Bullpen Banter Ranks The Nats Top 15 Prospects

I’ll spare you guys a NKOTB pun for a pic and pass along the following Top 15 list from Bullpen Banter:

Jeff Reese Al Skorupa
1. Bryce Harper, OF 1. Bryce Harper, OF
2. Anthony Rendon, 3B 2. Anthony Rendon, 3B
3. Brian Goodwin, CF 3. Brian Goodwin, CF
4. Alex Meyer, RHP 4. Alex Meyer, RHP
5. Sammy Solis, LHP 5. Matt Purke, LHP
6. Steve Lombardozzi, 2B/SS 6. Steve Lombardozzi, 2B/SS
7. Matt Purke, LHP 7. Sammy Solis, LHP
8. Destin Hood, COF 8. Destin Hood, COF
9. Michael Taylor, CF 9. Matt Skole, 3B
10. Chris Marrero, 1B 10. Michael Taylor, CF
11. Tyler Moore, 1B 11. Robbie Ray, LHP
12. Robbie Ray, LHP 12. Eury Perez, CF
13. Matt Skole, 3B/1B 13. Cole Kimball, RHR
14. Eury Perez, CF 14. Dan Rosenbaum, LHP
15. Kylin Turnbull, LHP 15. Tyler Moore, 1B

I’m not gonna say much more except to go and take a look at their commentary. I think you’ll find their comments on Steve Lombardozzi particularly interesting, as well as their thoughts on Rendon, Ray, and Solis. As frequent commenter SoulDrummer is fond of remarking: “It’s important to pay attention to how folks outside our little bubble are viewing the guys.”

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.

22 thoughts on “Bullpen Banter Ranks The Nats Top 15 Prospects”

  1. To me the big question is: who are the “sleepers”. The prospects that could jump up to replace what the Nats lost in the A’s trade. Add in Manno.

    In spite of what they say about Rizzo getting lucky by getting to draft and sign the 4 or 5 top players in the 3 previous drafts … it still seems to me that player development under Rizzo has improved by leaps and bounds? This should lead to developing some “sleepers”?

    As a result suddenly Destin Hood is on the cusp of being ranked a star. Eury Perez just needs to learn plate patience to go with base stealing and according to Luke his defense has improved markedly. Marerro’s defense has improved markedly. Let’s hope the same is going to be true with Tyler Moore.

    But beyond these guys there are others down there who just might shine when no one but player development expects it. I think Solano is a lot better than many give him credit for. I also believe that’s true of Corey Brown. That’s two potential sleepers likely in AAA.

    The Phuture Phillies prospect blog believes Carlos Rivero should be added to the Nats watch list. His marked, over night improvement offensively going from his professional best of a .129 ISO to a .162 ISO this past season. Luke places him AA but he just might end up as the Syracuse staring third bagger. With 535 xIP, and a wOBA of 0.337 and a 1.7 bRAA one can see why Luke thinks he’ll start off in AA Harrisburg. But its a HUGE improvement from his last season in AA where he had 444 xIP, 0.291 wOBA, and -17.1 bRAA. And this would be his third go round in AA. He has one option left and then he apparently loses that starting next year. He’s a one year rental in a sense I guess?

    Erik Arneson who was moved to AA, Erik Arneson looked like he had a break out year in 2011 at age 27. With 102.9 xIP, 2.80 tRA, and 22.8 pRAA he has to be a major reason why Harrisburg did so well. He will likely end up as a starter in Syracuse. He wasn’t bad as reliever posting 23.0 xIP, 4.24 tRA, and 0.3 pRAA. Is he a “sleeper”?

    Rule 5 Matt Buschmann is kind old at 27. But he ended up with a positive bRAA in AAA both as a reliever and a starter. 84.8 xIP, tRA 5.28, 6.9 pRAA, plus 9.0 xIP, 4.66 tRA, and 0.6 pRAA. This was a marked improvement from AA in 2011. He’s probably just “org” filler but selecting him as a rule 5 must mean the improvement was a noticeable jump for Nats scouts.

    1. For the longest time, it seemed like the only thing the system could reliably produce were middle relievers. Then Lannan came out nowhere 5 years ago. Then 2N (Zimmermann). Then Desmond. Then Espinosa. Add in a couple of bench guys (Bernadina, possibly Lombardozzi).

      Suddenly, the knock that DC can’t produce position players seems a little harsh. But I’m still hesitant to say we’re there yet. As Brian said last year, when you draft college guys, you have to expect a lower ceiling but a higher floor. Hood could help change my mind, as could Perez if he could be convinced to take some pitches and draw some walks instead.

