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2022 Draft Coverage: Early Mock Drafts

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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

CWS 2022: Regionals Recap and Super-Regionals preview

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Here’s a quick recap of the Regionals, which saw an astounding 9 of the 16 competitions head to the “extra” game. An exciting post-season so far for sure.

These are ordered by the national seeds/regional matchups. So instead of doing them alphabetically or in order of national seed, they’re done 1-16, 8-9, etc.


Resources/links I use heavily during CWS time:


Quick predictions for the 16 regionals, ordered by National Seed super Regional matchup. Bold = winner

  • #1 Tennessee had to dig deep to avoid going the extra game against Georgia Tech, but advanced. The regional ended up chalk, but Campbell as a #3 seed got the early upset of GaTech.
  • #16 Georgia Southern was upset as expected by ACC’s Notre Dame and finished third behind them and Texas Tech in a clear indictment of the tournament seeding’s decision not to give Notre Dame the host site.
  • #8 East Carolina made it to the winner’s bracket but was stretched to the extra game by Coastal Carolina, who took out UVA to make it 1-3 in the end. It didn’t matter: Coastal couldn’t repeat their magic from 2016 and lost in game 7.
  • #9 Texas advanced without losing a game, but it was 4th seed Air Force who made the regional final. Bravo to the service academy for going that far and taking out a couple of baseball powerhouses.
  • #5 Texas A&M takes advantage of a soft regional and advanced without losing a game.
  • #12 Louisville was upset early by #3 seed Michigan, but blew them out 20-1 to force the Monday game 7, where they held on for an 11-9 win.
  • #4 Virginia Tech cruised through its regional, taking out #3 Ivy winner Columbia in the final.
  • #13 Florida came back from a game down to force the Monday finisher with Oklahoma, while local team Liberty goes two-and-out. In game 7, Oklahoma took out the host and advanced.
  • #3 Oregon State was stretched to the Monday finish by Vanderbilt, who lost their first game but blew out the competition to get to regional game 7. There, Vandy’s luck ran out and Oregon State avoided the huge upset.
  • #14 Auburn battered its way to the title, winnings its games 19-7, 21-7, and 9-0, the last game of which was interrupted by rain.
  • #6 Miami won its opener, but them lost two straight to not even advance to the regional final. Instead, a Monday game will decide between Ole Miss and Arizona in a battle of college baseball royalty. The final game turned out to be a laugher, as Ole Miss destroyed Arizona 22-6 to move on.
  • #11 Southern Miss was beaten in the winner’s bracket by LSU, but fought back to force Monday game. IN game 7, Southern Miss held on for a back and forth battle to win.
  • #7 Oklahoma State and Arkansas didn’t show a ton of defense en route to a monday final; Oklahoma State’s games were 10-5, 12-20, 29-15, and 14-10. In the final game, Arkansas won with a more reasonable score of 7-3 to move on.
  • #10 UNC was stretched to a Monday game by #3 seed VCU. However, UNC held on to advance.
  • #2 Stanford lost early to Texas State, but came back to force a Monday finish. A concerning wobble for the #2 overall seed. In that final, Stanford needed a captivating 9th inning come back to walk off the win.
  • #15 Maryland had to go extras to force the Monday finisher against Big East perennial powerhouse UConn. There, UConn got the big win and moved on.

Fun facts:

  • Not ONE #1 seed lost on day one. That’s gotta be a first.
  • Highest Seed out: #6 Miami
  • Nine of the Sixteen regionals stretched to game seven.
  • Most dominant Regional win: Either Texas A&M or Auburn.
  • Worst showing by #1 seed: Georgia Southern or Miami. Probably Miami, the highest seed to lose.
  • Best showing by #4 Seed: Air Force Academy

Super Regionals:

  • #1 Tennessee hosts Notre Dame: Tennessee is on a run, though Notre Dame is the kind of senior team that can stretch them.
  • #8 ECU hosts #9 Texas: I’m favoring the big12 school here; they are clicking.
  • #5 TAMU versus #12 Louisville: i think the SEC team has the advantage here.
  • #4 Virginia Tech vs Oklahoma: Tech may be the seed, but Oklahoma may be the better team.
  • #3 Oregon State vs #14 Auburn: I’m thinking Auburn has the advantage here. I just don’t rate Pac12 teams in college baseball right now.
  • Ole Miss vs #11 Southern Miss: Love this all-Mississippi matchup. Ole Miss is the SEC power, but they’ have to go to their junior cousin to win.
  • Arkansas vs #10 UNC: UNC is the seed and host, but Arkansas is the hot hand
  • #2 Stanford vs UConn; Uconn has to fly 3000 miles for this one; can they push the Pac12 champ?

Conference representation in the Super Regionals:

  • SEC 5: Tennessee, TAMU, Auburn, Ole Miss, Arkansas
  • ACC 4: Notre Dame, Louisville, Virginia Tech, UNC
  • AAC: 1: ECU
  • C-USA: 1: Southern Miss
  • Big East: 1: UConn
  • Big12: 2: Texas, Oklahoma
  • Pac12: 2: Oregon State, Stanford

As expected, heavy on the two big baseball conferneces … and the two Big12 teams are moving to the SEC soon.

Predictions: Tennessee, Texas, TAMU, Oklahoma, Auburn, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Stanford.

Written by Todd Boss

June 7th, 2022 at 9:11 am

Posted in Nats in General

From Nats to Oblivion; updating for the 2019, 2020, and 2021 seasons

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The FotF hangs em up, and becomes the face of the 2021 Nats to Oblivion class. Photo via WashingtonTimes.com

Note: this is a recurring post, and large chunks of the older material is recycled.  I’ve updated the research for older players as needed. 

I have not done this post for several years … but I always enjoy doing this research.  I was spurred into updating it this year when I read the news of Gerardo Parra retiring; he’s now officially a “Nats to Oblivion” 2021 class member in perpetuity.

See here for the 2018 version,  2017 version,  2015 version,  2014’s version,  2013’s version, and 2012’s version of this post.

Even though I know most of this data is repeated from past years, I still find myself reading the whole way down just for a crazy trip down memory lane each time I do this post.  

Background behind this post: many years ago (November 2010) Mark Zuckerman initially posted a fascinating analysis he titled “From Nats to Oblivion.”  It chronicled the astoundingly high number of players that the early incarnations of the Nats were using who, once the Nats released them, never again appeared in a MLB game.  I thought the analysis was so interesting that I kept up the same data and have been keeping it up-to-date with the whereabouts of Nats-to-Oblivion candidates ever since.  So with apologies to Zuckerman for stealing his original idea, here’s an interesting visit to the Nat’s darker past.

It is nearly impossible for a team to field an entire year’s worth of players who will not fall into this “Oblivion” category.  Every MLB team has guys playing out the string or near retirement, and every MLB team calls up guys through out the season from the minors who eventually show themselves as unable to compete on the MLB level and who never make it back.  So a 0% oblivion measure isn’t a goal.  The best this team has ever done is 4 players (the 2013 team). 

For your reminiscing pleasure, here is the summary data updated to the 2021 season:

  • 2021: 28 position, 32 pitchers: 60 total (!!).  13/60 = 21.6% candidate ratio right now
  • 2020: 20 position, 23 pitchers: 43 total.  12/43 = 27.9% candidate ratio right now.
  • 2019: 21 position, 29 pitchers, 50 total.  7/50 = 14% candidate ratio right now
  • 2018: 23 position, 30 pitchers, 53 total.  6/53 = 11% candidate ratio
  • 2017: 25 position, 24 pitchers, 49 total.  9/49 = 18% never appeared again
  • 2016: 19 position, 24 pitchers, 43 total. 4/43 = 9% never appeared again
  • 2015: 20 position, 24 pitchers, 44 total.  5/44 = 11% never appeared again
  • 2014: 22 position, 18 pitchers, 40 total.  5/40 = 12.5% never appeared again
  • 2013: 23 position, 21 pitchers, 44 total.  3/44 = 6.8% never appeared again
  • 2012: 24 position, 19 pitchers, 43 total.  6/43 = 13.9% never appeared again
  • 2011: 20 position, 24 pitchers, 44 total.  6/44 = 13.6% never appeared again
  • 2010: 20 position, 26 pitchers, 46 total.  12/46 = 26.0% never appeared again
  • 2009: 25 position, 30 pitchers, 55 total.  9/55 = 16.3% never appeared again
  • 2008: 25 position, 25 pitchers, 50 total.  8/50 = 16% never appeared again
  • 2007: 21 position, 26 pitchers, 47 total.  12/47 = 25.5% never appeared again
  • 2006: 28 position, 29 pitchers, 57 total.  20/57 = 35% never appeared again
  • 2005: 30 position, 25 pitchers, 55 total.  16/55 = 29% never appeared again

Look at the 2006 season; 35% of the players who played for the team that year never played another Major League game.  That’s still astounding to me.   Interestingly, the 2017 Nats have a high likelihood of ending up with the largest percentage of oblivion candidates since the bad old days of 2007.  Why?  Because 1) the team shuffled its bench bats a ton after the Adam Eaton injury and 2) the amazing shift in MLB economics basically removing the job market for pretty much every mid-30s veteran hitter irrespective of their hitting ability.  The 2021 team may be another one off eventually, just because of the significant number of players we cycled through after we waived the flag and traded so many players at the trade deadline.

Read on for a detailed look at each year’s roster edge cases.  Note that within each year’s list of players, they’re listed in the order of least to most likely to get off this list … so you’re going to see flat-out retired players at the top and players who seem to me like they’re most likely to get another callup soon at the bottom.


2021 (26 total, 13 real current candidates)

Total players used: 28 position, 32 pitchers.  60 total.  This is the most players the franchise has EVER used in a season.

Oblivion candidates as of May 2022:

  • Ryan Zimmerman, who had a 106 OPS+ in a backup role in 2021, officially announced his retirement in March 2022 after a 16 year career with the team.  He immediately rolls into a front office role as per his contract (a clause now banned by the league), but he seems set to spend the next phase of his career working in Baseball Operations for the team.  The team has already announced that his number will be retired in mid June.  
  • Gerardo Parra: He initially was a 2019 oblivion candidate, when he left to play 2020 in Japan.  but he came back; signing a MLFA/NRI deal in 2021 with the Nats and seemed initially a favorite to make the roster as a fan/clubhouse favorite.  He re-signed again for 2022, and fans thought he would make the team, but got hurt and got released on 5/15/22.  A couple days later, its announced that he was released because he was actually retiring and joining the Nationals front office as a Special Assistant to the GM, which is great for the franchise.  Bravo to the team for making this move and keeping a fan favorite in the fold.
  • Jordy Mercer finished his age 35 season as a utility guy for the 2021 Nats, didn’t get traded away during the purge, and hit free agency in the off-season.  Apparently a 35-yr old middle infield utility guy with an 86 OPS+ doesn’t get many offers; he never signed for 2022 and in April announced his retirement officially.
  • Alex Avila signed on to be a 1-year FA backup catcher for 2021, and after playing out the string he announced in September 2021 that he’d be retiring.  
  • Starlin Castro, who signed a 2-yr FA deal with Washington, was suspended by MLB for a Domestic Violence issue mid 2021, then released by the team as soon as his suspension was over.  In today’s culture, it seems like him ever playing in the majors again is unlikely.
  • Rene Rivera, 37yr old backup catcher, signed for a month in mid 2021, got released in July, and never resigned.  He played Winter Ball in Puerto Rico, but has not signed a pro deal for 2022.  He might be aged out of the league at this point.
  • Cody Wilson was called up in early April 2021 in a very unique move; he was a Covid replacement player, a move that had no 40-man repercussions.  So, he never was on or off the 40-man; he played in one game, got sent back to the minors, and currently sits on the High-A roster as a 25-yr old.  His career BA hovers at the Mendoza line and it seems far fetched he’ll even get to AA at this point, let alone get back to the majors.
  • Jakson Reetz, our 3rd round pick in 2014 and long serving minor leaguer, finally got called up in 2021, played two games, got sent back down and was DFA’d later that year.  He left the system as a 6year MLFA and signed with Milwaukee.  In 2022 he’s in their AA league and is only 25, but he has some work to do to get back to the majors.
  • Hernan Perez made the team out of spring, then was DFA’d 5 weeks later.  He signed literally the day after his release with Milwaukee, played a few weeks there before getting released again, then after a Mexican winter league stint is now with Atlanta’s AAA team for 2022.  He may get another shot, we’ll see.
  • Kyle McGowin was outrighted in November off our 60-day DL, and has yet to resign for 2022.  He wasn’t as effective as you’d want out of a fungible asset like a middle RH reliever, and may struggle to find another job.  I liked McGowin and was kind of surprised the team didn’t pick him back up; he was solid in AAA and gave the team decent innings (certainly better than other options).  
  • Javy Guerra was DFA’d and elected FA in August of 2021, didn’t pick up with a MLB team this off-season, and has signed on to play Mexican league for the 2022 summer season.  He’s now 36 and may be pitching out the string.
  • Sean Nolin was outrighted after the 2021, season, then re-signed to a minor league deal, then released to pursue a job in Korea.  He’s starting right now in the KBO for their 2022 season.  For a 32-yr old 4-A pitcher, this might be his last shot at a pay day, but it’ll be hard to get back into the majors at this point.
  • Ryne Harper was also non-tendered last fall after putting up mediocre bullpen numbers, didn’t pick up a full season affiliate job, and recently signed on with the Atlantic league for indy ball.  He’s going to have to really light it up in Indy ball to get another shot.
  • Wander Suero was (perhaps surprisingly) non-tendered last fall after really struggling in the MLB and AAA pens, and signed a MLFA deal with the Angels.  He’s struggling in 2022 in the Salt Lake pen.
  • Gabe Klobotis was claimed off waivers in early 2022 by Oakland, and has been in their AAA pen in Las Vegas putting up crooked numbers all year.  Still amazing that he made the majors as a 36th round pick in the modern game.
  • Adrian Sanchez: DFA’d and outrighted mid 2021 season, but re-signed with the team and sits in AAA as a utility infielder for 2022.  He’s not starting and not hitting especially well, so the odds of him returning to the MLB seem slim.  
  • Luis Avilan was a FA at the end of 2021 and re-signed with the team on a minor league deal.  But, he got hurt in spring training and is currently sitting on the AA D/L.  
  • Andrew Stevenson found himself the odd-man out of the 4th outfielder competition in 2022 spring training and had no options remaining, so the team DFA’d him and he passed through waivers without claim.  He is now on our AAA roster and would need a spate of injuries to return to the majors with this team at this point.
  • Jefry Rodriguez was added, DFA’d, released, then re-signed all within a few months in 2021.  He is in the AAA rotation as a long-serving Nats farmhand and may get another call this year if we need innings.
  • Alberto Baldonado was outrighted then re-signed this off-season, and is at AAA.  He has been decent, and seems like a good bet to get a call-up at some point.  
  • Prospects and 40-man players who have yet to appear in 2022 as of this writing but who remain in the system and likely to appear in 2022: Stephen Strasburg, Joe Ross, Wil Harris, Carter Kieboom, Luis Garcia, Tres Barrera.  I don’t think any of these players are going to be Oblivion candidates.

Names removed since initial publication in may 2022: none yet.

Outlook for remaining 2021 Oblivion candidates:  I’d say that 8-10 of these guys will be off this list by season’s end.  But there’s a big chunk of guys listed here who have little chance of ever appearing again.  I count 13 likely permanent oblivion candidates, which would be the highest number since the bad old days of 2006.

Favorite Nats to Oblivion Story:  This year has to have two “favorite” stories, because one of them used to be the 2019’s Oblivion candidate story before he returned surprisingly for 2021 (Parra).

Story #1: Ryan Zimmerman; it has to be the Face of the Franchise Ryan Zimmerman.  Our first draft pick, a 16-year player who saw 100+ losses and a World Series title.  Not much else to say; he deservingly will have his number retired by the team and I hope he remains with the franchise for the rest of his career.

Story #2:  It has to be Gerardo Parra.  Parra was picked up mid-season in 2019 after getting cut by San Francisco as a bench guy (credit Rizzo’s ongoing Arizona connections: Parra was a Rizzo draftee there in 2004).  He changed his walk-up music to be the infamous kids song “Baby Shark” and he immediately went on a hot streak at the plate.  Soon, the song became a nightly highlight of Nats home games, with the entire crowd getting into the dance and the Shark becoming a frequently seen costume at games.  Parra didn’t light the world on fire at the plate, but he was rightly credited with bringing a fun atmosphere to the Nats dugout at a dark time in the season, and to a man his teammates credit him with being a catalyst for turning the season around.  The team honored the Shark by embedding it into their World Series rings.  Parra signed with a Japanese team after the 2019 season, facing the likelihood that he’d struggle to get a job as a mid-30s mediocre hitter in today’s baseball FA climate, but succeeded in Japan and re-signed with the club for 2021.  Bringin’ the Shark back!  He remained with the club through May 2022 when he officially retired to join the front office.


2020 (12 current candidates)

Just a year past the Covid-shortened season, we do have a slew of Oblivion candidates.

total players used: 20 position, 23 pitchers: 43 total.

  • Howie Kendrick: officially retired after the 2020 season.
  • Emilio Bonifacio played a grand total of 3 games for the 2020 Nats and then was cut loose in early August.  He had not played in the majors for two years prior to that, so the odds of him returning seemed slim.  After playing in the 2021 Dominican Winter League, he sent a “retirement tweet” and is presumably done with the game.
  • Dakota Bacus was DFA’d off the 40-man and outrighted at the end of 2021 spring training.  After a decent 2021 season in the AAA bullpen, he hit MLFA and never resigned for 2022.  While its a bit early to say he’s out of the game, he is the most fungible asset in the game (middle RH reliever) and faces significant competition just to get resigned.
  • Jake Noll was DFA’d off the 40-man and outrighted at the end of 2021 spring training to make room on the roster.  For 2022 he remains in AAA, and is the starting 3B in Rochester, but has not pressed for a recall to this point.  He seems like a prototypical “org guy” from here on out and it seems like a long-shot for him to get back.
  • Seth Romero.  Our 2017 mercurial 1st rounder remains in career limbo.  He didn’t throw a pitch during the 2021 spring training and then threw a grand total of 35 minor league innings.  He disappeared again in 2022 spring training, this time with a Calf Strain that was serious enough to send him to the 60-day D/L (or perhaps was “convenient” enough) to do so).  I continue to be amazed he remains in the employ of the team after so many transgressions (he was in trouble again this past off-season, getting arrested for DWI in January 2022).  Prognosis for returning to the majors?  Probably nil with us, but if he can still throw 90 from the left side someone will give him a shot.
  • Aaron Barrett was outrighted off the active roster after 2020 and declared a MLFA.  He chose to re-up with the only organization he’s ever known for 2021 and bounced around our minors, pitching well in AAA but never earning another callup.  He hit MLFA and signed with Philadelphia for 2022, where he’s in his age 34 season.  He seems like a long-shot to come back up at this point, but he’s still active.
  • Ben Braymer is a draft success story, getting to the majors as an 18th round pick.  After getting some brief 2020 time, he settled into the 2021 rotation in AAA, and got shelled.  It became clear he was not near a mid-season 2021 call-up, so the team DFA’d him.  He remains outrighted and in AAA in 2022, but his performance is getting worse, and he may be closer to a release than a return to the majors.  His return to the MLB may come with another organization at this point.
  • Eric Thames returned to Japan for the 2021 season after coming back from Japan in 2020 to play in Washington.  His 2020 season was a disappointment, and now that he’s been chased to Japan twice it seems a bit farfetched to envision him coming back in his age 35 season in 2022.  But we’ll see.  Indeed, he’s back stateside on a MLFA deal for 2022 with Oakland and is 1B/DH for their AAA team in Las Vegas.
  • James Bourque was outrighted at the end of 2021, then was declared a MLFA.  He signed a minor league deal with Chicago for 2021.  He remains in Chicago’s AAA in 2022, and is pitching decently.
  • Sam Freeman had decent numbers for the Nats in 2020 briefly, but went on the season-ending DL with a flexor strain.  He was cut loose when he refused an outright in the fall of 2020.  This was a curious refusal since his injury led to Tommy John surgery, which cost him all of 2021, and which he did while not having a contract.  He signed a MLFA deal with Kansas City in 2022 and started out strong for their AAA team; it seems likely if he stays healthy he’ll feature in the majors again soon and remove himself from this list.
  • Anibal Sanchez: He bottomed out in his age 36 season in 2020, posting a 6.62 ERA, but turned down multiple MLB offers for the 2021 while waiting out the Covid pandemic.  He returned to the Nats for the 2022 season as a MLFA/NRI, and made the opening day roster … but then got hurt and went onto the DL before appearing (but … guaranteeing his $2m salary!).  So, it remains to be seen what happens; is his 2022 injury season-ending?  For now, he remains on the 2020 Oblivion list but could get removed soon.

Names removed since initial writing in Apr 2021: Wil Crowe got an early season appearance for his new club in Pittsburgh before getting sent down, but is now in their MLB rotation.  Wilmer Difo is getting called up early in 2021 as well.  Thanks to the Nats 2021 Covid scare a number of the 2020 prospects who appeared but did not make 2021 team immediately got off the oblivion list; Carter Kieboom, Luis Garcia, Yadiel Hernandez, and Kyle McGowin all appeared in the first few games in 2021.  Paolo Espino got selected in mid-april 2021 when Strasburg went down, removing him from this list and putting him back on the 40-man.  Ryne Harper appeared in 2021 but may be a 2021 oblivion candidate.  

Outlook for remaining 2020 Oblivion candidates:  At least two are fully retired and a third likely has played his last pro game (Bacus).  All the rest of these oblivion candidates are still playing, and at least one is on a 40-man (Sanchez) and seems likely to get off in 2022.

Favorite Nats to Oblivion Story: Howie Kendrick, who was one of our big 2019 post-season heros, then had a solid 2020 season at age 36, but decided to hang ’em up in stead of moving forward.  A bummer; i think he would have contributed in 2021 and helped keep the connection to the WS-winning 2019 team for the new guys.


2019 (8 current candidates)

total players used: 21 position, 29 pitchers, 50 total.

