Jun 162012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-4 “@” Scranton/WB,
7:00 p.m.
Lannan (5-6, 5.27) vs.
Mitchell (5-3, 5.43)
Harrisburg Won, 4-3
(10 inn.)
vs. Trenton,
7:00 p.m.
Demny (4-3, 4.82) vs.
Marshall (6-3, 2.64)
Potomac Won, 3-0 @ Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Holder (3-1, 4.10) vs.
Font (1-4, 4.97)
Hagerstown Won, 5-2
(10 inn.)
@ West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
TBD vs.
Von Rosenberg (0-1, 6.75)
DSL Nationals Won, 9-4 @ DSL Cubs2,
10:30 a.m.
J. Rodriguez (0-0, 1.80) vs.
Pieters (1-1, 7.36)

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 5 Syracuse 4
• Atkins (ND) 6⅓ IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 5K
• Perry (BS, 2; L, 1-1) 0IP, 1H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 0K, 0HR, 2WP, 2-2 IR-S
• Severino 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K, 1-1 IR-S
• Paul 3-5, R, 2B, HR, 4RBI
• Carroll 2-5, R

A four-run bullpen collapse in the 7th was the difference as the Chiefs fell, 5-4. Ryan Perry came in with two runners on with one out and sandwiched two wild pitches around a two-run triple to turn a 4-1 lead into a 4-4 tie, then walked what proved to be the game-winning run. The collapse ruined a 3-for-5 night for Xavier Paul, who drove in all four Syracuse runs, three by a HR in the 5th off Yankee prospect Dellin Betances. Roster moves: C James Skelton was assigned to Hagerstown, with C Jeremy Mayo taking his place from Hagerstown.

Harrisburg 4 Trenton 3 (10 inn.)
• Gilliam 5IP, 4H, R, ER, BB, 4K
• Davis (W, 5-2) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Marrero 2-5, R, HR, 2B, RBI
• Van Ostrand 3-4, RBI
• Lozada 2-3, BB, RBI

Chris Marrero doubled to lead off the 10th and four batters later Chris McConnell singled in pinch-runner Stephen King with one out to give Harrisburg a 4-3 walkoff win over Trenton. Marrero also homered while going 2-for-5 on the night. Erik Davis got the win as the fifth reliever to follow starter Rob Gilliam, who allowed just one run over the first five innings.

Potomac 3 Myrtle Beach 0
• Karns (W, 1-2) 6⅔ IP, 4H, 0R, 2BB, 10K
• Wort (SV, 5) 2IP, H, 0R, BB, 4K
• Sanchez 3-3, RBI
• Keyes 1-3, 2B

Nathan Karns struck out 10 over six and 2/3rds to earn his first Carolina League win, a 3-0 combined shutout of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Jimmy Barthmaier stranded two while balking one and striking out one to help Karns out of the 7th, while Rob Wort went the rest of the way with two scoreless frames to earn his 5th save. Adrian Sanchez led the offense with a 3-for-3 night, driving in the third Potomac run in the 8th.

Hagerstown 5 West Virginia 2 (10 inn.)
• Hansen 7IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 3K
• McKenzie (W, 2-2) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Eusebio (SV, 2) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Newsome 3-5, 2B, 2RBI
• Leonida 2-3, 2B, BB, 2RBI
• Martinson 2-5, R, 2SB (20, 21)

After rallying to tie with two in the top of the 7th, the Suns took the lead (and the game) with a three-run 10th for a 5-2 win over the West Virginia Power. The win combined with a Greensboro loss, keeps Hagerstown mathematically alive in the playoff chase, 1½ games behind with two to play. Bobby Hansen Jr. tossed seven strong innings, giving up two runs on six hits, but got the no-decision. The win went to Chris McKenzie for two perfect frames of relief, while Wilson Eusebio pitched a 1-2-3 tenth for save #2. Roster move: OF Angel Montilla was assigned to Auburn.

