2006-01-13T14:40:39.986-05:00Nationals Farm Authority is changing their digs. Future postings will be found over at DCSportsNet [http://www.farmauthority.dcsportsnet.com/] (Thanks, Yuda). I've already migrated all previous postings over there. See you on the other side.
2006-01-13T14:25:44.726-05:00Over the past couple of days, the Nationals have filled out both their major and minor league coaching staffs. At the major league level, the Nationals named Mitchell Page their hitting coach. Page is a good news story for the Nationals. He left the St Louis Cardinals after their 2004 World Series season to face a drinking problem. He spent the 2005 season getting his life back in order while serving as the Nationals' minor league hitting instructor. What was clear is that he didn't lose his ability to help hitters discover (or re-discover) their hitting stroke, as demonstrated by Marlon Byrd's turnaround after a month with Page in New Orleans. It's great to see Page get back to doing what he does best. Additionally, the Nationals named Davey Lopes their 1st base coach, replacing Don Buford, and Tony Beasley their 3rd base coach, replacing Dave Huppert. Lopes has major league experience as both an All-Star player with the Dodgers and also as a manger with the Milwaukee Brewers (144-195 in a little more than two seasons, 2000-02). Lopes will hopefully be able to translate his baserunning ability into lessons for the Nationals who were abyssmal on the bases in 2005 (45/90 in SB attempts; last place in SB while 1st place in CS). Beasley is coming off of five successful seasons managing in the Pirates organization (372-258) helping to develop Pirates prospects such as Ryan Doumit, Zach Duke, Ian Snell, Bryan Bullington, Brad Eldred, and Chris Shelton. Beasley's minor league resume is putting him on track for a major league managing position in the not too distant future. The Nats also re-arranged their minor league coaching staff. In 2006, look for the following (2005 job in parentheses; new coaches in bold): New Orleans Manager - Tim Foli Pitching Coach - Steve McCatty Hitting Coach - Rick Eckstein (Vermont) Harrisburg Manager - John Stearns Pitching Coach - Rick Tomlin Hitting Coach - Mike Hart (New Orleans) Potomac Manager - Randy Knorr (Savannah) Pitching Coach - Charlie Corbell (New Orleans) Hitting Coach - Troy Gingrich Savannah Manager - Bobby Williams (Vermont) Pitching Coach -Terry Clark Hitting Coach - Jerry Browne Vermont Manager - Edgar Caceres Pitching Coach - Mark Grater (Savannah) Hitting Coach - Tony Tarasco Gulf Coast League Manager - Bobby Henley (Savannah) Pitching Coach - Franklyn Bravo Hitting Coach - Jason Camilli[...]
2006-01-09T15:23:30.080-05:00A common sentiment among the writers covering the Nationals is the prospect of Brandon Watson playin CF and leading off for the Nats in 2006. Back in September, I ranked Watson as my #1 hitting prospect from the New Orleans Zephyrs. I said: The 23 year old finished 355/400/419 in 88 games in New Orleans. His appearance at #1 is more a function of the fact that the Nationals lack major league prospects at the Triple-A level. I have written about Watson before. His 355 BA was buoyed almost entirely by singles (113/132 hits) and he does not draw a large number of walks (28BB in 372AB). He also needs to become more selective stealing bases as 31/44 is not the greatest SB %. If Watson can continue to hit the ball on the ground, learn to take a walk and use his speed, I believe he has the ability to be a serviceable leadoff hitting CF.The one think I neglected to mention was how hitting in the Pacific Coast League artificially inflated his numbers. Thanks to a posting over as John Sickels' Minor League Ball (a great site for anyone interested in intelligent discussions of anything minors), I can now compare Watson to the average player in the PCL. Average PCL player (BA/OBP/SLG/OPS): 278/350/442/792 Brandon Watson: 355/400/419/819 While Watson's OPS is an impressive 819, it is only 3.5% higher than the average player in the PCL. Additionally, you need to take into account the park factors of New Orleans (from 2003-2005): R: 0.83; H: 0.96; 2B: 1.15; HR: 0.69; BB: 1.04; K: 1.21 While New Orleans is a relatively neutral park for overall hitting, the difficulty in hitting HRs makes it most certainly a singles/doubles park. This shows me that much of the initial value of Watson's statistics are, in a large part, league and park influenced. Therefore, any direct correlation between inflated AAA numbers and expecations of major league success need to be tempered. UPDATE: I referred to the latest edition of Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster (TBF). TBF lists Major League Equivalents (MLEs) in order to reflect how a player's previous performance might look in the majors. MLEs normalize the variances introduced by park/league factors. Watson's 2005 stat line with the Zephyrs would look like this in the majors: AB: 518 R: 61 H: 141 2B: 15 3B: 2 HR: 1 RBI: 23 BB: 26 K: 43 SB: 28 CS: 21 BA: 272 OBP: 307 SLG: 313 OPS: 620 Needless to say, the value of his AAA numbers are definitely diminished when you attempt to extrapolate it to major league equivalents. His lack of BB is pronounced with an OBP of 307, not exactly what you would be looking for out of a leadoff hitter (think more an OBP of 350). Additionally, the speed he brings comes at a cost, 28/49 in SB attempts means he is running the team out of a potential run 43% of the time. All this being said, Watson is worth a look in the spring but thoughts of Endy Chavez v2.0 may not be that far out of line. Let's hope he learns better than Endy did.[...]
