The 2013 Watchlist

Now that the Rule 5 draft is over, it’s time to finalize the 2013 Watchlist.

Most of the changes I made from when we discussed this a couple weeks ago are fairly obvious — players lost to the Rule 5, Denard Span trade have been removed; a couple of switches from one column to the next based on the comments that persuaded me. There were no major changes to the position/pitcher categories; I was not convinced to make a change.

So what’s next?

Well, I’m in the process of cleaning up the original 2011 watchlist — when I was forced to switch WordPress themes last summer, I never got around to reformatting the player reports — and renaming pages to make it easier to navigate. Just a heads up in case you’re searching through the player reports, which of course, a post like this may inspire. (Typos will still be blamed on the either the current copyeditor or the previous one)

Once that’s done, I’ll start to write the player reports that I can (i.e. the Potomac players) while I await the Baseball America and John Sickels books to hit the streets and/or e-mail in January.

In the meantime, I’d recommend folks take a peek at the idea I will steal from him next year excellent work Todd Boss has done aggregating Sickels’ opinions on the Nats’ 2012 draft along with his own work detailing how the entire class did in their first pro season.

C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
Leon Marrero Sanchez Walters Rivero E. Perez
Kieboom Bloxom Renda Hague Rendon Goodwin
Manuel Keyes Foat Martinson Skole Hood
P. Severino Pleffner Lippincott Difo D. Eusebio Taylor
B. Miller
E. Martinez
W. Ramos
RHPs LHPs DSL Guys M*A*S*H Notables (Bats) Notables (Arms)
Garcia Ray O. Abreu Meyers Brown Lehman
E. Davis Grace Bautista Komatsu Solano Kimball
Demny Meza Diaz Selik Dykstra W. Estevez
Karns Lee E. Gomez Solis Ramsey Schwartz
Wort Mooneyham Novas Applebee Nieto Pineyro
Holland Barrientos Read Purke Mesa C. Davis
Barrett Je. Rodriguez Jordan S. Perez I. Heredia
Rauh Ruiz Anderson Jennings Williams
Encarnacion Silvestre M. Rodriguez
Hudgins Valerio Giolito

Maroon = Top 10 Position Player
Indigo = Top 10 Pitcher

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.

19 thoughts on “The 2013 Watchlist”

    1. Reading top to bottom in each column, it goes from the highest level played to the lowest, but does not necessarily include each level in the U.S. I’ve parsed the DSL guys because it’s been such a hit-or-(mostly)-miss exercise.

      The M*A*S*H column is another way of listing players that have had surgery. Unfortunately, there are a lot in the system now.

      The last two columns are fairly self-explanatory: guys that are notable for one reason or another, for which I plan to write a post/essay.

    1. Hi Natslady! Maldonado signed a minor league deal with the Nationals shortly after becoming a free agent; he is almost certain to start in Syracuse and should probably be on this list.

      Luke, is it too early to try to draw a distinction between starting pitchers and relief pitchers? As one not quite so familiar with the system, having four categories (RHSP/LHSP/RHRP/LHRP) would be a useful tool.

      1. I did those categories the first two years and decided to try something new this year. In February, I’ll take another SWAG (Simply Wild Ass Guess) at the full-season pitching staffs, even though my success rate wasn’t great last February.

    2. Bibens-Dirkx was released in mid-August, signed with the Rockies and got hammered to the tune of a 13.89ERA, 2.743WHIP in 7 appearances for AAA Colorado Springs.

  1. Thanks for the shout-out Luke! That, I have to admit, was a fun exercise. What I found was that it is amazingly difficult to get accurate scouting reports on most of these guys. For example, I wanted to know what kind of velocity one of our 30th round draft picks was now throwing with, and I just couldn’t find it. Not that velocity is the be all/end all determination of a pitcher’s future success, but if a 30th round pick is only throwing upper 80s and getting lit up, that tells me more about the guy’s limitations than a guy who is throwing 95. It just goes to show how tough it is for us to “scout the box score.”

    Future todo item: hit lottery, quit job, and travel all summer to watch minor league baseball so I can post more accurate opinions on these players. Good plan.

    1. all reports have limitations. I was reading Sickels take on the Rays-Royals trade. He described Odorizzi’s only issue as working high in the zone. Later that night I hear Mayo say he keeps the ball down.

  2. I don’t understand what anyone sees in Matt Grace?? I’ve seen him in Woodbridge and Hagerstown. How is he playing professional baseball? Below average stuff and gets pounded by hitters. Look at his hits to ip lol it’s hard not to laugh. If hes one of the “good pitchers” in the system we are really screwed if in need of a September call up. I guess the rhp list looks good but the lefties… Yikes!! :/ good time to be a pitcher in the nats minors, lots of opportunities

    1. Grace finished the season very strong with Potomac — eight quality starts in his last 12 appearances. Not quite as dramatic a change as Marcos Frias before/after a trip to Viera in late 2010, but that’s the comp that comes to mind. Plus, he’s lefthanded and has very good mechanics.

  3. Isn’t the end of the season the easiest time to pitch due to all of the “good” players moving up to AA mid-late season? Seems to me that’d be the easiest time to pitch but everyone puts a big emphasis on finishing strong. I think that the end is the easiest time for a pitcher. I guess he finished ok but the rest of the season when it counted, Ida had more faith in the pnats winning if my 4 year old was out there on the mound.

    1. No, it’s not. Whatever benefit a pitcher may get by not having to face a “good” player is offset by having to face an unfamiliar player. Never mind things like fatigue or the heat.

  4. Haha not to be mean or unfair to mr grace: I’m sure he tries hard. I jus can’t believe that we have no lefties more exciting than grace or ray whose combined era was 6-7+. Im losing faith Luke. I guess we’re lucky the big team can afford to buy whoever they need.

    1. Don’t lose faith. The pitching is not short because the team can’t develop pitching. It’s because they traded minor league talent for major league talent (Milone, Peacock and Cole in the Gonzalez trade; Meyer for Span). Add the loss of Rosenbaum, McGeary and Nelo in the Rule 5 draft and injuries to Solis, Giolito and Purke and the pitching thins out in a hurry. Giolito won’t be back until late this year, but Solis and Purke should *knock on wood* be ready to go in the Spring.

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