The Watchlist

These are the guys we got our eye on for 2011

It’s not supposed to be a depth chart, but if you choose to see it that way… I’d understand because I did arrange the top-to-bottom based on where they finished in the regular season, with the rather obvious exception of Bryce Harper. Then, I slotted guys based on either their usage in 2010 or their expected roles in 2011 (I’m not making predictions about where they will start… just yet).

This methodology also makes for two tables of five columns, which lays out better on the page. I’ve bolded the Top 10 position players and pitchers, italicized the Nigels and Honorable Mentions. Eventually, these names will be highlighted on the big board — green for the Top 10s, yellow for the rest.

C 1B 2B SS 3B
Wilson Ramos Chris Marrero Josh Johnson Danny Espinosa Stephen King
Derek Norris Tyler Moore Steve Lombardozzi Rick Hague Steven Souza
Sandy Leon Justin Bloxom Jeff Kobernus Adrian Sanchez Blake Kelso
David Freitas Mills Rogers Michael Taylor Jason Martinson Bienvenido Valdez
Jeremy Mayo Jean Carlos Valdez Roberto Perez Wilmer Difo
Paul Chacin “Fred” Ortega
Adderling Ruiz
Michael Burgess Yunesky Maya Josh Wilkie Tom Milone Joe Testa
Bryce Harper Brad Peacock Adam Carr Danny Rosenbaum Paul Applebee
Chris Curran Ryan Tatusko Cole Kimball Evan Bronson Josh Smoker
J.P. Ramirez Tanner Roark Rafael Martin Jack McGeary Ryan Demmin
Eury Perez Brad Meyers A.J. Morris Sammy Solis Christian Meza
Destin Hood Adrian Alaniz Rob Wort Graham Hicks Nick Serino
J.R. Higley Marcos Frias Dean Weaver Matt Grace Jesus Guzman
Randolph Oduber Trevor Holder Ben Graham Robbie Ray
Wade Moore Pat Lehman Mark Herrera Chris Manno
Russell Moldenhauer Paul Demny Neil Holland
Rick Hughes Billy Ott Wander Suero
Victor Chavez A.J. Cole Andy Santana
Chad Jenkins
Taylor Jordan
Tyler Hanks
Wirkin Estevez
Anthony Marcelino

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.

41 thoughts on “The Watchlist”

  1. Thanks for puting this together. Hopefully Ramos, Espinosa and Maya are on the big league roster so they will not be on this prospect board very long! 🙂

    C: where do you think Freitas will start in 2011?

    1B: This is a put up or shut up year for both Marerro and Moore, if they do not show that they are ready or almost ready for the bigs, I think the Nats have to consider drafting a 1B early in the 2011 draft.

    2B: Lombdo showed that he is a cut above the others in the organization at this position but I fear the youth of the Nats current infield does not bode well for his future development at the big league level with the Nats as more than a utility guy. Where do you see Kobernus starting 2011?

    SS: Where do you see Rick Hague starting in 2011?

    3B: Thank goodness for Zim as it looks like the cupboard is bare at the hot corner, King and Souza are nice bats to have in the minors but probably would do better at other positions.

    OF: It will be intersting to see how the manage the OF prospects in 2011, where do you think your 4 bolded OFers will start in 2011.

    SP: I know you have them broken down by lefties and righties but I am going to address them in one space. Where do you see the bolded starters beginning the 2011 season? Is there a chance we see Solis on an accelerated track versus some of the others?

    Bullpen: Where do you see Smoker and Martin starting 2011?

    1. Freitas — I want him to start in Potomac, but wonder if he’ll leapfrog Leon.

      1B — Regardless of how Moore and Marrero do, they should draft a 1B, preferably a college bat because there appears to be a gap in there.

      2B — Hagerstown, outside chance of Potomac.

