A Look Back To December 2009

It’s almost a little fitting that the very first piece that I did for this site was a scouting report on Tom Milone. Why? Well, I hyperlinked it to show the date it was published: Christmas Eve, 2009.

This is not to gloat (well, maybe just a little). Hell, I’m quite well aware that Milone could get knocked around like a guest on the Jerry Springer show, leaving me feeling like Ralphie on a late Christmas morning. So chances are, I’m just gonna tape record his first start and go to the Potomac game on Saturday — it’s what I’m used to, and besides, it’s been too long since I gave you guys a “Last Night In Woodbridge.”

But I can prove that I’m not some Johnny-come-lately when it comes to Milone, so let’s look at what I had to say back then:

Fastball: An average fastball, but added a cutter in midseason, which seems to explain his ERA dropping from 3.89 to 2.91 over his last 10 starts.

Curveball: Good separation in speed from his fastball/cutter, typically in the mid-70s

Change: Arguably his best pitch, especially with his outstanding command

Control: Terrific control, which has been his hallmark since his days at USC — 2.14/9IP in the Carolina League last season

Strengths: Mixes pitches well and can hit his spots seemingly at will and generally keeps the ball down to prevent HRs (just 9 last season)

Weaknesses: Because he’s always around the plate and doesn’t throw hard, he can be quite hittable (144 in 151IP)

Milone is an under-the-radar kind of prospect because his best assets are between his ears. His champions will compare him to Cliff Lee. His detractors will compare him to Adrian Alaniz, a prospect that shot out of the gate in ’08 then hit a wall at the next level. Milone will likely start 2010 at Harrisburg having just turned 23 in February, the youngest SP to begin the year at that level in three years.

Now before folks start chiming in about Strasburg, remember that at the time he was expected to begin 2010 in Potomac, not Harrisburg, like most turning-22 first-round picks have done the past couple of years (e.g. Alex White, Barrett Loux). But overall, I think I got that one right.

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.

2 thoughts on “A Look Back To December 2009”

  1. You had the early lead as an ‘eyes-on’ champion of Tom Milone, to be sure. Those of us who traveled here from NFA began to learn that here was a LhSP without overpowering stuff, but with the uncanny knack to just. get. hitters. out.

    With a “C” grade from the respected voice of John Sickels, people outside the Natospere have slowly begun to take notice. In the meanwhile, Tom continues to climb the ladder in the WSH system, showing near pinpoint control with a full compliment of four pitches (FB, CutFB, Curve, & Change), none of which top 90 on a regular basis.

    I hope he shows well in his September callup, and would welcome a OD 2012 Nationals rotation of #1) JZimm, #2) Strasburg, #3) Lannan, #4) Wang or Detwiler, #5) Milone, with the big Cuban (Livo) standing behind them in the bullpen.

  2. Hats off Sue & congratulations on this. I’ve been without internet access for a couple of days, but when I heard about this, it seemed a victory for all us seamheads, with you leading the charge.
    We’re only a couple of years away from 2 first ballot Hall of Famers who couldn’t break a plane of glass (Maddox & Glavine), but still all the buzz is always about the flamethrowers.

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