May 182012

Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 19-22, 5th place I.L. North, 7½ games behind

Good Corey Brown .361/.480/.656 in May
Bad John Lannan 6.63 ERA, 1.79 WHIP, 4HR in last 3 starts
Interesting Xavier Paul .380/.436/.780 in May

HARRISBURG SENATORS 22-17, 2nd place E.L. West, 2 games behind

Good Eury Perez .316/.328/.386, 4SB in May
Bad Paul Demny 8.29ERA at home (2.57 on road)
Interesting Christian Garcia 5SV, 3H, 19K in last 10 appearances

POTOMAC NATIONALS 16-21, 3rd place C.L. North Division, 5½ games behind

Good Cameron Selik 3SV, 13K in last 5 appearances
Bad Shane McCatty 19H, 9BB in 9⅔IP, 13.03ERA, 2.90WHIP
Interesting Kevin Keyes 22H, 22RBI (.191/.271/.417)

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 22-15, 2nd place Sally League North Divison, 6 games behind

Good Cutter Dykstra .340/.429/.454 in 23G
Bad Brian Dupra 10.98ERA, 2.31WHIP in May (4 appearances)
Interesting Steve Souza 7HR in 13G
May 112012

Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 13-21, 6th place I.L. North, 8½ games behind

Good Mark Teahen .351/.405/.459 in May
Bad Rafael Martin 8.78ERA, 1.725 WHIP
Interesting Zach Duke 2-0, 1.80 ERA in last 3 starts

HARRISBURG SENATORS 17-16, 2nd place E.L. West, 6 games behind

Good 262 team pitching Ks leads E.L.
Bad .310 Team OBP is 11th in 12-team E.L.
Interesting Jesus Valdez .788 OPS last 10G

POTOMAC NATIONALS 13-17, 2nd place C.L. North Division, 4½ games behind

Good Adrian Sanchez .391/.404/.478 vs. RHPs as a RHB; 10-game hit streak
Bad Zach Walters 7E in 12G at SS
Interesting Trevor Holder 1.00 ERA, 0.78 WHIP in last 3 appearances (9IP)

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 17-14, 3rd place Sally League North Divison, 5½ games behind

Good Nathan Karns 1.88 ERA, 15.4K/9IP (41/24)
Bad Matt Skole 11E in 29G at 3B
Interesting J.P. Ramirez .459/.474/.541 in last 10G
May 042012

Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 10-17, 6th place I.L. North, 6 games behind

Good Austin Bibens-Dirkx 1.38 FIP
Bad Jason Michaels .549 OPS
Interesting Carlos Rivero .343/.378/.514 in last 10G

HARRISBURG SENATORS 15-12, 2nd place E.L. West, 3½ games behind

Good Danny Rosenbaum 3-0, 0.76ERA, 0.70WHIP
Bad Eury Perez .130/.130/.152 last 10G
Interesting Sandy Leon .796 OPS

POTOMAC NATIONALS 10-14, 3rd place C.L. North Division, 3½ games behind

Good David Freitas .377/.457/.609
Bad Wilson Eusebio 9.31ERA, 4HBP, 8BB in 9⅔ IP
Interesting Matt Swynenberg 1ER in last 14⅓ IP

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 14-11, 3rd place Sally League North Divison, 3½ games behind

Good Cutter Dykstra .400/.464/.520, 11G hit streak
Bad Chris McKenzie 12.96ERA, 3.12WHIP in 5 appearances
Interesting Billy Burns 17G on-base streak (.469 OBP)
Apr 272012

Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 7-13, 6th place I.L. North, 7½ games behind

Good Bryce Harper .290/.421/.419 in last 10G
Bad Bryce Harper vs. LHPs .190/.261/.238
Interesting Erik Arnesen 0.64ERA, 0.93WHIP in 14IP

HARRISBURG SENATORS 13-7, 1st place E.L. West, ½ game ahead

Good Chris Rahl .339/.379/.629, 7SB in 19G
Bad Kevin Pucetas 2.21WHIP, 5.68ERA in 5 appearances
Interesting Jeff Mandel 1.09ERA, 1.05 WHIP in 4 starts

