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The Athletic Keith Law Nats top 20 Reaction

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Law likes Wood. huh huh. Photo via Fredericksburg

Next up during the best time of year (Prospect Season!) is Keith Law, who was a long-time ESPN prospect guy before pivoting to the Athletic, where he’s been their main guy for several years now.

Disclosure: of all the prospect writers, I like Law best. Therefore, i’m more likely to like where he ranks people.

Law is more ceiling oriented than floor; you’re more likely to find a random 18yr old than the 25yr old in AAA who hit .300 but who plays 2B/LF (ahem, Jake Alu). So, keep that in mind.

Here’s his top 20+ for the system.

Klaw RankLast NameFirst NamePosition2022 LevelYear Signed/DraftedAcquisitionBonsu
1WoodJamesOF (Corner)Low-A2021 2ndTrade2600000
2GreenElijahOF (CF)FCL2022 1stDraft6500000
3Hassell IIIRobertOF (CF)High-A2020 1stTrade4300000
4CavalliCadeRHP (Starter)AAA2020 1stDraft3027000
5HouseBradySS/3BLow-A2021 1stDraft5000000
6SusanaJarlinRHP (Starter)FCL2022 IFATrade1700000
7HenryColeRHP (Starter)AA2020 2ndDraft2000000
8VaqueroCristianOF (CF)XST2022 IFAIFA4900000
9De La RosaJeremyOF (Corner)Low-A2018 IFAIFA300000
10BennettJakeLHP (Starter)FCL2022 2ndDraft1734800
11IrvinJakeRHP (Starter)High-A2018 4thDraft550000
12RutledgeJacksonRHP (Starter)Low-A2019 1stDraft3450000
13CruzArmandoSSXST2021 IFAIFA3900000
14LaraAndryRHP (Starter)Low-A2019 IFAIFA1250000
15QuintanaRoismarOF (CF)XST2019 IFAIFA820000
16DownsJeter2BOO - AAA2017 1stWaivers1825000
17LileDaylenOF (CF)XST (TJ)2021 2ndDraft1750000
18WhiteT.J.OF (Corner)Low-A2021 5thDraft400000
19AluJake3BAA2019 24thDraft10000
20FerrerJoseLHP (Reliever)Low-A2017 IFAIFA?
21LipscombTrey3BLow-A2022 3rdDraft758500
22CarrilloGerardoRHP (Reliever)AA2016 IFATrade75000
23McKenzieJaredOF (CF)Low-A2022 5thDraft410500
24BrzykcyZachRHP (Reliever)High-A2020 NDFANDFA20000
25CoxBrennerOF (CF)FCL2022 4thDraft1000000
26ValeraLeonelSSOO - ??MLFA?
27SanchezJoseSSHigh-A2016 IFAIFA950000
28ThomasJohnathan???Draft?
29BakerDarren2BHigh-A2021 10thDraft146800
30RamirezAldoRHP (Starter)XST (inj)2018 IFATrade450000
31WardThadRHP (Starter)OO - AA2018 5thRule-5275000
,

And here’s some reactions

  • Same top 5 as everyone else.
  • But, he’s got Green above Hassell, which is kind of rare, and is indicative of ceiling based analysis. Law thinks both Wood and Greene could be special and ranks them accordingly.
  • Law is one of the few to keep Cole Henry in the top 10; he notes the TOS surgery, but also notes Henry’s command and raw stuff was #2 starter before the injury. We’ll just see what happens. We’re all hoping he returns at some semblance of his former self.
  • He’s high man on Jake Irvin, putting him at #11 just below Bennett at 10. Which makes perfect sense honestly, b/c they’re the same pitcher. Big body, control and off-speed guys who project to be 4th/5th starters. One’s a brand new draft pick, one was at AA last year. It’s just kind of mind boggling that one shop had Irvin at 35 and MLBpipeline didn’t even rank him in their top 30 last mid-season.
  • Oh my god, he has Rutledge ranked #12. Maybe my fan-boy love for Law is ending. He’s kind of iffy in his analysis, noting that Rutledge throws hard and maintains velocity, but doesn’t seem to have much RPMs or a third pitch. Hint to Nats Player Development: THAT MEANS HE’S A RELIEVER. Maybe 2023 is the year they realize that Rutledge can either be a shutdown 8th inning guy in the majors or a failing starter in High-A.
  • Waiver claim Jeter Downs at #16. Law makes a good point: the guy was in AAA before the Pandemic, had made AA by the time he was 21. So the talent is there somewhere. Though, the Nats aren’t exactly renown for fixing reclamation projects. So, we’ll see. Maybe he’s a change of scenery guy. But nobody else is this high on Downs.
  • He’s a little lower on White than others, but does note that the guy is super young. Law also points out the obvious; given the Nats prospect OF depth (five of our top 10 are outfielders), a guy like White probably is getting bumped to 1B sooner than later. Which mean’s he’s *really* gonna have to hit his way to the majors.
  • He actually mentions Alu at #19. I’m shocked.
  • The first shop to mention MLFA/NRI Leonel Valera in any capacity. It isn’t often you see a MLFA getting prospect buzz, but Law seems to like his tools.
  • Also the first pundit to mention Jose Sanchez, our SS/3B in High-A, in some time. This guy was once ranked as high as 8th in the system in 2019. Maybe he can regain his mojo.
  • His last honorable mention was our Rule-5 pickup Ward, ranking him roughly 30th when other shops have him in the teens.

Players Law is missing:

  • No mention of Mitchell Parker. I’m guessing he thinks Parker’s success is smoke and mirrors lefty with funky stuff. At some point Parker will hit a wall and stop getting guys out regularly; lets hope its in Washington and not Harrisburg.
  • No Cronin; no surprise there, since Cronin entered pro baseball as a reliever and Law doesn’t rate relievers as prospets.
  • No Evan Lee; i guess he really has to show us something health wise.
  • No mention of our Catcher depth Pineda or Millas. Probably not surprising.
  • No mention of anyone in our IFA class. Might be too early, or might be that we didn’t give out a $4M bonus this year.
  • Infante completely off the list; but that’s the same with all the other pundits too. Great 2nd rounder!
  • Lastly … no Antuna, though Law gives him special mention as having fallen so far.

Written by Todd Boss

February 6th, 2023 at 11:28 pm

Posted in Prospects

Prospects1500 Nats top 50 drops – Analysis

8 comments

Wood #1 prospect per Prospects1500. Photo via MASN

Prospects1500.com is the most courageous prospect ranking shop out there, releasing top 50s every year when most other shop puts out lists with no more than 30 names.

We often talk about how prospects in the 20s are, for all intents and purposes, maxing out as lottery tickets or org guys, but Prospects1500 goes even further, ranking another 20 guys.

So, more to talk about.

First up, Here’s my master list of all Nats prospect rankings. This XLS has more than 200 pundit rankings of individual players in our system, dating back to 2004 believe it or not. Nearly 400 players have appeared on a prospect ranking list for our team in that period. This is one of the biggest resources i’ve managed to maintain and keep updated over the years, and it just keeps growing every time another prospect list is dropped. I find this xls fascinating if only for the discrepancies between shops in the way they rank players.

