The Preliminary 2012 Watchlist, Part Two

Yesterday, we looked at the infielders and the catchers. Today, the pitchers and the outfielders. The same caveats apply.

When I reviewed the 2011 watchlist a little more than two months ago, I made a vow to be a little tougher this year. Eighty-nine names made it last year, as of this writing, it’s 72 — nearly 20 percent fewer. There are still some names here that I’m fence on — mostly near the top, which invariably makes them fan favorites and, by definition, a case can be made for them if they’ve risen to AAA.

I’m quite well aware that there are some names from last year’s list that are still “young enough” but had mediocre to subpar years, or were hurt. As I mentioned in the 2011 watchlist review, they’re going to have to play their way back onto the 2013 list, just as they’re going to have to outplay the next wave of players making their way up the ladder.

So when you make your case for someone’s inclusion and/or exclusion, bear these things in mind. I’ve already cut some slack for some older guys at the expense of leaving off a couple of names from the DSL, a decision I can justify given my own track record about picking names from the DSL (of the two “Top 5’s” in the 2010 DSL Review, five repeated the level, four were promoted, and one was released) as well as my decision to only rank five names total from the GCL.

Corey Brown Brad Peacock Rafael Martin Tommy Milone Josh Smoker
Bryce Harper Brad Meyers Pat Lehman Danny Rosenbaum Matt Purke
Eury Perez Paul Demny Marcos Frias Sammy Solis Kylin Turnbull
Destin Hood Alex Meyer Neil Holland Robbie Ray Paul Applebee
Brian Goodwin A.J. Cole Matt Swynenberg Matt Grace
Kevin Keyes Taylor Jordan Greg Holt Christian Meza
Michael Taylor Wirkin Estevez Joel Barrientos
Billy Burns Taylor Hill Hector Silvestre
Randolph Oduber Brian Dupra
Caleb Ramsey Nathan Karns
Narciso Mesa Manny Rodriguez
Estarlin Martinez Gilberto Mendez
Wander Ramos Ivan Pineyro

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.

36 thoughts on “The Preliminary 2012 Watchlist, Part Two”

    1. That’s caveat of “2011 usage” — the educated guess is that he’ll either be built up out of the bullpen or treated like Cole/Ray and have his season delayed until May.

  1. Thanks Sue! Looking at this my reaction is wow we have some great LHSP and LHRP coming through the system and wow we have some pretty bad RHRP coming through the system!

    1. Its not good when Martin is the big name prospect in a group. We still have the usual guys, Wilkie, Zinicola, Mandel, etc that could be decent, but arent really prospects

  2. I guess Zinicola and Severino are a little old for the list, but Severino has put up great numbers in the DWL, along with looking good in Washington, and Zinicola put up filthy numbers at AAA, which is more of an accomplishment than it used to be(see Pena, Hassan). Similar cases could be made for Arnesen, and VanAllen, but both probably need more AAA time. I also think that Komatsu should be added, as he was good in the AA Southern League, and if he can stick in CF, he is a good prospect. Testa also could be added, but if you want to filter out the older players, than thats fine. Same goes with Nelo, and Graham

    1. I’d love to add Testa, but VanAllen is actually my defense for not: Rizzo doesn’t like soft-tossing lefties unless they have pinpoint control. (And even when they do have pinpoint control, soft-tossing righties seem to be SOL).

    2. Komatsu is an oversight, which is part of why I’m doing this exercise (having something to discuss is a much larger part 😉

    3. There might be a case to be made for Nelo, and to a lesser extent Graham. Nelo was a little overaged (25) for POT, but racked up nice numbers in the closer role. Graham was money early, but faded late in HAG.

      Aaron Barrett also did some nice work in AUB, but certainly wasn’t an eye-popper.

      1. Now, for the LHRP: I’d still give Severino a shout-out, even though he’s 27, but that’s just me. I think Hawkins (AUB) deserves a look, as does Monar (AUB/GCL) & maybe B.Lucas (GCL), although he’s very old for level at 24.

      2. Leaving Nelo out because of age would be a big mistake, as age is so much less of an issue for pitchers.

        Aaron Barrett is an interesting case, as he was an 8th round pick & disappeared at Viera for quite awhile.

