Nationals Arm Race

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

BA Mid-season updated top 30 Prospects released; analysis and reaction

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Kieboom still #1 ... but not for long. Photo via Federal Baseball

Kieboom still #1 … but not for long. Photo via Federal Baseball

Hey, we’re half a week into the season, the Nats are 1-3, are already on their 7th string starting pitcher, havn’t had their star player play b/c he apparently got a false-positive Covi19 test, managed to lose a game where Corbin gave up one hit through six innings against perhaps the best team in the majors.  Oh, and half the Marlins have tested positive for Covid19 and the Nats just basically voted as a team to boycott the next trip to Miami.

Other than that, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play?

Lets talk Prospects instead for a bit.  In the midst of the race to restart the season, Baseball America reported out its updated top 30 prospects for all teams.  Here’s the Nats version.  I’m not sure if this is or isn’t behind a paywall (I’m a BA subscriber so I don’t know but suspect it is), so here’s the overall list.

1. Carter Kieboom, SS/2B
2. Luis Garcia, SS/2B
3. Jackson Rutledge, RHP
4. Cade Cavalli, RHP
5. Cole Henry, RHP
6. Wil Crowe, RHP
7. Tim Cate, LHP
8. Drew Mendoza, 1B
9. Andry Lara, RHP
10. Mason Denaburg, RHP
11. Sammy Infante, SS
12. Yasel Antuna, SS
13. Seth Romero, LHP
14. Holden Powell, RHP
15. Tres Barrera, C
16. Eddy Yean, RHP
17. Jeremy De La Rosa, OF
18. Matt Cronin, LHP
19. Jake Irvin, RHP
20. Jackson Cluff, SS
21. Tyler Dyson, RHP
22. Reid Schaller, RHP
23. Israel Pineda, C
24. Ben Braymer, LHP
25. Cole Freeman, 2B/OF
26. James Borque, RHP
27. Joan Adon, RHP
28. Jackson Tetreault, RHP
29. Malvin Pena, RHP
30. Nick Banks, OF

So, its basically the exact same top 30 published with the BA handbook in February, but inserting the 2020 draftees.  Four of our six 2020 picks have made the top 30 list:

4. Cade Cavalli, RHP
5. Cole Henry, RHP
11. Sammy Infante, SS
14. Holden Powell, RHP

These four players push off the guys ranked 27th-30th in February, namely:

27. Steven Fuentes, RHP
28. Jakson Reetz, C
29. Nick Raquet, LHP
30. Jhonatan German, RHP

—–

thoughts overall:

  • I think the placement of Cavalli and Henry at 4th and 5th makes sense.  They slot in behind the more established 1st round starter in Rutledge, but ahead of the more accomplished but more ceiling-limited Crowe.
  • Infante at #11 just ahead of Antuna is … interesting.  I mean, I understand Antuna’s shine is off a bit, but we’re still talking about a guy who at Infante’s age played an entire season at full-A and who got nearly 4x the signing bonus.
  • Powell placed at #14 when Cronin is #18??  Um; did you guys SEE what Cronin did to Low-A last  year in his pro debut?  Enough to get put on the damn 60-man roster a few months later.  You mean to tell me you think Powell’s side-arm closer action is projecting better than Cronin right now?
  • Hey, that Nick Raquet ranking in February is aging great.
  • So is that Barrera ranking; before the 2020 draft BA nearly had him as a top 10 prospect.  I know we’re weak on hitters but … damn.
  • Raudy Read is nowhere to be found, but he beats out both Barrera and Reetz to make the opening day 30-man roster.  Something is amiss here.
  • Talk about bad timing for a pandemic-induced cancellation of the minor league season for two guys inparticular: Seth Romero and Mason Denaburg.   Two first rounders who desperately needed playing time this year.  Ah well.

 

 

Opening Day Starter Trivia 2020

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Verlander makes his 11th career opening day start, tying him for the active lead. Photo via sporting News.

Verlander makes his 12th career opening day start, putting him in the clear lead. Photo via sporting News.

Every year I update this long-running XLS for this increasingly anachronistic relic of tracking Opening Day Starter honors for teams.  But it does make for some good trivia questions.

After this year’s opening day, which involved few fans and

  • Most Opening Day StartsActive Leaders:
    • Justin Verlander makes his 12th career Opening day start, double the next closest competitor now.
    • Next closest are two veterans, each of which who has 8 career opening day starts, neither of which made 2020 opening day starts (Clayton Kershaw and Jon Lester).
    • Special mention of Felix Hernandez, who is technically active with the Braves but is not on their 40-man roster.  He has 11 but seems like a longshot to make another.
  • Current Leading Consecutive streak:
    • 3; shared by Verlander, Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola
    • Julio Teheran had a streak of 6 broken this year; he signed with the Angels in the off-season
  • Number of first-time Opening Day Starters in 2020: 18 of 30
    • Soroka, Alcantara, Hendricks, Woodruff, Musgrove, Flaherty, Marquez, May, Paddock, Milone, Eovaldi, Morton, Giolito, Bieber, Boyd, Heaney, Montas, Lynn
    • This is easily the highest number of 1st time opening day starters since I started tracking this.
  • Most surprising opening-day starters in 2020:
    • Tommy Milone getting the opening day start for Baltimore.  Just crazy.
    • Sonny Gray getting his 3rd career opening day start, 5 years after last getting one for Oakland.
    • Johnny Cueto getting his 5th career opening day start, also 5 years after his last.
    • Trevor May, who gets a last minute spot start filling in for the injured Kershaw.  The rich keep getting richer out in LA; he was more than adequate, quite a showing for a guy who would normally be in AAA yet could clearly make nearly every other rotation in the league.

Historically, here’s the all-time record holders:

  • Most Ever Opening day StartsTom Seaver with 16.  Tied for 2nd place with 14 is Jack Morris, Randy Johnson and Steve Carlton
  • Most Consecutive Opening Day StartsJack Morris, all of whom’s 14 opening day starts were in a row.

Hope you enjoy this useless trivia!

Nats 28-man, 40-man and 60-man announcement observations

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Romero back in consideration.  Photo via UHcougars.com

Romero back in consideration. Photo via UHcougars.com

Nats have announced their 60-man roster for the new, weird 2020 season, and the announcement has all sorts of new and weird names.

As I’ve updated the Big Board for all these moves, here’s some observations about those names added surprisingly, and those equally surprisingly left behind.

First off; the team has named their “28-man” roster and we have some telling facts as to who did and did not make it

  • SP: Scherzer, Strasburg, Corbin, ASanchez, JRoss, Voth
  • RP: Doolittle*, Hudson, Harris, Rainey, Suero, Elias*, Harper, AWilliams
  • C: Suzuki, Gomes
  • INF: Turner, Cabrera, Kendrick, Castro, Thames, Zimmerman, Difo, CKieboom
  • OF: Eaton, Robles, Soto, Taylor
  • 60-day DL: Sanchez (achilles)

So, we first see the end of the original spring training “battles.”  Austin Voth has indeed beaten out Erick Fedde for the 6th starter spot.  Austen Williams has held off other 40-man guys like Aaron Barrett and newly acquired Kyle Finnegan for the last bullpen spot.  Wilmer Difo was gifted the last utility man spot over Adrian Sanchez, who apparently has torn his Achilles Heel and probably mises the entire season.  And lastly (no real suprise here but) Michael Taylor has apparently beaten out Andrew Stevenson for the 4th outfielder spot.  No other real surprises here.

