Nationals Arm Race

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

2015 Season Statistical Review of the 2012 draft class


Lucas Giolito still leads the line of the Nats 2012 draft class. Photo unk via

Lucas Giolito still leads the line of the Nats 2012 draft class. Photo unk via

(Useless blog information: this is my 900th post!  And we’ve had nearly 7,500 comments on those posts; that’s fantastic.  )

The next in a series: previously we reviewed the 2015 season stats for the 2015 draft class, 2014 draft class, and the 2013 draft class.  Like with the 2013 post, this one was easier to do thanks to having done the 2012 guys back in 2013 time-frame.  Is it worth going back one or two more draft classes at this point?  Maybe not; the 2012 draft class has mostly already been Rule-5 exposed, a good benchmark for prospects to make it or break it in terms of advancement or resignation as “org guy.”  I have gone back one more class to 2011 and that’s it, so one more in this series after this.

Web links to use while reading:

  • Stats are pulled from and/or; put the player name into the search bar to get his seasonal stats
  • The MLB Draft Tracker (which I believe is the best draft tracker out there) is the best place to get draft class information.
  • The Big Board and the Draft Tracker are the goto resources for prospects for any Nats fan.
  •’s draft database for Nats 2011 class.
  • My working XLS in Google for all this data (cut-n-pasted at the bottom).
  • for really obscure stats for players, like college stats for these  upper round 30s guys.

Without further ado:

Round 1: (#16 overall) Lucas Giolito HS RH Starting pitcher: 7-7, 3.15 ERA across two levels, starting at HighA and moved up to AA.  131/37 K/BB in 117 IP (21 “starts”) with 1.96/3.18 fip, and .352/.341 babip splits between HighA/AA.  A fantastic season for the newly-turned 21-yr old, who dominated HighA before moving up and holding his own in AA for the last two months of the season.  All the pre-season talk about how he was going to have “no innings limits” was bunk; he was kept in XST until the first week of May and routinely skipped starts so as to extend him through the whole season while keeping his innings year-over-year increase just below the magical 20% mark (98 IP in 2014, 117 in 2015).  He’s now routinely named as either the best or the 2nd best (behind LA’s Julio Urias) pitching prospect in all of baseball.  Not much else to say.  I’m guessing he starts 2016 in AA, moves to AAA and may even get tapped once he surpasses the Super-2 deadline as an injury fill-in starter in the majors.  Look for him to get about 140 innings in 2016 all told (that’s 20% bump from his 2015 117 total).  Trending Up.

Round 2(80) Tony Renda, Coll Jr 2B: .267/.333/.340 in Harrisburg with 15/19 K/BB ratio and 13 SBs in a little less than a half a season in AA before he was traded to the Yankees on 6/11/15 for David Carpenter.   Renda had progressed nicely in the system as a defense and speed-first second baseman, but in the immediate seems like he was blocked by Wilmer Difo, perhaps the rising of Chris Bostick and the presence in the majors of three or four different guys who can play an adequate second base.  So the team flipped him for something they needed; reliever depth.

Round 3(111) Brett Mooneyham, Coll Jr LH starting pitcher: was 0-2 with a 6.41 ERA in 19 ineffective innings for LowA Hagerstown before the Nats finally cut the cord and released him on 6/3/15.  Mooneyham was in Low-A for the third successive season, having failed to make the cut in Potomac in each of 2013 and 2014.  You’d have to say that he’s one of the more higher-profile drafting failures of the Mike Rizzo era.  Or maybe not; the team had to go over-slot to sign Giolito and may have skimped for the rest of the draft.

Round 4: (144) Brandon Miller Coll Sr Corner OF: .226/.301/.421 in 59 games with Potomac before voluntarily retiring on 7/10/15.  Despite showing some power (he hit 20 homers in the 2013 season), he never really solved HighA and made way in the Potomac outfield for some rising DSL grads.