2006-01-05T11:06:27.096-05:00Baseball America has an update of the Nationals' minor league transactions. Of note: Re-signed 1B Richard Lane, OFs Jesus Feliciano and Ender Chavez, SS Marco Yepez, RHPs David Gil, Billy Sylvester and Rabell Rivera (Update: Rabell Rivera is actually Saul Rivera) Lane: the 26-year old 1B finished his 7th season in the Nationals organization splitting his time between the GCL Nationals (391/442/391), Savannah Sand Gnats (389/452/639), and Harrisburg Senators (227/348/328). This was his 3rd straight season no higher than Double-A ball, he's an organizational player.Feliciano: the 26-year old OF was signed in 2005 as a minor league free agent from Tampa Bay. He played the whole season in Harrisburg (280/315/351) where he was 10/16 in SB attempts. Another organizational player.Chavez: the 24-year old OF finished his second straight season in High-A ball, Potomac in 2005 where he batted 251/325/318 with 10/23 in SB attempts. Going on 25 and never a day above High-A ball, he's around just to fill out minor league rosters.Yepez: the 24-year old SS spent the season in Potomac (270/345/365). He's probably best served as a utility IF, though making the majors is a longshot at this point.Gil: the 27-year old RP spent his first season with the Nationals organization splitting his time between Harrisburg (32.2IP 1.13WHIP 8K/9IP 2.5BB/9IP 0.6HR/9IP) and New Orleans (38IP 1.21WHIP 6.9K/9IP 2.8BB/9IP 1HR/9IP). His peripheral numbers are intriguing and he could be a RH RP option that the Nats will turn to when needed.Sylvester: the 29-year old RP spent his first season with the Nationals organization in Harrisburg (41.1IP 1.67WHIP 11.3K/9IP 6.3BB/9IP 1.7HR/9IP). He's an organizational RP in 2006.Rivera: Rivera is a 28-year old RH RP who spent his second straight season with the Nationals in Harrisburg (76.2IP 1.20WHIP 8.2K/9IP 2.4BB/9IP 0.4HR/9IP). Rivera should ideally start the season in New Orleans, and along with Gil be considered a replacement bullpen option if there are any injuries to guys like Majewski, Ayala, or Bergmann.Signed CA Brandon Harper, OF Michael Vento, SS Tony Medrano, LHP Jacobo Meque and RHP Anastacio Martinez.Harper: Here's what I said back on 12/13 ... "the 29-year old has played the last two seasons at AAA with the Detroit Tigers. In 102 games, he batted (roughly) 235/325/350 with 9HR 41 RBI and 46/34 K/BB ratio. He's probably destined for New Orleans if he sticks with the Nationals. As the youngest of the bunch, his age is an asset." It's interesting that only Harper made BBA's transaction list and not any of the other three CA options (Gonzalez, Castillo, or DiFelice).Vento: the 27-year old RH OF finally made the majors in 2005 with the Yankees (2G 2AB 0H). He spent the majority of the last 2.5 seasons in Triple-A Columbus (2003: 304/363/473; 2004: 275/333/441; 2005: 291/365/445). He demonstrated an adequate K/BB ratio of 209/97. He's probably destined for a full season with New OrlenasMedrano: the 31-year old SS spent his 2005 season with Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre (221/281/286). An organizational player if there ever was one.Meque: the 22-year old LH SP/RP spent the past two seasons in the Reds organization (2005: 49.1IP 1.64WHIP 8.4K/9IP 6.6BB/9IP 0.7HR/9IP). I'm guessing the Nationals are simply gambling on a young arm. He should begin the season in Savannah.Martinez: the 25-year old RHP RP has spent practically his entire career in the Red Sox organization (actually earning a World Series ring in 2004 for 10.2 uninspiring IP). In 58.2IP in 2005, primarily in relief, he put up 1.72WHIP, 7.1K/9IP, 4.1BB/9IP, and 0.6HR/9IP. His 2006 will likely be spent in New Orleans.Additionally, the Nationals lost two minor league pitchers from 2005, RH SP Chad Durbin signed with the Detroit Tigers and LH SP Matt White signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. Neither were anything more than AAAA SPs at this point in their careers, but that is an area that Nationals most certainly need to improve entering 2006.[...]
