Minor-League Signings

As predicted yesterday, multiple sources are reporting the Nationals have made a couple of minor-league free agents: RHP Waldis Joaquin and IF Jarrett Hoffpauir.

Naturally, you’re as shocked as I am that both are formerly of N.L. West organizations — Joaquin from the San Francisco Giants, Hoffpauir from the San Diego Padres.

Joaquin is a hard-throwing righthander (95-98 m.p.h.) from the Dominican Republic that was a B- prospect for John Sickels in 2010, but has struggled in his three September callups (5.40 ERA, 1.800 WHIP) despite having modest numbers at AAA the past three seasons (3.63, 1.580), though his K rate drop from ’10 to ’11 (8.6 to 4.9) is definite red flag. He turns 25 on Christmas day.

Hoffpauir was originally drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2004, rising to AAA by 2007, where he has languished ever since despite a career .287/.365/.445 line at that level for St. Louis, Toronto, and San Diego. The catch, you may ask? The 28-year-old doesn’t, as he’s been described by FutureRedbirds.net as a “glove o’ lead.”

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.

9 thoughts on “Minor-League Signings”

  1. A catcher from AAA? With Ramos and Flores in Natstown and Norris and Solano already pretty much earmarked for Syracuse? I guess he fills in a Harrisburg slot with Leon while Nieto and Freitas duke it out for the starting slot in Potomac? It seems an odd pickup.

    1. Hoffpauir is a 3B-2B-DH, and looks to be a replacement for Tug Hulett at Syracuse. Beau Seabury was picked up last week in the Rule 5 draft, and looks to be a replacement for Brian Peacock, i.e. back up Leon.

      Unless Nieto has a monster spring, I look for Freitas and Leonida to be the Potomac catchers next season.

      1. Brain cramp – I was thinking Seabury, the Rule 5 catcher. I was still surprised that the Nationals picked up a catcher at all …

  2. That’s a more than fair assessment of Hoffpauir. Unless Lombodarzzi gets sent back down to secure 2B in SYR, the Chiefs’ IF looks like a rotation of Bynum / Hoffpauir / J. Johnson at 2B-3B-SS. Apologies in advance to the Syracuse fanbase.

    Seabury will likely get ‘handcuffed’ to whoever starts for Harrisburg behind the plate; The whoever may depend on what the Nationals do with Flores between now & April.

  3. Have to wonder if McConnell and King won’t get kicked up to make room for the contingent from 2011 Potomac in Harrisburg. Kobernus, Nicol, Lozada, Bloxom [DH hopefully] and at some point perhaps Hague.

    1. And then there’s Walters AND Rendon. Have to assume that both might start in Potomac but could get moved up if they perform?

      1. BTW, Told you Solano was a keeper … 😉 I don’t think Randy Knorr often raves about a guy as much as Solano. And he likely could play the outfield or even 2nd base. If he continues to improve at the plate he is going to be an extremely valuable backup catcher. Another Riggleman super-utility guy. 😉

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