Back to Prospects1500: here’s their 2023 Top 50 list. Since this is not behind a paywall, I’ll post the full 50 here:

rankLast NameFirst NamePosition2022 Starting LevelDraft/IFA signing YearHow Acquired?Bonus if known
1WoodJamesOF (Corner)Low-A2021 2ndTrade2600000
2GreenElijahOF (CF)FCL2022 1stDraft6500000
3Hassell IIIRobertOF (CF)High-A2020 1stTrade4300000
4CavalliCadeRHP (Starter)AAA2020 1stDraft3027000
5HouseBradySS/3BLow-A2021 1stDraft5000000
6VaqueroCristianOF (CF)XST2022 IFAIFA4900000
7SusanaJarlinRHP (Starter)FCL2022 IFATrade1700000
8HenryColeRHP (Starter)AA2020 2ndDraft2000000
9De La RosaJeremyOF (Corner)Low-A2018 IFAIFA300000
10WhiteT.J.OF (Corner)Low-A2021 5thDraft400000
11CoxBrennerOF (CF)FCL2022 4thDraft1000000
12BennettJakeLHP (Starter)FCL2022 2ndDraft1734800
13LaraAndryRHP (Starter)Low-A2019 IFAIFA1250000
14BrzykcyZachRHP (Reliever)High-A2020 NDFANDFA20000
15LipscombTrey3BLow-A2022 3rdDraft758500
16CruzArmandoSSXST2021 IFAIFA3900000
17RutledgeJacksonRHP (Starter)Low-A2019 1stDraft3450000
18LileDaylenOF (CF)XST (TJ)2021 2ndDraft1750000
19AluJake3BAA2019 24thDraft10000
20QuintanaRoismarOF (CF)XST2019 IFAIFA820000
21McKenzieJaredOF (CF)Low-A2022 5thDraft410500
22FrizzellWill1BLow-A2021 8thDraft179800
23FerrerJoseLHP (Reliever)Low-A2017 IFAIFA?
24RamirezAldoRHP (Starter)XST (inj)2018 IFATrade450000
25CarrilloGerardoRHP (Reliever)AA2016 IFATrade75000
26WardThadRHP (Starter)OO – AA2018 5thRule-5275000
27ParkerMitchellLHP (Starter)High-A2020 5thDraft100000
28BoissiereBrandenOF (Corner)Low-A2021 3rdDraft600000
29TheophileRodneyRHP (Starter)Low-A2018 IFAIFA10000
30BakerDarren2BHigh-A2021 10thDraft146800
31InfanteSamuelSSLow-A2020 2ndDraft1000000
32PinedaIsraelCHigh-A2016 IFAIFA450000
33CroninMattLHP (Reliever)AA2019 4thDraft464500
34DownsJeter2BOO – AAA2017 1stWaivers1825000
35IrvinJakeRHP (Starter)High-A2018 4thDraft550000
36AntunaYaselSS/OF (Corner)High-A2016 IFAIFA3900000
37YoungJacobOF (CF)Low-A2021 7thDraft275000
38MillasDrewCXST (inj)2019 7thTrade170000
39ShumanSethRHP (Starter)High-A2019 6thTrade235000
40CabreraManuelSSearly2023 IFAIFA550000
41DenaburgMasonRHP (Starter)XST (TJ)2018 1stDraft3000000
42PolancoBryanRHP (Reliever)DSL2021 IFAIFA?
43EmilianiLeandro1BLow-A2017 IFAIFA?
44TroopAlexRHP (Reliever)AA2017 9thDraft185000
45MendozaDrew3BHigh-A2019 3rdDraft800000
46MarteDanielOF (CF)FCL2018 IFAIFA300000
47ArrudaJ.T.SSLow-A2019 11thDraft250000
48AcevedoAndyOFearly2023 IFAIFA1300000
49SolanoEdwinSSearly2023 IFAIFA1300000
50SotoElianOF/SSearly2023 IFAIFA425000

Here’s my reaction to the list, going down the rankings from #1 to #50.

  • This analysis includes more than just a ranking of 50 players; author Caleb Sanders also breaks the players down into tiers, includes some video, etc. He defines the Tiers as you’d expect; the top tier are expected to basically be All Stars (Wood and Green), the 2nd tier to be “solid MLB contributors” (Hassell, Cavalli, House, Vaquero), Tier 3s to have a reasonable expectation of making the Majors (every one ranked from 7 to 20).
  • So, with all due respect, it is way, way too early to be putting those kind of expectations specifically on Vaquero in particular. The Cuban showed very little in the DSL in 2022 based on the size of his signing bonus, his pedigree, his origins (Cuba), and the fact that he was 17 turning 18 at the end of the season in a league filled with younger players. I don’t have a problem ranking him where they do (6-7 range, right in line with everyone else), but claiming he’s got a high probability of making the majors right now seems to entirely be based on is signing bonus of $4.9M. Call me when Armando Cruz ($3.9M) or Yasel Antuna ($3.9M) pans out.
  • No quibbling with their top 6-7 players; same 6-7 that everyone else has.
  • Cole Henry at #8. This is aspirational; if he’s healthy he’s probably top 5. Right now its a coin flip if he pitches at the same level again, maybe worse odds than that. I’d have him in the teens.
  • Huge bump up for TJ White, who comes in at #10 when other major shops had him in the deep 20s in their 2022 lists. We’ll see if other pundits agree when the “big” lists from MLB, BA, Klaw, and Fangraphs come out pre-2023.
  • Brenner Cox at #11. I dunno. Something screams Jakson Reetz to me about Cox; a prep player who gets bought out of a D1 commitment and wasn’t really on anyone’s prep radar. I need to see some production before buying in.
  • Love for Covid NDFA Zach Brzycky (scrabble score for his last name? 30 points!) at #14. That’s great; BA’s mid-season 2023 list didn’t even have him in their top 30. I thought he was crazy for signing for the pittance that he did after the 5 round Covid draft and I hope the team takes care of him.
  • Jackson Rutledge comes in at #17, which at least is a reasonable ranking for him as compared to fools who keep putting him in their top 10. But hey, now he’s on the 40man so i’m sure we’ll see him in the majors soon, even if he has an 8 ERA in High-A in June.
  • Jake Alu, given the #19 spot. He hasn’t seen a prospect ranking since Fangraphs’ August ranking. Alu is an excellent example of the difficulties of ranking prospects. He hit well in AAA but features as a low-ceiling MLB utility player; how do you rank that as a prospect evaluation? Is Alu a better or worse prospect than some 17yr old DSL kid who is 6 years and 5 levels away from where Alu is right now but has a higher theoretically “ceiling?” Either way, bravo to Alu and I hope he fares well in 2023.
  • First time we’ve seen Will Frizzell on any prospect list after his 2021 drafting. I mean, lets be honest, this dude is big (6’5″ 225) and destroyed Low-A pitching this year (.377/.426/.696). I suppose you’d expect that out of an SEC middle-of-the-order bat. He needs to get to higher levels and see if he can blast his way up. He’s positionally limited (1B/DH)
  • Aldo Ramirez getting dinged down a bit, as he should be given his injuries. He sits #24 here.
  • Gerardo Carrillo all the way down at #25. I’m liking this pundit; he’s not afraid to ding down players who don’t perform. What has Carrillo done at this point to have anyone think he has a shot of making the majors?
  • Newly acquired waiver claim Thad Ward comes in at #26. Sure. whatever.
  • #27 Mitchell Parker should be higher. All he’s done at every level is perform. Right now, who would you rather have on the mound in a must-win game, Parker at #27 or Rutledge at #17? How about Parker or Bennett at #12?
  • First time ranking ever for Rodney Theophile, coming in way down at #29 but giving some props for the $10k IFA signing who cleaned up in Low-A this year.
  • Another waiver claim in Jeter Downs sits at #34. sure, whatever.
  • It’s not going to be worthwhile to quibble too much about anyone ranked below #30. I will point out players who I think are too low, and then players who are missing at this point
  • Jake Irvin is higher than #35. I don’t get this ranking. I mean, the dude posted respectable numbers in AA and was put on the 40-man. Who’d you rather have, Irvin (#35) or Andry Lara at #13?
  • Yasel Antuna, ranked at #36. Where he should be. This is your reminder that the idiots at Baseball America ranked him #7 a month ago.
  • Four of our new IFA signings from a week ago are here: Manuel Cabrera, Andy Acevedo, Edwin Solano, and based on his last name apparently, Elian Soto. I find it somewhat interesting that Cabrera was the best ranked prospect of these players, but got a bonus that was a third of what Acevedo and Solano got.

