Good, Bad, Interesting… 2012 Season Final

Our final 2012 look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues. Repeats from 2011 are in italics.

70-74, 5th place International League North Division, 14 games behind

Good Bat: Corey Brown .285/.365/.523, 25HR, 18SB in 126G
Arm: Zach Duke 15-5, 3.51 ERA, 26 starts, 164⅓ IP
Bad Bat: Koyie Hill .163/.226/.231 in 31G
Arm: Austin Bibens-Dirkx 0-3, 5.59ERA, 1.56WHIP in 29G, 46⅓ IP
Interesting Bat: Carlos Rivero .303/.347/.435 in 126G
Arms: Jeff Mandel 6-5, 2.58ERA, 1.12WHIP in 19G, 11GS
          Christian Garcia 1-1, 0.56ERA, 14SV in 27G

64-78, 5th place Eastern League Western Division, 18½ games behind

Good Bat: Eury Perez .299/.325/.342, 26SB in 82G
Arm: Ryan Perry 2-4, 2.84 ERA, 1.11 WHIP
Bad Bat: Stephen King .185/.215/.218 in 47G
Arm: Chien-Ming Wang 1-5, 6.75ERA, 9HR in 9 starts, 45⅓ IP
Interesting Bat: Zach Walters .293/.326/.518 in 43G
Arm: Erik Davis 7-3, 2.52 ERA, 1.23 WHIP

33-36 in 2nd half, 3rd place Carolina League Northern Division, 3½ games behind
31-39 in 1st half, 2nd place, 8 games behind
64-75 overall

Good Bat*: Justin Bloxom .259/.331/.478 in 65G
Arm: Nathan Karns 8-4, 2.26ERA, 1.02WHIP, 87K in 13 starts
*David Freitas was on track for this honor prior to his trade to Oakland
Bad Bat: Jeff Howell .225/.276/.282 in 20G after dropping down from AAA
Arm: Robbie Ray 6-12, 6.56 ERA, 1.62 WHIP in 105⅔ IP
Interesting Bat: Francisco Soriano .338/.430/.452 in 2nd half
Arm: Rob Wort 95K in 56⅔ IP (15.08/9IP)

40-28 in 2nd half, 1st place South Atlantic League Northern Division, 3 games ahead
42-27 in 1st half, 2nd place, 3½ games behind
84-55 overall

Good Bat: Matt Skole .286/.438/.574, 27HR in 101G
Arm: Alex Meyer 7-4, 3.10ERA, 1.13WHIP in 18 starts
Bad Bat: Hendry Jimenez .205/.259/.321 in 65G
Arm: Chris McKenzie 2-3, 8.64ERA, 2.05WHIP in 50IP
Interesting Bat: Steve Souza Jr. .290/.346/.576, 17HR in 70G
Arm: Christian Meza 8-1, 2.97ERA, 1.16WHIP in 88IP

46-30, 1st Place Pinckney Division of New York-Penn League, 2 games ahead

Good Bats: Estarlin Martinez .319/.385/.455 in 66G
         Shawn Pleffner .329/.394/.458 in 55G
Arm: Brett Mooneyham 2-2, 2.55ERA, 1.23WHIP in 10G/9GS
Bad Bat: Jordan Poole .196/.256/.299, 47K in 31G
Arm: Ivan Pineyro 3-2, 5.50ERA, 1.66WHIP in 8GS
Interesting Bat: Wander Ramos .275/.377/.449 in 67G
Arm: Nick Lee 3-1, 3.77ERA, 1.35ERA in 13G/11GS

27-33, 4th place Gulf Coast League East Dvision, 8 games behind

Good Bat: Matt Foat .333/.404/.401 in 43G
Arm: Will Hudgins 4-3, 2.21 ERA, 1.04WHIP in 36⅔ IP
Bad Bat: Hayden Jennings .192/.254/.231, 70K in 47G
Arm: Adalberto Mieses 1-5, 5.05ERA, 1.61WHIP in 41IP
Interesting Bat: Mike McQuillan .375/.478/.429 in 19G (promoted to Auburn)
Arm: Joel Barrientos 4-1, 3.00ERA, 42K in 45IP (turned 19 in Aug.)

38-32, 3rd place, Boca Chica South Division of Dominican Summer League, 11 games behind

Good Bat: 19-y.o. Rafael Bautista .329/.419/.395, 47SB in 67G
Arm: 19-y.o. Hector Silvestre 5-3, 3.20 ERA, 1.20 WHIP in 76IP
Bad Bat: 17-y.o. Wester Suarez .130/.322/.152 in 24G
Arm: 20-y.o. Philips Valdez 2-2, 5.40 ERA, 1.97 WHIP in 48⅓ IP
Interesting Bat: 19-y.o. Jose “Orange” Marmolejos-Diaz .298/.362/.490 in 69G
Arm: 17-y.o. Maximo Valerio 3-5, 3.55 ERA, 1.25 WHIP in 63⅓ IP

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.

24 thoughts on “Good, Bad, Interesting… 2012 Season Final”

    1. Yes. A lot of focus about how he’s picked up the change and two-seam and dropped the four-seamer from his arsenal, along with what you’d imagine: how the Nationals have worked on getting him to use his height and work both sides of the plate. Disappointed it didn’t mention the knuckle-curve, which he spoke to me about in a bullpen warmup conversation a few weeks back.

  1. Great stuff, Luke. This is my first season regularly following this site and while I come everyday, I’ve looked most forward to this every Friday.

    I will miss this.

