Here’s a fast review of the 2015 draft class, looking at their 2015 numbers and making some snap judgements.
This post idea was stolen from minorleagueball.com’s John Sickels, who used to do this for nearly the entire draft class a couple of years back. It is quite a bit of clicking around so it isn’t surprising that he gave up on it. I did this kind of review a couple of years ago and may try to find time to extend it to 2015 performances of the 2014 (and earlier) classes, because its a nice way to check in on everyone all at once.
Baseball America had some limited information for every kid taken in the first 10 rounds and this post expands on the BA information for our entire 2015 class all the way to round 40.
Web links to use while reading:
- Stats are pulled from milb.com and/or fangraphs.com; put the player name into the search bar to get his seasonal stats
- The MLB Draft Tracker (which I believe is the best draft tracker out there) is the best place to get draft class information.
- The Big Board and the Draft Tracker are the goto resources for prospects for any Nats fan.
At the end of each player write-up i’ll put in a color coded trending line for the player: Green for Trending Up, Blue for Trending steady, Red for Trending Down. This is just my knee-jerk opinion of the prospect status of the player system-wide. And yes I realize this is their first pro ball season, short-sample sizes, scouting the stat line, etc etc. So apologies in advance if you think i’m being too harsh passing judgement on a 15 inning sample size. Of course I am; what else are we going to argue about this off-season?
Without further ado:
Round 1: forfeited by virtue of the Max Scherzer signing. Would have been the 26th pick overall, which ended up being Taylor Ward, a C from Fresno State that many thought was an overdraft by the Angels but which looks pretty good in retrospect (he slashed .348/.457/.438 in his first pro season split between rookie and low-A). Knowing the Nationals’ proclivities, they likely would have taken one of two polished college hurlers here if they had the pick: Jon Harris (who went 29th overall) or Kyle Funkhouser (who went 35th overall). Also still on the board was well-regarded HS pitcher Mike Nikorak, who went just after Ward. I’m not complaining about the loss of this pick as I did with the Rafael Soriano signing; just pointing out how things could have gone otherwise.
Round 2: Andrew Stevenson, OF (CF). COL jr from Louisiana State. Slashed .305/.358/.376 across 3 levels, getting promoted up to Hagerstown relatively quickly. 16/30 K/BB in 214 Abs, 1 homer, 23SBs in 55 games. Stevenson so far is pretty much what we expected; a speedy plus defender in center with blazing speed (nearly a half a SB per game), little pop but a decent bat. He had very few strikeouts (just 16 in 214 ABs across 55 games): a great trait for a guy who probably profiles as a lead-off hitter. I’d like to see better OBP though going forward. Whether this translates to MLB production eventually remains to be seen, but so far so good. Trending Up.
Round 2: Blake Perkins, OF (CF) from Verrado HS, Buckeye, Ariz. Slashed .210/.265/.281 in the Rookie league, with 36/13 K/BB in 166 Abs, 1 hr, 4sbs. Somewhat disappointing debut for Perkins, who some had pegged as an even better prospect than Stevenson. We’ll chalk this up to a youngster facing pro pitching for the first time. His first full season should be telling, though its hard to see him breaking camp with a full-season squad after this debut. Odds are he’ll be in XST until June and then will give Short-A a try. Post-posting update: thanks to AndrewR in the comments section for the Baseball America 2015 Nats Draft class review link, where it is pointed out that Perkins was asked to start switch hitting this year. Well no wonder his average was so low. A quick look at his splits: .111/.122/.222 versus lefties (going just 5 for 45), .248/.316/.306 versus righties. Now, what’s kind of odd about that split line is this: he already batted R when drafted and *added* a lefty swing … so why was the slash line so bad versus lefties? You’d think the split would have been the other way around? I could not find traditional splits as a L or as a R on either fangraphs or milb.com; not sure if I just missed them or if Perkins started switch hitting later in the year. Either way, you have to give his overall split line a pass. Trending steady.
Round 3: Rhett Wiseman, OF (corner), COL jr from Vanderbilt. Slashed .248/.307/.376 in Short-A with 52/18 K/BB in 210 Abs, 5 homers. Honestly, I would have expected a bit more from Wiseman, a very polished college hitter from a good program. Just 5 homers in 210 ABs? I know the NY-Penn is a pitchers league … but that’s just one homer every 42 ABs. He profiled as a power-hitting corner outfielder out of college; is this what he can be? Milb.com reports that he played a lot of CF, which would be a nice little bonus if he could stay at the position. Trending steady.
