fun to contemplate. I have no interest in Cueto or his Shark mate.

    KW

    23 Jun 17 at 2:06 pm

  32. Wally, on the earlier comments, I totally agree that player development after drafting plays a significant role, perhaps doubly for high school draftees and international players. It’s a factor that’s almost impossible to put a number on to quantify, though.

    KW

    23 Jun 17 at 2:07 pm

  33. I think i’d be focusing on what I could get for the likes of Taylor and Goodwin. Both have markedly increased their trade value and are not really in the long term plans.

    Todd Boss

    23 Jun 17 at 4:18 pm

  34. Someone please explain to me why the Nats called up Difo to play center field. He was hitting .175 at Syracuse, plus he has virtually no experience in the OF. Bautista (on 40-man) or Stevenson (not on 40-man) might not hit any better, but at least there wouldn’t be the constant risk of CF embarrassment.

    I could see there being some trade value now for Taylor or Goodwin, particularly for teams desperate for OFs (Giants), but can the Nats afford to give them up, particularly when they’re in a state where they think they need to play Difo in the OF? (And has Raburn Pipped Heisey as the RH bench bat?)

    If it came down to it, I would keep Goodwin over Taylor, and I would have said that even before Goodwin had a career night on Friday. But I’m still not convinced that either one should be Werth’s replacement, if Werth doesn’t re-sign. (FWIW, Boz is convinced that Werth will sign in the AL to DH.)

    KW

    24 Jun 17 at 8:04 am

  35. As for Friday night, how about five innings of one-hit pitching from the bullpen?

    Also, what fool schedule-maker thought that two teams projected to be among the best in the league, the Nats and Cubs, should meet in a week-night series, while the Reds should be sent for a featured weekend series? That’s a terrible whiff by the league office.

    KW

    24 Jun 17 at 8:10 am

  36. Great win last night, salvaging a curious 1st inning from Strasburg. Agreed; wtf was Difo doing in CF unless Taylor was hurt and couldn’t play. Had to be the issue. After two misplays, he won’t be back.

    Agreed; i said yesterday they were trade bait but …. not unless they find someone else who can play. Obviously not.

    Todd Boss

    24 Jun 17 at 8:31 am

  37. Also, what about the REds starter last night? Castillo in his mlb debut AVERAGED a 98.4 mph fastball and hit 100.4 a few times early. Holy cow. Average of 98.4?? For a starter?

    Todd Boss

    24 Jun 17 at 8:35 am

  38. If Dusty wants to win a knucklehead of the year award, his nomination is secure with putting Difo in centerfield. Dumb.
    Goodwin’s not really a c.f. guy but certainly better than Difo.

    All of you who had Goodwin as a major offensive force in 2017, raise your hand.
    Didn’t think so.
    Dusty’s been platooning him for some reason. He’s now 4 for 7 from his ‘bad’ side.
    Great story.

    Mark L

    24 Jun 17 at 10:50 am

  39. I’ve been on Goodwin as I’ve been on giving many of our deserving minor leaguers a chance. As they mentioned last night, hitting MLB pitching with the better lights and more consistent pitcher location is easier for some of these guys than minor leagues. (seems especially Syracuse)

    He’s giving us everything we’d expect from Werth and more to this point.

    On same note, Difo looks not to make it with his multiple chances.

    Have to give props to Rendon. Quietly putting up a very nice season so far with his power emerging. Quietly as in 3 others in the lineup having great statistical seasons so far so Rendon not as noticed.

    Robles heating up again in Potomac. Guessing Harrisburg promotion soon.

    Marty C

    24 Jun 17 at 11:49 am

  40. Marty, in the comments on Nats Prospects on Friday, I did a comparison of Robles with Corey Ray, the #5 overall pick last year, who is playing on the opposing team in the current series. Robles leads Ray in nearly every significant category, some by a wide margin, and that was before Robles went for nine total bases last night. Robles is just less than three years younger than Ray. I’ve been more reluctant than most in the Natosphere to totally get on the Robles bandwagon, but he seems to be shifting into another gear since coming off the DL the last time. He’s living up to the hype, at least at the A+ level.

