Nationals Arm Race

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

Nats Minor League Players of the Year; indicator of future success?

36 comments

Souza gets well-deserved recognition from the team.   Photo Nats official/Tommy Gilligan

Souza gets well-deserved recognition from the team. Photo Nats official/Tommy Gilligan

The Nationals on 9/24/14 announced that Lucas Giolito and Steven Souza were named their minor league players of the year for 2014 (announcement made on twitter, h/t to FederalBaseball for the initial posting on the topic).

No surprise for Souza, who sported an OPS above 1.000 in AAA.  I was a bit surprised Giolito got the nod over someone like Taylor Hill, Austin Voth‘s 2-level rise, or especially what A.J. Cole did this year, but you cannot argue with his season all in all.

Here’s an look though at the history of the Nats’ minor league players of the year.  Does earning the award guarantee future success?

  • 2014: Steven Souza, Lucas Giolito
  • 2013: Billy Burns, Taylor Jordan
  • 2012: Matt Skole, Nathan Karns (also BA’s two POTY for the org)
  • 2011: Steve Lombardozzi, Brad Peacock
  • 2010: Tyler Moore, Tommy Milone
  • 2009: Derek Norris, Brad Meyers
  • 2008: Leonard Davis, Jordan Zimmermann
  • 2007: Justin Maxwell, John Lannan
  • 2006: Kory Casto, Zech Zinicola
  • 2005: Kory Casto, Mike O’Conner

I’d say that it is quite hit or miss.  Of the 9 distinct hitters named in the Nats franchise history, I think the only guy you could claim has lived up to his minor league success is Derek NorrisLeonard Davis never even made the majors.  Kory Casto barely did: hitting below .200 in parts of two major leagues seasons before getting DFA’d.  Most of the rest of these guys at best are no more than role players (with “too early to tell” labels on Skole and Souza of course).

Of the pitchers; clearly Jordan Zimmermann has blossomed into the real thing, and a couple of the other names here have turned into serviceable #4/#5 starters (Lannan, Milone).  Perhaps its indicative of just how poor the farm system was upon the team’s arrival in Washington that the first two pitchers of the system were a guy who never pitched in the majors (Zinicola) and another who had a career 5.30 ERA in 35 MLB apperances over several years.  Meyers never came back from a shoulder injury; no shame there.

Before 2005, my information is a little spotty on who the Expos named.  Here’s what I do know:

2004: Ryan Church
2003: Terrmel Sledge
2002
2001
2000: Brad Wilkerson
1999:
1998: Michael Barrett, Noah Hall
1997:
1996: Vladimir Guerrero
1995: Vladimir Guerrero

 

 

36 Responses to 'Nats Minor League Players of the Year; indicator of future success?'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Nats Minor League Players of the Year; indicator of future success?'.

  1. Yeah, can’t really say it is an indicator of success. Not really sure what goes in to the decision process. Sometimes it seems clear according to the numbers, like Jordan or Karns IIRC, and Souza this year. Other times it is a little surprising (Burns), so I assume that there are some organizational goals behind the decision that aren’t made public.

    As for Souza, I have become intrigued by him, but maybe more why he isn’t getting much love outside hardcore Nats prospect areas. If you think about it, he really has something to appeal to everyone: traditional stats, saber stats (good fielder, runner, takes a lot of walks), tools, even pedigree (3rd round pick). Only negative is kind of old/late bloomer. But here is a guy that will be dirt cheap through all of his prime years and probably have a floor of a 2-3 WAR guy due to his secondary skills, with upside if his hitting translates well (I don’t think it happens with the Nats because of their other commitments).

    Is he really that much different than guys like Goldschmidt, Matt Carpenter, even Werth when he came up? Yet when his name comes up to national writers/outfits, you hear 4th OF/org guy still (although maybe that is what you heard about those other guys too?). Its kind of a puzzle, and I assume that they just don’t buy his numbers the last two years. But why not? Wouldn’t a team like the Mets or Phillies kill for a guy like him? Or Mariners, if you want to get out of the division? I am just curious about it. You’d think with the big downturn in offense and focus on things like D and base running, a guy like him would be a big commodity. I would honestly like to find a way to keep him, but I just don’t think he’d do well as a part time guy. He looks to me like a guy that needs to play every day to get into his rhythm.

