Jun 042016
 

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS – 27-26, 5th Place I.L. North, 3 games behind

Good Matt Skole .354/.382/.492 vs. LHPs
Matt Grace 1.00ERA, .212OBA vs. LHBs
Bad Scott Sizemore 8E in 50G
Taylor Hill 8HR in 53⅓IP
Interesting Caleb Ramsey .307/376/.412 in 48G
10HBP by Chiefs pitchers – fewest in the I.L.


HARRISBURG SENATORS 27-25, 3rd place E.L. West, 9 games behind

Good Christopher Bostick .324/.382/.468 in May
Lucas Giolito 3-0, 1.82 ERA, 1.08 WHIP in last 5GS
Bad Wilmer Difo .549OPS, 11E in 50G
Nick Lee 20BB in 26IP
Interesting Shawn Pleffner 20RBI, 34H (one HR)
Koda Glover 2-0, 2SV, 22K, 5BB in 15⅔ IP since callup


POTOMAC NATIONALS 29-23, 2nd place C.L. North, 5 games behind

Good Alec Keller .307/.372/.405, 36RBI in 46G
Greg Ross 2-2, 1.45ERA, 1.19WHIP in 19 appearances
Bad Narciso Mesa .551OPS in 30G
Luis Reyes 29BB in 49⅔ IP
Interesting 26CS, 69.4% CS rate – 2nd most/worst in C.L.
R.C. Orlan .094 OBA by RHBs


HAGERSTOWN SUNS 35-19, 1st place Sally North, 4 games ahead

Good Max Schrock .314/.373/.440, 13SB in 52G
Jefry Rodriguez 3-0, 0.53ERA, 0.88WHIP in last 3GS
Bad Ryan Ripken 5BB, 38K in 43G
Joan Baez 1.66WHIP in 10GS
Interesting Austin Davidson .928OPS – leads the team (Robles, .888)
W’s and SV’s only two team-pitching categories Suns lead in for Sally Lg.
(Yes, they have league’s best record)
Apr 232016
 


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
Jul 112015
 


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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 34-56, 6th place I.L. North, 14½ games behind

Good Rafael Martin 2-1, 1.23 ERA, 0.82 WHIP in last 10 appearances
Bad Mario Lisson .172BA (5-for-29) in last 10G
Interesting Caleb Ramsey .317/.402/.382 since June 1



HARRISBURG SENATORS 43-45, 5th place E.L. West, 6 games behind

Good Matt Skole .316/.413/.579 in July (10G)
Bad Excluding rehab outings, Nick Pivetta was the 13th starting pitcher in less than 90 games
Interesting After breaking seven-game losing streak on June 9, Senators have won 21 of 31



POTOMAC NATIONALS 10-5, 1st place C.L. North, 1½ games ahead (43-42 overall)

Good Lucas Giolito 0HR allowed in 58⅔ IP
Bad Stephen Perez .171BA in July (10G)
Interesting Alec Keller .316/.366/.421 in 10G since promotion from Hagerstown


HAGERSTOWN SUNS 9-7, 2nd place Sally North, 3 games behind (44-40 overall)

Good Jose “Orange” Marmolejos-Diaz .316/.413/.579, 13RBI since All-Star break (16G)
Bad Sam Johns 0-2, 1SV, 6.06 ERA, 1.35 WHIP in last 10 appearances
Interesting Suns 29-14 when they score first (15-26 vice versa)



AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 8-11, 4th place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 6½ games behind

Good Luis Torres 2-0, 0.64 ERA, 0.79 WHIP in five appearances
Bad Luis Guzman .423 OPS, 17K in 12G
Interesting Doubledays have outscored opponents 15-4 in the 9th inning



GCL NATIONALS 7-10, 4th place GCL East, 3½ games behind

Good Victor Robles .385/.492/.635, 10SB in 17G
Bad Steven Fuentes 0-2, 10.45 ERA, 2.23 WHIP in 3GS
Interesting Darryl Florentino .419 BA in 11G (hit .195 in 44G last year in GCL)



