Good, Bad, Interesting – Vol. 1


In keeping with my motto of doing what I can when I can, I’ve decided to cut back the GBI to something more manageable this year — every three weeks. This will still give us eight editions, and to compensate for the lower frequency, I will double up each section. My apologies in advance to for the disappointment, but the alternative was to scrap it altogether.

For the newcomers…. this a silly little thing I began a few years ago on a lark. It’s somehow become one of the site’s staples. Stolen from Named after comedian Demetri Martin’s segment of the same name from his too-brief (2009-2010) run on Comedy Central, it’s my way of taking a look at who’s doing well, poorly, or pointing out something unexpected.

Invariably, it seems that whenever a player makes this list — good or bad — his fortune turns. Of course, that’s merely coincidence, but as much as we embrace science and statistics, superstition will always be a part of baseball. Thus, the effect known as “the curse of the GBI.”

Now, for the usual disclaimers… it’s early in the season, small sample sizes, stats in the minors are misleading, void where prohibited, valid only at participating locations, employees must wash hands after using the bathroom, etc.

And the usual reminder: The guys, their friends, families, and agents reading this, so keep it clean in the comments. This is just for fun.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 7-8, 4th place I.L. North, 2½ games behind

Good Trea Turner .357/.446/.500, 6SB in 15G
Sammy Solis 1.00/1.08/0.89, 14K in 9IP
Bad Matt Skole .122/.214/.184, 12K in 14G
Taylor Hill 8BB in 15⅔ IP
Interesting Caleb Ramsey .932 OPS, .390 BA in 13G
Austin Voth 0BB in 12IP


HARRISBURG SENATORS 6-8, 4th place E.L. West, 3½ games behind

Good Rafael Bautista 8SB, 11BB, .443 OBP in 14G
Tyler Mapes 3-0, 3.18/3.85/0.94 in 3GS
Bad Zach Collier .405 OPS in 12G
Reynaldo Lopez 4HR in 16IP
Interesting Stephen Perez .320/.414/.360 in 11G
John Simms 14K in 16IP


POTOMAC NATIONALS 9-7, 2nd place C.L. North, 4 games behind

Good Jose “The Orange” Marmolejos .298/.437/.561 in 16G
Mario Sanchez 1.59 ERA, 80.9 LOB% in 11⅓ IP
Bad 11CS in 30SB attempts
Starters 5.60/4.30/1.47 in 16G
Interesting Drew Ward .333/.412/.550, 11RBI in 16G
R.C. Orlan 1.93 ERA, 1.18WHIP, 8BB, 9K in 9#8531; IP


HAGERSTOWN SUNS 11-5, T2nd place Sally North, 2 games behind

Good Victor Robles .327/.465/.582, 7SB, 2HR in 16G
Andrew Lee 1-0, 1.80/3.50/1.27 in 3GS
Bad Ryan Ripken .496OPS in 14G
Joan Baez 0-2, 6.75 ERA, 1.67 WHIP in 3GS
Interesting Max Schrock .344/.403/.4, 6SB in 15G
Jefry Rodriguez 2.70/2.07/1.20 in 3GS

The NationalsProspects.com Top 10 Pitchers

 


For the fourth straight, Lucas Giolito snagged the top spot in this (quite) unscientific poll for the fourth straight year and was the unanimous choice for the second. With that suspense ruined….

  1. Lucas Giolito
  2. Reynaldo Lopez
  3. Erick Fedde
  4. Austin Voth
  5. A.J. Cole
  6. Austen Williams
  7. Koda Glover
  8. John Simms
  9. Andrew Lee
  10. Abel De Los Santos

Others receiving votes: Taylor Hearn, Phillips Valdez, Nick Lee, Mariano Rivera, Tyler Mapes, Dakota Bacus, Jefry Rodriguez, Tyler Watson, Maximo Valerio, Robbie Dickey, Joan Baez, Sammy Solis, Rafael Martin

Now, for the thoughts, as threat…er, promised:

• If the only questions regarding Giolito are his health and service time, then expect a Strasburg-esque recall from the minors in June. It’s not like Rizzo could have been just playing to the crowd with the recent “invite to spring training” comments.