    Wally

    25 Sep 14 at 4:23 pm

  2. 1999 Chad Tracy

    Mick Reinhard

    25 Sep 14 at 4:29 pm

  3. Of course, I meant ANDY Tracy

    Mick Reinhard

    25 Sep 14 at 4:30 pm

  4. Awesome thanks. My googling skills must have failed me when I made that list.

    Todd Boss

    25 Sep 14 at 4:43 pm

  5. Souza non-love. I’m convinced that prospect watchers have a blind spot for specific types of players:
    – middle relievers
    – 5th starters
    – MLB backups.

    I mean, lets be honest. Each of these categories of player is not the same as “replacement.” Look at what Stammen and Barrett did for us this year. Look at what Roark has done. Look at what we think Souza is capable of doing.

    The crummy part for Souza is exactly what you say: he needs playing time. And he’s probably not getting it here. He had 26 SBs in AAA this year; the guy can move. And he can hit. Center field? Except we have this dude named Taylor who looks just as good as Souza and had comparable numbers in AA (22 homers, 34 Sbs in a partial season). And not enough spots.

    I think the team looks to package some of these guys in the off-season. Similarly to the way Rizzo packaged surplus close-to-the-majors guys Norris, Peacock, Milone to get an established player, maybe he’s thinking the same with the likes of Souza, Moore, Treinen, Hill, etc.

    Todd Boss

    25 Sep 14 at 4:54 pm

  6. I agree that is more likely than not to happen with Souza. But shouldn’t they get something significant, just for him? I don’t think so, but that is the part that is puzzling.

    If I told you Souza would get 600 PAs next year, would you take the over or under on the following line: .255/.328/.422 with a 9% BB and 21% K, slightly positive base running (3+) and slightly negative (-2) D? Let’s say 17 HRs and an iso of ~.160?

    Seems reasonable, no; not even overly optimistic? That was worth > 3 WAR this year, and was a top 10 LF.

    Yet the guy doesn’t even play in either end of today’s DH. I just have trouble figuring it out. I wonder if he is a head case or something.

    Wally

    25 Sep 14 at 6:57 pm

  7. Wally – Souza’s “head case” days are allegedly behind him. I think his lack of playing time reflects Williams wanting to give at bats to the bench guys who will be with the team for the playoffs to keep them fresh. Right now, there is no “next year.” There is only “this year” and going as deep as they possibly can into October.

    As for the list, Todd you beat me to the punch as I had a similar blog post in mind. I saw one game at Potomac in 2005–and had never heard of Kory Casto before he blasted a huge home run to help the P-Nats win the game (Ian Desmond, who I’d been hoping to see, was there that night but riding the pine, incidentally). When Casto was name MLPOTY, I figured he was a no doubt about it sure fire prospect. It just goes to show how big a leap there is from AA or AAA to the bigs (even if Roark made it look easy). And also why prospects lists, like the one I just did on my blog, are largely a matter of guesswork no matter how much homework you do.

    bdrube

    25 Sep 14 at 11:25 pm

  8. I’ve always thought it likely that the Nationals view “minor league player of the year” as an entirely different category from “top prospect.” Just from the way they’ve used the award it seems quite possible that the team views it primarily as:

    (1) a way of rewarding a player (Billy Burns, Matt Skole, Brad Meyers) who has worked and achieved his way to a level that you didn’t expect; and

    (2) a way of spotlighting a player to other organizations for potential trade bait.

    Bryce Harper was never named the minor league player of the year, but he was clearly the top prospect in the system in 2011, not Steve Lombardozzi.

    John C.

    26 Sep 14 at 9:09 am

  9. Wally: I’d expect more slugging out of a full season of Souza. But, yeah, I’d take that line. I’d take another big bat in the lineup, since we stand to lose LaRoche. We’re going to be really righty-heavy though; wish Souza was a LH hitter.