Round 4: Mariano Rivera Jr, rhp COL sr from Iona. 1-2, 5.45 ERA in Short-A with 26/3 K/BB in 33IP (19 app, 3 starts). 2.70 FIP, .388 babip. Rivera was tried as a starter and quickly failed, getting moved to the pen, where he was much better. Starter ERA: 13.00. Reliever ERA: 2.63. His seasonal ERA isn’t nearly as bad as it looks thanks to some bad luck; his FIP is good and his K/BB rate looks good as well. He profiles like his father; slight, live arm, good stuff as a reliever. I can see him moving up the ladder as a back-of-the-bullpen reliever. Perhaps a disappointment that a 4th round pick was relegated to the bullpen after just three starts … but could be a quick moving arm on a team that clearly needs them. Trending Up.
Round 5: Taylor Hearn, lhp COL jr from Oklahoma Baptist. 1-5, 3.56 in
the GCL Short-A with a 38/13 K/BB in 43ip (10/10 starts), 3.40 fip, .346 babip. (Editor note: he was in Auburn most of the year; he just started in GCL briefly). Perhaps too old to be in the GCL, but was decent nonetheless in 10 starts. Nothing earth shattering here; I would like to have seen him going against other college hitters in Short-A frankly. We’ll see what he does next year. Hearn joined his fellow lefty first 10 round starters in the Auburn rotation and was completely effective, averaging nearly a K/inning with decent control. He’s done nothing to jeopardize his advancement for 2016 and should compete for a low-A rotation gig. Trending steady.
Round 6: Matt Crownover, lhp COL jr. from Clemson. 1-4, 3.81 ERA in Short-A with 34/9 K/BB in 49.2 ip (13 app, 10 starts), 3.40 fip, .301 babip. As with Hearn’s numbers, nothing bad but nothing mind blowing out of Crownover’s numbers in Short-A. Not a bad return for an under-slot ACC lefty starter. I like the 4-1 K/BB ratio. Trending steady.
Round 7: Grant Borne, lhp COL jr from Nicholls State. 1-4, 3.59 in Short-A with 32/7 K/BB in 47.2 ip (15 apps, 5 starts), 2.99 fip, .321 babip. Its amazing how similar Hearn, Crownover and Borne’s numbers were, each profiling as a command/control lefty starter in Short-A. Trending steady.
Round 8: Koda Glover, rhp COL sr from Oklahoma State. 1-1, 1.80 ERA across 2 levels, getting promoted to Low-A. 38/2 K/BB in 30 ip (19app), 2.44 fip, .288 babips in LowA where he spent most of the year. 38 to 2 (!!) K/BB ratio in 30 innings. That’s great. No wonder he was an over-slot deal. Glover profiled very well and should be in the mix for a High-A bullpen slot in 2016 already. Trending Up.
Round 9: David Kerian, 1b COL sr from Illinois. Slashed .251/.336/.338 in Short-A with 41/25 K/BB in 195 Abs, 0 homers. Kerian signed for just $25k in the first of the Nats two big “save bonus money senior draftee” picks. Zero homers as a first baseman and a .338 slugging? That’s just not going to do it. Trending Down.
Round 10: Taylor Guilbeau, lhp COL sr from Alabama. 3-3, 3.54
in the GCL mostly in Short-A with 31/9 K/BB in 51 ip (11/10 starts) .2.89 fip, .356 babip. Another senior sign, Gilbeau was 3-4 years older than his competition in the GCL yet “only” struck out 31 in 51 innings. He may struggle to find a full-season job next year (what with all the other college lefties being drafted) and could quickly find himself out of organized ball. Trending Down. Turns out, I mis-read Guilbeau’s assignment; he was in Auburn basically the entire year and his FIP looks solid based on his competition. I’m amending this report to say he’s Trending Steady based on his 2015.
Round 11: Andrew Lee, RHP COL jr from Tennessee. Posted a 5-1, 1.63 ERA across 3 levels, ending up in Hagerstown. 47/10 K/BB in 38.2 innings (16/5 starts), 2.19 fip, .250 babip in lowA where he spent most of his time. An intriguing arm for sure and more than held his own in 5 Low-A starts. He’s in the mix for the Hagerstown 2016 rotation. Trending Up.