    Todd, Taylor was dinged last night, which seems to be the “reason” they called up Difo. Also, I think the ballpark radar gun was somewhat juiced, as it caught Treinen at 101. But yes, the Reds seemed to have an endless supply of hard-throwing arms.

    KW

    24 Jun 17 at 1:36 pm

  41. Todd Boss

    24 Jun 17 at 4:35 pm

  42. Goodwin: have to had it to him. He’s now giving the team a reason to not re-sign Werth at the end of the year. After how bad he was for so long in the upper minors I’m completely surprised by what he’s doing. He’s only got a .326 obp, but he’s slugging so well that his ops is above .900. Can’t beat that. That average btw is almost exaclty what Werth is hitting. So with Werth more walks, with Goodwin more power so far.

    Oh on Treinen? He absolutely hit 101: http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/pfx.php?month=6&day=23&year=2017&game=gid_2017_06_23_cinmlb_wasmlb_1%2F&pitchSel=595014&prevGame=gid_2017_06_23_cinmlb_wasmlb_1%2F&prevDate=623&league=mlb

    Todd Boss

    24 Jun 17 at 4:38 pm

  43. Been meaning to ask for a few days… anyone else on board for a Vogt trade now that he’s been DFA’d? Seems like a huge upgrade over Loby and with a bounce back would be nice Wieters insurance for next year. Maybe Rizzo can package him with a Madson and Doolittle deal.

    MG

    25 Jun 17 at 6:33 am

  44. Vogt over Lobaton: do you rock that boat right now, chemistry wise? It seems to me Lobaton is head cheerleader of this team.

    That being said, there’s no argument Lobaton’s production has completely bottomed out. Its tough to swallow his slash line even on a once-a-week backup catcher.

    Todd Boss

    25 Jun 17 at 7:50 am

  45. OT: why do you think Romero hasn’t signed yet? Doesn’t exactly bode well. With a guy coming off maturity issues, you would hope that he would want to sign quickly, get to work and prove everyone wrong. Being that he isn’t on a college team, there’s no reason that I can see to string this out unless they are disagreeing on money.

    The Nats are sometimes cagey about this stuff and don’t announce right away. I can’t see how they didn’t have this agreed to ahead of time with Boras, but also no idea why it isn’t done. Can anyone think of any logic if that had a deal, they wouldn’t announce it yet?

    Wally

    25 Jun 17 at 8:11 am

  46. A few random and relevant thoughts:

    1) Wally, I share your consternation about the Romero/Crowe Boras connection. I have little hope that the Nats will sign Oca, but I am very much hoping for Eric Senior and perhaps…

    2) It’s pretty obvious the team has been slow to promote players that have outplayed their level this year. The only explanation I can find for this deviation from practice is that the team is working on a variety of potential trades and is showcasing the players in question to make their best possible showing. I sure hope they don’t trade Robles.

    3) And I still am not keen on trades of real assets, and definitely not for players in their walk year. Glover will return, and Wander Suero and Austin Adams are making noise at AAA. Even if Blanton is done, and Kelley as well, getting an asset is one thing, taing on salary is one thing, but trading a real potential high asset piece like a Daniel Johnson, especially with Bryce Harper unresolved, is to me unwise.

    4) For a team that values leadership and clubhouse, the swap of Lobaton for Vogt is a no brainer. If he rebounds, then this is insurance in case Weiters fails to sign and Severino fails to rise. Meanwhile, it’s a small sample size, bt one has to hope for the best from Spencer Kieboom’s second chance.

    forensicane

    25 Jun 17 at 12:13 pm

  47. The link in the chain is Cole Freeman, playing in the championship game. Brigham Hill is yet unsigned and a junior. So how much they need for their targets is well thought out by Boras and the team (they had to have had discussions targets like Romero before the draft) but not accountable until the CWS is done.