Believe it or not, after 50 players, there’s some players who are missing from this list who I probably would have found room for.

  • Would you have put Evan Lee in here somewhere? I mean, he was in the majors last year. Now he’s not even worth ranking above a bunch of 16yr olds we just signed? He’s hurt, not dead.
  • Jackson Cluff hangs around as a defensive specialist; worth mentioning? There’s other plus-defenders out there who could turn things around with the bat: Jordy Barly, Donovan Casey, etc.
  • I guess we’ve completely given up on Tim Cate at this point. Drew Mendoza is still worth ranking but not Cate.
  • Tres Barrera: nowhere in the top 50.

All in all, a solid list.

Written by Todd Boss

January 21st, 2023 at 6:46 pm

Posted in Prospects

Baseball America 2023 Short List Released

23 comments

Rutledge continues to impress scouts with h is 4.90 ERA in low-A. photo via 3rdmanin.com

Hat tip to Luke Erickson and Nationalsprospects.com, because I had no idea that Baseball America had released its organizational top 10 list yesterday. This is incredibly irritating to me as a Baseball America subscriber; I somehow failed to get an email notification of this event, which means I missed the chat they held yesterday, which would have allowed me to ask the most obvious question, “Why in the hell would you still have Jackson Rutledge in your top 10??”

But, more on that later.

BA releases its top 10 in the fall, then works on its Prospect handbook for several months, and releases a full top 30 usually in Late Jan/Early Feb. So this is just a preview of what we’ll get in a few months.

Here’s the top 10, and in parentheses i’ve listed where BA had the player ranked in their last 2022 ranking (released on 8/10/22 after all draft and trade machinations).

  1. James Wood, OF (#3)
  2. Robert Hassell, OF (#2)
  3. Elijah Green, OF (#4)
  4. Cade Cavalli, RHP (#5)
  5. Brady House, SS (#6)
  6. Crithian Vaquero (#7)
  7. Jarlin Susana, RHP (#8)
  8. Jeremy De La Rosa, OF (#10)
  9. Jackson Rutledge, RHP (#9)
  10. T.J. White, OF (#29)

So, some comments.

  • Their #1 prospect in August was, of course, C.J. Abrams. It must have been published during the 24 hours that dude was at AAA before getting called back to the majors and losing his rookie eligibility.
  • In BA’s eyes, Wood did enough in a month at our Low-A post trade acquisition to jump over Hassell to be our #1 prospect. Its the first ranking i’ve seen with Wood at #1.
  • However, in all honesty, BA has the top 3 guys correct, and then the next two guys correct. A consistent top 5 with basically every other shop since these guys arrived in 2022.
  • Not too much to quibble about with Vaquero at #6, or Susana at #7. Prospects361 had Susana slightly higher, but this is in line with where MLBpipeline has these guys as well.
  • De la Rosa: he’s been in the 8-10 range in every ranking i’ve seen since the 2022 trade deadline.
  • I’ll jump over the elephant in the room to note that in the last two months, BA has decided that T.J. White has gone from a fringe, useless prospect (A guy in low A ranked #29 is not someone you’d expect to ever amount to anything), to our top 10. White’s low-A numbers: .258/.353/.432, 10 homers in 92 games and 329 ABs/382 PAs. But, wait for it … 104 strikeouts in those 382 PAs. 104! that’s more than 27% K rate. I mean, hell, for 27% K rate in the low minors i’d expect a homer at least every 20 PAs. But we got 10 homers in 382 PAs, or one homer every 38 PAs. that’s awful. That’s one homer a week. That’s 10 punch outs for every homer. That’s a lot.

So we get to Jackson Rutledge.

Rutledge, who had 20 starts in Low-A as a fourth year pro out of a Juco. A 1st rounder college draftee in his 4th pro season, still in Low-A b/c he has yet to prove he can cut it any higher. Rutledge, who pitched to a 4.90 ERA in 20 starts in low-A, with a 99/29 K/BB ratio (so, not even a K/inning!). 1.39 whip. Averaged less than 5 innings a start against a bunch of 20 and 21 yr olds.

Rutledge. This is a top 10 prospect in our system. Not Henry (who’s hurt yea but dude was still in AAA at the same damn age). Not Cruz or Lara, or Bennett or any of the 2022 draftees who immediately debuted at a higher level. Rutledge.

Some people were like, “oh he finished strong.” No he didn’t. His last 2 starts were the 4 ER in 5 IP variety.

He had 20 starts in Low-A: any guesses as to how many quality starts that comprised? Eight. He had 8 QS in 20 low-A starts this year. A guy with his pedigree should be dominating Low-A of course, but i mean, not even a 50% QS rate? That’s a pretty low bar.

And now he’s on the 40-man. Did he prove he had mastered Low-A in 2022? I don’t think so; if his bio started with anything else besides “1st round pick …” he’d be closer to a release than a promotion.

But here we are. Rant off.

Written by Todd Boss

December 1st, 2022 at 12:55 pm

Posted in Prospects

Prospects361 Nats top 15 list dropped

4 comments

Robert Hassell III is our new #1 overall prospect. Photo via NBC Sports Washington

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Yesterday we got our first Prospect list of the new season. Prospects361 is always an “early list,” and came out right around this time last year.

I capture every prospect list, and have for years, and keep them in an XLS i periodically upload to the Big Board. Once we get rolling on this season’s lists i’ll do the same.

For now, here’s the top 15 on Prospects361 list with some commentary:

rankLast NameFirst NamePosition
1Hassell IIIRobertOF (CF)
2WoodJamesOF (Corner)
3GreenElijahOF (CF)
4CavalliCadeRHP (Starter)
5SusanaJarlinRHP (Starter)
6HouseBradySS/3B
7AntunaYaselSS/OF (Corner)
8VaqueroCristianOF (CF)
9De La RosaJeremyOF (Corner)
10LaraAndryRHP (Starter)
11CruzArmandoSS
12HenryColeRHP (Starter)
13BennettJakeLHP (Starter)
14CoxBrennerOF (CF)
15ParkerMitchellLHP (Starter)

Here’s some thoughts.

  • Seven of these 15 players were acquired in 2022. Hassell, Green, Wood, Vaquero, Susana, Bennett, and Cox. It’d look even better if Abrams and Ruiz and Grey were still in here, but it does give you an idea of the huge talent influx over the past couple of seasons.
  • Robert Hassell seems like he’s going to be our new “#1 prospect on every list until he gets to the majors” going forward: in every list I’ve seen since his acquisition, he’s been #1 (or #2 to C.J. Abrams #1, who just needed a few ABs to lose his rookie eligibility).
  • I have to say … an OF comprised of our top 3 prospects on this list (James Wood in LF, Hassell in CF, and Elijah Greene in RF) sounds … pretty damn good. In 2023 they’ll be 21, 22, and 19 in order, and probably are starting in AA, High-A, and Low-A respectively … but man we can dream on a MLB outfield with all three positions manned by home grown top-end prospects.
  • Our top prospects heading into 2022, guys like Cavalli, and House, are pushed down a bit to 4 and 5. Cavalli probably won’t be on this list for long, having matriculated to the majors and projecting to be in the opening day rotation. House missed a huge chunk of 2022 with a Back issue (not something you generally attribute injury-wise to an 18yr old), which presumably explains his curious lack of power in Low-A this year.
  • Yasel Antuna, listed at #7. Come. On. Here’s the direct quote summarizing his 2022 season: ‘He showed an improved approach at the plate with plus speed and enough power to be a full-time regular at the highest level.” Really?? Lets break down this nonsense point by point:

“Improved approach at the plate?” Really? He hit a combined .215 this year. Ok, so he walked more. Congratulations; he had a combined .352 OBP this year, which was HIGHER than his slugging percentage.