• Despite a 2015 that paled in comparison to 2014, Reynaldo Lopez’s stock did not drop. Then again, it’s not like the Nats have an abundance of younger-than-the-level pitchers with his potential, either.

• Erick Fedde moved up, with perhaps a lot of folks hoping for his 2015 to equal Giolito’s 2013, which would mean a breakout 2016.

• Austin Voth held steady at #4 despite a strong showing (2.92/3.07/1.11) for a weak Harrisburg team and winning the 2015 Minor League Pitcher of the Year Award.

• A.J. Cole, who turns 24 next month, might be suffering from prospect fatigue, not to mention less-than-stellar results when he was called up.

• Austen Williams was the last of the on-every-ballot pitchers… as we often lament, after the first few, it’s a free-for-all (freefall?)

Sadly, we’re now at the point of the offsesason where it’s waiting for trades and transactions, both of which have been sparse [insert Billy Beane lost his cellphone joke here]. As per usual, feel free to discuss in the comments.

Good, Bad, Interesting — Vol. 17

GBI for NPP 2Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 54-67, 4th place I.L. North, 15 games behind

Good Trea Turner .358/.397/.453, 12R, 6SB in August (12G)
Bad 10E in 44G for Turner
Interesting Chiefs 28-18 since Turner promoted to AAA



HARRISBURG SENATORS 57-62, 5th place E.L. West, 10½ games behind

Good Austin Voth – pitched 5IP or more 17 times in 23 appearances, 12 quality starts/td>
Bad RHB Christopher Bostick .176/.230/.294 vs LHPs
Interesting 58 players used, just four have played all season long (Voth, Mendez, Severino, Pleffner)



POTOMAC NATIONALS 22-25, 3rd place C.L. North, 5½ games behind (55-62 overall)

Good Narciso Mesa .333/.326/.400 in August (11G)
Bad Ian Dickson 23BB in 35⅓ IP (5.86/9IP)
Interesting Fewest batting strikeouts in the eight-team Car. Lg.



HAGERSTOWN SUNS 23-24, T4th place Sally North, 9 games behind (58-57 overall)

Good Connor Bach 87K in 89⅔ IP (8.73 K/9IP)
Bad Raudy Read .167/.167/.333 in August (10G)
Interesting 25-y.o. Justin Amlung, 32-y.o. Jeff Howell combined 6GS since July 27



AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 24-27, 4th place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 9½ games behind

Good Max Schrock .311/.370/.422 in 26G
Bad Luis Torres 11BB, 13K in 23⅔ IP (4.18, 4.94 per 9IP)
Interesting Nine pitchers have recorded at least one save (13 in 51G)



GCL NATIONALS 20-27, 4th place GCL East, 5½ games behind

Good .966 FA 4th best in 16-team GCL
Bad 106BB drawn by batters fewest in the the GCL
Interesting 5 passed balls tied for fewest in the GCL



DSL NATIONALS 29-36, 3rd place Boca Chica North, 18 games behind (eliminated)

Good 20-y.o. Jeyner Baez .314 (11-for-35) in last 10G
Bad 17-y.o. Yelmery Sisnero 1-0, 5.79 ERA, 1.79 WHIP
Interesting 17-y.o. Edwin Ventura .286/.366/.382, 11SB, 15BB in 55G


Editor’s note: GBI will skip next week and return on or around August 29

Good, Bad, Interesting — Vol. 13

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 37-57, 6th place I.L. North, 13½ games behind

Good Trea Turner, 12-game on-base streak
Bad Taylor Hill 0-2, 9.00 ERA, 1.86 WHIP in July (3GS)
Interesting A.J. Cole 16 shutout inning streak