    Odd indeed why he didn’t get some ABs in the DH today; perhaps Williams is thinking about getting his projected post-season lineup reps. Why else would Schierholz be playing center? :-) Or, exactly what Bdrube just said.

    Todd Boss

    26 Sep 14 at 9:54 am

  10. bdrube: sorry…. I just cut and paste a list that i’ve kept for years for some context. I’ve never posted something like that before and it just popped into my mind when I saw the announcement.

    Todd Boss

    26 Sep 14 at 9:55 am

  11. JohnC: absolutely agree with the distinction between POTY and “best prospect.” In fact, I’ve had this argument with Dave Nichols with the phrasing of his “minor league player of the year.” If you just called it “Minor League Player of the Year” you’d say ok i’ll give this to the players that had the best seasons. So i voted Souza, Taylor and Giolito.

    But then as a subtitle/subdefinition he writes “Minor league player most destined for big league success.” Well that’s *completely* different! The three prospects in our system most likely destined for big league success probably are not the guys with the 3 best seasons. If I had to re-rank according to that definition right now, I’d go Giolito #1 and #1-A, then probably AJ Cole #2, and then maybe Taylor #3. Despite Souza’s awesome season, i’m not convinced yet he’s bound for success in the majors, for the reasons we’ve already discussed.

    Todd Boss

    26 Sep 14 at 9:58 am

  12. Ok, maybe his ears were ringing because that ball was crushed

    Wally

    26 Sep 14 at 8:17 pm

  13. Yes, Souza now has two MLB HRs, collectively totaling almost 900 feet!

    Look, good teams have to turn over their rosters, or they risk becoming the Phillies. The Nats are going to have some cost-saving decisions this winter with guys like LaRoche, Span, and Clippard. (I’m counting Soriano as already off the books.) We’ll save some of those discussions for Hot Stove season, which we hope won’t be starting for more than a month. But there is a possibility that the Nats have an open starting OF spot next year, particularly if they don’t bring back Span. If so, then it could be a great competition in Viera among Souza, Taylor, Hood (completely back from the dead this year), and even Goodwin (who had a season like Hood has had for the previous couple). I would say that the money would be on Souza in 2015, but perhaps Taylor by 2016.

    Not saying any of it is going to happen. The Nats have a lot of big decisions over the next couple of offseasons, and yes, some trades will be coming. I think T-Mo is out of options so finally will be set free one way or another. Some of the young OFs could be traded, as could marginal pitching projects like Taylor Hill.

    I’ve been on the Souza bandwagon a long time. I still think he has a chance at an above-average MLB career. If nothing else, here’s hoping he fills Hairston’s bench slot in 2015 . . . for the defending world champs.

    KW

    26 Sep 14 at 10:57 pm

  14. It’s fun to see how this discussion is dramatically different from the same Souza debate we had last February, pre-spring training.

    2014 Souza did everything he needed to do to establish himself as a top prospect (IMHO, the top position prospect) in the Nats system: 1) He dominated his first year at the next level 2) He stayed healthy 3) He improved pitch selectivity 4) He was a team player all the way 5) He was appreciated by his peers and by other managers as a bat that made the rest of the lineup stronger.

    A player is not a non-top-prospect because there is no space in the starting lineup for him. History is full of Jeff Bagwells.

    I’m inclined to agree with John C’s opinion about the ML POTY – generally. It’s hard not to consider the value of hyping prospects and to appreciate that the hyperbolic rises of Peacock, Burns, Ray, and even Walters were leveraged into trades for pieces that may all be players on the roster of a team playing for the World Series. Logically, the MLPOTY is reason to NOT invest in DC real estate.

    But Souza is an important prospect for a more reason as well. There is no comparable power prospect in the Nats system to him, even at the lower levels of the minor leagues. Trading him would not be surplus in the same vein as releasing Eury Perez (who had Ike Ballou and Rafael Bautista 2 years away, but still clearly higher ceiling prospects). The Nats power bats are clearly in short supply and almost collectively regressed this year (B Miller, Skole, Lippincott, T Moore).