This leaves the remaining 10 players who are on the “40-man” but not on the active 28-man roster:

  • SP: Fedde, McGowin, Braymer*
  • RP: Finnegan, Barrett, Bourque
  • C: Read, Barrera
  • INF: Noll
  • OF: Stevenson

So right now the 40-man sits at 38 players.

Next, we have this new list of players now on the “60-man” roster.   Here’s a nice primer on how the 60-man roster will work, but in essence the 60-man pool defines who can and cannot play on the major league team in 2020, and 60-man additions/removals now involve waivers as if they were already 40-man players.

So, who is now on the Nats’ 60-man roster?  A whole slew of original 2020 Spring Training NRIs plus a bunch of new ones.  Here’s the list by position:

  • SP: Cate*, Crowe, Espino, Fuentes, Irvin, Romero*, Rutledge
  • RP:  Abad, Adon, Bacus, Cronin*, Eppler, Freeman*,Guerra, Quackenbush, Wells*
  • C: Castillo, Reetz
  • Inf: Garcia, Snyder
  • OF: Bonifacio, Hernandez

So that’s another 22 players on top of the 38 40-man guys, equaling exactly 60 players.  Nine of these players had to be newly-invited to spring training (see the june transactions for these players), and they all happened to be arms.  Here’s some thoughts on these 9 newly invited players.

  • Joan Adon; may seem like a curious choice, but he’s Rule5-eligible this coming off-season (a 2016 IFA) and showed some promise as a full time starter last year in Hagerstown.
  • Tim Cate has impressed so far, forcing a promotion last year to high-A.  He’s only ever started for the team, but as an undersized lefty may be a bullpen piece at some point going forward.  He’s the kind of guy who could feature in the MLB pen this year before returning to the rotation next summer in AA.
  • Tyler Eppler was a MLFA signing who was pretty effective as a starter in AAA in 2018, then missed all of last year.  I’ll bet he could be a spot starter or middle relief guy right now in the majors.
  • Jake Irvin could be a bit of an aggressive invitee; he only pitched at Low-A last year and I’m not sure he’s ready for MLB hitters.  He’s not in rule-5 jeopardy for another year; a curious call-up.
  • Jackson Rutledge is another perhaps pre-mature call-up; he was our 2019 1st rounder and only threw 37 pro innings last  year.  Do they really plan on featuring him in the majors this year?
  • Matt Cronin was basically unhittable last year, giving up just 2 runs in 22 innings in his pro debut at Low-A … but it was Low-A.  Of course, he is a reliever and may be able to feature in short stints effectively, but he is some what surprising to see called up here.
  • Steven Fuentes is a favorite among Nats prospect-watchers, who missed time last summer thanks to a PED suspension but still put up stellar numbers and somehow passed through rule5 after showing some pretty dominant stuff there.
  • Seth Romero is who he is; we’ve all drawn our lines in the sand with him.  He’s likely here because of the investment the team has made in him, and the fact that he’ll be rule5 eligible this off-season.  I sense the team is rapidly attempting to figure out just what they have with the guy before they consider whether to protect him on the 40-man roster next fall.
  • Nick Wells is another interesting call up; he’s through six pro seasons now and has yet to get out of A-ball.  But he’s a lefty and perhaps the team sees some lefty reliever in him.

——

Lastly, here’s some of the players who did NOT get added to the 60-man (at least not yet; If i understand the rules correctly they can be added later, but someone else on 60-man then has to correspondingly be dumped):

  • Original 2020 NRIs like Jacob Wilson, Carlos Tocci, Taylor Gushue, Brian Bonnell and Jhonatan German: most of these guys are still under contract, but a couple (Tocci and Bonnell) were MLFAs and might be on the cut line.
  • Other MLFA signings who didn’t make the cut, guys like Jecksson Flores and rule5 addition Manuel Geraldo; wonder where they stand going forward.
  • Mario Sanchez; after all the consternation of whether to protect him, and whether he was a MLFA or not … he’s not on the 60-man
  • A slew of long-serving minor league farm hand hitters, guys like Cole FreemanNick BanksRafael Bautista, Rhett Wisemann; what does the future hold for these guys?
  • Jackson Tetreault; he was so good in high-A but struggled in AA, and is passed over for guys who didn’t even make it to high-A last year.  He’s also rule5 eligible; not that I think he’s in jeopardy of being taken, but I wonder where he stands with the org now.
  • Drew Mendoza: he’s gotta be loving the new DH rule; if he’s the hitter he’s supposed to be, why isn’t he in camp somewhere?

————

Good to have some moves to analyze.

 

 

Written by Todd Boss

June 29th, 2020 at 10:39 am

Posted in Nats in General

Do we really think there’s going to be a season?

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I alluded to this in comments on the previous thread…. but it is a question worth asking.

Here’s the rough timeline for the 2020 season:

  • Friday, June 26: Transactions freeze ends at noon ET
  • Sunday, June 28: Teams must submit 60-man player pool names by 3 p.m. ET
  • Wednesday, July 1: Teams report to Training Camp 2.0
  • Friday, July 24: New Opening Day
  • Monday, August 31: Trade deadline (usually July 31)
  • Tuesday, September 15: Players must be on big league roster to be eligible for postseason

So, notably, here we sit not even to July 1 yet, and we have the following issues:

MLB has a plan, of course.  And true to MLB fashion, its vague and arguable throughout.  Per the “contingency plan” they can stop the season if:

  1.  if restrictions on travel throughout the country are imposed;
  2. if the season poses “an unreasonable health and safety risk to players or staff to stage those games,”; and
  3. if the competitive integrity of the season is compromised by the number of players who are available.

Those aren’t “or” clauses; they’re “and” clauses.  Meaning all 3 need to take effect.  #2 in particular seems particularly vague enough to basically never be agreed as being true by the 35-40% of this country that still seems to think this pandemic is a joke or a media invention.

I mean, what do you do if the virus hits a team and knocks out a third of their roster?  You can’t possibly ask them to keep playing with a bunch of minor leaguers.  That clearly compromises the integrity of the season.  Meanwhile, we already have players like our own Ryan Zimmerman make pretty cogent arguments that they’re in really tough spots personally to expose themselves to three months of high-risk travel and group settings (If you’re Zimmerman, with an immuno-compromised parent and a small child at home … what would YOU do?)

I dunno.  I think its a frigging mess.  As much as I like baseball and want a season to discuss and analyze, as much as I want to see Max Scherzer vs Gerritt Cole on opening day … part of me thinks we’re gonna get to mid-July and there’s going to be huge roadblocks to play.   We’ll see I suppose.

When our 60-man roster is announced i’ll do another post to talk about it.

 

Post-publishing addition: I completely forgot to add in concerns  about (some of which was mentioned in the comments):

  • our foreign players actually being able to fly HERE
  • our foreign players actually being allowed to fly home.
  • state-based flying restrictions just announced.
  • the fact that the DC mayor has apparently banned large gatherings and the Nats may not be able to train at home.

just so many issues.

Written by Todd Boss

June 28th, 2020 at 8:33 am

2020 draft coverage: Local draft-prospects to keep an eye on

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Thanks to uncertain times, the 2020 draft class from a “local” perspective has been … well gutted.