2005-12-29T08:48:15.646-05:00Liga Venezolana de Beisbol Profesional
Liga Mexicana del Pacifico
Liga de Beisbol Dominicano
Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico
2005-12-27T08:30:23.166-05:00Liga Venezolana de Beisbol Profesional Leones de Caracas: Marco Yepez 3B - 1/3 1K [12/12]Leones de Caracas: Marco Yepez 3B - 0/2 1K [12/19]Leones de Caracas: Marco Yepez PH/1B - 0/1 1BB [12/23] Navegantes de Magallanes: Alex Escobar PH/DH - 0/0 1BB [12/18]Navegantes de Magallanes: Alex Escobar RF - 2/3 2R 3RBI 1BB 1HR [12/19]Navegantes de Magallanes: Alex Escobar RF - 1/3 1R 1K [12/20]Navegantes de Magallanes: Alex Escobar LF - 1/3 [12/23]Pastora de los Llanos: Frank Diaz CF - 2/5 1R 2RBI 1BB 1K 1HR [12/12] Pastora de los Llanos: Frank Diaz CF - 2/5 1R 1K double [12/14] Pastora de los Llanos: Frank Diaz CF - 1/3 1R 1RBI 2BB double [12/15] Pastora de los Llanos: Frank Diaz CF - 1/4 1K [12/17]Pastora de los Llanos: Frank Diaz CF - 1/4 1R 2RBI 1HR 2K [12/18] Pastora de los Llanos: Frank Diaz CF - 1/4 1K [12/19] Pastora de los Llanos: Frank Diaz CF - 3/5 2R 5RBI 2doubles 1HR [12/22] Pastora de los Llanos: Jason Stevenson SP - 5.2IP 2H 0R 3BB 3K; Win [12/12] Pastora de los Llanos: Mayque Quintero SP - 3IP 3H 1R(1ER) 1BB 3K [12/12] Pastora de los Llanos: Jacobo Sequea RP - 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K [12/14]Pastora de los Llanos: Jacobo Sequea RP - 0.1IP 1H 0R 0BB 0K [12/15]Tiburones de la Guaira: Larry Broadway 1B - 0/4 1K [12/12]Tiburones de la Guaira: Larry Broadway 1B - 2/5 1R 2RBI 1K double 1E [12/13]Tiburones de la Guaira: Larry Broadway 1B - 1/2 1R 1RBI 2BB 1K double [12/15]Tiburones de la Guaira: Larry Broadway DH - 0/3 1BB 2K [12/16]Tiburones de la Guaira: Larry Broadway DH - 1/3 2K [12/18]Tiburones de la Guaira: Larry Broadway 1B - 3/4 2RBI [12/20]Tiburones de la Guaira: Larry Broadway 1B - 1/2 2BB 1K [12/22]Tiburones de la Guaira: Larry Broadway 1B - 2/5 1K [12/23]Tiburones de la Guaira: Wiki Gonzalez CA - 2/3 1BB [12/12]Tiburones de la Guaira: Wiki Gonzalez CA - 1/4 1R [12/13]Tiburones de la Guaira: Wiki Gonzalez CA - 2/3 2RBI [12/15]Tiburones de la Guaira: Wiki Gonzalez CA - 0/4 1K 1PB [12/16]Tiburones de la Guaira: Wiki Gonzalez CA - 1/3 1K 1E [12/18]Tiburones de la Guaira: Wiki Gonzalez CA - 0/3 1BB 1PB [12/19]Tiburones de la Guaira: Wiki Gonzalez CA - 0/3 1BB [12/20]Tiburones de la Guaira: Wiki Gonzalez CA - 0/2 1RBI [12/22]Tiburones de la Guaira: Wiki Gonzalez CA - 0/3 1BB 1K [12/23]Tigres de Aragua: Ramon Castro PH/3B - 0/3 3K [12/12]Tigres de Aragua: Ramon Castro 3B - 0/1 1R 3BB [12/15] Tigres de Aragua: Ramon Castro 3B - 0/4 1R 1K [12/17] Tigres de Aragua: Ramon Castro 3B - 0/1 [12/18] No games on 12/24 and 12/25Boxscores from 12/26 pendingLiga Mexicana del Pacifico no Nationals playedLiga de Beisbol Dominicano Aguilas Cibaenas: Bernie Castro 2B - 2/4 1RBI [12/12]Aguilas Cibaenas: Bernie Castro 2B - 1/4 2R 1BB 1K [12/13] Aguilas Cibaenas: Bernie Castro 2B - 2/5 2RBI [12/15] Aguilas Cibaenas: Bernie Castro 2B/LF - 1/5 1R 1E [12/16] Aguilas Cibaenas: Bernie Castro 2B - 1/5 1R triple [12/17] Aguilas Cibaenas: Bernie Castro 2B - 2/4 1BB [12/18]Aguilas Cibaenas: Bernie Castro 2B - 2/5 2R double [12/20] Aguilas Cibaenas: Bernie Castro 2B - 0/2 2BB 1K [12/21]Aguilas Cibaenas: Bernie Castro 2B - 2/4 1R 1RBI 1BB triple [12/26] Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico Website inaccesible[...]