  3. looking at Auburn, I also think Mirowski, Hill, Hawkins, hanks, Grisz, Dupra, and Bates could be added, but you could also make a case for not adding them

  4. I’m surprised that Komatsu and Meyers were not listed. I know they are Rule 5 eligibles that were not protected, but I don’t think that means the organization has written them off.

    Another notable absence is Maya, although I don’t necessarily disagree with that one. 🙂

  5. If you are going to put Purke and Turnbull in the bullpen shouldn’t Meyer go there as well? He might be a great starter but many appear to think he ends up in the bullpen?

    1. Karns was used as a starter in ’11 but I doubt he’ll stick there. Meyer was a starter for UK. I’m not projecting here, I’m just trying to make sure I’m not missing anybody…

  6. I assume from your choice that you expect Corey Brown to turn some heads in ST when he is head-to-head to the other 1st round draft pick five-tool Bryce Harper?

    1. Brown, B. Meyers, Martin are all “on the fencers” but I left in because there’s a case to be made. As of this writing, Brown is competing with Bernadina to be the fourth outfielder. Harper is most likely going to Syracuse to “work on his defense,” but I know there’s nothing I can say to stop people from hoping he’ll be the Opening Day left fielder.

      1. I couldn’t help but chuckle when reading this, I agree with your exasperation with the ‘ADHD’ crowd when it comes to Harper.
        Yes, he’s a great prospect, but he’s NOT READY.

        1. No, he’s not ready fielding-wise. But offensively he’s about there I suspect.

          I believe the decision about where Harper lands is still up-in-the-air. The Morse/LaRoche/Bernadina/Werth/Marerro roadblocks have to factor into it.

          But I listening to Davey Johnson I have to believe what Boswell says: Johnson believes he can develop the better young prospects best of anyone in baseball. Bar none. He also apparently prefers to act as their finishing school at some point.

          From everything Johnson has said he appears to believe Harper is now at that point.

          Keep in mind MarkL that IT WAS Johnson who determined that Desmond should work his way through at shortstop while Riggleman wanted to make him a utility guy or send him back to AAA and use Guzman.

          So, AD/HD it ain’t, instead basic observation and noting the regime change.

          Is Harper ready to be schooled by Johnson? That’s the question you should be asking. Can the major league club absorb his setbacks and still win?

          I believe those are the questions you should be asking.

          1. The better question: Has Johnson learned from the mistakes he made with an arguably more talented duo of Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry? I sure as hell hope so.

          2. That and the debacle with the Dodgers.

            Just calling it as I see it. And that’s what I am seeing. Harper in the majors somehow someway to be developed under the watchful eye of Davey Johnson and his potential heir apparent; whichever of them.

            IMO Its far, far better than the Jim Riggleman / JIm Tracey / Ron Washington crowd (see Kerry Wood/Tom Gorzelanny). It seems to me they do far worst by their prospects. Is Johnson likely way better than them? Hell yes. Is he perfect? NO.

  7. From what I’ve seen Brad Meyers and Sammy Solis appear to have the best chance of ending up as a solid starting pitcher: 200IP guys.

    Too many question marks with everyone else and then the pundits starting talking about making them relievers.

      1. Nope, just a guesstimate to where he’ll start 2012: Potomac. The list is in order of highest level played. If I were to put the 2012 picks with zero pro experience below the DSL guys, I’d look even worse.

        1. Sue, I was responding to Peric’s comment about Solis and Meyers being the Nats’ best shot at 200IP starting pitcher types. I get the ranking of the chart 🙂

          1. Unfortunately, when I get my notifications via e-mail I sometimes forget to check whether a comments was in reply to another comment. My bad.

          2. Solis & Meyers both have the body-types to project as workhorses, but have been succeptible to minor injuries so far. That puts them both as somewhat risky bottom-end starters until they prove differently, imo.

  8. Confused about VanAllen.

    I swear when I saw him in Richmond, he was throwing low to mid 90’s. Hitting as high as 93 on the stadium gun as well as the scouts guns.

    Am I confusing him with someone else? If not… why didn’t he make the list as a LHRP prospect?

    1. Turns 27 next month and has never pitched above AA. Same argument applies to Martin, I know, but VanAllen’s been stuck at AA for four seasons now.

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