Lucas Giolito still leads the line of the Nats 2012 draft class. Photo unk via federalbaseball.com
I recently did a John Sickels style review of all our 2013 draft picks. And I thought it’d be fun to do the same for our 2012 draft class one year in (see here for the 2012 version of the post). Lets check in to see how these guys are doing in their 2nd pro seasons.
As always; the Big Board and the Draft Tracker are the two best Nats prospect resources out there. Thanks SpringfieldFan for doing all that you do. Stats are pulled from milb.com and fangraphs.com and are current as of the end of the regular minor league seasons.
Finally, at the end of each writeup i’ll put in a color coded trending line (my own opinion) for the player: Green for Trending Up, Blue for Trending steady, red for Trending Down.
Round 1: (#16 overall) Lucas Giolito HS RH Starting pitcher: 2-1, 1.94 ERA with 39/14 k/bb in 36 2/3 innings, 28 hits mostly in the GCL. All Nats prospect fans should know of Giolito’s status these days; he has come back from surgery, pitched effectively in the rookie league and was lights out in 3 starts in short-A (one run conceded in 14 innings). Per comments and scouting reports his velocity is back, he seems healthy, and he could be just a season away from being breathlessly talked about as one of the best prospects in the game. Should feature in full-season ball (likely starting in low-A with an eye for finishing in high-A) in 2014. Trending Up.
Round 2: (80) Tony Renda, Coll Jr 2B: .294/.380/.405 with 3 homers, 68 walks, 65 Ks in 521 ABs at Hagerstown. Also was 30 for 36 on the basepaths. Those are solid full season numbers. I like that Renda makes a lot of contact; a K rate of just 12% on the year isn’t too bad. Renda was a young college draftee (he turned 22 in January of this year), so he isn’t necessarily “too old” for Hagerstown. He will continue to move up the food chain in 2014. Trending Up.
Round 3: (111) Brett Mooneyham, Coll Jr LH starting pitcher: 10-6, 3.19 ERA with 85/54 k/bb in 104 1/3 innings, 67 hits mostly for Hagerstown. I was worried when Mooneyham couldn’t break the high-A roster, given his age and draft day pedigree. He started out strong, endured a D/L stint, then dominated towards the end of the season, forcing a promotion. In high-A? Not so great; he had three awful starts to close out the season. Mooneyham continues to “look” like a better pitcher than his numbers; he’s too wild, he doesn’t miss as many bats as you like, but he gets the job done (well, in low-A anyway). Clearly he’s going to be in the Potomac Rotation for 2014; lets see how he does. But i’m beginning to question his true “ceiling” in this organization; is he going to top out like a Danny Rosenbaum, a mediocre AAA starter? Trending Steady.
Round 4: (144) Brandon Miller Coll Sr Corner OF: .255/.317/.457 with 20 homers, 41 walks, 164 strikeouts in 505 at bats splite between Hagerstown and Potomac. His statline seemed to feature as a power hitting corner outfielder in Hagerstown: 18 homers in 103 games, a homer every 22 at-bats or so. But then in Potomac he’s hit .300 with a .350 OBP and just two homers in 110 at-bats. It could be a case of being slightly old for low-A: he turns 24 in a month’s time. Either way, he really needs to cut down on the K’s; 164/505 equates with nearly a 33% strike-out rate. That’s going to catch up to him unless he starts hitting 40 homers instead of 20. Otherwise, he’s done nothing to jeopardize his continued rise up the system for 2014. Trending Steady.
Round 5: (174) Spencer Kieboom, Coll Jr C: 6 at-bats in 4 games for the GCL Nats in late August; a lost season for Kieboom due to Tommy John surgery undergone in early 2013. Since he’s not a pitcher, he returned to the field in less than a year’s time. But he’s lost a year of development and now will compete with 2012 draftee catchers such as Geoff Parrott and rising DSL grads like Pedro Severino for playing time in the full-season A-ball teams in 2014. Trending Down.