2005-12-24T08:16:32.490-05:00Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Happy Kwanzaa. Thank you for reading and enjoy the holidays.
2005-12-21T15:09:16.006-05:00Everyone's favorite utility infielder, Jamey Carroll, was tendered a contract by the Nationals late last night. The first word is that it is for $600k - a nice little raise for a guy who played hard and did whatever he was asked all of last year. It is a near certainty that both Carroll and Brendan Harris will not fit into the opening day roster. As it pertains to last night's deadline to tender contracts, Junior Spivey was not extended a contract offer and TJ Tucker (still recovering from Tommy John surgery) and Alex Escobar (still recovering from a foot injury) both agreed to minor league deals. These moves take all three players off of the 40-man roster. Tony Armas, Jr. has yet to come to terms with the Nationals and has until January 8th to do so. He is reportedly also in negotiations with the Rockies. If the Nationals are unable to sign any other free agent pitchers, it is most likely that Armas and Ryan Drese would compete with Jon Rauch, Darrell Rasner, and maybe even Josh Karp for the final two spots in the starting rotation.
2005-12-21T15:27:24.286-05:00As expected, the Nationals non-tendered 2B Junior Spivey and IF Rick Short last night along with RP T.J. Tucker and OF Alex Escobar. Today, the Nationals re-signed Tucker and Escobar to minor league deals. In signing the minor league deals, the Nationals freed up two spots on their 40-man roster (the Nationals are presently at 36/40). Tucker's re-signing is a good gamble. He is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery completed in late June 2005. Prior to his injury, Tucker was a serviceable RH RP out of the bullpen. In his five years with the Nationals/Expos, he threw 228.67 IP with a 4.57ERA, 1.47WHIP, 5.5K/9IP, 2.9BB/9ip, and 1.1HR/9IP. Given a typical recovery period, Tucker should be expected back on the mound in mid to late July. Escobar's re-signing feels more like a move to validate his acquisition. Escobar was acquired from the Chicago White Sox by Jim Bowden in February of 2005 in exchange for minor league OF Jerry Owens. Escobar was once a highly touted prospect who has never lived up to the hype. Bowden coveted Escobar when he was GM in Cincinnati, nearly acquiring him in a deal with Mets involving Barry Larkin. Bowden finally got his wish acquiring him early in the spring for an underperforming minor league OF. At the time, Owens was a 23-year old who played the entire season with low-A Savannah (292/365/349). Once the trade was completed, everything went sour for Escobar who injured his foot and missed the 2005 season while Owens had a breakout season with AA Birmingham, batting 331/393/406, earning him a spot on the White Sox 40-man roster. The Nationals can only hope that 27-year old Escobar captures a fraction of his hype and becomes a #4/5 OF in the majors. But odds are he's settled into the role of yet another organizational player, something of which the Nationals are flush.
2005-12-19T09:15:26.400-05:00The Nationals lost three players from their organization this weekend: Marlins signed outfielder Matt Cepicky to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training. Cepicky was getting old and would have at best been a 5th outfielder. He may actually make the Marlins' cut with all the minor leaguers they'll be running out there next year. Rockies acquired outfielder Doc Brooks from the Nationals as the player to be named in the July 13 trade for Preston Wilson. He's getting ready to turn 26 and was still playing in A ball. No loss. And last, but certainly not least: Rick Short intends to play for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan next season. I think we may all be Golden Eagle fans next year because our own Crash Davis story was loved by almost all Nationals fans. He'd make a great RH PH off the bench and can fill in serviceably at most IF positions. Oh well, it's too late now.