HARRISBURG SENATORS 47-46, 5th place E.L. West, 4 games behind

Good Austin Voth 1-0, 0.45 ERA, 0.80 WHIP in July (3GS)
Bad 37 team HR — fewest in Eastern League
Interesting Pedro Severino .333/.368/.417in July (10G)



POTOMAC NATIONALS 11-9, 1st place C.L. North, ½ game ahead (44-46 overall)

Good Khayyan Norfork .357/.386/.452 in July (12G)
Bad Norfork’s .684 OPS highest on the current roster
Interesting 43 of 338 runs scored without an RBI


HAGERSTOWN SUNS 11-11, T4th place Sally North, 4 games behind (46-44 overall)

Good Connor Bach 2-0, 2.11 ERA, 0.98 WHIP since All-Star break (4G, 3GS)
Bad Diomedes Eusebio .119/.178/.143 since All-Star break (11G)
Interesting Bryan Mejia .943OPS since his callup


AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 11-14, 4th place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 8 games behind

Good Andrew Stevenson .361/.413/.431, 7SB, 11R, 9RBI in 18G
Bad McKenzie Mills 0-2, 11.74 ERA, 2.23 WHIP (11⅔ IP)
Interesting Dalton Dulin 10BB in 14G


GCL NATIONALS 12-11, 2nd place East Division, Gulf Coast League, 1 game behind

Good Maximo Valerio 3-0, 1.52 ERA, 0.97 WHIP in 5G, 3GS
Bad Andres Martinez 5E, .437OPS in 9G
Interesting Philip Diedrick 3HR in 5G


DSL NATIONALS 19-23, T3rd place Boca Chica North, 11 games behind

Good 17-y.o. Juan Evangelista .273/.323/.460, 28RBI in 40G
Bad 18-y.o. Angel Guillen 1-2, 5.87 ERA, 1.70 WHIP in 15⅓ IP
Interesting 19-y.o. Yordani Garcia 3-2, 2.93 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, 5HBP, 8BB in 15IP

Good, Bad, Interesting — Vol. 7

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 17-38, 6th place I.L. North, 14 games behind

Good Tony Gwynn Jr. .316BA (12-for-38) over last 10G
Bad 27 pitching HBP “leads” International League
Interesting Still trail Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (16-39) for worst record in minors



HARRISBURG SENATORS 22-31, 5th place E.L. West, 10½ games behind

Good Austin Voth 3.47/2.51/1.19 in 11 games (59⅔ IP)
Bad Drew Vettleson .488 OPS in 11 games
Interesting 26 of 53 games decided by one run (9-17)



POTOMAC NATIONALS 24-30, 4th place C.L. North, 10 games behind

Good Christopher Bostick .325 BA (13-for-40), HR in last 10G
Bad Kevin Perez 6.32 ERA, 1.53 WHIP in six appearances
Interesting 17-1, 17-0, 16-0 when leading after 6, 7, 8 innings



HAGERSTOWN SUNS 28-26, 3rd place Sally North, 7 games behind

Good Drew Van Orden 2-1, 2.63 ERA as starter; 3-3 SV-SVO as reliever
Bad Cody Dent .481 OPS in 25G
Interesting 11-1 when starter goes six or more innings

Baseball America Ranks The Top 10 Nats Prospects

Baseball America for NPP
Having confirmed the new list via Twitter, here’s the new-and-improved Washington Nationals Top 10 list from Baseball America (Last year’s ranking in parentheses):

1. Lucas Giolito, RHP (1)
2. Michael Taylor, OF (7)
3. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP (–)
4. Erick Fedde, RHP (’14 Draft Pick)
5. A.J. Cole, RHP (2)
6. Wilmer Difo, 2B/SS (–)
7. Drew Ward, 3B (17)
8. Brian Goodwin, OF (3)
9. Nick Pivetta, RHP (22)
10. Austin Voth, RHP (15)

If you’re a TCU an A.J. Cole fan, you’re probably wondering what he did to drop three slots, but I think the better way to look at it is that the three guys ahead of him simply have either more upside (Fedde) or were in stratosphere this past summer (Taylor, Lopez).

