A Couple of Minor Pitcher Signings

Nats sign an indy closer and a former ’06 draftee

As mentioned in the comments by NFA Brian, the Nationals have signed a couple of pitchers to minor-league contracts.

Most notably, one of those signed was Sam Brown, who was drafted in the 7th round by the Nationals out of high school in 2006 but did not sign. He was drafted again in 2008 by Arizona in the 18th round but did not sign with his drafting team until 2009 by the Texas Rangers. Brown appeared in 31 games and posted a 3.45 ERA (all in relief) for Spokane in the short-season Northwest League that year. He repeated briefly last year before getting promoted to Hickory in the Sally League, but pitched poorly (6.45 ERA, 1.917 WHIP) in 19 games. He released this past January.

Also signed was Scott Mueller, another thrice-drafted pitcher that finally signed with the Baltimore Orioles in 2007. He rose as high as Frederick in 2008, but was released following a dismal 2009 season with Delmarva. He pitched last season in the independent Frontier League, making the All-Star game as a closer for the Traverse City Bums with a 2-0, 2.04 ERA mark and 14 saves in 38 games.

Should they make the cut, Hagerstown would appear to be the most likely destination for the 23-year-old Brown and the 24-year Mueller (both have June birthdays), given their lack of success or experience at High-A (the Frontier League is a middle-tier indy, roughly equivalent to Low-A). It may also be a signal from the front office that there will be fewer pitchers making the leap from the GCL and the New York-Penn League than usual.

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.

5 thoughts on “A Couple of Minor Pitcher Signings”

  1. I do wonder about the chances some players take when they don’t sign, even though a baseball career is their intention. I suppose that the signing money for the 7th round might not be equivalent to a full scholarship to some college through junior year. I wonder what the cutoff might be for when a draft offer becomes too high to gamble with. I’d have to think that a $1M signing bonus, for instance, would be hard to turn down. Twenty years of a $50K salary might be hard to match for a kid whose main talent is baseball.


  2. Sue, it does seem unusual that a team would bail out on somebody that quick. It leaves the impression that there was either something fundamentally wrong or the Rangers are still so loaded they could do this without remorse.

    1. Out of camp? Barrett, Selik, Jordan, Grace are the no-brainers — FIL/minicamp guys almost always jump up — Jenkins, Herrera, Hanks, Holland, Manno, Meza and Serino are pretty good bets. I’d like to say both Cole & Ray will make it out of ST, but I have a feeling one of them will be sent to XST.

      But that’s 13 names right there, and there are going to be some holdovers from last year at both Hagerstown and Potomac. Absent any boxscores, it’s what they call in business school as a SWAG — Simply Wild @ss Guess.

  3. Sue , I think you are dead on. I like the balance of Left , Righty. I would just add that Deminin and Bates will be considered also. Bates a good righty from UNC so you really have to move him to see what he has and Deminim did a really good job last year. I like very much the choice of Manno and Meza, I am not really sure about Serino. I really have to be convinced of this.

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