Not one player that I can find with ties to Maryland or Washington DC was drafted.  Just two players with ties to Virginia were drafted in the 5 round 2020 draft (who i’ve listed in the section below), both Virginia Tech players.  Not one UVA player selected, meaning they retain a huge chunk of their class heading into next season, not the least of which is Nate Savino, who reclassified to skip his senior  year of HS, go to school … only to have the season cancelled.

how many of these players are NDFA candidates?  Hard to say; but some will be looking at pressure/competition for their partial scholarships, which means we’ll see some movement.

First draft of this post?  6/9/17, when a freshman (!) was named 2nd team all-Met.  A few years on-wards we know that freshman in particular (Jack Bulger) has become a significant national prospect, one of the best prep prospects to come out of the DC area since the 2016 class (which saw two upper round picks in Joe Rizzo and Khalil Lee)  plus state POTY Jake Agnos, an eventual collegiate all American.

The College players are mostly drawn from my 2017 Local High School draft coverage, listing guys who were HS seniors in 2015 who went to 3-year programs and who are now draft eligible.

Major Local College Draft Prospects for 2020

  • Ian Seymour, LHP from Virginia Tech (via Westborough MA): 2nd round, #57 overall pick
  • Taylor Carson, C/1B from Virginia Tech (via Duluth, GA): 4th round, #130 overall pick.
  • Andrew Abbott, LHP UVA (via Halifax Co).  2019 Collegiate National team extended-roster selection.  Went undrafted in 2020 despite being ranked #116 by MLBpipeline.

Lesser Local College draft eligibles w/ Local Ties

  • See https://www.mlb.com/draft/tracker/2020/all/state/virginia for full Virginia listing
  • see https://www.mlb.com/draft/tracker/2020/all/state/maryland for full Maryland draft prospect listings
  • Nats 2016 Draftee Matt Mervis just signed as an NDFA with the Cubs.

DC/MD/VA Local Prep players for 2020

  • Nate Savino, LHP from Potomac Falls.  Potomac District POTY in 2018 as a sophomore.  UVA commit.  Diamond Elite summer team.  Showing 92 from the left-hand side as a sophomore in HS games; wow.  NovaNine as a sophomore.  PG Junior Nationals 2018.  1st team all state VHSL Class 5 2018 as sophomore.  Player of the Year Class 5 Region D in 2018 as a sophomore.  1st team USA Today all-state 2018 as Soph.  Gatorade POTY for Virginia in 2019 as a Junior.  All Region 5C as Junior in 2019.  U18 National Team.  #4 on BA’s 2020 prep list, a legitimate upper-first round talent.  Nov 2019 update: Savino has decided to graduate early and will enroll at UVA.  By most accounts he was projected possibly as a 1st round, top 10 pick in the 2020 draft; this move means he’s passing up at least $4M in signing bonus dollars to go to a school in UVA which, frankly, does not have a great history of developing top-end starters.
  • Jack Bulger, C from DeMatha.  2nd team All-Met as a *freshman* in 2017.   Early commit to Vanderbilt.  Team Elite Prime.  At 2018 PG Junior Nationals.  Also at the Cary, NC PDP 2018 event despite only being a rising Junior and was named in the highlights article.  HM All-Met 2018 as a sophomore, 2nd team USA Today all-state 2018 as Soph.  Gatorade POTY for Maryland in 2019 as Junior.  1st Team USA Today HS AA in 2019 as junior.  Wow.  U18 National Team.
  • Collin Bosley-Smith, RHP Wilson HS.  2nd team All-Met 2018 as a sophomore.  USA Today DC POTY in 2018 as a sophomore.  Gatorade POTY in DC in 2019 as a junior.  Early commit to Duke.  Mid-Atlantic Red Sox summer team.
  • Eddie Eisert, SS O’Connell HS.  1st team all WCAC as sophomore in 2018.  1st team all VISAA Division I as a junior.  Early NC State commit.
  • Ryley Johnson, OF from Colgan (Manassas).  1st team all Class 6 Occoquan region as a sophomore in 2018.   Richmond braves summer team.   2nd team VHSL class 6 all-state in 2018 as sophomore.   All Region 6C as junior.  1st team VHSL All-6A 2019 as junior.   ECU commit.
  • Ryan Calvert, RHP/1B from LaPlata HS.  Prepbaseballreport Maryland POTY in 2019 as junior.  Evoshield Canes summer team.
  • Riley Eikhoff, RHP from Patriot HS (brother of former Patriot and UVA player Nathan Eikhoff); All Region 6D in 2019 as junior.  Evoshield Canes National summer team.  UVA commit.
  • Jordan Peyton, SS from Riverdale Baptist via Colonial Beach VA.  PG Junior Nationals 2018, early commit to Radford.
  • Alex Greene, OF from DeMatha as well.  written up at 2018 PG Junior Nationals, ranked 12th in the entire class, early UVA commit.  Richmond Braves summer team.  2nd team All-Met 2018 as a sophomore.  USAtoday all-state in 2018 as Sophomore.
  • Josh Moylan, 1B/3B from Spalding HS.   2019 Area code games, early commit to ECU.
  • Thomas Trinca, OF from Centreville.  2nd team All 6A-North region as a freshman in 2017.  Stars Baseball summer team.  All Region 6D in 2019 as junior.  1st team VHSL All-6A 2019 as junior.  George Mason commit.
  • Shane Saunders, OF from Osborne Park.  All 6-A North Region 2018 as Sophomore.  Stars Baseball summer team.  All Region 6D in 2019 as junior.  Canes Gold summer team.
  • Matt Frye, Util Lee HS.   2nd team Class 5 Region D all-region 2018 as a sophomore.
  • Jake Maske, OF DeMatha.  USAtoday all-state in 2018 as Sophomore.
  • Nathan Cmeyla, C from Briar Woods HS.  PG Junior Nationals 2018.  1st team Class 5 Region D all-region 2018 as a sophomore.  1st team All 5C as junior in 2019.
  • Teddy Merritt, RHP from McLean.  2nd Team All 6-A North Region 2018 as Sophomore.
  • Cameron Mozingo-Morales, 1B/RHP from Osborne Park.   2nd Team All 6-A North Region 2018 as Sophomore.   Stars Baseball summer team.
  • Robert Kelley, RHP from Marshall.   2nd Team All 6-A North Region 2018 as Sophomore.  All Region 6D in 2019 as junior.
  • Malik Kabra, OF from Robinson.  1st team all Class 6 Occoquan region as a sophomore in 2018.
  • Joe Vogatsky, RHP/3B from Kettle Run HS POTY.   VA Class 4C POTY in 2019 as junior.  Early commit to JMU.  1st team VHSL All-4A 2019 as junior.
  • Julian Heitman, SS Oakton HS.  Stars Red summer team.
  • Jacob Cassady, RHP from Lake Braddock; All Region 6C as junior in 2019.
  • Braden Mack, C from Potomac.  All Region 5D as a junior in 2019.
  • Ben Thomas, OF from Potomac.  All Region 5D as a junior in 2019.
  • Ethan Snyder, DH from Broad Run.  1st team VHSL All-5A 2019 as junior.

Extended DC/MD/VA Prep players (outside DC Area) on the radar.

