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.

Aug 022013
 


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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 51-60, 6th place I.L. North, 8½ games behind

Good Zach Walters .404/.417/.936, 5HR, 11RBI since All-Star Break (14G)
Bad Cole Kimball 10.80 ERA/7.30 FIP/2.30 WHIP in 11 appearances
Interesting After game on July 4th – last place, 16½ games behind
After game on August 1 – last place, 8½ games behind



HARRISBURG SENATORS 61-51, 1st place E.L. West, 1½ games ahead

Good Brian Goodwin 24 multi-hit games, seven three-plus hit games
Bad Pat McCoy 6.75 ERA, 1.88 WHIP since All-Star Break
Interesting Starting Pitchers ERA, 3.40; Relievers ERA, 3.56 (through 8/1)



POTOMAC NATIONALS 24-14, 1st place C.L. North, 8 games ahead (66-41 overall)

Good David Fischer 2-0, 2.12 ERA, 1.06 WHIP in July (7 appearances)
Bad Cole Leonida .150/.250/.225, 13K in July (14 games)
Interesting Cutter Dykstra 26BB in July (29BB from April to June)



HAGERSTOWN SUNS 24-16, 2nd place Sally North, 1½ games behind (62-45 overall)

Good Brett Mooneyham 7-3, 2.48 ERA, 4.19 FIP, 1.10 WHIP
Bad Estarlin Martinez .171/.262/.229 in last 10G
Interesting 430 Batting BB leads Sally League



AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 13-31, 6th place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 15½ games behind

Good Isaac Ballou .277/.382/.362 in 39G
Bad Deion Williams 0-6, 9.42 ERA, 1.99 WHIP in eight GS
Interesting League-worst pitching, T4th fewest HRs allowed



GCL NATIONALS 30-6, 1st place East Division, Gulf Coast League, 13 games ahead

Good Wander Suero 4-0, 0.84 ERA/2.54 FIP/0.75 WHIP
Bad Willie Medina .505 OPS in 21G
Interesting 2012 Avg. Batter Age = 20.9
2013 Avg. Batter Age = 19.7



DSL NATIONALS 27-22, 5th place Boca Chica South, 5½ games behind

Good 18-y.o. Kelvin Gutierrez .316/.341/.500 since DSL All-Star Break
Bad 17-y.o. Yorlin Reynoso 13BB in 25⅓ IP
Interesting 17-y.o. Oliver Ortiz .314/.333/.343 in first 10G (assigned July 23)
Mar 232013
 

Following the signing of erstwhile southpaw J.C. Romero — who spent roughly two weeks with the Syracuse Chiefs in the summer of 2011 — the Nationals optioned RHP Cole Kimball to AAA and reassigned Jeremy Accardo to minor-league camp yesterday.

Kimball, who had been held out of games since last week due to shoulder stiffness, was reported to have had a successful bullpen session on Wednesday. Unsurprisingly, the 27-year-old was unhappy to learn of his fate. If healthy, he’s expect to work the late innings for the Chiefs.

Accardo hadn’t made an appearance since last Sunday and gave up five runs on 13 hits in seven one-inning outings, including runs in his last three appearances. Presuming he doesn’t have an opt-out clause, he’ll likely join Kimball in upstate New York in the Syracuse ‘pen.

Finally, as the headline suggests, sources are telling me that releases have been made for some of the minor leaguers. As stated last March, let’s not speculate or comment on who those guys are until the news is official.

Nov 192012
 

First, the stats…
BATTERS

PITCHERS
Now, the thoughts

  • Goodwin’s alleged baserunning gaffe not withstanding, the youngest of the AFL entrants acquitted himself just fine overall. He showed a lot more power than anyone might have expected — hitter-friendly environment or not. I still expect him to return to Harrisburg next year to work on his defense and refine his game.
  • Rendon fulfilled the lofty expectations placed upon him by both the prospect cheerleaders gurus and the casual Nats fans, who are already converting Ryan Zimmerman to first base before he turns 30 to make room for 2011 first-round pick. My inclination is to predict Harrisburg as his 2013 starting point, but can see him in Syracuse next April with a strong spring.
  • The party line is that Skole played first base merely to accommodate Rendon in the AFL, but that seems hard to believe that he’ll go back, given how well he played there and who’s ahead of him on the first-base path to DC (just Bloxom and Marrero). If the knock on his gaudy offensive numbers was that he was playing a level too low, then making him the Senators first baseman can kill two birds with one stone.
  • Martinson started horribly and finished strong. Will it be enough for him to not repeat Potomac? The Zach Walters experience suggests that he’ll sent back but Martinson is much older and played much more High-A ball. Keeping him at Potomac means keeping someone else at Hagerstown, much the way he was made to repeat to make room for Ricky Hague and Walters.
  • Options or not, Perry did not make a strong case to account the hype that he can be the #5 starter for the parent club. He’s likely to stay on the 40-man for now, but don’t be surprised if he’s returned to the bullpen next spring.
  • Demny is a Rule 5 possibility and as much as Rizzo covets hard-throwing righties, the bet here is that he won’t be protected. Demny’s future is in the bullpen and the whispers that the velocity has slipped are other reasons to believe he’ll be exposed.
  • Kimball may still be recovering from injuries, but it’s hard not to see him getting dropped from the 40-man today or tomorrow (if he hasn’t already) in the hopes that he’ll pass through waivers. What we’ll never know is whether that was the plan all along.
  • Barrett came into the AFL with a built-in excuse of inexperience (17 innings of High-A) but instead was used in the 7th and 8th innings and had seven scoreless outings out of ten. Alas, it probably won’t be enough for him to not repeat Potomac in ’13.
  • Next up: A look at the Nationals Rule 5 eligibles.