POTOMAC NATIONALS 6-11, 4th place C.L. North Division, 3½ games behind

Good Rob Wort 14K in 8⅔ IP over 6 appearances
Bad Starting Pitchers: 1.78WHIP, 6.59ERA, 12HBP, 11HR in 83⅓ IP
Interesting Blake Kelso 8SB, 0CS in 16G

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 10-9, 4th place Sally League North Divison, 3½ games behind

Good Nathan Karns 1.93ERA, 1.21WHIP, 19K in 14IP
Bad Justin Miller .172/.194/.219, 20K in 17G
Interesting 30 for 35 SB attempts as a team (85.7% leads Sally League; total is 3rd)
Apr 262012

EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m re-running this from last year with some edits.

As longtime readers know, I have a soft spot for the independent brand of the game. That’s in part because I was a season-ticket holder to an indy team for the three years prior to my moving to Northern Virginia, but also because it’s a throwback to the way the minors were nearly a hundred years ago. In the days before radio and TV, conservative estimates had more than 400 pro and semipro teams across the U.S., each built to win but also willing to sell its best players to the major leagues to stay afloat, which of course created bidding wars. Thus, the NAPBL was formed to kill the competition and save the owners from themselves organize and professionalize the minors.

Today, the independent teams are still built to win, but the players are no longer sold — though organizations have been known to send (badly needed) equipment as a thank-you. In many ways, the indys have become a thing of chance. For the younger and/or undrafted guys (typically, collegiate ballplayers), it’s a last chance to get noticed. For the older guys, it’s a second chance to get back into the minors. And for the rest, it’s simply a chance to keep playing for the love of the game (Hagerstown folks might remember a MI named Vic Davilla who became the Albert Pujols of the Can-Am League, retiring in 2008 at the age of 35 after 12 seasons in indy ball with a line of .313/.373/.502).

Tonight, the Atlantic League starts up. It’s widely considered the best of the bunch because it has the highest payroll and operates in the larger markets on the East Coast. It’s also the only one without any rules regarding age or service time. Consequently, it attracts AA/AAA talent and sends players back and forth to the majors with the greatest frequency (which it touts) though it’s commonly as a stopgap (which it doesn’t) to keep prospects at the desired level.

Unfortunately, it requires eyeballing the rosters of each and every team to see familiar names, so this feature will be sporadic and will undoubtedly be a bit incomplete. But here’s the players I spotted today, answering for some “Hey, where’d _____ end up?”

Jason Bergmann, Camden Riversharks
Jason Botts, Sugarland Skeeters
Freddie Bynum, Somerset Patriots
Ofilio Castro, Sugarland Skeeters
Ramon Castro, York Revolution
Alex Cintron, Sugarland Skeeters
Mike Daniel, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs
Steve Doetsch, Camden Riversharks
Jesse English, Bridgeport Bluefish
John Halama, Lancaster Barnstormers
Pedro Lopez, Bridgeport Bluefish
Dan Lyons, Long Island Ducks
Gary Majewski, Sugarland Skeeters
Charlie Manning, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs
Yunior Novoa, York Revolution
Wilberto Ortiz, Long Island Ducks
Rich Rundles, Lancaster Barnstormers
Jonathan Tucker, Somerset Patriots
Jim Ed Warden, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs

Apr 202012

It’s back! Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues. For the newcomers, this is a ripoff of tribute to comedian Demetri Martin’s segment from his old show on Comedy Central.