Round 6: (204) Hayden Jennings, HS OF/CF: .248/.313/.343 with 0 homers, 11 walks, 48 Ks in 137 at-bats while repeating the GCL in 2013. Jennings struggled in his rookie league pro debut in 2012 and repeated the level, improving his OPS nearly 200 points. He has improve upon a horrible strikeout rate but still is striking out 35% of the time. That’s really not a good sign for the leadoff/CF guy he seems to project as right now; he needs to show a much higher OBP, put more balls in play, and do more on the basepaths (12 SBs in 44 games). I think he gets moved up for 2014, but may really struggle in full-season ball. Trending down.
Round 7: (234) Robert Benincasa, Coll Jr. RH relief pitcher: 0-5 with 27 saves, 3.00 ERA with 64/14 K/BB in 51 IP, 45 hits split between Hagerstown and Potomac. Benincasa has settled into a closer role, getting 10 saves for Hagerstown to open the season before earning a promotion to Potomac about halfway through the season and continuing as their closer. His K/BB rate stayed high even with the promotion, though his ERA and hits/9 crept up a bit. He seems set to move up to Harrisburg and could compete with Richie Mirowski for the AA closer role in 2014. Trending up.
Round 8: (264) Stephen Perez, Coll Jr. SS: .248/.303/.326 with 4 homers, 11 walks, 40 Ks in 107 at-bats in low-A Hagerstown. Wow; 107 strikeouts in 432 at-bats; 25%. You just can’t have a 25% strikeout rate for a weak hitting, no power middle infielder. These numbers were in line with his short-season numbers too. He’s a college junior draftee from a very good baseball school (U of Miami) in low-A who looks like a draft bust right now. Trending down.
Round 9: (294) Derek Self, Coll Sr. RH relief pitcher: 4-5 with 8 saves, 4.66 ERA with 49/16 K/BB in 56 IP, 64 hits split between Hagerstown and Potomac. Self started in Potomac, had a 6.29 ERA in 23 apperances and was demoted mid-season to Hagerstown. In low-A he had more respectable numbers but nothing eye-popping. He was a low-bonus college senior draftee who’s struggling to make a mark in a league where he’s one of the older guys out there. I could see him being a post-2014 spring training cut. Trending down.
Round 10: (324) Craig Manuel, Coll Sr C: .282/.364/.347 with 1 homer, 24 walks, 20 Ks in 170 at-bats mostly in low-A Hagerstown. He missed a month mid-season, then was mostly the backup to Adrian Nieto in Hagerstown. Unfortunately, a low-bonus college senior draftee who’s backing up guys in low-A probably isn’t long for the organization. He may be a victim of the catcher numbers game at some point (though, that being said, the team only drafted one catcher in 2013; maybe he sticks around for a while). Trending down.
Round 11: (354) Brian Rauh, Coll Jr RH starter/reliever: 7-4, 4.50 ERA with 68/34 K/BB in 106 IP, 107 hits split between Hagerstown and Potomac. An odd season for Rauh; he struggled in middle relief in low-A (posting a 5.21 ERA), then was promoted to Potomac, where he was installed as a starter. He had 12 mostly mediocre starts (4.22 ERA) before being moved to the bullpen the last week of the season when Brett Mooneyham was promoted up. Is he a starter? Is he a reliever? More time in the system is apparently needed; i’m guessing he begins in the bullpen in high-A next year. Trending Steady.
Round 12: (384) Carlos Lopez, Coll Sr 1B: .296/.441/.407 with 0 homers, 7 walks, 7 Ks in 27 at-bats in low-A Hagerstown. Lopez went on the 7-day DL in mid-April after just 9 games and never came off. I cannot find word of his injury. But with newly drafted James Yezzo in the mix as a 1B-only draftee, Lopez has his work cut out for himself to retain his standing in the organization. Especially considering that he was a College senior sign who is positionally limited and hasn’t shown much in the way of power at the professional level. Trending down.
