For the second straight day, the Nats have made a trade to pick up a minor-leaguer, with the Milwaukee Brewers dealing Cutter Dykstra for CF Nyjer Morgan.
Unlike yesterday, Dykstra is a younger and more promising player. As a 21-year-old, he posted a .312/.416/.411 line with 27 SBs in 35 attempts at Low-A Wisconsin in 2010. Here’s what the estimable John Sickels had to say about the Grade-C prospect:
After a poor 2009, Cutter Dykstra needed a good year in ’10 to prove that he wasn’t just a bloodline draft pick… [and] got that [by] posting a +15 percent OPS. He didn’t show much power, but he made contact, drew walks and annoyed people on the bases. I expect this to continue at higher levels, but at what position?
Sickels goes on to note that he’s likely to shift away from the infield to the outfield, citing his 20+ errors at his last two positions (2B in ’09, 3B in ’10) as well as his lack of power. Outfield, however, is where he played in 2008, making four errors in 33 games for a .933 fielding percentage and a range factor of just 1.7 (all three CFs in Vermont, for example, were 2+ in 2010, as were Eury Perez and Chris Curran).
At 5′ 11″ and 180 lbs, Dykstra is slightly bigger than his famous father, who played for the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies for 12 seasons from 1985 to 1996, but has been (to put it gently) controversial in his post-baseball career.
Given the talented outfielders expected to be placed on the Potomac roster, as well as the infielders Steve, the 2008 draft pick is probably more likely to begin the 2011 campaign at Hagerstown, perhaps to learn left field.
During his in-game interview during today’s Nationals radio broadcast, Rizzo mentioned that he felt like Dykstra may be moved back to second base. This, of course, would most likely mean that Jeff Kobernus would be staying put at Hagerstown if he indeed does start the season at Potomac. Reminder: GMs often talk in generalities regarding the minors and there are multiple possibilities that can be inferred from such a statement.