And of course, the obligatory caveats: sample sizes are here small, it’s early in the season, minors stats aren’t as meaningful as we think, past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance, etc.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 3-11, 6th place I.L. North, 7½ games behind

Good Tyler Moore .296/.361/.611, 5HR, 14 RBI in 14G
Bad Corey VanAllen 7BB in 7⅔ IP over 5 appearances
Interesting Mitch Atkins 0.75ERA in 1st two starts despite 7BB

HARRISBURG SENATORS 10-5, 1st place E.L. West, ½ game ahead

Good Danny Rosenbaum 2-0, 1.25 ERA, 0.65WHIP in 3 starts
Bad Chris McConnell 0-for-15, 2E since reassignment from AAA
Interesting Jeff Kobernus .403 OBP (.313 in ’11)

POTOMAC NATIONALS 6-6, 2nd place C.L. North Division, 2½ games behind

Good David Freitas .333/.419/.611, 8RBI (tied for team lead)
Bad Justin Bloxom .159/.255/.205, 5E in 12G
Interesting Kyle Winters 17K in 17IP

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 7-8, 4th place Sally League North Divison, 3 games behind

Good Jason Martinson .319/.437/.534, 8SB in 15G
Bad Wirkin “For The Weekend” Estevez 1.53 WHIP, 8.16 ERA in 3 starts
Interesting Taylor Hill 2-0, 2.45 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 1.93 FIP in 3 appearances
Jan 012012

For the past couple of years, I’ve been posting online under a pseudonym. That’s not news, but this is:
I’m dropping the ruse. That funny-looking name you see next to the byline is indeed my own.

While this site is still largely a personal hobby, it’s proven to be something that I now feel like I need to utilize professionally. So if I’m gonna “take ownership,” I have to put my name on it.

Are things going to change now that I’m unmasked? No, not really. I’m still gonna go for the visual pun (see above) when I feel the urge, pepper the prose with one-liners, and exploit my bulldog for branding and marketing purposes.

In short, I’m going to keep doing what I’ve been doing. Happy New Year!

Sep 062011

Our final 2011 look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues, with a focus on the level where the prospects shone the brightest. Repeats from 2010 are in italics.

66-74, 4th place IL North, 14 games back

Good Bat: Chris Marrero .300/.375/.449 in 127G
Arm: Tom Milone 12-6, 3.22 ERA, 155K in 148⅓ IP
Bad Bat: Chris McConnell .175/.250/.257 in 57G
Arm: Yunesky Maya 4-9, 5.00 ERA
Interesting Bat: Jesus Valdez .271/.318/.397 in 102G
Arm: None

80-62, 1st place, 4 games ahead, E.L. West Division winner

Good Bat: Steve Lombardozzi .309/.366/.454 in 65G
Arm: Brad Peacock 10-2, 2.01 ERA, 0.86 WHIP in 98⅔ IP
Bad Bat: Stephen King .191/.277/.300, 15E in 95G
Arm: Matt Chico 10.93 ERA, 2.29 WHIP in 10G
Interesting Bat: Tyler Moore 31HR, 90RBI in ’11; 31HR, 111RBI in ’10
Arm: Pat Lehman 34K in 34IP

39-31 in 2nd Half, 68-71 overall — 2nd-Half CrL North Division winner (tied)

Good Bat: Destin Hood .276/.364/.445 in 128G
Arm: Danny Rosenbaum 6-5, 2.59 ERA, 2CG, 1.17 WHIP
Bad Bat: Cutter Dykstra .212/.265/.265 in 94G
Arm: Erik Davis 0-5, 6.75 ERA after dropping *down* from AA
Interesting Bat: Jeff Kobernus 53SB, 124GP (21/74 in ’10)
Arm: Joe Testa 6-0, 1.42 ERA, new delivery, still lefthanded

35-34 in 2nd Half, 75-64 overall

Good Bat: Bryce Harper .318/.423/.554 in 72G as 18 y.o.
Arm: Chris Manno 1.04 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 69K in 43⅓ IP/td>
Bad Bat: Mills Rogers .215/.288/.266 in 77G
Arm: Matt Grace .314OBA, 1.56WHIP in 132⅓ IP
Interesting Bat: Kevin Keyes .263/.336/.510; .175/.321/.278 in ’10 at VMT
Arm: Matt Swynenberg 1.22 WHIP, 3.68 ERA in 102⅔ IP