    There is a strong consensus for Span to return in 2015. That gives Taylor time in AAA, and time to Goodwin as well — he could certainly blow up next year as much as anyone and make this a more complicated question, though he is suited to LF.

    There is also the resignation/recognition that LaRoche’s turn is his farewell tour. That leaves 1B to be manned be Zimm/Moore/Souza or a player brought over in a trade for one of our high level pitching starters, or one of those who cannot be signed.

    Souza has already demonstrated that his bat will not erode on the bench, and I think as a 4th OF he will be a considerable upgrade over Hairston and provide good legs off the bench that the team now lacks. He can get as many AB as Lombardozzi did, given injuries and such, from four positions. And the team can edge him into a full time position as his bat demands.

    Souza has already made a career of being underestimated. He showed in the AFL last fall that he can hit and run quite effectively as a part time starter. He will be fine. The Nats will make other trades this winter, but I don’t see him being one of them.

    forensicane

    28 Sep 14 at 12:08 am

  15. The “political” considerations of the MLPOTY award, of course, may well have been exhibited with the Giolito pick over Austin Voth and AJ Cole (ace of a bad team).

    With that said, Giolito is obviously not going anywhere but Potomac/Harrisburg. The trade/resign questions after the season will clearly have an impact on the pace of his ascent now that he is past his post-TJ warmup year. Five pitchers to watch between now and opening day that will resolve that:

    Zimmerman – to be resigned or traded?
    Fister – to be resigned or traded?
    Cole – to be traded or will he be a spring training flash?
    Treinen – to be traded or to the bullpen?
    Jordan – to return to form in the spring or to fade?

    The answers to all will inform whether Giolito is needed in 2015 or 2016. Of course, Taylor Jordan once started in Potomac; but he outpaced an otherwise thinner starting corps than will be in the system in 2015.

    forensicane

    28 Sep 14 at 12:17 am

  16. One more interesting point on future indicators…

    This week Wagner had an article noting that fourteen players from the 2013 Nats AA team saw time in the majors this year. Fourteen!

    And the most remarkable stat? Seven of them with a different ML team. Wow!

    Could we even name 14 players from the AA and AAA teams who will play in the majors next year? One can never know what’s to come.

    forensicane

    28 Sep 14 at 1:05 am

  17. Well, however things play out for him, Souza now and forever has a place in Nats history!

    KW

    28 Sep 14 at 8:34 pm

  18. A worthwhile footnote…When Souza made the catch, Taylor was slowing down, having been called off. But Taylor was right there. He can cover tremendous ground. wow.

    What a great season. Thank you to the Nats for giving us this joy.

    As for Souza, the guy manages to come up whenever he is underestimated. This time it was his defense. Well, big time players step up big in big time games, as Santana Moss coined when he was a Cane.

    forensicane

    28 Sep 14 at 9:27 pm

  19. I missed the game today, unbelievably. What a catch, what a way to end the season. Wow. Chilling even watching it on video.

    I’m beginning to think that the team needs to think about making a place for Souza and Taylor. Souza’s power is unmistakable. Taylor’s talent is too. Too many good players for not enough spots, even before thinking about LaRoche and Span’s options.

    Todd Boss

    28 Sep 14 at 9:59 pm

  20. So, do the Nats sign/trade Span and try to get an Alex Meyer-type return? We got a great return for Morse and he wasn’t as valuable as Span. I really don’t see the Nats trading him, but I think it would be a ballsy move, creating space for Souza/Taylor and perhaps getting a 2B.

    Andrew R

    28 Sep 14 at 11:59 pm

  21. I can’t see the Nats trading Span this off season. They will already be losing LaRoche and Taylor is not yet ready offensively.

    If they are to make a deal for a star at 2B, they have minor league starting pitching (Cole-Treinen or Hill) they can move, along with Moore.