Round 5: (174) Spencer Kieboom, Coll Jr C: Slashed .248/.344/.346 with 30/36 K/BB in 246 ABs with Potomac, which were incremental steps back from his great low-A numbers in 2014.  He missed a good portion of the season with injury (concussion) and is currently playing in the Arizona Fall League to make up for it.  He was starting to get some notice in the organization, appearing in the tail end of top-30 prospect lists.  Despite his step back in offense, Kieboom has taken a huge step forward in terms of his defense, his play-calling and pitch-framing.  Scouting reports on him are glowing in this regard, with most projecting him at worst as a backup catcher in the bigs because of his defensive capability.  I think he starts 2016 in AA with an eye towards getting his bat back on track, and if he keeps producing he could soon be a viable alternative to the current catching tandem in the majors.  Trending up.

Round 6: (204) Hayden Jennings, HS OF/CF: Released in May 2014 after two years in the GCL with big K numbers.

Round 7(234) Robert Benincasa, Coll Jr. RH relief pitcher: Just 4 IP for Harrisburg this year until suffering a season-ending injury.  He made the AA bullpen out of spring (which is where he ended the 2014 season) and seemed to be in a decent spot but got almost no playing time.  Minor league relievers generally don’t get a lot of love from prospect hounds, but in a system where an able-bodied RHP who could throw strikes would have been nice to have in August and September, there’s still opportunity for Benincasa going forward.  Trending Steady if he’s healthy, looking at a ST2016 release if not.

Round 8: (264) Stephen Perez, Coll Jr. SS: slashed just .209/.302/.280 with 87/59 K/BB in 435 ABs between Potomac and Harrisburg.  2 homers, 16 steals.  Perez broke camp with Harrisburg but couldn’t cut it, hitting just .130 in April before getting dumped back to repeat High-A.  In 1300+ career minor league ABs he’s now hitting just .233 and doesn’t seem like he’s long for the organization.  As mentioned in this space before, the Nats drafted a ton of college middle infielders in 2015 and Perez may struggle to keep his slot given what’s expected to rise up.  Trending down.

Round 9: (294) Derek Self, Coll Sr. RH relief pitcher: 4-5, 3.56 ERA with 45/15 K/BB in 60ip.  3.71 fip, .291 BABIP in Potomac.  Broke camp as a member of the AA bullpen but got hit and was dumped back to high-A, where he spent most of the season.  This is the third straight  year he’s been in Potomac as a college senior draftee; odds are there won’t be a 4th.  He may break camp with a full season squad in 2016 but may fall victim to a numbers game once the short-season guys start pushing for promotions.  Trending down.

Round 10(324) Craig Manuel, Coll Sr C: slashed just .206/.276/.242 between three levels but mostly with Potomac.  He had just 165 ABs on the year as he served as the backup catcher in High-A.  Its his third straight season of essentially being an “old for the level” backup catcher who has struggled to hit the Mendoza Line since leaving Low-A.  Its hard to read the tea-leaves on catchers since they’re so scarce, so I won’t summarily pass judgement that Manuel’s time is about to come to an end.  He could very well be the backup catcher again in Potomac next year.  He is a local guy (born in Rockville, MD though he went to HS in Florida and college in Texas), so perhaps he enjoys playing in the DC area.  Otherwise, just based on his offensive numbers I have to say he’s Trending Down.

Round 11(354) Brian Rauh, Coll Jr RH starter/reliever: 4-7, 3.39 ERA with 84/24 K/BB ratio in 101 innings (18 starts) across *four* different levels.  2.61/4.95 fip in Potomac/Harrisburg where he spent the most time this year.  Rauh had a nice tour of the system this year, starting in High-A (he was the #2 opening day starter), getting hurt, doing some rehab in the GCL, then working his way back up the chain from Low-A to High-A to AA.  He ended the year in Harrisburg’s rotation, for what its worth.  He didn’t entirely impress at AA but had an incrementally better season in High-A.  My guess is that he starts the 2016 season in the AA rotation, but he has to show he’s worthy in AA.  Trending Steady.

Round 12(384) Carlos Lopez, Coll Sr 1B: Slashed just .138/.265/.241 in 10 games in Hagerstown before being released on 6/30/15.  This was the third straight season that Lopez featured in Hagerstown, having spent the first two months of the season in XST after getting beat out for the 1B job in the spring.  Eventually there just was no more room for Lopez, with uber prospect Jose Marmolejos-Diaz soon taking over at 1B in Hagerstown and slugging 11 homers in a half-season.