DSL NATIONALS 16-20, 4th place Boca Chica North, 11½ games behind

Good 20-y.o. Jeffrey Rosa 0-1, 2.63 ERA, 1.04 WHIP in 6GS
Bad 17-y.o. Yoel Andujar .526OPS, 24K in 24G
Interesting 18-y.o. Yonathan Ramirez 27K:6BB in 33IP
Jun 132014
 


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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 38-28, T1st place I.L. North, 5 games ahead

Good Warner Madrigal 1.08 ERA, 1.20 WHIP since return to AAA (8 appearances)
Bad Josh Johnson .161BA (and SLG, and OBP) over last 10G
Interesting Jhonatan Solano .462/.500/.731, 2HR, 8RBI in June



HARRISBURG SENATORS 26-38, 5th place E.L. West, 11½ games behind

Good Cutter Dykstra .316/.341/.421 in last 10G
Bad Team Pitching WHIP, 1.48 — 11th in 12-team E.L.
Interesting Caleb Ramsey .462/.523/.513 in June



POTOMAC NATIONALS 36-29, 1st Half C.L. North Division Winner

Good Robert Benincasa 1-0, 3SV, 0H, 3BB in last 5 appearances (5⅓ IP)
Bad Pedro Severino .178BA, 6E since May 1 (30G)
Interesting Randolph Oduber .309/.346/.443 since return from AA (38G)



HAGERSTOWN SUNS 42-23, 1st place Sally North, 2½ games ahead

Good Spencer Kieboom .348/.379/.551 since coming off the DL in May (23G)
Bad Nick Pivetta 10.61 ERA, 2.57 WHIP in last 3GS
Interesting Nine holds, T11th in 14-team Sally League



DSL NATIONALS SUNS 42-23, 1st place Sally North, 2½ games ahead

Good 18-y.o. Israel Mota .349/.391/.721, 3HR, 14RBI in 11G
Bad 19-y.o. Carlos Acevedo 11.81 ERA, 1.88 WHIP in 1st two appearances
Interesting 16-y.o. Anderson Franco 7E, 7RBI in 11G
Aug 232013
 

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 63-70, 6th place I.L. North, 9½ games behind

Good Caleb Clay 4-2, 2.38 ERA, 1.03 WHIP since promotion from Harrisburg
Bad Danny Espinosa .538 OPS in August (19 games)
Interesting Cole Kimball 2.57 ERA, 1.00 WHIP in last five appearances (8/10-20)
(21.94, 3.19 in five appearances from 7/25-8/7)



HARRISBURG SENATORS 69-62, 2nd place E.L. West, ½ game behind

Good Richie Mirowski 1-0, 1.59 ERA, 14K in seven August appearances (11⅓ IP)
Bad 67 steals, 62.6% success rate (both league worst)
Interesting 7 of 11 remaining games against current 1st- (Erie) and 3rd-place (Richmond) teams;
other four against last-place Altoona



POTOMAC NATIONALS 37-22, 1st place C.L. North, 7½ games ahead (79-49 overall)

Good Caleb Ramsey .342/.379/.367 in August (20 games)
Bad Most pitching HRs allowed in the Carolina League…
Interesting … yet still leads Carolina League at 4.15 R/G



HAGERSTOWN SUNS 38-22, 2nd place Sally North, 1½ games ahead (76-51 overall)

Good Tony Renda .343/.465/.457 in last 10 games
Bad Um, no complete games?
Interesting Seven players with double digits in steals



AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 22-40, 6th place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 16½ games behind (eliminated)

Good Silvio Medina 12.8K/9IP (44K in 31IP)
Bad Cody Dent 3-for-30, 9K over last 10 games
Interesting 426 Team Batting K’s 4th best (fewest) in NYPL



Editor’s note: Due to time constraints, the GCL and DSL are being skipped for this edition. The next GBI will be published after the close of the regular season.

