Good, Bad, Interesting… 2011 Season Final

Our final 2011 look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues, with a focus on the level where the prospects shone the brightest. Repeats from 2010 are in italics.

66-74, 4th place IL North, 14 games back

Good Bat: Chris Marrero .300/.375/.449 in 127G
Arm: Tom Milone 12-6, 3.22 ERA, 155K in 148⅓ IP
Bad Bat: Chris McConnell .175/.250/.257 in 57G
Arm: Yunesky Maya 4-9, 5.00 ERA
Interesting Bat: Jesus Valdez .271/.318/.397 in 102G
Arm: None

80-62, 1st place, 4 games ahead, E.L. West Division winner

Good Bat: Steve Lombardozzi .309/.366/.454 in 65G
Arm: Brad Peacock 10-2, 2.01 ERA, 0.86 WHIP in 98⅔ IP
Bad Bat: Stephen King .191/.277/.300, 15E in 95G
Arm: Matt Chico 10.93 ERA, 2.29 WHIP in 10G
Interesting Bat: Tyler Moore 31HR, 90RBI in ’11; 31HR, 111RBI in ’10
Arm: Pat Lehman 34K in 34IP

39-31 in 2nd Half, 68-71 overall — 2nd-Half CrL North Division winner (tied)

Good Bat: Destin Hood .276/.364/.445 in 128G
Arm: Danny Rosenbaum 6-5, 2.59 ERA, 2CG, 1.17 WHIP
Bad Bat: Cutter Dykstra .212/.265/.265 in 94G
Arm: Erik Davis 0-5, 6.75 ERA after dropping *down* from AA
Interesting Bat: Jeff Kobernus 53SB, 124GP (21/74 in ’10)
Arm: Joe Testa 6-0, 1.42 ERA, new delivery, still lefthanded

35-34 in 2nd Half, 75-64 overall

Good Bat: Bryce Harper .318/.423/.554 in 72G as 18 y.o.
Arm: Chris Manno 1.04 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 69K in 43⅓ IP/td>
Bad Bat: Mills Rogers .215/.288/.266 in 77G
Arm: Matt Grace .314OBA, 1.56WHIP in 132⅓ IP
Interesting Bat: Kevin Keyes .263/.336/.510; .175/.321/.278 in ’10 at VMT
Arm: Matt Swynenberg 1.22 WHIP, 3.68 ERA in 102⅔ IP

45-30, 1st Place Pinckney Division of NY-Penn League, 2½ games ahead

Good Bat: Matt Skole .290/.382/.438 in 72G
Arm: Wirkin Estevez 55K, 4.01 ERA in 14G (13GS) as an 18-y.o.
Bad Bat: Rick Hughes .125/.205/.175 in 22G
Arm: Travis Henke .298 OBA, 1.52 WHIP in 16G
Interesting Bat: Hendry Jimenez .846 OPS in 54G
Arm: Taylor Hill 2.38 ERA, 1.02 WHIP as a starter

20-33, 4th place GCL East Division, 17½ games back

Good Bat: Estarlin Martinez .289/.379/.471 (18 y.o. DSL grad)
Arm: Gregory Baez 3.72 ERA in 48⅓ IP (18 y.o. DSL grad)
Bad Bat: Deion Williams .157/.216/.157 in 30G
Arm: Inocencia Heredia 6.75ERA, 1.83 WHIP in 17G
Interesting Bat: Wander Ramos .313/.401/.653 in 43G (21 y.o. DSL grad)
Arm: Brandon King 13HBP, 12BB, 26K in 35⅔ IP

33-36, 5th Place, Boca Chica East, 12½ games back

Good Bat: 19 y.o. Wilmer Difo 26SB, .831 OPS in 39G
Arm: 19 y.o. Ivan Pineyro 2.20 ERA, 73K in 69⅔ IP
Bad Bat: 17 y.o. Bryan Mejia 35K, .331 SLG in 52G
Arm: 18 y.o. Miguel Navarro 2.75 WHIP, 15.75 ERA in 10G
Interesting Bat: 18 y.o. Junior Geraldo .542SLG in 18G
Arm: 18 y.o. Gilberto Mendez 7-0, 2.06 ERA, 66K in 65⅔ IP

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.