    With that said, GCL starts tomorrow and as the GCL rosters are now bare, we’ll get some answers about the Dominican bonus babies and the early signees.

    forensicane

    25 Jun 17 at 12:22 pm

  48. Lastly, I was as much about giving Brian Goodwin a chance as anyone, but NOBODY could ave seen his power coming. The competition appears to be good for Taylor. Perhaps it may be rehabilitative for Jayson Werth.

    forensicane

    25 Jun 17 at 12:24 pm

  49. KW – I think you make a wise suggestion about using the trade deadline to acquire a longterm transcendent piece like a Bumgarner. I still would not trade Robles, though. He is just going to get better and better and has intangibles that you win a World Series with.

    While Bumgarner is the proven quantity, there are other assets, even Soto, that will be attractive.

    Robbie Ray’s rise should demonstrate to us that we on this board do undervalue some of our prospects. Steven Souza was undervalued here as well. But other GMs value Nats talent a lot. The Melancon outcome for theregret Pirates and the rebirth of Brad Peacock and rise of Pivetta will only help.

    Wilson Ramos is back. The Rays get him for a year and a half at 12.5 million. I regret this. But Rizzo guessed right on Zimmerman and Desmond and Span.

    forensicane

    25 Jun 17 at 12:54 pm

  50. Hey, Scotty Boras, I know that you’re pretty good at what you do, but not all cases are the same. Is knucklehead Seth Romero better off at home in Houston with nothing to do, or busy almost 24/7 riding a bus across Upstate New York? It’s your call, buddy. And oh, by the way, Crowe is already a year older than all the guys he’ll be playing with. Every day you hold him out is one less he has to try to catch up to where he needs to be.

    Yeah, there are still a lot moving parts to getting the rest of the draft class signed, between the Boras clients and the CWS guys. They can’t spending savings on Freeman and Hill on guys like Montes de Oca and Senior until they’ve actually signed the higher picks and gotten the savings in hand. So I don’t think it’s time to worry about them, at least not yet. Tools-wise, Senior may be the highest-ceiling guy the Nats drafted, perhaps with the exception of Romero, but of course he’s very raw coming out of JUCO.

    KW

    25 Jun 17 at 1:08 pm

  51. Loby and “chemistry”: you know, they did find a guy to take off the helmets after HRs when Desi left, and they could do it again. Loby’s OPS is .467 and his OPS+ is 21. (Heisey’s current OPS+ is 2!)

    I’ve been on the Vogt bandwagon for a long, long time, hoping for at least three seasons that the Nats would trade for him. His current OPS is .644, OPS+ of 76. The current OPS+ of a catcher most think is having a decent season is 79. His name is Wieters.

    It’s not just Loby, though. Severino is hitting .205 at Syracuse with only five extra-base hits all season. If Wieters were to go do, there’s not much of a safety net.

    So yeah, I’d give up an A-ball arm or two for Vogt, in a heartbeat.

    KW

    25 Jun 17 at 1:18 pm

  52. Fore, I know MadBum is a pipe dream, but can folks think of anyone else who might be available who could do more to potentially put the Nats over the hump?

    We’ll see. I guess we’re about six weeks out from the trade deadline. I wouldn’t think that Robles would go except in a swap for a real star . . . and I doubt they’ll actually go after a real star.

    KW

    25 Jun 17 at 1:23 pm

  53. Engelbrekt got the last 2.1 innings in Oregon State’s last CWS win, so I guess he’s healthy. He finished the year with an ERA of 0.43. He may not throw hard, but he apparently knows how to get guys out.

