Jun 202015
 


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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 23-45, 6th place I.L. North, 15½ games behind

Good Jason Martinson .299/.333/.448, 3HR, 7RBI in June
Bad Erik Davis 0-2, 8.74 ERA, 2.47 WHIP in 10 appearances
Interesting Steven Lerud 21-game on-base streak as a backup C



HARRISBURG SENATORS 28-38, 5th place E.L. West, 11½ games behind

Good Bryan Harper 1-0, 0SV, 0.00ERA, 0.67WHIP, .136OBA in June (four appearances)
Bad Last night’s loss was the eighth walkoff loss — most in professional baseball (H/T Perry Mattern, Sens PR)
Interesting Senators will play N.L.-style baseball for the next 22 games (ditto Terry Byrom)



POTOMAC NATIONALS 31-37, 4th Place C.L. North (eliminated from 1st half title race)

Good Narciso Mesa .354/.389/.415 in June (17G)
Bad 74 errors, 2nd most in the eight-team Car. Lg.
Interesting Estarlin Martinez .364/.417/.455 in June (13G)



HAGERSTOWN SUNS 34-33, 3rd place Sally North, 9 games behind (eliminated from 1st half title race)

Good Six team shutouts, tied for 2nd in 14-team Sally Lg.
Bad Austin Davidson .170/.279/.268 in 48G
Interesting .975 FA, 2nd best in Sally Lg.



DSL NATIONALS SUNS 6-12, 8th place Boca Chica South, 7 games behind

Good 18-y.o. Edward Trejos .481 OBP in 9G
Bad 19-y.o. Williantoni Uribarri 19.89 ERA, 2.84 WHIP in 4 appearances
Interesting 17-y.o. Tomas Alastre 0-1, 1.50 ERA, 1.17 WHIP in 3GS (12IP)
May 302015
 


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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 17-31, 6th place I.L. North, 9½ games behind

Good Scott McGregor 2-2, 2.12 ERA, 1.26 WHIP in May (5GS)
Bad Cutter Dykstra .517 OPS in 40G
Interesting Syracuse starters have had 19 quality starts in May (27G)



HARRISBURG SENATORS 21-26, 5th place E.L. West, 6½ games behind

Good Brian Jeroloman .846 in 10G
Bad Hector Ambriz 2-4 SV-SVO, 8.59 ERA, 1.64 WHIP in 7 appearances
Interesting Paul Demny 1.66 ERA, 0.97 WHIP in 14 appearances



POTOMAC NATIONALS 21-27, T3rd place C.L. North, 6½ games behind

Good Wander Suero 1-0, 0.00ERA, 1.39 WHIP in 5 relief apperances
Bad Estarlin Martinez .140 BA in May (7-for-50)
Interesting Five IBB issued is the most in the Carolina League



HAGERSTOWN SUNS 25-23, 3rd place Sally North, 7½ games behind

Good Grant DeBruin .314/.380/.396, HR, 25RBI in 41G
Bad Jefry Rodriguez 1-3, 7.58 ERA, 1.72 WHIP
Interesting 33CS 2nd most in Sally Lg., 60.7% success rate 2nd worst
Jul 182014
 


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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 58-39, 1st place I.L. North, 5 games ahead

Good Tyler Moore .329/.422/.530, 6HR, 30RBI in 42G
Bad Daniel Stange 27BB in 45IP (5.4/9IP)
Interesting 75 offensive SB 2nd best in I.L.



HARRISBURG SENATORS 39-58, 5th place E.L. West, 18½ games behind

Good Paolo Espino 1-0, 2.51 ERA, 0.63WHIP in July (3 appearances, 2 starts)
Bad Drew Vettleson .170/.216/.234 in July (16G)
Interesting 7 team shutouts, 4th best in E.L.; 8th of 8 teams in pitching (5.4 R/G allowed)



POTOMAC NATIONALS 13-12, 1st place C.L. North, ½ game ahead (51-43 overall)

Good Estarlin Martinez .316/.355/.421 since All-Star break (19G)
Bad Matt Spann 2-3, 5.26 ERA, 1.91 WHIP since All-Star break (5GS)/td>
Interesting 4th-best offense in C.L., 2nd fewest total bases