DSL Nationals 9 DSL Phillies 4
• Suero (W, 3-0) 6IP, 6H, 4R, 3ER, BB, 5K
• Gomez (SV, 1) 3IP, H, 0R, BB, K
• Bautista 2-4, 2R, 2B, SB
• De Los Santos 1-3, 2R, BB, 2RBI, 2SB
• Novas 1-3, 2B, 2BB, 2RBI, SB

The D-Nats scored in four consecutive innings to turn a 2-2 tie into a 9-4 win. Wander Suero got the benefit of the offense for his third win, despite giving up four runs on six hits and a walk over six innings. The D-Nats swiped six bases to offset a pedestrian 4-for-17 mark with RISP, with 19-y.o. Rafael Bautista going 2-for-4 with a double to lead the eight-hit attack.

Jun 152012
 

The Auburn Doubledays have announced its 2012 roster and it’s not as 2012-pick-laden as you might think. Eleven of the 29 are this year’s picks, including five for the first ten rounds (pay no attention to teams’ using the 4th-through-10th rounds this year on signable college seniors to game the new CBA.)

Second-rounder Tony Renda is obviously the premier player, continuing in the tradition of Danny Espinosa and Jeff Kobernus of Rizzo draftees: modest tools but a “dirt dog,” grinding mentality that the organization covets.

The bad news, of course, is that it’s going to be a day or two more until we know how the GCL is going to shake out. BA’s latest transaction post does not include the expected bloodbath of releases, but it’s only through Monday of this week.

A reminder: SpringfieldFan is going to be busy as all this shakes out, so please be patient with her as she updates the Big Board over next couple of weeks.

Without further ado, here’s the rest of the Auburn roster:
Bold = Watchlist Italics = DSL Graduate
PITCHERS
Gregory Baez
Cody Davis
David Fischer (18th)
Bryan Harper
Travis Henke
Nick Lee
Silvio Medina
Richie Mirowski
Blake Monar
John Peters
Brian Rauh (11th)
Derek Self (9th
Jason Smith
Elliott Waterman (13th)

CATCHERS
Spencer Kieboom (5th)
Craig Manuel (10th)
Andruth Ramirez

INFIELDERS
IF Carlos Alvarez
3B Carlos Lopez (12th)
UTI Estarlin Martinez
2B Khayyan Norfork
SS Stephen Perez (8th)
1B Shawn Pleffner
2B Tony Renda (2nd)
SS Wes Schill

OUTFIELDERS
Brandon Miller (4th)
Angel Montilla
Jordan Poole (14th)
Wander Ramos

Jun 152012
 

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 32-34, 5th place I.L. North, 9½ games behind

Good Erik Arnesen 1.66ERA as a reliever
Bad Jeff Howell .403 OPS
Interesting Jarrett Hoffpauir 17K in 48G

HARRISBURG SENATORS 34-31, 2nd place E.L. West, 8½ games behind

Good Jesus Valdez .327/.356/.496 in June
Bad Robert Gilliam 7.65ERA, 1.65 WHIP in last 4 starts
Interesting Jimmy Van Ostrand .316/.413/.553 in 14G

POTOMAC NATIONALS 30-37, 2nd place C.L. North Division, 6 games behind

Good Matt Grace 2-1, 3.03ERA, 1.13WHIP in last 5 starts
Bad Adrian Sanchez .184/.238/.237 in last 10G
Interesting Neil Holland 0.84 WHIP, .184 OBA

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 36-23, 2nd place Sally League North Divison, 3½ games behind

Good Alex Meyer 4-0, 1.33 ERA, 0.85 WHIP in last 5 starts
Bad Cole Leonida 8E in 34G
Interesting Cutter Dykstra 18/20 SBs

DSL NATIONALS 7-4, 2nd Place Boca Chica South Division, 2 games behind

Good 18 y.o. Osvaldo Abreu .333/.417/.452
Bad 18 y.o. Jorge Tillero .321 OPS
Interesting 18 y.o. Jefry Rodriguez 1.80ERA, .206 OBA in 2 starts
Jun 152012
 

So long, Spike 2003-2012

Sorry, no writeups today. Click on the picture to go to our Facebook page, which will explain what happened to Spike. Good, Bad, and Interesting will still publish today around noon.