2005-12-17T13:26:48.026-05:00As regular readers of this site will know, the Washington Nationals farm system is one of the five worst in major league baseball. Nevertheless, they're still our guys and we here at Nationals Farm Authority try to keep you updated on anyone who might even be close to up-and-coming. To assist in getting the big picture, I've created an organizational big board that you'll be able to get to at any time from the link on the right. It's a bit messy for now as we transition to the next season. We have a lot of relievers who are really only low-A quality pitchers at this time and thus there are too many players at the lower levels. As more moves are made (e.g. losing any 6-year minor league free agents) and as soon as rosters begin getting finalized in the spring, the big board will get clearer. Edit: Here's the Big Board
2005-12-13T12:15:23.616-05:00The Nationals re-signed LH RP Joey Eischen and signed CI/OF Robert Fick (who can also serve as an emergency catcher) to one-year deals. Additionally, it appears the Nationals may have solved the problem of who is going to serve as a backup catcher to Brian Schneider by signing a slew of catchers to minor league contracts with invitations to Spring Training. Joining the Nats in Viera will be Wiki Gonzalez, Mike DiFelice, Alberto Castillo and Brandon Harper. I assume the hope is to find one guy (preferably a RH hitter) to serve as the back up out of a cast of six [in my order of most to least likely]: Wiki Gonzalez (baseball-reference/thebaseballcube): The 31-year old has spent six season in the majors, most of which was with SD (he spent 2005 in SEA). He probably has the best bat of the bunch (240/312/362) 17HR in 801 career AB. And his glove is solid enough for a guy who will likely play 30-40 games in 2006 (990 FldPct; 24E in 242 career games; 22PB). He prides himself on calling good games and handling a pitching staff. He's a favorite for the backup spot in 2006.Alberto Castillo (baseball-reference/thebaseballcube): The 35-year old has spent parts of 11 seasons in the majors for seven different teams (NYM, TOR, STL, NYY, SF, KC, and OAK). Another servicable backup catcher, (222/295/296) and 990 career fielding percentage (23E in 398 career games) and 20 career PB. He, along with Gonzalez, are the favorites to backup Schneider. The odd man out may end up as the starter at New Orleans.Mike DiFelice (baseball-reference/thebaseballcube): The 36-year old spent parts of 10 seasons with seven different teams (STL, TB, AZ, KC, DET, CHC, and NYM). He's the dictionary definition of a backup catcher, little stick (career 238/288/359) with 28HR in 1,473AB and an adequate glove, 989 Fld Pct (36E in 495 career games). A few too many PB (50 in his career) which may conjure up images of Gary Bennett. My guess is he doesn't stick with the Nationals.Brandon Harper (thebaseballcube): The 29-year old has played the last two seasons at AAA with the Detroit Tigers. In 102 games, he batted (roughly) 235/325/350 with 9HR 41 RBI and 46/34 K/BB ratio. He's probably destined for New Orleans if he sticks with the Nationals. As the youngest of the bunch, his age is an asset.Hector Ortiz (baseball-reference/thebaseballcube): The 32-year old has limited major league experience (KC and TEX), 91G 5E 990FldPct. He has a bit more of a bat than Castillo, 288/339/358. He spent the 2005 with New Orleans (248/286/283) in 74 games. If he was going to be the choice, I'm guessing he would have got a call in September over Keith Osik. He's probably one of the odd men out of the Nats plans.Craig Kuzmic (thebaseballcube): The 28-year old split his first year with Washington between Harrisburg (236/366/439) and New Orleans (262/355/434). He had a combined 89/51 K/BB ratio between the two levels. Unless he demonstrates something in the spring, he may be released rather than return to New Orleans for a second year.[...]
2005-12-13T09:23:26.480-05:00Frequent poster over at Yuda's Gameday, Scott, will be joining me here at the Nationals Farm Authority. Scott's initial responsibility will be to put together a Big Board for the Nats (hat tip to USS Mariner for the idea/formatting). Welcome, Scott.
