Nationals Arm Race

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DC/MD/VA District High School Tournament Report: 2016 post-season underway

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It has been a rainy spring season for local baseball teams, but the district tournament season is upon us.  Here’s the first of four posts we’ll do covering the High School baseball tournaments in the DC/MD/VA area.  Here’s the rough schedule of posting and what we’ll cover:

  • #1: DC/MD/VA District High School Tournament Report: post-season kickoff (this post).  Covers: MD regional kickoffs, VA district brackets, Private school tourney updates.  Usually publishes the week before Memorial day tournament finals.
  • #2: Maryland State Champs, Northern VA District Champs crowned.  Covers: MD state finals, VA district tourneys, VA regional brackets, DC regular season results.  Usually publishes after the Memorial Day weekend tournaments finish up.
    #3: Virginia Regional Results, DC Tourneys.  Covers: VA regional results, State brackets, DC tourney results.  Usually publishes the first week of June.
    #4: Final Prep Baseball Update: Virginia State Champions crowned.  Covers: VA state tourneys, recaps MD, DC, Private School results.  Publishes mid-June once the Va state tourney wraps up.

Northern Virginia

Virginal district tournaments get started last weekend and most are scheduled to finish this week.  The VHSL site has some district brackets already published.  NovaBaseballMagazine has done a great job keeping up conference results and has links to the conference tournaments under its “Standings” links.  Here’s a preview of the district tournaments for local conferences with the leading contenders.

The top four teams from each district tourney form the 16-team regional brackets, to be published later on once all the divisions are finalized.

  • 6-A Conference 5/Concorde: Chantilly and Westfield are the 1/2 seeds; the other four teams in the district all are hovering around .500 for the year, including Oakton despite having a nationally-known recruit in Joe Rizzo.
  • 6-A Conference 6/Liberty: Madison and McLean are the 1/2 seeds as they were last year; Madison lost only one game locally this year and should cruise to the district title.
  • 6-A Conference 7/Potomac: West Springfield and Lake Braddock are the 1/2 seeds, with Annandale hovering.
  • 6-A Conference 8/ Cedar Run: Battlefield the clear dominant team in this small district and is the #1 seed in the tournament.

Previews: Its hard not to squint and predict a regional semi finals of Chantilly, Madison, West Springfield and Battlefield at this point; the question becomes when does Battlefield throw its unbeatable ace Jake Agnos.  If Battlefield can get to a regional final with Agnos on the hill, watch out.

In the 5-A division:

  • 5-A Conference 13/Capitol: Marshall is the clear #1 and the clear 5-A regional favorite, with just one loss all year.
  • 5-A Conference 14: Tuscarora, Stone Bridge and Briar Woods all stand at 5-2 in the district with one game remaining to play to jockey for seedings.
  • 5-A Conference 15: Mountain View and Potomac seem like the teams to beat again.
  • 5-A Conference 16: Halifax, Patrick Henry-Ashland are perennial favorites but this conference is not well covered by DC-area outlets.

Previews: Marshall seems like the team to beat; perennial power Stone Bridge lost its coach Sam Plank and some of its stars to rival new school Riverside, which is currently in Division 3-A while it grows into a 5-A/6-A size.

There are some DC-local teams in the 4th and smaller divisions (mostly in Loudoun County).  We’ll go through them once their brackets are made available on VHSL.  The best 4-A team out there is probably Loudoun Valley, currently in the WP top 10, and Kettle Run is also putting together a great season.


Maryland

At this point, the Maryland State tournament is underway, with the play-in/round of 32 games played on 5/14/16.   Brackets here at the MPSAA website and direct links to the four State-wide brackets are linked directly below.  Schedule: Regional quarters are on 5/16, semis 5/18 and regional finals 5/20.  State Semis are 5/24 and the state finals are 5/27.

  • Maryland 4-A: Both finalists from 2015 are  “district” #1 seeds in this year’s draw (Severna Park and Gaithersburg); they’ll meet in the State Semis this year if form holds.  2014 state-finalist Sherwood is also a “district” #1 seed and sits on the other side of the bracket with the likes of Dulaney, Parksdale and Bowie.
  • Maryland 3-A: Looks like new blood in this year’s tourney: last year’s champ did not make Regionals, and 2014’s champ Reservoir is set to take on last year’s finalist Mt. Hebron in the first round.  Chesapeake and River Hill look like early favorites.
  • Maryland 2-A: Two-time defending 2-A champ Southern has their work cut out for them to three-peat.  Newly promoted Sparrows Point, 2014 finalist Parkside and last year’s runner’s up Eastern Tech also in the field.
  • Maryland 1-A:  (mostly smaller schools outside the DC area): Last year’s champ is in the field but is not a favorite to advance even out of its own district.

We usually discount the quality of Maryland public school baseball teams versus their Virginia counter parts … but I can’t help if a team like Gaithersburg isn’t better than the likes of Madison or Chantilly this year.


DC

  • DCIAA: the regular season runs through 5/17.  The District tournament quarters are on 5/19, semis 5/23 and the finals on 5/25.   Wilson may finally have some competition, as School Without Walls (SWW) was undefeated mid-way through conference play.
  • DCSAA: the 2016 tournament, if it will occur, has yet to be scheduled.  It does not look like it has actually been held since 2013.

Remember, there’s not usually much suspense in who is winning the DCIAA; Wilson has not lost to a DCIAA opponent in more than 20  years.


Private Leagues: WCAC/MAC/IAC and VISAA/Maryland Private

  • MIAA: No playoff brackets yet, but Spalding looks once again like the class of the MIAA Class A.  Standings here.
  • There’s a 2016 Maryland Private School Tournament scheduled for 5/30 at UMD; it should have some of the better private schools from Maryland, including the non-affiliated but perennial powerhouse Riverdale Baptist.  Details coming later.
  • VISAA: The VISAA playoff brackets were just announced: #1 seeds by the three classes were Paul VI, Greenbriar Christian and Southampton Academy.  Other local teams playing include Flint Hill, O’Connell, and the Potomac School in McLean.  Quarters 5/16, Semis 5/10 and finals 5/21/16.
  • WCAC: The WCAC is midway through its tournament; with semis and finals being held this week.  St. Johns won the regular season but the four top teams all advanced to the semis.
  • MAC: Flint Hill once again cruised to a regular season title.
  • IAC: no news yet on this smaller private DC-area conference.
  • PVAC: no news yet on this smaller private DC-area conference.

My master list of links used to cover HS Baseball:

Local and National High School Baseball Ranking Lists:

These National rankings are dominated by teams in Texas, Florida and California, as you might expect.  These teams can play nearly 40 games and usually have at least 15-20 under their belts before DC/MD/VA teams even get going.  So its somewhat of an accomplishment just to have a local team get some recognition.  In fact, any cold-weather state team appearing in these lists is pretty special.

Major Newspaper Links/Resources for following prep baseball around the state

  • Washington Post’s AllMetSports section with standings and schedule results.
  • The Baltimore Sun’s high school page has information on some of the programs outside the DC area mentioned in the Maryland section
  • InsideNova.com‘s coverage of high school sports, but has put limits on the number of stories you can read.
  • Richmond Times-Dispatch has a HS scoreboard.
  • Hampton Roads Pilot (Hampton Roads) has scores for teams in the Chesapeake/Norfolk/Va Beach area.
  • NovaBaseballMagazine: great coverage of Prep baseball in NorthernVirginia (thanks to Joe Antonellis for the heads up on this great new resource).

Local Newspaper Coverage, including links to many local papers covering smaller jurisdictions.

Non-newspaper Links for Local and National Prep Baseball Coverage

Good Twitter accounts to follow:

  • https://twitter.com/toddeboss/lists/prepbaseball: I maintain an open list at my twitter account via this link, which contains direct links to dozens of local resources (including all the below).  Way too many retweets from the travel team accounts especially, but its a good way to keep up with local ball.
  • https://twitter.com/PBRVirginiaDC: Prep Baseball Report VA/DC coverage
  • https://twitter.com/NVBaseballMag: NoVa Baseball Magazine
  • https://twitter.com/NoVAHSBB
  • https://twitter.com/DynamicBaseball

Written by Todd Boss

May 16th, 2016 at 8:38 am

Nats Prospects: Where to see them in 2016

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Giolito may be "the man" but Voth could be a serious rotation candidate himself.  Photo via mlbdirt

Giolito may be “the man” but Voth could be a serious rotation candidate himself. Photo via mlbdirt

(2015’s version of this post)

Now that we’re basically through Prospect Ranking season (though I havn’t seen Fangraphs rankings of the Nats system for 2016 yet … if I missed it feel free to give me a link), and now that the four full season rosters have been announced, here’s a fun little look at where our top 30 Prospects (as ranked by mlbpipeline.com) are starting out 2016.  (Note: Bill Ladson previously posted something similar; i’ve just expanded it to the whole big list of prospects).  And here’s a link to every Nats prospect ranking list I know of dating more than 10+ years.