      But I’m also keen on seeing how the ’11 P-Nats become the ’12 Sens. I anticipate most of the starters moving up, including Kobernus and Leon. What I’m looking for is if they hit the wall like J.P. Ramirez did. Or do they break out like Hood did.

      Most of what might be called “sleepers” are going to come from Auburn — the mid-to-lower draft picks that don’t get much exposure and attention, or will have their achievements written off because of the short season or their age.

      Brian Dupra (pronounced Doo-Pray) might be one. Taylor Hill might be another. Billy Burns and Bryce Ortega are another pair. But I put quotes around sleeper for a reason. Once somebody like me puts a spotlight on them (albeit perhaps a single LED bulb), it’s really hard to say they came out of nowhere.

      1. Luke, you’re right in saying that the kids coming out of Auburn into full-season ball will be interesting to watch. Between them, and the POT to HAR promotions should give those of us on this board plenty to mull over between Opening day and the draft.

  2. I wonder if the Nats pick Jesus Fernando Martinez off the waiver line? If they aren’t beaten to it?

    Young at 23, left-handed power bat, outfielder. Former top prospect. Seems like a no brainer for a franchise with a dearth of left-handed hitters?

    1. Someone will take a chance on him — he’s an extremely low-cost gamble that just might need a change of scenery and a different coaching philosophy. Nats are now a middle-of-the-pack team, so we have to adjust our thinking to waiver claims. As another blog might put it, we’ve gone from dumpster diving to cruising the streets on trash day.

    2. I was thinking the same thing about Martinez. Low risk and we need AAA outfielders who are not OGs, besides Corey Brown!

      1. Yeah but they need Corey Brown because of the fielding (as good if not better than Ankiel) and the potential in the left-handed bat.

        Martinez would have provided a second left-handed outfield bat.

        But Houston got him.

  3. Kind of a mixed review, imo. Very positive outlooks on Lombardozzi from both writers (yea!), but a suspiciously high rating for Meyer, given the flaws noted. Suprised Skole was the only short-season player to make the list, but that’s fine. I think that there are others who are capable of breakthrough seasons this year in AUB & HAG that got ‘short-sheeted’ this year.

    All in all, it’s just another dose of reality to temper our outlooks. Luke, thanks for providing the list and link.

    1. Not everyone can throw in the high 90s like Meyer That pretty much puts him in the top 5. Whether he should be or not remains to be seen.

  4. Between the trade for Gio and Rizzo’s Gomes blunder, the system seems about where it was 2 years ago. Although there’s more hope this time because we know about the better coaching & development under the new regime.
    I agree with Peric, there’s bound to be a sleeper or two in 2012.

  5. I am hoping Destin Hood keeps going on an upward trajectory in 2012. Also, let’s hope some of the Auburn guys are diamonds in the rough. Of that group I like Dupra, Skole and Ortega as guys to watch in 2012.

  6. Im calling it now, Erik Arnesen will have a breakout year. The kid as the right mentality, and I think he will be a legit MLB player.

  7. Count me in for Arnesen’s Army. Yes, he’s an old fart (no offense BinM) & a soft tosser, but if the light bulb goes on, then great things can happen. Don’t forget, Greg Maddox is a 1st ballot Hall of Famer next year!

    I’m also predicting/wishing/hoping that Destin Hood is our next big star from the system. This jump to AA should tell the tale.

    1. If Arnesen can duplicate his 2011 numbers, then the team might have that extra MLB-ready arm to cover injuries to the starting staff in WSH. You can’t count on it yet, but it would be nice to see.

    2. Both Hood and Arneson would create nice problems for the Nats indeed. There’s new room for Hood in the Nats outfield unless there’s an injury and someone is out for an extended period of time.

      Be even nicer to see Rosenbaum produce a 33 pRAA the way Milone did. (Highest in the system.) He legitimately could end up in the starting rotation in 2012 if he does that. Given the injuries holding back Solis and Purke.

      I don’t see Lannan with the club beyond spring training.

  8. Jim Callis at baseballamerica.com has some interesting things to say about the Gio trade – from the state (and ranking) of the National’s System pre-trade, to the ceilings for the prospects we traded.

    The article is from the A’s perspective, but interesting nuggets for us.

      1. “The Gonzalez deal has the potential to pay off the most. If everything works out for the best, Oakland will have turned one of the majors’ best young lefthanders into a pair of No. 2 starters (Peacock, Cole), an everyday catcher (Norris) and a back-of-the-rotation candidate (Milone).”
        Is probably the key graf he means, but yes, it’s behind a paywall.

Comments are closed.