  • Jeremy Hellickson: a tough 2019 for Hellickson, who goes into the off-season as a 32-yr old soft-tossing control arm coming off an injury and an ERA in the sixes.  Not a good sign.  Word came out in Feb 2020 that he had re-injured his shoulder, which would have required surgery and rehab, and he opted to retire.  The first 2019 official Oblivion candidate for the team.
  • Dan Jennings; signed in April, released in May.  Signed briefly with NYY but they cut him after 2 weeks.  Never re-signed for 2020 and in March accepted the fact that he’s likely retired.
  • Jonny Venters: had a couple of appearances before hitting the DL for another significant injury towards the end of 2019, which led to Shoulder Capsule surgery.  He’s already had three (3!) Tommy John surgeries and this latest setback seemed to be career-ending.  Never signed after 2019 season and is presumably done.
  • Tony Sipp: the veteran loogy was DFA’d in August, refused assignment and did not sign on with any team for 2020.  Likely retired.
  • Michael Blazek: DFA’d and outrighted to AAA mid 2019.  MLFA after season, never signed for 2020 with affiliated ball.  Signed for 2020 briefly with the Maryland Blue Crabs roster in Indy ball, but never appeared.  Likely retired.
  • Austen Williams: one appearance and then a season-long injury; will the team cut bait?  Failed to make 2020 team, then injured his arm late in the 2020 season and had Tommy John surgery.  Despite being a MLFA, the team resigned him for 2021 on a MLFA deal, which was a nice gesture giving him some income and a place to rehab.  Still seems like a long-shot to get back to the majors.  He remains with the team in 2022 and sits in XST.

Interestingly for a World Series winning team, we have a ton of possible candidates for oblivion.  Frankly, of the originally named 13 candidates I only really see a pathway back to the majors for a few of them, and even that might be a stretch.  As of the start of the 2021 season we’re down to 8 candidates … but it wouldn’t surprise me if all 8 never appeared again.

Names removed since initial writing in Apr 2020: James Bourque, who pitched in the 2nd game of the 2020 season.  Brian Dozier, who got called up by the Mets a few days into the 2020 season but was released soon after.  Matt Grace was selected by Arizona on 8/20/20 and removed here.  Matt Adams bounced from NY to Atl and debuted in Aug 2020 for the Braves.  Jake Noll had a cup of coffee at the end of 2020 but was DFA’d in 2021 spring training and will be on the 2020 list.  

Outlook for remaining 2019 Oblivion candidates:  4 are definitely retired, one probably is never coming back, and the remaining three are still with the 2021 system and could get back.

Favorite Nats to Oblivion Story: this was Parra … now i’m not sure who to pick.  We’ll go with Hellickson, who was really good for the 2018 Nats when he was healthy, but struggled badly for the 2019 team before hitting the D/L in mid May, an injury that would send him to the 60-day and end his season.  He was along for the ride for the great come back and WS run, but has to admit to himself he had little to do with it at the end of the day.


2018 (6 candidates)

total players used: 53 (23 position, 30 pitchers): 53 total players.

Oblivion Candidates from the 2018 roster: listed in descending order of the likelihood of ever appearing again (in other words, the higher up, the more likely they’re done).

  • Miguel Montero: DFA’d after just 4 games, refused assignment and then sat out the rest of 2018.  When reached in Dec 2018 he told Jon Heyman that he’s “pretty much retired” and now leads a MLB player representative agency.
  • Koda Glover: the snake-bit reliever missed the entirety of 2019 with a (checks notes) forearm injury, then officially retired from the sport upon the 2019 non-tender deadline.
  • Spencer Kieboom: appeared in 2018 after re-making it to the 40-man, then did not appear in 2019.  Oddly he was outrighted in the middle of the post-season and elected FA.  He then elected to retire soon after the end of the 2019 season.
  • Rafael Bautista: was released then quickly re-signed in mid 2018, then hung on and bounced around our minor league system in 2019, hitting a combined .182 for the 2019 season.  He resigned as a MLFA with Washington and survived the 5/31/20 purge, but was released at the end of 2020.  He eventually re-signed with Washington again for 2021, played a full season in Rochester, but has yet to sign for 2022.  Still active, but not playing.
  • Sammy Solis; unconditionally released in Mar 2019 (he was out of options and was going to have get waived anyway).  Immediately signed ML deal with home-town San Diego, got assigned to t heir AAA team and posted solid numbers … then was released in May 2019 for the purposes of signing in Japan, since he signed there the next day.  He did not play in 2020, but had 25 appearances in the 2021 Mexican League; so he’s still out there.
  • Moises Sierra: got called up after a 4 year gap, hit just 9-54, got DFA’d and outrighted to AAA.  He elected FA after the 2018 season, signed in the Mexican League and played a full season there as a 31-yr old.  He crushed the ball in Mexico, for an OPS of more than 1.000.  He used his 2019 to get a contract in Japan, but by 2021 was back in Mexico.  For 2022 he’s in Indy ball as a 33yr old, so time is running out.

Despite going through THIRTY arms on the year, 29 of them had 2019 appearances and removed them from consideration for this list.

Names removed since Sept 2019 publication: Matt Reynolds, who got called up to KC during the 2020 season.

Outlook for remaining 2018 Oblivion candidates:  Seem slim; just one of the 6 remaining candidates as of spring 2021 is actively still playing and that’s in Japan.

Favorite Nats to Oblivion Story:  I’d probably say Montero.  The team (incredibly) signed him to a $1.3M guaranteed contract ahead of the season.  And then cut bait on him after FOUR GAMES.  Four games, after having him all spring training.  Its worth noting that the 2018 team ended up around $8M over the luxury tax, and you can see how spurious spending like this on Montero and $1M to Benoit to not throw a pitch contributed.


2017(9 leading candidates right now)

Total players used: 25 position players, 24 pitchers, 49 total players.  9/49 = 18.3% candidate ratio right now.

Candidates: They are listed in the order of their odds of staying on this list: highest to lowest odds that they’re done playing.

  • Jeremy Guthrie: famously was “selected” for the 5th starter role ahead of Joe Ross at the beginning of 2017 … then absolutely cratered in his first start, giving up 10 runs in less than an inning.  This resulted in his DFA pretty much before he got out of the shower that game … and a couple months of soul searching later, him announcing his retirement.
  • Stephen Drewannounced his retirement from the game after failing to catch on for 2018.
  • Jayson Werth: amazingly, after finishing off his $126M deal … Werth (like a lot of mid-30s veterans) couldn’t find work for 2018.  He finally signed a MLFA deal with Seattle at the tail-end of Spring Training.  In late May he extended his ML deal, but only hit .202 in Tacoma and on 6/27/18 announced his retirement.
  • Joe Blanton: badly struggled for the team out of the bullpen in 2017, did not sign with anyone for 2018.  In Aug 2018, a story indicating that he had retired and turned to wine making in Napa Valley.
  • Ryan Raburn: resigned a MLFA deal for 2018, but got cut in spring training.  Another in a longish list of corner RH hitters who struggled in 2017 for the Nats and who are struggling to find work in 2018.  Still not signed/playing as of late June 2018.  Upon his release, WP beat reporter Chelsea Janes reported that Raburn would likely retire if he didn’t make the 2018 team (which he didn’t).
  • Grant Green got 3 ABs, appeared in 2 games, then was released in June of 2017.  He bounced around two other AAA orgs, declared MLFA in Nov 2017 and never signed.  Unfortunately the market for bat-only 1B RH hitting types is … well not good.  Signed on to play in the Mexican League May 2018, but was released in July 2018 and did not resign.  No 2019 stats.  Likely retired.
  • Chris Heisey: was released in July of 2017 after a horrid stretch, never signed back on with anyone for the rest of the season.  He signed a MLFA deal with Minnesota for spring 2018, but failed to make the team and was released later in Spring Training.  His 2017 numbers don’t inspire confidence, and he may be getting run out of the game like a lot of veteran RH outfielders.  Never signed for 2018 or 2019: likely retired.
  • Adam Lind: like Werth, Lind couldn’t find major league work and signed a MLFA deal mid-way through ST 2018 with the Yankees.  Released by the Yankees on 5/25/18, then signed on with Boston.  Struggling in AAA all season, does not look any closer to a call-up.  Released again 8/1/18.  Never resigned, likely retired.
  • Alejandro de Aza: gave the Nats some awful OF coverage in 2017, then signed back on to provide 4-A outfield depth for 2018.  Released from the Nats AAA team in mid August 2018.  Signed with Minnesota AAA team mid-2019 and excelled in AAA.  Also played Indy ball in 2019 (and crushed), and winter ball in the Mexican League but did not sign with anyone for 2020 in affiliated.

Names removed since Apr 2018 publication: Andrew StevensonPedro Severino called up early.  Austin Adams called up mid April.  Adrian Sanchez, Rafael Bautista called up 4/24/18.  Erick Fedde removed for his 5/24/18 spot start.  Removed Oliver Perez after the bullpen-needy Indians signed him June 2018 and immediately slotted him in.  Removed Daniel Murphy after he finally debuted for the 2018 nats in June.  Edwin Jackson on 6/25/18 after he opted out of our ML deal, signed with Oakland and was called up to join his MLB record 13th team.  Koda Glover removed in mid August when he finally made it back.  Lastly, we removed both Victor Robles and Joe Ross with Sept call-ups and performance.  Sept 2019: removed Raudy Read as he got some ABs with roster expansion.

Outlook for remaining 2017 Oblivion candidates: Not good.  It seems like 8 of the 9 remaining players were forced into retirement.,  The sole player still playing is de Aza, and he did not sign up with anyone for 2020 and might be done.

Favorite Nats to Oblivion Story: Has to be Guthrie’s meltdown.  I was highly critical of the moves the team engineered so as to give Guthrie that start.  And make no mistake, the 2017 opening day roster jumped through a lot of hoops so as to give Guthrie that start.


2016(4 candidates right now)

Total players used: 19 position players, 24 pitchers, 43 total.  4/43 = 9.3% candidate ratio right now.

Candidates: They are listed in the order of their odds of staying on this list: highest to lowest odds that they’re done playing.

  • Jonathan Papelbon: Initially, it was hard to believe he was on this list.  However, after his release mid-2016, not only did he not sign on for the rest of the season … he never signed on with anyone for 2017 either.  Its possible he mis-calculated the market for his services, instructing his agent to hold out for closing jobs only.  Its also possible his baggage prevented any GMs from voluntarily bringing him into a clubhouse.  Nonetheless, he remains out of the game despite his probably being able to be a 6th/7th inning guy to this day.
  • Clint Robinson: long-time minor league veteran made the team in 2015 and had a break-out season, but struggled badly in 2016, prompting the team to sign Adam Lind to a guaranteed deal, all but eliminating Robinson’s chances from making the roster.  Robinson was waived towards the end of 2017 Spring Training as expected, cleared waivers and played the entire season at Syracuse.  I read a quote from him talking about how his half-MLB salary made it worth him playing out the year, and based on Ryan Zimmerman‘s typical fragility he might have had a good chance of getting called back up.  Unfortunately for Robinson, Zimmerman had his career year in 2017, Robinson played out the string in 2017, then officially retired and took a scouting job with Miami.
  • Sean Burnett: given a quick look late in 2016, signed MLFA deal with Philadelphia for 2017 but failed to make their opening day Roster and was released.  Zero 2017 appearances and looked like he may be done, then signed MLFA deal with Miami for 2018.  Got hit very hard in AAA for 2018, released in mid June by Miami from their New Orleans roster.  Signed with NYM in 2019, got pulverized in April and voluntarily retired 5/26/19.
  • Rafael Martin: Just a handful of Sept 2016 innings after a not-very-impressive 2016 in Syracuse, and was DFA’d early in 2017; he was outrighted, pitched the whole season in Syracuse and is now pitching in the Mexican leagues.  He seems likely to stay there at this point as an age 34 softer-tossing right handed reliever.  He’s finished his third full season in Mexico as of Sept 2019.