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 10-0 “@” Scranton/WB,
7:00 p.m.
Atkins (5-5, 4.32) vs.
Betances (3-5, 5.92)
Harrisburg Lost, 5-4 vs. Trenton,
7:00 p.m.
Gilliam (1-6, 5.40) vs.
Hall (5-6, 4.14)
Potomac Won, 5-4 @ Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Karns (0-2, 8.53) vs.
TBD
Hagerstown Won, 8-6 @ West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
Hansen (1st A- start in ’12) vs.
Benedict (4-4, 3.66)
DSL Nationals Won, 10-9
(12 inn.)
@ DSL Phillies,
10:30 a.m.
Suero (2-0, 1.64) vs.
Dominguez (1-1, 3.27)

Syracuse 10 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 0
• Duke (W, 7-3) 5⅔ IP, 6H, 0R, BB, 5K
• Pena 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Carroll 2-5, R, HR, 2RBI
• Bynum 2-4, 2R, 3B, 2RBI
• Paul 2-5, R, 2B, 2RBI

Erie 5 Harrisburg 4
• Pucetas (L, 4-2) 6⅔ IP, 5H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 6K, HR
• Nelo 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Lozada 3-4, R, 2B
• Kobernus 0-3, 3K, 2SF, 2RBI

As expected, Eury Perez was placed on the DL, retroactive to June 11.

Potomac 5 Myrtle Beach 4
• Grace (W, 4-6) 6IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 4K
• Holland (H, 2) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Wort (SV, 4) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Hague 2-3, R, HR, SF, 3RBI
• Kelso 2-3, 2R, BB, SB

Hagerstown 8 West Virginia 6
• Hill 5IP, 4H, 6R, 5ER, 2BB, 2K, 3HR
• Hawkins (W, 2-0) 2⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 3BB, 2K
• Barrett (SV, 8) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Ramsey 4-5, 2R, 2B, 3B, 3RBI, SB
• Newsome 2-5, R, 2B
• Burns 2-4, R, RBI

DSL Nationals 10 DSL Phillies 9 (12 inn.)
• Silvestre 6IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, 3BB, 5K, HR
• K. Rodriguez (W, 2-0) 2IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 0K
• Read 2-6, R, HR, BB, 4RBI
• Ramirez 2-4, R, 2B, BB, 2RBI

Jun 142012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse OFF Day “@” Scranton/WB,
7:00 p.m.
Duke (6-3, 4.08) vs.
Warren (4-3, 3.89)
Harrisburg Won, 8-7;
Lost, 8-2
vs. Erie,
7:00 p.m.
Pucetas (4-1, 1.26) vs.
De La Cruz (3-6, 3.67)
Potomac Lost, 6-5;
Lost, 5-3
@ Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Grace (3-6, 5.16) vs.
Tepesch (5-3, 2.89)
Hagerstown Lost, 5-3
(10 inn.)
@ West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
Hill (6-4, 4.03) vs.
Rowland (2-1, 2.86)
DSL Nationals Won, 7-5 vs. DSL Phillies,
10:30 a.m.
Silvestre (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Santos (0-0, 2.25)

Syracuse — OFF DAY
No significant roster moves were made, nor have I been able to locate any updates on Yunesky Maya’s injury. According to MLB Trade Rumors, Mark Teahen can opt out of his minor-league deal if not called up by tomorrow.