Steve Souza was originally the #5 prospect on this list, though I think most most folks already knew this as the top 10 list was leaked (tweeted) earlier this week.

I’m a bit curious as to why Brian Goodwin remains ranked so high, given this tidbit (italics added):

They pushed him to Double-A Harrisburg by the second half of 2012, but he followed a lackluster 2013 with a horrific 2014 campaign at Triple-A Syracuse that ended on July 1 when he tore the labrum in his left shoulder sliding into second base.

Granted, Goodwin throws righthanded, but injury experts have long held that the torn labrum is baseball’s most fearsome injury, not to mention the conventional wisdom that shoulder injuries in general are what ends or alters baseball careers.

Unfortunately, BA did not weigh in on Difo’s defensive prowess so the SS vs. 2B debate will have to wait until the book is released or perhaps John Sickels’s book is released. They did, however, note that Drew Ward may outgrow 3B, pointing to his size-16 cleats and describing his footwork as merely adequate while noting his arm was strong and accurate.

BA’s projections for 2015 were as follows:

AAA –Taylor, Cole, Goodwin
High-A — Giolito, Lopez, Difo, Ward, Pivetta
Not specified — Fedde, Voth

I still believe Giolito will be jumped to AA (and would love to be wrong) because the Nats have not been keen on letting high-profile prospects play at Potomac (see: Strasburg, Harper, Goodwin). Voth is a near-lock to return to Harrisburg, while I’d expect Fedde to follow the track of Giolito and start out at the GCL and perhaps make an appearance with Auburn late in the year.

The NationalsProspects.com Top 10 Pitchers


As I expected, participation would be robust on this one — 15 ballots — and the top dog was the unanimous choice. A total of 24 pitchers were named, with four of the top five named on every ballot.

Before I continue, here’s the list:

                              1. Lucas Giolito
                              2. A.J. Cole
                              3. Reynaldo Lopez
                              4. Austin Voth
                              5. Erick Fedde
                              6. Matt Grace
                              7. Taylor Hill
                              8. Jefry Rodriguez
                              9. Felipe Rivero
                              10. Jake Johansen

Others receiving votes: Sammy Soilis, Nick Pivetta, Travis Ott, Rafael Martin, John Simms, Gilberto Mendez, Jake Walsh, Robert Benincasa, Wander Suero, Robbie Dickey, Luis Torres, Matt Spann, Matt Purke, Eric Fornataro

Now, the thoughts…

• This is the third straight year Giolito has been named the #1 pitcher, so no pressure to come to DC in 2015, right?

• Cole was also #2 for the second straight year, but turns 23 next month and we’re already seeing speculation as to when he’ll make his MLB debut. I’ll be the jerk who will note that he’d be an awfully good trade chip (see: Karns, Nathan).

• Lopez went from zero ballots in 2013 to the #3 pitcher in 2014. Saw him twice this past summer and this kid can deal. He got my #2 vote, one of two that Cole did not get.

• The other went to Fedde, who makes the list despite being in recovery from UCL replacement surgery. I’d scoff but Giolito is the knee-jerk “Yeah, but” and being the Nats top draft pick is going to carry some weight no matter what.

• As some of you noted, the list breaks down rather quickly after the first five or so names. The gap between #7 and #12 was just seven points. Until the last three or four ballots came in, there was basically a five-way tie for the last three slots.

• Grace’s addition to the 40-man is being read by quite a few of you as the lefthanded analog to Aaron Barrett from a year ago (OK, fine maybe that’s just me)

• Hill made the list despite getting hammered in two MLB starts and giving up five HR in his last 10 starts at Syracuse. He and Grace will be 26 in 2015, thus continuing the tradition of the old-guy skew

With the close of the winter meetings, which also saw the Nats go Yukon Cornelius on the Rule 5 draft, we’re now at the point where we wait for trades and transactions. In between, and as always, feel free to discuss in the comments.

