Minors Pitching Staff Analysis, pt. 4

This is the pitching staff to watch this season because it’s likely to have the youngest starter in full-season ball, two Top 15 prospects (per BA), and the bulk of the 2011 pitching draftees.

The X factor of course is whether or not the Washington Nationals plan to shorten the workload (and avoid the coldest weather) as they did with Robbie Ray and A.J. Cole a year ago. It’s certainly possible, especially with the shoulder woes of Matt Purke, the TJ surgery of Jack McGeary, and the age of Wirkin Estevez (20).

Bobby Hansen Chris McKenzie Greg Holt
Wirkin Estevez Taylor Hill Blake Monar
Christian Meza Colin Bates Ben Hawkins
Nathan Karns Kylin Turnbull Aaron Barrett
Matt Purke Tyler Hanks
Luis Chirinos
Jack McGeary

I’ll be happy if I get half of these right. Basically, I’m trying to predict which pitchers will get the bump from Auburn mixed in with signed-too-late draft picks and repeats. Again, not a task that I envy the Nats brass to make, nor do I have any special insight. Let’s face it: Even if I were credentialed, Byron Kerr’s reports have certainly demonstrated how forthcoming the officials are(n’t).

As we’ve seen from the early dispatches, this year’s camp is mostly about getting ready and getting in shape, with Davey Johnson freely admitting that just three spots are unsettled. The Grapefruit League doesn’t start for another nine days, so settle in for more stories about Bryce Harper (will he or won’t he?), Ryan Zimmerman (sign me now or shut up until November), and Edwin Jackson’s ride (yes, really).

Thankfully, Adam Kilgore filed a story about three of the Gio Gonzalez Four. In case anyone is wondering, Oakland visits Baltimore the last weekend of April and the last weekend of July.

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.

10 thoughts on “Minors Pitching Staff Analysis, pt. 4”

    1. Meza already repeated Auburn, so there’s always the chance he could get cut loose. M-Rod’s invite could be a sign he’s getting the bump, but could just as easily be because the powers that be want extra time to work with him.

  1. Be interesting to see where (or if) McGreary lands. Another lefty to go with Purke and Turnbull.

    Boz said that the Nats FO has been cranky of late wonder what that’s all about? Then disclosed the potential Adam Dunn for Matt Moore trade that was nixed by the steering committee (Lerners). Pretty one-sided by today’s perspective.

  2. Anyone have an update on Taylor Jordan? What is his rehab calendar likely to be? I see him on the AST, and assume he is there, but don’t recall the plan for his recovery. Any projections? XST then HAG again or XST then POT?

  3. Had the same question, Michael. I was under the impression that Jordan was out for the season. Not sure what the problem was but assumed it was serious.

  4. Luke, do you see any of the guys from Auburn you didn’t mention with a decent chance of moving up Hagerstown? Three in particular, Mirowski, Kreis, and Grisz? Mirowski had a solid season but may have wore out a bit late in the season, Kreis started poorly but had an very good numbers in August and September, Grisz should be back from suspension, he was very impressive when he was there.

    1. I think I can predict Grisz not opening the season in Hagerstown. Aside from that, it’s a guessing game. Looking over the 2010 Lake Monsters, I doubt I would have picked Wilson Eusebio, Chris McKenzie, and Shane McCatty, for example.

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