  • Quade Tomlin, 2B from Liberty Christian Academy.  1st team All 4-A region as a freshman in 2017.  1st team all-state VHSL as a freshman in 2017.  2nd team all state VHSL Class 4 2018 as a sophomore.  Evoshield Canes National summer team.  2019 Area code games.  Liberty commit.
  • Jeremy Wagner, OF/RHP from the Miller School (Albemarle) POTY as Junior.  Early Austin Peay commit.  VISAA divisoin II POTY 2019 as a junior.
  • Nic Britt, SS from Greenbriar Christian (Chesapeake).   Evoshield Canes summer team, early commit to UVA.   PG Junior Nationals 2018.
  • Rylan Brown, OF from Greenbriar Christian (Chesapeake).   Evoshield Canes summer team.  PG Junior Nationals 2018.  1st team VISAA Division II all-state 2018 as a sophomore.
  • Tanner Schobel, SS Waslingham Academy (Williamsburg). PG Junior Nationals 2018,  2nd Team USA Today all-state 2018 as soph.  VISAA Division III POTY as Junior in 2019.  Early Virginia Tech commit.
  • Harrison Clifton, LHP Steward HS Richmond.  Early commit to Clemson.
  • Garrett Payne, RHP Miller School in Charlottesville,  early commit to NC State.  All VISAA Division II all-state 2019 as junior.
  • Nick Noonan, OF from Deep Run HS.  2nd team all-state VHSL 5A as a freshman in 2017.  2nd team all Richmond Metro in 2017 as a freshman.
  • Tristan Gordan OF from Page County HS.  1st team all VHSL 2A in 2017 as a freshman.  Again 1st team all VHSL Class 2 as sophomore as his team wins the state title.
  • Drew Stanley, RHP from Hickory HS (Chesapeake): Class 5 Region A POTY as a sophomore in 2018 (!).  Canes Mid-Atlantic summer team.  2nd team VHSL all-state Class 5 2018 as sophomore.  1st team all-Tidewater 2019 as junior.
  • Zian Honaker, RHP from Salem HS (Salem).   Winning pitcher in the Class 4 state final in 2018 as as sophomore; 12-0 in his career at this point.
  • Elijah Dunlap, RHP from Riverheads.  All State VHSL Class 2 as a sophomore in 2018.
  • Trey Carter, OF from Carlisle HS in Martinville.  PG Junior Nationals 2018.
  • Alex LaRou, RHP from Cosby HS. PG Junior Nationals 2018.
  • Carter Trice, SS from Lee Davis HS in Mechanicsville.  PG Junior Nationals 2018.
  • Jackson Cherry, OF Jefferson Forest HS.  2nd team all state VHSL Class 4 2018 as a sophomore.  Canes mid-atlantic summer team.  1st team VHSL All-4A 2019 as junior.  Mercer commit.
  • Philip Forbes V, 2B Menchville.   2nd team VHSL all-state Class 5 2018 as sophomore.  1st team VHSL All-5A 2019 as junior.
  • Lucas Carmichael, util Matoaca.   2nd team VHSL all-state Class 5 2018 as sophomore.
  • Andrew Ward, OF Fluvana County.  1st team VHSL all-state Class 3 2018 as a sophomore.
  • Blake Fisher, ? Highland School.  1st team VISAA Division II all-state 2018 as a sophomore.
  • Jon Sawyers, ? Atlantic Shores HS.  1st team VISAA Division II all-state 2018 as a sophomore.
  • Michael Stewart, RHP/1B from Collegiate (Richmond).  1st team VISAA Division I in 2019 as junior.  Early commit to JMU.
  • Nigel Williams, 2B/SS from Collegiate (Richmond).  1st team VISAA Division I in 2019 as junior.
  • Ethan Chenault, RHP from The Miller School (via Forest, VA).  1st team VISAA Division II in 2019 as junior, early commit to UNC-Wilmington.
  • Ethan Firoved, LHP First Colonial HS (Virginia Beach).  1st team VHSL All-6A 2019 as junior.  1st Team all-tidewater 2019 as Junior.  Class 6 Region A Co-Player of the Year 2019 as junior.
  • Aiden Tierney, C/OF Colonial Forge HS (Fredericksburg).  1st team VHSL All-6A 2019 as junior.
  • Zach Dzarnowski, C Hickory HS.  1st team VHSL All-5A 2019 as junior.
  • Tyler Warren, OF Atlee HS.  1st team VHSL All-5A 2019 as junior.
  • Bailey Reynolds, 1B from Libery Christian Academy.  1st team VHSL All-4A 2019 as junior.  Dirtbags summer team,  uncommitted.

Sources used

 

Nats 2020 Draft class by the Ranks

31 comments

Cade Cavalli is your 2020 1st round pick. Photo via Lookout Landing blog

Cade Cavalli is your 2020 1st round pick. Photo via Lookout Landing blog

(note: i have updated the Draft Tracker for the 2020 draft, both the master board and the 2020 draft notes boards).

  • Master Draft Board: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Qd5DS9GlmkQOEh_zGhOvlhHK0EegqY1uJB4mLGmRBaY/#gid=0
  • 2020 Draft worksehhet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Qd5DS9GlmkQOEh_zGhOvlhHK0EegqY1uJB4mLGmRBaY/#gid=25540806

(I have more details about signing bonus calculus and player notes/twitter accounts on the 2020 worksheet, in case you’re wondering why i separate them).

By now, you’ve probably heard about our picks and read a ton of responses in the commentary.

Using various pundit draft board rankings (listed at the bottom for reference), here’s how our picks were thought of before the draft.  Along with some commentary from me.

  • 1st Round/#22 overall: Cade Cavalli, RHP Oklahoma.   Law=13.  MLBPipeline=22.  BA=22.  Fangraphs=17.  ESPN=24.  CBS=16.  D1Baseball=9.  20/80=23.  PerfectGame=8.

So, picking 22nd the Nats generally seem to have gotten value per the pundits.  Certainly this wasn’t a reach.  And, by some pundits (Law in particular, Perfect Game as well) this was a steal.

My thoughts: well, we know the Nats like college arms, velocity, big guys and players from Texas/Oklahoma.  Cavalli hits all those markers.  I was sure they’d go Cole Wilcox or perhaps J.T. Ginn but the team passed to go with Cavalli.  ironically, Wilcox didn’t go until the 3rd round, so the Nats passed on  him multiple times, while Ginn went just before their 2nd round pick to the Mets, a like-minded drafting org.  Cavalli is a speculative, scouting-first pick; he has little track record to go on, and this is the kind of pick that you can regret later on if he doesn’t work out.  He was mostly a hitter his freshman year before converting to the mound.  Maybe the team tries him as a two-way player?  He’s a big dude; he looks more like a football player physically.  Nonetheless, he’s got easy velocity and his mechanics look clean.  Some concerns about hit-ability; wonder if he has some spin rate issues.  A professional pitching development shop can do wonders with him.

  • 2nd round/#55 overall: Cole Henry, RHP LSU.  Law=65.  MLBPipeline=45.  BA=44.  Fangraphs=70.  ESPN=72.  CBS > 50..  D1Baseball=16.  20/80=55.

So, a couple of the ranking boards like Henry at 55, while a couple others (Law, Fangraphs, Espn) think its a bit of a reach.  Draft eligible sophomore, so I wonder if this is a potential over-slot bonus guy.  He was LSU’s friday starter from the moment he walked onto campus, quite a statement for a top-line baseball program.  He has an electric arm, four plus pitches (4-seamer, 2-seamer, a 12-6 hammer curve, change).  I’ve watched the video of him; scouting claims that he had such a violent head snap that he “had difficulties keeping his hat on” seem quite overblown; I didn’t see anywhere near that in the video clips of him available online.  I like this pick as a sneaky good starter for this team.  Interesting player comp mentioned by MLBpipeline during the draft: Mike Mussina

  • 2nd-Supp round/#71 overall: Samuel Infante, SS from Monsignor Edward Pace HS, Miami, FL.   MLBPipeline=149.  BA=154.  ESPN=122, Fangraphs=173.