45-30, 1st Place Pinckney Division of NY-Penn League, 2½ games ahead

Good Bat: Matt Skole .290/.382/.438 in 72G
Arm: Wirkin Estevez 55K, 4.01 ERA in 14G (13GS) as an 18-y.o.
Bad Bat: Rick Hughes .125/.205/.175 in 22G
Arm: Travis Henke .298 OBA, 1.52 WHIP in 16G
Interesting Bat: Hendry Jimenez .846 OPS in 54G
Arm: Taylor Hill 2.38 ERA, 1.02 WHIP as a starter

20-33, 4th place GCL East Division, 17½ games back

Good Bat: Estarlin Martinez .289/.379/.471 (18 y.o. DSL grad)
Arm: Gregory Baez 3.72 ERA in 48⅓ IP (18 y.o. DSL grad)
Bad Bat: Deion Williams .157/.216/.157 in 30G
Arm: Inocencia Heredia 6.75ERA, 1.83 WHIP in 17G
Interesting Bat: Wander Ramos .313/.401/.653 in 43G (21 y.o. DSL grad)
Arm: Brandon King 13HBP, 12BB, 26K in 35⅔ IP

33-36, 5th Place, Boca Chica East, 12½ games back

Good Bat: 19 y.o. Wilmer Difo 26SB, .831 OPS in 39G
Arm: 19 y.o. Ivan Pineyro 2.20 ERA, 73K in 69⅔ IP
Bad Bat: 17 y.o. Bryan Mejia 35K, .331 SLG in 52G
Arm: 18 y.o. Miguel Navarro 2.75 WHIP, 15.75 ERA in 10G
Interesting Bat: 18 y.o. Junior Geraldo .542SLG in 18G
Arm: 18 y.o. Gilberto Mendez 7-0, 2.06 ERA, 66K in 65⅔ IP
Sep 022011

The Big Board is close to frozen for 2011, but a few transactions of note have taken place the past week or so…

• OF Roger Bernadina recalled to Washington
• RHP Christian Garcia assigned from Auburn
• OF Chris Curran assigned from Hagerstown
UT Sean Nicol assigned from Potomac
LHP Tom Milone recalled to Washington

• UT Mills Rogers assigned from Hagerstown
• C Andruth Ramirez assigned from GCL

IF Adam Fox activated from Temporary IL

For those wondering about “GBI,” I’m delaying it until Tuesday for the final edition, in which I’ll pick the bat & arm for each category for the 2011 season.

UPDATE: As expected, Tom Milone has been recalled along with a couple of procedural moves.

Aug 262011

Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 60-69, 4th place I.L. North, 12½ games behind (eliminated)

Good Tom Milone 11-6, 3.33 ERA, 1.05 WHIP
Bad Jeff Frazier .221/.285/.359
Interesting Garrett Mock 0.87 ERA, 0.48 WHIP in August

HARRISBURG SENATORS 74-57, 1st place E.L. West, 2 games ahead

Good Archie Gilbert .386/.413/.523 in August
Bad Leonard Davis .150/.227/.250 in last 10G
Interesting Shairon Martis 134K in 121IP

POTOMAC NATIONALS 32-27, 2nd place C.L. North Division, 4½ games behind (61-67 overall)

Good Francisco Soriano .303/.418/.421 in August
Bad Rob Wort 5.40 ERA, 1.75 WHIP since All-Star Game
Interesting Sandy Leon .492 SLG in August

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 31-28, 2nd place Sally League North Divison, 4 games behind (71-58 overall)

Good Adrian Nieto .333/.382/.587 in 17G
Bad Sam Brown 1-4, 6.23 ERA since All-Star Game
Interesting Kevin Keyes .298/.372/.546 since All-Star Game

AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 40-25, 1st place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 3½ games ahead

Good Taylor Hill 2.57 ERA, 0.86 WHIP as a starter
Bad Matt Skole 11E in 56G at 3B
Interesting Caleb Ramsey 28BB in 55G (.376 OBP)

GCL Nationals 20-32, 4th place GCL East, 17½ games behind (Eliminated)

Good Wander Ramos .315/.405/.643
Bad Inocencio Heredia 0-2, 7.08 ERA, 1.92 WHIP
Interesting 19 y.o. Gregory Baez 1-2, 3.65 ERA in 12G, 10GS