    KW

    25 Jun 17 at 1:30 pm

  54. Ok, let’s see if I have the thinking right: Freeman needs to stop playing and sign an underslot deal, locking in the savings to pay everyone else? So you think they have deals in place but don’t want to commit until Freeman signs, on the risk there is a snag and if they had already committed to the others, they’d be in the penalty phase? That seems a bit of a stretch, since I didn’t think Freeman’s slot value was that high to begin with. But ok, I’ll go with that for now. I hope it isn’t anything more significant.

    Suero has finally caught my attention. I’m going to try to find some video on him, but he looks worth a try. Adams too

    I dunno what to think about trades. I’m already tired of thinking about it but they have to do something.

    Wally

    25 Jun 17 at 4:49 pm

  55. So Vogt to Milwaukee on a straight waiver claim? That’s stunning to me that apparently they were the only team to make a claim. Affordable, 2 more years of arb control and good history up till this year. Don’t know how that doesn’t scream for taking a flyer.

    MG

    25 Jun 17 at 7:25 pm

  56. Wally, unless I’ve got it wrong, you can’t assume under-slot savings until you’ve actually signed the guy. If the guy doesn’t sign, you lose the whole slot value.

    Separate but related, there’s no way Romero deserves over-slot money. Otherwise, taking him over Lange and others sucks even more.

    KW

    25 Jun 17 at 8:31 pm

  57. How many more Roark starts like this before we start panicking? At least Ross seems to throw in a good start every now and then between the bad ones. The curse of the WBC strikes again!

    KW

    25 Jun 17 at 8:34 pm

  58. KW, I’ve been with you from the start on Romero. He screams underslot signing. What’s he going to do, play independant ball? A bad p.r. move by the Nats drafting him, at least use some of his money to get a few extra signings.

    Wander Suero is crying out for a callup. Let’s see what he can do in the show in July before talking trades. Maybe even Adams too.

    Mark L

    26 Jun 17 at 1:37 am

  59. Waivers works in reverse record order right? So Milwakuee beat us to the punch b/c their record is worse than ours. That’s hwo I read the Vogt claim.

    Bonus dollars in draft: they’re not waiting for Freeman. You can go “negative” if you know you’re getting it back later on with a senior sign. Fact of the matter is this; practically every guy in the top 10 rounds already has a deal in place verbally; nobody takes any chances before picking a guy. That’s why you see practically every guy drafted in the top 10 sign (last year; just 2 players out of the top 10 rounds did not sign). The Nats work like anyone else; they call a guy like Freeman and go, “hey we’ll draft you right now in the 4th round if you promise to sign for X. Yes or no; you have 30 seconds.” There”s other guys who have not yet signed who normally you’d expect to have signed by now; maybe they’re on vacation with their family or something :-)

    Todd Boss

    26 Jun 17 at 9:25 am

  60. As someone who got irritated by the Cubbie bandwagon, not to mention all the chatter about how the brilliant Maddon put Bryce in a season-long slump with his magic spell and the brilliant Epstein outsmarted Rizzo in getting Heyward, Zobrist, and Chapman (how are those guys working out for you now, Theo???), I’m more than ready to kick a little Cubbie butt over these next few days. We’ve got the Big 3 starters lined up, the bullpen only gave up one run all weekend, and Babe Taylor is in the house. Who’s with me?

    KW

    26 Jun 17 at 9:26 am

  61. On Romero’s signing: yeah I think we’ve exhausted that line of reasoning complaining about the pick. There’s been other “character issue” guys who have signed and have gone on to good careers. Josh Hamilton may be the most obvious one; for all his issues, he eventually cleaned up and for a time was a model character. His exit from the Angels seemed to be on ownership, not on him. Rick Porcello had a vandalism/theft issue in HS. David Wells was no angel either. Even Matt Bush has finally cleaned up and now is a productive reliever more than 10 years after being drafted.