Names removed since Apr 2017 publicationEspinosa, Revere, Belisle, Melancon, Rzepczynski, all of whom signed MLB deals and appeared in the first week of 2017 for new teams.  Petit, who made the 2017 Angels as an NRI.  Difo and Taylor for making the Nats 2017 opening day roster and getting appearances.  Mat Latos removed when Toronto added him and called  him up in April 2017, shocking me; I figured Latos was done.  Technically Ross’ first start removed him from this list.  Matt den Dekker got removed when Detroit  recalled him for a few games in June 2017.  Wilson Ramos indeed returned from his injury and began starting for Tampa.  Brian Goodwin not only returned to the majors but got an extended run of starts with Werth’s 2017 foot injury.  Severino got recalled during an outfielder crunch in July 2017.  A.J. Cole got a spot-start in May 2017.  Relievers Gott and Grace both got re-calls, with Grace impressing and Gott not.  Reynaldo Lopez removed upon his 8/11/17 call-up for CWS.  Giolito was called up a week later.  May 2018: Spencer Kieboom got called back up after a year off the 40-man roster; he’s a great example of putting your head down and earning your way back.

Outlook for remaining 2016 Oblivion candidates: 3 clearly retired, one throwing innings in Mexico for the forseeable future.

Favorite Nats to Oblivion StoryJonathan Papelbon.  (ok maybe not “favorite” but certainly most interesting…).  What a whirlwind career he had with the Nats: he was already controversial even before arriving, then essentially ended the productive career of Drew Storen, who he replaced (as a condition of his accepting the trade) as closer upon his arrival.  Two months into his tenure here, he took it upon himself to choke teammate Bryce Harper as Harper and the rest of the team disappointingly played out the string of the 2015 season.  These two buried the hatchet over the off-season, and everyone looked happy entering 2016 … but a 6.00 ERA in June and an even worse ERA in July sealed Papelbon’s fate; the team paid heavily to acquire Mark Melancon for the stretch run and Papelbon was released a couple weeks later.  Quite the Nats tenure for the combustible Papelbon.  Side note: for reasons beyond explanation, the Papelbon’s decided to buy a $2.9M house in Alexandria just after his acquisition …. which was only assessed at half their purchase price.  I wonder if they ever even moved in?


2015: (5 candidates right now):

Total players used: 20 position, 24 pitcher, 44 total.  5/44 = 11.3% candidate ratio right now.

Candidates (these players are listed in the order of their odds of staying on this list: highest to lowest odds that they’re done playing):

  • Dan Uggla: The Nats were probably his last stand chance in the majors; hit just .183 and was given just 17 ABs the last two months of the 2015 season.  Never signed for 2016 and is retired.
  • Reed Johnson: Got picked back up on a MLFA deal by Washington for 2016 season, but did not make the team out of spring and was released on 4/2/16.  He did not pick up with anyone for 2016 and at age 39 is retired.
  • Casey Janssen: Signed a ML deal with San Diego for 2016 but was released in late Spring Training.  Picked up with Boston in June of 2016, pitched a bit for their Short-A and AAA teams then was released in early August 2016.  Did not pick up with a MLB team for 2017.  Signed for a Mexican league team, pitched in 15 games and was released.  Might be the end of the line for the 35-yr old.  Retired.
  • Taylor Jordan: After brief appearances in 2015, started 2016 in AAA but got hurt in June of 2016, he had a second TJ surgery … and then was released by the club on 6/28/16 to correspond to the Giolito contract addition.  Man, that seems kind of cold to release a guy just after surgery, but his odds of making it back to the majors just took a significant hit.  As of 2017 has not re-signed anywhere and seems a long-shot to do so, with little major league track record and two arm injuries.  Likely done.
  • Taylor Hill: Hill was DFA’d to make room for January 2016 signings and was outrighted to AAA, so he faces longer odds to get back to the majors at this point.  If it comes to it, would you rather go with Hill or the likes of Voth or Giolito at this point?  Hill finished out the year for AAA Syracuse with a 4.60 ERA in 27 starts, but I’d have to say he’s just an innings-eater/org guy now.  Still with the team for 2017 but has been passed on the depth chart by several guys (Cole, Voth, Fedde) and faces long odds of a return to the majors with this organization.  Started 2017 badly, demoted to AA.  At the end of 2017, elected MLFA and did not sign a new contract; likely done.

Names removed since initial publicationFister (signed a $7M deal with Houston for 2016).  Thornton (MLFA deal with San Diego and made 25-man roster).  Burriss: signed MLFA with Philly and lead-off against the Nats in their first visit to Philadelphia in the new season.  Added Stammen when he failed to make Cleveland’s 25-man roster in 2016.  Removed Solis when he got called up to cover for injury to Belisle.  Removed Martin when he got called up briefly on 6/27/16.   Removed de los Santos when he got waived, picked up by Cincinnati and appeared for them mid Sept 2016.  Removed all our 2015 prospect-types who all got 2016 call-ups: Turner, Difo, Severino, Grace, Cole.  Stammen removed after he made the 2017 San Diego Padres out of spring training.  Tyler Moore made the 2017 Marlins, and got a crucial hit against the Nats early in 2017 season, but was soon DFA’d.  Sept 2019 Removed Aaron Barrett as he made it back in a great story.  And David Carpenter made it back to Texas after several years out of the majors in 2019.

Note: the one guy DFA’d mid-season 2015 by the Nats (Xavier Cedeno) got purchased by the Dodgers, who then sold him to the Rays 5 days later … and he had 61 appearances with a 2.09 ERA for Tampa Bay this year.  Do you think maybe the team gave up on him too soon?

Favorite Nats to Oblivion StoryDan Uggla.  Uggla was released out of a $13M/year contract from Atlanta and the Nats picked him up for 2015, paying just a MLB minimum on him as middle infield cover/lottery ticket.  Well, Uggla’s luck turned out pretty well as injuries shredded the Nats lineup and Uggla earned a 25-man roster spot.  He played sparingly throughout April but had a massive homer in the epic April 28th come-from-behind 13-12 win over Atlanta, which sparked the Nats (who were just 7-13 at the time) to a 21-6 run.  It was one of just two homers Uggla hit on the year (the other in the last game of the season/his career), and Uggla played less and less as the team got healthier.  For the year he hit just .183, which was in line with what he had hit the prior to years, and he never got picked up after his “last hurrah” season.  Uggla never seemed to recover from two separate concussions he suffered from HBPs (one in July 2012, another in ST 2013), never again hitting even the meager .220 he managed in 2012.

Second favorite story has to be Aaron Barrett.   He had 2015 surgery, then in June of 2016, he had a major set-back in his TJ recovery, fracturing his elbow.  This required another visit to Dr. James Andrews and another surgery.  The Nats outrighted him off the 40-man after the 2016 season and he elected free agency.  He re-signed with the Nats for 2017 and started the  year on the AAA D/L.  He remained in the system in 2018, again starting the year on the D/L, but went to Short-A Auburn and pitched.  In 2019 he went to Harrisburg and pitched out of their bullpen the entire year, earning a call-up with Roster Expansion and a pretty emotional return after 4 years of recovery.


2014 (5 remaining candidates right now):

Total Players used: 22 position, 18 pitchers, 40 total.  5/40 = 12.5% candidate ratio right now

Candidates:

  • Greg Dobbs: FA after 2014, retired in May 2015 when he didn’t catch on with a new club.
  • Nate McLouth, who signed an ill-advised 2-year deal to be our “veteran 4th outfielder” behind Denard Span … but who struggled in 2014 and then missed the entirety of 2015.  The team bought out his 2016 option and as of this writing has not signed with a new team (not even a minor league deal).  May have played his way out of the game.  (Thanks to Karl in the comments for the reminder on McLouth).
  • Jeff Kobernus: Released by the team Mar 2015, played the rest of 2015 with SF’s A+ club in San Jose, MLFA for 2016.  He never signed with anyone in 2016 and may be finished.
  • Scott Hairston: FA after 2014, sat out 2015.  Signed for Chicago White Sox for 2016, but then was cut on 3/29/16.  He did not pick back up with anyone for 2016, and at age 36 could be forced into retirement.
  • Nate Schierholtz: FA after 2014, signed w/ Texas but did not stay with club out of spring training.  Played 2015 in Japan, then signed as a MLFA with Detroit in Dec 2015.  Starting in AAA for Detroit 2016 but not a 40-man player.  Subsequently released on 5/23/16 after hitting .246, did not pick back up for the rest of 2016.  May be done.

Names removed since publicationKevin Frandsen (signed w/ SFG and appeared in 7 games in 2015), Ryan Mattheus (got one game with LAA, waived, then pitched the whole of 2015 in Cincinnati’s bullpen), Rafael Soriano (who finally signed with the Cubs in June but had just 6 appearances before getting released on 9/4/15, and Taylor Hill (who had 12IP across 6 games for the Nats in 2015).  Added Nate McLouth after Karl noticed he was missing in the comments.

Outlook for 2014 Oblivion candidates: after a rough 2016 for all these players, only Schierholz really seems like he may give it another shot, but he never signed for 2017 and this list may be complete.

Favorite Nats-to-Oblivion story: I’ll go with Kobernus at this point, if only because he went to my dad’s Alma Mater (Cal-Berkeley) at a time where the program was threatened with the Axe (eventually donations resurrected the program in 2011).  He’s an example of an odd fascination the Nats seem to have with good field-no hit upper round draft picks from Cal (see also Renda, Tony).


2013 (3 Candidates):

Total Players used: 23 position, 21 pitchers, 44 total.  3/44 = 6.8% candidate ratio right now

Current Candidates

  • Chad Tracy: MLFA signed w/ LA Angels for spring 2014, cut, retired 4/25/14.
  • Yunesky Maya; MLFA with Atlanta AAA for 2014, then went to Korea where he got pounded for two seasons.  Just signed a MLFA deal with Los Angeles Angels for 2016 and is pitching for AAA Salt Lake.  He strained his elbow and missed a big chunk of the 2016 season, which was a missed opportunity for Maya as the Angels had very little SP depth.  Did not sign for 2017.
  • Erik Davis; Nats AAA 2014 60 day D/L Tommy John surgery 2014, still on Nats D/L 2015.  Outrighted off the 40-man in January 2016, assigned to AAA.  Posted a 4.13 ERA in a full year of middle relief for Syracuse, with excellent K/9 ratios, but did not merit a 9/1 call up.  Elected free agency after 2016, signed with Arizona and pitching at AAA Reno for the organization in 2017, posting mediocre numbers but pitching a ton (50+ appearances in 2017).  For 2018, he signed another MLFA deal with Milwaukee, with a ST invite, and currently is toiling for their AAA team in Colorado Springs.

Updates since publication: removed Jhonatan Solano went 1-20 for Miami in 2015 and may be a “Marlins to Oblivion” candidate going forward.  Removed Chris Marrero after he made the 2017 San Francisco Giants team in a shock (four years in the minors between MLB at bats).   Unfortunately he was DFA’d just a few weeks later after struggling to start the season.

Outlook for 2013 Oblivion candidates: The 2 active remaining guys face uphill climbs; none remain with the Nats.  Davis is with a new organization for 2017 while Maya has not signed for 2017 and may be done.