Round 13: (414) Elliott Waterman, Coll Jr LH reliever: Struggled in two Short-A stints and was released on 3/15/14 prior to the beginning of the 2014 season when he couldn’t break into a full-season bullpen.

Round 14: (444) Jordan Poole, Juco-2 corner OF: Similarly to Waterman above, Poole struggled to hit in two seasons shuttling between  Short-A and GCL, and the Nats released him on 3/14/14 when he wasn’t set to make a full season roster.

Round 15: (474) Brandon Smith, OF: Didn’t sign.  Attending Division II Grand Canyon University, where he remains today.  He hit a robust .348/.402/.478 for them this season but was not drafted as a draft-eligible junior.  Maybe the Nats take a flier on him in a late round since they love doing re-drafts on late-round HS picks.

Round 16: (504) Ronald Pena, Juco-2 RH starter/reliever: threw just four rehab innings in 2015, spending the entire season on the Potomac Disabled List.  He was coming off a season where he had a 5.96 ERA in High-A and needed 2015 to show he could make the jump.  My guess is that he’ll get another shot at being the Potomac swing-man in 2016 but he may struggle to make the squad, given the huge number of college arms pushing into the system year after year.  Trending Down.

Round 17: (534) Blake Schwartz, Coll Sr RH Starting pitcher: 0-2, 5.87 ERA in 3 Potomac starts and then he called it quits, officially retiring on 4/24/15.  Schwartz was *so good* in 2013 for Potomac (11-4, 2.65 ERA) then struggled in AA before getting hurt in 2014 and missing half the season.  I thought the retirement was surprising; maybe his 2014 injury just killed his arm and with it his career.  Too bad; he was looking like a fantastic low-round find.

Round 18: (564) David Fischer, Coll Sr RH reliever: Released on 7/3/14 after bouncing around the system for a couple of years.

Round 19: (594) Bryan Lippincott, Coll Sr 1B: Retired ahead of the 2014 season after one decent season in Short-A.

Round 20: (624) James Brooks, Coll SR SS/3B: Released May 2013; he was a senior sign who played last season mostly in the GCL, save for a 2 week stretch where he went 1-32 in Short-A.

Round 21: (654) Austin Chubb, Coll Sr C: Released ahead of the 2015 season after struggling to a .221/.299/.324 line in Hagerstown in 2014.  Signed as a MLFA with Los Angeles and bounced around their farm system this year, missing huge chunks of the season with injury.  Backup Catchers can live forever. 

Round 22: (684) Will Hudgins, Coll Sr RH reliever: Suddenly retired 7/12/13 per his Twitter account.

Round 23: (714) Casey Selsor, Coll Sr LH Starter/Reliever: Posted a 4.29 ERA in ShortA in 2014, then released on 3/20/14.

Round 24: (744) Kevin Dicharry, Coll SR RH pitcher: released 7/1/13

Round 25: (774) Freddy Avis, RHP: didn’t sign.  Attending Stanford, where in 2013 he appeared in exactly one game and pitched 2 innings before suffering a season-ending injury.  That injury never got better and he retired from baseball altogether in March of 2015.  Shame.

Round 26: (804) Skye Bolt, RHP: didn’t sign.  Attended UNC, had an excellent college career and was a 4th round pick in 2015 by the Oakland A’s.  He kind of reminds me of our 2015 pick Andrew Stevenson frankly; kind of an odd swing, defense-first speedy outfielder with limited power.

Round 27: (834) Cody Poteet, RHP: didn’t sign.  Attended UCLA and got drafted (like Bolt) in the 4th round of the 2015 draft by the Marlins.

Round 28: (864) Hunter Bailey, Coll Sr SS/2B: released May 2013.

Round 29: (894) Leonard “LJ” Hollins, Juco RH reliever: released 7/2/14 after struggling for half a season in Hagerstown.