    So much depends on the return of Zimmerman and whether he has it in him to play 3B. He was doing fine before he hurt the hamstring and the team will/needs to give him every chance to show he can.

    One has to think they will sign Desi. And it seems that to trade pitchers the caliber of Zimm and Fister, neither of whom may have peaked, would be sacrilege. With the young starting they have, however, talk about a seller’s market!

    The other component here is Wilmer Difo. Overlooked from the obvious expression of his strength/speed combination that his results display, the guy was an incredible hitter in game on the line situations and with men on base. His situation reminds one of where the organization was, philosophically, when it acquired Span — players were coming up who might make it, but they would not be ready for 2-3 years. So Rizzo got a player who was signed on through that period as a bridge. Span outperformed his bridge, so the notion of replacing him in CF with Harper and having Souza come in in LF every day may not be so desirable as developing Souza as Werth’s eventual replacement in the lineup and sliding Harper over to RF when it’s time.

    Another player to keep an eye on, improbably, is Tony Renda. He is a winner and is going to the AFL for a reason (obviously not his height). The organization has been patient with his progress but he is obviously now ticketed for AA as a healthy former college star whose defensive game at 2B has stepped up. He has no power and so his future may be limited to utility help but he is a player you cannot bet against because he keeps proving you wrong. Rendon went to the AFL and then tore up the spring in 2013. Now look at him. Souza went to the AFL as a part timer and then tore up the spring in 2014. I’m just sayin’…

    There is a quantum leap of talent quantity in the system right now. In 2014, a lot of players leaped forward, especially in the second half. That was enabled, of course by an unprecedented wave of injuries and flameout performances. Some of those who regressed/injured will return to form; others will go the way of Brad Meyers.

    A number of those players who took off will continue their development and push upward. The 2013 GCL Nats’ best talents and supernovas like Lopez will speckle Potomac and Hagerstown, The Nats drafted some college talent last year that will emerge at Hagerstown in 2015, along with the best of the young Dominican class moving upward. Potomac won its championship with a lot of players that will refurbish AA. And AAA will feature excellent talent in the starting OF (Taylor, Goodwin, Hood) and pitching staff even before minor league free agency and the Rule 5 shake out.

    forensicane

    29 Sep 14 at 3:14 am

  22. per above, I neglected to point out the obvious — that Taylor’s emergence and obvious readiness for AAA CF made Perez superfluous even in AAA. He is not a corner OF and Taylor clearly has the SB skills to offset Perez’ ground game.

    forensicane

    29 Sep 14 at 3:18 am

  23. I think what they do in the offseason will largely be determined by how deep they go this offseason. A WS appearance/win and they will likely try to keep as much of the old gang together as possible. Some degree of change is unavoidable but that scenario could see ALR and Cabrera as the only pieces moved this offseason, and their replacements either internal or low level.

    If they lose in the NLDS though: could be a big shakeup of the guys who are not under control beyond 2015, in an effort to get near ready pieces to add to Taylor, Souza, Giolito, et al for the next window.

    As for 1b, I have assumed, like many, that Zim has to go to 1b next year. But this Souza guy makes me wonder if Zim and Werth go to the infield next year so Souza can play every day. Like I said earlier, his peripherals in addition to the core batting skills make me think he is a 2-3 WAR guy with upside entering his prime and dirt cheap, which may let them overpay to keep some of the pitching around.

    Wally

    29 Sep 14 at 8:10 am

  24. Todd – I missed it too! It was such a nice day outside, we went hiking with the kids. I turned it on, hoping to catch the end of the game, during JZ’s post game presser.

    Which, as an aside, no chance this guy stays. I’ll bet he beats Greinke’s contract now, and Rizzo just can’t/won’t pay >$150m for him.

    Wally

    29 Sep 14 at 8:14 am

  25. I agree jzimm is gone – huge pitcher contracts are too risky anyway.

    The Yankees had a rough year this year, but hung in by moving guys around defensively a lot. Why couldn’t RZimm learn 2b where we really need someone. Then Werth or Souza can play first. Teach Ramos to back up 1b and 3b to get his bat into the lineup a few times when he’s not catching. I think the offensive improvements would be worth some stumbling in the field.