Harrisburg 8 Erie 7 — GAME ONE
• Rosenbaum 4+IP, 8H, 3R, 1ER, BB, 3K
• Frias (W, 3-3) 2IP, 3H, R, ER, 2BB, 2K
• Rahl 3-4, 2R, BB, RBI, 2SB
• Valdez 3-5, R, 2B, 2RBI, OF assist at HP
• Marrero 2-3, R, 2B

Chris Rahl’s RBI single in the 8th was a walkoff for an 8-7 Senators win in “extras” for the first game of the doubleheader. It made a winner out of Marcos Frias, who was the third reliever after starter Danny Rosenbaum was knocked out with no outs in the 5th. Rahl went 3-for-4 with a walk and two stolen bases to lead the offense, while rehabbing Chris Marrero went 2-for-3 with a double.

Erie 8 Harrisburg 2 — GAME TWO
• Ballard (L, 1-5) 1+IP, 6H, 8R, 8ER, 2BB, K, HR
• Tatusko 4IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 2K, 1-1 IR-S
• Kobernus 2-3, R, HR, RBI, CS
• Van Ostrand 2-3, R, HR, RBI

A pair of four-run innings in the first two innings put this one away early as the Senators lost the nightcap, 8-2. Mike Ballard was torched for eight runs on six hits and two walks to take the loss. Jeff Kobernus and Jimmy Van Ostrand both went 2-for-3 with a HR, accounting for both runs and four of the six Senator hits. Geoff Morrow of the Patriot-News is reporting Eury Perez is likely headed to the DL with an oblique injury.

Winston-Salem 6 Potomac 5 (Comp.)
• Olbrychowski 3IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 2K
• Applebee 3IP, 4H, 4R, 3ER, 3BB, K, HR
• McCatty (L, 1-1) 2IP, H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Walters 2-4, R, 3B, RBI
• Freitas 1-3, R, RBI

Winston Salem scored in every inning but one after play resumed in the 4th, the last being the killshot off losing pitcher Shane McCatty to break a 5-5 tie for a 6-5 win in the completion of Tuesday night’s game. Zach Walters singled and tripled to lead the hit column as the P-Nats managed to score five runs on just eight hits.

Winston-Salem 5 Potomac 3 — GAME TWO
• Ray (L, 3-3) 5IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 6K
• Barthmaier 1IP, H, R, ER, 2BB, 0K, HR
• Bloxom 1-3, R, HR, RBI
• Ramirez 2-3

One bad inning out of five was enough to hand Robbie Ray the “L,” as the Winston-Salem Dash eliminated the Potomac Nationals from the first-half title race with a 5-3 win in seven innings. Ray gave up four runs on six hits and a walk while striking out six. Justin Bloxom connected for his league-leading 12th HR while J.P. Ramirez singled twice to lead the hit column.

Hickory 5 Hagerstown 3 (10 inn.)
• Turnbull 6⅓ IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 4BB, 4K
• Barrett ⅔ IP, 2H, 2R, ER, BB, K
• Dykstra 2-5, 2B
• Martinson 1-4, R, HR, RBI

After rallying for two runs to tie it a 3-3 in the last of the 9th, the Suns couldn’t stand their good fortune and returned the favor, coughing up two in the 10th to lose, 5-3. Kylin Turnbull pitched into the 7th for the first time, giving up two runs on six hits and four walks while striking out four. Hagerstown was held to just five hits, with Cutter Dykstra and Jason Martinson combining for three of them. The loss dropped the Suns back to 2½ games behind Greensboro with four to play. In what should be presumed to be a procedural move, LHP Matt Purke has been placed on the 7-Day DL.

DSL Nationals 7 DSL Pirates2 5
• Moscat 3IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 4BB, 4K
• K. Rodriguez (SV, 2) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Novas 2-5, R, HR, 4RBI
• T. Alvarez 2-3, 2R, HR, BB, RBI
• Read 2-5, 2B, RBI

Thomas Alvarez’s HR in the bottom of the 6th broke a 5-5 tie as the D-Nats would go on to win this one, 7-5. Felix Moscat made his first start of the campaign, giving up two runs on two hits and four walks over three innings. Jonathan Aquino picked up the win in relief with one and 1/3rd scoreless innings while Kelvin Rodriguez posted goose eggs in the 8th and 9th innings for the save. Randy Novas went 2-for-5 with four RBI, including a three-run HR, to lead the D-Nats’ 10-hit attack.