    I read it well put somewhere; if a GM looked him in the eye and asked for explanations for all his transgressions and got answers that he wanted, then that’s it. That’s all it takes to get drafted and get the trust of a team. Hopefully that’s what went down prior to the Nats picking him, and hopefully that’s what it takes to turn him around.

    Todd Boss

    26 Jun 17 at 9:32 am

  62. Freeman has signed for 340K.

    From the unknown to the known…the GCL rosters are up!

    http://www.milb.com/roster/index.jsp?cid=466

    And as expected, the Nats are giving head starts to a number of their big international haul from last year.

    SS Luis Garcia, 17, (1.3 m), SS Jesus Sanchez – 16 yo! (950K), CF Ricardo Mendez, 17, (600K), Israel Medina, 17, (450K). So now we are on a Soto-style watch x 4. Notably missing is Yasel Antuna, whom the Nats gave 3.9 m(!!!) bonus to.

    The curtain up also reveals who graduated from the DSL to the GCL; Santo Falcon, Edwin Ventura (injured all last year but another pricey signing), and pitchers de Los Santos, Jiminez, Infante, and Nector Ramirez.

    Luzardo sighting! As well as Ryan Williamson, another TJ recovery. Turner and Strom are rehabbing from this year’s draft.

    Today being GCL opening day, the roster also features picks 3,6, 7, 8, 9, 17, 20, 22, 25, 31, and 36. The others remain in XST. We also may now see players shifting from XST to Auburn, especially because a few of these are college seniors.

    The Auburn Doubledays who got their chance because of the late draft have, in some cases, made a mark. Oliver Ortiz has served notice, on the cusp of oblivion. He is off to a torrid power start. A couple of other notables, too.

    I wonder whether this draft, the Nats go over their allotted and pay the penalties to bring in talent like Montes de Oca. If they would do it in the 2016 international (they spent over 5 million when their allotted was 2.335 m), why not do it for the USA draft?

    forensicane

    26 Jun 17 at 10:01 am

  63. Believe it or not, I’m actually hoping we can trust Boras on the Romero pick more than anyone else. He’s got tens of millions more riding on keeping a positive relationship with the Nats than he does the measly signing bonus he can get for this punk kid. (Well, the measly signing bonus that’s probably more than I’ve made in my entire career, but it’s all relative!)

    We’ll see. Boras is doing the kid a disservice by not getting him signed and playing, though. At least his arm should be fresh!

    KW

    26 Jun 17 at 10:04 am

  64. I don’t believe that Freeman can technically have signed, as he’s still playing.

    I’ve been on Ryan Williamson as a potential sleeper since the Nats drafted him. He’s a 6-3 lefty who had a 2.69 ERA in the ACC last year before he needed the TJ. His career K/9 at NC State was 10.12. I hope he can move up quickly.

    KW

    26 Jun 17 at 10:10 am

  65. The Nats organization has been rewarded with some very good recovery stories. Not only people like Jordan Zimmerman, but Nathan Karns as well.

    It is a great selling point for the Lerners and Rizzo to pitch to agents of underclassman (like de Oca) how they stick with people and help them fight as hard as they need to. Wirkin Estevez is off everyone’s radar here, but he is a two surgery survivor who has finaly made it to the mound this year, did well enough to reach AA for the first time, and has shown well in his two starts at Harrisburg. After years of seemingly circling the injury drain.

    Another such player, Kylin Turnbull, returns to the mound in Auburn today. Hopefully Williamson and Luzardo give us some promise this year as they return to live action.

    This is always a very exciting time of the baseball year.

    Hopefully we will see Soto and Kieboom back on the field.

    forensicane

    26 Jun 17 at 10:43 am

  66. On Vogt – he is so well thought of among players that I wonder whether he was not claimed because of an injury issue (concussions) that folks don’t want to ruin his rep, but also don’t want to touch.