Round 13: (414) Elliott Waterman, Coll Jr LH reliever: 2-0, 2.96 ERA with 13/12 K/BB in 24 1/3 IP split between the two short season teams. Waterman performed poorly in Short-A last year, did not make a full-season team out of camp, then got hammered again in his early outings for Auburn this year before getting demoted to rookie ball. He pitched better in the GCL, eventually earning a call-back to Auburn but has not appeared since 8/31/13. He’s still relatively young (does not turn 23 until November) and he’s a big tall lefty, but he’s putting too many guys on base and not getting enough swing and miss stuff to stick as a situational arm. He may get one more spring training but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him cut loose if he doesn’t make a full-season team in 2014. Trending down.
Round 14: (444) Jordan Poole, Juco-2 corner OF: .222/.278/.403 with 3 homers, 6 walks, 40 Ks in 72 at-bats split between the two short season teams. I’ll repeat this metric: 40 Ks in 72 at-bats. He struggled in Auburn and then got hurt in late July, missing 3 weeks. He finished the season in Rookie ball, probably a combination rehab assignment/demotion. He does feature some pop; his isolated slugging of .441 in Auburn shows some promise. But that’s a lot of strikeouts. He’s still very young (he turned 22 just this week) so he will continue in the system. Trending down.
Round 15: (474) Brandon Smith, OF: Didn’t sign. Hit .318/.370/.406 as a freshman corner outfielder at Division II Grand Canyon University.
Round 16: (504) Ronald Pena, Juco-2 RH starter/reliever: 4-3, 3.48 ERA with 55/34 K/BB in 88 IP for Hagerstown. Pena started the season in the Hagerstown rotation, where he stayed mostly until the end of May. He had a 4.70 ERA as a starter on the season; not good enough given the arms matriculating upwards. From there he worked the bullpen, where in the same number of innings his Ks were up, his walks down and his hits allowed down. It seems to me he’s bullpen-bound from here. Trending Steady.
Round 17: (534) Blake Schwartz, Coll Sr RH Starting pitcher: 13-4, 2.51 ERA with 101/28 in 147 IP for Hagerstown and Potomac. Schwartz started the year in the Hagerstown rotation and ended it in Potomac, getting the ball for their 2nd playoff game. After striking out 21 guys in his first 14 low-A innings, he was quickly promoted up and threw 132 additional innings in Potomac. His ERA was low upon promotion, he fared equally well against lefties and righties. I’d like to see more K’s, but it is hard to argue with the results. He had to be in the “player of the year” discussions for the organization. So far looking like a great find this late in the draft from a small school. Trending up.
Round 18: (564) David Fischer, Coll Sr RH reliever: 5-0, 4.06 era with 81/52 K/BB in 58 IP for Hagerstown and Potomac. He got a quick bump up from Hagerstown after just 9 apperances and spent the bulk of the season in Potomac’s bullpen providing longer relief stints every few days. He hit the D/L in mid August and never came back off of it. This beanpole (6’5″ 175lbs) clearly has some strikeout type stuff (53 Ks in his 44 high-A innings) but he is also wild as hell (44 walks in 44 innings to go with 8 wild pitches and 5 HBPs in high-A). It sounds like someone needs to coach Nuke LaLoosh up here. Trending Steady.
Round 19: (594) Bryan Lippincott, Coll Sr 1B: .273/.346/.434 with 7 homers, 25 walks, 39 Ks in 198 at-bats split between Auburn and Hagerstown. A small-college senior signee, Lippincott spent all of 2012 in the GCL (where he clearly was “old for the level.”). In 2013, he waited for short-season to start, then slugged .464 in 44 games for Auburn before getting the call-up to Hagerstown to play for the team during the playoffs. He struggled in 10 playoff games (understandible; they’re the best teams in the league) but otherwise had a nice season. He’s seemingly set to compete for perhaps the 1B or DH in High-A for 2014. Trending Steady.