This is an interesting pick for the Nats.  Clearly an overdraft by every ranking pundit, the scouting reports on Infante all say the same thing; lots of loud power in showcases, questions as to whether he can stay at short (he’s played both SS and 3B in showcases), but super fast and with a great arm.  Listed as 6’1″ 185, he’s still in the SS range and with plus arm strength he could very well feature as a top of the line 3B defensive player.  A UMiami commit from a Miami high school; i wonder if that factors into their thinking.  Did the Nats cut a deal here with Infante based on his projection to get slot savings?   One other factor here; he’s already 19, so he’s old for the HS class (a negative in scouting world) but also means he’d be a draft eligible sophomore if he goes to Miami (which might make his signing tougher).  Curious pick.  MLBPipeline guys comped him to Maikel Franco, an interesting comp.

  • 3rd Round/#94 overall: Holden Powell, RHP from UCLA.  MLBpipeline=134.  BA=126.  ESPN=144.  D1Baseball=77.  20/80=HM.

Powell is UCLA’s closer; stopper of the year last year.  He’s got no chance to start but still got ranked in the mid 100s by several shops.  The Nats havn’t picked a reliever-first this high in quite a while (Drew Storen maybe?) , and I suspect we’ll get some bonus savings here to help pay others here.  He projects as a two-pitch guy  with a FB hitting 97 and a wipeout slider who probably moves pretty quickly through the minors if he’s as good as reported.  20 Ks’ in 9 innings this season; he’s just got tough stuff to hit facing him in the late-game.  Can go multiple innings, undersized guy on the mound with kind of whippy arm action.  I don’t hate the pick, if its meant to be cost savings for other picks.

  • 4th round/#123 overall: Brady Lindsly, C from Oklahoma.  unranked by any service

With all due respect, Lindsly is clearly a “senior sign” by the team to save slot money for others.  I’m suspecting that both this and the Powell pick are money savers to pay Infante and Henry a bit more than slot (both those players being higher leverage guys to go to/return to school).  What little we know about Lindsly; known for good defense, didn’t have a great average in college,  hit for a bit of power.  Lefty bat.  As others noted, maybe the team liked him while scouting Cavalli.   Its also notable that he’s already calling himself a member of the Nats organization on his twitter account.

  • 5th round/#153 overall: Mitchell Parker, LHP from San Jacinto College North JuCo in Texas.   BA=179.

16.6 K/9 this year in 30 innings this year.  Last year 1.43 ERA with similar K/9 numbers.  In case you’re wondering … yes this is the same Juco they got Jackson Rutledge out of last year; one has to wonder if the scouts stuck around for a double header or something while scouting Rutledge and liked Parker.  Oddly, despite great numbers last year he was only a 27th rounder and thus has been pursuing D1 scholarships: he’s committed to U of Kentucky for next season if he doesn’t sign.  Big guy (6’4″), lefty who throws over the top.  He’s known for fastball up to 94 with a big curve.  His mechanics are a little concerning; he lands very stiff legged and almost hyper extends his knee as he stops his upper torso’s momentum.  I feel like this needs to be adjusted to prevent over-dependence on his arm.  Might be a tougher sign; i wonder if some of the 3rd and 4th round savings are for Parker too.

Draft summary:

  • 3 college starters
  • 1 college reliever
  • 1 Prep SS/3B
  • 1 Prep C

Conjecture on over/under slot needs:

  • Players who are likely signing for slot: Cavalli, perhaps Henry
  • Players who are likely under slot: Powell, Lindsly
  • Players who are likely commanding over-slot: Infante, Parker, maybe Henry

I have no doubt they’ll sign all six based on the limited draft.  Mike Rizzo has also said they’ll be “aggressive” with NDFA signings … as aggressive as a $20k bonus can take you of course.

I like our first two picks as future prospects.  I like the prep SS.  I could see our 5th rounder as a project but he has potential.  I like the class.

 

Draft Board Rankings

2020 Draft coverage; Overview of top Draft prospects

110 comments

Welcome to Draft day 2020!

This is a review of the marquee names that have been in discussion for the top-end of the 1st round for the 2020 draft.  Since (especially high schoolers) guys constantly are moving up or down draft boards, each section is divided into two areas: those 4-5 names really in talks to go 1-1 overall (“1-1” means 1st round, 1st overall) and then those who have fallen to “just” being 1st or 2nd rounders.

First draft of this post was in June of 2018, when a freshman made All American status and got put here for tracking.

By this point, we’re almost at “prospect fatigue” talking about the top guys and who might get to the Nats.  But incase you’re not aware of who is likely going in the first 10 picks; read on.

College Upper 1st round names in the mix for 1-1

Note; as we’ve moved closer to the 2020 draft, the same 5 names keep appearing in the top 5 of most every mock draft.

  • Spencer Torkelson, 1B/LF Arizona State.   3rd team AA PG/Rawlings 2018 as a freshman.   2nd team d1baseball AA 2018.  2018 Collegiate USA team as freshman.  Hit 25 homers as a freshman, 22 homers as sophomore.  2nd team d1baseball.com AA as sophomore.  2nd team NCBWA AA as sophomore.   2nd team BA AA 2019 as sophomore.  2019 Collegiate National team
  • Austin Martin, 3B/CF Vanderbilt.  Slashed .410/.502/.603 as a sophomore w/ speed.  1st team d1baseball.com AA 2019 as sophomore.  Plays 6 positions, should be primary SS in 2020.  1st team BA AA 2019 as sophomore.  2019 Collegiate National team
  • Asa Lacy, LHP Texas A&M.  130 Ks in 88 IP as a sophomore.  2019 Collegiate National team
  • Nick Gonzales, 2B/SS New Mexico State.  1st team  d1baseball.com AA 2019 as sophomore, slashed .432/.532/.773 with power.  2nd team BA AA 2019 as sophomore
  • Emerson Hancock, RHP Georgia.  High-90s fastball, 3-pitch guy, great sophomore numbers for #3 team in the land.  2nd team d1baseball.com AA 2019 as sophomore.  2nd team NCBWA AA as sophomore.  2nd team BA AA 2019 as sophomore