Jun 132012
 

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Postponed OFF DAY N/A
Harrisburg Postponed vs. Erie,
6:00 p.m.
Rosenbaum (7-2, 1.93) and
Ballard (1-4, 3.25) vs.
Wesson (4-3, 5.85) and
Cooper (0-0, 6.23)
Potomac Suspended,
1-1 (Top 4th)
@ Winston-Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Ray (3-2, 4.58) vs.
Heidenreich (5-2, 4.29)
Hagerstown Won, 4-0 vs. Hickory,
7:05 p.m.
Turnbull (2-3, 4.68) vs.
Payano (4-3, 3.54)
DSL Nationals Lost, 4-0 vs. Pirates2,
10:30 a.m.
A. Martinez (0-1, 7.50) vs.
Rico (0-0, 3.52)

Syracuse Chiefs — PPD
Rain postponed the series finale, which will be made up on July 29 as part of a doubleheader. Next up: a grueling four-game “road trip” vs. the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, beginning tomorrow at Alliance Bank Park.

Harrisburg — PPD
Rain postponed game one of the three-game series vs Erie, forcing a doubleheader tonight. Roster moves: 2B Jeff Kobernus was activated from the DL while MLB rehabs Chris Marrero and Ryan Mattheus were transferred from Potomac.

Potomac 1 Winston-Salem 1 — SUSP.

After a 31-minute delay to start the game, Potomac and Winston-Salem played to a 1-1 tie before the game was halted in the top of the 4th. The two teams will resume today at 5:30 p.m., then play a seven-inning contest afterwards. Prior to the game, OF Kevin Keyes and RHP Shane McCatty were activated from the DL, while IF Brent Greer was placed on the 7-Day DL and LHP Bobby Hansen Jr. was assigned to Hagerstown.

Hagerstown 4 Hickory 0 (6 inn.)
• Meyer (W, 6-3) 6IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 5K
• Goodwin 2-3
• Martinson 0-1, 2BB, SB

Hagerstown scored three times in the 4th, once in the 5th, and were about to bat when… wait for it… the rains came and the game was eventually called for a 4-0 win. Alex Meyer tossed six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits for the shutout that improved his home record to 5-0 and overall mark to 6-3. Brian Goodwin singled twice and Jason Martinson drew two walks to lead the offense. Corresponding moves for the additions of Jeremy Mayo and Hansen Jr. have not yet been announced.

DSL Pirates2 4 DSL Nationals 0
• Valerio (L, 0-2) 5IP, 5H, 1R, 0ER, BB, K
• Dilone 2⅔ IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 3-2 IR-S
• Aguero 1-3, OF assist at HP
• Bautista 1-3, OF assist at 3B

The D-Nats were held to just three hits in a 4-0 shutout by the DSL Pirates2. Sixteen-year-old Maximo Valerio took the loss, giving up an unearned run over five innings. Younifred Aguero and Rafael Bautista both went 1-for-3 and threw out a baserunner from the outfield.

Jun 122012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 4-1 vs. Lehigh Valley,
10:30 a.m.
Atkins (5-5, 4.32) vs.
Elarton (5-2, 3.36)
Harrisburg OFF DAY vs. Erie,
7:00 p.m.
Ballard (1-4, 3.25) vs.
TBA
Potomac Lost, 15-4 @ Winston-Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Olbrychowski (2-5, 5.83) vs.
Petricka (4-4, 5.29)
Hagerstown Won, 9-0 vs. Hickory,
7:05 p.m.
Meyer (5-3, 3.64) vs.
Jackson (5-4, 4.73)
DSL Nationals Won, 9-5 @ Pirates2,
10:30 a.m.
Valerio (0-1, 81.00) vs.
De Aza (0-0, 0.00)

Lehigh Valley 4 Syracuse 1
• Maya 5+IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K; 1-2
• Mandel (BS, 1;L, 0-1) 2IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, K
• Brown 1-3, R, BB
• Skelton 1-1 (would you believe left w/ an injury?)