Jun 142013
 


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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 27-37, 6th place I.L. North, 10 games behind

Good Tanner Roark 2-0, 2.36 ERA/2.76 FIP/0.93 WHIP as a reliever
Bad Micah Owings 63K in 49G
Interesting 19 holds, 2nd in I.L.



HARRISBURG SENATORS 35-31, T1st place E.L. West, 2½ games ahead

Good Taylor Jordan (duh) 5-0, 0.66ERA, 1.49FIP, 0.78WHIP
Bad Brian Goodwin .182/.308/.333 in last 10G
Interesting 171 BB fewest in E.L., 38 HBP 2nd most in E.L.



POTOMAC NATIONALS 39-26, 1st place C.L. North, 4.5 games ahead (clinched)

Good Caleb Ramsey .333/.360/.458 in June
Bad David Fischer 17BB in 14⅓ IP
Interesting .975 FA best in Carolina League


HAGERSTOWN SUNS 35-28, 2nd place Sally North, 1 game behind

Good Will Piwinica-Worms .294/.415/.441 in June
Bad Nick Lee 1.61 WHIP in first five appearances
Interesting Eight team shutouts, T1st Sally League


DSL NATIONALS 8-3, 1st Boca Chica South, 2 games ahead

Good 18-y.o. Luis Reyes 1.86 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 11K in first two starts
Bad 18-y.o. Thomas Alvarez .212 OPS in 29PA
Interesting 18-y.o. Kelvin Gutierrez .371/.488/.543 in 10G
Oct 222012
 

On the field, the Hagerstown Suns improved upon a successful 2011 campaign with an 82-55 overall record. They missed the first half by three games with a 42-27 mark, but won the second with slightly worse record of 40-28, only to get swept in the playoffs with a pair of 2-run losses (3-1, 7-5). Some may blame the late promotion of Matt Skole at the very late date of August 15 — two months too late, if you ask some folks — for the quick playoff exit, the more objective take is that the pitching just wasn’t there, much like Auburn.

Off the field, the Suns entered the 2012 season with the spectre of the team leaving for Winchester and the rumblings of a new stadium being built in Hagerstown, culminating in a rather bold move of the team opening the kimono by giving a tour of Municipal Stadium, ostensibly to demonstrate that renovation is a not an option. The move may have prevented the team from losing its PDC through 2014, but it’s hard not to infer that threat of the team leaving is to blame for the huge drop in attendance from 2011 to 2012 (1,931 per game to 1,366 — a 29.3% decrease).

Back to the review… Let’s take a look at how the Suns compared to the rest of the South Atlantic League:
HITTING

PITCHING



Like 2011, the Suns were among the league leaders in runs and homers (2nd), hits and stolen bases (3rd), and walks (1st). I’ll go out on a limb and say this will probably be true for 2013, too. Unfortunately, some of the reason for this is that the team was among the oldest in the league, with multiple players repeating the level.

Pitching, which had been the organization’s strong suit for years, is now becoming one of its weaknesses. This the fourth of the seven affiliates, and all four levels have given up runs above the league average. This is not to say there weren’t bright spots in Hagerstown — obviously, a couple of examples stand, um, head & shoulders above the others — but it does seem like there was a Mr. Hyde for every Dr. Jekyll. When you can outslug your competition, it often goes unnoticed (well, at least until the playoffs), but this the last level where that’s the case.

Turning back to the bats, we now look at the Top 12 hitters in terms of plate appearances. As always, full statistics for the team can be found here, and the key for the asterisks is one * for the 2011 draft picks and two ** for the DSL graduates.
Like Auburn, there is really little to complain about in terms of overall offensive production. Just three of the top 12 produced below the league average, and three produced Nintendo-like numbers for both Gross Production Average and Isolated Power. The problem, of course, is that quite a few of these players were playing a level behind where they should have, as my Hagerstown guy put it in his review.