Round 12: Tommy Peterson RHP COL jr from South Florida. 0-0, 2.66 in Auburn with 13/4 K/BB in 20 relief innings, 2.83 fip, .318 babip as part time closer. Not too many innings to judge on here; looks like a good option for the Hagerstown 2016 bullpen. Trending steady.
Round 13: Max Schrock, COL jr from South Carolina. Slashed .308/.355/.448 in Short-A with 16/13 K/BB in 172 Abs, 2 homers. Drafted as a 2B, played mostly SS. Schrock was the big over-slot deal the team signed in 2015, getting $400k over-slot as a 13th rounder (the rough equivalent of a mid 4th rounder). He hit pretty well in Short-A in his debut too, with a good OPS figure for a middle infielder who made a ton of contact (just 16 Ks) but also needs to work on his batting eye (just 13 walks). Trending Up.
Round 14: Mack Lemieux LHP from Jupiter Community HS (FL): did not sign, never seemed like he was even close to signing from articles and twitter. Committed to Florida Atlantic University (FAU).
Round 15: Kevin Mooney, RHP COL jr from UofMaryland. 1-0, 5.40 ERA in Short-A with a 15/13 K/bb in 21.2 innings, 4.95 fip, .333 babip. Not a great debut for the local kid Mooney, who was last seen blowing both super-regional games that enabled UVA to surprisingly make its way to the CWS (where even more surprisingly they ended up winning). Far, far too many walks given how many punch-outs he had, his FIP was still way up there even given a BABIP not really that out of line. Needs to step it up if he wants a full-season job. Trending Down.
Round 16: Ian Sagdal, SS COL sr from Washington State U. Slashed .235/.323/.327 in Short-A with 36/20 K/BB in 162 Abs, 1 homer, 1 SB. Played mostly 2B per milb.com despite being drafted as a SS. No power, little speed evident, tough season in Auburn for Sagdal. With the collection of middle infielders the Nats drafted in 2015 plus the rising DSL guys, Sagdal may not be long for the system. Trending Down.
Round 17: Dalton Dulin, 2B from Northwest Mississippi CC. Slashed .273/.410/.354 in Short-A 21/18 K/BB in 99 AB as part time 2B. Not too bad for a younger guy in short-A ball. Trending steady.
Round 18: Melvin Rodriguez 2B COL sr from Jackson State U. (MS). Slashed .200/.294/.282 in Short-A with 17/15 K/BB in 110ABs, 0hr, 0sb as part time 2B. Well, if you’re not going to hit for power, you need some speed. And if you can’t show speed, you should show a good hit-tool. Rodriguez didn’t show much of anything this year and may not make it out of spring next year. Trending Down.
Round 19: Clayton Brandt SS COL sr from MidAmerica Nazarene U (KS). Slashed just .193/.304/.261 in the Rookie league, with a 28/10 k/bb in 88 Abs, 0 hr as SS. Not good, especially as a 22-yr old. Trending Down.
Round 20: John Reeves C, COL sr from Rice (TX): did not sign. Despite being listed as a “College Senior” he really was a 4th year junior and opted to return for his 5th year.
Round 21: Matt Pirro, Matt RHP COL sr from Wake Forest. 0-0 3.71 ERA across two levels, ending in Short-A. 14/11 k/bb in 17ip, 4.52 fip, .372 babip in short-A. Not great numbers; too many walks, but his ERA/FIP likely the result of a bit of unlucky babip. In a battle to stay employed though going into next year by virtue of his senior sign status. Trending Down.
Round 22: Adam Boghosian RHP COL 5s from North Greenville U. (SC). 3-0, 4.28 era across 2 levels with 16/18 k/bb in 27ip, 5.59 fip, .162 babip in short-A. Anytime you have more walks than strike-outs, its a bad thing. And he posted a mediocre ERA despite an unbelievably low babip; his numbers are likely even worse with a longer sample size. Another senior sign that may get the axe once full-season rosters get set next spring. Trending Down.
Round 23: Alec Rash, RHP COL jr from Missouri: did not sign. Rash has barely pitched while in College and was a better bet to try to regain some draft value by pitching a full senior season.