“plus Speed?” He had 27 SBs this year, more than his career combined. Ok i’ll give him that.

“Enough power to be a Full time regular at the highest level?” He hit 10 homers in 99 High-A games in 2022. By way of comparison, he hit 12 homers in 106 High-A games in 2021. Both of those figures were good for Slugging percentages below .400.

So, what is he? A 6.0″ corner OF with some speed, a crap batting average, and some power. He can’t play CF, he no longer can play the infield. He’s undersized. Why does anyone think this is a major prospect at this point? Hassell, by way of comparison, had an OPS of more than 100 points higher in High-A this year, matched him for both homers and SBs in fewer games, had a BA 70 points higher, plays CF, and is two years younger. Now THATS an of prospect. Maybe that’s not fair, comparing Antuna to the #1 guy in our system … fine. Lets compare him to Jeremy De La Rosa, who was also an OF in Wilmington this year and who is ranked LOWER than Antuna: DLR had a higher combined BA, better OBP, better slugging, just as many homers, just as many SBs … plays CF instead of a corner, and is 3 years younger.

I just don’t get it. Why anyone ranks Antuna at this point is beyond me. Ok, enough on Antuna, moving forward.

  • Cole Henry dropped to #12: understandable. He may not ever pitch again.
  • Jake Bennett pops in here; he was an interesting one; he was left completely out of BA’s mid-season post-trade/post-draft rankings for this team, despite being our 2nd round pick in 2022. I’m super curious to see what he does in 2022, presumably in Low-A.
  • Brenner Cox was a polarizing draft pick last year … we have not had good success overpaying Prep kids in these areas of the draft before. We’ll see how he starts his pro career and hope for some positive figures in early 2022.
  • Mitchell Parker gets the last #15 spot. Why isn’t this guy higher? All he did was give the team 24 starts at High-A with 117/67 K/BB ratio in 100 innings and a 2.88 ERA. Perhaps the WHIP is too high (1.43). He’s still a lefty who misses a ton of bats.

Notable names missing out of this top 15:

  • Rutledge; Shocker. Our newest “guy who’s now inexplicably on the 40-man too early” doesn’t even make this top 15 list.
  • Carillo: man what has happened to this guy? He was ranked as high as 6th in our system upon his acquisition. Now he’s relegated to the bullpen and he can’t find the plate.
  • Ferrer and Cronin: new 40-man additions aren’t really top-level prospects, but valuable bullpen arms that typically get plucked in Rule-5.
  • Irvin: another who has lost the prospect luster (was once a top 10 guy for us pre-injury).

Written by Todd Boss

November 26th, 2022 at 8:31 am

Posted in Prospects

MLB Pipeline new top 30 for Aug 2022

17 comments

Green’s pick may have been polarizing, but the MLBpipeline staff is not concerned, ranking him immediately #2 in the system. Photo via districtondeck.com

The MLB pipeline team (Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo, etc) has just released an updated version of the top 30 for all teams, and instead of just plugging in trade acquisitions and 2022 draft picks, they’ve also taken the time to adjust players up/down based on their 2022 seasons. So this is a refreshing look at where we are right now as a system without having to make excuses for odd rankings that date to last off-season.

The Nats now have four players in the top 100 of all of baseball:

  • #23 Hassell
  • #29 Green
  • #35 Wood
  • #58 Cavalli

Abrams has just graduated. Cavalli was ranked #53 in July and has gotten bumped a bit (probably to make room for 2022 top-end draftees). However, House was ranked #53 in July by this squad and has now gotten knocked entirely out of the top 100 thanks to an injury filled 2022 and the influx of a ton of 2022 draftees. That’s a huge move down for House, who this same group had ranked as high as #44 in May of 2022.

Anyway, lets look at the Nats top 30. Here’s the full list, with some comments below:

mlbp rankLast NameFirst NamePosition
1Hassell IIIRobertOF (CF)
2GreenElijahOF (CF)
3WoodJamesOF (Corner)
4CavalliCadeRHP (Starter)
5HouseBradySS/3B
6HenryColeRHP (Starter)
7VaqueroCristianOF (CF)
8SusanaJarlinRHP (Starter)
9BennettJakeLHP (Starter)
10De La RosaJeremyOF (Corner)
11CruzArmandoSS
12RutledgeJacksonRHP (Starter)
13LaraAndryRHP (Starter)
14CarrilloGerardoRHP (Starter)
15LileDaylenOF (CF)
16QuintanaRoismarOF (CF)
17LipscombTrey3B
18RamirezAldoRHP (Starter)
19AntunaYaselSS/OF (Corner)
20WhiteT.J.OF (Corner)
21CoxBrennerOF (CF)
22McKenzieJaredOF (CF)
23FerrerJoseLHP (Reliever)
24BrzykcyZachRHP (Reliever)
25CroninMattLHP (Reliever)
26PinedaIsraelC
27ParkerMitchellLHP (Starter)
28InfanteSamuelSS
29LeeEvanLHP (Starter)
30MillasDrewC

Thoughts/comments on the guys who have moved up or down significantly, as well as general comments.

  • 8 of our top 30 are newly acquired: 3 from the big SDP trade, 5 from the draft.
  • A comment here; if MLBpipeline has ranked our top 5 draft picks from 2022 … why would Baseball America have only ranked one of them? MLBpipeline has our 2nd rounder Jake Bennett ranked as the 9th best guy in the system; BA didn’t even have him in their top 30. I could understand not quibbling/splitting hairs on guys in the 20s, but Bennett is a significant prospect.
  • Green comes in at #2 from the start. By way of comparison, Fangraphs has him #8 in the system.
  • They’ve jumped up Jeremey De La Rosa 6 slots from just two weeks ago, despite his slow start in High-A. But this is recognition of his dominance of low-A as a 20yr old. We don’t talk about De La Rosa a lot, but the guy could be a sneaky good prospect for us, combining power (10 homers in 63 games in Low-A this year) with speed (26 SBs in that same period) and defense (a true CF, though with a ton of errors and few assists).
  • Cristian Vaquero has stayed at #7 despite getting “layered” by a few prospects above him entering, meaning they’ve increased his rank. I’m not entirely sure why; he’s got kind of middling DSL stats this year, has hit just one homer in 50 games, and his slugging is lower than his OBP. The guy is 6’3″ … where’s the power? He has almost no XBHs all year.
  • They’ve dropped Rutledge a few spots, from #6 to #12. Finally recognizing that this guy may just not have it to be a starter. He’s just too inconsistent. One night he’s giving up 4 hits through 8, the next he’s giving up 8 runs through 4.
  • They’ve jumped up Roismar Quintana a bunch of slots; he’s had a very solid FCL season slashing .315/.367/.481 as a 19yr old. Unfortunately, there’s nowhere for him to go, because the low-A outfield consists of White, De La Cruz, and Wood, with McKenzie trying to find ABs. This is a prime example of why teams really could use those short-season A squads. Not to mention the fact that there’s now (if the Big Board is accurate) 48 players on the FCL roster.
  • Yasel Antuna now down to #19. Thank gosh the team has all sorts of 4-A/veteran MLFA types on the 40-man, because Antuna’s spot should have long ago gotten cleared. This didn’t stop the team from promoting him to AA this week, which seems to be kind of “social promotion” to cover for a cascading set of moves freeing up LF spots at AA and AAA.
  • T.J. White moving up; now #20 from #27.
  • Our 3rd, 4th and 5th rounders (who BA couldn’t find room for) are ranked 17th, 21st and 22nd in the system as they start to slot in.
  • Matt Cronin and Mitchell Parker both take dives in the rankings, due to layering and performance.