Favorite Nats-to-Oblivion storyYunesky Maya, who was Mike Rizzo‘s first foray into the Cuban exile market.  Signed to a 4yr/$8M deal, he was given several shots at the majors and never could capitalize.  He arrived in the US with a wide arsenal of pitches but not a lot of swing-and-miss talent, and he ended up basically being a AAA starter.   He spent the last three seasons as Syracuse’s lead starter (getting 22, 28 and 24 starts there in-between infrequent call-ups) and ended up with just one career MLB win for his $8M salary (making his one of the worst dollars-per-win contracts ever … even if it was “just” $8M).  This whole paragraph is assuming that Maya never makes it back to the majors … but based on what he’s shown thus far combined with his advancing age, that seems like a likely end-result for the Cuban starter.  As we speak, he has given up on minor league ball and has decamped for Korea, where he’s shown some good stats in limited appearances.


2012 (6 candidates)

Total Players used: 24 position, 19 pitchers, 43 total.  6/43 = 13.9% candidate ratio right now

Candidates

  • Brad Lidge: Retired post 2012.
  • Christian Garcia: got added to the 40-man roster down the stretch of 2012 and provided some electric relief out of the pen, even making the playoff roster.  Got hurt in ST 2013, went to the 60-day D/L, still hurt in 2014, and released in June of that year.  Garcia never had bad stats … just too many injuries that he couldn’t overcome.  (Thanks to commenter Justin for this reminder!)
  • Ryan Perry: Wash AAA/AA 2013, 2014, released by Washington in 2014, signed back with Detroit and played 2014-2015 with their AAA affiliate.  Released mid 2015 by Toledo and never signed on again for 2015 or 2016; may be done.
  • Jesus Flores; signed ML deal with Los Angeles Dodgers for 2013, was with TB, KC for 2014, Miami AAA for 2015, but was released in July 2015 and never re-signed.  Played Winter Ball 2015 never signed for 2016; may be done.
  • Brett Carroll: signed ML deal w/ Pittsburgh for 2013, Tor for 2014.  Never signed for 2015, looks done.
  • Carlos Maldonado: Wash AAA 2013.  Played Venezuelan Winter Ball for a number of years, then after no US-based organized ball for 2 seasons signed a ML deal with Texas in 2015 …and made their AA team as a 37-yr old.  Still plugging away.  In 2016 Maldonado again was assigned to Frisco, but was immediately put on the D/L and never appeared.  In fact, he doesn’t even have a minor league at bat since 2013; is he just on a roster to serve as a bullpen catcher?

Updates since last post: Updates for Maldonado, who I can’t believe is still playing in the bus leagues at age 37.  Added Christian Garcia after commenter Justin noticed he was missing.

Outlook for 2012 Oblivion candidates: Only Maldonado seems like he’s still technically “active,” but as a 38-yr old catcher who hasn’t even had an at-bat since 2013 the odds of him making it back are nil.  The book seems closed on 2012.

Favorite Nats-to-Oblivion storyBrad Lidge, who gave it one last shot and failed and didn’t keep trying.  Sometimes, when you lose your stuff, its gone and gone fast.  I’ll readily admit I thought the signing was a great one when it occurred but it just didn’t work out.  I really hoped that Lidge would be a serviceable 7th inning guy and mentor to Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard, being one of the great closers of his day.  It didn’t work out that way: the Nats released him on June 25th and he hung ’em up.


2011 (6 candidates)

Total Players used: 20 position, 24 pitchers, 44 total.  6/44 = 13.6% candidate ratio right now…

Candidates

  • Ivan Rodriguez – retired after 2011; will appear on the 2017 Hall-of-Fame Ballot with 1st ballot stats but a PED cloud over his head.
  • Matt Stairs — retired after 2011.
  • Alex Cora — retired after 2011, now the General Manager of a Puerto Rican Winter League team.
  • Cole Kimball — Nats 60-day DL in 2012, XST in 2013, DFA’d off 40-man roster.  2014 indy, NYY AA team.  Threw 3.2 Innings of 14-ERA ball in the Mexican summer league in 2015.  Does not seem to be on any 2016 rosters; may be done.
  • Brian Broderick — Stl AAA, waived now Nats AAA in 2012, AA in 2013.  Indy ball 2014, Kansas City AAA 2015, where he had a pretty good season.  He elected MLFA … and (oddly?) did not get picked up for 2016.  May be done.
  • Atahualpa Severino — Nats AAA, DFA’d off 40-man in 2012, signed w/ KC for 2013, Atl AAA in 2014, LAA AAA in 2015 but he got cut and ended the year in the Mexican league.  For 2016 he is again in the Mexican League, and had a strong season for Monterrey.  Perhaps he gets another shot some-day.  There’s always people looking for loogies.

Changes since the last post: none other than 2016 assignment updates; nobody’s gotten off this list in a while.

Outlook for 2011 Oblivion candidates: Just one guy still hanging on: Severino continues to throw albeit in his home country’s unaffiliated Mexican league.

Favorite Nats-to-Oblivion storyMatt Stairs: He made the 2011 roster despite having almost no defensive capabilities and, as it soon became evident, almost no remaining abilities at the plate.  He somehow hung onto his roster spot until August 1st despite having just one extra base hit in 74 at-bats on the year.  I remember one game in particular; we were at the stadium going against the hated Phillies and they left Roy Halladay in to attempt to finish a shutout with a 3-0 lead (Game was on 4/13/11).  Nats rally, score 2 runs to make it 3-2.  Stairs comes up pinch hitting for Jerry Hairston with guys on 1st and 2nd with one out; he promptly watches three straight fastballs go right down the middle of the plate without moving his bat.  I’ve never been so p*ssed at a player at the ball-park.  Fellow Nats-to-Oblivion candidate  Ivan Rodriguez then promptly struck out on 3 pitches as well, looking strike 3 into the mitt and then arguing vehemently with the ump over the game-ending call which gave Halladay the complete game victory.  Those were the good ole days.


2010 (12 players)

Total Players used: 20 position, 26 pitchers, 46 total.  12/46 = 26.0% never appeared again

Players:

  • Kevin Mench; retired after 2010
  • Jamie Burke; retired after 2010
  • Luis Atilano: in CIN org, AAA in 2012, never signed for 2013, out of baseball.
  • Scott Olsen; in CWS org, AAA 2012, never signed for 2013, out of baseball.
  • Tyler Walker; indy league 2011, never signed for 2012, out of baseball.
  • Matt Chico; indy league 2012, never signed for 2013, out of baseball.
  • Garrett Mock: Houston AAA 2012, AZ AAA for 2013.  Not signed for 2014
  • Jason Bergmann: indy 2011, Col AAA 2012, Indy again in 2013, KC AA.  Not signed for 2014.
  • Jesse English; indy league 2011, 2012.  Mexican League 2013, Indy ball 2014 but struggled, no 2015 stats.
  • Joe Bisenius; in Mexico 2011-12, Atl AA/AAA 2013, indy/mexican league 2014 but struggled, no 2015 stats.
  • Willy Taveras; played AAA for Col in 2011, retired prior to 2012, back with KC AAA 2013.  Mexican league 2014, 2015, Indy ball in 2015.  He re-signed with Pueblo in the Mexican league for 2016 and played a full season, hitting .325.  He’s still playing in 2017.
  • JD Martin; in MIA org AAA 2012, in TB AAA 2013, in Korea 2014 but struggled, no 2015 stats.  2016 MLFA signing back with the team and re-making himself as a knuckleballer.  However, in 2017 he spent most of the year in XST, got one appearance in the GCL and was released.

Changes since last post: none.

Outlook for 2010 Oblivion candidates: Two active players in the minors; Taveras and Martin.  Martin may have run out of chances in 2017.  Taveras may just be a Mexican leaguer now.

Favorite Nats-to-Oblivion storyJamie Burke: The 2009 Nats were so thin at Catcher by the end of the season that we literally bought a spare catcher in Burke from Seattle so we could have some coverage at the end of the season.  Burke re-signed on for 2010 and appeared in exactly one MLB game.  He was released after the season and retired.


2009 (9 players)

Total Players used: 25 position, 30 pitchers, 55 total.  9/55 = 16.3% never appeared again

Players:

  • Elijah Dukes: released and never picked up for 2010.  Arrested in 2011, 2012, out of baseball.
  • Alex Cintron; playing in Mexico 2012, nothing in 2013
  • Jorge Padilla; in SD org, AAA in 2012, nothing in 2013
  • Ron Villone, AAA all of 2010, 2011 playing indy ball, retired prior to 2012.  He was scheduled to appear on the 2015 Hall of Fame ballot but was removed for some reason.  Remains a pitching coach for the Cubs organization.
  • Julian Tavarez; retired after getting DFA’d in July 2009
  • Mike Hinckley: Tor org in 2011, retired prior to 2012
  • Steven Shell; KC org in 2011, retired prior to 2012
  • Victor Garate; MIL org and Indy ball in 2012, Mexican league 2013, 2014. Went to Japan for 2015 and had a great season.  Back on the continent and pitching in the Mexican League for 2016; had 10 starts for Saltillo and was released.  May be done.
  • Zack Segovia; in Det org AA in 2012, Mexican league/Indy ball 2013, Mexican League 2014.  Picked up with San Diego’s AAA for 2015 but got hit.  Pitching in the Mexican League for 2016 and had decent numbers as a middle reliever, but was released in June.

Changes since last post: none.

Outlook for 2009 Oblivion candidates: Still a couple guys active here, both in the Mexican league.  Not likely to see any changes going forward.

Favorite Nats-to-Oblivion storyRon Villone, who proved that a crafty lefty with a halfway decent fastball can have a long career in this game.  He had 63 appearances at age 39 for the 2009 Nats and got re-signed for 2010.  He didn’t make the team though, labored in Syracuse the whole season and was released.  Despite being 41 years old, he headed to Indy ball for one last shot but washed out after just a few outings in 2011.

It wouldn’t be a retrospective on poor Nats players if we didn’t briefly talk about Elijah Dukes though.  I think its safe to assume that he’s the only guy on this list that has served more time in jail than has played in the minor leagues, attempting to get back to the show.


2008 (8 players)

Total Players used: 25 position, 25 pitchers, 50 total.  8/50 = 16% never appeared again

Players:

  • Kory Casto; 2009 AAA, 2010 in Ariz AA, retired.
  • Dmitri Young: some rehab in low minors 2009, retired.
  • Rob Mackowiak: 2009: some indy, bounced around AAA, that’s it.
  • Johnny Estrada; quit after 2008 mid-season release.
  • Odalis Perez; refused his 2009 contract, never resigned (see below)
  • Levale Speigner; 2009 in Florida’s AA/AAA, then 2010 in Seattle AAA.  done.
  • Ray King; retired after 2008
  • Chris Schroder; 2009, 2010 bounced around AAA with Oakland,Florida (now Miami).

Changes in last 12 months: none.

Outlook for 2008 Oblivion candidates: every remaining candidate is now out of baseball.

Favorite Nats-to-Oblivion story: Odalis Perez, though I’m tempted to say either Mackowiak or Estrada, possibly the two worst FA signings of the whole Jim Bowden era (and that’s saying something).  But nothing beats the Perez story.  He was the Nats Opening Day Starter in 2008, and he was the first guy to get a start in the new Nationals Stadium.  He pitched decently enough; in 30 starts he was 7-12 with a 4.34 ERA and a 99 ERA+ for a god-awful team.  But apparently he got really pissed when the team only offered him a non-guaranteed Minor League deal for 2009.  So he held out, the Nats said “fine with us” and released him, and nobody else picked him up.  And he never played another game.  I’m not sure if that was a sign that he was just that bad (not one team wanted to even give an opening day starter a look the subsequent year?), or if there was some sort of MLB general manager omerta that conspired against him.  Either way, Perez never played again, not even in Winter Leagues as far as I could find.  Sometimes a player has to swallow his pride, and Perez apparently could not.


