Winter League Roundup

Time for our semi-weekly look at how the Nationals farmhands are doing in the offseason/winter leagues. All statistics as of 12/09/2012 12:40 a.m. EST.






As always, once the numbers “freeze,” I drop the player from graphic to save time/space. Most winter leagues will finish up in three weeks, with the Dominican Winter League closing out a week from Friday.

This, of course, is one of the dead zones of the offseason — first full day of Hanukkah, the start of week three for Christmas — as we await news with a minor-league angle. The usual press release about the managers and coaches has yet to be issued. The next transaction post from Baseball America will be watched a bit more closely, to see if the Nats will sign some FAs to replace the four arms lost in the Rule 5 draft.

Still no indication when John Sickels or Baseball Prospectus plans to tackle Washington’s Top 10/15/20 prospects (Baseball America covers the Nats on the 19th). If you’re really desperate to look at a list, Marc Hulet has a Top 15 compiled prior to the Rule 5 that was released on Friday at, while’s Jonathan Mayo updated his ongoing Top 20 after the Rule 5 (spoiler: Jeff Kobernus and Danny Rosenbaum out, Brandon Miller and Jordan Taylor in).

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.

16 thoughts on “Winter League Roundup”

  1. Per this site on 11/6 – “Earlier this offseason, the Nats resigned veteran backstops Carlos Maldonado and Jeff Howell”

  2. Wow, that’s a pretty bizarre top 20 from Mayo.

    Marrero and Taylor at #4 and 5?
    Skole at #10 and Solis at #15?

    When did he release this ranking? Because his phrasing makes it sound like he did it in March. For example, under Solis he says, “[he] learned in February that he’d need Tommy John surgery, which will cost him the entire 2012 season.” He must have written that at least before the season ended?

    1. Marerro wasn’t a flop in his major league debut. His performance post-injury in AAA wasn’t substandard. He lost some power but is still young enough to get it back. His fielding has improved dramatically from when Luke first started watching him in Potomac.

      Taylor: fielding.

      Skole: that’s how bad his fielding is. It must be pretty terrible because bat sure isn’t. He might require an additional 2 seasons plus to hone his fielding skills …so?

      Solis: two seasons to recover completely from Tommy John’s and no one is sure what he’ll be like afterward: see McGreary recently drafted in rule 5 by Boston I think.

      1. How has it been 2 seasons for Solis to recover from Tommy John? He didn’t have the surgery until February or March…

        1. This season will be his first season back. He will have strict innings and pitch count limits. As a result he may not progress as far as some might hope. Then, 2nd season in the minor leagues without restriction to stretch out in preparation for the majors. Which should be the case for Nate Karns this season. I hope.

    2. I think this, again, goes to Luke’s point about the farm system. Really after Rendon its surprisingly very weak … and depleted. Perhaps not as bad as it was under Bowden and major league baseball and thereafter. Nevertheless, it lacks quality depth after the #1-#3 slots IMO.

      1. The farm system has graduated Harper, Strasburg, Espinosa, Lombo, Storen and Mattheus recently. Not to mention Rizzo has used the system to better the big league team through high profile trades. You cannot even mention this system in the same breath as Bowden.

        While yes the system is thin, the major league team is loaded for multiple seasons to come and that is because of how stocked the system was recently. It is being used the way it is supposed to.

        1. The problem with the Rizzo/Bowden dichotomy is that we don’t *know* which picks were attributable to whom while both were here in ’07 and ’08. If you’re inclined to credit, say, Lombardozzi and Moore to Rizzo’s infuence as the Asst. GM, then you should be prepared to give similar props to Roy Clark for the ’09+ picks.

          It’s a convenient narrative that Mike Rizzo is to the Washington Nationals what Bill Belichek is to the New England Patriots — they certainly like to operate the same way in regards to information and control — but I think ultimately, it’s not a functional equivalent. There are far more moving parts and it’s much larger.

          The fact of the matter is: Nine of the current Nats 40-man roster were drafted while Jim Bowden was GM. I think you can give him a sliver of credit for those, and if you’re cynical, backhanded credit for driving the parent club into the snowbank to make the drafting of Harper and Strasburg possible.

    3. I’m guessing Mayo’s Top 20 was written in the February/March timeframe. Perhaps it’s my bad for not making that more clear.

  3. Skole can rake as a hitter but is a butcher in the field. He is bat without a position. He may have been almost adequate at 1B in Arizona, but no one was impressed with his range or pulling in bad throws. He is probably lucky to be at 10.

  4. Apparently Skole was much better than adequate in Arizonia. Check the first link that Luc supplied in this post.

    1. But not as a fielder … but has potential to be an outstanding first bagger according to Hulett/Sussman’s source. Think Adam LaRoche who was a real butcher at first base when he first came up.

      If Skole continues to demonstrate huge left-handed power odds are he gets to the majors sooner rather than later. His problem is Davey Johnson will manage for only one more year. If by some miracle he gets promoted from AA and injuries occur? With Davey at the helm? You never know.

Comments are closed.