The following guys were bumped entirely off the top 30:

  • Brandon Boissiere: was #19, that’s a big drop. He’s just not doing anything special in AA while playing primarily 1B.
  • Donovan Casey: was #21, then got DFA’d, unclaimed and was outrighted. That’s … not good for your career.
  • Jackson Cluff: was #24, and we’ve had discussions questioning why he’s ranked in the first place. He’s the backup SS in Harrisburg and is hitting .191 this season.
  • Dustin Saenz: was #25, hasn’t done anything wrong; he earned a promotion to High-A but has struggled since.
  • Jordan Barley: was #28. You can’t hit .203 and be a prospect.
  • Mason Denaburg: was #29. Hey, at least he’s pitching. he’s made 10 starts for low-A with decent numbers so far.
  • Jake Irvin: was #30. I’m happy with his numbers in AA this year; again nothing earth shattering but after not pitching an inning since 2019 this is solid.

Written by Todd Boss

August 17th, 2022 at 9:39 am

Posted in Prospects

Post-Draft/Post-Trade Prospect Ranking Impacts

6 comments

Three of the main scouting bureaus (MLBPipeline, Baseball America, Fangraphs) have plugged in d the haul from the Soto/Bell deal (and two of them have also added in our draft class), so lets take a quick peek at where our newly acquired players rank.

Note: C.J. Abrams has not technically exhausted his rookie status (he has 139PAs but only 125 official At Bats, which is what the guidelines are based on). As a result, he’s on some lists but not others.


Fangraphs adds our top 5 drafted players in 2022, plus 4 newly acquired prospects via trade.

  • C.J. Abrams, our new #1 overall prospect, who was in the majors and will soon graduate off this list, but he reported to AAA to work on some stuff before likely returning in September when rosters expand.
  • Robert Hassell III, our new #3 prospect per fangraphs (though other shops have him higher, see below). He’ll report to our High-A.
  • James Woods, our new #4 prospect per Fangraphs; he should head to Fredericksburg to join the monster roster there (which now includes our 2018 1st rounder Denaburg, our 2019 1st Rounder Rutledge, our 2021 1st rounder in House, our 2020 2nd rounder Infante and our 2021 3rd rounder Boissiere. That’s a lot of top drafted talent.
  • Elijah Green: new #8 prospect. Upon his drafting he slotted in at #5 initially, just behind the “big 3” and also just behind Cuban IFA monster Vaquero (who, I might add, is not exactly tearing up the DSL right now in his first pro season). However he’s now pushed down by the above 3 players.
  • Jarlin Susana now slots in at #10, and should head to our FCL with an idea of moving to Low-A soon.
  • Jake Bennett slots in at #12. Upon his drafting he slotted in at #8, in-between Rutledge (who still cannot get people out in Low-A) and Carrillo (who i’m beginning to worry about from a progression stand point).
  • Trey Lipscomb slots in at #21, pushed down 4 spots from his initia #17 spot, right after Lile (who is out for the entirety of 2022), and right before fellow infielders Infante and Alu interestingly. Infante is showing some power this year in Low-A but otherwise hitting .220, while Alu has a .800 OPS in AAA as a 25-yr old but falls into the “utility infielder” category of prospects, with a high floor to make the majors but a limited ceiling.
  • Brenner Cox slots in at #30, pushed down from #26 a few weeks ago, right behind former 1st rounder Denaburg but ahead of fellow OF prospect Quintana. Cox got paid like a 3rd rounder but was not really ranked by any of the pundits, which gives me some pause.
  • Jared McKenzie slots in at #36 (initially #32), right after Quintana and just ahead of org guys/barely prospects like Fox and Baker. I suppose this is right; if McKenzie turns into anything other than an org guy as a 5th rounder it’ll be found gold.

So, per Fangraphs we’ve acquired our new #1, #3, #4, #8, and #10 system prospects.


How about per MLBpipeline.com? They lagged updating the prospect ranks for 2022 draftees for a bit, but did rank the trade acquisitions immediately. Here’s where our trade acquisitions now slot in:

  • C.J. Abrams: Not ranked; perhaps MLBpipeline is assuming he’s exhausted his eligibility.
  • Robert Hassell III: new #1 prospect
  • James Woods: new #4 prospect
  • Jarlin Susana: new #8 prospect

Odds are that when they add in our draftees, Green would slot in probably between #6 and #7, and Bennett would slot into the teens. Its doubtful they’d rate Lipscomb, Cox, or McKenzie for our top 30 right now.


How about BaseballAmerica? They posted updated rankings on 8/10/22. Per BA:

  • C.J. Abrams: new #1 prospect
  • Robert Hassell III: new #2 prospect
  • James Woods: new #3 prospect
  • Elijah Green: new #4 prospect
  • Jarlin Susana: new #8 prospect

Unlike Fangraphs, BA chose not to rank any of the rest of our 2022 drafting class:

  • Jake Bennett: this one is pretty amazing to me. Fangraphs had him top 10! And he’s not good enough for our top 30 per BA?
  • Trey Lipscomb: BA has Infante ranked 20th right now. I’m pretty sure Infante just lost his starting 3B job in High-A to … Lipscomb. So, maybe Lipscomb should be ranked and Infante not.
  • Brenner Cox: Probably not going to quibble about a prep kid just drafted not being ranked in the top 30.
  • Jared McKenzie: Upper 30s for Fangraphs, which means he’s nowhere near the BA top 30 right now.

So, per BA we’ve acquired our new top 4 system prospects, plus the 8th in Susana.

Interestingly, BA also took the opportunity to shake up some of their ranks a bit from their last ranking on 7/13/22.

  • They’ve bumped up Jeremey De la Rosa 5 spots
  • They’ve dropped Andry Lara 6 spots
  • They dropped Rutledge a grand total of 1 spot.
  • … Which makes no sense: Lara and Rutledge have almost identical stats this year in Low-A; Eras of 5.48 and 5.54, WHIPs of 1.46 and 1.47. Lara has more Ks but also more Walks, while Rutledge has a much worse BAA of .290 to Lara’s .252. Lara is 19, while Rutledge is 23. So, the 23yr old gets dropped one spot for having WORSE numbers in Low-A than the 19yr old?? Really?
  • They’ve bumped up Henry a couple spots
  • They’ve dropped Carrillo a couple slots
  • they’ve dropped $3.9M bonus baby Armando Cruz two spots.
  • They’ve dropped Antuna a couple spots; he’s now ranked #14 in the system. Still. So we’re on the same page, Antuna is 22, in High-A, hitting .234 while repeating the level and is still somehow ranked 14th in the system. At least he’s not top 5 any more.
  • they’ve got Donovan Casey 25th; whoops. He got DFA’d this week.

Written by Todd Boss

August 11th, 2022 at 5:58 pm

Posted in Prospects

Fangraphs/Longenhagen top 29 Nats Prospects

21 comments

So … even though its (checks calendar) July, Fangraphs just released its “Top 29 Nats prospects for 2022” ranking. Today its the featured story at Fangraphs, along with the side-eye tag line of “This is one of the worst farm systems in baseball.” So, thanks for that!