Round 30: (924) Robert Orlan Coll Jr LH Starter: 3-1, 3.00 ERA with 85/28 K/BB ratio in 72 relief IP between LowA and HighA.  Orlan bounced between Potomac and Hagerstown all season, ending up in HighA with pretty good numbers in a “more than a loogy” role.  Especially impressive is 85 Ks in just 72 ip.  He’s older for these levels, inarguably, but could put himself in a good position by continuing to succeed in 2016.  I see him in the Potomac bullpen again with an eye towards a June promotion to AA when the short-season promotions come due.  Trending Steady.

Round 31: (954) Michael Boyden Coll Sr RH reliever: Released Jan 2014 after struggling for two years in Rookie ball as a college senior sign.

Round 32: (984) Michael Mudron, Coll Sr LH reliever: Released Jan 2014 after posting a 6.82 ERA in Short-A in 2013.

Round 33: (1014) Mike McQuillan, Coll Sr 2B/3B: Released 3/26/15 after hitting just .207 in Potomac last  year, likely losing out on a numbers game.

Round 34: Jake Jefferies, 2B: didn’t sign.  Attended Cal State Fullerton and subsequently drafted again by the Nats in the 39th round in 2015.

Round 35: Corey Bafidis, LHP: didn’t sign but Washington picked him in 2013. 

Round 36: Max Ungar, Cdidn’t sign.  Attending Division III Denison, where he did not seem to even be playing.

Round 37: Tyler Watson, LHPdidn’t sign.  Attended Kansas U for a year, then bounced to McLennan Community College in Waco, TX and and got drafted by the Angels in the 38th round of the 2014 draft.  This is *not* the same Tyler Watson, by the way, that the Nats drafted in the 2015 draft.

Round 38: Jarred Messer, RHPdidn’t sign.  Pitched the last two years with the Kansas City T-Bones in the independent American Association

Round 39: Mitchell Williams, Cdidn’t sign.  Attended the Marion Military Institute in Alabama, for which I cannot find any current stats.

Round 40: Ricky Gutierrez, CFdidn’t sign.  Presumably playing football for U-Conn, as per the Draft Tracker.


Trending Summary:

  • Trending Up (2): Giolito, Kieboom
  • Trending Steady (3): Benincasa, Rauh, Orlan
  • Trending Down (4): Perez, Self, Manuel, Pena
  • Did Not Sign in 2012 (11): Smith, Avis, Bolt, Poteet, Jefferies, Bafidis, Ungar, Watson, Messer, Williams, Gutierrez
  • Released/Retired (19): Mooneyham, Miller, Jennings, Lopez, Waterman, Poole, Schwartz, Fischer, Lippincott, Brooks, Chubb, Hudgins, Selsor, Dicharry, Bailey, Hollins, Boyden, Mudron, McQuillan
  • Traded (1): Renda

Executive Summary

Three years onward, there’s just 10 of the 40 names left active somewhere in the minors.  11 never signed and another 19 have been released or retired.  We cashed in Renda on a middle reliever who subsequently got hurt, and this class has one of the best 2 or 3 prospects in the game.  Otherwise … there’s just not much there.  It seems likely that the Nats 2012 class is going to end up producing just two MLB players; a near Ace and possibly a backup Catcher.  Maybe one of the trending steady middle relievers can make a run ala Aaron Barrett.  Otherwise, is this class a disappointment?


19 Responses to '2015 Season Statistical Review of the 2012 draft class'

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  1. More thoughts when I have a chance. In the meantime, Mr. Giolito figures prominently in the BA Nats top 10:

    Also, Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumors has created a terrific tool with the Fangraphs dashboards to show all the free agents:


    30 Oct 15 at 4:18 pm

  2. 900 posts? This officially makes you a veteran. 🙂
    Other than Mooneyham, don’t see any bad picks, and I agree that they paid way over slot for Giolito and were hamstrung for a lot of the rest of the draft.

    Mark L

    30 Oct 15 at 4:59 pm

  3. Todd – congrats on Post 900. Did you intend to get this far when you started? And are you still interested in the blog? I can only imagine that it must weigh on you from time to time, but I certainly appreciate what you do here.

    These posts are sobering, to say the least. Is there any kind of data on what’s normal for an organization on this kind of stuff? I mean, none of them look particularly impressive and it almost makes me want to revisit my impression of Rizzo’s group as good talent evaluators. I am trying to keep in mind that these years followed reasonably strong finishes, so their draft position wasn’t high, but sheesh. One thing seems to be reinforced by this analysis, and that is that Rizzo is a boom or bust guy.


