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)
May 142016
 


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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 19-15, 1st place I.L. North, 1 games ahead

Good Brian Goodwin .316/.378/.482, 3HR, 17RBI in 32G
Aaron Laffey 3-0, 1.55/3.02/1.34 in 7 appearances, 6GS
Bad Kevin Keyes .450 OPS, 20K in 15G since callup
A.J. Cole 1.66 WHIP, 5HR in 31⅓ IP (7GS)
Interesting Pedro Severino .355/.375/.581 in May (9G)
16 holds, T2nd in I.L.


HARRISBURG SENATORS 15-18, 4th place E.L. West, 8½ games behind

Good Neftali Soto, .353/.411/.608, 3HR, 19RBI in May (13G)
Jaron Long 1-1, 1.33/4.09/1.33 WHIP in 4GS
Bad Shawn Pleffner .387 OPS in 31G
Gilberto Mendez 0-2, 8.24 ERA, 1.88 WHIP in nine appearances
Interesting 42SB, 2nd in E.L.; 9CS, fewest in E.L. (82.4 SB%)
33HR most allowed in the E.L.


POTOMAC NATIONALS 17-15, 2nd place C.L. North, 4 games behind

Good Andrew Stevenson .331/.396/.452, 14SB in 30G
Ryan Brinley 2-0, 4 SV, 0.64/1.72/0.79 in nine appearances
Bad Justin Thomas 1-2, 8.10ERA, 11BB in 10IP
Bryan Mejia 6E in 28G
Interesting 28E, fewest (tied) in C.L. (yes, really)
23 GIDP, most (tied) in C.L. (with Salem on both)


HAGERSTOWN SUNS 21-12, 2nd place Sally North, 1½ games behind

Good Victor Robles .336/.423/.484, 12SB in 33G
Matt Crownover 3-1, 1.44/3.61/1.04 in 25IP
Bad Jakson Reetz .504OPS in 19G
Luis Torres 1-1, 7.20ERA, 1.73WHIP in 15IP
Interesting Ian Sagdal .307/.386/.477 in 26G
Jorge Pantoja 5-0, 0.63/2.43/0.70 in 14⅓ IP
Jul 042015
 

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 28-54, 6th place I.L. North, 17 games behind

Good Darin Mastroianni .289BA (11-for-38) over last 10G
Bad Eric Fornataro 10.66 ERA, 2.37 WHIP over last 10 appearances
Interesting Kevin Keyes .333/.377/.514, 2HR, 15RBI in 18G since callup



HARRISBURG SENATORS 39-42, 5th place E.L. West, 8 games behind

Good Richard Bleier 4-0, 0.68 ERA in five home starts
Bad Wilmer Difo 4BB in 40G
Interesting Shawn Pleffner .308 (8-for-26) over last 10G



POTOMAC NATIONALS 5-2, 2nd place C.L. North, 1 game behind (38-40 overall)

Good Adrian Sanchez .327/.364/.481 since demotion from AA (15G)
Bad .355 SLG % — 7th in eight-team Car. Lg.
Interesting 487 team batting K — fewest in Car. Lg.


HAGERSTOWN SUNS 4-5, T3rd place Sally North, 3 games behind (39-38 overall)

Good Austen Williams 7-1, 1.88 ERA, 1.10 WHIP in 12GS
Bad 61SB, 56CS (56.4% success rate)
Interesting 48 HBP by pitchers, 3rd most in Sally Lg.


DSL NATIONALS 12-18, 5th place Boca Chica North, 13 games behind

Good 18-y.o. Luis Perdomo .291/.380/.419 in 27G
Bad 19-y.o. Ramses Rosario 2HR, 4HBP, 2.06 WHIP in 16IP
Interesting Pedro Avila 38K, 6BB in 25IP
Jun 042014
 

With the release of the 2014 Carolina League All-Star Team roster, there will be multiple Potomac players for the second straight year.

SS Stephen Perez and 1B Shawn Pleffner are both scheduled to attend the 2014 Carolina-California League All-Star Game in Wilmington on June 17th.

It’s the first All-Star nod for Perez, who’s batting .297/.406/.396 with 14 steals, 26 RBI, and 35 runs scored and has appeared in 53 of the 57 games the P-Nats have played. His .406 OBP mark is 4th best in the Carolina League while his 32 walks is second-best. He’ll be the Carolina League’s starting SS.