2007 (12 players)

Total Players used: 21 position, 26 pitchers, 47 total.  12/47 = 25.5% never appeared again

Players:

  • Nook Logan; indy league 2008, 2010.
  • Robert Fick: Cut from the Padres in ST 2008, full year indy league 2009, retired.
  • D’Angelo Jimenez: AAA all of 2008, 2009.  Mexican league and Indy league 2010-2012
  • Tony Batista: Wash AAA 2008, then released
  • Michael Restovich: 2008 in Japan, AAA 2009-2011, retired
  • Brandon Watson: AAA 2008-9, indy league 2011, retired.
  • Mike Bacsik: 2008 AAA, 2011 indy league, now a broadcaster.
  • Jason Simontacchi; 2008 indy league, 2010 again.
  • John Patterson; cut in ST 2008, immediately signed w/ Texas but never played again.
  • Ryan Wagner: AAA 2008-9, released and presumably retired.
  • Arnie Munoz; went to mexican league, retired > 2010
  • Chris Booker: AAA in 2008, then retired/released.

Changes in last 12 months: none

Outlook for 2007 Oblivion candidates: every remaining candidate is now out of baseball.

Favorite Nats-to-Oblivion storyMike Bacsik, who was destined to be a career 4-A guy before Washington picked him up and gave him 20 starts in 2007.  Bacsik was on his 6th minor league organization when he arrived in Syracuse and pitched his way up to the major leagues.  He was overmatched badly; he had a 5.11 ERA and just a 3.4 K/9 rate.  But he did get his moment in the headlines by giving up Barry Bonds‘ 756th career homer one night in San Francisco in August.  Contrary to accusations on the topic, I do not believe Bacsik “served up” the homer.  If you check the play index, Bonds hit the 7th pitch of the at-bat in a 3-2 count for that homer.  Bacsik didn’t purposely give up a homer on the 7th pitch of an at-bat; he just ran out of pitches to show Bonds that weren’t going to get pulverized.

A quick comment though on John Patterson: I remember being absolutely shocked at his release in 2008’s spring training.  He was cut on 3/20/08, right in the middle of Spring Training with no warning and having just thrown his Grapefruit innings.   He was healthy, recovered from surgery, ready to be the ace of that staff and start showing off the potential that he showed in 2005 (you know, when he 4-hit the Dodgers with 13 punch outs and posted the best Game-Score performance in Nats history).  He signed a ML deal with Texas after his release by the Nats, but he couldn’t answer the call and never appeared again, getting released in mid May.  I guess his third arm surgery in 7 years just left him unable to compete at any level and he hung ’em up.


2006 (20 players)

Total Players used: 28 position, 29 pitchers, 57 total.  20/57 = 35% never appeared again

  • Damian Jackson; dnp 2007, indy league 2008-9
  • Bernie Castro: AAA all of 2007, 8 then retired.
  • Alex Escobar: Wash minors 2007-8, then retired.
  • Brandon Harper: Wash AAA all of 2007, then released/retired.
  • Wiki Gonzalez: CWS AAA all of 2007, indy league 2008, retired.
  • Henry Mateo: AAA or Indy league 2007-2009, Mexican league from 2010-2013
  • George Lombard: AAA 2007-9, some indy league, retired.
  • Mike Vento: 2007 Wash AAA, indy league 2008, back with Syracuse 2009, retired.
  • Melvin Dorta; various minor leagues 2007-2010, indy league 2011, retired.
  • Luis Matos: AAA 2007, Mexican League 2008-2012.  ? 2013 and done.
  • Pedro Astacio; retired after 2006
  • Felix Rodriguez: dnp 2007, indy league 2008-9, retired.
  • Zach Day: AAA 2007, briefly A+ 2008, retired.
  • Beltran Perez; wash minors AA/AAA 2007-8, released and never played again.
  • Joey Eischen; released off of Washington and retired.
  • Travis Hughes; AAA in 2007, played in Japan 2008, indy leagues 2009, 2011.
  • Ryan Drese: various minor leagues 2007-8, indy league 2009-2010, Baltimore AAA 2011, released/retired.
  • Kevin Gryboski: AAA 2007-2008, retired/released.
  • Brett Campbell: Wash AA 2007, released/retired.
  • Santiago Ramirez: Japan in 2007, Mexican league 2008, indy 2009, retired.

Changes in last 12 months: none

Outlook for 2006 Oblivion candidates: every remaining candidate is now out of baseball.

Favorite Nats-to-Oblivion storyJoey Eischen, who bounced around the league in his 20s before settling in Montreal and moving south with the team.  He was known to be a “character” in the clubhouse and to give good quotes to reporters (google “Joey Eischen quotes” and you’ll find some of his classics).   By 2006 though the years had taken their toll on his shoulder; he had 19 walks in 14 2/3 innings through the end of May had blown his rotator cuff.  The team put him on the 60 day D/L and called up Virginia-native Bill Bray.   Eischen never got off that D/L; he was released in the off-season and never played again. He has been a pitching coach in the Colorado system since 2010.


2005 (16 players)

Total Players used: 30 position, 25 pitchers, 55 total.  16/55 = 29% never appeared again

Players:

  • Carlos Baerga; retired after 2005
  • Junior Spivey: bounced around AAA 2006-7, indy ball in 2009, retired.
  • Wil Cordero; released mid 2005, signed on with the NY Mets but never made it out of AAA.  Retired after 2005.
  • Deivi Cruz; released after 2005, cut from St. Louis 2006 ST, played indy ball, retired.
  • Jeffrey Hammonds; retired in June 2005 mid-season.
  • J.J. Davis: Traded to Colorado as part of the Preston Wilson deal, sent to Colorado’s AAA, then released after the season and never played again.
  • Rick Short; Granted FA after the 2005 season to play in Japan, played there til 2009.
  • Kenny Kelly; AAA in 2006 and 2007, released and retired.
  • Keith Osik; a backup catcher, got 4 ABs in 2005, released and retired.
  • Tyrell Godwin; after just three MLB at-bats in 2005, spent all of 2006 and 2007 in AAA, released and retired.
  • T.J. Tucker; released after 2005, tried one year of indy ball in 2008, retired.
  • Joe Horgan; released after 2005, played one year of AAA with Florida, released, retired.
  • Matt White; AAA in 2006-7, Japan 2007-8, tried indy ball in 2010, hung ’em up.
  • C.J. Nitkowski; AAA in 2006, then went to Japan 2007-8, Korea 2009-10, back with the Mets AAA team in July 2012.  Not signed for 2013.  Was a blow-hard “I’m an ex baseball player and know more than you” Podcast host for Fox Sports with Rob Neyer until their cancellation.  Made news in 2015 for his article on the Bryce Harper/Jonathan Papelbon where he quoted a number of anonymous MLBers who said that (paraphrasing) “Harper had it coming.”
  • Antonio Osuna: dnp in 2006, Mexican league 2007-9.
  • Tony Blanco; Nats minor leagues 2006-7, Colorado AA in 2008, in Japan from 2009-present.  Hit 41 homers in 2013 for Yokohama but struggled in 2015, but got picked up by Orix and is on their 2016 roster.  Not signed for 2017, may be done.

Changes in last 12 months: none

Outlook for 2005 Oblivion candidates: Tony Blanco is still playing in Japan, entering his 8th pro season there in 2016.  But he has no 2017 assignment.

Favorite Nats-to-Oblivion story: Rick Short, who got his MLB debut at the age of 32, after 11 very long seasons in the minors with many different teams.  He got a couple of call-ups in June and July to provide cover, and then played out the string after a Sept 1 roster expansion call-up.  In that off-season, he returned to Japan (where he’d played one full season prior), and played four more years in the Japanese League and retired in 2009.

Though it merits talking about a couple other guys here. Tony Blanco; he was a rule-5 draftee who the Nats carried the whole of 2005 so they could keep his rights.  He was awful; he had a .177 batting average as the 25th guy off the bench.  In 2006 he couldn’t even cut it in AA and played most of the year in High-A.  After 2007 the Nats summarily released him from their minor league organization altogether.   He found his calling though; he signed on in Japan in 2009 at age 27 and continues to play there today.  You have to wonder if he may very well earn another MLB shot.

Jeffrey Hammonds was well known to Washington baseball fans by virtue of his pedigree with our northern neighbors in Baltimore; he was a 1st round draft pick in 1992 out of Stanford, broke in with the MLB team the following year and was a role player on the powerhouse Baltimore teams of the mid 1990s.   He bounced around the league afterwards though, signing on with the newly relocated Washington franchise for the 2005 debut season but he hung ’em up after a slow start here.  He was only 34 when he retired.

Written by Todd Boss

May 18th, 2022 at 10:41 am

Posted in Nats in General

2022 Draft order, Bonus Pools, Pick values Finalized

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Druw Jones, son of Andruw Jones, is in the running to be the 1-1 pick in the 2022 draft; which team will get him? Photo via espn.com

It’s a bit early to think about the Rule IV (aka Amateur) draft, but with our team dead last in the NL and going nowhere, we’re clearly in rebuilding mode, and the draft is the best way to acquire new talent.

Over the weekend, MLB officially announced the Bonus pools and individual pick values, and by association essentially announced the official draft order as well. Lets talk about each one.

Draft Order Finalized

Click here for the draft order on MLB.com as it is now essentially finalized (we’ll talk about why its not entirely finalized in a moment). The Nats will be picking at #5, 45, #84, #111, #141 … then every 30 after that for 20 rounds. So, three picks in the top 85 picks for us this year.

The MLB.com site does a good job showing the added picks, but doesn’t show the lost picks in this page. Luckily for you, I’ve got a spreadsheet for that.

Click here for the full draft order with lost/moved picks shown where they originally were. Here you can see the original and gained/lost picks.

  • Only one team lost its first rounder this year: the Los Angeles Dodgers, which had its pick dropped 10 places for luxury tax violation purposes.
  • Five teams lost their 2nd rounders for FA signings, the highest (and perhaps most curious) being Texas, who lost the 44th overall pick (and its $1.75M slot value) when they signed Marcus Seiman to a last place team. Others losing 2nd rounders include the Angels, Philly, Boston, and the Dodgers of course.
  • Four (mostly lower-payroll) teams lost their third rounders: Also Texas (for Corey Seager), Minnesota, Detroit, and Seattle.

I wonder if Texas wasn’t given some sort of implicit ultimatum to step up and spend some money, given that they’re in the 4th largest market by MSA (after NY, LA, Chi) and make huge amounts of RSN dollars (somewhere between $80M and $150M/year, depending on which leaked document you believe about their 10-year FoxSports deal). I say this because it makes little sense for them to have committed to two major FA deals as a last place team, forgoing both a 2nd and 3rd rounder and all that bonus pool money, so that they (checks standings) can continue to be a last place team.