I suspect Eric Longenhagen got a little too busy this year, and a ranking that he released in April last year got pushed to mid-season. We’re now basically half way through (or more) of the minor league season and are getting a pre-season ranking list … so it kind of feels silly to analyze it. However it does seem like Longenhagen has taken some 2022 production into account here. Either way, I love prospect ranks and collect every one into a huge spreadsheet, and have for years, and I like writing these reaction pieces … so here goes.

His list, start to finish:

Last NameFirst NamePositionRank
CavalliCadeRHP (Starter)1
HenryColeRHP (Starter)2
HouseBradySS/3B3
VaqueroCristianOF (CF)4
De La RosaJeremyOF (Corner)5
RutledgeJacksonRHP (Starter)6
CarrilloGerardoRHP (Starter)7
CruzArmandoSS8
IrvinJakeRHP (Starter)9
RamirezAldoRHP (Starter)10
MillasDrewC11
WhiteT.J.OF (Corner)12
LaraAndryRHP (Starter)13
LileDaylenOF (CF)14
InfanteSamuelSS15
AluJake3B16
LeeEvanLHP (Starter)17
BrzykcyZachRHP (Reliever)18
AbbottCory?19
AdonJoanRHP (Starter)20
ShumanSethRHP (Starter)21
PinedaIsraelC22
DenaburgMasonRHP (Starter)23
PerezFrancisco?24
CroninMattLHP (Reliever)25
ParkerMitchellLHP (Starter)26
QuintanaRoismarOF (CF)27
FerrerJoseLHP (Reliever)28
FoxLuciusSS29

Longenhagen has long been a maverick in his rankings for prospects, and you can see it here. He’s big on younger players and he’s got a ton of experience in the Dominican market. He absolutely values ceiling more than floor, and has no problem putting 17yr-olds with scant experience high on these lists. There’s a number of player rankings here way out of line with other pundits (some that I agree with, others not). So, lets highlight some of the interesting placements.

  • He goes Cavalli, Henry, House as his top 3, omitting the rookie-exhausted Ruiz from this list. This kind of goes against the trend of pundits putting House at #1, and part of it could be the slight stagnation we’ve seen out of House in Low-A (he exploded out of the gates in April, then crashed in May, and his June numbers are mediocre, and now he’s on the DL).
  • Vaquero comes in 4th, and Longenhagen gushes over his performance at pre-draft camps in comparison to his fellow 17yr olds last year. Notably, I discovered that i’ve been misspelling Vaquero’s first name everywhere (Its Cristhian, not Cristian or Christian or Christhian). Vaquero so far is underwhelming in the DSL, “only” slashing .257/.329/.686 with almost no power (just four XBH and zero homers in 20 games). So, lets hope for more.
  • De la Rosa at #5. Wow; he’s high man here. De La Rosa may have been this high in pre-2021 lists, but he, well, he sucked in 2021 (.209/.279/.316 in Low-A, albeit in his age 19 season. Luckily, De la Rosa has been much, much better in 2022 in Low-A (.310/.392/.481), showing solid power to go with a 50-steal pace. So, yeah, this now looks like a good ranking. And a good player to keep an eye on as a true CF with 20/20 capabilities apparently.
  • Rutledge still too high for me at #6, but its in line with other pundits. Rutledge seems to have turned things around (finally) in Low-A: his last 6 starts have basically been stellar, and in a couple of cases have been (ahem) dominant-even (6ip, 3 hits, 0 runs in one, 7ip 3 hits, in another)
  • Irvin at #9!! That’s just amazing. The HIGHEST reputable source that had Irvin anywhere close to this high in his entire minor league career was a #10 ranking by BA in 2019 just after he was drafted. But here he is, sitting as a top 10 prospect in our system per Longenhagen. Amazing. And his ranking is paying off: 2022 results: 3.14 ERA, 1.11 whip and exactly 9 K/9 in 13 four-inning starts so far.
  • He’s incredibly high on Millas, putting him #11 in the system and extolling his defensive capabilities. He hasn’t hit though this year (.211), which could put a damper on his promotion going forward.
  • TJ White at #12 is also high man amongst peers, and it confirms what a lot of like about White. He’s just 19, has an OPS north of .800 in low-A, and is holding his own.
  • Andry Lara comes in 10 spots lower than basically every other pundit out there, ranking him #13. Most every other major shop has him #5 or close to it. And I agree; he’s struggled this year. He’s got easy mid-90s velocity but is getting shelled to a 5.60 ERA in low-A right now. Yes he’s young, but he should also be doing better.
  • Jake Alu at #16 … the fact that he’s even ranked is amazing. Nobody else out there has him ranked at all. But Fangraphs thinks he’s a big-league utility guy. He’s 25 in AA, with an OPS at around .800, can play most of the infield positions or even a corner OF. Maybe we’re looking at another Jake Noll here.
  • Cory Abbott comes in at #19; not bad for a waiver claim earlier this year. But also a pretty bad indictment of a system in his mind, where we have not one but two waiver claims listed.
  • Joan Adon at #20. Wow. The kid who made the 2022 opening day rotation is ranked lower in Fangraphs than the waiver claim we made on Abbott earlier this year. Think about that. In the writeup Longenhagen gives out two interesting nuggets: Adon has now lost his rookie status so he’s done being considered for these lists …. and he points out that the Nats brain-trust altered Adon’s arm angle, which easily explains why he posted a 6+ ERA in the majors this year.
  • Matt Cronin dumped way down into the 20s (#25); his reasoning is that Cronin has no 2nd pitch. Which if true … is a problem.
  • A few other interesting names in the 20s to point out: Francisco Perez (last year’s waiver claim) is at #24, Denaburg is here in the mid 20s still, and Jose Ferrer (who I had to look up on the big board) comes in at #28.

Now … what’s really interesting about this list is who is NOT listed here.

  • No Brandon Boissiere; not a huge omission, but most other shops at least put him in their 20s. Maybe its because he’s hitting near the Mendoza line in Low-A for the second straight season, showing little improvement.
  • No Jackson Cluff. I never got the love for this guy and I still don’t; for his entire career he is slashing .206/.299/.312 … and his AA numbers this year are even worse than that. Even if he’s the second coming of Ozzie Smith, you gotta at least hit a little to get to the majors.
  • Daniel Marte; completely missing. As he probably should be; he’s now hitting below .200 while repeating the FCL and you have to wonder how much longer he has with the organization. He was a reasonably expensive IFA ($300k in 2018) so he’ll get some rope. By way of comparison, that’s the exact same amount that De la Rosa got in the same year.
  • No Mendoza; no surprise here. What a regression for Mendoza. He had an 1.100 OPS his junior year at Florida State and a career .674 OPS with wood professionally.
  • Tim Cate: nowhere to be found. Ouch. Our opening day starter in AA in 2021, Mr. Amazing Curve ball that scouts can’t help but rave about, but can he succeed north of A-ball?
  • Donovan Casey; not listed. Perhaps an admission of what he really is; a guy who maxes out at AA. He’s struggling this year in Rochester, and struggled last year upon his AAA promotion.
  • Seth Romero; absent. As he has been for his entire career.
  • Jordy Barley; fangraphs is not impressed. Neither is the Carolina league, where he’s hitting .199 right now.
  • Tres Barrera: not listed, though Millas and Pineda are. Interesting.
  • Last but not least; Yasel Antuna. Nowhere to be found. This is amazing. By way of comparison, Baseball America has him listed as our #3 prospect. #3 overall. Fangraphs couldn’t find room for him in their top 30, and sits behind two waiver claims. You hate to dance on a guy’s grave … but this is where we are with Antuna right now.

