Halfway There… Hagerstown Edition

A look at the Suns at the midway point of the 2010 campaign

The Potomac edition was lost in the changeover, but here’s our Hagerstown guy’s report on the Suns. And don’t forget to visit his blog Musings about Sports and other important items

Former Suns

Trevor Holder (23)
Holder walks few, but seems to be right off the non-Strasburg Washington template: college pitcher, good control, average velocity. Nothing special, nothing negative to say either. If he can keep the level of control as he moves up, I can see him as maybe a 4 or 5 starter…

Jack McGeary (21)
McGeary was starting to show signs of removing the rust from not pitching in 2008. Two bad outings inflated his numbers, but his curve was so much better than 2009 that it looked like a different pitcher. Tommy John surgery ends his 2010 season and leaves unanswered questions.

Glenn Gibson (22)
Once touted prospect has good K numbers, but the fastball was all too often straight and fat and the 8+ ERA was the expected result.

Suns Pitchers

Paul Applebee (22)
Fringy stuff limits the ceiling.

Patrick Arnold (21)
Could be a late bloomer, but seems to be stuck in no man’s land between hard thrower and sharp control pitcher

Mitchell Clegg (23)
Nice numbers,but misses few bats.Looks like long relief is his best role long term

Paul Demny (20)
Ranges from dominant to dominated.Either strikes out a lot or very few. Has shown enough flashes to be intriguing and stay on the radar.

Shane Erb (23)
Hittable and walking batters is no way to go through life, son

Luis Garcia (23)
Almost unhittable in his last five outings, Garcia was awful at Potomac. [Ed. note: “Awful” is kind]

Kyle Morrison (23)
His nice strikeout numbers (52 K in 43 innings) give me hope for him despite having pedestrian stats otherwise.

Daniel Rosenbaum (22)
Pitch-to-contact lefty, throws strikes and keeps the ball down. Poor run support is the reason for the bad W/L numbers.

Josh Smoker (21)
Horrible numbers, but occasionally fires a game that is interesting enough to make you think that he is turning things around. A 2011 return to Hagerstown might be what he needs for a full comeback.

Wanel Vasquez (23)
Ummm, no.

Dean Weaver (22)
Doesn’t throw as hard as his body frame indicates that he should, but looks solid enough as a bullpen arm that moves through the system

Rob Wort (21)
Worth following as a sleeper, strikes out more than a man an inning and has been used some as a closer.

Graham Hicks (20)
If he adds some velocity when he fills out, could be a sleeper. Not a power arm, but has nice control.

Suns Hitters

Justin Bloxom (22)
A blistering June puts Bloxom on the radar screen, but all of his homers came in June as well. I have seen this film before with Bill Rhinehart and Tyler Moore, so I’m not too excited yet.

Jeff Kobernus (22)
For a guy with zero homers, I think Kobernus will develop power. Bigger question is health: He strikes me as having the body type of a player that will struggle a lot with hamstring/leg injuries

Sean Nicol (23, DL)
Nicol looks to me to be an organizational soldier type, I just don’t see him hitting enough as the competition increases.

Francisco Soriano (23)
Think Michael Martinez with a little more speed and a hair more pop. Where’s Martinez? There’s your answer. Versatility will help him move up, much as it has Martinez.

Brett Newsome (23)
Not enough playing time for this soon-to-be 24-year-old. If you cannot find it here, then where?

Justino Cuevas (21)
Zero pop + average speed = non-prospect

Steven Souza (21)
A bad June balances out a May that showed hopeful signs. Power is up this season as is RBI (season total to date higher than all of last season), but I just am uneasy about hitching to this wagon as a prospect. I still think that he could be the type of player that will play better against higher levels of competition.

Sandy Leon (21)
Leon is a solid defensive catcher with little power. I see him as similar to the Jhonathan Solano’s that move up and down the system according to need. One of those types eventually make it as the big league backup, but none are real prospects.

Adrian Nieto (20)
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the season. Some is not Nieto’s fault as Sandy Leon has gotten the lion’s share of playing time, to my surprise. Nieto has yet to hit a homer as a professional and isn’t strong enough defensively to overcome the lack of a bat. I do think he has room to improve and I like his arm as a plus feature. Nieto was thought to be a good hitting catcher coming into the ’08 draft, but his swing seems to be slower than I expected.

J.R. Higley (22)
Love the arm and defensive skills,but the bat has struggled. Higley has some power and I think he gains more as his body fills in. Upside: 4th outfielder with some power

Destin Hood (20)
Athletic and will develop more power,Hood looks to me to be the best position hope on this team. He has good speed, but has been caught stealing six of eight tries. The fix could be as simple as some extra instruction. Good enough defensively, but he won’t have the power of Michael Burgess, though I like him more as an all around player.

Eury Perez (20)
Speed to burn, but bad breaks in the outfield and an average (to be generous) arm make me wonder what the hype from the fans is all about. Perez’s game (and future) will be all about his plate contact. Maybe he can be Nyjer Morgan but he could also be Pedro Powell. Either way, I think he was overrated before the season.

J.P.Ramirez (20)
Love the power. Take that away and you have an organizational soldier. Defensively, he can only be a left fielder in the National League and even then, he is below-average with the arm and leather. Ramirez is vulnerable to gas high and junk low, but the bat gives you hope and it wouldn’t surprise me a bit to see Ramirez mature his plate discipline and be sent to an AL team in a few years.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of NationalsProspects.com. Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

9 thoughts on “Halfway There… Hagerstown Edition”

  1. This was excellent, but painful. Based on your assessment, they all stink, essentially. God help the Nats.

  2. Thanks for the report. When you say Ramirez could be sent to an AL team because of his weak arm, what’s the nuance there?

  3. An honest ‘eyes-on’ assessment – Thanks. I’d agree that Kobernus does seem injury-prone, and Hood seems like the best ‘keeper prospect’ of the lot, as far as hitters go. Bloxom & Ramirez both seem to be DH types (can hit, but lack leather), so I’d assume that’s the point of the “AL team in a few years” comment; I wonder if Souza falls in the same basket, or would benefit from a shift to the OF sometime in the future.
    Rosenbaum looks to be the best of a steady, but less than thrilling pitching staff. I’d like to see how he plays in high-A Potomac later this year.

  4. EdDC — What he was saying was there was DH quality defense on display.
    Sue, etc. Thanks a lot, this is valuable; although the sum totals of the ratings would give us a last place team with 2-3 wins all season. Thankfully he never graded any of my papers when I was young.

  5. Thanks for the report card, great job.

    What about Rosenbaum? Also you state Hood’s fielding is good enough, whats lacking glove or arm? Does he have the arm to be in RF everyday? If I remember correctly he did not play that much baseball so some of it might be instinct for the position, if so repetition may help.

    Since Potomac got lost could you give a brief update on Norris?

    Thanks for all the info.

  6. I have sent Sue the info to cover the pitchers that were lost in cyber space,so look for them soon.

    As far Hood goes,I think he projects more as a left fielder than a right fielder.
    The arm is average,but I do think the instincts will improve as time goes.
    He is not a butcher defensively,but not a plus defender either….

  7. Awesome, awesome stuff. I’ve been wondering about Bluxom and thanks for the report on him. Kobernus, Hood, and Ramirez seem to be the guys worth following here for the most part. McGeary going down was such a bummer. I still believe in that hook.

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