Round 20: (624) James Brooks, Coll SR SS/3B: Released May 2013; he was a senior sign who played last season mostly in the GCL, save for a 2 week stretch where he went 1-32 in Short-A. Apparently he didn’t make a team out of spring training and was released just before Short seasons started.
Round 21: (654) Austin Chubb, Coll Sr C: .200/.241/.238 with 0 homers, 2 walks, 12 Ks in 105 at-bats for Auburn. Chubb was a part-time catcher, splitting time with others in Auburn, and followed up his generally poor 2012 GCL numbers with even worse numbers in 2013. He had just two walks in 100+ plate appearances? With no power to show for it? Chubb may not be long for the organization, despite the positional scarcity. Trending Down.
Round 22: (684) Will Hudgins, Coll Sr RH reliever: 3-2, 4.41 ERA with 28/21 K/BB in 32 2/3 innings, 25 hits split between low- and short-A. Suddenly retired July 12th on Twitter.
Round 23: (714) Casey Selsor, Coll Sr LH Starter/Reliever: 0-6, 4.29 ERA with 30/14 in 42 1/3 innings, 56 hits for Auburn. Selsor was drafted with 2-way capabilities but has only pitched for the Nats. He started the season in Auburn’s rotation, got demoted to the bullpen after 6 starts, but eventually made his way back into the rotation in some sense by the time the season was over. He gave up a ton of baserunners, but his babip was high. Despite a 4.29 ERA his FIP for the year was just 3.15. So he pitched better than his stats look. Trending Steady.
Round 24: (744) Kevin Dicharry, Coll SR RH pitcher: 0-2, 14.54 ERA with 4/2 K/BB in 4 1/3 innings, 8 hits for Auburn. Dicharry pitched very poorly in his first three Auburn appearances and then was released 7/1/13. Without any knowledge of how well he recovered from the arm issues he had in college, this seems like an incredibly quick release considering how well he pitched (even if he was overaged) last year in the GCL.
Round 25: (774) Freddy Avis, RHP: didn’t sign. Attending Stanford, where in 2013 he appeared in exactly one game and pitched 2 innings before suffering a season-ending injury. Google research is spotty, but it seems like he aggravated the same knee which he had ACL surgery on in 2012 and which ended his HS career prematurely.
Round 26: (804) Skye Bolt, RHP: didn’t sign. Attending UNC, where in 2013 he hit .349/.449/.550 as a freshman starter for one of the best teams in the nation. That’s a pretty darn impressive slash line for a freshman in the ACC. Those are 1st round pick numbers.
Round 27: (834) Cody Poteet, RHP: didn’t sign. Attending UCLA, where in 2013 as a mid-week starter/weekend reliever he was 4-6, 4.84 ERA with 56/31 K/BB in 70+ innings for the CWS champions. We don’t have advanced stats, but his BAA of .227 seems to indicate his ERA was incredibly unlucky. He should be a weekend starter for UCLA next season.
Round 28: (864) Hunter Bailey, Coll Sr SS/2B: .182/.265/.205 with 0 homers, 4 walks, 11 Ks in 44 low-A at bats earlier this season. Bailey was released May 2013. The jump from GCL to full-season ball proved too much for Bailey and he was cut loose as an expendible backup middle-infielder in a system full of them rising quickly up the ranks.
Round 29: (894) Leonard Hollins, Juco RH reliever: 1-4, 2.91 ERA with 36/16 in 46 1/3 innings, 48 hits mostly for Auburn. The submariner made a successful jump to short-A out of the GCL, and still has not given up a professional home-run. All we have to do now is figure out if he’s “Leonard” or if he’s “L.J.” since milb.com and Fangraphs differ in their names for him. Trending Up.
Round 30: (924) Robert Orlan Coll Jr LH Starter: 1-5, 3.65 ERA with 47/22 K/BB in 56 2/3 innings, 54 hits for Auburn. Orlan was the leading innings-eater for Auburn in 2013 after missing the whole 2012 season following TJ surgery. Orlan kept the ball down, pitched better than his ERA shows (3.38 fip) and shows no reason not to continue up the chain and compete for rotation jobs in full season ball next year. As I said last year, he could be a great sleeper pick. Trending Up.