Written by Todd Boss

July 6th, 2022 at 11:36 am

Posted in Prospects

2022 Draft Coverage: Early Mock Drafts

20 comments

Here’s the first collection of this year’s Mock Drafts.  We usually see the first crazy-early mock just after the 2021 draft (from Baseball America), then again after the end of the 2021 season when the draft order is more or less determined, then it really starts to heat up in April/May.

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. I generally try to capture every mock from a handful of credible scouting websites: Baseball America, MLBpipeline, Keith Law/The Athletic, Kiley McDaniel/ESPN, and Eric Longenhagen/Fangraphs. I also try to include CBSSports/Mike Axisa and D1Baseball folks because they have good insight. I generally do NOT include fan-boy team-blog mock drafts that just arbitrarily pick players without any insight that the professionals do, nor do I put much credence into fantasy site-driven mocks.


Here’s the Mock draft collection.  The Nats pick at #5 this year, so no need to scan down and project deep into the 1st.  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) Way too Early 2022 Mock, 7/14/21, done the day after the 2021 draft. top 5: Elijah Green, Jace Jung, Brooks Lee, Kevin Pareda, Terrmar Johnson. I have to admit … this mock is darn accurate to what the pundits continue to predict 10 months later. Bravo.
  • MLBpipeline (Jonathan Mayo): Top 20 projected 2022 Mock 7/22/21: Green, Dylan Lesko, Jacob Berry, Jackson Ferris, Johnson.
  • MLBpipeline (Jim Callis) top 10 Mock Draft 2022 published 12/16/21: Johnson, Druw Jones, Berry, Lee. Nats take Green. First mention of Druw Jones, who only continued to rise from here on out.
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) v1.0 Mock Draft 2/11/22: Jones, Johnson, Green, Lee, Nats take Berry.
  • Baseball America (Collazo) 2.0 Mock draft 4/1/22: Jones, Lee, Lesko, Johnson, Nats take Green.
  • Baseball America (Collazo and an anonymous industry insider) Mock Draft 3.0. 4/28/22: Lee, DJones, Green, Lesko. Nats get Jung.
  • MLBpipeline top 10 Mock draft 5/11/22: Jones, Green, Jackson Holliday, Lee, Nats take Parada.
  • The Athletic (Keith Law) first mock draft 5/18/22: Berry, Jones, Holliday, Lee. Nats take Parada. His thinking; O’s take Berry at 1-1 to save a ton of money (he’s not really projected this high at this point), then use that on a prep kid in the supplemental and 2nd rounds to overpay. Nats reportedly “on Parada” heavily, despite his being a catcher and despite having just acquired what looks to be their starting Catcher for the next 6 years last off-season in Kiebert Ruiz. Repeat after me: you don’t draft in baseball based on what’s on your current MLB roster; you take the best player available, always. Parada might very well be the collegiate player of the year this year, and if he works his way up the minors in 2 years and suddenly you have two starting catchers … you deal with that problem then.
  • MLBPipeline (Callis) Mock Draft May 2022: Holliday, Jones, Parada, Lee. Nats take Elijah Green.
  • Baseball America Mock 4.0 6/2/22: Holliday, Jones, Green, Lee, Nats take Parada. BA notes that the Nats are heavily focused on Parada right now, and take him over Terrmarr Johnson in this scenario.

So, we’re starting to see a pretty clear consensus from the regular mockers.

  1. O’s seem to be going the under-slot deal to save enough money to overpay a prep kid who’s fallen early in round 2 or in the supplemental draft. The O’s pick 1st, 33rd, and 42nd this year, meaning they’ll get basically three “first round” talents out of this draft if they spend wisely.
  2. Arizona/Texas/Pittsburgh then have their choice of the top talents, and those seem to be three of Drew Jones, Jackson Holliday, Brooks Lee, and Elijah Greene.
  3. It seems like most think its going to be Jones, Holliday and Lee, leaving us to choose between Parada and Green.
  4. I’d be ecstatic if Brooks Lee fell to us; he was a mid-1st rounder out of HS, and has only improved since.
  5. Green by most accounts has the “highest upside” in the draft, but is of course 3-4 years away.
  6. Parada at #5, if Lee is gone, seems like the safer/faster pick.
  7. Termarr Johnson is also on the board in most of these mocks, and was projected higher earlier in the season, but he’s a little more risky as a prep SS.
  8. Anyone else would be a reach that the team shouldn’t do.

Written by Todd Boss

June 9th, 2022 at 3:17 pm

June 1st Roster Shakeups

5 comments

So, apparently according to Nats brass, the amount of time a player needs in the minors to completely dominate a level before getting moved up is exactly … 2 months.

Because on June 1st, a number of players who have clearly shown they’re too good for the level they’re currently in were moved up. Lets take a look at some of the more notable prospect moves over the last few days:

Nationals:

  • Called up Evan Lee, gave him his first start
  • Re-called, finally, Luis Garcia after he slashed .314/.368/.531 the first two months in Rochester.

Yes, I know both of these were more about Lee/Garcia covering for injuries, but they were still merit induced and both may actually stick in the majors. Lee’s rotation spot won’t be there for long (not as long as Strasburg is pitching 6 nearly-no-hit innings in AAA), but Josh Rogers just hit the D/L with a very scary sounding “shoulder impingement” injury. We don’t know if this is season-ending, career-ending, or a two week stint. Meanwhile, Garcia steps in for Alcides Escobar, who hit the D/L with a hamstring injury but who probably should just be released after he posted a 61 OPS+ for the first two months.

AAA:

  • Promoted Cole Henry from AA
  • Promoted Matt Brill from AA

Henry was a long time coming; In 7 starts/23 innings, he gave up a grand total of five (5!) hits and had a 28/9 K/BB ratio. Can we please stretch this guy out longer than an 9yr old little league pitch count restriction? Meanwhile, Brill is an under-the-radar RHP 8th/9th inning guy who was closing in Harrisburg and now can see if he can sustain his excellent numbers in AAA.

AA:

  • Promoted Jake Irvin from High-A
  • Promoted Zach Brzykcy from High-A

So, Irvin wasn’t nearly as dominant as Henry, but he still proved he had nothing left to prove at High-A. This is great news coming off of two lost seasons for him. Meanwhile, NDFA Brzycky continues climbing up the ladder for this team. Best $20k they’ve ever spent. Harrisburg also gets a RHP reliever named Edgar Garcia (at least for the next few days), who was pretty good for the last few years in Minnesota’s AAA team and who has MLB experience in three different seasons. Not really sure why he’s in AA, but Washington does this often with MLFAs it finds on the scrap heap

High-A:

  • Promoted Rodney Theopile from Low-A

In the most obviously needed move of all, Theopile takes his dominant low-A stats (9 starts 1.29 ERA, 62/11 K/BB in 48IP) to the next level. It really is amazing how many times we see a pitcher scuffle at a level one year then dominate it the next. Add another example here.

Low-A:

nothing yet; they just activated Mason Denaburg to join the rotation, and they have a couple of starters sitting on the DL, so they’ll seemingly refill from within for now.


New Look rotations per level:

  • MLB: Corbin, Lee, Adon, Grey Fedde (at least for now: when Stras comes back probably Lee to Long Relief or back to AA)
  • AAA My guess is Cavalli, Sharp, Tetreault, Henry, and Verrett, with Jefry Rodriguez going to swing man and Abbott continuing to not be a starter.
  • AA: Fuentes, Kilome, Reyes, Gausch, Henry, with Troop continuing to be excellent long man. Carrillo still hurt, Herrera just put on the DL.
  • High-A: Cate, Parker, Cuevas, Theopile, then two from Shuman and Merrill
  • Low-A: Denaburg, Cacheras, Lara, Collins and Rutledge. I guess. Rutledge is now floundering in Low-A while Henry and Cavalli now sit on the AAA roster. Wow.