Round 24: Blake Smith RHP COL jr West Virginia: did not sign. Listed in some places as a senior but WVU’s site lists him as a junior, so he still has eligibility and opted not to sign so as to increase his draft status with a good senior season.
Round 25: Calvin Copping RHP COL jr from Cal. State Northridge. 1-2, 4.76 ERA in the GCL 14/5 K/BB in 17ip, 4.01 fip, .305 babip. So-So numbers for a college guy in the rookie league. As with his fellow middle-of-the-road senior sign pitchers, he needs to show more dominance if he wants a job out of spring 2016. Trending Down.
Round 26: Russell Harmening. RHP COL jr Westmont Coll (CA). 1-0, 2.86 ERA in the GCL with 16/4 K/BB in 22ip, 3.26 fip, .303 babip. Better numbers than Copping or Pirro or Boghosian, so we’ll give him a leg up in next year’s bullpen competitions. Trending steady.
Round 27: Ryan Brinley, RHP COL jr from Sam Houston State U. (TX). Was 1-4 1.44 ERA across 3 levels this year with a 16/1 K/BB in 31.1 ip, 3.85 fip, .292 babip in low-A (where he ended up). Great 27th round find so far in Brinley, who may not have a ton of swing and miss but certainly seems to have some command (1 BB in 31 innings??). Could be a nice little middle relief option going forward, someone who can keep his team in games. Trending Up.
Round 28: Mick Van Vossen RHP COL sr from Michigan State U. 0-2, 4.83 ERA across 2 levels. 23/13 K/BB in 31.2 ip, 4.09 fip, .260 babip in GCL (where he spent most of the year). Nothing too special here; struggled when he got to Auburn but only had 6ip there. Needs to show a better K/BB ratio to compete next year. Trending steady.
Round 29: Philip Diedrick OF COL sr Western Kentucky U. Slashed just .146/.208/.292 in the GCL with 33/6 k/bb in 89 Abs, 4 hr as LF. Not a good season for Deidrick at all, striking out a third of the time with little in the way of average or OBP to show for it. Trending Down.
Round 30: Jorge Pantoja RHP COL jr Alabama State U. 1-1, 5.84 ERA in the GCL, 11/3 K/BB in 12ip, 2.74fip, .395 babip. Looks like some potential there with a K/inning and a FIP that flatters his ERA. Probably needs more time. Trending steady.
Round 31: Nick Sprengel LHP from El Dorado HS (CA): did not sign. A strong commitment to the U of San Diego, Sprengel was never likely to sign.
Round 32: Dalton DiNatale 3B COL jr Arizona State U. Slashed just .232/.326/.341 in the GCL 23/10 K/bb in 82abs, 1 hr, 2 sbs. I would have expected more from a Pac-12 hitter in the GCL. Trending Down.
Round 33: Angelo La Bruna SS COL 5S from U. Southern California. Slashed .269/.303/.355 in the GCL with 15/3 k/bb in 93 Abs, 0 homers. Drafted as a SS but played 1B; anytime you have a 5th year senior in the rookie league who hits zero homers, warning flags go up. Trending Down.
Round 34: Tyler Watson LHP from Perry HS (AZ). 1-1, 0.00 ERA and 16/4 k/bb in 13ip, 1.81 fip, .226 babip in the GCL. The Nats final over-slot signee ($300k over slot likely on top of the $100k you can throw at any post 10th rounder compensates him on a par as a mid 4th rounder), Watson did not disappoint. He’s young but he looked dominant in his first pro innings. I’ll bet he stays in XST and debuts next year on a short-A squad. Trending Up.
Round 35: Coco Montes SS from Coral Gables HS (FL): did not sign. Montes honored his commitment to South Florida.
Round 36: Taylor Bush SS from The Linfield School (CA): did not sign. Bush honored his commitment to Westmont College.
Round 37: Steven DiPuglia SS from Cooper City HS (FL): did not sign. DiPuglia honored his commitment to Western Kentucky.
Round 38: Matt Morales SS from Wellington Community HS (FL): did not sign. Morales honored his commitment to Stetson University.
Round 39: Jake Jefferies 2B COL jr from Cal. State Fullerton. Slashed .241/.276/.296 in Short-A. 5/2 K/BB in 54ABs, 0 homers, 3 steals in part time MIF. Zero power. Good bat control though. The Nats have drafted Jefferies multiple times so they clearly see something in him; he sticks around for a bit even given his unimpressive 2015 campaign. Trending steady.