College Candidates who have fallen out of  1-1 contention

  • J.T. Ginn, RHP Mississippi State.  1st rounder in 2018 who didn’t sign, draft eligible sophomore.  103/18 K/BB in 80 innings as a freshman in SEC, wow.  Spring 2020 shoulder soreness, bad sign, then blew out elbow and will miss all of 2020 with elbow surgery.  Also lots of buzz in mocks linking to Nats.
  • Max Meyer, RHP Minnesota.   3rd team d1baseball AA 2018.  2018 Collegiate USA team alternative as freshman.  2019 Collegiate National team.  2020 fast riser.
  • Reid Detmers, RHP ECU.  1st team d1baseball.com AA 2019 as sophomore.  1st team NCBWA AA as sophomore.  2nd in nation in Ks; 162 Ks in 107 ip.  2019 Collegiate National team
  • Casey Martin, SS Arkansas.  power hitting SS who can stay at the position and is a 20/20 threat.
  • Patrick Bailey; C;  NC State.  2018 Collegiate USA team alternative as freshman.  switch-hitting C improving as sophomore.  2019 Collegiate National team.
  • Cole Wilcox, RHP Georgia; 1st round talent out of HS, pitched mostly in Relief freshman year with decent numbers.  Lots of buzz to the Nats.
  • Carmen Mlodszinski: RHP from South Carolina.  Helium guy fall of 2019.
  • Ryan Ward, OF Bryant.  2nd team AA PG/Rawlings 2018 as a freshman hitting .409.
  • Chris Mauloni, RHP Jacksonville.  3rd team AA PG/Rawlings 2018 as a freshman.
  • Patrick Frederickson, RHP Minnesota.  3rd team d1baseball AA 2018.
  • Tanner Burns; RHP; Auburn.  2018 Collegiate USA team alternative as freshman
  • Kevin Abel, RHP Oregon State.  Star of the 2018 CWS, getting 4 wins plus pitching a 2-hit shutout in the championship game.
  • Alec Burleson, Util ECU.  1st team d1baseball.com AA 2019 as sophomore, slashed .370/.399/.573 and was 6-2 in 60IP on the mound as a two-way player.  1st team NCBWA AA as sophomore.
  • Justin Foscue, 2B, Mississippi State.  2nd team  d1baseball.com AA 2019 as sophomore
  • Holden Powell, RHP UCLA closer, 2nd team  d1baseball.com AA as sophomore.  1st team NCBWA AA as sophomore.  2nd team BA AA 2019 as sophomore
  • Chris Lanzilli, OF Wake Forest.  2nd team NCBWA AA as sophomore
  • Tyler Brown, RHP Vanderbilt closer.  2nd team NCBWA AA as sophomore.  2019 Collegiate National team
  • C.J. Van Eyk; RHP; Florida State.  2018 Collegiate USA team alternative as freshman.  Great CWS super Regional outing on national TV 2019.
  • Casey Optiz, C Arkansas.  2019 Collegiate National team

High School Upper 1st round names in the mix for 1-1

  • Zac Veen, OF (CF) Florida HS.  Florida commit.  Law says best HS player in class
  • Austin Hendrick, OF West Allegheny HS (Pa.).  Mississippi State commit.  Big power kid.
  • Mick Abel, RHP Jesuit HS (Ore.).  Oregon State commit.
  • Robert Hassell, LHP/OF Independence HS (Tn.).  2nd team Rawlings AA 2019 as jr.  3rd team USA Today AA in 2019 as junior.  MaxPreps 1st team AA as junior.  Tennessee Gatorade POTY in 2019 as junior.  CF
  • Dylan Crews, OF Lake Mary HS (Fla).  LSU commit.  PG has him as #2 prep player in class, long-time member of US national teams.
  • Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF (CF) Harvard-Westlake HS, CA.  top all-around prep position player in draft.   Vanderbilt commit.  3rd team Baseball america AA in 2019 as junior.  Maxpreps 2nd team AA as junior.  Might be more famous than good (parents both hollywood actors) but still 1st rounder.
  • Nick Bitsko, RHP/corner guy Doylestown, PA.  UVA commit, helium guy.
  • Ed Howard, SS Mount Carmel (Ill) HS.  Helium guy in 2019, Oklahoma commit.
  • Jared Kelly, RHP Refugio HS (Tex.).  was LSU commit, now Texas commit.  Mid-90s since sophomore.   2nd team USA Today AA in 2019 as junior.  2nd team Baseball america AA in 2019 as junior

High School guys whose stock has fallen:

  • Nick Savino, LHP Potomac Falls HS, Sterling Va.  UVA commit.  This is the highest i’ve ever seen a DC-area prep player ranked; he’s legitimately in the running for a top 10 overall pick in 2020.  Decided in Dec 2019 to graduate early, skip his Sr season and enroll in UVA.  Shocking decision for a player who was looking like a top 10 overall pick and a $4M bonus.
  • Blaze Jordan, 1B/3B DeSoto Central High School (Southaven, Mississippi).  Re-classified/graduating early.   Mississippi State commit
  • Tyler Soderstrom, C Turlock (Calif.) HS.  UCLA commit.
  • Jared Jones, RHP/OF Miranda HS (Cal).  USC commit.  top 2-way player in the class.   1st team Rawlings AA 2019 as jr.  2nd team USA Today AA in 2019 as junior.  3rd team Baseball america AA in 2019 as junior.  MaxPreps 1st team AA as junior.
  • Timmy Manning, LHP Cardinal Gibbons HS, Fort Lauderdale (Fla).  UFlorida commit.  Underclassman on USA 18U team in 2018.
  • Drew Romo, C Woodlands HS (Houston TX).  LSU commit, switch hitting catcher starter on USA 18U team as a junior.
  • Yohandy Morales, SS Braddock HS, Miami.  UMiami commit.
  • Jace Bohrofen, 1B Westmoore Hs (Ok.)  1st team Rawlings AA 2019 as jr.
  • Jack Bulger, C from DeMatha.  3-time 1st or 2nd team USA Today AA, best local prospect in years.  Maxpreps 2nd team AA as junior.
  • Colten Keith, inf/RHP from Biloxi (Ms.).  1st team Usa today AA in 2019 as junior.  Maxpreps 2nd team AA as junior.  Mississippi Gatorade POTY as junior.
  • Bryce Madron, OF Blanchard (Ok.).   2nd team USA Today AA in 2019 as junior.
  • Masyn Winn, inf/RHP Kingwood (Tx.).   2nd team USA Today AA in 2019 as junior.  USA 17-U stand-out.
  • Bryce Ballard, rhp/3b (Ga.).  3rd team USA Today AA in 2019 as junior.
  • Aaron Nixon, inf/RHP Mcallen HS (Tx.).  3rd team USA Today AA in 2019 as junior.
  • Dylan Ray, OF Madison, AL.  Maxpreps 2nd team AA as junior.
  • Kyle Harrison, MIF/RHP De La Salle HS, Concord CA..  Maxpreps 2nd team AA as junior.

Sources used to create this list

2020 Draft Coverage: Mock Draft Mania and Nats Prediction

105 comments

I collect Mock Drafts in baseball.  The first of these I found this year was the day after the 2019 draft, then the next was in early Oct right after the final 2020 draft order was finalized.  These early ones are pretty crazy; so much can change (especially with prep players) in a year’s time that the early projections are mostly useless.  But, they’re also interesting to see how player rise and fall on draft boards over the course of a year.

I’ll keep adding to this list as Mocks come in; they’re generated all the way up to the day of the draft by the major pundits.  If i’m missing a ranking here, please let me know.

 


Here’s the Mock draft collection.  I’ve generally listed their top-5 and then who they project the Nats to take at #22 (if they project out that far).  this year i’m ordering them Chronologically as rec’d instead of grouping by pundit…. this should let us see kind of an evolution of the top of the draft.  Players are bolded the first time they’re mentioned, not again afterwards.