19 thoughts on “Good, Bad, Interesting… 2011 Season Final”

  1. objection to Syracuse interisting arm at none

    Zech Zinicola, the guy was damn good at AAA. Or you could put Carr, Cimball both going down with the same injury

    1. But he’s been at the AAA level since ’09 and he’s 26. Remember, it’s an outlier, something unexpected and/or unusual. Neither really applies.

      1. I guess the injury threw me off. Mock would be another canidate for interesting(but a bad end killed that). Only other possable guy is Mattheus, but he wasnt Syracuse. Meyers would be the only other possible guy, but he was great in AA. So you win

    1. I anticipated the counterargument of that Martis was repeating the level and went with Lehman since his transformation from a starter to a end-game reliever had gone so well and wasn’t expected after spending most of 2010 as a starter.

  2. What about Bryce Ortega? .314/.410/.392 at Auburn and played a more demanding defensive position than Skole.

    1. TOB (The Other Bryce) has been getting notice all year long and has a strong case to make the Top 5 Batters when I do the season reviews (later) in the offseason (e.g. Vermont)

      PS: The back-and-forth I don’t take issue with — Folks challenging me keeps me on my toes, and I’ll be tapping that resource when it comes time to do the 2012 Watchlist.

  3. I’m an Adrian Sanchez believer after this season. IMHO, he falls in the good category – but not asking you to change your mind. It’s the consensus with all the baseball heads I hang with he’s going to make it to the majors, but probably not with the Nats because of who’s in front of him. :o(

    1. TBR: I agree that Sanchez has what looks like a tough row to hoe with all the youngsters in front of him (Espinosa, Lombardozzi, Kobernus) right now. Stay true to what you’ve seen, because things have a quirky way of working their way out in baseball. Wally Pipp, anyone?

  4. Sorry folks, I have to do this………………………..
    Since the trade — Christopher Manno, in a HUGE hitters league, had an ERA of 0.53 and avg. against of 1.07.
    Bill Rhinehart, since the trade, saw his OPS plunge all the down to .893. Don’t know the Southern League.
    Also, Manno’s numbers come in a higher league than Low A.
    The Rhinehart Mafia & Manno’s Minions live!

    I’m also depressed that this is the last GBI. Maybe TBRFan can give us a GBI from the Instuctional League.

      1. That trade was possibly Rizzo’s worst to date, even more than the T.Plush for Dykstra’s kid to MIL this spring.

    1. I am probably not getting to FLA this fall for instructs. With losing my job and now working stupid crazy hours as an independent contractor, it’s looking bleak. If I get 5 days off in a row the MC will hit the road. Thankfully, i’ve got some inside paths to some players, so we’ll see what I can find out as instructs goes along. 🙂

  5. I’d have never thought that Kobernus had that kind of base-stealing prowess when they drafted him (74SB in 198GP). That’s a plus for him, in my book.

  6. Manno put on a show in the Cally league and I hear will be in AA next year , like I said this trade might be the best thing that ever happened to Manno

    1. Yes, that’s called luck. Think Bob Welch’s 27 wins in 1990 for the A’s vs. Felix Hernandez’s 13 wins in 2010 for Seattle. Was Welch more than twice as good as Hernandez?

      Grace allowed an average of 6.25 runs per nine innings pitched. Suffice it to say, he got phenomenal run support. Now you can certainly make a case that he was a victim of poor defense, given the differential between his ERA (5.17) and his FIP (3.70) as well as a high BABIP (.352, most pitchers are ~.300), but I’m old school in that I can’t ignore the huge number of hits allowed (169) relative to innings pitched (132⅓). At some point you have to put the blame on the pitcher for allowing the kind of contact to make that many hits possible.

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