    30 Oct 15 at 5:01 pm

  4. Yes, definite congrats on the 900th post! Many happy returns. This remains one of the saner places to discuss the Nats.

    As for draft 2012, someone noted on an earlier draft recap that with some teams, the GM is only heavily involved with the top pick. I’m sure Rizzo would like us to believe that with the 2012 class, but with his scouting mojo, I doubt that’s the case.

    Here we have one home run, a couple of singles, and 37 strikeouts. Wow. Not even much “contact.” Not much to quibble with at the top. Giolito still has a chance to end up as the best player overall from the draft. The only kibitz is the one I raised a draft recap or two ago: would the Nats have been better off with three seasons of Wacha already instead of waiting for Giolito? The consensus is that Giolito has a higher level of potential, though.

    I’ve never had any idea why they picked Renda in the 2d round. Even if they were trying to save money for Giolito, he still doesn’t look like a second-rounder. He reminds me a lot of Schrock, who the Nats got in the 13th round this year. Renda profiles as a utility infielder at best and got passed in the organization by Difo. He’s always had good OBP numbers and gap power and might have more of an upside if he could also play shortstop.

    Unlike Renda, Mooneyham filled out a uniform very well, and he dominated at Hagerstown in 2013 but never could get anybody out above A-. He’s one of the legion of lefty starters who just haven’t panned out.

    Miller was a college catcher with power who they tried to convert to the OF. He showed some early promise with the power but got stuck at Potomac and never progressed.

    As noted, there’s still hope for Kieboom to keep Giolito from being the only major-leaguer from this class. The hope had been that either he or Severino would prove themselves before Ramos hits free agency after next season, but the evidence isn’t there yet that either can be a MLB starter, perhaps prompting an offseason move now.

    And . . . two fair lefties in Rauh and Orlan and some lingering hope for Benincasa. Wow, that’s not much. As noted, Perez and Self are going backwards.

    I saw Schwartz once during his great season at Potomac in 2013. He pitched with great savvy (perhaps not surprising for an older guy from college), but he struck me even then as being more savvy than “stuff.”


    30 Oct 15 at 5:43 pm

  5. If we get a TOR starter and starting catcher from this draft, then it’s a success. Could have been better, but I’ll take that every time.

    Andrew R

    31 Oct 15 at 4:58 pm

  6. 900 posts. I can’t say I ever thought about where i’d “be” with the blog years onward. I definitely still like the outlet of typing out thoughts on the team, the prospects, baseball in general. I wish I had more time to devote to it … but I wish I had more time for a lot of things. I like that I can bang out a post in 30 minutes of furious typing if something pops up and I want to say something about it. If I didn’t have this, I’d be sending longwinded emails to my friends or my dad all the time (not that I don’t do that from time to time…).

    I look back thought at the earlier years and wonder how in the heck I did (say) 25 posts in a month. That’s just crazy.

    And, let me tell you, it puts in context what Luke Erickson does at NationalsProspects perfectly. He does it every single day from Apr 1 to Sept 1. Its just a matter of time before he hangs ’em up and that’ll be the second time (first being Brian and Nats Farm Authority).

    Todd Boss

    31 Oct 15 at 9:31 pm

  7. On the “sobering note” of these posts. Well, I go back to my “benchmark” for a good draft. I mean, at the end of the day for each draft class:
    – 25% don’t even sign (why not shorten the draft if everyone just takes unsignable HS picks or takes the son of some buddy as a favor?)
    – a decent percentage are basically one-season college seniors who get one short-season to make it or break it.
    – a decent percentage who are total long shots who if they survive more than a couple seasons in the system you’re happy

    so in the end, you want two or three major leaguers and you’re happy.

    I posited the question once: if the 2012 draft has just one player who ever makes it to the majors … but that one player is an All star quality guy (Giolito), is that a successful draft? I’m not sure it is, but I think others may think so.