  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo/Teddy Cahill): July 2019 Way-too-Early Mock DraftEmerson Hancock, Spencer Torkelson, Pete Crow-Armstrong, Austin Martin, Patrick Bailey
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) Oct 2019 Draft Order finalization Mock: Austin Martin, Torkelson, Hancock, Nick Gonzales, Asa Lacy.
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) Jan 2020 Mock: Martin, Hancock, Torkelson, Gonzales, Lacy.  Nats take Heston Kjerstad, Arkansas corner OF.
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) Feb 2020 Mock v2.0: Martin, Torkelson, Lacy, Gonzales, Hancock.  Nats take Ed Howard, prep OF from Illinois.
  • CBSSports (Mike Axisa): apr 2020 mock: Martin, Gonzales, Torkelson, Hancock, Lacy.  Nats take J.T. Ginn, who blew out arm one start into 2020.
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) April 2020 Mock: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Gonzales, Hancock.  Nats take Ginn.
  • ESPN (Kiley McDaniel) 5/13/20 Mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Hancock, Zack Veen,  Nats take Cole Wilcox.
  • The Athletic (Keith Law) 5/13/20 Mock Draft 1.0: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Hancock.   Nats also taking Wilcox
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) 5/13/20 Mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Gonzales, Hancock.  Nats taking Slade Cecconi, a RHP from uMiami
  • MLB.com (Jim Callis): 5/13/20 Mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Hancock, Veen.  Nats taking Cecconi
  • CBSSports (Mike Axisa): 5/29/20 Mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Hancock, Meyer.  Nats still on Ginn
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo5/27/20 Mock Draft v5.0: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Gonzales.  Nats taking Jared Kelley, a prep RHP from Texas HS.
  • ESPN (Kiley McDaniel5/26/20 Mock 2.0: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, VeenMax Meyer.  Nats still on Wilcox.
  • Fangraphs (Eric Longenhagen) 5/27/20 Mock 1.0: Torkelson, Lacy, Martin, Gonzales, Meyer.  Nats on Wilcox.
  • MLB.com (Jim Callis): 5/27/20 Mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Gonzales, Veen.  Nats taking Clayton Beeter, RHP, Texas Tech
  • Athletic (Keith Law) 5/28/20 Mock 2.0: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Hancock.  Nats on Wilcox
  • Radio.com (Tim Kelly) 6/1/20 Mock Draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Meyer.  Nats on Justin Foscue, 2B Mississippi State
  • CBSSports (Mike Axisa): 6/1/20 mock: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Hancock.  Nats still on Ginn
  • Athletic (Keith Law) 6/3/20 Mock 3.0: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Hancock.  Nats on Wilcox again (Garrett Crochet if Wilcox goes early)
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) 6/3/20 Mock Draft v6.0 ; Torkelson, Veen, Lacy, Martin, Hancock.  Nats on Foscue.
  • MLB.com (Jonathan Mayo) 6/4/20 mock: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Gonzales, Meyer.  Nats on Cecconi (with a Wilcox caveat)
  • BA Staff Mock Draft 6/4/20: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Hancock, Veen.  Nats take Dillon Dingler, C from Ohio State.
  • Bleacher Report (Joe Tansy) 6/4/20 mock: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Hancock.  Nats taking Wilcox
  • Prospect365 (Ian Smith) 6/6/20 Mock Draft 2.0:  Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Hancock.  Nats on Dingler
  • Fangraphs (Eric Longenhagen) Mock 2.0 6/8/20: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Meyer.  Nats take Wilcox but he says this is Crochet’s floor
  • CBSSports (Mike Axisa): 6/8/20 mock: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Hancock.   Nats still taking Ginn (4th straight Axisa mock with them taking Ginn)
  • Prospect365 (Mason McCrae) 6/8/20 Mock Draft v9.0: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Hancock.  Nats on Wilcox
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) 6/8/20 Mock Draft v7.0 ; Torkelson, Martin, Lacy,  Veen, Meyer.  Nats on Wilcox.
  • Radio.com (Tim Kelly6/8/20  final Mock Draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Meyer.  Nats on Foscue.
  • Yahoo Sports (Matt Weyrich) 6/9/20 Mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Meyer.  Nats take Wilcox
  • DraftSite.com Mock Drafting site latest Mock: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Gonzales.  Nats take Wilcox
  • RotoBaller.com (Marc Hulet) 6/9/20 mock: Veen, Martin, Lacy, Torkelson, Meyer.  Nats take Ed Howard, SS, Illinois HS (this mock really is hard to take seriously)
  • D1Baseball staff 6/9/20 Final Mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Gonzales, Veen.  Nats take Ginn.
  • 20/80 Baseball (Nick Faleras/Burke Granger) 6/9/20 mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Gonzales, Meyer.  Nats take Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP, South Carolina
  • FanSided 6/10/20  Simulated Draft: Torkelson, Lacy, Martin, Gonzales, Veen.  Nats take Tyler Soderstrom, C, Turlock High School (CA) (mock draft done by bloggers representing teams)
  • BleacherReport (Joel Reuter) 6/10/20 final mock: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy,  Veen, Meyer.  Nats on Wilcox
  • TSN (Scott Mitchell) 6/10/20 final mock: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Gonzales, Veen.  Nats taking Casey Martin, SS Arkansas
  • 20/80 Baseball (Nick Faleras/Burke Granger6/10/20 final mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Meyer.  Nats on Wilcox

Final Mocks per major pundit

  • The Athletic (Keith Law6/10/20 Final Mock: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Meyer.  Nats on Wilcox again (but picking Mick Abel if he’s available)
  • CBSSports (Mike Axisa): 6/9/20 final mock: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Hancock.   Nats still taking Ginn (no last minute changes from  his 6/8/20 mock)
  • MLBpipeline (Jonathan Mayo) 6/10/20 final mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Meyer.  Nats on Bobby Miller, RHP Louisville as a fall-back if preferred arms don’t fall.
  • MLBpipeline (Jim Callis6/10/20 final mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Meyer.  Nats on Bryce Jarvis, RHP Duke as a fall-back if the likes of Wilcox, Beeter unavailable.
  • ESPN (Kiley McDaniel) 6/10/20 final mock draft: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Hancock, Meyer,  Nats take Austin Hendrick, prep OF from PA HS.
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo6/10/20 final Mock Draft v8.0 ; Torkelson, Martin, Lacy,  Veen, Meyer.  Nats on Wilcox.
  • Fangraphs (Eric LongenhagenMock 3.0 6/10/20: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Meyer.  Nats take Wilcox but he says other Boras guys make sense too.

 

Mock draft posters from past years who didn’t seem to do one this year.:

  • D1Baseball (Frankie Piliere); took a job with Seattle, no longer at d1baseball.
  • HeroSports.com (Christopher Crawford); moved to nbcsports/roto world, now focused only on fantasy impact.
  • MinorleagueBall.com (John Sickels); moved to TheAthletic, site dead.
  • SI.com (Jay Jaffe), now with Fangraphs, so probably not doing prospect work anymore.
  • Baseball America (John Manuel): seems to have passed the torch at BA to Collazo
  • Baseball Draft Report (Rob Ozga); Last post was Sept 2018; out of business?
  • Seedlings to the Stars/Calltothepen.com: main writer left to form Video Baseball Scout.
  • Prospect Digest (Joseph Werner); hasn’t covered the draft since 2018
  • Video Baseball Scout; no mocks in 2020 after a bunch in 2019
  • SportingNews.com (Joe Rivera): didn’t do his own mock; cut and pasted mocks from Law, Callis, Axisa

Draft Rankings: these are prospect ranking lists, NOT mock drafts.

Past prospect rankers that are not doing ranks this year

  • Baseball Draft Report (Rob Ozga); stopped writing sept 2018, one cryptic post in July 2019, seems like he was working for a team but no new content.
  • Video Baseball Scout; no rankings for 2020; site may have died
  • MinorLeagueBall.com site dead, John Sickels now at the Athletic

 

Todd Boss’ Mock draft top-5 prediction?

My top 5 prediction: Torkelson, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Hancock.  I think Veen sneaks in and Gonzales falls out of the top 5, making someone in the 6-7 range very happy.

Who are the Nats going to take at #22?