HAGERSTOWN SUNS 18-10, T1st place Sally North, 2 games ahead (62-36 overall)

Good David Napoli 1-0, 0.68 ERA, 0.832 WHIP in seven appearances
Bad James Yezzo 11BB in 84G
Interesting Tied with Greensboro for both 2nd half and overall records



AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 15-17, 4th place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 8½ games behind

Good “Orange” Marmolejos-Diaz .850 OPS
Bad Drew Van Orden 0-2, 11.05 ERA, 2.32 WHIP in 3GS
Interesting 14SB – 14th in 14-team NYPL (also CS = 14)



GCL NATIONALS 13-11, T2nd place East Division, Gulf Coast League, 3 games behind

Good Anderson Martinez 1-0, 0.73 ERA, 0.97 WHIP in 4 appearances (12⅓ IP)
Bad Darryl Florentino .424 OPS in 20G (58PA)
Interesting Oliver Ortiz five OF assists in 20G



DSL NATIONALS 23-18, T3rd place Boca Chica South, 3 games behind

Good 19-y.o. Joan Baez 3-1, 1.21/3.12/0.90 in 9GS
Bad 17-y.o. Luis Perdomo .214/.233/.214 in 16G
Interesting 17-y.o. Panamanian Steven Fuentes 6HBP, 7BB, 35K in 33IP
Jun 272014
 

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 49-31, 1st place I.L. North, 6 games ahead

Good Aaron Laffey 4-0, 1.95ERA, 1.18WHIP in June (5GS)
Bad Brian Goodwin .147/.237/.235 in last 10G
Interesting Six-game division lead the largest since August 12, 1998
(H/T Kevin Brown, Syracuse Dir. of Media & P.R.)



HARRISBURG SENATORS 30-47, 5th place E.L. West, 16 games ahead

Good Matt Skole .299/.409/.571, 5HR, 24RBI in June (22G)
Bad Neil Holland 1-1, 6.60 ERA, 1.53 WHIP in last 10 appearances
Interesting Tyler Herron 1-0, 2SV, 1.88 ERA, 1.26 WHIP in last 10 appearances



POTOMAC NATIONALS 5-2, T1st place C.L. North, 1½ games ahead (43-33 overall)

Good Gilberto Mendez 3-1, 3SV, 1.80 ERA, 0.60 WHIP in last 10 appearances
Bad Estarlin Martinez .157/.228/.196 vs. RHPs (.261/.292/.391 vs. LHPs)
Interesting Will Piwnica-Worms .324/.366/.432, 1HR, 16RBI in June (21G)


HAGERSTOWN SUNS 6-2, T1st place Sally North, 1 game ahead (50-28 overall)

Good Isaac Ballou .310/.365/.448, 2HR, 15RBI, 6SB in June (24G)
Bad Hector Silvestre 2-3, 6.49 ERA, 6HR allowed in June (5GS)
Interesting Rafael Bautista 33SB since May 1 (54G)


DSL NATIONALS 13-10, 3rd place Boca Chica South, 2 games behind

Good 17-y.o. Davinson Pimentel .362/.448/.517 in 17G
Bad 18-y.o. Jose Nunez 7.71 ERA, 2.49 WHIP, 11BB in 11⅔ IP
Interesting 17-y.o. Victor Robles 13SB in 18G
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)
Jul 082013
 

Estarlin Martinez has been named the South Atlantic League’s Batter of the Week for the week ofJuly 1-7, the first Hagerstown Sun to win a weekly award this season.

Martinez, who is currently riding an eight-game hitting streak, went 12-for-27 for the week with four doubles, a home run, and eight RBI while scoring seven runs and drawing three walks.

For the season, Martinez is hitting .251/.344/.358 with two HR and 52 RBI. The 21-year-old was on the DL from late April to late May.

He’s in his fourth season with Nationals organization, having begun in the DSL in 2009 and spending 2010 and 2011 in the GCL before making it north of Florida with a season in Auburn last summer, where he posted a strong campaign (.319/.385/.455) that put him on this site’s 2013 watchlist for outfielders for the second straight year.

