Oct 052010
 

Considering the turmoil from the spring of 2009, the seven-game improvement of the DSL Nationals to a winning season of 36-35 has to be considered progress. But perhaps more promising is that this was done with a crew that was younger than the year before (yes, even with “Smiley”) — the average batter was 18.9 years old, the average pitcher was 19.3 years old; a year ago, those figures were 19.3 and 19.7. Still more than the league averages (18.4, 18.8) but better than two years ago (19.3, 21.2).

As I ease into metaphorically big shoes of Mr. Oliver, let me also disclose fully that I’m modeling this review (and future reviews) after the ones he did back in ’07, which were the first ones I found while rummaging through his online morgue. Without further ado…

HITTING

TEAM AB R H HR BB SO AVG OBP SLG GPA* SB
D-Nats 2246 312 534 14 274 459 .238 .338 .305 .228 110
Lg. Avg. 2184 301 512 15 275 481 .235 .334 .311 .228 99

* GPA = Gross Production Average. This is a stat that Aaron Gleeman invented several years ago that corrects the two problems with OPS: (1) it corrects the imbalance between OBP and SLG (simply put, OBP is about 80% more valuable) and (2) it puts it on a scale that everyone is familiar with (same as batting average). I like it because it’s relatively easily to calculate — (1.8*OBP plus SLG)/4 — compared to similar sabermetric exercises (wOBA, EqA) and achieves the purpose of an all-encompassing offensive stat nearly as well.

PITCHING

TEAM IP ERA R/G WHIP HR BB SO H/9IP BB/9IP K/9IP K/BB
D-Nats 606.1 3.55 4.58 1.351 16 272 541 8.1 4.0 8.0 1.99
Lg. Avg. 590.1 3.39 4.27 1.333 15 275 481 7.8 4.2 7.3 1.75

As you might expect from a .507 team, the D-Nats were slightly above average on offense and slightly below average on pitching with the notable exception of strikeouts and walks, categories in which the Nationals were in the top third of the league.

Given the nature of the league, playing time is much more spread out but for the purposes of displaying who’s who, I’m using defensive games to determine “starters” and the 100AB mark as the cutoff for the bench. The full statistics for the team can be found here.

Position Name Age G/GP Fld% Err PA GPA
Catcher Adderling Ruiz 19 46/49 .978 8 153 .197
First Base Jean Carlos Valdez 17 25/60 .978 8 237 .228
Second Base Nelalexfred Ortega 17 63/63 .964 10 272 .204
Third Base Bienvenido Valdez 19 38/62 .893 12 245 .275
Shortstop Wilmer Difo 20 44/45 .911 20 169 .201
Left Field Jose Arismendy 17 39/51 .980 3 156 .183
Center Field Edgar Gonzalez ?? 53/59 .976 2 223 .256
Right Field Narciso Mesa ?? 45/58 .966 2 213 .193
Utility (1B, 2B, SS) “Smiley” Alvarez 24 14, 4, 24 .966 9 234 .320
Bench (1B, LF) Victor Chavez 21 3, 19 .850 3 167 .293
Bench (C, 1B) Paul Chacin 19 21, 13 .983 4 167 .244

I’m just as troubled as you might be to see those two “??” in the age column. Defensively, you can see that 1B, 3B, and C were a little bit of a merry-go-round in terms of playing time (fielding percentages are for the primary position only for the starters, the bench players are cumulative. Second base was the only stalwart, so it may be safe to say that “Fred” Ortega may be stateside by 2012 at the latest.

On to the pitchers, listing the top 12 in terms of innings pitched…

PLAYER AGE G/GS W-L, SV ERA IP H BB SO WHIP HBP WP
Antonio Guzman 22 14/13 4-5, 1 3.36 83 74 27 81 1.217 13 15
Wirkin Estevez 18 15/14 6-7, 0 2.61 82⅔ 74 12 95 1.040 5 8
Silvio Medina 20 13/11 5-4, 0 3.06 67⅔ 68 19 46 1.286 9 7
Adalberto Mieses 20 13/12 3-3, 1 2.98 63⅓ 57 33 40 1.421 5 7
Anthony Marcelino 17 14/7 0-2, 0 3.20 45 34 20 24 1.200 5 13
Inocencio Heredia ?? 26/0 3-3, 10 1.69 37⅓ 24 11 34 0.938 6 4
Wander Suero 18 15/4 2-3, 0 4.72 34⅓ 35 23 39 1.689 1 7
Jorge Hernandez 20 13/0 2-1, 4 2.05 30⅔ 21 9 38 0.978 1 1
Andy Santana 19 13/1 5-0, 0 1.27 28⅓ 19 14 24 1.165 0 1
Juan “Slim” Diaz 19 7/6 2-4, 0 5.74 26⅔ 25 10 28 1.312 4 5
Jesus Guzman 19 18/6 1-1, 0 3.43 21 18 18 23 1.714 3 3
Saskuel Herrera 20 18/6 1-0, 1 4.32 16⅔ 19 11 13 1.800 0 11