Last NameFirst NamePosition2016 Starting Level2015 Starting LevelDraft/IFA signing YearHow Acquired?mlb.com/mlbpipeline.com Nats top 30 Feb 2016
GiolitoLucasRHPAAHigh A2012 1stDraft1
TurnerTreaSSAAAAA2014 1stTrade2
RoblesVictorOF (CF)Low ARookie2014 IFAIFA3
FeddeErickRHPHigh ALow A2014 1stDraft4
LopezReynaldoRHPAAHigh A2012 IFAIFA5
DifoWilmer2BAAAA2010 IFAIFA6
ColeA.J.RHPAAAAAA2010 4thDraft/Trade7
StevensonAndrewOF (CF)High AShort A2015 2ndDraft8
VothAustinRHPAAAAA2013 5thDraft9
SeverinoPedroCAAAAA2011 IFAIFA10
PerkinsBlakeOF (CF)XSTRookie2015 2ndDraft11
AbreuOsvaldoSSHigh ALow A2012 IFAIFA12
FrancoAnderson3BXSTRookie2013 IFAIFA13
WardDrew3BHigh AHigh A2013 3rdDraft14
SotoJuanOF (corner)XSTDSL2015 IFAIFA15
BautistaRafaelOF (CF)AAHigh A2012 IFAIFA16
ReetzJaksonCLow AShort A2014 3rdDraft17
BaezJoanRHPLow ALow A2014 IFAIFA18
GloverKodaRHP (reliever)High AShort A2015 8thDraft19
WilliamsAustenRHPAAHigh A2014 6thDraft20
KeiboomSpencerCAAHigh A2012 5thDraft21
de los SantosAbelRHP (reliever)AAAAA2010 IFATrade22
WisemanRhettOF (corner)Low AShort A2015 3rdDraft23
LoraEdwinSSLow AShort A2013 IFAIFA24
HearnTaylorLHPLow AShort A2015 5thDraft25
GutierrezKelvin3BLow AShort A2013 IFAIFA26
ReadRaudyCHigh ALow A2011 IFAIFA27
LeeNickLHPAAAA2011 18thDraft28
SkoleMatt1B/3BAAAAA2011 5thDraft29
BostickChris2BAAAA2011 44thTrade30

And, for good measure, here’s every other Nats prospect still active in our system who hasn’t exhausted their rookie eligibility and who has ever appeared on a Nats Prospect list, and where they’re starting (organized by level highest to lowest).

Last NameFirst NamePosition2016 Starting Level2015 Starting LevelDraft/IFA signing YearHow Acquired? 
DavisErikRHP (reliever)AAAAA2008 13thTrade
SolisSammyLHPAAAAA2010 2ndDraft
GoodwinBrianOF (CF)AAAAA2011 1st-SuppDraft
JordanTaylorRHPAAAAAA2009 9thDraft
MartinsonJasonSSAAAAAA2010 5thDraft
GraceMattLHP (reliever)AAAAAA2010 8thDraft
RamseyCalebOF (Corner)AAAAAA2011 11thDraft
HillTaylorRHPAAAAAA2011 6thDraft
BradyMichaelRHP (reliever)AAAOO - AA2009 24thTrade
SanchezAdrian2BAAAA2007 IFAIFA
VettlesonDrewOF (Corner)AAAA2010 1stTrade
SueroWanderRHPAAAA2010 IFAIFA
PleffnerShawn1BAAAA2011 26thDraft
MendezGilbertoLHP (reliever)AAAA2011 IFAIFA
BacusDakodaRHP (reliever)AAAA2012 9thTrade
BallouIsaacOF (Corner)AAAA2013 15thDraft
DykstraCutter2B/SSAAAAA2008 2ndTrade
KeyesKevinOF (Corner)AAAAA2010 7thDraft
PerezStephenSSAAHigh A2012 8thDraft
SimmsJohnRHPAAHigh A2013 11thDraft
HollandNeilRHP (reliever)AAXST2010 11thDraft
TurnbullKylinLHPHigh AHigh A2011 4thDraft
SilvestreHectorRHPHigh AHigh A2011 IFAIFA
SelfDerekRHP (reliever)High AHigh A2012 9thDraft
JohansenJakeRHP (reliever)High AHigh A2013 2ndDraft
ValdezPhillipsRHPHigh ALow A2009 IFAMLFA
EstevezWirkinRHPHigh ALow A2010 IFAIFA
Marmolejos-DiazJose1BHigh ALow A2011 IFAIFA
ReyesLuisRHPHigh ALow A2013 IFAIFA
RodriguezJefryRHPLow ALow A2012 IFAIFA
AgustinTelmitoOFLow AShort A2014 IFAIFA
LeeAndrewLHPLow AShort A2015 11thDraft
SchrockMax2B/SSLow AShort A2015 13thDraft
Rivera Jr.MarianoRHP (reliever)Low AShort A2015 4thDraft
BenincasaRobertRHP (reliever)XSTAA2012 7thDraft
MotaIsraelOFXSTDSL2013 IFAIFA
PimentelDavinsonCXSTDSL2014 IFAIFA
WatsonTylerLHPXSTGCL2015 34thDraft
SpannMatthewLHPXSTHigh A2010 25thTrade
WootenJohnUtilXSTHigh A2012 37thTrade
DavidsonAustinInfXSTLow A2014 13thDraft
DickeyRobbieRHPXSTLow A2014 4thDraft
GunterCody3B (now a RPH)XSTRookie2013 6thDraft
FuentesStevenRHPXSTRookie2014 IFAIFA
EncarnacionRandyOF (Corner)XSTShort A2011 IFAIFA

 

 

 

Written by Todd Boss

April 14th, 2016 at 12:51 pm

Opening Day Payroll, Attendance, Starters & other cool stuff: 2016 Version

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2015 opening day image via sayhellobaseball.wordpress.com

2015 opening day image via sayhellobaseball.wordpress.com

My recurring “Opening Day” trivia/useless information post.  Here was 2015’s version, 2014‘s and 2013.  Many of the below links are to Google XLS docs that i’ve updated for 2016 and which are available on the right hand side under “NatsArm Creations.”


Nats 2016 Opening day Payroll: $145,178,886 according to Cots.  This is down nearly $20M from last year’s figure.  We can only hope that Mike Rizzo will be allowed to “spend” that money later in the year at the trade deadline if this team actually needs to spend money to acquire helpful players.

My personal payroll estimate came in at $ $137,286,029 coincidentally; why am I $8M off?  Because Cots basically makes arbitrary proclamations of salary for current year when money is deferred whereas I’m counting it as real dollars.  So for example I’m charging the Nats payroll precisely $15M for Max Scherzer this year while Cots puts the figure north of $22M, and Cots puts all of Papelbon’s $3M deferred 2016 salary on the 2016 books.  So between those two players the entire delta is accounted for.

The question is this: as a Nats fan are you “happy” that your payroll is down nearly $20M in Stephen Strasburg‘s walk  year and while your Season Ticket prices continue to rise?

 


Opening Day Payroll; MLB

USAToday also publishes opening day salaries for teams and i’m convinced that they’re garbage.  I’ve got a comparison spreadsheet where i’ve put the USAtoday figures side-by-side with Cots’ analysis and for some teams they’re off by more than $25M.  The problem is that USAToday doesn’t count ANY payments handed to and from between teams, whereas Cots does a very detailed auditing of such money.