Oct 152012
 

For the second straight season, the Auburn Doubledays won the Pinckney Division and racked up a .600+ winning percentage. Alas, for the second straight season they fell short of the league championship, losing in the Divisional round this year instead of the Finals last year, two games to one.

As the year prior, the lion’s share of the Doubledays roster was 2012 draftees — seven of the top 12 batters in terms of PAs, five of the top 12 pitchers in terms of IPs. This, of course, is a product of the Washington focus on drafting collegiate players (26 of 40) in general and seniors in particular (16 of 24 signees). Not to, um, beat a dead horse, but my stance from last year that the Nats should consider drafting more HS players in light of the large number of 22-24-y.o.’s in the system remains the same.

That the parent club is now in a window of opportunity that has come sooner than most reasonable people would have expected (most of the “Natmosphere” pegged them winning about 85-87 games) solidifies that opinion. In other words, the organizatiom can afford to spend more time developing a hidden gem rather than playing it safe and hoping that a collegiate player can be pushed from a serviceable backup to an everyday player.

Continuing with our format, let’s examine how Auburn compared to the rest of the N.Y. Penn League…
HITTING

PITCHING

Like last season, the 2012 Auburn Doubledays could hit, leading the league in runs scored, hits, and batting average and were second in on-base percentage and slugging. They weren’t quite as proficient in stealing bases in terms of quantity, but were successful nearly 79% of the time, a slight dip from last year’s insane rate of 85.5 percent.

On the flip side, however, the pitching needed all that offense because it wasn’t up to snuff: 10th in runs allowed and hit batsman, 13th in ERA and home runs allowed, 14th in hits allowed. There are a couple of caveats worth noting. Just two starting pitchers were below league-average in terms of ERA, though it should be noted that a couple pitchers had huge ERA-FIP differentials, which is not uncommon in short-season ball, and roughly a half-dozen pitchers had better than a 3:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

I’m listing the Top 13* hitters and pitchers in terms of plate appearances and innings pitched and using defensive games played for the listing of position. The full statistics for the team can be found here.
(# = 2011 Draft Pick   ** = DSL Graduate)   *One extra because the #13 guy on both lists is worth noting

There is really little to complain about when it came to the offense — 10 of these 13 were above league average in GPA (link for those unfamiliar) and seven had isolated power rates (likewise) above the norm. Yes, you can write off some of this in the aggregate to age, but this was true last year and that carried over to Hagerstown this year (as predicted).

Defensively, the team was middle-of-the pack with one rather notable exception: catchers. Kieboom and Manuel (along with third-stringer Andruth Ramirez) combined to throw out 45% of the runners that attempted to steal against them and allowed a league-low 38 in 76 games, which is phenomenal when you consider how many opportunities teams had to run against them. Plus, the trio committed just six errors (four by Ramirez) for an aggregate fielding percentage of .991.

It’s not all sunny though, as we move along to the pitchers…

To be sure, there are some bright spots to be found here. Robert Benincasa’s outstanding walk and strikeout rates (1.2 BB/9and 12.3 K/9 for a ratio of 10.67 to 1) Derek Self’s 2.50 FIP, Nick Lee and Blake Monar’s HR rates (0.29 and 0.16 respectively). But you can also see a some high walk totals and as aforementioned, the team gave up the second-most HRs in the league. There are also quite a few innings there thrown by middle-relief/swingmen that had ERAs close to 5.00 (121⅓ between Medina, Waterman and Fischer, which sounds like a law firm, doesn’t it?).
OBLIGATORY TOP FIVE LISTS
For the third straight year, I was able to make it to an Auburn contest, albeit a single game in Aberdeen. Still, this mostly sight-unseen, like the GCL and DSL and prone to the same problems that lead to the same misjudgments in rankings. For example, I put Bryce Ortega ahead of Matt Skole last year and didn’t rank Nathan Karns as a Top 5 for Auburn (though in my defense, Karns had a WHIP of 1.473 over eight starts after blowing through the GCL). So I expect to be wrong on a couple of these, too (hence the honorable mentions, natch).

