AFL Update: November 4, 2010

Five Nats see action on Wednesday in the AFL

A busier-than-usual day for the Nationals in the AFL, as five of the eight saw action in a 9-3 Scottsdale win over Surprise.

  • Steve Lombardozzi returned to 2B and the #2 spot in the order and had a 2-for-5 afternoon with a triple and two runs scored.
    He also helped turn two double plays.
  • Bryce Harper batted sixth and played RF, walking twice (his first two BBs), and scoring two runs in a 1-for-2.
    He also collided with the opposing team’s catcher in scoring one of the runs.
  • Sammy Solis allowed two runs on five hits and one walk over four innings. He also gave up a home run and stuck out one.
  • Brad Peacock allowed a run on one hit (triple) while striking out one in his lone inning of work
  • Cole Kimball pitched a scoreless ninth, allowing a hit and striking out one , lowering his ERA to 1.13

Adam Foster from Project Prospect was tweeting from yesterday’s game, and besides the Harper takeout play, which he described as “Nobody f’s with Bryce Harper,” he had the following tweets that are of interest:

…[Bryce Harper has a p]lus arm, good instincts, good speed, aggressive. Should be at least MLB average in RF.

…Brad Peacock’s FB last inning: 96, 94, 95, 95, 95, 95, 96, 95.

…If you like SP who command a low-90s FB with movement along with a changeup, you may like Sammy Solis. He has touched 94 today, too.

…Solis has a promising changeup, but his success with it will hinge on his ability to command it.

The only thing I can add is that Peacock’s velocity as a starter was 93-95. It’s not that hard to imagine that if he were being groomed as a setup man, he could could touch 97 or 98 after an offseason of rest and conditioning.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of 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.

10 thoughts on “AFL Update: November 4, 2010”

  1. Thanks, Sue. I think you should have rephrased that to “if he’s mistakenly being groomed as a setup man”.
    Are those speed numbers for Peacock similar to what you saw him throw in Potomac?

  2. I have been impressed with Bryce Harper in the AFL. The kid is barely 18 and has an amazing OPS. From the stat lines and reports that I read, it appears that his biggest weaknesses are in learning the RF position and discipline at the plate. But it is obvious that he can hit.

    With that said: you think he starts the year in Potomac or Hagerstown? I think that putting him in low-A would just be unfair to the pitchers.

    1. I’ve yet to read anything from a scout or person who’s seen him in the AFL that doesn’t believe he’s the real deal. BinM’s on the money: Unless he regresses in the spring, he’s starting at Potomac, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s bumped up before Memorial Day. I’ll be watching him for how he handles high heat (both location and velocity) and guys that change speeds well — the former because he’s not seen much of it, the latter because that’s one of the key differences between low-A and high-A.

      1. Yeah, I am really interested to see what happens to the k to bb ratio when he starts to really get worked by smart, veteran pitchers. His bat speed is just so good, he can wait a while before deciding. If he doesn’t get jumpy at the plate, he will be a real exciting guy to watch.

        Anyway, thanks for the insights Sue and BinM.

  3. Paul: With Harper, I’d think a lot will depend on how he finishes the AFL, and how he handles Spring Training. If he struggles at the plate in either the AFL or in the spring, or shows some bad habits (high K / low BB rate, ‘starts ‘fishing’ on breaking pitches, some fielding problems, etc.), then maybe Hagerstown to start; Otherwise, I think they’ll turn him loose in Potomac to begin the year, and move him to Harrisburg somewhere around mid-season if he shows he can hit A+ pitching consistently.

    Just my thoughts – Sue_D may have a completely different read (that would be well worth reading, imo).

  4. Regarding Peacock – IIRC, they messed around with Mandel out of the bullpen in the AFL last year as well. Come Spring training, the organization had him pointed back toward the rotation. Hopefully, they’ll come to the same decision with Peacock as well; He turns 23 in February, and might have #2-4 SP value with another years’ experience.

    1. I still think it’s an attempt to get a look-see at how he handles relief while getting the benefit of keeping his innings down. Solis is the only guy they really want to have start and it appears he’s having the “OBI” syndrome. If Foster is right, I’ll be seeing Sammy next April because Menhart is the go-to guy for the CU in the organization.

      * OBI = One Bad Inning

  5. hey Sue got a chance to watch our beloved Nats in Arizona. Guys we have reason to really be excited. I got a chance to watch Harper and attented about 7 games. Good bat speed, needs work in right but this kid can hit hit hit. Sue , Solis got roughed up and looks a bit lost , but coaches will take care of that. Kimball is someone to keep an eye on, plus stuff and works quickly with confidence

    1. Solis appears to be in the usual transition phase from the college game to the pros. Not terribly worried because it’s better for him to get smacked around in the AFL, when it doesn’t “count,” than next April when it does. Tagging back to my previous comment, I do remember Kimball as a fast worker… which I personally adore from a pitcher because it keeps the game moving and keeps the defense on their toes.

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