The too-old criticism may be valid here as it appears that only Wirkin Estevez and Anthony Marcelino will be Viera-bound in ’11, though the obvious caveat that perhaps one or two of the 19-year-olds may have that intangible that we can’t see from a box score (which is the caveat that applies to all of this review). Inocencio Heredia was a constant in our daily reports but the lack of a DOB has to raise a red flag.

OBLIGATORY TOP FIVE LISTS
Having seen these players as much as Rush Limbaugh has seen his name on college diploma, I present the five batters and pitchers to watch in ’11 with the full knowledge that I’m doing exactly what I hate: basing my judgment solely on stats and boxscores.

Top 5 Batters
1. Jean Carlos Valdez
2. “Fred” Ortega
3. Wilmer Difo
4. Adderling Ruiz
5. Paul Chacin

Top 5 Pitchers
1. Wirkin Estevez
2. Anthony Marcelino
3. Andy Santana
4. Wander Suero
5. Jesus Guzman

  12 Responses to “Season Review: 2010 DSL Nationals”

  1. Top Five Cool Names

    1) Nelalexfred Ortega – Fred all the way Sue
    2) Wirkin Estevez – No need to work on the name when you’re the top pitcher of the DSL Nats
    3) Inocencio Heredia – With this name he could have been a pope, just saying
    4) Adderling Ruiz – This makes me think of Snakes and Cows and that’s just not right
    5) (Tie) Bienvenido Valdez & Narciso Mesa – The dynamic duo …Good Day and The man who loved himself to much?

    Being latino I have to say my relatives have boring names compared to these. Mario, Armando Hecter, Manuel Antonio, Miguel, Esteban and me Bernardo Jose…it’s just not fair, right?

    • Laugh out loud funny, glad you’re Hispanic, otherwise there would be some grumbling.

      When your name’s Adderly, there are hundreds of possible nickname. Depends how politcally correct you are.

  2. This is so far from the point I hesitate to even post it, but I think the discussion of OPS in this article is interesting.
    http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/ops-for-the-masses/
    A good statistic should be simple, significant, and elegant. OPS is simple, of course, but it’s also significant, to the point where more complicated statistics only correlate better to runs scored by a vanishingly small margin. The article’s algebraic derivation of implicit weights within OPS, showing that the statistic is actually nearly identical to linear weights formulations, is a great explication of why this is the case, and i think it’s a wonderful coincidence that’s worth sabermetric respect.

    I’ve also read that in recent decades, the Caribbean Spanish-speaking cultures have started to have fun with names – especially the poorer parts of the population, where baseball players predominantly come from. Anybody who’s ever watched a Rockies-Dodgers game announced by Vin Scully should know that Yorvit Torrealba’s name is derived from a combination of his mom and dad’s names; Esmailyn was the Dominican [mis]pronunciation of the word ‘Smiling’, and I believe it was unironically given to the nephew of Alvarez’ from whom he took the birth certificate. Russian influences from the Cuban/Venezuelan political leanings in the area lead to the Vladimirs (Guerrero and Nunez) of MLB, and indirectly to Wladimir Balentien as well. I suspect the Yun[i]eskys, Betancourt and Maya, have a Russian-derived name too. Meanwhile, Rogearvin “Roger” Bernadina shows that the Netherlands Antilles, though they only speak some Spanish alongside Dutch, English and the local pidgin Papiamento, are also in on the naming fun. Most of the fun names come from Venezuela and the Dominican though, I think. I don’t know if Mexicans and Puerto Ricans are on that train yet.

    • Not really. I brought it up to expound for GPA. That’s certainly an excellent case for OPS.

      As for the names, I can get behind the idea of spelling something phonetically to mimic something else ;-)

  3. Good stuff, Sue. Will you be using the same stat format throughout the system?

    Re: Wirkin Estevez – His numbers really stood out for me, in particular the K-W ratio (7.9:1). Hope to see his name pop up on a GCL roster in 2011.