    Todd Boss

    31 Oct 15 at 9:35 pm

  8. There are multiple problems when you have a draft that ends up weighted toward just one or two players. The margin for error is very thin, and the chances of adding depth at any level are very low. It also makes it hard to field competitive teams across the system (no teams in the whole system made the playoffs in ’15), and it is challenging to evaluate players when they’re playing on bad teams. It’s also challenging to keep young players motivated when they’re playing on bad squads.

    The irony of the 2012 draft is that the safest among the higher picks was Mooneyham, a big starter from a top program, and yet he was perhaps the biggest flame-out. The Nats weren’t honest in evaluating his talent (or lack thereof), particularly after his one good season, a point I’ll return to in a minute.

    As for the others in 2012, Gioloto was a big gamble, although perhaps worth taking down at #16. His family is well-to-do, so he didn’t need the money and made him not guaranteed to sign, and there was no guarantee that his arm issues weren’t worse than suspected (see Purke, Matthew). Renda’s, uh, shortcomings were obvious from the start. Miller was a small-college catcher for whom they were planning a position change. He had 23 HRs as a college junior, though, so perhaps it was worth gambling on his power, although perhaps not as high as the 4th round.

    But perhaps the bigger set of mistakes came when the Nats weren’t honest in their evaluations of talent vs. shortcomings a year or so after the draft. In 2013, Miller hit 22 HRs . . . but struck out 171 times. Mooneyham dominated at Hagerstown and likely had some good trade value, and had already showed some issues in getting rocked at Potomac. Schwartz had a terrific 2013 at Potomac. All of these guys had trade value at that time, but the Nats sat on them.

    A team has to be honest with itself about what it has in each player. The Nats made great hay in flipping Alex Meyer and Robbie Ray. But they sat on Brian Goodwin when he was the system’s consensus #2 prospect, even though he was already showing that he couldn’t play CF and that he might struggle developing power. Did they cling too hard to A. J. Cole? It’s starting to look like it. Heck, they had gold in Rey Lopez last offseason but believed their own hype. Let’s hope they’re right about him.

    This offseason, Fedde is still placing high on the prospect charts. He would get my vote as most likely to be overvalued and worth considering as trade material. The hype train is also running on Robles. The $64M question on him is power. If he develops it, he’s a five-tool monster. If he doesn’t, he’s Matt den Dekker . . . or Brian Goodwin. Right now, his trade stock value is as a five-tool monster. He’s the kind of player who could grease a deal for a Chapman or a Kimbrel. If you hang onto to him, you had better be right.

    A mitigating circumstance with Robles, though, is that as of now, the Nats may not have much choice but to hang onto to him and hope. What other legit power/OF hopes do they have in the system? The warranty is up on Werth in two years and Harper in three. There’s more promise in Robles right now than there is in Wiseman, but the sample on both hasn’t even progressed beyond Auburn.


    1 Nov 15 at 5:55 am

  9. KW good points throughout. Can’t disagree. Its an interesting question; the difference between holding onto a guy to develop him for yourself versus flipping him for something else.

    Todd Boss

    1 Nov 15 at 8:47 am

  10. If you knew you were going to get an all star guy every draft, I’d be fine if the rest washed out. But you never know that, and it seems like they usually only draft one or two guys whose ceiling is all star, and the rest have ceilings as role players. It doesn’t appear that is working well and, as KW said, is a very high risk strategy.

    Even though he didn’t pan out, I liked the profile of the Miller pick – what looked like a strong college bat that you hope both holds its form as he makes his way up the ranks, and that you find a position for him. I’d say let’s see 5 of those per year. The Astros seem to be having success with that type of guy.

    The Nats system often seems a reflection of their individual draft approach – a top heavy system that grades out acceptably overall but is dependent on 2-3 guys to carry much of the water. It works fine if you can keep finding those 2-3 budding all stars but it makes us fans kind of nervous when we try to look ahead.


    1 Nov 15 at 11:48 am

  11. “But perhaps the bigger set of mistakes came when the Nats weren’t honest in their evaluations of talent vs. shortcomings a year or so after the draft.”

    KW, much of your overall comment I do agree with in the difficulty of sorting wheat from chaff in a draft class. I would change the word from “honest” to “correct” however. It makes the same point without the same judgmental overtone. IMHO.