Yuneksy Maya (fielding a bunt) and James Skelton (collision at home plate) were both injured while Lehigh Valley piled on reliever Jeff Mandel in a four-run 6th as the Iron Pigs defeated the Chiefs, 4-1. Maya had allowed just two hits and gotten 11 of his 15 outs on the ground before the injury. Corey Brown reached base twice to lead the Syracuse offense.

HARRISBURG — OFF DAY
After dropping two of three in Reading, the Senators return home for six at Metro Bank Park, where Harrisburg has actually struggled (12-17). The Erie Seawolves visit for three starting tonight with the Trenton Thunder coming in over the weekend. Chris Marrero is expected to join the team for the next, um, leg of his rehab tour through the minors. Roster move: C Jeremy Mayo was assigned to Hagerstown, a sign that Devin Ivany is indeed okay.

Winston-Salem 15 Potomac 4
• Sywnenberg (L, 4-4) 1⅔ IP, 7H, 8R, 8ER, 2BB, K, 0HR
• Testa 2IP, H, 0R, BB, 4K
• Sanchez 3-5, R, 2B
• Oduber 2-3, RBI, SB
• Freitas 1-2, 2R, 2B, 3BB

Potomac’s road woes continues as an eight-run 2nd put little doubt into outcome as Winston-Salem prevailed, 15-4. Matt Swynenberg took the brunt of the beating, allowing eight runs on seven hits over an inning and 2/3rds while walking two and striking out just one. Adrian Sanchez led the hit column with a 3-for-5 night, All-Star representative David Freitas doubled and scored twice while drawing three walks, and Zach Walters hit a three-run HR for the bulk of the Potomac offense. The loss drops the elimination to three with six to play, as Lynchburg was rained out.


• Meza (W, 4-1) 5IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 6K
• Encarnacion 2IP, H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Miller 3-5, 2R, 2B, 2RBI, SB
• Leonida 3-4, 2R, 2-2B, 3B, 2RBI
• Skole 2-4, 2R, HR, RBI, BB

Christian Meza and two relievers combined on a five-hit shutout as the Suns boiled the Crawdads, 9-0. Meza gave up just two hits over five innings while striking out six to improve to 4-1 on the season. Cole Leonida doubled twice and tripled once to lead the 14-hit onslaught. Hagerstown also swiped five bases, with Cutter Dykstra and Brian Goodwin each pilfering two. Making room for Mayo (see above in Harrisburg), C Sam Palace was removed from the Hagerstown roster and placed on the Auburn roster.

DSL Nationals 9 DSL Arizona/Cincinnati 5
• J. Rodriguez 5IP, 6H, 5R, 2ER, 2BB, 4K
• Gomez (W, 1-0) 3IP, H, 0R, 3BB, 4K
• Aguero 2-2, R, HR, BB, 2RBI, SB
• De Los Santos 2-2, 2R, 2B, 2BB, RBI
• A. Martinez 2-5, 2-2B, RBI

The DSL Nationals scored six unanswered runs in their last three “ups” to beat the DSL “Redbacks” 9-5. Elisaul Gomez got the win with three scoreless innings in relief of Jefry Rodriguez, who went the first five and gave up five runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks. Both pitchers struck out four. Younifred Aguero homered, drove in two, walked, and stole a base to lead the offense. OF Dionicio Rosario and RHPs Emmanuel De La Cruz, Melvi Salazar were activated from the DL while RHP Phillips Valdez and SS Thomas Alvarez were added to the roster.

Jun 112012
 

For the second straight year, the Washington Nationals pulled off a big shock at the MLB draft, grabbing players once thought to be sure-fire (or close to it) #1 overall picks who fell due to injury concerns. In 2011, the Nationals were picking 6th overall, where they got a great college hitter with injury concerns in Anthony Rendon. They were able to pay him big money and give him a major-league contract.Last week, the Nats grabbed flamethrowing righthander Lucas Giolito out of Harvard-Westlake HS in California with the #16 overall pick.