The draft order is “essentially” finalized because there still remains one player unsigned who has QO- compensation attached to him: Michael Conforto. Unfortunately for Conforto, he had off-season shoulder issues that prevented him from getting a serious offer, and a few weeks ago it was announced that he’s having season-ending shoulder surgery, which means the odds of him signing before the draft (at which point the compensation becomes moot) is nil. So, for the first time in Qualifying Offer history, a player will go completely unsigned for an entire year after being offered (and declining) a 1year 8 figure contract. Amazing.

Bonus Pools Announced

The Nats total bonus pool this year is their highest ever: a shade over $11M ($11,007,900 to be exact). They have the 7th largest pool despite picking 5th overall thanks to the Mets getting an extra 1st rounder and the Royals getting a huge $2.2M valued comp A pick, jumping them above the Nats in total value. By way of comparison, they had $8.7M picking 11th overall last year, so they’ll likely be getting an entire “extra” $2.2M valued player in some way or another in this draft.

Individual Pick Values

In addition to the total bonus pool, each of the first 316 slots has been officially assigned a slot value and published. I’ve now created a 2022 draft tracker skeleton spreadsheet to the overall master Nats Draft Tracker spreadsheet, which you can find at the link.

So, a $6.4M first round pick usually ends up meaning some savings there which can be applied later on in the draft. This is what the top-drafting teams generally do, instead of giving full slot to these top players. It remains to be seen how the Nats will work this in 2022; if we (for example) save $1m on their 5th overall pick, that’s $1m that can go to the 2nd pick, making that a $2.7M pick, which is the equivalent of a lower first rounder in the #27 overall range. Furthermore, teams can go 5% over the bonus pool without any penalties, and the Nats generally squeeze every dime out of this pool overage … so they could go up to 3.2M for their 2nd rounder (the equivalent of a #21 overall pick) before they start taking $$ away from their other 9 picks/total bonus pool … which we know they do extensively with the picks in the 6-10 range. So, lots of strategy in place.

How does this generally play out? A prep kid puts out a number and his representatives say, “Johnny Stud won’t sign for less than $2.5M.” The teams in that $2.5M first round range (picks 25-30) all pass. So now Johnny Stud starts getting overslot offers by teams at the top of the 2nd round, who know they can borrow from other parts of the pool. The Nats, in the upper 2nd round range, can absolutely be a player here and end up getting a 1st round talent in the 2nd.

A more risky approach is to save money for a pick in the 11th, where bonus pool figures no longer count and where a lot of players who’ve completely slipped out of the bonus pool range fall. This is risky because you’re counting on a guy being there and basically trying to save a ton of dollars for those spots. You can count on one hand the number of times the Nats have gone overslot with an 11th rounder or later in the past few drafts: JT Arruda and Jake Randa in 2019 (technically Lucas Knowles as well in 2019, though they basically gave him the few thousand leftover dollars), Jackson Stoeckinger in 2017, Armond Upshaw in 2016, who got $400k overslot as the 11th round pick, and Max Schrock in 2015, who also got a $400k overslot deal as the 13th pick.


Our 2021 draft is already looking like a great draft, with Brady House already on top 100 lists and tearing up full-season ball, with TJ White looking like he’ll get a mid-season promotion, Darren Baker already in high-A, and three lower-round pitchers in the Fredericksburg rotation in Brendan Collins, Andrew Alvarez, and Dustin Saenz.

Can’t wait to see what they pull in 2022.

Written by Todd Boss

April 30th, 2022 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Nats in General

The Rotation is worse than even I thought possible

8 comments

Hey, at least Grey’s looked decent. Photo via WP

Small Sample Sizes, arbitrary endpoints, its only April, yeah yeah.

As of 4/24/22’s game, in reverse order, here’s our rotation’s last week:

Only Grey managed to have a decent week, throwing half the 4/19/22 DH in fine fashion (5 1/3ip, 3hits, 1 run). Still not a QS though; he got yanked after retiring the first guy in the 6th on just 87 pitches.

As for the rest of the rotation? Come on.

In our last 5 starts, our starters have given us a grand total of 17 1/3 innings and given up an astounding 27 runs along the way. That’s just 17 1/3 innings out of a required 45 to be pitched, meaning our bullpen is absolutely, completely shredded right now and its … April 25th. Every game for the last week looks like a spring training game, where every reliever in the pen gets an inning until the game is over.

We’re only 3 weeks into the season and the team has already called up SIX (6!) arms who weren’t on the opening day roster (Rogers, Sanchez, Clay, Perez, Ramirez, and Harvey).

And they’re going to have to scramble for coverage going forward; there are just TWO remaining arms on the 40-man who aren’t on the active roster or the MLB DL: Carrillo (who just went onto the AA D/L with a “sore shoulder,” uh oh), and Evan Lee, who’s made 3 starts but has only gone 9 1/3 total innings, giving up 8 walks along the way. Not exactly the bullpen innings eater we need. So get ready for any one of the slew of MLFA arms we have sitting in AAA to start getting called up to replace ineffective arms who suddenly have soft tissue injuries. I’m talking guys like Verrett, Edwards Jr., Clippard, Garret, Manoah, Weems, Baldonado, and Rodriguez.

After today’s debacle we’re 6-11, in last place in the NL, and have the 2nd worst record in the league. And we’re going to struggle to do better from here.

I feel like we’re in for a long season.

Baseball America “updates” its Nats top 30 and 1st week impressions

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So, BA issued an “update” to its top 30 prospect lists for teams this week.

See https://www.baseballamerica.com/teams/1012/washington-nationals/organizational/ for our “new” list.

per BA’s site, this update is… “With the minor league season beginning, we have updated our Top 30 prospect rankings for every major league club. These new rankings now include international players from the current signing class that opened on Jan. 15, with additional player movement based on new looks, information and injuries.”

BA continues to ignore MLB service time and keeps including prospects who have not hit AB/IP thresholds even though they’ve sat on the active roster long enough to exhaust rookie eligibility .. which means that they’ve kept in particular Keibert Ruiz and Riley Adams eligible, as literally no other shop has done.

So what changed between this ranking and the last one (to which I reacted here?).

  • They added Jan 2022 IFA signing Cristian Vaquero at #5.
  • ….. and thats it.

No adjustments for Antuna moving to the outfield, for Lile being out for the season, for Adon making the MLB rotation, nothing else.


So, pretty much a nothing burger of an update. But, thought i’d put a placeholder here to talk about the starts we’re seeing with the MLB club through the first week.

Talking about hitters:

  • Good, as expected: Soto, Bell, Ruiz
  • Good, unexpectedly: Franco, YHernandez (has he now won a starting job?)
  • Bad, as expected: Robles (why is he still in the majors?), Escobar
  • Bad, unexpectedly: Cruz, Thomas

Robles starts the season 0-17 and necessitates the callup of prospect OF Casey. Lane Thomas hasn’t been much better. But maybe we should just frigging play Yadiel Hernandez until he stops hitting? I mean, the dude hit last year, he’s hitting this year … why not just play the guy?

Pitchers? Phew, hide your eyes.

  • Good, as expected: … i’m not sure anyone is living up to their expectations. Rainey maybe? Arano. Fedde maybe.
  • Good, unexpectedly: Rogers, Doolittle
  • Bad, as expected: Corbin, ASanchez (by going straight to the DL), Adon, Voth
  • Bad, unexpectedly: not sure anyone qualifies here.

Lets be honest, i went into this season looking at this pitching staff with very little expectation. Our opening day rotation consisted of

  • a 9-figure contract debacle who hasn’t performed in 2 years in Corbin.
  • A option-less 5+ ERA starter who should have been non-tendered last offseason in Fedde
  • a rookie who has been all hype and no performance as of yet in Grey
  • Another rookie with one MLB start who had, frankly, uninspiring 2021 MILB numbers and who should be in AAA in Adon
  • A frigging NRI has-been who I can’t believe they took over Rogers or Espino in Anibel Sanchez.

What have see seen so far? Adon: shelled in 2 starts. Corbin? Shelled in 2 starts. Sanchez? hurt before he makes a start … and then lo and behold Rogers comes up and gives the Nats their best start so far (shocker!). Grey? Surprisingly decent so far. And Fedde? Shocker he was effective in his first start. Lets see how long that lasts.

Honestly, i’m shocked we’re 3-5 right now with a team ERA right now of 5.91. 5.91 isn’t getting the donuts made.


Long season ahead.

Written by Todd Boss

April 15th, 2022 at 9:41 am

ProspectDigest Nats top 10 released

9 comments

Armando Cruz gets high props with this list. Photo via talknats.com

Even though the 2022 season has started, we’re still seeing pundit Prospect ranking lists trickle in. In fact, we still havn’t seen several major shops’ Nats list at this point, so we’ll continue doing these posts as they arrive.

Today, Prospectdigest.com and its lead pundit Joseph Werner released his Nats top 10 list. https://prospectdigest.com/washington-nationals-top-10-prospects-for-2022/ .

Here’s some comments.

  • Ruiz at #1. I think Werner is following the Baseball America “rules” for eligibility, as opposed to MLBs. He’s still got Ruiz as being a prospect. Perhaps he wrote this list last fall (which may be true, given the fact that there’s mo mention of Vaquero).
  • He then has the same 2-5 names as most everyone else, in the same order: Cavalli, House, Henry, Rutledge.

After the top 5 is where his list gets, um, “interesting.”

  • Armando Cruz at #6. That’s the highest he’s been on any list since before last year’s trade deadline prospect haul. He’s an 18yr old who hit .232 in the DSL last year … this ranking is entirely on hype and scouting reports.
  • Daylen Lile at #7?? Wow, that’s way too high for his profile. I mean, everything has to go right for a 6.0″ slap hitter to make it, and his pro debut was awful (.219/.363/.250 in FCL last year). How is this guy higher than any number of other hitters we have in the system? Crazy. Plus, we now know he’s torn his UCL and is out for the entire 2022 season. So … yes perhaps late breaking news, but this list should have been adjusted.
  • Mitchell Parker at #8? This is the highest ranking I’ve seen anyone have for Parker. Look, I like Parker; but there’s no way I’d have him above Adon or Lara or Carrillo or Lee right now. Adon is in the majors for crying out loud. Lara’s got better stuff and is 3 years younger. Carrillo probably could be in the MLB bullpen right now, and Lee struck out 104 in 77 High-A innings last year.
  • Lara and Carrillo round out the top 10; don’t have any issues with those guys being around this range.

Nits: No Vaquero. they drafted him in January and its now Mid April. If you rank Cruz at #6 then you have to put in a guy who was older and better at signing time. Also, no mention of Adon despite him being in the MLB rotation.

Otherwise, not much else to note. I can’t see any other possible ommissions from this top 10.

Written by Todd Boss

April 12th, 2022 at 10:30 am

Full Season Affiliate roster Analysis

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On 4/5/22, because for some weird reason AAA started 3 days before the rest of the minors, we got the Rochester roster announcement. Then, on 4/8/22, we got the other three full season affiliate roster announcements (click here for Harrisburg, Wilmington, Fredericksburg). H/T to Luke Erickson and nationalsprospects.com for these links.

After several hours of furious XLS work, the Big Board is now up to date for these rosters. The 2022 big board features some new stuff from year’s past: i’ve now got links to every player (milb.com links for minor leaguers, baseball-reference.com links for MLB players), plus i’m keeping track of Promotions/Demotions via color coding. So, Green right this moment indicates a promotion from their final resting spot last year while Red indicates a demotion from their final resting spot.

(Note: this was written before a couple of over-the-weekend transactions so there may be a couple of now obsolete-details here).