    I’m rooting for Kieboom to turn on the gas and make it as a Lobi alternative.

    forensicane

    26 Jun 17 at 10:46 am

  67. On Romero – You can’t think of Romero without Crowe. There are quite a number of overslot signings in the 2nd round and the Nats were surprised Jr. Crowe fell to them. They may have had more of a sense of confidence with Romero that is now a bit disrupted with Crowe.

    Just because Crowe had surgery does not mean he may not want to bet on himself. Andrew Suarez did, and the Nats lost a second rounder. He signed a year later for roughly the same money and is now in AA. He would have been better off with the Nats.

    forensicane

    26 Jun 17 at 10:49 am

  68. Kieboom off the 40-man; its going to be real hard for him to get back on. Not only that, but he *struggled* in Harrisburg. He’s the backup, so I get it he’s only playing every 3rd or 4th day, but his Syracuse stats seem like a mirage. No offense to the guy, but he’s at least 6th or 7th on the Nats catcher depth chart. Wieters, Lobaton, Severino, Read certainly ahead of him. Past that, MLFA Solano is starting over him at AAA and Gushue is crushing it at high-A but has nowhere to go b/c he’s not pushing Read off his starting job in AA.

    Todd Boss

    26 Jun 17 at 10:51 am

  69. Top 10 round draft picks not signing are now so rare that you can literally count them on one hand per draft. That’s what made Luzardo not signing for us such a one-off, that’s why just two of the first 316 guys drafted last year didn’t sign. By all accounts of those in the business that I read, practically every player verbally agrees to a deal prior to getting picked because the stakes are now so high. So, yeah I can see why one would be “surprised” that Crowe fell to the Nats, but I’m positive they had a deal in place prior to getting picked.

    Look no further for proof of this than Brendan McKay falling to 4th, where he signed for MORE money than the #1 overall pick. By all accounts, McKay had a pre-agreed to deal with Tampa at the overslot figture of $7m and agreed to decline any underslot deal proposed to him by the teams picking 1, 2 or 3. No, you’re not supposed to have these kinds of deals in place but everyone does it.

    Todd Boss

    26 Jun 17 at 10:56 am

  70. Todd, Solano and Kieboom are splitting time. Kieboom has a better batting eye, more sock, a better arm and is being groomed to be a part timer. He would not be the first player to push his way up by virtue of injury + opportunity + grabbing at a chance that comes. That’s why we keep seeing Mat Grace, for better or worse, and how Suero got his chance (Brinley faltered and the AAA bullpen has had no identity congeal).

    Read’s defense is not the caliber of Kieboom. He will either make it as an everyday catcher or get shipped off to make room for the talent behind him, especially given his good year offensively at AA.

    Severino is on the DL and Lobaton is really struggling. It’s not as far fetched as you suggest.

    Gushue is sexy, but he is old for a level that he is repeating and cooled down considerably at high A. He is on no depth chart until he shows at a promotion. And Kieboom has impressed the team and reflected well at spring training.

    forensicane

    26 Jun 17 at 11:30 am

  71. If they had a deal in place for Crowe, why is he not signed?

    forensicane

    26 Jun 17 at 11:32 am

  72. I don’t see the Nats 40 man as prohibitively jammed. There is dead weight there, we would agree. And Lobaton is among that.

    forensicane

    26 Jun 17 at 11:33 am

  73. If Kieboom was a viable option for the majors, he’d still be on the 40-man roster. If he was really a potential contributor to a MLB roster, he would have been claimed by someone else upon our waiving him off the 40-man roster. If he was still a prospect, he would have hit more than .183 in AA this year as a 26yr old. I’d be absolutely shocked if he were to be put back on the Washington 40-man roster. Its nothing personal against the guy; its one thing to be super awesome defensive guy, but its another to be able to hit your way to the top.

    As of this moment, only 15 of the 30 first rounders had signed. I have no idea why they havn’t completed Romero or Crowe signings. http://www.baseballamerica.com/draftdb/index.php

    Todd Boss

    26 Jun 17 at 7:39 pm

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