The last of our predictions is finally here with the forecast of the Hagerstown pitchers.
If I’m right about the composition and wrong about the timing, this is arguably the most exciting starting five of the four full-season affiliates*, with four of the team’s Top 30 pitching prospects per Baseball America, including the #1 overall, Lucas Giolito.
* Tickets, I’ve heard, are readily available.
But before we get too far down that road, let’s look at my choices for the 2013 Suns:
|Blake Schwartz||Dixon Anderson||Leonard Hollins|
|Brian Rauh||David Fischer||Cody Davis|
|Nick Lee||Derek Self|
|Blake Monar||Robert Benincasa|
|Pedro Encarnacion||Michael Boyden|
That’s more like it. After only getting one or two wrong in parts one through three, missing on four serves as a reminder that this is still a guessing game. Plus, a reminder that short-season ball is fickle and inferences suspect.
Case in point: Michael Boyden, who was bumped up from the GCL to Auburn after six scoreless appearances in 2012. Not only did he not make it to Hagerstown in 2013, he didn’t return to Auburn, repeating the GCL and was ultimately released.
So maybe I’ll be very wrong on the two swingmen below, but I still feel like somebody from the GCL is going to skip Auburn, and it seems more likely that it’d be older guys used in relief (and a lot) than teenagers like Jefry Rodriguez.
Without further ado, the final set of picks:
|Lucas Giolito||Hector Silvestre||David Napoli|
|Jake Johansen||Wander Suero||L.J. Hollins|
|Austin Voth||Cory Bafidis|
|Nick Pivetta||Jake Joyce|
|R.C. Orlan||Derek Self|
Before you ask, “What about__________?” a reminder that I’ve purposefully excluded guys that I know or believe were hurt. Besides, information regarding players’ health and/or injuries is sparse and the Nationals kinda sorta have a history of being less than truthful when they do release such information.
Also, I don’t know precisely who’s been released yet or who’s retired. In part, because I do know the players, their friends and families, and their agents are reading, I’m not keen on predicting or speculating on those two outcomes. If someone’s not mentioned, take it face value: a guess at who the 12 pitchers will be this year at a given level.
Now, we return to the wait-and-see mode until the games begin (and the fluffing of Matt Williams stops).