Nonetheless, here’s USAToday and Cots’ rankings for the 30 teams (this is my first time using this new Table plug in; head to Google XLS to read it if this is too difficult):

Cots RankUSA Today rankTeamOpening Day - USA TodayOpening Day - CotsDelta USAtoday-Cots
12Los Angeles Dodgers$221,288,380 $247,781,668 $26,493,288
21New York Yankees$222,997,792 $227,854,350 $4,856,558
33Detroit Tigers$194,876,481 $198,018,000 $3,141,519
44Boston Red Sox$188,545,761 $197,899,679 $9,353,918
56San Francisco Giants$172,253,778 $172,086,611 ($167,167)
67Chicago Cubs$154,575,168 $171,611,834 $17,036,666
713Los Angeles Angels$137,251,333 $164,673,333 $27,422,000
85Texas Rangers$186,038,723 $157,955,390 ($28,083,333)
98Baltimore Orioles$145,533,782 $147,693,713 $2,159,931
109St. Louis Cardinals$143,053,500 $145,553,500 $2,500,000
1111Washington Nationals$141,652,646 $145,178,886 $3,526,240
1210Seattle Mariners$141,683,339 $141,830,193 $146,854
1312Toronto Blue Jays$138,701,700 $136,782,027 ($1,919,673)
1414New York Mets$133,889,129 $135,188,085 $1,298,956
1515Kansas City Royals$131,487,125 $131,487,125 $0
1616Chicago White Sox$112,998,667 $114,498,667 $1,500,000
1717Colorado Rockies$112,645,071 $112,645,071 $0
1818Minnesota Twins$105,333,200 $105,333,700 $500
1920San Diego Padres$101,424,814 $100,759,500 ($665,314)
2019Pittsburgh Pirates$103,778,833 $99,945,500 ($3,833,333)
2123Arizona Diamondbacks$89,264,063 $98,172,683 $8,908,620
2221Houston Astros$94,893,700 $96,893,700 $2,000,000
2327Cleveland Indians$74,311,900 $96,304,400 $21,992,500
2422Cincinnati Reds$89,955,059 $89,871,228 ($83,831)
2525Philadelphia Phillies$83,980,000 $88,846,667 $4,866,667
2624Oakland Athletics$86,806,234 $86,806,234 $0
2729Atlanta Braves$69,005,791 $86,580,792 $17,575,001
2826Miami Marlins$77,314,202 $74,364,500 ($2,949,702)
2930Tampa Bay Rays$57,097,310 $66,681,991 $9,584,681
3028Milwaukee Brewers$69,282,737 $63,908,300 ($5,374,437)

 

 

 


Opening day Nats park attendance

Opening Day 2016 attendance was announced at 41,650.  That’s down more than 800 from last year (but still a sell-out).  Perhaps the rain forcast kept people away.   Here’s all our home openers in order with attendance, time of game, weather:

  • 2016: 41,650 (4:05 thursday game, 60 and 1.5hr rain delay)
  • 2015: 42,295 (4:05 monday game, 75 and gorgeous)
  • 2014: 42,834 (1:05 friday game, 50s and overcast)
  • 2013: 45,274 (1:05 monday game, 60 and beautiful)
  • 2012: 40,907 (1:05 thursday game 56, partly cloudy)
  • 2011: 39,055 (1:05 thursday game, 41 degrees and overcast)
  • 2010: 41,290 (1pm game monday, beautiful weather 80s and sunny): Phillies invasion
  • 2009: 40,386 (3pm game on a monday, chilly 53degr and overcast)
  • 2008: 39,389 (season and stadium opener), 8pm sunday night, Braves, nat’l tv clear but cold.
  • 2007: 40,389 (in rfk, 1pm game vs Florida, 72degrees
  • 2006: 40,516 (in rfk, tuesday day game vs Mets, 72degr and sunny)
  • 2005: 45,596 (in rfk, debut of entire franchise, 62degr and clear, evening game).

Here’s some attendance milestones for the franchise:

  • Nats park capacity for 2015 seems to still be 41,456 unless they announce an 2016 adjustment.
  • 2015’s opening day crowd wasn’t even close to 2013’s: 45,274.  That remains the regular season record attendance.
  • All time record attendance?  The ill-fated 2012 NLDS game 5: 45,966.
  • The first game in franchise history; 2005 in RFK: 45,596, which stood until the NLDS record-setting game.
  • The long-running regular season attendance record was the great Fathers day 2006 game in RFK against the Yankees: 45,157.  That record stood for more than 6 years.

Opening Day Box Scores and Results

Nats are just 4-8 in their home openers now since moving to Washington.  Just one guy has thrown more than one home opener for the Nats: Livan Hernandez When Livan gets elected to Cooperstown, I hope he’s wearing the curly W.  :-)

  • 2016: mlb.com: Marlins d Nats 6-4.  WP: David Phelps, LP Tanner Roark (Starters: Brian Conley and Roark).
  • 2015: mlb.com: Mets d Nats 3-1.  WP: Bartolo Colon.  LP: Max Scherzer
  • 2014: mlb.com or b-r.com.  Braves d Nats 2-1.  WP: Luis Avilan.  LP: Tyler Clippard.  (Starters: Jordan Zimmermann and David Hale).
  • 2013: mlb.com or b-r.com.  Nats d Marlins 2-0.  WP: Stephen Strasburg.  LP: Ricky Nolasco
  • 2012: mlb.com.  Nats d Reds 3-2.  WP: Craig Stammen. LP: Alfredo Simon (Starters: Gio Gonzalez and Mat Latos)
  • 2011: mlb.com.  Braves d Nats 2-0.  WP: Derek Lowe.  LP: Livan Hernandez
  • 2010: mlb.com.  Phillies d Nats 11-1.  WP: Roy Halladay.  LP: John Lannan
  • 2009: mlb.com.  Phillies d Nats 9-8.  WP: Jamie Moyer.  LP: Saul Rivera (Nats Starter: Daniel Cabrera)
  • 2008: mlb.com.  Nats d Braves 3-2.  WP: Jon Rauch.  LP: Peter Moylan (Starters: Tim Hudson and Odalis Perez)
  • 2007: mlb.com.  Marlins d Nats 9-2.  WP: Dontrelle Willis.  LP: John Patterson
  • 2006: mlb.com.  Mets d Nats 7-1.  WP: Brian Bannister.  LP: Ramon Ortiz
  • 2005: mlb.com.  Nats beat Arizona 5-3. WP: Livan Hernandez. LP: Javier Vazquez

How about Season openers?

Record: 5-7.  # times home/away: 6 home, 6 away.

The Nats managed to lose 6 of their first 7 season openers … only winning in 2008 when debuting their new stadium.  And Jon Rauch did his darndest to blow that opener too, coughing up the lead in the 9th to give Ryan Zimmerman a chance at glory.

2016: away: Nats d Braves 4-3.  WP Treinen, LP O’Flarity (starters Scherzer, Teheran)
2015: home: Mets d Nats 3-1.  WP: Bartolo Colon.  LP: Max Scherzer
2014: away: Nats d Mets 9-7.  WP Aaron Barrett, LP Familia (starters Strasburg, Dillon Gee)
2013: home: Nats d Marlins 2-0.  WP: Stephen Strasburg.  LP: Ricky Nolasco
2012: away: Nats d Cubs 2-1.  WP Clippard, LP Marmol (starters: Strasburg and Ryan Dempster)
2011: home: Braves d Nats 2-0.  WP: Derek Lowe.  LP: Livan Hernandez
2010: home: Phillies d Nats 11-1.  WP: Roy Halladay.  LP: John Lannan
2009: away: Marlins d Nats 12-6.  WP: Nolasco, LP; Lannan
2008: home: Nats d Braves 3-2.  WP: Jon Rauch.  LP: Peter Moylan (Starters: Tim Hudson and Odalis Perez)
2007: home: Marlins d Nats 9-2.  WP: Dontrelle Willis.  LP: John Patterson
2006: away: Mets d Nats 3-2.  WP: Glavine, LP: Hernandez
2005: away: Phillies d Nats 8-4.  WP: Lieber, LP: Hernandez


Opening Day Starter Trivia

Here’s my Opening Day starters worksheet in Google docs.  Here’s the answer to some fun Opening Day Starter trivia:

  • Leader in Opening day starts: remains C.C. Sabathia with 11, though he’s missed the last two years.
  • Leader in consecutive opening day starts: Felix Hernandez, making his 8th consecutive, 9th overall.
  • Justin Verlander returned to Opening Day duties, getting his 8th career opening day start; he remains in 3rd place actively.
  • For the Nats; Max Scherzer gets his 2nd and Stephen Strasburg continues to have three.
  • Ten (10) pitchers made their first opening day start in 2016.
  • There’s 8 guys out there still active with 4 or more Opening Day starts who did not get them this year, and they include a number of former Aces who might be on the way out of the game (Tim Lincecum in particular, but also guys like James Shields, Bartolo Colon and Yovanni Gallardo)
  • The most ever?  Tom Seaver with 16.  The most consecutive?  Jack Morris with 14.

 

 

Obligatory 2016 MLB Prediction piece

10 comments

With almost no analysis and just absorbing information from national pundits and stuff I’ve read, here’s my 2016 prediction piece.  Argue at will.