Top 5 Batters
1. Estarlin Martinez
2. Wander Ramos
3. Brandon Miller
4. Shawn Pleffner
5. Mike McQuillan
HMs: Spencer Kieboom, Narciso Mesa

Top 5 Pitchers
1. Nick Lee
2. Robert Benincasa
3. Derek Self
4. Brett Mooneyham
5. Pedro Encarnacion
HMs: Ivan Pineyro, Cody Davis

Oct 022012
 

Like two years ago, the first couple of 2012 league Top 20s from Baseball America — Gulf Coast League, New York-Penn League — have been sans Nats.

That will most likely change with tomorrow’s Top 20 for the 2012 South Atlantic League, with Brian Goodwin, Alex Meyer and Matt Skole as good possibilities to make the list.

However, there was a mention in the BA chat held yesterday, which I’ll pass along:

Ben (Leland Grove): Did any of the Doubledays come close to making this list?

Aaron Fitt: As our college readers surely know, I’ve been a Tony Renda fan for a long time, and he was in the mix for a spot on this list. He’s an undersized second baseman who did not stand out for his performance in his pro debut, but he has an innate feel for his barrel that I think will carry him through the minors. He also made great strides defensively this summer, though he has a few more things to clean up in order to become an average defender. Brett Mooneyham had an encouraging debut, but he’s got to smooth out his delivery in order to harness his potential — I think there’s a lot of risk there. Robert Benincasa and Derek Self are a couple of college relievers who pitched very well this summer; both have polish, tenacity and solid stuff (working in that 90-93 range with solid-average sliders), and I think both could move quickly. And Estarlin Martinez is an interesting sleeper with some power potential — certainly a guy to keep an eye on.

The Doubledays, as you’ll be shocked to learn (no, not really), were one of the oldest teams in the New York-Penn League. This is a function, of course, of the organization’s tendency (philosophy?) towards collegiate players. It’s disappointing, of course, when there were two candidates (Martinez, Narciso Mesa) that put up stronger numbers than the four OFs that were tabbed, but two were younger and two were recent high-price/high-profile draftees — and let’s not forget BA’s tendency to favor youth and money spent when it comes to prospects.

Sep 072012
 

Our final 2012 look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues. Repeats from 2011 are in italics.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS
70-74, 5th place International League North Division, 14 games behind

Good Bat: Corey Brown .285/.365/.523, 25HR, 18SB in 126G
Arm: Zach Duke 15-5, 3.51 ERA, 26 starts, 164⅓ IP
Bad Bat: Koyie Hill .163/.226/.231 in 31G
Arm: Austin Bibens-Dirkx 0-3, 5.59ERA, 1.56WHIP in 29G, 46⅓ IP
Interesting Bat: Carlos Rivero .303/.347/.435 in 126G
Arms: Jeff Mandel 6-5, 2.58ERA, 1.12WHIP in 19G, 11GS
          Christian Garcia 1-1, 0.56ERA, 14SV in 27G

HARRISBURG SENATORS
64-78, 5th place Eastern League Western Division, 18½ games behind

Good Bat: Eury Perez .299/.325/.342, 26SB in 82G
Arm: Ryan Perry 2-4, 2.84 ERA, 1.11 WHIP
Bad Bat: Stephen King .185/.215/.218 in 47G
Arm: Chien-Ming Wang 1-5, 6.75ERA, 9HR in 9 starts, 45⅓ IP
Interesting Bat: Zach Walters .293/.326/.518 in 43G
Arm: Erik Davis 7-3, 2.52 ERA, 1.23 WHIP

POTOMAC NATIONALS
33-36 in 2nd half, 3rd place Carolina League Northern Division, 3½ games behind
31-39 in 1st half, 2nd place, 8 games behind
64-75 overall