The only beacon of hope is that maybe, just maybe, one or two of the position players that were promoted from here to Potomac will be challenged with Harrisburg rather than resuming 2013 in Woodbridge. I know that sounds harsh, but perhaps an offseason “leapfrog” might serve as both an incentive to the Low-A guys and reminder to the High-A guys that moving up to the next level isn’t a foregone conclusion. The large number of six-year FA pitchers that were brought in at AA and AAA this year is an example of that line of thinking.

Speaking of pitchers…
For all the bitching and moaning discontent over the lack of promotions in the system, Hagerstown was interesting case when it came to pitchers. Four pitchers were promoted from Hagerstown to Potomac, and four pitchers were promoted to the Hub City — but two of those came not from Auburn but from the GCL. And three were 2012 picks.

It’s the skipping over that’s unusual. Ordinarily, one would expect a sequence like Blake Schwartz going from Viera to Auburn and Blake Monar going from Auburn to Hagerstown. Likewise for Leonard Hollins and, say, Travis Henke. It may be just be an anomaly, but it’s worth noting nonetheless.

For the second straight year, eleven pitchers made at least five starts for the Suns. Ineffectiveness and promotions were more to blame than injuries this year, with one starter dropping down from Potomac and two moving up midseason and one very late. Five pitchers went up and back to Viera for fine-tuning (most notably, Turnbull and Estevez) and a sixth went out for the year and under the knife (Brian Dupra).

Once again, I’ll refer you to my eyes on the field for Hagerstown’s hurlers.

OBLIGATORY TOP FIVE LISTS
Before blasting me for not listing Karns, remember that he pitched more innings for Potomac and I’m trying to avoid double-listing guys, which gets more difficult as we hit the upper levels. There isn’t a set number of spots to fill for the watchlist, after all. If it means fewer guys and shorter lists at the upper levels, so be it.

Position Players
1. Brian Goodwin
2. Matt Skole
3. Billy Burns
4. Jason Martinson
5. Steve Souza
HM: Caleb Ramsey

Pitchers
1. Alex Meyer
2. Christian Meza
3. Aaron Barrett
4. Brian Rauh
5. Blake Schwartz
HM: Ben Hawkins

Aug 272012
 

Caleb Ramsey has been named the South Atlantic League’s Batter of the Week for the week of August 20 to 26, the second Nationals farmhand to be honored this week.

Ramsey batted safely in five of six games during the week, collecting 10 hits and five extra-base hits, with a pair of doubles, a trio of triples and 10 RBI while scoring five runs and drawing two walks.

He’s the second Sun to earn the Sally League’s Batter of the Week honors, following Steve Souza Jr. (July 2-8). Alex Meyer earned Pitcher of the Week honors for the week of June 11-17.

The 2011 eleventh-round pick out of the University of Houston is batting .324/.407/.465 for the month of August and has played in 120 of the Suns 130 games thus far.

Aug 242012
 

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 63-70, 5th place I.L. North, 14½ games behind

Good Sandy Leon .371/.511/.600 in August (14G)
Bad Erik Arnesen 5.51ERA, 1.59WHIP since All-Star Break
Interesting Eury Perez 8BB in 34G at AAA (7 in 82G at AA)

HARRISBURG SENATORS 61-70, 5th place E.L. West, 15½ games behind

Good Destin Hood .289/.325/.447 in last 10G
Bad Rafael Martin 9H, 8ER, 3HR in last 3 appearances
Interesting Pat McCoy Home ERA: 5.47, Road ERA: 1.32

POTOMAC NATIONALS 27-32, 4th place C.L. North Division, 3 games behind (58-71 overall)

Good Aaron Barrett 1.26ERA, 0.77WHIP since callup (14G)
Bad Adrian Sanchez 15CS vs. 23SB (39.5%)
Interesting 40-27 home record, 3rd best in C.L.

