As noted yesterday in the comments, the Nationals have released their 2012 Instructional League Roster. Here’s a quick look at the pitchers. Next post will be on the position players.
|Player||Pos.||Age||2012 Team(s)||2011 Invite||Notes|
|Dixon Anderson||RHSP||23||GCL, HAG||N||Missed all of ’11 with surgery, struggled with control in brief stint w/ the Suns||Aaron Barrett||RHRP||24||HAG, POT||N||Fine-tuning before going to the AFL. Decent showing in Potomac late in the season.||Joel Barrientos||LHRP||19||GCL||N||Added to 2012 Watchlist after strong rookie season in DSL, no soph./stateside slump.|
|Robert Benincasa||RHRP||22||AUB||N||7th Rd. Pick in ’12 with low-90s sinking FB/SL combo, likely working on split or changeup.|
|Michael Boyden||RHRP||22||GCL, AUB||N||31st Rd. pick in ’12 out of U Md. Like Anderson, struggled with BB rate after bump from GCL.|
|Pedro Encarnacion||RHSP||21||HAG, AUB||Y||Challenged with Low-A but fell back to SS-A, the 2nd straight season he’s dropped down a level.|
|Wirkin Estevez||RHSP||20||HAG, GCL||Y||Time is still on his side, but 2012 was a definite step backwards.|
|Robert Gilliam||RHSP||24||HBG, POT||N||The oldest pitcher in instrux, still best known as the “other guy the Nats got” in the Gio Gonzalez trade.|
|Leonard Hollins||RHRP||21||GCL, HAG||N||29th Rd. Pick in ’12 out of FL JuCo but not much else to write (here) about|
|Taylor Jordan||RHSP||23||AUB, HAG||Y||Innings limited by T.J. surgery last summer, Jordan is straddling the line between prospect and project.|
|Nick Lee||LHSP||21||AUB||N||Not hard thrower, but he’s lefthanded and scouts love his changeup.|
|Brett Mooneyham||LHSP||22||AUB||N||3rd Rd. ’12 Pick out of Stanford that nearly every prospect guru has a “yeah, but” thanks to inconsistency with his mechanics.|
|Elisaul Gomez||LHP||20||DSL||N||DSL guys have been rare the past couple of years, so an invite tends to carry more weight.|
|Emmanuel De La Cruz||RHP||20||DSL||N||On the flip side, about all there is to know is what you can infer from tiny samples of states.|
|Ronald Pena||RHRP||20||GCL, AUB||N||16th Rd. Pick out of Palm Beach St. JuCo (pitched for College of Charleston in ’11), Pena is a big (6-4, 210) hard-throwing (mid-90s) project.|
|Ivan Pineyro||RHSP||20||GCL, AUB||Y||2012 Watchlist player that’s easing up the ladder, though it looks like he may repeat Auburn|
|Brian Rauh||RHSP||21||AUB, HAG||N||11th Rd. Pick in ’12 out of Chapman Univ. (D-3, CA) was one of two ’12 picks to make it to Low-A.|
|Robbie Ray||LHSP||20||POT||Y||He’s still young and lefthanded, but a slight fade late in 2011 and free fall from mid-July 2012 on has to have folks wondering.|
|Jefry Rodriguez||RHRP||19||DSL||N||The youngest player on the roster, having just turned 19 in July and put up LaLoosh-
like nos. in the DSL (43IP/33BB/35K).
|Blake Schwartz||RHSP||22||GCL, HAG||N||17th Rd. Pick in ’12 out of Okla. City Univ. (NAIA) Schwartz’s hallmark is control (2.0BB/9IP), which, of course, you probably already know means that he doesn’t throw in the mid-90s (88-92).|
|Derek Self||RHRP||22||AUB||N||9th Rd. Pick in ’12 out of Univ. of Louisville, Self does throw hard (92-95) but doesn’t get the K’s (6.8/9IP) or miss the bats (33IP/32H) the way you’d expect with that kind of velocity.|
|Casey Selsor||LHP||22||GCL||N||A two-way player drafted in the 23rd Rd. out of Univ. of Texas-San Antonio, Selsor split time between starting and relieving and even got
a couple of starts as a position player.
|Kylin Turnbull||LHSP||23||GCL, HAG||Y||Turnbull was effectively sent down to the GCL in mid-July to presumably work on mechanics after 17 uneven starts, returning to Hagerstown for one Sept. relief appearance.|
|Deion Williams||RHP||19||GCL||Y||Williams is a convert to pitching after failing as an infielder (.147BA, 11E in 30G) and made two scoreless appearances late in the season.|
The roster is heavily tilted towards the 2012 draft with three DSL guys versus one last year. It’s tempting to talk about how young this group is, but let’s not forget how these guys collectively fared in their first go ’round as pros. The Auburn Doubledays finished 12th in runs allowed and 13th in ERA. The GCL Nationals weren’t much better, finishing 10th in runs allowed, 9th in ERA. The usual caveat of small sample size obviously applies (hey, that rhymes!) as well the notation that these guys were among the best of those staffs, but it shouldn’t be glossed over, either.
As for the concept of omission, I don’t believe too much should be read into who wasn’t invited. This isn’t necessarily the analog to accelerated minor-league camp. Most of the notables that weren’t can be categorized — been shut down (e.g. Nathan Karns, Alex Meyer), suffered in-season injury (e.g. Matt Swynenberg, Chris McKenzie), had surgery (e.g. Lucas Giolito, Sammy Solis), under witness protection (e.g. Manny Rodriguez, Matt Purke)*.
Take it for what it’s worth: The next wave of pitchers that the front office wants to spend some more time with before they’re dismissed for the winter.
*That’s a joke, folks