    Any of these draft evaluations suffers from the lack of an industry standard to compare it to. The only drafts from other teams that we ever hear about are the very occasional wildly successful (4-5 guys) in one class. The vast majority of draft picks never make it to the big leagues, much less make an impact there. Perhaps I’ll have a go at this after I retire, when I have a bit more free time. Sadly, that isn’t an imminent prospect

    John C.

    1 Nov 15 at 12:01 pm

  12. I recently saw a question on that was along the lines of the following: “how many players enter pro baseball per year, with breakdown of HS/juco/college/intl, and how many make it to the majors.”

    Wow, that’s like a research project of 5 entire draft and IFA classes. Would love to see it; wonder if someone’s done it.

    Todd Boss

    1 Nov 15 at 12:47 pm

  13. Tangent: Jon Heyman’s friday column brought up an old trade rumor that I had forgotten about.

    Nats apparently were willing to give up Zimmermann, Storen, Espinosa and Norris. And sign him to a 9-figure deal. Holy cow would our fortunes as an organization be different if that deal had gone through.

    Todd Boss

    1 Nov 15 at 12:51 pm

  14. Of course, other sources (Boswell notably among them) have strongly disputed that the deal was ever all of those players for Greinke. Boswell’s take was that all of those players were part of the picture/discussion, but that there was never the “Royals get to choose any three or four that they want of all of these” kind of deal on the table.

    John C.

    1 Nov 15 at 5:54 pm

  15. This deal would have been in post 2010 season, right? In 2010 Zimmermann had just come back from TJ surgery, Storen had just matriculated to the majors after a quick rise through the minors, Espinosa had just had his debut season after a fast rise through the minors but struggled at the plate, and Norris would have just finished a High-A season where he had hit .235 but was injured and showed promise.

    So … at the time, was that an appropriate “haul” for a guy who had a Cy Young on his resume? Emphasizing *at the time* … yeah I think you could argue and say yeah that’s an ok haul. Three MLB-ready players; a starter coming off injury, a reliever and a backup shortstop plus an a-ball lottery ticket.

    I could see that as the deal. At the time. Maybe indeed it was three of those guys instead of four (say, Zimmermann, Storen and Norris make sense)

    Todd Boss

    1 Nov 15 at 7:36 pm

  16. Good discussion. For the record, I’m not pro-trade over player development. A good organization has to do both. The best organizations read their own players very well and sell high, before a player’s faults overwhelm him.

    It is easier to go through and rate a team’s drafts than it is its player development. The two are linked, obviously, and on many points hard to separate. For example – and leaving out Harper and Rendon, who were high picks because they already had an advanced approach at the plate – the Nats have a track record of developing hitters with extraordinarily high K rates: Taylor, Souza, Skole, Moore, Espinosa, etc., etc., all the way back to Desmond. There’s a lot of chicken vs. egg in this equation, though, as they were high K guys when they were drafted. The organization tends to draft them, with Wiseman as the latest example. But there also isn’t much evidence that the Nats have been able to do much to fix this issue once the players are in the system.

    Since he just got mentioned in the Greinke posts, the prototypical Moneyball hitter the Nats had was Derek Norris, who, almost stereotypically, got sent to the A’s (and apparently was valued by the high-contact Royals, who built a world champion largely on that contact). The A’s, meanwhile, wooed the Nats into taking a toolsy, high-K guy off their hands in another trade in Corey Brown. (The Nats got a big-armed, no control pitcher the same deal, Henry Rodriguez.)


    2 Nov 15 at 5:21 am

  17. And happy official start to the offseason. QOs have to be made by 5 p.m. Friday. In one bit of Nats-related news, the Padres have re-signed pitching coach Darren Balsley, who worked with Bud Black for many seasons and had been a possibility to move across the country with him.


    2 Nov 15 at 12:52 pm

  18. I always do a post-season calendar; havn’t gotten to it but now’s the time. Its kind of a pain in the ass though to find all the dates for all the events.

    Todd Boss

    2 Nov 15 at 3:27 pm

  19. KW

    3 Nov 15 at 5:02 am

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