Predicted Division Winners and why:

  • NL East: Washington.  They were better than their final record in 2015  … they’re no longer the favorites so the pressure is off, and they have a manager who knows how to handle a veteran team.  I sense a rebound.  I also think the Mets will struggle with rotation injuries after driving their young arms way too hard last year.  Washington’s offense, defense and intangibles are all improved and their rotation will be better than people give it credit for.  Both teams win 90+ games thanks to their division but Washington nicks them at the end.
  • NL Central: Chicago Cubs: who would pick against them after they won 98 games AND had the best off-season of any team?  What a juggernaut.
  • NL West: San Francisco Giants: somehow the Dodgers continue to have the biggest payroll out there yet can’t find enough healthy starters to fill a rotation.  Arizona improved, but not enough.
  • AL East: Toronto: still the best offense in the land; Tampa and Boston may be frisky.
  • AL Central: Kansas City, though it could be close with Cleveland if KC’s bullpen doesn’t perform like they did last year.  Concerned about the back end of KC’s rotation but they could always make another mid-season move if things get too bad.
  • AL West: Houston again, with Texas nipping on their heels once they get Yu Darvish back.

Wild Cards

  • NL: NY Mets and St. Louis Cardinals: the Mets will beat up on the rest of the weak NL East and get enough wins thanks to unbalanced schedules.  St. Louis goes neck and neck with Chicago all year and settles for the WC.  This leaves Pittsburgh, LA and Arizona out in the cold.  Mentioning literally any other NL team in 2016 as a playoff contender would be shocking thanks to the wide-spread tanking going on in the league.
  • AL: Boston and Texas; not as much tanking in the AL but there are a couple of weak teams in the AL West that help Texas.  Boston is improved.  The AL Central is too good to produce a 2nd team; they’ll beat up on each other all year.

Playoff Results.

  • Mets take the Cardinals in one WC
  • Texas beats Boston in the other WC

In the divisional series:

  • Chicago and New York get a re-match of last year’s NLDS and…. the Mets prevail again in a shocker, defeating the 105-game winning Cubs with ease thanks to the Cubs 15 strike-outs per game against the Mets’ hurlers.  The curse continues.
  • Washington gets revenge on San Francisco, winning games by not taking out starters in the 9th needlessly and handling SF’s all-around solid team.
  • Houston (with the best record in the game) has to face hated rival Texas but wins an intra-state showdown.
  • Kansas City outlasts Toronto but not before Jose Bautista causes another Goose Gossage meltdown with his bat flipping antics.

In the LCS

  • Washington and New York go 7 … having played to a 10-9 seasonal split.  Washington’s arms are healthier in the end and they prevail at home in game 7.
  • Houston ends KC’s AL dominance with a hard fought 6 games series.

In the World Series….

  • Two teams who have never won a WS game go at it.  Washington’s aces shut down Houston’s offense and Washington’s veteran hitters squeak out the hits they need and NL Manager of the Year Dusty Baker leads the team to a WS title in his first season.

What, it could happen couldn’t it??

Written by Todd Boss

April 4th, 2016 at 7:05 am

Local HS draft-prospects to keep an eye in for the 2016 draft

22 comments

Joe Rizzo may be the highest local draft pick we've seen in a while. Photo via insidenova.com

Oakton HS’ Joe Rizzo may be the highest local draft pick we’ve seen in a while. Photo via insidenova.com

For the fourth year running (here’s 2013’s wrap-up, 2014’s wrap-up, and 2015’s wrap-up), we’re going to keep an eye on “local” draft prospects leading up to the 2016 amateur draft.  By “local” I essentially mean anyone who hails from the DC/MD/VA areas plus anyone who is playing their college ball in the DC/MD/VA area.  Because of the amount of text on the prep players I have this year, i’ve split the post up into Prep and college players.  This post is months in the making, starting in May of 2015 when the various all-Area teams are announced and underclassmen are listed.

The players are more or less listed in the rough order of their likely drafting: there’s 3-4 significant draft names to keep an eye one in particular (Rizzo, Lee, Agnos and Hess).  Read on.

(Post-publishing update: i’ve added in details/corrected errors per feedback and comments; thanks for all the updates!)

Here’s a list of DC/MD/VA Local Prep players who will be rising Seniors in 2016 worth mentioning.  I’ve tried to organize these players in the order of their significance as a prospect, which (fairly or not) i’ve driven mostly from their participation in tourneys and showcases.

  • Joe Rizzo, INF for Oakton HS.  Evoshield Canes Main Roster, early commit to South Carolina.  2015 All-Met, 6-A North Region player of the year as a junior.  VHSL All Virginia 6-A player of the year.  Hit an astounding .606 for Oakton as a junior.  At PG National.  Invited to the PG All-American game.  At WWBA 2015 with Evoshield.  Written up by Jonathan Mayo/mlb.com after his East Coast Pro game performance.  At Area Code games.  Rizzo looking like one of the better DC-area draft prospects we’ve had in years.  D1baseball top 100 hs draft prospects.
  • Khalil Lee, LHP/OF for Paul VI Flint Hill (via Centreville).  VISAA Division I all-state in 2015, early commit to Liberty.  2015 summer team: Richmond Braves.  At PG National.  Invited to the PG All-American game.  At East Coast Pro 2015.  Also mentioned in Mayo’s piece post after East Coast Pro.  At Area Code games.  At WWBA 2015 with Evoshield.  D1baseball top 100 hs draft prospects.
  • Jake Agnos, LHP from Battlefield HS.  2nd team All-Met 2015.  All Virginia 6-A in 2015.  Famous for his 21-K playoff performance in  in 2015 district tournament and his astounding 48 strikeouts in 21 playoff innings in 2015 against the region’s two best teams.  Committed to ECU.  Playing for Stars Showcase Red 17U.  At East Coast Pro 2015.  At WWBA 2015 with Stars Marucci Prime.  AllMetSports 2016 player to watch.  Agnos picked right back up where he left off last spring, no-hitting a good Hylton team in the opener, striking out 17.
  • Matt Mervis, RHP from Georgetown Prep.  2nd team All-Met 2015.  Early commit to Duke.  Playing for Chandler World.  At PG National, at USA Baseball’s Tournament of Stars.  At East Coast Pro 2015.  At Prep 60 in Chicago.  #1 ranked player in Maryland per Prep Baseball.
  • Tyler Blohm, LHP from Spalding  in Maryland.  2015 All-Met HM.  Baltimore All-Metro 2015.  Three-time MIAA all-state player as a junior. Early commit to Maryland.  Evoshield Canes Main Roster for 2015.  At PG National.  AllMetSports 2016 player to watch.
  • Jack Cunningham, RHP/OF for Paul VI (via South Riding).  2015 All-Met, runner up WCAC player of the year.  VISAA Division I all-state in 2015.  Playing for Stars Showcase Red 17U.  At WWBA 2015 with Stars Marucci Prime.  Committed to Boston College.  AllMetSports 2016 player to watch.
  • Anthony Felitti, LHP Gaithersburg HS.  10-0 with a 0.85 ERA as a junior, started and won 4-A title game.  2015 All-Met.  Playing for Mid-Atlantic Red Sox.  Early commit to UVA but has apparently signed with GMU.  Prep Baseball’s #2 Maryland prep player.  AllMetSports 2016 player to watch.
  • John Callahan, SS from Stone Bridge.  2015 All-Met, 2015 All 5-A North region. All Virginia 5-A.  GMU commit.  Diamond Elite for 2015.  AllMetSports 2016 player to watch.
  • Carter Sears, C from Spalding.  2015 2nd-team all-Metro Baltimore.  Committed to JMU per perfectgame.org.
  • Adam Schauer, RHP from St. Albans School in Washington DC.  A complete unknown until he popped up on an Area Code games roster.  Committed to Swathmore College per perfectgame.org
  • Matt Favero, LHP from Madison.  2nd team All-Met 2015.  All 6-A North Region.  2nd team all-State 6-A.  Playing for Stars Showcase Red/Blue 17U.  At WWBA 2015 with Stars Marucci Prime.  Committed to BYU.
  • Pete Nielsen, SS from Madison.  2nd team All-Met 2015, 2nd team All 6-A North Region.  At WWBA 2015 with Stars Marucci Prime.  Committed to BYU.  AllMetSports 2016 player to watch.
  • Rafi Vazquez, RHP/OF from O’Connell.  2nd team All-Met 2015.  VISAA Division I all-state in 2015.  Early commit to Coastal Carolina. Evoshield regional team.  WWBA 2015 with 17-U Evoshield.  AllMetSports 2016 player to watch.
  • Brett Norwood, DH from Chantilly.  2nd team All-Met 2015, All 6-A North region in 2015.  Little known about Norwood, who doesn’t have a perfectgame.org profile.
  • Eli Quiceno, C from Stone Bridge.  Starter for Stone Bridge’s two straight 5-A championship teams.  Playing for Diamond Elite.  Committed to a smaller private school in Pennsylvania.
  • Nick Neville, SS from Lake Braddock IMG Academy in Florida (hails from Fairfax).  Little local recognition but got written up at the 17u WWBA event thanks to his speed and power.  Playing for Diamond Elite.  Moved to Florida for his Sr. year to play for IMG and is now committed to Notre Dame (h/t Joe Antonellis).
  • Elliott Zoellner, RHP from St. Marys (Annapolis).  Little local recognition but got written up at the 17u WWBA event thanks to his speed and power.  Playing for Evoshield North team.  WWBA 2015 with 17-U Evoshield.  Prep Baseball’s #3 ranked Maryland prep.  Committed to UMaryland per perfectgame.org.
  • Justin Ager, RHP for Loudoun Valley HS.  Committed to Yale, playing for Chandler World at 17u WWBA event.
  • Carter Bach, LHP/1B, OF for Centreville HS in Clifton, VA.  At WWBA 2015 with Stars Marucci Prime.  Committed to Wake Forest.
  • Kyle Whitten, RHP/1B from Osbourn Park HS Manassas, VA.   At WWBA 2015 with Stars Marucci Prime.  Committed to UVA.
  • Steve Johel, RHP from Marshall HS, Vienna VA.  Committed to Coastal Carolina.
  • Jared DiCesare from Chantilly HS, Playing for Oriole’s Scout team summer of 2015.  Committed to GMU.
  • Logan Driscoll from Lake Braddock, Playing for Stars Baseball-Prime summer of 2015.  Also committed to GMU.
  • Trey Alderman from Forest Park HS (Manassas): Played for Stars summer of 2015, committed to Radford
  • Cam Remalia from St. Johns in DC (by way of Waldorf): Named 2016 Gatorade POTY for DC. Committed to Coastal Carolina.