2005-12-13T08:38:48.483-05:00Not only have I been otherwise occupied, but the various league websites are not as prompt with their daily updates. Liga Venezolana de Beisbol Profesional
Liga de Beisbol Dominicano
2005-12-09T08:40:13.673-05:00The Alfonso Soriano trade did not become official prior to the Rule 5 Draft yesterday, so the Nationals had a full 40-man roster. Therefore, they did not select anyone in the major league portion of the Rule 5 Draft. However, they did lose one person, RH RP Chris Booker, to the Philadelphia Phillies (through the Detroit Tigers). Booker did not play in the Nationals farm system in 2005, he was signed as a minor league free agent from the Reds at the end of the 2005 season. In 65IP in Triple-A, he had a 2.49 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 12.6 K/9IP, 3.9 BB/9IP, and 0.3 HR/9IP. He's another of the many faceless RH RP and the $50,000 payment from Philadelphia is probably better. In the Triple-A portion of the draft selected mostly organizational-type players. The rules for the Triple/Double-A portions of the draft are different. The players have no requirement to remain at any level so expect the following three guys to be shuttled back forth when necessary in 2006:
The Nationals did not participate in the Double-A portion of the draft.
2005-12-09T07:47:07.453-05:00Liga Venezolana de Beisbol Profesional
Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico
2005-12-08T10:05:24.093-05:00Today is the MLB Rule 5 draft. Here is a quick explanation of the Rule 5 Draft: A player not on a team's Major League 40-man roster is eligible for the Rule 5 draft if: the player was 18 or younger when he first signed a pro contract and this is the fourth Rule 5 draft since he signed, OR if he was 19 or older when he first signed a pro contract and this is the third Rule 5 draft since he signed. A player drafted onto a Major League roster in the Rule 5 draft must remain in the majors (on the 25-man active roster or the DL) for all of the subsequent season, or the drafting club must attempt to return him to his original club. However, since a returned Rule 5 player must first be placed on outright waivers, a third club could claim the player off waivers. But of course, that club would then also have to keep him in the majors all season, or offer him back to his original club. Occasionally, the drafting club will work out a trade with the player's original team, allowing the drafting club to retain the player but send him to the minors. I'm not going to be able to improve on the reviews you will find at Baseball Analysts or Baseball America or Rotoworld. But I wanted to throw out a few names that may be of interest to the Nationals: Steve Andrade - 28-year old RH RP from the Blue Jays who had a 71/16 K/BB ratio in 50.2IP in Double-A. He may be superfluous with Bergman and Majewski, but he's a quality RHP.Jarred Ball - 22-year old CF from the D-Backs. 253/377/363 with 39SB in Double-A. With the trade of Brad Wilkerson and the apparent lack of faith in Ryan Church, he is worth consideration.Gregor Blanco - 22-year old CF from the Braves. 252/367/386 with 28SB in Double-A. Same reason as above.Fabio Castro - 21-year old LH RP from the White Sox who had a 75/37 K/BB ratio in 79IP in High-A. Rumor has it that the Royals will grab him at #1 and trade him to Philadelphia.Matt Chico - 22-year old LH SP from the D-Backs. Had a down 2005 but still put up 137/54 K/BB in 162IP split between Double-A and High-A. He could be an intriguing option as a candidate for the #5 spot in the rotation.Chris Cooper - 27-year old LH RP from the Indians. 75/21 K/BB in 72IP between Double-A and Triple-A. An interesting LH option out of the pen.Ben Francisco - 24-year old CF from the Indians. 307/357/474 in Double-A. Another Wlikerson replacement option.Kevin Howard - 25-year old 2B/3B from the Reds. 296/346/428 in Double-A; also led Arizona Fall League in hitting. The only Bowden guy from Cincy I'd think about though the last thing the Nats need is yet another 2B.JD Martin - 23-year old RH SP from the Indians. 63/8 K/BB ratio in 56.2IP in Double-A before undergoing Tommy John surgery. He may be worth grabbing and storing on the 60-day DL.Mike Megrew - 22-year old LH SP from the Dodgers. Underwent Tommy John surgery in 2004. If he's recovered he's worth consideration potentially as a LH specialist out of the pen in 2006 with designs to return to starting later.Rafael Rodriguez - 21-year old RH SP from the Angels. 118/60 K/BB in 146.1IP in Low/High-A ball. It might be rushing him to the majors but he could be a RH specialist in 2006 with designs to return to starting later.Davis Romero - 23-year old LH SP from the Blue Jays. 136/34 K/BB in 124.2IP in High-A. A definite gamble but worth the look.Vince Sinisi - 24-year old corner OF from the Rangers. Rehabbing from 2004 broken arm by hitting 363/438/600 in High-A and 258/300/343 in Double-A in 2005. A toolsy OF in the positive sense.And here are some other guys from Jim Bowden's tenure in Cincinnati, which means they are also candidates (a la Tony Blanco from 2004):Chris Dic[...]
