Lombardozzi and Peacock Named Nats’ Minors Players of the Year

Instead of waiting until the final weekend of the year, the Washington Nationals have named Steve Lombardozzi and Brad Peacock as their Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year. Both players will be honored prior to the game tonight.

Both players began the year with Double-A Harrisburg, both having been called up last year from Potomac — key cogs in the machine that would win the 2010 Carolina League Championship. Both were also a part of the Arizona Fall League Championship team.

Lombardozzi has had the double-edged sword of being the son of a former major-leaguer: the sneer of “legacy pick” as well as the expectations of living up to the name. The 22-year-old (turns 23 in two weeks) was drafted in the 19th round of the 2008 Draft out of St. Petersburg (FL) Junior College and has steadily moved up the ladder, hitting for average at each stop, and developing some gap power along the way.

A shortstop in college, both Baseball America and John Sickels praise the move to second, citing a fringy arm, which is most apparent on balls to his right. That said, Lombardozzi has above-average hands and further compensates for his average range by positioning himself well on defense. Consequently, he’s made just 27 errors in 442 minor-league games for a .987 fielding percentage.

Peacock has had a longer road to The Show, drafted in 2006 as “draft and follow” out of Palm Beach (FL) Community College. A shortstop in high school, Peacock has learned the craft along the way. The 2011 season was actually his first minor-league season in which he (A) had more wins than losses, a.k.a. “a winning record” (B) more than 10 wins. It’s actually just his second season with a sub-4.00 ERA.

As Sickels put it in his 2011 book:

I know… won-loss record is irrelevant to prospect status but you have to admit it looks weird to see a guy who is actually a good prospect have a 19-35, .352 record in his career… His FIPs are consistently much better than the ERAs [but] he’s got the stuff to succeed and I think he’s a sleeper.

Indeed. Peacock caught my eye last summer and became a favorite subject, especially as he figured out that striking out in double-digits wasn’t as important as going seven innings, which culminated in a five-hit shutout shortly before his callup to Hagerstown.

Unlike last year, both men figure to be “in the conversation” for the 2012 ballclub. What remains to be seen is in what capacity: starter or reliever, everyday player or off the bench.

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.

6 thoughts on “Lombardozzi and Peacock Named Nats’ Minors Players of the Year”

  1. These 2 guys are the reason seamheads like us enjoy this so much. No fancy bonus money, no fawning stories of how great they will be, just work hard, keep plugging away and maybe, just maybe, your dreams will come true.
    I love it.

    Oh, by the way, everyone here will appreciate this.
    Tom Milone after 2 games has more RBI’s than Matt Stairs, Jesus Flores, and Brian Bixler this season.
    And they all have had at least 65 AB’s so far.
    Not bad for an ‘unexciting’ soft tosser.

      1. Seems pretty clear with Davey Johnson in control your CF has already been named BinM: Jayson Werth.

        And I don’t have to tell you why. He wants bats in the lineup.

        The contrast between Riggleman and Johnson is stark. No way would we be seeing Peacock starting, Severino in relief, Marerro at first base or even Lombardozzi attempting to switch hit in the majors under Riggleman. “Respect the veterans, respect the game” would be the refrain; an ENDLESS, WRONG and monotonous litany! From Johnson we hear that Pudge has to sit because he and the organization have to look at the young catchers … FOR THE GODD of the organization.

        Do we think Johnson is right? Now, can you understand why I absolutely could not tolerate Riggleman any longer? And I could give a rat’s ass what Goessling or NatsJack have to say about it he was so wrong for this organization … it was like Rizzo et al were building a folly in the backdrop to what was actually going on with the major league roster.

        And please don’t tell me that Riggleman had NO CONTROL over the roster? Tell me he wouldn’t be playing Pudge every game? Tell me he wouldn’t let Severino et al languish in the minors (likely) or in the bullpen (less likely) never to be called. Bottom line when it comes right down to it Goessling is wrong in so many ways on this perspective … Riggleman may not have been in control but he held the reigns tightly in the Clubhouse.

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