Pleffner was a NYPL All-Star in 2012 and was held in purgatory Extended Spring Training until late April. If he had enough PAs to qualify, his .308 batting average would be in the Top 10. In 37 games he’s made just one error, and is arguably the best defensive 1B to play for Potomac over the past several seasons. He’ll be on the Carolina League’s bench.

Last season, three P-Nats were named to the exhibition — Billy Burns, Robbie Ray, Blake Schwartz — breaking up a streak of three straight seasons of just one player — Zach Walters, 2012; Destin Hood, 2011 (replaced by Jeff Kobernus); and Michael Burgess, 2010.

May 232014
 


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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 24-22, T3rd place I.L. North, 1½ games behind

Good Steve Souza .351/.439/.544 in May (15G)
Bad Aaron Laffey 2-2, 6.35 ERA, 1.90 WHIP in May (4 appearances, 3GS)
Interesting Brock Peterson 4HR, 11RBI in last 10G



HARRISBURG SENATORS 15-30, 6th place E.L. West, 14½ games behind

Good James Simmons 0.79 ERA, 0.53 WHIP in first five appearances (11⅓ IP)
Bad 63 team doubles, 11th in 12-team E.L.
Interesting Zero passed balls in 45 games



POTOMAC NATIONALS 24-21, 1st place C.L. North, 2 games ahead

Good Shawn Pleffner .303/.378/.424 in last 10G
Bad 4.52 Team ERA, 1.40 Team WHIP both 8th in the Carolina League
Interesting Stephen Perez team leader in 2B, BB, SB, and E’s



HAGERSTOWN SUNS 32-13, 1st place Sally North, 8 games ahead

Good Nick Pivetta 4-0, 2.01 ERA, 1.16 WHIP in May (4GS)
Bad Willie Medina .041 ISO%
Interesting 3rd fewest pitching BB, 4th most pitching HBP
Sep 062013
 

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS
66-78, 6th place International League North, 14½ games back

Good Bat: Zach Walters .253/.286/.517, 29HR, 77RBI in 134G
Arm: Tanner Roark 9-3, 2SV, 3.15 ERA, 33 appearances, 11 starts, 105⅔ IP
Bad Bat: Danny Espinosa 101K in 75G, .566 OPS
Arm: Chris Young 1-2, 7.88 ERA / 7.17 FIP / 2.00 WHIP, 9HR in 32IP
Interesting Bat: Chris Rahl .293/.308/.431, 14SB in 111G
Arm: Caleb Clay 5-2, 2.49/3.37/0.99 in 14 appearances (13 starts):

HARRISBURG SENATORS
77-65, 1st place Eastern League Western Division, 1 game ahead

Good Bat: Steve Souza .300/.396/.557, 15HR, 20SB in 77G
Arm: Nathan Karns 10-6, 3.26/3.48/1.18, 155K in 132⅔ IP
Bad Bat: Jose Lozada .529 OPS, 11E in 81G
Arm: Ryan Perry 2-5, 4.43/4.86/1.21 in 22⅓ IP (18 appearances)
Interesting Bat: Billy Burns .325/.434/.360, 20SB in 30G
Arm: A.J. Cole 4-2, 2.18/2.56/0.90 in 45⅓ IP (7 starts)

POTOMAC NATIONALS
42-28 in 2nd half, 1st place Carolina League Northern Division, 9 games ahead
42-27 in 1st half, 1st place, 6 games ahead
84-55 overall

Good Bats: Michael Taylor .263/.340/.426, 51SB, 87RBI, .986FA, 21 assists in 133G
Adrian Nieto .285/.373/.449, 11HR, 53 RBI in 110G
Arm: Robbie Ray 6-3, 3.11/3.82/1.20, 100K in 84IP (16 starts)
Bad Bat: Adrian Sanchez .278OBP (17BB in 120G)
Arm: Derek Self 4-2, 4SV, 6.29/4.52/1.66, 4BS in 23 appearances
Interesting Bats: Cutter Dykstra .308/.459/.456, 50BB in 55G
Arm: Blake Schwartz 11-4, 2.65/3.52/1.08

HAGERSTOWN SUNS
42-28 in 2nd half, 2nd place South Atlantic League Northern Division, 3 games behind
38-29 in 1st half, 1st place, ½ game ahead
80-57 overall