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 35-24, 1st place Sally League North Divison, 2½ games ahead (77-51 overall)

Good Caleb Ramsey .452/.528/.710, three triples in last 10G
Bad Alex Kreis 6.75ERA, 2.34WHIP since return from GCL (8G)
Interesting Team batting 113HR in 128G

AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 38-25, 1st place Pinckney Division, N.Y.-Penn League, 3 games ahead

Good Wander Ramos 27BB in 55G
Bad Silvio Medina 9HBP in 43⅓ IP
Interesting Team pitching 36HR — 14th in 14-team NYPL

GCL NATIONALS 26-32, 4th Place GCL East, 8 games behind (eliminated)

Good Mike Mudron 1.00WHIP in 24IP
Bad Narciso Mesa 2BB in 32G
Interesting Wilmer Difo 33BB in 52G

DSL NATIONALS 38-32, 3rd Place Boca Chica South Division, 11 games behind (eliminated)

Good 18-y.o. Raudy Read 9HR – 3rd best in DSL
Bad 18 y.o. Miguel Acevedo 7HBP in 32⅔ IP
Interesting 38 team wins most since “Smileygate”
Jul 272012
 

A reminder: This is just for fun, a pithy look at who’s hot and who’s not. I do make an effort to not name folks in consecutive editions unless they’re on a run like Tyler Moore in 2010. The “Curse of the GBI,” is more attributable to a hot streak ending (or beginning) than anything else, though I may attribute any twinges of pain in my back to voodoo instead of scar tissue from a microdiskectomy 😉

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 49-56, 6th place I.L. North, 9½ games behind

Good Pat Lehman 0.71ERA, 0.95WHIP in last 10 appearances
Bad Seth Bynum .194/.268/.306 in July
Interesting Atahualpa Severino .288 OBA by LHBs, .147 OBA by RHBs

HARRISBURG SENATORS 51-53, 5th place E.L. West, 12 games behind

Good Zach Walters .892 OPS in 35G (6HR, 17RBI)
Bad Robert Gilliam 9.10ERA, 1.81WHIP in last 10 appearances
Interesting Ryan Perry 2.14ERA, 1.04WHIP in first 7 starts

POTOMAC NATIONALS 17-17, T2nd place C.L. North Division, ½ game behind (48-56 overall)

Good Michael Taylor .302/.362/.500 in July
Bad Robbie Ray 0-4, 5.70ERA, 1.73WHIP in 2nd half (7 appearances)
Interesting Adrian Sanchez .340/.364/.434 in July

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 20-14, T1st place Sally League North Divison, 2 games ahead (62-41 overall)

Good Caleb Ramsey .351/.351/.486 in last 10 games
Bad Bobby Lucas 14.54ERA, 2.92WHIp in last 10 appearances
Interesting Christian Meza 2-0, 0.60ERA, 0.87WHIP as a starter

AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 23-14, 1st place Pinckney Division, N.Y.-Penn League, 2 games ahead

Good Wander Ramos .474SLG (4HR, 1-3B, 9-2B of 31H)
Bad Elliot Waterman 10BB in 13IP, 1.77WHIP
Interesting #1 in NYPL runs scored, #11 in runs allowed

GCL NATIONALS 13-21, 4th Place GCL East, 10 games behind

Good Mike Mudron 2.20ERA, 0.86WHIP in 16⅓ IP
Bad Diomedes Eusebio 10E in 29G
Interesting Jean-Carlos Valdez nine doubles in 29G

DSL NATIONALS 23-23, 6th Place Boca Chica South Division, 10½ games behind

Good 18-y.o. Raudy Read 1E in 29G at catcher (43% CS)
Bad 18-y.o. Miguel Acevedo 1.69WHIP, 7HB in 28⅓ IP
Interesting 18-y.o. Juan De Los Santos 24BB in 36G