    Andrew R

    29 Sep 14 at 9:14 am

  26. I think its tough for the Nats to retain either of Zimmermann or Desmond frankly. Both are 9-figure FA contracts.

    Here’s 4 reasons Zimmerman can’t play 2nd:
    1. if he can’t make casual, un-stressed throws from third, then he absolutely won’t make them from 2nd, where most of the throws are that way. There’s a reason most of these “yip” throwers are from positions like C and 2b, where a huge majority of the throws you make are unpressured.
    2. If he can’t stay healthy playing 3rd … where there’s almost no contact plays, he’ll be a disaster target at 2nd, where you have to be agile to get out of the way of 220lb linebackers barreling towards you.
    3. He’s too big for 2nd. There was a reason he got moved off of SS out of college and there’s a reason he would not be able to succeed at 2nd. Zimmmeran is listed at 6’3″ 220 but likely is heavier. The biggest 2nd baseman I can think of was Jeff kent, who was listed at 6’1″ and 185.
    4. He’s “quick” but not “fast.” A 3rd baseman can be “quick” to take one or two steps to get to a ball be good … a second baseman needs to be fast, be able to get to balls after taking a number of steps. Zimmerman is not fast; he’s slow on his feet, slow on the basepaths, and would be an UZR nightmare at a position like 2nd that requires great range.

    So, lets just forget Zimmerman to 2nd base. I agree with others: your decision tree seems to go like this:
    1. IF Zimmerman can play 3rd, put Rendon at 2B. Then you can leave Harper in left, decide one from Span/Taylor/Souza in center, and make a decision on extending LaRoche at 1st. If not extending him (likely not), Souza can play 1B, Zimmerman can play 1B, we can just rotate guys all over the corner positions.
    2. If Zimmerman can no longer play 3rd, I think its fait accomplis he ends up at 1st. Unless you’re dislodging Harper from left … but if Harper is no longer in LF, then he’s in Center, which means that Souza and Taylor are 100% blocked. I’d rather have positional flexibility in the OF right now than at the corner INF positions.

    Todd Boss

    29 Sep 14 at 11:28 am

  27. Werth to infield: interesting.

    I too have been assuming Zimmerman was the natural person to play 1st. He’s been an infielder forever and would make a very natural first baseman. Werth? I dunno. When was the last time he played infield?

    I agree with the core idea of trying to find Souza playing time. He’s a 20/20 guy; he has speed. He could play center. Not as good as Taylor though. Souza’s also big: 6’4″. He’d make a great target at first. But is that a waste of his skills? He made the great play on the no-hitter, but the night before he dropped a routine fly ball while Soriano was on the mound, extending his outing. Thoughts?

    Todd Boss

    29 Sep 14 at 11:32 am

  28. Right, the core idea is trying to find Souza playing time. We have 9 starters now + Souza and will be losing AC and ALR in the offseason. So the best 8 position players including Souza has 4 OFs and no 2B.

    I see no justice in any of the 2015 eight core guys being a bench player, including Souza. So, either one of them learns 2B or someone has to be traded, right?

    The only reason I suggest Zimm to 2B is because he has no real position, so he’s likely to be a rookie defender somewhere. His favored side-arm throw is the type of throw that works at 2B, and heck, Alfonso Soriano played there for years. It would leave a weak right side of the infield, which is a concern…

    So, who gets traded? Souza doesn’t appear to have enough trade value, so Span would seemingly be the next guy to trade (selling high) for a 2B.