Round 40: Parker Quinn 1B from The Benjamin School (FL): did not sign. Quinn honored his commitment to Hofstra.
- Trending Up (7): Stevenson, Rivera, Glover, Lee, Schrock, Brinley, Watson
- Trending steady (11): Perkins, Wiseman, Hearn, Crownover, Borne, Peterson, Dulin, Harmening, Van Vossen, Pantoja, Jefferies
- Trending Down (12): Kerian, Guilbeau, Mooney, Sagdal, Rodriguez, Brandt, Pirro, Boghosian, Copping, Deitrick, DiNatale, La Bruna
- Did Not Sign (10): Lemieux, Reeves, Rash, Smith, Sprengel, Montes, Bush, DiPuglia, Morales, Quinn
I like what I see out of a handful of guys, and its great to see a couple of the lower-draft pick guys pop up a bit. I want to see more out of Perkins and Wiseman in particular; their success makes or breaks this draft. The three over-slot guys (Glover, Schrock, Watsh) all performed well, indicating great use of those funds by the Nats brain-trust.
PS: I created an XLS to do this analysis; if you prefer, you can look at it in Google XLS or use the select cut-n-pasted info below:
|Round||Player/Pos||2015 Level||Basic Stats|
|2||Andrew Stevenson, of||GCL-Short-A->LowA||.305/.358/.376|
|2||Blake Perkins, of||GCL||.210/.265/.281|
|3||Rhett Wiseman, of||Short-A||.248/.307/.376|
|4||Mariano Rivera, rhp||Short-A||1-2, 5.45|
|5||Taylor Hearn, lhp||GCL||1-5, 3.56|
|6||Matt Crownover, lhp||Short-A||1-4, 3.81|
|7||Grant Borne, lhp||Short-A||1-4, 3.59|
|8||Koda Glover, rhp||Short-A -> LowA||1-1, 1.80|
|9||David Kerian, 1b||Short-A||.251/.336/.338|
|10||Taylor Guilbeau, lhp||GCL||3-3, 3.54|
|11||Lee, Andrew RHP||GCL-Short-A->LowA||5-1, 1.63 ERA|
|12||Peterson, Tommy RHP||Short-A||0-0, 2.66|
|13||Schrock, Max 2B||Short-A||.308/.355/.448|
|14||Lemieux, Mack LHP||did not sign|
|15||Mooney, Kevin RHP||Short-A||1-0, 5.40 ERA|
|16||Sagdal, Ian SS||Short-A||.235/.323/.327|
|17||Dulin, Dalton 2B||Short-A||.273/.410/.354|
|18||Rodriguez, Melvin 2B||Short-A||.200/.294/.282|
|19||Brandt, Clayton SS||GCL||.193/.304/.261|
|20||Reeves, John C||did not sign|
|21||Pirro, Matt RHP||GCL -> ShortA||0-0 3.71 ERA|
|22||Boghosian, Adam RHP||GCL -> ShortA||3-0, 4.28 era|
|23||Rash, Alec RHP||did not sign|
|24||Smith, Blake RHP||did not sign|
|25||Copping, Calvin RHP||GCL||1-2, 4.76 ERA|
|26||Harmening, Russell RHP||GCL||1-0, 2.86 ERA|
|27||Brinley, Ryan RHP||GCL-Short-A->LowA||1-4 1.44 ERA|
|28||Vanvossen, Mick RHP||GCL -> ShortA||0-2, 4.83 ERA|
|29||Diedrick, Philip OF||GCL||.146/.208/.292|
|30||Pantoja, Jorge RHP||GCL||1-1, 5.84 ERA|
|31||Sprengel, Nick LHP||did not sign|
|32||DiNatale, Dalton 3B||GCL||.232/.326/.341|
|33||La Bruna, Angelo SS||GCL||.269/.303/.355|
|34||Watson, Tyler LHP||GCL||1-1, 0.00 ERA|
|35||Montes, Coco SS||did not sign|
|36||Bush, Taylor SS||did not sign|
|37||DiPuglia, Steven SS||did not sign|
|38||Morales, Matt SS||did not sign|
|39||Jefferies, Jake 2B||Short-A||.241/.276/.296|
|40||Quinn, Parker 1B||did not sign|