Austin Voth Promoted To Harrisburg

Moving On Up for NPP
Among the slew of transactions that were received today, the promotion of 22-year-old Austin Voth stands out.

The move comes despite his worst outing in High-A this past Wednesday when he gave up five runs on six hits to Winston-Salem, chased by his second HR in 37⅔ innings. He’ll join former teammate John Simms as one of two pitchers to advance two levels this season, which has been rare since current GM Mike Rizzo took the helm from leath..er, previous GM Jim Bowden in 2009.

Here’s a rundown of the other moves made today…
SYRACUSE
• OF Eury Perez optioned from Washington (end of rehab)
• RHP Ryan Mattheus activated from the 7-Day DL

HARRISBURG
• RHP Neil Holland reassigned from Syracuse
• RHP Sam Runion placed on the 7-Day DL
• LHP Matt Purke recalled to Washington, placed on the 60-Day DL

POTOMAC
• LHP Bryan Harper reassigned from Harrisburg
• LHP Hector Silvestre reassigned from Hagerstown
• OF Isaac Ballou promoted from Hagerstown

HAGERSTOWN
• IF-OF Cody Dent reassigned from Potomac
• RHP Reynaldo Lopez reassigned from Auburn
• LHP Joseph Webb activated from the 7-Day DL

AUBURN
• LHP David Napoli reassigned from Hagerstown

Now, it’s certainly possible that the corresponding moves of Silvestre and Lopez are also promotions, but in a season where it feels like I need to take an Ex-Lax to keep up with all the moves, I’m hedging my bets with the more neutral verb.

Apologies in advance… the GBI is going to be delayed a day or so as some of you may have noticed that my website was having server issues earlier.

Voth “Defends” C.L. Pitcher of the Week Title

Potomac Nationals pitcher Austin Voth has been named the Carolina League’s Pitcher of the Week for the second straight week.

As he did the week prior, Voth tossed seven scoreless innings with one walk and eight K’s on the 18th but went one better with only one hit allowed versus two. He retired the last 16 batters he faced.

Unfortunately, the effort did not result in a win as Voth matched up against Wilmington’s Jonathan Dziedzic, who matched him goose egg for goose egg on the scoreboard and also got a no-decision for his efforts. The P-Nats ultimately lost the game, 3-0.

In five starts since his callup from Hagerstown, the 22-y.o. “northpaw” has turned in a quality start each time out with just a single run allowed on home run on June 29th and 36 strikeouts over 33 innings pitched. Between the two levels, Voth is 6-3 with a 1.75 ERA in 18 starts with a WHIP of 0.86 and 110 strikeouts in 102⅔ innings (9.64/9IP).

Austin Voth Named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week

Austin VothAfter flirting with a no-hitter for five innings, Austin Voth “only” threw seven shutout innings last Friday, but it was enough to win the Carolina League Pitcher of the Week honor for July 7th to the 13th.

Voth, whose name rhymes with “both,” struck out a season-best of eight and walked one, which cost him the perfect game in the 5th, but won for the second time in four starts for Potomac.

Overall, the 22-y.o. native of Washington state is 6-3 with a 1.88 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP in 17 starts between Low-A and High-A, where his current pitcher’s line looks like an SEC football player’s GPA in the spring, fall, and winter at 0.35/2.43/0.50.
In 26 innings for the P-Nats, he’s allowed nine hits and four walks while striking out 28.

Originally drafted in the 5th Rd. last year The Univ. of Washington, Voth blew through three levels in 2013, making seven of eleven starts for the Auburn Doubledays where he was 2-0 with a 1.47 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP, which earned him a place on this site’s 2014 Watchlist for RHPs.