We interrupt your wallowing in the Nats’ “missed chances” last night while downplaying (or ignoring) Max Scherzer’s continued generosity with the longball to catch up on what’s going on with the Washington minor-leaguers…
ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE
It seems like forever and a day since we learned which Nats prospects
and Rule 5 candidates will be on the 2016 Glendale Desert Dogs, which (very quietly) added RHP Jake Johansen to the taxi squad (presumably), according to the current roster. Tonight is the [no free advertising] Hitting Challenge at Salt River, while games begin on Tuesday.
BA TOP 20 PROSPECT LISTS
Like discovering a Hollywood blonde was born a brunette, Baseball America shocked no one by naming Victor Robles to the Carolina League Top 20 at #3, where he was joined by Erick Fedde at #9 and ex-Nat Max Schrock at #20 (and another double-dip). Lucas Giolito came in at #5 for the Eastern League while Reynaldo Lopez was ranked #10.
There was just one question about a player in the Top 20 Chat, and an answer that would make Crash Davis proud:
James Arnott (Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada): Gut feeling on Reynaldo Lopez please. Does he continue as a starter or is he a closer candidate? What’s his ceiling as a starter? Thanks[.]
Josh Norris: They’re going to keep him a starter until he proves he can’t. If his command and control become more consistent he can be a No. 2-type of starter. If not, he has closer potential.
As it usually is this time of year, things are slow: RHP Greg Ross was re-signed while a bunch of guys were activated from the DL, some of whom may have been actually injured at some point during the year.
THE AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS
The Doubledays won 12 of their first 20 before they played the eventual league-champion State College Spikes, who swept them and sent them into a 16-39 tailspin the rest of the way, including the last six in a row. As noted last year, the ascension of the Dominicans from the DSL and GCL has pushed the team from one of the oldest to near the league average for the bats (21.2 vs. 21.1) while the pitchers were the youngest (20.6 vs. 21.4).
Of course, it’s one thing to be young; it’s another to be good. Auburn’s pitchers were below average 4.25 R/G (vs. 4.02) while the hitters were the league’s worst at 3.13 runs per game. The defense was slightly better than the norm (.970FA vs. .969) while the CS% for the pitchers and catchers was second-worst at just 26 percent.
As I’ve done in the past with poorly performing teams (reminder/caveat: all sight unseen), I’m combining the list into one for what ought to be rather obvious reasons and presenting the Top 6…
|1. Tyler Watson, LHSP||1-2, 0SV, 9GS 1.88/2.05/0.91; 10.05 K/9|
|2. Dane Dunning, RHSP||3-2, 0SV, 7GS 2.14/2.57/0.98; 1.87 BB/9|
|3. Weston Davis, RHSP||3-6, 0SV, 11GS, 2.67/3.07/0.93, 1HR in 54IP|
|4. Tres Barrera, C||.244/.337/.366, 11.6% K rate (Lg. Avg. 20.2%)|
|5. Steven Fuentes, RHRP||2-1, 3SV, 17G, 1GS, 49⅓IP, 4.70 K:BB ratio|
|6. Dan Johnson, OF||.265/.312/.347, 13SB|
Just missing the cut is watchlister Rocky Harmening, who was just a shade better than league average in FIP (3.06 vs. 3.20) but only pitched 28 innings, all in relief. For the bats, that distinction goes to Nick Banks, who was a notch below league average on offense (.213 GPA vs. .215). Folks interested in seeing the stats for the full team can find them here.