Round 31: (954) Michael Boyden Coll Sr RH reliever: 0-0, 4.61 ERA with 15/14 K/BB in 13 2/3 innings, 17 hits for GCL. 14 walks and 17 hits equates with a balloned 2.27 whip for this 23-year old in the rookie league (which means he’s likely throwing against guys 4-5 years younger than he is). It is hard to understand why he was back in the GCL after having shown he could handle Short-A last year. Either way, his control issues from last year caught up with him in 2013 and I don’t think he’ll be long for the organization. Trending Down.
Round 32: (984) Michael Mudron, Coll Sr LH reliever: 1-3, 6.82 ERA with 32/15 K/BB in 30 1/3 innings, 43 hits. Great K/9 rates for a matchup lefty (reminder: milb.com lists him as a RHP when he’s actually a lefty). His game-logs show what a weird season he had: of the 23 earned runs he gave up in his 30 innings, 20 of them came in four awful outings, highlighted by his 8/24/13 outing: he gave up 5 hits and 5 walks in an inning and a third, resulting in 6 earned runs. These factors contributed to his FIP being just 2.77, a huge delta from his ugly ERA. I’d imagine this stat line makes it hard for higher-ups to evaluate him. Nonetheless, he should feature in a full-season bullpen in 2014. Trending Steady.
Round 33: (1014) Mike McQuillan, Coll Sr 2B/3B: .277/.372/.367 with 2 homers, 40 walks, 66 K’s in 264 low-A at-bats (skipping 5 rehab games he did in the GCL). As with last year, good average and great OBP, but little to no pop. He missed 2 full months of the season with an injury that I cannot easily google. Otherwise he continues to profile as an undersized, speedy 2nd baseman with good OBP capabilities. He’ll move up to Potomac in 2014. Trending Steady.
Round 34: Jake Jeffries, 2B: didn’t sign. Attending Cal State Fullerton, where in 2013 he hit .260/.327/.360 as a starting middle infielder.
Round 35: Corey Bafidis, LHP: didn’t sign but Washington picked him in 2013. From the 2013 version of this post: Coll Sr LH relief pitcher. 2-0, 2.73 ERA with 22/13 K/BB in 26 1/3 relief innings mostly in Auburn, 18 hits. He got pushed to low-A too early, settled into short-A where he probably belonged to begin with, and pitched relatively well for 20 innings. Too many walks for a relief pitcher, though, he’ll have to work on that. He mostly worked in 2 inning stints and never got any looks at starting. Trending steady.
Round 36: Max Ungar, C: didn’t sign. Attending Division III Denison, where he does not appear to be playing baseball at all. Seems to have quit the sport. Was th is a “favor draft pick” to give someone’s friend’s kid some notariety?
Round 37: Tyler Watson, LHP: didn’t sign. Threw just 3 2/3 innings over 6 games for Kansas U as a freshman.
Round 38: Jarred Messer, RHP: didn’t sign. Finished 6-4 with a 2.70 ERA his senior year at Malone University but then went undrafted, and as far as I can tell did not get picked up by either a MLB org or an independent league team. He seems to be playing in the Ohio Tuscarawas County Class A league, an Adult baseball amateur league.
Round 39: Mitchell Williams, C: didn’t sign. Attended the Marion Military Institute in Alabama, for which I cannot find any current stats.
Round 40: Ricky Gutierrez, CF: didn’t sign. Presumably playing football for U-Conn, as per the Draft Tracker. I could not find any individual football stats for him in rudimentary googling.
Summary: our top end guys are doing well and we may have some finds in the later rounds. On the downside, most of the rest of the first round picks are struggling. Such is the nature of the new draft classes; picks 7-10 are more like 25th rounders while picks 11-15 are more like 6th-10.