2005-12-08T07:28:02.640-05:00I know I'm late to the party. The usual suspects have the breakdown of the deal sending Brad Wilkerson, Terrmel Sledge, and Armando Galarraga to the Rangers for Alfonso Soriano. My take? I don't like it, but I don't hate it as much as many do. I agree with Chris that Brad Wilkerson was done in DC. For whatever reason, he had lost the faith of the man making the decisions (Bowden). Sledge is coming off of a severe hamstring injury so his inclusion is not the end of the world. If the deal were Wilkerson, Sledge, and organizational pitcher, someone like Jason Stevenson or Chris Schroder, I would have been marginally in favor of the deal. Soriano, even at the near $10M he may command in arbitration is not the end of the world, provided that either (a) he doesn't mind shifting to the OF (preferably LF); or (b) there is a deal in the works where either Soriano or Jose Vidro is moved for pitching. The problem I have with it is the inclusion of Armando Galarraga. I highlighted Galarraga's recovery from Tommy John surgery back in July. The Nationals ran into a huge problem late last year when they ran out of starting pitchers at the major league level. As of today, the Nationals starting rotation is: Livan HernandezJohn PattersonBrian LawrenceRyan Drese (assuming he's recovered from surgery)???I thought that Galarraga would have had a really solid opportunity to give Darrell Rasner and whatever reclamation project Bowden went after in a battle for the #5 spot in the rotation. One of the few things I got from my reading of Scout's Honor that I could not agree with more ... a team needs to have replacement value players available to them in the minor leagues for both themselves and trades. Well, the Nats didn't (and still don't have either). Trading a prospect ranked #5 by Baseball America (#4 in my opinion) from a farm system as troubled as the Nationals is not the wisest move for the long term health of the organization. Listen, I'm a fan but I realize that the Nationals are not going to compete for a World Series any time soon. And trading away what limited depth exists in the minor leagues does nothing for the Nationals' rebuilding process in their player development system.Let's hope there is another mover (or two) in the pipeline turning the Nationals' overabundance of middle infielders (specifically 2B) into pieces needed to re-establish a viable farm system.[...]
2005-12-06T12:21:58.350-05:00Liga Venezolana de Beisbol Profesional
2005-12-05T13:23:47.543-05:00MiLB.com finally gets around to the Nationals organizational report. Long story short. There is some talent there and with an owner in place, the Nationals should be able to hang onto them long term. My perspective, there is a long road to restoring the luster to a farm system that was at one time an endless stream of impressive players.
2005-12-05T13:16:06.010-05:00Liga Venezolana de Beisbol Profesional
2005-12-04T15:33:13.020-05:00I just finished reading Bill Shanks' book, Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way to Build a Winning Team. Touted as a as the defense of traditional scouting, a counterpoint to Michael Lewis' book Moneyball, Shanks' book was poorly crafted and disappointing. Instead of providing the reader with insight into the methodology behind the incredible success of the Atlanta Braves and their remarkable player development, Shanks spends 346 pages providing anecdotes about players in the Braves system (players/management/scouts) repeatedly using the word "makeup" without explaining it. There was only a few nuggets of value I found in the book. First, in trades, the Braves are inclined to ask for the inclusion of some sort of minor league pitcher (regardless of value). The thought is to focus on quality from quantity. Second, how Braves Executive VP and GM John Schuerholz was influenced by his first bosses, Harry Dalton and Lou Gorman. Gorman explains that the two aspects of scouting a player, things you can/cannot see with the eye. More specifically: Things you can see with your eyesPitchers: arm strength, fastball, curve ball, slidder, other pitch, and controlInfielders/Outfielders: arm strength, use of arm, speed, quickness, agility, hands, fielding, range, hitting and powerCatchers: arm strength, use of arm, receiving, hands, hitting, power, and speedThings you cannot see with your eyes (roughly, Shanks' definition of makeup)Attitude, desire, drive, willingness, hunger, ambition, aggressiveness, mental intelligence, baseball sense, teachability, coachability, knowledge of the game, personality, improvement, consistency, maturity, adjustment, stability, temperment, disposition, background, family, habits, "is he a winner?", "does he have stomach?", "does he have heart?", "does he have pride?", "does he have confidence?", and "is he a competitor?"Unfortunately for Shanks, he doesn't provide this until more than halfway through the book. This reduces much of the value in the previous anecdotes and their ability to demonstrate the Braves' philosophy. When he finally gets around to the nuts and bolts of the Braves' philosophy (on page 347), a grand total of 13 pages are offered as explanation. The quick summary:MAKEUP: Passion, integrity, and intelligence are all necessary to ensure the greatest chance of success. It cannot be quantified, only perceived.DON'T DISCOUNT STATS, BUT...: Stats are a tool to be used as part of the whole picture (stats + tools + body + makeup).TRUST YOUR SCOUTS: Delegate responsibility down and trust your scout's judgement.COLLEGE VERSUS HIGH SCHOOL: There is no concrete evidence that college players drafted are more successful in the majors than high school drafted. The Braves prefer high school players before they develop bad habits.SYNERGY BETWEEN SCOUTING AND PLAYER DEVELOPMENT: The scouts and player development staff need to be on the same page.PATIENCE: Allow the player to fully develop, his play on the field will tell you when he's ready.THE STRENGTH OF THE DRAFT DICTATES PICKS: Nothing is more dangerous than going against the strength of the draft.PROTECTING PICKS: Don't waste a draft spot on a player focused on dollars or without the desire to play, signability is a key. Talk to the players before the draft to see if they want to be a Brave. Additionally, be honest and upfront with what a player can be paid, if the player scoffs, move on.PITCHING, PITCHING, PITCHING: Treat pitchers like thoroughbred racehorses; w[...]
