After teasing with a splash last week, Baseball America’s writeup on the 2010 IFAs was, to say the least, underwhelming. As noted in the comments, the 2010 spend was light for a crop that was considered mediocre — an estimated $853,000, which BA ranked as 26th of the 30 teams.
Most of the section focused on Yunesky Maya as well as a rehash of the “Smiley” Gonzalez situation.
Miguel Navarro was listed as the most expensive sign at $120,000 in January 2010, but the 17-year-old floundered with a 8.10 ERA and 21BB in 20 IP in the GCL and is expected to repeat. He’s reported to throw in the low-90s, topping out at 94, and also sports a changeup and curve.
The next player profiled was Narciso Mesa, who signed for $40K and posted a .224/.271/.286 line as a 19-year-old that BA described as “the toolsiest” sign, citing a plus-plus arm and plus-plus speed. His defense is considered improved but still suspect.
Among the players named last month, BA only wrote about two of them:
17-year-old catcher Pedro Severino [signed] for $55,000 in December. A 6-foot-1 righthanded hitter, Severino performed well at the team’s Dominican instructional league, showing the ability to manipulate the bat head and an above-average arm. Arialdo Peguero, a 6-foot-2, 18-year-old Dominican first baseman signed for $70,000 in December, is a good defender with some raw power, though he’s still learning to handle breaking stuff.
As some had noted, it was unusual for Washington to make a big deal of the signings last month, it’s also probable that the move was something of a pre-emptive strike in anticipation of these stores from BA. So kudos to the PR folks because most fans will remember that and not this, but the characterization that the Nationals are lagging behind the pack in terms of an international presence remains a plausible interpretation… if not accusation.