Giolito had injury concerns going in (elbow) and supposedly high demands, but unlike last year with Rendon, Washington can’t give the SoCal kid a big-league contract or sign him to a $5 million dollar deal to secure his services — thanks to the new CBA that eliminated the former practice and has severely curtailed big spending that the Nationals and other organizations (e.g. Pittsburgh) have done the past three years.

The strategy of the draft changed immensely over the past year with the new slotting system. The Nationals were only allotted $4.436M in their bonus pool (and can spend up to $4.658, 5% above the slot amount, without losing a draft pick). I won’t go too far into the dollar details (read Brian Oliver’s “Gioloto Savings Plan” for a fantastic rundown), but the Nationals will likely have somewhere in the $2.8-$3 million range to spend in Gioloto due to their conservative drafting in rounds 2-10.

By my count, the Nationals drafted 32 signable players: 15 college seniors, 11 college juniors, three junior college players and three high schoolers in the top 20 rounds. I don’t expect any HS picks from Freddy Avis (25th round) or later to end up with the Nationals (and 15th rounder Brandon Smith is a stretch as well). [Ed. Note: This may spare you numerous puns with 26th rounder Skye Bolt, who is indeed a speedster]

Last year, the Nationals signed all of their seniors (though the contracts of Sean Cotten and Tony Nix were voided according to Baseball America, likely due to failed physicals) and only missed out on two junior college (JuCo) players and three college juniors in the top 30 rounds.

Two JuCos (14th round RHP Jordan Poole and 16th round RHP Roland Pena),fall into the “maybe they won’t sign category” while 30th, 32nd, 35th and 38th round college juniors RC Orlan, Mike Mudron, Cory Bafidis and Jared Messer could spur the Nats to head back for their senior seasons as well, but any given guy listed above is likely seen by the Nats as a 50/50 or better to sign (remember, they called players before drafting them to make sure they were interested in signing).

My academic background as a history major prompted me to look at the 2011 draft and see where players were assigned after being drafted. While the signing deadline moved up to mid-July rather than mid-August, the signed majority of players who signed with the team did so very quickly; it was only the higher-round guys who held out until the last minute.

Twenty players were drafted, signed and appeared with the Nationals in at least one level of affiliated ball in 2011 (those who signed but did not play affiliated ball in 2011: Rendon, Meyer, Goodwin, Purke, Turnbull, Anderson and Pleffner). Eleven of the 20 (all college juniors or seniors) started in Auburn, and 36th rounder Ben Hawkins moved up to Auburn after spending two weeks in the GCL. We’ll just call it 12.

The eight that started and stayed in the GCL ranged from Deion Williams (the lone high schooler signed last year), Nick Lee (JuCo sophomore) and six college players: Todd Simko (junior), Erick Fernandez (senior), Bobby Lucas, Jr. (senior), Ken Ferrer (senior), Bryan Harper (junior) and Trey Karlen (senior). The elder Harper signed around the same time the top guys did, so his GCL start is no surprise. The other five were a slew of senior signs and projects; teaching Simko how to use his good stuff, Lucas how to improve his control and getting Erick Fernandez likely factored into the decisions to send them to the GCL.

In 2012, the Nationals will likely see the HS and JuCo players who sign head to the GCL as well as some late-round projects/injury-plagued guys (Austin Dicharry, LJ Hollins and Cory Bafidis come to mind if they sign) and will send most other draftees to Auburn. I wouldn’t be surprised to see three or four of the arms drafted in the 22-32 range end up in the GCL due to a numbers game, but if we use last year as a rule of thumb, it looks like most college bats that sign will end up in Auburn.

Jun 112012
 

The annual baseball roadtrip is coming a little early this year (July in 2011, August in 2010), as I head west this year (north in 2011, south in 2010) to Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia for the next seven days.