  4. Before too many other ‘season-end’ reviews come out, I’m going to lay out my own “top-10″ players & pitchers in the Nationals system to get ahead of the curve. Granted, this list is based on mostly stats, with some ‘eyes on’, hype, and personal opinion thrown in as well; Just wanted to get it out there.
    Top 10 players in system:
    1- Daniel Espinosa (SS-2B)
    2- Wilson Ramos (CA)
    3- Bryce Harper (RF-CA)
    4- Chris Marrero (1B)
    5- Derek Norris (CA)
    6- Steve Lombardozzi (2B)
    7- J.P. Ramirez (LF)
    8- Adrian Sanchez (3B-SS)
    9- Justin Bloxom (1B)
    10- Michael Burgess (RF-CF)
    Just missed – Eury Perez (OF), Randolph Oduber (OF), Blake Kelso (SS-3B), Hector Taveras (CA), Destin Hood (OF).

    Top-10 Pitchers in system:
    1- Tom Milone (LHSP)
    2- Josh Wilkie (RHRP)
    3- Sammy Solis (LHSP)
    4- Dan Rosenbaum (LHSP)
    5- Tanner Roark (RHSP)
    6- Cole Kimball (RHRP)
    7- Brad Peacock (RHSP)
    8- Rob Wort (RHRP)
    9- Wirkin Estevez (RHSP)
    10- Anthony J. Morris (RHRP)
    Just missed – Bradley Meyers (RHSP), Evan Bronson (LHSP), Dan Leatherman (RHRP), Neil Holland (RHRP), Billy Ott (RHSP).

  5. It’s especially difficult to judge potential of DSLers based on stats, the only way you can do it is comparing stats to league average stats. So guys like BV Valdez, Edgar Gonzalez, not-Smiley and Vic Chavez are the only hitters of note here (sorry, no Fred). Then look at age, so Vic falls by the wayside, and if not-Smiley doesn’t start next year at H-burg, he’s toast too.

    Pitching is difficult, probably mainly rely on K/9, and decent ERA, so after Wirkin For a Livin’, nobody really stands out. Question is why on earth was Miguel Navarro put in the GCL as untested 17 yr old?

    Big question for DSL analysis is age vs. league average. When we had 2 DSL teams and one won back-to-back Championships, our pitchers average a FULL 2 years older than the league average. We had 24 yr olds pitching agains 16/17 yr olds! Since Smiley-gate, and now having 1 team we have gotten closer to league average age for hitters and pitchers, but we are still a half year older in both.

    Until we do a good job signing talented 16/17 yr old, we will be older, our Caribbean pipeline will produce less prospects up to the GCL. It seems we got one good burst of talent (Perez, Sanchez, et al) in 2k9 and now its spent.

  6. VH – Thanks for weighing in; I was hoping you would since I know you’ve been following the goings-on here for quite some time. My only rebuttal to “Fred” is that there must be some reason why he started so many games at 2B at such a young age. Otherwise, I agree: We’re not to the point where the DSL is generating prospects vs. projects.

  7. I guess another indication of who did well in the DSL is which of them are at the instructionals now = Wirkin Estevez (p), Anthony Marcelino (p) and Jean Valdez (1b).

  8. I am wondering why Brad Meyers is EXPOSed to the Rule V draft this December when Rizzo has this
    hunch on Wang , Mock or Chico.
    My hunch tells me that this ironic winter free agent list of arms EXPOSed: Lilly, Vasquez, Lee ( texas resign with FSNTexas money), Pavano..I go with Vasquez and a healthy return to the NL for his whole being.
    nice job on this site.
    what is your hunch on Souza and the other infractioned 3b from 2010 whose name is escaping me south of the equator here??
    Give a shout out to the Boones!!

    • If Stephen King is a bellwether, Souza and Higley will start in XST and wait for an opening. King will likely start at Potomac.

      If Brad Meyers is available in the Rule 5, he’ll be one of many players with injury history to be, um, exposed. I was mystified in late August by Kimball and Carr being sent to the AFL (which starts tomorrow) but I’ve since learned that the Nats are one of several teams using the AFL to make up their minds on whether or not to protect certain players.

      The front-office affinity for Mock puzzles me, almost as much as the love that some fans still have Shawn “What’s It Like To Pitch In July?” Hill.

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