Good Bats: Tony Renda .294/.380/.405, 43 doubles, 30SBs in 135G
Brandon Miller .243/.308/.456, 18HR, 72RBI in 103G
Arm: Brett Mooneyham 10-3, 1.94/3.65/0.98 in 93IP (17 starts)
Bad Bat: Pedro Severino .608 OPS in 84G
Arm: Will Hudgins 2-1, 4.79/5.96/1.60 in 20⅔ IP (16 appearances)
Interesting Bat: Shawn Pleffner .288/.386/.399 in 101G
Arm: Gilberto Mendez 3-2, 7SV 0.91/2.53/0.94 in 29⅔ IP (24 appearances)

AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS
26-49, 6th Place Pinckney Division of New York-Penn League, 22 games behind

Good Bat: Isaac Ballou .294/.405/.398, 20RBI in 59G
Arm: Jake Johansen 1-1, 1.06/2.77/0.92 in 42⅓ IP (10 starts)
Bad Bat: David Masters .183/.254/.242 in 45G
Arm: Deion Williams 0-6, 9.42/4.35/1.99 in 28⅔ IP (8 starts)
Interesting Bat: Jean-Carlos Valdez .374 SLG as a 20-y.o. in 48G
Arm: Austin Voth 2-0, 1.47/0.95/0.82 in 30⅔ IP (7 starts)

GCL NATIONALS
49-9, 1st place Gulf Coast League East Dvision, 24½ games ahead

Good Bat: Randy Encarnacion .349/.437/.523 in 34G
Arm: Wander Suero 8-1, 1.65/2.77/0.82 in 49IP (13 appearances, 3 starts)
Bad Bat: 17-y.o. Luis Guzman .222/.278/.265 in 36G
Arm: 23-y.o. Michael Boyden 0-0, 4.61/5.25/2.27 in 13⅔ IP (13 appearances)
Interesting Bat: Drew Ward .292/.402/.387, 28RBI in 49G (turns 19 in Nov.)
Arm: Nick Pivetta 1-0, 2.13/2.41/1.03 in 3GS (promoted to Auburn)

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

Good Bat: 19-y.o. Kelvin Gutierrez .255/.333/.337 in 60G
Arm: 18-y.o. Deibi Yrizarri 5-3, 1.99/2.66/1.10 in 68IP (14 appearances, 13 starts)
Bad Bat: 18-y.o. Miguel Atencio .183/.246/.183 in 23G
Arm: 22-y.o. Adrian Green 0-2, 5.40ERA, 2.00 WHIP in 10IP (12 appearances)
Interesting Bat: 17-y.o. Oliver Ortiz .307/.402/.386 in 26G
Arm: 18-y.o. Luis Reyes 5-3, 2.82/2.76/1.07 in 54⅓ IP (promoted to GCL)
Aug 092013
 

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 55-64, 6th place I.L. North, 10 games behind

Good Yunesky Maya 3-1, 1.52 ERA since All-Star Break
Bad Syracuse catchers .205BA, .264SLG, 30RBI
Interesting .975FA 12th in 14-team I.L.



HARRISBURG SENATORS 63-55, 1st place E.L. West, ½ game ahead

Good Matt Grace 2-0, 1.46 ERA, 1.30 WHIP since All-Star Break (9 appearances)
Bad Carlos Rivero .567 OPS in 32G since demotion
Interesting Team Offense ranks in E.L. .240 BA (12th), OBP .321 (11th), SLG .371 (11th), R/G 4.16 (11th)



POTOMAC NATIONALS 27-17, 1st place C.L. North, 8 games ahead (69-44 overall)

Good Brandon Miller 12-for-27, HR, five RBI in first six games
Bad Paul Demny 0-1, 4.70ERA, 2.35WHIP in three starts since demotion
Interesting Excluding rehabs, 21 pitchers and 29 position players have been used thus far



HAGERSTOWN SUNS 28-19, 2nd place Sally North, 2½ games behind (66-48 overall)

Good Shawn Pleffner .320/.402/.430 since All-Star Break
Bad Bryan Harper 8HBP in 39⅓ IP
Interesting T3rd with 32 holds in 14-team Sally League



AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 16-33, 6th place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 15 games behind

Good Austin Voth 1.42/1.31/0.89 in five starts (19IP)
Bad David Masters .466 OPS in 29G
Interesting NDFA Greg Zebrack .267/.368/.333 in 25G



