I might not have been waiting by the mailbox as I did in years past, but the arrival of the Baseball America handbook still merits the stop-drop-and-read treatment. Over the next couple of posts, I’ll pass along my thoughts.
You’ll not be shocked to learn that — yet again — the moves the Nats made in December were not reflected in the book. As much as I understand it, I do have to wonder if the folks in Durham are doing enough to account for this. In the meantime, you’ll have to adjust your reactions to some of the rankings.
Without the Souza trade, the Nats were still ranked 12th — up from 21st in last year’s book. As you might imagine, a lot of weight is given to yet-to-throw-a-professional-pitch Erick Fedde, viewed through a prism of praise for past gambles on injury-risk players that have paid off (Anthony Rendon) or seem about to (Lucas Giolito). Obviously, the additions of Trea Turner and Joe Ross would have to improve that ranking; how much is the stuff that comment sections were made for 😉
Let’s review how last year’s Top 30 fared:
Graduated (2) — Aaron Barrett, Blake Treinen
Traded (3) — Robbie Ray, Nathan Karns, Zach Walters
Rule 5 (1) — Adrian Nieto
Waived (1) — Eury Perez
Released (1) — Christian Garcia
Dropped Out (5) — Matt Purke, Jeff Kobernus, Brett Mooneyham, Robert Benincasa, Erik Davis
Perhaps the most encouraging trend is that we’re finally seeing a Top 30 with only “one hand” of 25-or-older guys (including Souza), though eight of them will turn 24 by the end of July. So this might be a hiccup unless we see more guys from the D.R. bubble up (hey, that rhymes!) the way eight of the top 30 have over the past two years.
With that, I’ll close with the Top 15 from the book and pick up on nos. 16-31 in the next post. Last year’s ranking, if applicable, in parentheses:
|1. Lucas Giolito (1)||6. A.J. Cole (2)||11. Austin Voth (15)|
|2. Michael Taylor (7)||7. Wilmer Difo||12.Tony Renda (13)|
|3. Reynaldo Lopez||8. Drew Ward (17)||13. Pedro Severino (16)|
|4. Erick Fedde||9. Brian Goodwin (3)||14. Jakson Reetz|
|10. Nick Pivetta (22)||15. Sammy Solis (6)|