 

Here’s a list of extended DC/MD/VA Prep players (outside DC Area) on the radar.

  • Zack Hess, 1B/OF from Liberty Christian Academy (Lynchburg).  VISAA Division I player of the year as a junior in 2015, early commit to Virginia Tech but now committed to LSU (thanks commenter joemktg).  Playing for the Dirtbags (NC) summer of 2015.  At PG National.  Showed 93-95 at WWBA 17u tournament.  At East Coast Pro 2015.  At the Area Code games 2015.  Will be at the 2016 National HS Invitational in March.  D1baseball top 100 hs draft prospectsNearly threw a no-hitter at the NHSI.
  • Garrett Stallings, RHP from Grassfield HS (Chesapeake).  Evoshield Canes main roster, early commit to Tennessee.  At PG National.  At East Coast Pro 2015.  Area Code games 2015.  At WWBA 2015 with Evoshield, getting the Win in the championship game.
  • Michael Bienlien, RHP from Great Bridge (Chesapeake).  Evoshield Canes main roster, early commit to South Carolina but now committed to NC State (thanks commenter joemktg).  At PG National.  At East Coast Pro 2015, at WWBA 2015.
  • Noah Murdock, a big (6’7″) RHP from Colonial Heights (Richmond).  All 3-A East Region 2015, early UVA commit.  VA Cardinals for summer 2015.  At East Coast Pro 2015.  In Richmond Times/Dispatch’s 2016 pre-season watch list.
  • Cayman Richardson, SS from Hanover in Mechanicsville (NE Richmond suburb).  VA Cardinals for summer 2015, early UVA commit.  At East Coast Pro 2015.  In Richmond Times/Dispatch’s 2016 pre-season watch list.
  • Vinnie Pasquantino, a 1B from James River HS (Richmond); VA Cardinals for summer 2015, written up during WWBA 17u tourney.  Committed to ODU.  At East Coast Pro 2015.  In Richmond Times/Dispatch’s 2016 pre-season watch list.
  • Robert “Bobby” Nicholson: P/Inf from St. Anne’s Belfield HS (Charlottesville), early commit to UVA.  USA Baseball’s Tournament of Stars.  Playing for Chandler World.  Written up during 17u WWBA event.
  • Justin Sorokowski, 3B/OF from Lee-Davis HS in Mechanicsville (NE Richmond suburb).  VA Cardinals for summer 2015, early Florida State commit.  In Richmond Times/Dispatch’s 2016 pre-season watch list.
  • Derek Bjorlo, utility from Nandua HS (Onancock, on the Delmarva peninsula), Evoshield American for 2015, committed to Coastal Carolina.  At WWBA 2015 with the main Evoshield team.
  • Hayden Moore, RHP from Hanover HS, Evoshield regional roster for 2015, early commit to VCU.
  • Jalen Harrison, OF from St. Anne’s Belfield HS (Charlottesville), early commit to UVA.  Evoshield American for 2015.
  • Forrest Smith, C from Maggie Walker (Richmond), early commit to William & Mary.  Evoshield American for 2015.
  • John Fitzgerald, 3B from Gilman (Baltimore).  All-MIAA and all-Metro Baltimore 2015.  No PG profile.
  • William Strong, 1B from Patrick Henry (Ashland/Richmond).  All 5-A North Region 2015.  Playing for Evoshield Canes.  Committed to Florence-Darlington Technical College per PG.
  • Mike Nickles, 3B from Colonial Forge (Stafford).  All Virginia 6-A in 2015; otherwise very little known about Nickles.  Committed to Randolph-Macon per Joe Antonellis.
  • Paul Movizzo, 1B/OF from Cox HS (Virginia Beach).  2nd-team all Virginia 6-A in 2015.
  • Corey Klak, LHP from Western Branch HS (Chesapeake).  VA Cardinals for summer 2015, written up during WWBA 17u tourney.  Also committed to ODU.
  • Banks Northington, 1B/OF from Charlottesville HS, playing for Chandler World at WWBA 17u.
  • Bryce Runey, C from Riverbend HS in Spotsylvania, VA.  At WWBA 2015 with Evoshield.  Committed to Mary Washington per PG.
  • Harry Brown, C/1B, 3B from Greenbrier Christian Academy in Virginia Beach, VA.  WWBA 2015 with Richmond Braves, committed to Liberty.
  • Andre Lipcius & Luc Lipcius: from Lafayette HS in Williamsburg, VA.  Early commits to Tennessee, WWBA 2015 with Richmond Braves.
  • Kyle Battle, Glen Allen OF, early commit to ODU.  In Richmond Times/Dispatch’s 2016 pre-season watch list.

I suspect more than a few of these guys will get drafted and forgo college, but if not, here’s a quick look at the commits by college (with the caveat that lots of these are “very early” and probably change).  I’ve got the college in rough order of their national significance.

  • Florida State: Sorokowski
  • South Carolina: Rizzo
  • LSU: Hess
  • UVA: Whitten, Murdock, Richardson, Nicholson, Harrison
  • ECU: Agnos
  • Coastal Carolina: Vazquez, Johel, Bjorlo, Remalia
  • UMaryland: Blohm, Zoellner
  • NC State: Bienlien
  • VCU: Moore
  • Duke: Mervis
  • Wake Forest: Bach
  • Tennessee: Stallings, Lipcius, Lipcius
  • Boston College: Cunningham
  • Notre Dame: Neville
  • Liberty: Lee, Brown
  • ODU: Pasquantino, Klak, Battle
  • George Mason: Felitti, Callahan, DiCesare, Driscoll
  • William & Mary: Smith
  • BYU: Favero, Nielsen
  • Radford: Alderman
  • Randolph-Macon: Nickles
  • Mary Washington: Runey
  • JMU: Sears
  • Yale: Ager
  • Swathmore: Schauer
  • Florence-Darlington Technical College: Strong
  • Undecided/Unknown: Norwood, Quiceno, Fitzgerald, Movizzo, Northington

 


Sources used to kick off this post (which I started the day after the 2015 draft and update through out the 2015 spring awards season and the 2015 summer baseball showcase season):

National pre-season lists

  • USAToday Pre-Season Prep all Americans 2016: nobody local but a huge number of names you’re going to hear in the 1st round in June.