We’ve talked about this a lot in the comments, but i’ll summarize my thoughts.  Here’s what the Nats like to take in the 1st round:

  • College
  • College Arm
  • College Arm from either Texas/Oklahoma area or a SEC arm
  • College Arm who was higher ranked earlier in the process but has fallen for some reason (injury, discipline) so they think they can get “value”
  • College arm who is advised by Scott Boras or who is similarly “famous” for some reason or another.

All of these things point to one guy; J.T. Ginn.  Only now it seems like Ginn is falling entirely out of the 1st round and may be had later on.  Kinda like how a few years back the Nats were attached with Alex Meyer at the 6th overall pick at one point … then were able to take him later on in the 1st.

So i’m going to predict the team skips Ginn, sees if they can sign him in the 2nd for 1st round money, and will take Cole Wilcox in the 1st.  Wilcox is also the Nats’ kinda guy; SEC school, big arm, big numbers, and a player who they’ve already tipped their hand on (picking him in the 2018 draft with one of their late 30th round throw-away picks).

Signability in this weird season is a factor of course.  The Nats have $6.6M to sign players this year; why wouldn’t they throw $3M at two players then punt the rest on college seniors?  Kinda like what the Mets did last year.

My prediction: Wilcox.


MLB.com Draft Tracker

ACTUAL TOP 5 DRAFT Results (added after the draft); Torkelson, Kjerstad, Meyer, Lacy, Martin.

What happened?

Actual Nats #22 Pick (added after the draft): Cade Cavalli, RHP from Oklahoma.  Not one mock draft ever had him going to the Nats.  None.  The team passes on a number of college arms that they had been linked to that are still on the board (Wilcox, Cecconi, Ginn, etc) to go with the big arm from Oklahoma.


2020 Nats Minor Leaguer purge announced

27 comments

Thanks to Luke Erickson, who culled through Brittany Ghirolis Athletic article and Baseball America minor league transaction details to list out the 39 players who got cut from the various Nats minor league affiliates on 5/31/20.

Luke’s post at Nats Prospects here: https://nationalsprospects.com/2020/06/nats-backtrack-from-minors-pay-cut-releases-revealed/ , The Athletic’s link here: https://theathletic.com/1847453/2020/06/01/nationals-make-cuts-drop-minor-league-pay/ and BA’s here: https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/milb-releases-we-learned-about-today

With this posting, we have completely updated both the major links for all these releases:

  • Big Board: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/186nm-v5F-zTCoR2Be7TFYM3e2cZ-gYi2WVqJLEkHdmc
  • Draft Tracker: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Qd5DS9GlmkQOEh_zGhOvlhHK0EegqY1uJB4mLGmRBaY

As always, if you notice an error/omission on these two resources let me know.

I wanted to go through some notable releases, perhaps identify some surprises and speculate on the obvious ramifications going forward.

Notable/Surprise releases for me:

  • Luis Sardinas: mlb-experienced middle infielder who was relatively successful last year between AA and AAA; marginally surprised they cut him.  But, they did NOT cut Emilio Bonifacio so perhaps that’s the decision/either or player.
  • Drew Ward: the highest draft pedigree of any player released, this 3rd rounder put 7 years into the org, and wasn’t too bad in AAA last year.  He’s only 25; its not like he’s in his upper 20s.  I think he gets another chance somewhere, perhaps with us, perhaps elsewhere.
  • Tyler Mapes; one of my favorite Nats draft stories of all time.  30th rounder, cruised through the minors and was the best starter on our 2016 AA team.  What a steal.  But then he got hurt, missed 2017, and couldn’t regain his old AA glory.  Now he’s too old to keep around.  He’s a perfect example of a guy who perhaps gets one more shot with someone’s AAA team in 2020, but the loss of the season cuts his career short.
  • Bobby Milaki: drafted as a favor to a staff member, he was effective in the lower levels.  Why cut him now?  Why not see what he can do in low-A as a 25yr old?  Don’t get this release.
  • Jorge Pantoja: I never understood the team’s usage of Pantoja.  Four years straight he was in High-A; in 2019 he was actually good.  So why cut him now?  Why not after 2016 season when he posted a 6 ERA in Potomac?
  • Hayden Howard; two straight solid seasons in high-A; why cut him now?  Why not see what he can do in AA?  Oh yeah that’s right; there won’t be a AA this year.  He’s a great example of a player who was released for no other good reason.
  • Ryan Williamson: man the team was patient with this guy; drafted in 2016, did not appear professionally for another two seasons.  Put up acceptable numbers in low-A in 2019, but was way too old for hte level and I guess his time was up.
  • Derek Self: cut loose after 8 full seasons in our system.  Drafted in 2012, re-signed as  MLFA, a long serving org arm.

Stating the obvious.

Clearly the team is anticipating the loss of two full teams going forward.  Covid19 couldn’t have come at a better time in this respect for MLB’s wishes to gut the minor leagues.  We cut 40 players, add just 5 in the draft and voila; you have most of the legwork done to cut lower minor league levels.  Next spring training you have tryouts for the lowest full season team and we’ll see another huge round of cuts.

And then there’s this: the cost of keeping a player is $400/week for the rest of the season versus cutting them right now, so we’re not talking about a ton of money to keep them under contract.

——-

Last thing: fun facts.  After cleaning up/updating the draft tracker for all these releases, here’s some useless information.

  • Ryan Zimmerman remains the longest serving player by tenure from draft day obviously, being the first player drafted by the team in 2005.
  • Next up?  Michael Taylor and Stephen Strasburg, 2009 drafteees.  Aaron Barrett did not get cut with this purge; he’s a 2010 drafteee.
  • Oldest serving non-40 man player?  Jakson Reetz, 2014 3rd rounder.  There’s now basically nobody left from the 2013, 2012, 2011 drafts on the team.

MLB 2020 Draft to be just 5 rounds

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Amateur players who have already lost an entire year of playing time got another huge punch in the gut late friday, when MLB took their option to have the shortest possible draft in 2020 (5 rounds), to drastically reduce the max bonus for anyone not drafted in those 5 rounds (just $20k, as compared to $125k last year), and to basically screw hundreds of players who were set to matriculate into the pros this season.  They’ve even negotiated to delay bonus payments!

All in the name of saving a few bucks (estimated to be $1M each at best likely a lot less)  for franchises whose values are generally measured in the billions.

MLB officially shortens 2020 draft to five rounds

I agree with Scott Boras here, who blasted this move.  https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2883387-scott-boras-slams-mlbs-2020-coronavirus-draft-plan-says-it-hurts-young-players

I just can’t get over how, year after year, in the name of minor savings figures, the owners continually attack the draft, the international signing period, over and over, putting in limits and regressive taxes that while saving a few dollars ends up driving away players from the game.   This comes on the back of the highly opportunisitc plan to eliminate entire  *leagues* of minor league players, again in the name of saving money on the backs of players who are non-unionized.

I mean, is the goal to eliminate the entirety of the minor leagues too?  To somehow improve the major league product by doing what the NFL does; throwing rookies right onto the active roster of the NFL and have them basically sit until they learn?

As for the current crop of players, hundreds of them now face a brutal choice:  sign for a pittance to then earn a pittance and try to make it, or go back to college, where their partial scholarship may not even be guaranteed anymore, or … give up.  I wonder how many players are just going to give up.  How is this a good solution for anyone involved?

 

Written by Todd Boss

May 9th, 2020 at 1:01 pm

Posted in Draft

Tagged with ,