Nov 182012
 

A little bonus coverage, courtesy of Lee Magenheim, who’s been supplying us with this year’s photos.

And then I told the bartender: Shaken, not stirred…


First pitch from Ryan Perry.


Finishing up the fifth, Matt Skole makes the second out on the second pitch Aaron Barrett threw.

Cole Kimball, winner of the
2012 Dernell Stenson Award.

Before the fateful appeal play in the 7th.


Out at the plate in the 8th.

Presumably, awaiting the protest decision.

Nov 162012
 

Jason Martinson came off the bench to belt a two-run home run in place of Anthony Rendon as Salt River closed out the regular season with a 7-3 win over Surprise.

Rendon was not hurt, just manager Matt Williams emptying the bench. The 22-year-old singled, walked twice and scored two runs. Defensively, he had two assists while Martinson snared a liner in the 8th for his lone defensive chance; both played third base.

Brian Goodwin also played and went 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored as the Salt River DH.

Cole Kimball was the sole Nats pitcher to appear and had another subpar outing, allowing a run on four hits and a walk over two innings. The 2006 draft pick saw his AFL ERA inflate to 4.80 and his opponent BA rise to .290 with 18 hits allowed in 15 fall innings.

The Rafters will play against the Javelinas in the AFL Championship Game tomorrow, which will be televised on the MLB Network.

Nov 132012
 

A pair of crooked numbers in the 5th and 6th innings broke open a 2-1 game as the Salt River Rafters doubled up the Mesa Solar Sox, 8-4.

Ryan Perry got the win with a run (solo HR) on three hits given up over four innings, along with three walks and two strikeouts. Perry struggled to find the plate with just 35 of 67 pitches going for strikes.

Matt Skole once again batted third and played first, stroking two singles, drawing two walks, driving in two (including a sac fly) and scoring twice to push his numbers to .321/.429/.554. Defensively, the Georgian racked up eight putouts without an error.

Anthony Rendon shook off Saturday’s oh-fer with a pair of doubles and a walk to improve his line to .319/.488/.686. Rendon played third but had no assists or putouts.

Cole Kimball was scorched for the second time in three outings, surrendering three runs on two hits two walks over an inning and 2/3rds. He did strikeout three, but his ERA ballooned to 4.85 and the 27-year-old has as many walks (8) as strikeouts (8) in 13 innings this fall.

The win puts Salt River in the driver’s seat for a spot in the AFL Championship game on Saturday, as the Rafters lead the AFL East by 2½ games with three to play. They can eliminate second-place Scottsdale with a win today as the two teams meet at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick this afternoon.

Nov 102012
 

The Solar Sox scorched the Rafters for two in the 7th to break a 4-4 tie and held on for a 7-5 win, sending Salt River to its third straight loss.

Four Nationals saw game action:

  • Brian Goodwin was the DH and went 1-for-5 with an RBI double, a run scored, but whiffed twice.
  • Matt Skole also had an RBI double and drew a walk while going 1-for-3. He handled all four defensive chances without an error.
  • Anthony Rendon saw his 10-game on-base streak snapped with an 0-for-4 effort and two strikeouts. Defensively, he had a putout and two assists.
  • Cole Kimball went two scoreless innings and allowed a hit and a walk while fanning one, with 17 of 27 pitches thrown for strikes.

Scottsdale lost its fifth in a row, and still trails Salt River by 1½ games with five games left to play and just one more head-to-head matchup (Tuesday). The Rafters finish the penultimate week of the 2012 AFL season with a game against Phoenix this afternoon.

Nov 072012
 

Powered by Anthony Rendon’s 3-for-3 evening, the Salt River Rafters reclaimed first place in the AFL East with a 14-12 win over the Scottsdale Scorpions.

Rendon singled, doubled twice, scored twice, stole a base, drew a walk, delivered a baby between innings and drove in four while batting seventh and playing third base. The outburst improved the 2011 first-rounder’s line to .317/.411/.467. Defensively, the 22-year-old snagged another foul pop for his only putout.

The other Nats were not so fortunate…
• Brian Goodwin led off and was the Rafters DH, but went 0-for-3 with a walk and was hit by a pitch.
• Ryan Perry got the start and was stung for four runs on five hits and a walk over three and 2/3rds innings, giving up two home runs.
• Cole Kimball gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits and no walks, and struck out one over two innings. He was charged with a blown save.

Salt River and Scottsdale rematch next Tuesday, still separated by a ½ game in the AFL East with eight games left in the season.

Nov 032012
 

Matt Skole returned to the lineup and Anthony Rendon extended his hit streak, but a four-run rally in the second by Scottsdale put the game away early as the Scorpions sunk the Salt River Rafters, 9-2.

Skole went 0-for-4 with a strikeout as the Salt River DH. As mentioned in the comments, he tweaked a hamstring last week and had been held out as a precaution, per Byron Kerr’s feature story yesterday.

Rendon singled, tripled, and scored a run for a 2-for-4 game that pushed his average to .291. He’s hit safely in his last six contests. Defensively, however, he was charged with his third error of the fall, a fielding miscue in the bottom of the 1st.

Cole Kimball turned in another scoreless outing, letting in both inherited runners with the “help” of an interference call by an infielder. He allowed no runs of his own, one hit, one walk, and struck out one over an inning and two-thirds, with strikes on 17 of 32 pitches thrown.

With the loss, Salt River drops a ½ game behind Scottsdale in the AFL East with less than two weeks left in the season. Tonight is the “Rising Stars” showcase, pitting the East Division vs. the West Division*. Aaron Barrett, Brian Goodwin and Rendon were named to the East roster. Starting lineups have not yet been announced. * Apparently, American League vs. National League was too obvious?

The game will be played at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick tonight at 8 p.m. and televised on the MLB Network.