Time for our semi-weekly look at how the Nationals farmhands are doing in the offseason/winter leagues. All statistics as of 12/09/2012 12:40 a.m. EST.
As always, once the numbers “freeze,” I drop the player from graphic to save time/space. Most winter leagues will finish up in three weeks, with the Dominican Winter League closing out a week from Friday.
This, of course, is one of the dead zones of the offseason — first full day of Hanukkah, the start of week three for Christmas — as we await news with a minor-league angle. The usual press release about the managers and coaches has yet to be issued. The next transaction post from Baseball America will be watched a bit more closely, to see if the Nats will sign some FAs to replace the four arms lost in the Rule 5 draft.
Still no indication when John Sickels or Baseball Prospectus plans to tackle Washington’s Top 10/15/20 prospects (Baseball America covers the Nats on the 19th). If you’re really desperate to look at a list, Marc Hulet has a Top 15 compiled prior to the Rule 5 that was released on Friday at Fangraphs.com, while MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo updated his ongoing Top 20 after the Rule 5 (spoiler: Jeff Kobernus and Danny Rosenbaum out, Brandon Miller and Jordan Taylor in).
The Salt River Rafters and Phoenix Desert Dogs played to a 3-3 tie over 11 innings last night.
Three Nats farmhands played in the contest:
- Brian Goodwin was the DH and led off, but went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts.
- Matt Skole batted third, played first base, and went 1-for-3 with two walks.
- Aaron Barrett tossed two scoreless innings, giving up two hits, but striking out three
Defensively, Skole played error-free in nine chances and even turned a 3-6-3 DP — not bad for a guy new to the position.
Barrett was the subject of Byron Kerr’s latest missive on the minors, but I have a feeling folks might be more interested to learn that Kerr has confirmed what has long been suspected: Matt Purke has had shoulder surgery.
I’ve put in a couple of questions regarding a couple of other pitchers (Josh Smoker, Manny Rodriguez), though I suspect one or both has been released and the other, if not released, has had surgery.
# # #
Winter leagues have begun in Venezuela, Mexico and the Domnican Republic over the last few days. The Australian Baseball League begins its preseason tomorrow, regular season in 10 days while the Puerto Rican League starts three weeks from tomorrow. I’ll begin weekly updates on the stats for all the offseason leagues starting next week. In the meantime, here’s a look at the Nats players that have been spotted thus far (excluding players that did not play in the Washington minors this past summer):
|• Carlos Rivero
||• Manny Mayorson
|• Tanner Roark
||• Erik Davis
||• Pat McCoy
|• Zech Zinicola
||• Kevin Pucetas
|• Hassan Pena
||• Atahualpa Severino
semi weekly look at the Nationals players in the Winter Leagues, with all statistics as of 12:59 a.m. on December 14, 2011.
The past few days have reminded me of what it was like to be a small-town sports reporter during mud season (March) in New England: nothin’ going on and nowhere to go. (Don’t ask about basketball; this was a football town that fielded a hoops team to keep the WRs and DBs in shape).
This, unfortunately, got lost in the holiday shuffle and doctor’s appointments (not to worry, Spike is fine).
A few names have gotten dropped, since it appears they’ve either gone home or been cut. One notable addition is the recent Rule 5 pickup Matt Buschmann, pitching in the Mexican Winter League.
I’m still hopeful to report on some new Nats signings and to get an announcement regarding the coaching staffs, which came last year almost immediately after the Winter Meetings wrapped up. Sickels, Baseball Prospectus, and Bullpen Banter have all yet to name the 2012 top prospects lists for the Nats, and as much as I hate the bickering over who got ranked higher than whom, it does light the proverbial hot stove.
And if the past is prologue, posting today will mean that a flurry of news items will surface in the next 12-24 hours
UPDATE: Top Prospect Alert Minor League Blog has posted its Top 15 for the Nationals. It’s a curious list, but the disclaimer goes a long way towards explaining inclusions of Matt Skole and Taylor Hill.