(Last post in this series, then back to the big club).
We have looked at the four full-season staffs, guessing the roles, and talk about the changes of the staffs from the end of last year til now.
Let’s talk briefly about the 40 some-odd guys in XST or unassigned right now, name some surprises and perhaps talk about where they might slot in if/when they get a chance.
Quick links for rosters for each full season affiliate:
And don’t forget the invaluable work of SpringfieldFan maintaining the Nats Big Board, now in its 12th season!
Notes: Extended Spring Training is abbreviated XST throughout. Other abbreviations I use often: MLFA == Minor League Free Agent, OOO = Out of the Organization.
Note: since writing this mid last week, we’ve already seen more than a few names get assigned and removed from XST purgatory. I’ll just
cross them out and not change what I originally wrote below.
Extended Spring Training Players to start the 2017 Full Season
I’m heavily depending on the great work of the Big Board for this list. I count no less than 46 minor league pitchers who are still under contract to this team but who did not get a full season assignment. A huge percentage of them were on Short-A or Rookie league teams and were more or less expected to repeat the short seasons. I have not included anyone who was in the DSL last year as being in this list, coincidentally; I only try to keep track of the domestic leagues.
Below is a rough guess as to where these XST guys are intended to slot in if/when they get assigned:
- AAA: Eitel,
Guthrie, Lannan*, Outman, Nathan
- AA: JDMartin,
Blackmar, Benincasa, Rauh
- High-A: Mayberry, JThomas*, Mendez
- Low-A: JMorales, ALee, DeRosier, Howell, Dickey
- Short-A: WPena, YRamierez, DRamos, Aponte, Cespedes, Fuentes, JGomez, Gunter, Mooney, Morse, Reid
- Rookie: Alastre, Braymer, Baltrip, Amoroso, Barnett, Conner, Eusebio, German, Luzardo, McDonald, Peguero, NRamirez, Rishwain, Tindall, RWilliamson
- unknown (been in XST for > 1yr): Bates, CFlores, AMartinez, Shackelford
AAA: by the time you read this, Jeremy Guthrie may have already taken a spot start in the majors (update: he has, making Saturday’s 4/8/17 start in Philly), which will have implied that he’ll have been added to the 40-man and 25-man, and that he’ll more or less have guaranteed his spot up there for a while (since as a vet, he won’t be able to be assigned back to AAA w/o his consent/passing through waivers). I’m guessing the other guys make their way to Syracuse at some point, perhaps as cascading back-fills if there’s injuries requiring call-ups to the majors. 2017 spring training NRI Joe Nathan, after this writing, got signed and assigned to AAA.
AA: I could see Martin slotting in at either AA (where he ended up last year) or at AAA (due to his experience). Blackmar struggled in AA and could get pushed back to High-A. The other two were release candidates to me. Update: Blackmar re-assigned back to AA as expected to replace Arias in the rotation.
High-A: All three guys here pitched for Potomac last year, and all three pitched well. Mendez earned a promotion to AA where he got hit, so maybe he just got caught in a numbers game. None are release candidates to me so perhaps they all missed out on the AA team but have nothing left to prove in High-A.
Low-A: Morales, Lee and DeRosier were all hurt in 2016 (Morales for the whole season, Lee/DeRosier for just half), so it all depends on the extend of the injuries. Howell was the fastest 2016 draft class riser .. so its kind of odd he wasn’t put on a full season team. Maybe they thought he needed more time in Short-A. Lastly I’m not sure what you do with Robbie Dickey; two straight years bouncing between short- and low-A with little to show for it. The 4th rounder represents a somewhat large investment by the club that hasn’t panned out and (even though the concept of “sunk cost” may apply here) he’ll likely get more shots to work out.
Short-A: this list includes mostly guys who were at Auburn last year and who didn’t make the Hagerstown cut, but it also includes some guys who should have gone further by now, so I’d guess we’ll see some releases out of this list, especially once the Rule4 draft rolls around.
Rookie: same as with Short-A, especially for the college-age guys here. I do look forward to the 2017 debut of Jesus Luzardo of course; he could quickly become our 2nd best starting pitching prospect.
Unknowns: what do you make of players who are on pace to miss nearly a year and a half of pro time? I have no idea where any of these guys slot in any more and wouldn’t be surprised to see them all let go at this point.