    Andrew R

    29 Sep 14 at 11:38 am

  29. Well, here’s a wrinkle to “sign and trade” Span: unless the rules changed in the last CBA, newly signed FAs cannot be traded until June 15th of the following season: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/print.jsp?ymd=20090218&content_id=3843216

    The Nats have a “good” problem to have here: instead of some teams wondering how the heck they’re going to fill pending vacant positions, the Nats are trying to figure out which players fit in where. Personally, I have no more confidence that Zim can play 3B (and, neither does he per reading the tea leaves of his interviews on the topic). He’s shown some good instincts in LF … but i’d rather have an outfielder in the outfield, and an infielder in the infield. Therefore I think the best bet is:
    – Zim 1B, Rendon 3B
    – Espinosa or a FA at 2B
    – Harper LF
    – Souza/Taylor in CF
    – Span, LaRoche, Cabrera elsewhere.

    Another thought; Cabrera is a natural SS; who is to say the team doesn’t try to resign HIM, and deal Desmond before he leaves via FA anyway? Would you rather try to engineer a trade for someone who you may be thinking internally is unsignable and get closer-to-the majors prospect now versus a supp-1st round pick as compensation in the 2016 draft? The Yankees seem like a perfect fit: Desmond is a fla-guy with a big Yankee following, NY can and will pay his freight, and may have some pieces that the Nats would want.

    I’m not advocating to move Desmond (you have to think he’d be the #1 priority to get signed to an extension) .. just putting an option out there.

    Todd Boss

    29 Sep 14 at 12:42 pm

  30. Span has a 1-yr option, so he shouldn’t be bound by the FA rules, right?

    Same reasonable thought for Desmond, although that doesn’t really help with the logjam and I’m not sure who we’d want back from the Yanks. Maybe Robert Refsnyder for 2B, Jagielo for 3B, or Gary Sanchez for C? I love Desmond, but if he’s not going to resign, then it’s reasonable to see what we can get for him…

    Andrew R

    29 Sep 14 at 12:48 pm

  31. FWIW, Souza was drafted as a SS/3B and spent most of his early minors years at third, with a few appearances at short. Once deciding that the Face of the Franchise would be at 3B for the foreseeable future, they moved him to 1B for a year and then to the OF. But he’s a natural infielder. So Souza to 3B, Rendon to 2B, and Werth or Zimmerman to 1B? Or dare we suggest making Souza a 6’4″ 2B? He would at least have some familiarity with the pivot.

    But I agree with Todd that you rarely see a large MLB 2B, for some reason. After all, Desi is pretty large at SS.

    I really don’t think Zim can play third anymore. It seems quite telling that Matt W. hasn’t at least tried him there among all the makeshift lineups of the last few days. And frankly, after this year, I trust Zim in LF more than I do Werth in RF.

    But it’s not time to start the Hot Stove talk yet!

    KW

    29 Sep 14 at 1:02 pm

  32. What else are we going to do for the next 4 days?????

    Andrew R

    29 Sep 14 at 1:06 pm

  33. Souza will be a corner OF. If the team does not trade him, he will work his way into being a starting OF in the post-Werth era.

    If Zimm cannot play 3B, the team will solve its 2b problem the way Rizzo does, trading from surplus. Right now, the surplus is pitching, with TMo thrown in. Perhaps he goes to winter ball and tears it up, and we think differently.

    forensicane

    29 Sep 14 at 6:49 pm

  34. We have 3 more years of Werth! He’s gotta get playing time in the next year or else he’s gotta be part of the surplus.

    Andrew R

    29 Sep 14 at 6:53 pm

  35. No reason to want to get rid of Werth, true dat. Perhaps post Span and then Werth is more appropriate.

    forensicane

    29 Sep 14 at 8:20 pm

  36. I have to say, I still enjoy watching that Souza catch. Here is the last bit of Souza love I’ll offer before moving on to the playoffs: after he dives and makes the catch with his glove, while still airborne, he brings his free hand over to hold the ball with both hands, I think to make sure it didn’t bounce out when he hit the ground. He gets a lot of credit for that in my book, since his first instinct had to be to use his free hand to help cushion his fall. Took guts and smarts.

    Ok, playoff time. Rooting for SFG. Would be fun to see our old friend Mikey Morse.

    Wally

    30 Sep 14 at 8:32 am

Leave a Reply