Written by Todd Boss

June 4th, 2022 at 9:07 pm

CWS 2022 Field of 64 announced; Local team preview

10 comments

Its College Baseball post-season time, something we’ve followed in this space for years. Here’s a quick guide to the CWS 2022 post season.

First off, some resources for you.

Your top 8 seeds and favorites to make Omaha, in order:

  1. Tennessee (RPI = 1)
  2. Stanford (3)
  3. Oregon State (2)
  4. Virginia Tech (5)
  5. Texas A&M (22)
  6. Miami (15)
  7. Oklahoma State (10)
  8. ECU (8)

You can see that the committee stayed pretty true to RPI for the top 4 seeds, then clearly deviated from the RPIs for the rest of the top 8, which is going to leave some of these teams facing really difficult #2 seeds in their regioanls coming up. Here’s the rest of the top 10 by RPI and who they’re facing:

  • 4. UNC: hosting a regional but as the #10 national seed
  • 6. Wake Forest: not even a host, goes to Maryland as that region’s #2 seed
  • 7. Vanderbilt, this high due to #1 Strength of Schedule, goes to Oregon State as that region’s #2 seed.
  • 9. Maryland, who spent most of the season in the top 10 of the rankings, gets dropped to a #15 seed in the tournament and has to face Vanderbilt, who’s actually got a higher RPI.

So, this is going to lead us to some very, very good regionals and a ton of upsets. Here’s some comments on all our DC/MD/VA local teams in the tourney:

  • Virginia Tech: as noted, #4 national seed, has been ranked as high as #3 this year, strong RPI, dominated in the ACC (which was every bit as good as the SEC this year). For their troubles they get a very, very easy regional, with #2 Gonzaga coming west-to-east and only ranked #27 by RPI, the Ivy league champ Columbia, and Wright State. Couldn’t ask for a better regional.
  • Maryland: #15 National seed and given the #6 RPI team in Wake Forest coming out of a far better conference as their #2 seed. Apologies Terps fans; you’re likely losing this regional on home soil. I suppose the recent Lacrosse national championship makes up for it.
  • Liberty gets the #3 regional seed as an at-large in the UFlorida region, an interesting matchup for them since they went to Florida to open the season and won 2 of 3. They have to contend though with Oklahoma first, a very good Big12 team that nearly made a case to host itself. Probably the hardest regional
  • VCU won their conference, and get to head to UNC as that regional’s #3 seed. Uphil climb here, since UNC is better than their #10 national seed indicates.
  • Virginia entered the ACC tourney looking like a top 16 seed/regional host, but got blown out by Louisville to end any chance; that loss dumped their RPI down to #24 and now they’re the #2 seed in East Carolina’s regional. Which isn’t bad: ECU’s got a great RPI (#8) but they’re from a weaker conference and were just 2-7 against top 50 RPI teams all year. UVA has to really like their chances in this regional.

Other local teams who we thought had a chance: Old Dominion was one of the last teams cut, coming in at #40 on the RPI but who really needed to win their weaker conference to get in. The next best team in the area to not make the cut was William & Mary, with an RPI of #84 and who clearly needed to win the Colonial to make it.


Quick predictions for the 16 regionals, ordered by National Seed super Regional matchup

  • #1 Tennessee will get a challenge from ACC’s Georgia Tech, but should advance.
  • #16 Georgia Southern gets Notre Dame, the ACC finalist and a complete snub for hosting, along with tough Big12 team Texas Tech. A dogfight of a regional here.
  • #8 ECU as mentioned has UVA in its region and I think gets upset.
  • #9 Texas gets an intriguing #3 seed in Dallas Baptist but a weaker #2 seed in C-USA champion Louisiana Tech. Texas should advance here.
  • #5 Texas A&M inexplicably gets a #5 national seed despite an RPI in the 20s, but is let off the hook with a weaker regional that includes a TCU team that isn’t as good as its reputation and the Sunbelt champion Louisiana (aka Louisiana-Lafayette).
  • #12 Louisville, who will be a tough out, gets a couple of cold weather teams in its regional and should advance
  • #4 Virginia Tech as discussed above gets a cake-walk of a Regional, all things considered.
  • #13 Florida gets, as discussed, both Liberty and Oklahoma, one of which has beaten them this season and the other which can beat them. Florida went just 11-17 against top 50 opponents this year despite its ranking and RPI, and I think they get beat. A deep regional.
  • #3 Oregon State cannot be happy seeing Vanderbilt in their regional; upset watch here.
  • #14 Auburn will, like nearly every SEC team, have to contend with an ACC team in Florida State but won’t be worried about a weaker Pac12 team in UCLA.
  • #6 Miami will have fun with two perennial powers in Arizona and Ole Miss, but both of these similarly ranked RPI teams probably cancel themselves out
  • #11 Southern Miss gets LSU and a tricky Kennesaw State team. Upset watch here.
  • #7 Oklahoma State had to be happy to see Grand Canyon as its #2, even if a recent national champion Arkansas is in here as #3.
  • #10 UNC gets a relatively easy draw with Georgia and VCU. UNC played top-50 ranked opponents no less than 36 times out of 57 games, good for the #2 hardest schedule this year behind Vandy.
  • #2 Stanford, who went 21-9 in the PAC12 but was just 10-9 against top 50 teams, nonetheless won’t be threatened by its regional but could be in trouble in the supers.
  • #15 Maryland has to deal with Wake Forest and one of the best cold-weather teams in Uconn, and seems like an upset in the making.

Predictions:

  • #1 Tennessee
  • Notre Dame
  • UVA
  • #9 Texas
  • #5 Texas A&M
  • #12 Louisville
  • #4 Virginia Tech
  • Oklahoma
  • Vanderbilt
  • #14 Auburn
  • #6 Miami
  • LSU
  • #7 Oklahoma State
  • #10 UNC
  • #2 Stanford
  • Wake Forest

Super-Early Omaha predictions:

  • #1 Tennessee
  • #9 Texas
  • #12 Louisville
  • Oklahoma
  • #6 Miami
  • #7 Oklahoma State
  • #10 UNC
  • #2 Stanford

Prospect Watch. Who are the top ranked college prospects to look for? Borrowing from the mock drafts and ranking boards, here’s some big names in play for first round action who are in the CWS:

  • Georgia Tech’s C Kevin Parada, who many mock drafters have going to the Nats at #5, is in Tennessee to play (and lose to) the #1 team.
  • Tennessee is led by two OF 1st round talents in Jordan Beck, a mid-1st rounder who is tooled up, has a ton of power and can play CF, and the guy who actually IS playing CF for them in Drew Gilbert, a high-contact hitter who can also pitch.
  • Arizona’s C Daniel Susac is in action but likely goes home early.
  • Virginia Tech is led by top 15 candidate OF Gavin Cross
  • LSU’s top player is a 1st round projection in Jacob Berry, but he’s held back by lack of position and defensive liability.
  • Texas Tech has a winnable #16 seed region with their star player and 1st rounder Jace Jung, whos brother Josh Jung was a top 10 pick in 2019.
  • Florida’s #1 starter at the beginning of the year was LHP Hunter Barco, but he went down with Tommy John and isn’t pitching (but still might be a 1st rounder).
  • Florida’s best hitting prospect is likely OF Sterlin Thompson, who will be a draft-eligible sophomore with a big bat.
  • Oklahoma State’s #1 starter is RHP Justin Campbell, a likely back of the first rounder
  • Gonzaga has a top starter in Gabriel Hughes, with a 33% strikeout rate. Should make for a fun outing in his regional when he goes.

Written by Todd Boss

May 31st, 2022 at 10:07 am