2015/16 National tourneys/Showcase events:

Local Baseball links

 

 

2016 DC/MD/VA High School Preview

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Welcome to the 2016 High School Baseball season!  According to my handy 2016 baseball calendar (which has separate tabs for Amateur, off-season and in-season dates) here’s a quick guide to some key high school baseball dates (both local and national):

  • 3/14/2016: First official VHSL baseball game of the season
  • 3/21/2016: First official MPSSAA baseball game of the season
  • 3/21/2016: First official DCIAA baseball game of the season
  • 5/13/2016 – 5/18/2016: MPSSAA Sectionals (qtrs, semis, finals)
  • 5/20/2016: MPSSAA Regional Finals
  • 5/12/2016 – 5/20/2016: VHSL Conference Tournaments
  • 5/19/2016 – 5/25/2016: DCIAA Playoffs
  • 5/24/2016: MPSSAA State Semi-Finals
  • 5/25/2016 – 6/3/2016: VHSL Regional Tournaments
  • 5/27/2016 – 5/28/2016: MPSSAA State Finals Weekend
  • 6/10/2016 – 6/13/2016: VHSL State Tournaments

(VHSL = Virginia High School League, covering Virginia public high schools.  MPSSAA = Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association, covering Maryland public high schools.  DCIAA = District of Columbia Interscholastic Athletic Association).

Local Baseball Preview Links

Local and National High School Baseball Ranking Lists:

  • Washington Post All Met Sports: pre-season top 10: Madison, Spalding, Gaithersburg, St. Johns, Battlefield; might be a bit low for Battlefield..
  • Baltimore Sun Pre-season top 15: Archbishop Spalding (last  year’s #1) is #1 again, followed by Calvert Hall, Severna Park, Mount Hebron and St. Marys.
  • The Virginian Pilot Pre-Season top-10 for Hampton Roads area: Hickory, Grassfield, Western Branch, Greenbrier christian and First colonial lead the way of annual powers in the Tidewater area.
  • Richmond times-Dispatch Pre-season top 5: perennial power Hanover, Lee-Davis, Deep Run, Glen Allen, Collegiate.
  • Baseball America’s 1st 2016 National High School Rankings 3/9/16: defending 6-A champ Madison (Vienna) ranked #17.
  • USA Today High School top 25: already in their 2nd week of doing rankings as of 3/16/16: no local teams ranked.
  • MaxPreps “Excellent 25” ranking for 3/14/16: Madison listed all the way up at #11.

Major Newspaper Links/Resources for following prep baseball around the state

Local Newspaper Coverage, including links to many local papers covering smaller jurisdictions.

Non-newspaper Links for Local and National Prep Baseball Coverage

Good Twitter accounts to follow: i’ll freely admit i am not “good” at twitter, but here’s some good twitter links:

  • https://twitter.com/PBRVirginiaDC: Prep Baseball Report VA/DC coverage
  • https://twitter.com/NVBaseballMag: NoVa Baseball Magazine
  • https://twitter.com/NoVAHSBB
  • https://twitter.com/DynamicBaseball

 

 

 

Written by Todd Boss

March 25th, 2016 at 7:46 am

Posted in Local Baseball

Tagged with ,

Nats System 2016 Pitching Staff Projections

21 comments

Scherzer leads the MLB rotation for a second year. Photo via sportingnews.com

Scherzer leads the MLB rotation for a second year. Photo via sportingnews.com

(Editor note: I was out of the country for the last week; good timing in terms of missing the snow, but not so much for trying to get on a flight back to DC.  Never got one actually; had to settle for a flight to JFK last night and a train ride ride down).

Now that we’re through all the 2015 Pitching staff review series, level by level, here’s a summary projection of what the pitching staffs may look like for 2016.  These projections are based on the 7 deep dive rotation reviews but are all put in one place.  Since player movement occurs daily, I may have missed one or two MLFA signings but these should be up-to-date as of the time of publishing.

All the reviews in the 2015 series:


 

Nats System Staff projections for 2016 season

(* == lefty, ^ == MLFA or new acquisition for 2016)

MLB

  • Rotation: Scherzer, Strasburg, Ross, Gonzalez*, Roark
  • Bullpen: Papelbon, Treinen, Rivero*, Perez*^, Kelley^, Gott^, Petit^, Barrett (60-day DL)
  • out of organization: Zimmermann, Fister, Storen (traded), Thornton*, Janssen, Carpenter, Stammen (non-tendered)

Quick Discussion: This assumes no more rotation acquisitions; if one occurs, bump Roark to long-man with Treinen then getting dumped to AAA save for injury (See next section for the Arroyo discussion).  It looks like the team can’t move Papelbon for anything of value and refuses to eat $11M and instead moved Storen for something we do value (a CF).  I know they’re still connected to random starters here and there, which continues my amazement in their lack of trust of Roark as an effective 5th starter (I guess his 50 innings in 2013 and 200 awesome innings in 2014 just weren’t convincing enough).  Honestly if they don’t trust Roark, then just call up Giolito.  This is their last season with Strasburg and one of their last with Harper, so “saving” Giolito at this “win now” point seems dumb.  We’ll see.

AAA

  • Rotation: Cole, Jordan, Espino, Voth, Laffey*^, THill, Arroyo^
  • Bullpen: Martin, Solis*, Grace*, Brady^, Bacus, de los Santos, Runion, Velasquez^, Masset^, EDavis, Burnett*^
  • Release Candidates: McGregor, Walters
  • out of organization: Billings, Bleier*, Swynenberg, Fornataro, Meek, Runion, Lively, Gutierrez, Valverde, Delcarmen, RHill, Overton

Quick Discussion: Both Hill and Davis took outright assignments to AAA to stick with the team after being DFA’d in the last few weeks: this could lead to some downstream moves in spring training (specifically someone like McGregor getting squeezed in a numbers game).  We have slightly overloaded the bullpen assuming that there’s some injuries to come.  Only a few “veteran MLFA” types listed here, a good sign for the system and its ability to generate upper-level minor league talent, but seemingly every other day we hear about more such signings, probably for competition purposes and/or to fulfil what seems to be the annual ritual of giving guys a few weeks of meal money to throw innings in spring training for one last shot at a roster spot.

The very recent signing of Bronson Arroyo is an interesting one; he’ll be 40, coming off of TJ and has shown himself to be effective even despite a lack of velocity even deep into his 30s.  Is he a competitor to Roark for the 5th starter spot?  Is this a favor to Dusty Baker?  For now, i’m putting him as AAA depth but have to think he’s got an opt-out if he doesn’t make the MLB team so he’s likely to be either the 5th starter or a FA come 4/1/16.

Post-publish edit: thanks to JohnC, I totally forgot about our early off-season MLFA signing of Sean Burnett, our old favorite loogy (who also happens to throw the ball right handed while shagging flies in the OF).  If he doesn’t have an opt-out, I’ll project him as a Syracuse loogy but perhaps behind Solis and Grace thanks to his lack of 40-man status.  I hope he’s still got it after two TJs.

AA

  • Rotation: Spann*, Giolito, Simms, Alderson, Lopez, Mapes, Gorski^
  • Bullpen: Mendez, Harper*, Shackelford^, NLee*, Benincasa, Suero, Thomas*, Walsh*, Robinson^, Whiting^
  • Release Candidates: Rauh, Bates, Self, Dupra
  • out of organization: Purke*, Pivetta, Simmons, Demny, Ambriz, Gilliam

Quick Discussion: here’s where we start to see some log jamming going on; we already have 6 good candidates for the AA rotation (and that was before the recently announced Gorski signing), 10 for the bullpen (some of which already have been promoted to AAA in 2015) and another 4 guys who could still slot in somewhere who i’ve called “release candidates” because of the numbers game.  That’s 20+ guys for 12-13 slots.  Do they get pushed down and cause cascading High-A fall out (where the story is the same?) or do we see some wholesale shredding of contracts this coming spring training?  Do you move UP guys like Giolito, Harper instead and cut AAA veteran MLFAs?

High-A

  • Rotation: AWilliams, Valdez, Dickson, Bach*, Van Orden, Fedde
  • Bullpen: Johanssen, Amlung (swingman),  Napoli*, Orlan*, Glover, Brinley, Sylvestre*
  • Release Candidates: RPena, Turnbull*
  • out of organization: Schwartz, Howell, CDavis, MRodriguez, Cooper (just released)

Quick Discussion: Again, I see this as an overloaded squad; 6 starters, 10 relievers.  Perhaps some AA guys drop down, perhaps there’s guys listed here to are more likely release candidates than sure things (Napoli?  Amlung?  Johanssen even?). We may eventually get our answer; the team just released Cooper despite my thinking he was more or less a lock for the Potomac bullpen in 2016.   I’m really curious to see what a couple of the starters here do this year in particular: Austen Williams and Erick Fedde.  We talked earlier about Fedde perhaps starting the season in Hagerstown … but as we’re about to see, there’s just so many guys for a couple of slots.