The goal, as always, is to keep the site running as best as I can from the free WiFi of budget motels in the evenings after games and/or the mornings over the “continental breakfasts,” but the News & Notes are likely to be a little thinner and the responses to site comments a bit more sporadic.

For those wondering, the itinerary is the Columbus Clippers, Cincinnati Reds, Louisville Bats, Lexington Legends, and the West Virginia Power (vs. the Suns) with visits to the requisite Americana along the way.

Jun 112012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-2 vs. Lehigh Valley,
7:00 p.m.
Maya (4-5, 3.48) vs.
Cloyd (5-1, 2.26)
Harrisburg Lost, 5-4 OFF DAY N/A
Potomac Lost, 3-2 @ Winston-Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Sywnenberg (4-3, 4.83) vs.
Bachanov (4-1, 3.68)
Hagerstown Lost, 6-2 vs. Hickory,
7:05 p.m.
Meza (3-1, 3.41) vs.
Perez (2-4, 6.54)
DSL Nationals OFF DAY vs. DSL Ariz./Cincy,
10:30 a.m.
J. Rodriguez (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Lara (0-0, 0.00)

Syracuse 3 Lehigh Valley 2
• Lannan (L, 5-6) 5IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, 0BB, 3K, HR(GS)
• Bibens-Dirkx 2IP, H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Teahen 2-5, R, 2B, RBI
• Michaels 1-3, BB

This was one was over early as John Lannan coughed up his tenth HR, this one a first-inning grand slam, as the Iron Pigs smelted the Chiefs, 5-2. Lannan gave up all five runs on nine hits, walked none, and struck out three over five innings. Mark Teahen led the Syracuse offense with a 2-for-5 game, driving in the first Chiefs run with a double.

Reading 5 Harrisburg 4
• Demny 4IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 4BB, 3K, HR; 1-2, 2RBI
• McCoy (L, 3-1) 1+ IP, H, R, ER, 0BB, K, HR
• Pahuta 3-4, R, RBI
• Rahl 2-4, R

After dodging bullets all game long, Reading’s Tim Kennelly ended the game with his second HR for a 5-4 R-Phils walkoff win over the Harrisburg Senators. Reading had been 0-for-10 with RISP and stranded eight baserunners, but used the longball to overcome deficits of 3-1 and 4-3. Pat McCoy took the loss after pitching a scoreless 8th. Starter Paul Demny lasted just four innings, but contributed to his own cause with his first career hit, a two-out, two-run single that capped off a three-run rally. Tim Pahuta led the regulars with a 3-for-4 game.

Salem 3 Potomac 2
• Holder (ND) 5IP, 4H, R, ER, 5BB, 3K
• Mattheus 1IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 0K, 2HR
• Marrero 2-4, RBI
• Bloxom 2-4

Rehabbing MLBers got two hits and gave up two hits on a Sunday Afternoon in Woodbridge.

Kannapolis 6 Hagerstown 2
• Purke (L, 0-2) 5⅔ IP, 3H, 4R, 3ER, 4BB, 5K, 2WP
• Bates 2⅓ IP, 5H, 2R, 0ER, 0BB, 3K
• Goodwin 1-4, 2B, RBI
• Dykstra 0-2, 2BB, SB

Hagerstown’s seven-game win streak ended with a 6-2 loss to Kannapolis. Matt Purke was perfect for three innings before unraveling in the fourth, when the Intimidators scored three times with two outs. The final line: four runs (three earned) on three hits and four walks over five and 2/3rds innings with two costly wild pitches. The Suns were held to just three hits and five walks. With a win by Greensboro, the Suns’ deficit is back to 2½ games with seven to play: three at the Muni and four in West Virginia.

DSL Nationals — OFF DAY
The D-Nats are now 4-3 after their first full week of DSL play. This week they host the “Redbacks,” play home-and-homes against the Pirates and Phillies2 squads, and finish the week with a visit to the Cubs2.