Here’s some macro observations per team by level:

  • AAA: 12 of the 28 man roster are home grown, which seems like more than in year’s past. That includes a big chunk of the positional players and rotation … but just one home-grown reliever. Interesting. Meanwhile, 2022FAs or Rule5 pickups account for another 12 of the team … and if you add in 21FAs/Rule5s it accounts for 17 of the players on the team. That’s a lot of newly acquired veteran FAs hanging out in Rochester. I wonder what the clubhouse culture is like.
  • AA: Also has an inordinate number of MLFAs/Rule5 pickups: 10 of the players are 22MLFAs or Rule5 pickups (counting Gushue perhaps unfairly). In terms of draft pedigree, not too many real prospects here either. Furthermore, 17 players on the roster were there at season’s end last year, meaning not a ton of upward movement here (see more on that later on in the Promotions/Demotions section). Slightly surprised to see some names repeating here, especially Cluff and Carillo, but i’m not shocked. Cate, the opening day starter last year, starts the season on the IL.
  • High-A: Almost entirely home grown or prospects acquired through trade; just two MLFAs here. Amazingly Mendoza is repeating the level, as is Antuna. He may be the sole 40-man roster player in all of the minors in A-ball right now. Two interesting arms here: Irvin finally back from TJ, and Parker continuing in high-A where he was promoted to mid-season. Pineda repeating as well; he’s only 22 but it seems like the prospect shine is gone.
  • Low-A: Entirely home grown roster, split evenly between IFAs (15) and the Draft (16) with a few NDFAs thrown in. two of the most important names on this roster (Rutledge, Denaburg): on the DL. Of course they are. But in the exciting column, nearly every young hitting prospect we care about is here: House, Boissiere, Infante, White, and Arias all stand to feature in the field here.

Lets do some promotion/demotion thoughts by level:

  • AAA promotions: Wilmer Perez and Cole Freeman. Freeman i suppose gets promoted to ride the pine, while Perez gets an inexplicable promotion from basically High-A, where he hit .206 last year, so i’m thinking this is short lived.
  • AA Promotions: Connell, Dunn, Gausch, Henry, Evan Lee. that’s it from last year’s end-of-season HighA roster. All eyes of course are on Henry and new 40-man member Lee, though i’m happy to see Gausch moved up. Connell and Dunn both seem like they’ll be bench pieces.
  • AA Demotions: Lara, Gushue, Flores, Fuentes. Getting demoted after spending most or all of 2021 in AAA is not a great sign. I’m not quite sure why Flores in particular is even still here, himself being a 2021 MLFA. Gushue lost out in the catcher numbers game presumably. Gilbert Lara only spent a couple weeks in AAA and probably should have always been in AA, so this is a harsh determination. Lastly Fuentes, who was so good in AA in 2019 but then got shelled in AAA last year. He’s only 24, and i’m hoping he’s more than just a middling org-guy right hander.
  • High-A Promotions: Baker, Barley, Gonzales, Vega, Sanchez, Cuevas, Merrill, Willingham, Kirian, CRomero, Knowles. That’s a ton of promotions from last year, to go with a ton that happened mid season in 2021. These guys move freely in the low minors.
  • High-A Demotions: Daily, Canning. Daily is a 25-yr old 1B/OF who hits in the low 200s now in A-ball; surprised he’s even still on the team. Canning slugged just .316 in AA last year; both are fighting for their jobs now.
  • Low-A Promotions: 14 of them from the FCL/DSL last year: Infante, House, Rivero, White, Arias, Cacheres, Ferrer, Gonzalez, Sinclair, Threadgil, Greenhil, Glavine, Ribalta. Makes sense and great to see so many names, especially young ones, pouring into full season ball.
  • Low-A Demotions: Just one: Junior Martina, a 3B who didn’t exactly light low-A on fire last year and is now back as a 24yr old.

Lastly, lets talk about who was left behind in XST after being on a full season roster last year. Every name here is someone to be concerned about, either because they didn’t make the team or because maybe they’re hurt.

  • 2021 AAA to XST: Alex Dunlop, Sterling Sharp, Andrew Lee, Nick Wells. Dunlop may be squeezed out of a catcher’s job with the acquisition last year of three guys. Sharp has now gone from 40-man roster to not making the AAA roster: one has to wonder what’s next for him. Lee and Wells were both long relievers in AAA; now what for both of them? (Note: Braymer was called up to replace an apparently injured Verrett two games into the season, but the concern for his place remains)
  • 2021 AA to XST: Kyle Marinconz, Armond Upshaw, Ryan Tapani. Marinconz gets pushed to XST when Lara gets pushed down from AAA to make way for … MLFA veteran signing Urena? odd. Upshaw might have run out of time; he and Canning both cut from the AA outfield. Tapani was decent last year; maybe he’s hurt.
  • 2021 High-A to XST: Catchers Andrew Pratt and Drew Millas. Paul Witt, JT Arruda, Ricardo Mendez, Alfonso Hernandez, Tyler Dyson. The catchers maybe are staying in XST to catch arms? Millas was an NRI this spring and was a valuable trade acquisition piece. Witt and Arruda are middle infielders who got beat out by Baker and Barley; understandable. They might be DFAs soon. Mendez probably got caught in the same OF shuffle that pushed down Canning. lastly two starters in Hernandez and Dyson that both pitched well last year, so maybe they have a knock.
  • 2021 Low-A to XST: Boone, Fein; not much to think here; perhaps they’re going to go back to the FCL.

Here’s to a fun 2022 minor league season!

Written by Todd Boss

April 11th, 2022 at 11:45 am

Posted in Nats in General

2022 Nats Season preview

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Soto may be the sole bright spot for the 2022 season. Photo via nj.com

Short version of this post: we are going to be absolutely awful this year.

Longer Version….

At the end of Spring Training, the 2022 Nats are heading into battle with a 28-man roster that breaks down like the following:

  • 4 NRIs signed to minor league deals this past off-season (as per the most recent post: (Sanchez, Arano, Franco, and Strange-Gordon)
  • 2 Waiver claims (Fox, Murphy)
  • 8 players who are essentially rookies: (Ruiz, Thomas, Adams, Grey, Adon, Thompson, Machado, Espino)

And, despite playing this many brand new players … we’re NOT going to be playing either of our top two positional rookies (Garcia, demoted mid-spring, and Kieboom, who may miss the entire season with a blown UCL) or any of our top pitching prospects (Cavalli got lit up, Henry wasn’t even at Spring training, Rutledge was an NRI for some reason but, lest we forget, was in LowA last year, etc).

A huge chunk of our likely opening day lineup are guys signed to one-year deals, who have no history with the franchise and whom most fans couldn’t pick out of a lineup. We know who Nelson Cruz is of course, but could you name our starting infield? If i stood Cesar Hernandez, Alcides Escobar, Maikel Franco, Lucious Fox, and Ehire Adrianza in a row could you put the correct name with each face? Every one of these guys seemingly was signed with the 2022 trade deadline in their minds … the likelihood of ANY of these guys finishing the year with the Nats seems very slim.

Our rotation includes an NRI (Sanchez), a guy who I thought was going to get non-tendered (Fedde), a Rookie with one MLB start to his name (Adon), a $30M/year guy who looked completely lost the last two seasons (Corbin), and a promising prospect who has a career 5.48 ERA in 14 MLB games (Grey). Strasburg may not pitch until July.

If i’m reading the Big Board correctly, just 6 of our opening day 28 man roster was originally drafted and developed by Washington (Robles, Soto, YHernandez, Fedde, Adon, and Voth). A damning indictment of our last decade of drafting and player development, especially in the top 2 rounds.

Not that spring training records matter … but we finished 4-11 and were outscored by 28 runs in the process (nearly 2 a game).

Its going to be a long season. We have the defending WS champs, a Mets team that’s going to spend $300M on payroll this year, a Phillies team that had a softball beer league lineup of sluggers who might average 8 runs a game, and a Marlins team that, well who knows what they’ll do but it won’t matter because we’re likely losing 100+ games with this lineup.

Discuss. Is anyone out there really optimistic?


Written by Todd Boss

April 6th, 2022 at 12:04 pm

Posted in Nats in General

Spring Training 2022 NRI Disposition

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Maikel Franco makes the team as an NRI and will start at 3B. Photo via nbcsports.com

Thanks to the compressed Spring Training in 2022, we never did the navel gazing “which NRI may make the team?” after the team announced all its NRIs and MLFA signings.

But, now that the dust has settled, we did want to identify the NRIs and note which of them actually did make the team to have continuity with this analysis year over year.

Here’s past posts by year: 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015.

Why do we care about NRIs? Because there’s a high likelihood we’ll see these guys either make the roster or get called up later on this year. And this year is no different. Since the 2015 season (not including 2022):

  • 9 NRIs have made the 25-man roster straight out of Spring Training (and Guthrie technically made it 10 since he got called up a few days later and was always intended to be the 5th starter in 2017).  Basically every year an NRI has made the roster for six seasons running.
  • 29 NRIs eventually played for the MLB team at some point that same season they were in spring training.

So its likely that we’re going to see a lot of these NRIs at some point in the future.  Like, on average at least 4-5 of these NRIs are going to play for this team in 2022.


So, who were the NRIs this year? By position:

  • Starters: Rutledge, Cavalli, Jefry Rodriguez, Anibal Sanchez,
  • Righty Relievers: Arano, Edwards, Garrett, Weems, Ramierz
  • Lefty Relievers: Avilan, Baldonado, Cronin, Fry
  • Catchers: Hermann, Millas, Pineda, Gushue
  • Infielders: Cluff, Franco, Noll, Sanchez, Dee-gordon, Urena, Young
  • Outfielders: Parra

So, Opening day NRIs to make roster and the circumstances behind each

  • Anibal Sanchez; 3rd starter. It became clear early in spring that Strasburg wasn’t going to be ready and we needed another starter that we weren’t necessarily counting on. Several of the existing starters on the 40-man roster (Lee, Romero, Carrillo) really had no realistic shot of making a MLB roster, which left just six healthy starters on the entire 40-man roster from which to choose. Sanchez pitched here before and signed on as a MLFA with the NRI, and he ended up winning a spot easily in the rotation.
  • Victor Arano, rhp reliever. When Harris couldn’t answer the call, there was a major spot opened up in the back half of our bullpen, and Arano siezed it. Arano was a pretty adept MLFA signing; the guy has a career 159 ERA+ and dominated for the Phillies as an 8th inning guy in 2018. He outpitched a slew of RHP relievers on our 40-man to earn a spot, essentially beating out Gabe Klobotis for the spot.
  • Dee Gordon-Strange, 2B and OF. When it became clear Garcia wasn’t making the team, the middle infield situation cleared up a bit. Then, When Adrianza got hurt, it became clear the team needed another middle infielder. Gordon-Strange’s positional flexibility will likely keep him on the roster for a bit.
  • Maikel Franco, 3B. This one is pretty clear. Kieboom hurts his elbow, the team needs a 3B, and they just happened to have one on a MLFA/NRI deal.

Which of the rest of the NRIs might we see this year? Quick speculation, but i’ll bet we see at least a couple more of the RHP relievers (Edwards, Garrett), perhaps a return for Baldonado, maybe a middle infielder like Cluff, certainly Parra at some point, and then Cavalli halfway through the season.

Written by Todd Boss

April 5th, 2022 at 6:18 pm

Posted in Nats in General