Low-A

  • Rotation: LReyes, JRodriguez, ALee, Dickey, Hearn*, Crownover*
  • Bullpen: MSanchez (swingman),  Guilbeau*, Borne*, Rivera Jr., Gunter, Peterson, Baez
  • release candidate: Estevez, DWilliams, DRamos, Boghosian, Mooney, Pirro
  • out of organization: Ullmann, KPerez, Mooneyham, Johns (just released)

Quick Discussion: 6 projected starters, another 8 for the bullpen, and another 6 relievers who … well, i’m not sure where you put them.  You can’t have 20 pitchers in XST can you?  Well, maybe you can and they can catch on with the short-season squads … but look at who is already projected for Short-A below.  In the comments section of the Short-A post a few weeks back, we talked about the four lefty college starters who were drafted and in the Auburn rotation (Hearn, Crownover, Guilbeau and Borne); all had more or less the same pro numbers in Auburn; who stays in the rotation moving up?  Who goes to the pen?  There were already 4 guys who made sense to project to the Hagerstown rotation; where are 4 more college lefties going to go?  Its almost like the team needs an entire additional low-A team to staff.

Short-A

  • Rotation: Bourque, AMartinez, Valero, Watson
  • Bullpen: Morales (swingman), LTorres, Acevedo, Harmening, Serrata
  • release candidates: Feliz, Reynoso, Mills, DeRosier, VanVossen, Copping, Pantoja
  • out of organization: Overton, Plouck, Webb, McDowell, Sylvestri

Quick Discussion: I’ve already got nearly a full squad of arms for short-A as it is, and we havn’t accounted for any 2016 draftees nor potential dropdowns from Hagerstown.  I just feel like there’s going to be some whole sale releases this spring.  Either that or Rizzo is going to draft nothing but bats in 2016.

Rookie

  • Rotation: Avila, Fuentes, WPena
  • Bullpen: CPena
  • release candidate: De La Cruz
  • out of organization: Salazar, Jauss, DVasquez, Morel, EGomez, Charlis, JRamirez, Costa, Uribarri, Mancini, Yrizarri, Bermudez

Quick discussion: practically nobody in the domestic system right now projects to repeat the Rookie league, which means that a) we should expect a ton of guys to make their way from the DSL and/or b) we should expect more 2016 draftees to start here.  Perhaps I should have done a review of the DSL guys to make predictions on who earned their way off the island.

 

——————————–

Guys who really impressed me in 2015 and to watch out for in 2016.  Kind of my own version of Luke’s “watch list” but I was definitely struck by several guys while doing these posts and here’s the list.

  • MLB: Ross, Rivero
  • AAA: Espino, Martin
  • AA: Voth, Giolito, de los Santos, Harper, NLee
  • High-A: Lopez, Mapes, Walsh
  • Low-A: Valdez, ALee, Orlan, Glover, Brinley
  • Short-A: AWilliams,Fedde, Rivera Jr, Johns (why was he released??)
  • Rookie: Valero, Watson, Avila

 

 

Nationals Arm Race Best Stories for 2015; Happy New Year!

22 comments

Here’s a quick recap of the year in stories on this blog, to tie a bow on 2015.  From each month, I’ve grabbed a couple of the more interesting or unique posts I did, with thoughts and follow-on.

(Here’s 2014’s review and  2013’s review as well, to see how far we have or have not evolved…)

Jan 2015:

  • Holy Cow Scherzer! Nats make a statement by signing Scherzer for $210M; he does not disappoint with 2 no-hitters in his first season.  We’ll conveniently forget his 6+ ERA during crunch time when the team was caught and surpassed in the standings by the eventual NL champion Mets.
  • Like the Janssen signing: Yeah; this one didn’t work out as well.

Feb 2015

Mar 2015

  • Brady Aiken has TJ surgery, shakes up draft boards: Aiken eventually goes 17th overall and loses millions versus where he was drafted the year prior.  Hope he can come back from such an early TJ surgery.
  • Nats Outfield … what happens next?  Big discussion once it became clear that both Span and Werth were not making the 2015 opening day lineup healthy.

Apr 2015

May 2015

  • 2015 CWS Field of 64 announced; teams and analysis: one of many CWS posts, culminating in UVA winning in Omaha in late June.
  • DC/MD/VA District High School Tournament Report: 2015 post-season: May is Prep HS tournament time.  June has a ton of College and College World Series posts.  I know I don’t get a lot of comments on my HS and College coverage, but I enjoy following both and try to keep interest in local baseball alive.  FWIW, the area may very well have a first round pick in 2016 in Oakton HS’ Joe Rizzo.  More to come in February when I start up Prep baseball 2016 posts.

June 2015

July 2015

Aug 2015

Sept 2015

Oct 2015

Nov 2015

Dec 2015

 


Total posts for 2015 (including this one): 115.  That’s down from 130 posts in 2014 and down significantly from 2013 (237 posts).  Wow, how in the heck did I do 237 posts in 2013.  That’s nearly a post for every weekday, all year.  Including this post, i’ve published 923 total since the inception of the blog.  When I hit 1000 i’ll do some cool retrospective or something.  Should happen midway through 2016.

923 posts; that’s a lot of writing.  I once calculated that a typical novel is between 90,000 and 100,000 words.  Well, most of my posts are between 1000 and 2500 words … so that means I’m writing about a book every 50 posts.  I’m in the wrong profession.  Of course, i’m not sure who would ever read a book about some random IT guy’s musings about his local baseball team.  :-)

I feel like we have a solid group always commenting, no trolls.  Very grateful for everyone who stops by and everyone who comments.  I wonder how we can get more readers; should I do more publishing on twitter when I post?  Probably.  Now that natsinsider.com is gone, we may struggle to get the word out since Mark was my primary feeder site.

We generally have 20-30 comments on each post, which is cool.  High comments on posts were 70 on a “Ladson Inbox”post in January 2015 and an astonishing 115 comments on the August “call me when we sweep Atlanta” post.

Happy New Year and thanks for reading in 2015.

Baseball’s Off-Season calendar 2015-16

7 comments

Published online at Google Docs link here, and included as a link along the right-hand side of the blog.

But here’s a quick table with the dates and events that mark the furious off-season of Baseball:

Date Event
9/24/2015 Nominees for Roberto Clemente Award
10/4/2015 Last day of regular season
10/5/2015 End of Year BBWAA award ballots due (prior to beginning of post season)
10/6/2015 Beginning of 2015 Post-Season
10/23/2015 Gold Glove finalists announced
10/24/2015 – 10/29/2015 NPB Japan World Series
10/26/2015 Sporting News Comeback Players of the Year AL and NL
10/26/2015 Sporting News Rookies of the Year AL and NL
10/27/2015 Sporting News Managers of the Year AL and NL
10/28/2015 Sporting News All Star Teams of the year
10/28/2015 MLB Relievers of the year (Rivera and Hoffman Awards)
10/29/2015 Sporting News Player of the Year, MLB
10/29/2015 Sporting News Executive of the Year announced
10/30/2015 Roberto Clemente Award given
10/30/2015 Fielding Bible Awards given
10/31/2015 approx Hall of Fame “Veterans Committee/Golden Era” releases ballot.
10/31/2015 Hank Aaron Awards given
11/1/2015 Last actual day of 2015 World Series; official end of 2015 season
11/2/15 (WS end + 1) MLB Coaches contracts expire
11/2/15 (WS end + 1) MLB announces nominees for GIBBYs
11/2/15 (WS end + 1) Official start of FA period (8am CST the day after the last game of the WS).   First day of the 5-day exclusive window to negotiate with your own Fas
11/4/15 (WS end + 3) Team and player options must be decided three days after the end of the World Series.
11/6/15 (WS end + 5) Clubs have to re-set their 40-man rosters, moving all 60-day DL players back to active.
11/6/15 (WS end + 5) 5pm EST: Deadline to make Qualifying offers for your own FAs (average of top 125 salaries or $15.8M for 2015). 5 days after end of WS
11/6/15 (WS end + 5) Last Day of “Quiet Period.” Teams have “exclusive” negotiating rights with their own free agents during this period.
11/6/15 (WS end + 5) 5 days after WS ends: Free agent filing period and exclusive negotiating window ends at 12:01 a.m. ET. Free agents can sign with any team.
11/6/15 (WS end + 5) Free Agency granted to all eligible Minor League free agents (5 days after the end of the WS). Eligibility done on service time; 6 years ML service for college draftees or 7 years ML service for HS draftees or free agents under the age of 18.
11/9/2015 MLBPA announces “Players Choice” awards: Player of the year, Comeback Player of the year, etc
11/10/2015 BBWAA Award Nominees announced on MLB networks
11/10/2015 Rawlings AL & NL Gold Glove Announcements
11/11/2015 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year awards, given by MLB to best defensive player on each club.
11/12/2015 Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Awards
11/10/2015 MLB Comeback Players of the Year AL and NL
11/9/15 – 11/12/15 GM Meetings, Boca Raton, Florida for 2015
11/13/2015 (WS end + 12) 12 Days after WS ends: Players must accept or reject Qualifying Options by 5pm today
11/16/2015 AL, NL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Awards
11/17/2015 AL and NL Manager of the Year
11/18/2015 AL and NL Cy Young
11/19/2015 AL and NL Most Valuable Player
11/18/2015 – 11/19/2015 Owner Meetings, Dallas for 2015
11/20/2015 Esurance MLB Awards
11/20/2015 Day to file reserve lists for all Major and Minor League levels. In other words, Last day to add players to 40-man to protect them from the Rule5 Draft
11/24/2015 approx Hall of Fame Ballot for 2015 class officially released
12/2/15 Midnight: Deadline for teams to Tender contracts to arbitration eligible players and/or unsigned players. If not tendered, those players immediately become free agents.     This is the non-tender deadline for arbitration eligible players
12/3/2015 (7 days prior to Rule-5 draft) Last date to request outright waivers to assign player prior to Rule 5 Draft
12/2/2015 approx Baseball America announces its Executive of the Year
12/7/15 -12/10/15 Winter Meetings, Nashville, TN
12/7/2015 Hall of Fame “Golden Era” (1947-1972) vote announced, San diego
12/7/15 (3 days prior to Rule-5 draft) Last date to outright a player prior to Rule 5 Draft
12/8/2015 approx MLB announces winners of 21 “GIBBY” awards (greatness in Baseball yearly awards)
12/9/2015 approx J.G. Taylor Spink Award voting results announced
12/10/2015 approx MLB Balloting results announced for Hall of Fame Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting
12/10/2015 Rule 5 Draft. Occurs on last day of Winter meetings
12/13/2015 – 12/14/2015 Nats Winterfest 2015 (DC Convention center?)
12/31/2015 Deadline for BBWAA ballots for Hall of Fame voting.
1/6/2016 Hall of Fame BBWAA voting announced; the Hall of Fame class of 2015
1/12/2016 Salary arbitration filing Date
1/15/2016 Salary arbitration figures exchanged (1pm)
2/1/2016 – 2/21/2016 Salary arbitration hearings (actual hearing date per player picked at random), Phoenix AZ
2/18/2016 Voluntary Spring Training reporting date for Pitchers, Catchers, Injured players
2/23/2016 Mandatory Spring Training reporting date for position players
3/1/2016 Mandatory Reporting Date
3/2/2015 – 3/11/2015 Contracts of unsigned players who are not yet eligible for Arbitration may be renewed
3/5/2015 First Exhibition Game of Spring training
3/15/2016 Deadline to request unconditional release waivers without having to pay the player’s full salary or $100k bonus for certain types of veterans.   Last day to place a player on unconditional release waivers and pay 30 days termination pay instead of 45 days.
4/3/2016 2016 Season Opener; Opening Day 2015; active rosters must be reduced to 25 players and 40-man rosters must be established
4/3/2016 Opening Night 2016: Cubs@Los Angeles Angels

 

Written by Todd Boss

November 7th, 2015 at 8:28 am

Posted in Baseball in General

Tagged with

Summer Prep Travel team guide & Summer Showcase/tourney schedule

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Back in the day, (no this isn’t a “get off my lawn” post), once you got to high school age as a baseball player, you had just two choices for summer ball once the high school season was done; you’d either play Legion ball (if they were the elite of the town) or Babe Ruth (which was still pretty good baseball), and scouts would generally depend on scouting high school and Legion games and to hang out with high school coaches to figure out who the draftable talents were.

No longer.

These days, every kid of note hoping for a Division 1 scholarship or pro interest out of high school plays on a travel team.  These same players also go to Showcase events throughout the  year, either by invitation (for the best of the best) or on their own dime, where scouts can see players in a “combine” like setting and gauge their skills in a relatively controlled environment.  More and more, the actual performance in HS is downgraded or ignored and performances in these elite events is highlighted, since the opponent skill levels are so elevated and consistent.  This move has badly hurt Legion ball and has decimated Babe Ruth (here locally leagues have had to combine with other towns just to field enough teams to compete, and they struggle to find enough pitching to make the games competitive), but its the way of the future.

When you try to track prep kids (as I’ve begun to do more and more), you constantly hear about these teams and these events.  So I’ve finally broken down and tried to summarize them for the local area as best as I can.


This is my attempt to characterize the landscape of Travel Baseball in the DC/MD/VA area.  A ton of this is drawn from participation in the recent Perfect Game Wood Bat 17-U championships, so I likely am missing teams that did not participate.  If you come across this post and i’m missing your team, please comment as such.

Elite Talent Teams

  • Evoshield Canes: Based in Fredericksburg, VA with “outposts” up and down the east-coast.  This franchise is huge, fielding multiple teams at the latest WWBA event.  One of the leading talent teams in the land, winner of recent national travel team championships.
  • Stars Showcase Red (formerly Demarini Stars): Based in Oakton, Va.  Also large enough to field multiple teams in national events.
  • Chandler World: based out of Norristown PA but with a couple local players of note for 2015.
  • The Dirtbags All-Blacks: based just across the border in North Carolina, but draws players from southern and SW Virginia.

Mid-level Talent Teams

  • Richmond Braves National: based in Richmond.
  • Virginia Cardinals; based in Midlothian, VA.  The best of the Richmond area players.
  • Diamond Elite 17U: Ashburn; was independent, now joined with Evoshield Canes as one of their off-spring.  Comprised mostly of Ashburn/Leesburg guys from leading high schools out there like Stone Bridge.
  • Mid Atlantic Red Sox: Frederick MD

Lower-end Talent Teams

  • RISE Baseball Midlothian VA: ; not at WWBA 17u.
  • Arena STARZ 17U out of Bel Air, MD.   Lots of Battlefield players on this roster despite its geographic location.
  • Diamond Skills Dodgers (Silver Spring): mostly St. Johns Prep players
  • Maryland Monarchs: Gambrils, MD: Anne Arundel county players
  • Rawlings MD Prospects: Millersville MD
  • Rawlings Prospects of VA Sandlot Elite Sterling, VA
  • Tidewater Orioles Virginia Beach, VA
  • Virginia Baseball Network: Mostly guys from Lynchburg and Forest based  high schools. (not at WWBA 17u)
  • CBA Rays: Chesapeake based, mostly from Chesapeake-based high schools Greenbrier Christian, Great Bridge and Grassfield.  Not at WWBA 17u.
  • Hampton Road Hurricanes: not at WWBA 17u
  • Baltimore Bandits 17u: travel team run out of Calvert Hall HS in Baltimore.  Not at WWBA 17u.
  • Old Dominion Hitters: some D-I talent, not at WWBA 17u.

It should also be noted that the big programs (Evoshield, Stars, DirtBags, etc) fielded a number of “alternate” teams that were not as talented as their leading “varsity” team.  Those squads, as fielded at WWBA 2015 were:

  • Evoshield Canes American: Fredericksburg
  • Evoshield North (NC): Raleigh
  • Evoshield South (SC): Columbia
  • Evoshield Seminoles (Richmond)
  • Evoshield Canes Mid-Atlantic
  • Evoshield Canes North
  • Richmond Braves American
  • Dirtbags Select (NC)
  • Stars Black
  • Stars Blue

Showcase Guide 2015

So, what events are these kids playing?  Spurred on by this excellent summer-kick off article from Jonathan Mayo, here’s a good guide for the 2015 summer/fall events that the upper end rising HS seniors will be participating in.  Some of these have already passed and are listed here for completion purposes:

Perfectgame.org is *the* website for these kinds of things.  At PG’s events, all the teams, with their full rosters of players with home towns and college commits, are online and viewable.  Very good information if you’re interested in (say) one particular team’s roster of players.


Prep tournament guide 2015

 


 

This is my first cut at this data.  I’m sure i’m missing local teams and showcases.  Please let me know if you disagree with my characterization of the talent level of these teams (mostly taken by eyeballing the college commits to gauge the strength of the roster), if you feel i’m missing any major teams, or if you think a show-case or tourney is missing.

 

Written by Todd Boss

July 27th, 2015 at 9:09 am

Posted in Draft,Local Baseball

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