2005-12-02T20:10:17.516-05:00I'm back Liga Venezolana de Beisbol Profesional Pastora de los Llanos: Frank Diaz CF - 1/3 1RBI 1BB [11/25]Pastora de los Llanos: Frank Diaz CF - 1/4 [11/26]Pastora de los Llanos: Frank Diaz CF - 0/4 1K [11/27]Pastora de los Llanos: Frank Diaz CF - 1/3 1R 2RBI 1BB [11/29]Pastora de los Llanos: Frank Diaz CF - 0/3 2K [11/30 G1]Pastora de los Llanos: Frank Diaz CF - 1/3 1R [11/30 G2]Pastora de los Llanos: Frank Diaz CF - 1/4 [12/1]Pastora de los Llanos: Jason Stevenson SP - 5.2IP 4H 2R(2ER) 5BB 3K; ND [11/29]Pastora de los Llanos: Mayque Quintero SP - 4IP 5H 2R(2ER) 4BB 0K; L [11/30]Leones de Caracas: Marco Yepez LF - 0/5 3K [11/25]Leones de Caracas: Marco Yepez PH/3B - 0/1 1R [11/26] Leones de Caracas: Marco Yepez LF - 1/4 1K [11/30]Leones de Caracas: Marco Yepez LF - 0/2 [12/1]Leones de Caracas: Armando Galarraga SP - 6.2IP 8H 2R(1ER) 0BB 2K; W [11/25]Leones de Caracas: Armando Galarraga SP - 6IP 4H 2R(1ER) 3BB 3K; ND [12/1]Navegantes de Magallanes: Alex Escobar PH/DH - 0/1 1BB [11/25]Navegantes de Magallanes: Alex Escobar PH/RF - 0/1 [11/27]Navegantes de Magallanes: Alex Escobar RF - 2/4 [11/28]Navegantes de Magallanes: Alex Escobar PH/RF - 0/1 [11/29]Navegantes de Magallanes: Alex Escobar RF - 1/4 1R 1RBI 1HR [12/1]Liga Mexicana del Pacifico no Nationals played between 11/25 and 12/1Liga de Beisbol Dominicano Aguilas Cibaenas: Bernie Castro 2B - 1/6 1R 2K [11/25]Aguilas Cibaenas: Bernie Castro 2B - 1/5 [11/26]Aguilas Cibaenas: Bernie Castro 2B - 1/5 1RBI [11/27]Aguilas Cibaenas: Bernie Castro 2B - 3/5 2R [11/29]Aguilas Cibaenas: Bernie Castro 2B - 1/5 1R [11/30]Aguilas Cibaenas: Bernie Castro 2B - 2/5 2R 1RBI [12/1]Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico still no box scores but team standings are posted, of note ...Terrmel Sledge - 222/263/333; 5G 4/18 2R 4RBI 1BB 4K; 2 doublesEdgardo Baez - 063/118/250; 9G 1/16 1R 2RBI 1BB 4K; 1HR[...]
2005-11-23T13:50:44.126-05:00the park's closed. The Moose out front should have told you. I'm going on vacation. NFA will not be updated again until December 2.
2005-11-23T13:48:59.843-05:00Liga Venezolana de Beisbol Profesional