      SS — Hagerstown, I think Rizzo wants another month or so there

      3B — I anticipate both playing for Potomac to start ’11

      OF — Harper should start in Potomac, but might start in Hagerstown — too many of the beat guys have been saying that. Burgess hasn’t mastered AA so that’s a gimme. Perez, Ramirez are likely to join Hood in Potomac

      SP — Peacock will start in Harrisburg. Milone will start in Syracuse. The H.S. kids will start in the GCL, possibly Vermont. Solis, Rosenbaum and Meyers will be affected by the FA carousel in Syracuse, but Meyers has the best chance of the three to start at a higher level. Like Freitas, I’m rooting for Solis to start in Potomac but feel he has a stronger chance of starting there based on his AFL assignment.

      RP — Smoker should begin at Potomac, Martin ought to begin at Syracuse. But neither is a given.

  2. Nice move adding Bob Schaefer, Rizzo!
    Russell Moldenhaer my pick to surprise and climb a few pegs in 2011.
    No trade-Ian!

      1. Thought about it some more… us “Ichabod Crane-types” have to stick together. Hicks is now on the list.

      2. Making a case for Hicks, eh, well his a big lefty who can put some mph behind his pitches. Last year would have been his Sophmore year in college, which should mean that this year will be his make it or break it year. I don’t know Sue can we say the kid still has projectablity? Seam heads come out to play for Hicks.

        1. Think our posts crossed in the night… Not yet 21 and lefthanded, could potentially put on some weight with the proper training… worth keeping an eye on.

    1. Not sure how I messed up on Hanks, but I double-checked Meza and both and Baseball-reference list him as a lefty.

    1. Starting the season? No. Possible by year’s end? Maybe. Unfortunately, this is only the second offseason with Rizzo at the helm so we don’t have a precedent to go by. We can already surmise that bats will be moved slowly but arms can rise two or more levels in certain circumstances. He wasn’t quite *dominating* A+ hitters at the season’s end, but what I can’t know is how much he progressed in the instrux. All that simply means is where he’ll start – I don’t see him repeating Potomac all season long.

  3. Is anyone else feeling/thinking that Burgess might be trade fodder (combined with a few other players) to help get us someone that can play first sooner than later in the bigs? I don’t see where he’s going in this organization with Harper now in the mix….

    1. Good look. It’s a pretty standard argument at this point. I’m kind of neutral on this issue. When somebody has more value outside of the organization than inside, it’s time to make a trade. When Alberto Gonzalez is plan B, though, that kind of negates it for the moment. If it’s young pitching with 2 starter ceiling or a legit 1B prospect, then you consider it. Otherwise, stand pat and marshall assets. Rizzo seems to like drafting up the middle, though.

  4. Ok, made me think. I love Lombardozzi, so if we trade Desmond, move Espy to Short, but Lombo at 2nd, and get a good first base player—-Zim at third. Just figure out the outfield now and it’s looking good!

    1. Lombo’s not ready for a big league 2B job. He still has to prove he can master the AA Eastern League. Yes, he’s a prospect. But his ceiling is nowhere near as high as Espinosa’s or Desmond’s. If you’re thinking of him as 2B, he seems to me to be a transitional option until Hague, Kobernus, Sanchez or another draftee with higher upside is ready to shine.

  5. Scanning over the minor league F/A list in B.A.
    Brandon Boggs and Chris Lubanski would be a nice choice to add to Chiefs mix.
    Take a flyer on Travis Buck as a spare outfielder.

  6. Ichabod,er, Sue: I thought A.J. Morris was a Starting pitcher & Chris Manno was a relief pitcher. From what I read about Manno, I’d like to see him start, but thought the Nats used him exclusively as a reliever. Mel, feel free to chip in here. Sue, what do you know?

