Season Review: 2011 DSL Nationals

If you just look at wins and losses, the 2011 campaign was a step back from 2010 for the DSL Nationals. If, however, you consider the trend of the team getting younger for the third straight year, then there’s a modicum of success for this year’s crew. The average batter was 18.1 years old, the average pitcher was 18.9 years old; the league averages were 18.5 and 19.0. In 2008, the year the DSL Nationals1 team won the league, those figures were 19.3 and 21.2 respectively.

Of course, the real sign of success is going to be how many of these kids “graduate” to the GCL and beyond. Three bats (four if you count Bowden’s folly) and six arms made the jump from the D.R. to the U.S. from 2010 to 2011. In the 2009 to 2010 offseason, four position players and three pitchers made that leap. Of those seven, only Manny Rivera made it north of Florida for any significant playing time in 2011. That’s not all bad news because among those six are a couple of teenagers (Estarlin Martinez and Gregory Baez, both 19).

Following my size 13B’s from last year, let’s take a look at how the team did as a whole vs. the league averages…

HITTING * GPA = Gross Production Average.


Like last year, the team was slightly above average on offense, though the tradeoff was more hits for fewer walks. The pitching wasn’t quite as good and it wasn’t helped by a defense that was 28th out of 33 teams in terms of errors committed. Sight unseen, I’d attribute many of these things to a younger team, particularly the lower walk totals.

So who were the 2011 DSL Nationals? Using 100PA as the cutoff and defensive games played, here’s how the position players broke down. Folks interested in seeing the full team and its stats can click here.

The fielding percentages are at the position listed (G/GP = Games At The Position/Games Played), except for the utilty/bench guys, for which the percentage is cumulative and the number of games at each position is listed between commas. As aforementioned, this was not a strong fielding club. It is, however, encouraging to see such strong GPAs from some of the teenagers.

Two names that did not make the “cut” but will get some play right here are Algenis Ramirez and Junior Geraldo. The former is a 17-year-old signed from the Dominican Prospect League, the latter we’ve since learned is an 18-year-old but little else can found on him outside of this site. Ramirez had the team’s best walk rate at 17.5%, Geraldo put up a sick .909 OPS — both in admittedly small sample sizes (63 and 71 PAs, respectively).

On to the pitchers, listing the Top 12 in terms of innings pitched…

I purposely included Miguel Navarro as the 12th pitcher even though he was tied for the position to illustrate the following: The D-Nats had four pitchers with four-digit ERAs, responsible for more than 20 percent of the total runs surrendered despite pitching just 37 innings combined, or roughly six percent of the team’s total innings pitched. The point? They were clearly willing to let these kids (three 18 yo’s, one 17-yo) take their lumps.

As you can see from the HBP and WP numbers, this was a wild bunch — even by DSL standards. But you can also see there were some guys that had strong peripherals: Ivan Pineyro, Gilberto Mendez, and Joel Barrientos all had K rates of 24% or better, stranded more than 71% of their baserunners and walked less than three batters per nine. Which of course brings us to our…

Last year’s #1 picks — Wirkin Estevez and Jean-Carlos Valdez — both “graduated” so a pat on the back. My #5 bat (Paul Chacin) got released, so a facepalm. I don’t feel quite so bad when more than a couple of the draft gurus I follow on Twitter have remarked that getting too excited about the DSL stats is an errand for the foolish. And let’s face it: This is basically looking at those numbers, factoring in age, and going with a gut feeling.

Top 5 Batters
1. Diomedes Eusebio
2. Dionicio Rosario
3. Jose Marmolejos-Diaz
4. Wilmer Difo
5. “Fred” Ortega
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Algenis Ramirez and Junior Geraldo

Top 5 Pitchers
1. Gilberto Mendez
2. Ivan Pineyro
3. Joel Barrientos
4. Hector Silvestre
5. Anderson Martinez

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.

6 thoughts on “Season Review: 2011 DSL Nationals”

  1. So, who do you predeict will be the next DSL Nat grad to make the bigs. Right now I think there have been two that have made the majors (Martinez Severino) I would think Estevez, or Eury would be the next, but I could see Frias, or even Alvarez making it some day

  2. Estevez and Estarlin Martinez would be my best guesses. Frias still has time, but the clock is ticking. Perez is going to top out if he can’t hone his offense to take some walks and get hits swinging away more consistently.

    1. I think Estevez is actualy a good prospect, especially if he can improve on last year at Hagerstown. Dont know much about Martinez, as I still dont pay much attention to the 3 letter affiliates. My goal will to be to add the GCL to my list of affiliates I follow(added Auburn last year)

  3. Sue_D: My compliments on the ‘under the hood’ breakdown. As you noted, when the young DSL arms were bad, they were horrible.
    I might argue for Jesus Guzman over Anderson Martinez at #5, but it’s a fools’ errand, as you said.

  4. Been swamped at work. One main issue I have with the Nats and the DSL is a disturbing trend of their placing recent DSL signees to start in the GCL. Last year, Miguel Navarro made that jump, to unfortunate results. This year, it was Arialdo Peguero whom I wished had played DSL.

    Also what I look for in a hitter in the DSL is the extra base hits, Ok they’re teenagers but which ones have pop? Sure Read’s average sucked, but 10 XBH out of 22 hits, and 4 taters?! And Novas picked it up ALOT to hit over .200. They were two of our “high-priced” signees. Both need another year in the Caribbean.

    1. By signees, it looks like you mean IFAs, and yes, that’s too aggressive for a 17-yo and an 18-yo in the examples cited. Peguero might survive, but Navarro looks like he might not.

      On its face, that sounds like a Bowden move (see Desmond, Ian ~2006) which is even more odd because many of us are still not quite used to the new world order one-level-per-year below AA.

      Getting back to the XBH thing… here are the ISO (SLG-BA = XBH/AB) numbers for the Top 5 Bats:

      1. Eusebio .159
      2. Rosario .070
      3. Marmolejos-Diaz .082
      4. Difo .117
      5. Ortega .031
      HM: Geraldo .288
      HM: Ramirez .140

      Guys I might be undervaluing under this microscope are Read (.136) and Mejia (.131). Novas was .103, or a shade under the league average of .105. He turned 17 on July 31.

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