Reviewing The 2011 Watchlist

It’s raining right now as I begin to write this; how apropos for looking back on anything related to 2011…

As mentioned in the comments, I’ve frozen the 2011 watchlist and cleaned up the mess associated with the new design that I was forced to choose when my previous theme was no longer compatible with the WordPress software that this site runs on. The new, 2012 watchlist will be built in the course of doing the season reviews, which will begin in the next couple of weeks. I do plan on trying to follow my own footsteps from last offseason, which puts the 2012 edition out in late November/early December.

For the most part, I’m satisfied with what I built last year. Four of the 89 names were released prior to Spring Training. Four were traded away, three in one pop to pick up Tom Gorzelanny. One guy was sent back to his original organization. Two guys spent the majority of the season on the DL, a third (Adam Carr) got hurt and got released — though I expect him to get re-signed to at least get a look-see in Spring Training, unless I’m spot-on about Rizzo’s hard…um, affinity for Matt Chico and Garrett Mock (sorry, haters he’s still in the org) in which case Carr will have to make the choice between retirement or working his way back via the indys.

If I had to categorize my mistakes, I’d say they’d fall into three categories:

• Undervaluing Age (Alaniz, Chacin)
• Overvaluing GCL Gambles (Ott, Serino)
• Overvaluing Rule 5 status (Allen, Ramirez)

Looking over the scouting reports, I was also fairly consistent in being too aggressive with projecting where starting pitchers would begin the year. I’m not sure how I’ll be able to solve that problem because so much of it is dependent on the “inventory” approach that was prevalent this year — recall that Yunesky Maya, Craig Stammen, Ross Detwiler, Mock, and J.D. Martin all made stats for Syracuse in April — as well as injuries and/or shelving to guys like Tanner Roark, Shairon Martis, Luis Atilano, Sammy Solis, A.J. Cole and Robbie Ray.

Of course, that’s a separate issue.

Graduating from the list are Danny Espinosa and Wilson Ramos by making the 2011 club. Yunesky Maya is off because he no longer has rookie status (130PA, 50IP, 45 days on 25-Man Roster), which in most folks’ opinion, the minimum standard for being considered a prospect. Chris Marrero could come perilously close to the batter’s limit, but I suspect he’ll sit just enough over the next 10 games to stay under the limit.

Other “graduates” will be of the more subjective nature — guys that appear to have hit their ceiling, too old for the level, appear to have missed their window, etc. Doesn’t mean that they can’t play their way back onto a 2013 watchlist, but the odds are against them.

Of course, not being on the watchlist doesn’t mean they’re not useful or valuable — organizational guys (or soldiers, which may be a better metaphor in this context) is a term we bandy about around here, but were Erik Arnesen and Bill Rhinehart not key contributors to the Harrisburg team this season?

Thus, I don’t think serves much useful purpose to name who’s probably going to come off the list. I’d like to think most are fairly obvious, even if I suspect I’ll get more grief for the ones I include than exclude this time. But look back at that list o’ mistakes; I’m probably going to be a lot less sentimental this year, a little harder on the recent draft picks, and much more skeptical about who gets picked in the Rule 5 draft.

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.

12 thoughts on “Reviewing The 2011 Watchlist”

  1. I dunno; I think you could afford to stay aggressive with the arms & what level you believe they should be at. This is your blog & affords you the opportunity to voice your opinions; Lord knows, the rest of us have, many times over. None of us can predict the effects that individual injuries have on a players’ projection, because stuff like that just happens.

    This year could be a real turning point for the orginization, as I’d expect the number of ‘backfill’ free agents at Harrisburg & Syracuse to decline as the draft picks continue to mature & move up. It’s hopefully going to be an interesting off-season, as the Nationals’ braintrust has a number of decisions to make going into Spring Training, 2012.

    1. Decisions on the coaching staffs have already begun as Jerry Browne, Bobby Williams, Sergio Mendez and John Poppert have been given their walking papers.

      1. These are names I recognize, but don’t know enough of to form an opinion.
        Thanks for for grizzle on the grill, Sue, during this dead time. Without TBRFan in Florida for the FIL, everything down there is top secret again.

  2. THANK YOU JESUS!!! Good bye Browne. Now get rid of that yes man, no talent Knorr and send us Foli or T.J. back. Then we can get down to why we are here: GOVERNORS CUPS!!!! Very sad to watch Columbus win 2 times in a row. (Although I am an Indians fan, I am a Chiefs fan first) If next season turns out like this joke did, I hope the Simones hand the Nats their walking papers.

    1. Don, you’ve been pretty relentless in your opinion of Knorr, although from everything I’ve read, yours is a minority one.
      I thought Tim Foli was seriously ill; haven’t heard any updates lately.

    1. It’s interesting news that Doug Harris says that the 1 player who made the most progress of anyone in the Nats system was Michael Taylor. He’s just a pup, too.

      1. Yes, he’s the kid we bought out of a Duke scholarship in 2009, if memory serves. Note that he’s a SS to CF conversion project, due to a clanky glove; Sound familiar, anyone?

  3. Now that Browne is gone from the Chiefs how about getting rid of the other dreadful coach down there, Booker

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