  2. Great years for Hagerstown and Auburn. Disappointing years for Potomac and Harrisburg. Syracuse would have been better had the big club been healthier and not needed Bryce Harper so soon and Tyler Moore for most of the year.

    1. I would disagree that the top-half of the minors were disappointing this season since they gave the parent club so many key contributors and saw many more move up the ranks.

      Eury Perez and Christian Garcia seem major league-ready. (Granted, I’m basing that on Eury’s AAA at-bats). That means they’ve done their job. Zach Duke was reclamated (is that a word?) at Syracuse and John Lannan was kept ready to help the parent club when it needed him.

      And that’s not even getting into the likes of Harper, Moore and, to a lesser degree Brown who were sent up to help the Nationals during the season.

      Sure, they didn’t win as much as we would have liked, but given the contributions they’ve made to this season and beyond, I wouldn’t call this season a disappointment for Syracuse and Harrisburg.

      1. I’m not sure Perez is major league ready yet … but Corey Brown certainly should be and the clock its ticking there.

        I suspect Bill Ladson’s “source” is eating his hat looking a bit like a fool wanting that slap hitting base stealing CF’er (read Bourn). Werth looks far better than Bourn leading off, thankfully, because he was about to become a man without a position IMO.

  3. Luke,
    contrast Rahl with Perez on their numbers. Rahl in 21 less at bats had more doubles 18 to 11 , more hr 12 to 0, more rbi 50 to 30, more runs scored 55 to 34, a higher OBP 339 to 325, a higher SLG 467 to 342, the same number of triples 2, the same number of SB 26 but was caught stealing less 4 to 10, and walked more times 19 to 7.
    Yes Perez had 9 more hits, a higher BA 299 to 291, fewer errors 2 to 4, and fewer Ks 53 to 84.
    All of this while Rahl played hurt all year on a bad foot. With both players gone the club spiraled quickly out of contention. The argument could be made for who really had the better season.

    1. Jimmy Van Ostrand was arguably little better than both of them, too, statistically, but for a year-end edition, I have to give the nod to the guy that’s younger and better fits the site name. During the season, you’ll recall, I had no problem giving recognition to organizational soldiers, both in the daily boxes and the GBIs. For Chris’s sake, I hope he gets a chance at AAA in 2013, even if it’s for another organization.

      I’m a little surprised nobody’s giving me any [stuff] about one more shiv to CMW… 😉

      1. He’s on the major league roster … sitting. He’ll be gone next season. I can’t see them bringing CMW back unless he signs for the league minimum on a minor league contract.

    2. Sensfan, after all that you left out the most important stat!

      Rahl: 1983
      Perez: 1990

      If you gave Perez seven more years in Harrisburg, I think he’d be able to match Rahl’s minor statistical advantage this past season. When it comes down to the two players who both had good seasons, the 22 year old always will win out over the 29 year old.

      1. No power, little arm. Lots of speed. Slightly above average fielder. Ignores coaches. Known to have temper tantrums and be lackadaisical at times. But a lot of energy and spirit.

        By Jove I think I’ve just described a right-handed version of Nyjer Morgan.

        Rahl will likely look for another organization I guess … he has a great deal of speed + a decent arm + some power. A lot of these players close to the cusp came to the Nats because they saw an opportunity on a team that was close to the dregs of baseball. Kind of why Justin Maxwell is starting in Houston?

        That’s not the case anymore. With Rendon starting to heat up in AA and looking like he might tear it up in the AFL now that he’s in baseball shape? He’s got to be the next plug-in Transformer component to plug into Rizzo’s Optimus Prime lineup.

        1. By most accounts, Eury has a strong arm. He had 12 assists this year and in 2010 at Hagerstown.

          That’s not a staggeringly high number, but it’s not the sign of a poor arm, either.

          1. While you did underrate Eury’s arm you also underrated the other negatives. The trip to Florida wasn’t about the oblique.

  4. Rahl is 6 1/2 years older than Perez. He will be 29 this December. This is Rahl’s SIXTH season in AA, and Perez’s first. Sorry, but 28 year-olds in AA are non-prospect organizational filler. Comparing Perez to Rahl without taking into account their vastly different levels of experience is meaningless.

    1. It’s Rahl’s 5th season in AA. He hit .291 in AAA in 2010.

      Of course age is important but the good as defined at first in the article didn’t make that the #1 criteria. Luke did clarify it later. I’m sure that played a major role in Perez’s promotion to AAA. Organizations would be better served to reward results and not only look at the calendar. Sometimes a late bloomer is only a late bloomer because it took a while to get the opportunity to play. Case in point Morse with the Nats.

      1. At the time (2009) Morse was pretty much all they had in AAA with a decent bat. Bar none. His bat translated to the majors where he eventually proved he was the better hitter than any other hitter with the exception of a healthy Zimmerman.

        At 30, even in excellent shape, Morse doesn’t have that many years left. Rahl is also in superior shape. I think that counts for something? Or hopefully it will to another franchise such as Houston or the Cubbies.

        Perez is a 1-3 tool player: speed is his strength. He is still developing. He will never be a power hitter. He will never be a high OBP hitter he doesn’t walk and has just now started to try to do that after much haranguing by his coaches.

        I’ll take Tyler Moore and Corey Brown.

  5. It’s fitting that Spike gets the cover of the last GBI this season, although it’s best he can’t hear the derision from his owner.

    I think it’s almost impossible to rate a AAA’s team success, what with AAAA players and frequent callups.
    Hope Auburn and Hagerstown can provide some excitement.

  6. Looks like my guy Nate Karns acquitted himself fairly well … as a starter not a reliever … ~smiles~

    Not to mention Matty Skole from the ATL.

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