    1. Morris is an example of “expected roles in 2011” — he came back from the GCL as a reliever and came out of the ‘pen exclusively in Aug/Sep. GCL usage is a crapshoot, especially this past season with the number of “rehabbers”

  7. Sue, regarding Danny Rosenbaum, he only pitched 2 innings (which were both scoreless) in instrux this year. Because he threw 140 innings this year the Nats had him bunting for a month down in Florida. Trevor Holder got the same treatment as well.

    1. The cat’s out of the bag that Rosenbaum is a favorite of mine. So naturally I’d like to see him start in Potomac. But I’m told that the big club thought very highly of his slider in the FIL which may be a clue that I’ll have to hit the road to see him. If he’s been working on bunting that much, that’s a another clue there, Blue (guess what’s on in the other room).

      What I like the most from Danny is his ability to adjust to the stuff he has that night. If his curve isn’t working, he throws it only enough to make guys think it’s a possibility. That kind of intelligence and maturity is rare for a 22-year-old. If Tomlin can help him refine his offspeed stuff, he’ll be in Syracuse sooner rather than later.

      1. For the folks at home, we think all of the bunting is a preparation for Harrisburg where the pitchers bat in the NL/NL games right? Or is this just an organizational wide obsession after the repeated bunting fail of most of their young talent in the big leagues this year.

  8. After reviewing the watchlist, I’m struck by how much deeper it seems than we would have seen 2-3 years ago; There’s actually some meat on the bone. Granted, we still have a HS OF as our #1 overall, but he looks alot better than Chris Marrero did in 2007.

    Sue_D – Thanks for putting the effort into all three lists. A great way to start off the hot-stove season.

  9. Sue, I think we are both huge fans of Rosenbaum. I’d love to see Danny start in Harrisburg and then get a shot in the AFL to see what he can really do. If he dominates that, then I don’t see why he wont be on the Nats’ opening day staff in 2012.

  10. One name that I feel should have been considered – Hector Taveras (CA), who posted nice numbers between HAG/GCL (.300/.361/.369 for a .255GPA) with only 2 errors. Turns 22 in January, signed out of the DR.

  11. We can delete the nontendered guys like Nieves and Peralta from the 40-man on the big board correct? Folks are started to get interested in the Rule 5 draft and I think I’m more interested in what slots we have available and who we might take than who we might lose.

  12. I was just curious as to how the minor league portion of the rule v draft works. I know in the major league portion drafted players have to be kept on the 25 man roster all season, does the minor league portion contain a similar rule such as keeping a player above a certain level for the season?

    1. There are two phases to the minor-league phase of the Rule 5 draft, the AAA and AA phase and teams are allowed to reserve 38 and 37 players respectively. As far as I can tell, those two lists are simply not available. Consequently, there is little interest and little coverage prior to the draft and only slightly more after.

      The majority of movement comes in the AAA phase, where there’s no requirement that the player must play at AAA in ’11 or have played in AAA in ’10, and last year just four players were selected in the AA phase (same deal). Like the major-league phase, the majority of players picked are pitchers, the majority of those pitchers are relievers.

  13. give time for Hicks.
    one wonders what suggestions Bob Schaeffer will lend Rizzo after his time in Dodger chain.
    keep warm everybody.
    watch hockey until thursday.
    low opinions on latin middle infielders such as Soriano and others or not?

    1. I’d think the ‘low opinions’ for some of the Latin-origin MI stems from their error numbers – Martinez (AA/AAA level, 18E, Soriano (A level), 42 E(!), Lozada (A+ level), 27 E.

  14. Sue I am a pitching coach in the Durham area and part of the Team USA . I have to say this with such excitement for the nationals. I love this kid Manno that pitches for the Nats. If they take a close look at him and pay attention to this young mans past and his future. He can really be a big part of the nats future. His upside is off the charts. Get him stronger and get him to be part of thier future , and he is going to explode. I watched him in Durham and he was part of team USA in HS and had the pleasure coaching him. He was part of one of the best games , I have ever been part of. Pitching 2 innings and striking out 6. Really good kid and just plain and simple, does not hit bats.

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