Good Bat*: Justin Bloxom .259/.331/.478 in 65G
Arm: Nathan Karns 8-4, 2.26ERA, 1.02WHIP, 87K in 13 starts
*David Freitas was on track for this honor prior to his trade to Oakland
Bad Bat: Jeff Howell .225/.276/.282 in 20G after dropping down from AAA
Arm: Robbie Ray 6-12, 6.56 ERA, 1.62 WHIP in 105⅔ IP
Interesting Bat: Francisco Soriano .338/.430/.452 in 2nd half
Arm: Rob Wort 95K in 56⅔ IP (15.08/9IP)

HAGERSTOWN SUNS
40-28 in 2nd half, 1st place South Atlantic League Northern Division, 3 games ahead
42-27 in 1st half, 2nd place, 3½ games behind
84-55 overall

Good Bat: Matt Skole .286/.438/.574, 27HR in 101G
Arm: Alex Meyer 7-4, 3.10ERA, 1.13WHIP in 18 starts
Bad Bat: Hendry Jimenez .205/.259/.321 in 65G
Arm: Chris McKenzie 2-3, 8.64ERA, 2.05WHIP in 50IP
Interesting Bat: Steve Souza Jr. .290/.346/.576, 17HR in 70G
Arm: Christian Meza 8-1, 2.97ERA, 1.16WHIP in 88IP

AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS
46-30, 1st Place Pinckney Division of New York-Penn League, 2 games ahead

Good Bats: Estarlin Martinez .319/.385/.455 in 66G
         Shawn Pleffner .329/.394/.458 in 55G
Arm: Brett Mooneyham 2-2, 2.55ERA, 1.23WHIP in 10G/9GS
Bad Bat: Jordan Poole .196/.256/.299, 47K in 31G
Arm: Ivan Pineyro 3-2, 5.50ERA, 1.66WHIP in 8GS
Interesting Bat: Wander Ramos .275/.377/.449 in 67G
Arm: Nick Lee 3-1, 3.77ERA, 1.35ERA in 13G/11GS

GCL NATIONALS
27-33, 4th place Gulf Coast League East Dvision, 8 games behind

Good Bat: Matt Foat .333/.404/.401 in 43G
Arm: Will Hudgins 4-3, 2.21 ERA, 1.04WHIP in 36⅔ IP
Bad Bat: Hayden Jennings .192/.254/.231, 70K in 47G
Arm: Adalberto Mieses 1-5, 5.05ERA, 1.61WHIP in 41IP
Interesting Bat: Mike McQuillan .375/.478/.429 in 19G (promoted to Auburn)
Arm: Joel Barrientos 4-1, 3.00ERA, 42K in 45IP (turned 19 in Aug.)

DSL NATIONALS
38-32, 3rd place, Boca Chica South Division of Dominican Summer League, 11 games behind

Good Bat: 19-y.o. Rafael Bautista .329/.419/.395, 47SB in 67G
Arm: 19-y.o. Hector Silvestre 5-3, 3.20 ERA, 1.20 WHIP in 76IP
Bad Bat: 17-y.o. Wester Suarez .130/.322/.152 in 24G
Arm: 20-y.o. Philips Valdez 2-2, 5.40 ERA, 1.97 WHIP in 48⅓ IP
Interesting Bat: 19-y.o. Jose “Orange” Marmolejos-Diaz .298/.362/.490 in 69G
Arm: 17-y.o. Maximo Valerio 3-5, 3.55 ERA, 1.25 WHIP in 63⅓ IP
Aug 082012
 

Rosters for the 2012 New York-Penn League All-Star team were announced this afternoon and five Auburn Doubledays made the N.L. squad:

• 1B Shawn Pleffner .322/.354/.471, 24RBI in 29G (reserve)

• SS Wes Schill .270/.329/.333, 16RBI in 38G (reserve)

• C Craig Manuel .273/.354/.313, 8RBI in 40G (reserve)

• OF Estarlin Martinez .329/.392/.484, 24RBI in 40G (starting OF)

• OF Wander Ramos .284/.388/.466, 26RBI in 43G (reserve)

The Mahoning Valley Scrappers are the 2012 hosts for the 8th annual exhibition. Manuel is a 10th round pick from the 2012 draft, Pleffner is a 26th round pick from the 2011 draft, Schill is a 2011 NDFA, and Martinez and Ramos are products from the DSL that began their careers in 2009.