GCL NATIONALS 37-6, 1st place East Division, Gulf Coast League, 18 games ahead

Good Rafael Bautista .340/.432/.410, 22SBs in 39G
Bad Michael Boyden 2.20WHIP over 10 appearances (what’s a small sample size?)
Interesting Today’s win clinched the GCL East title



DSL NATIONALS 31-25, 5th place Boca Chica South, 7 games behind

Good 18-y.o. Jose Morales 2-3, 1.36 ERA, 0.83 WHIP
Bad 18-y.o. Miguel Atencio .459 OPS in 21G
Interesting Team pitching 11th in 35-team DSL
Jul 122013
 

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 39-55, 6th place I.L. North, 13 games behind

Good Caleb Clay 3-2, 1.62/3.29/0.99 in five appearances
Bad Mike Costanzo .185/.241/.333 in final 10 games before release
Interesting Danny Espinosa .417/.475/.750 over last 10 games



HARRISBURG SENATORS 51-41, 1st place E.L. West, 3frac12; games ahead

Good Robbie Ray (duh) 2-0, 0.64/1.34/1.00 after first two starts in AA
Bad Sandy Leon .172/.226/.172 over last 10 games
Interesting #1 E.L. pitching team in ERA (3.43), fewest runs allowed (3.79), CGs (11) and shutouts (7)



POTOMAC NATIONALS 11-7, T1st place C.L. North, .011 W% ahead (53-34 overall)

Good Billy Burns .375/.419/.450, 6RBI, 6SB in July
Bad 15 relievers used thus far in less than 90 games
Interesting Cole Leonida active team leader with nine HR in 36 games


HAGERSTOWN SUNS 13-8, 2nd place Sally North, ½ game behind (51-37 overall)

Good Shawn Pleffner .343/.415/.514 since All-Star break (currently on DL)
Bad Brett Mooneyham 32BB in 46⅔ IP
Interesting Brett Mooneyham 2.31 ERA, 4.49 FIP, 5.2 H/9IP


AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 8-15, 5th place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 7½games behind

Good Jake Johansen 0.71 ERA, 0.95 WHIP in 1st four starts (12⅔ IP)
Bad David Masters .179/.220/.232 in 14 games
Interesting 151 batting strikeouts 3rd fewest in NYPL


GCL NATIONALS 14-4, 1st place East Division, Gulf Coast League, 4½ games ahead

Good Bryan Mejia .385/.396/.596 in 15G
Bad David Ramos 7.56 ERA, 1.44 WHIP in 4 appearances
Interesting Drew Ward 12BB in 17G


DSL NATIONALS 17-15, 4th place Boca Chica South, 5 games behind

Good 18-y.o. Deibi Yrizarri 2-1, 1.99/3.07/1.26 in seven appearances (six starts)
Bad 19-y.o. Brayan Serrata .194/.254/.194 in 22 games
Interesting Luis Reyes 2-1, 2.28ERA, 18H, 8HBP, 12BB in 27⅔ IP
May 172013
 

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 15-25, 6th place I.L. North, 9½ games behind

Good Fernando Abad 1.26 ERA/1.94 FIP/1.05 WHIP, 86.7 LOB% in 16 app.
Bad Mike Costanzo 36K in 29G
Interesting Zach Walters 9HR, 9E, 41K in 38G

HARRISBURG SENATORS 18-22, T5th place E.L. West, 7 games behind

Good Anthony Rendon (duh) .348 (2nd) / .483 (1st) / .620 (1st) in E.L.
Bad 30E by Senator IFs in 40G
Interesting Paul Demny 2-1, 1.50 ERA, 1.111 WHIP in May (3 starts)

POTOMAC NATIONALS 22-18, T1st place C.L. North, .003 W% behind

Good Billy Burns .364/.455/.455 with runners on base (51PA)
Bad Brian Dupra 0-2, 8.25/3.87/1.58 in four appearances (two starts)
Interesting Justin Miller .400/.455/.667 in May with 2HR, 8RBI, 3SB

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 19-12, 1st place Sally North, ½ game ahead

Good Shawn Pleffner .298/.412/.452 with 2HR, 14RBI in 25G
Bad Kylin Turnbull 6HR in 4GS and 18IP
Interesting Ronald Pena starting on two days’ rest (5/15) after 2IP relief (5/12)
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