Baseball America Reviews Nats’ International Signs

Some of these names have been mentioned previously over the past few months. I’d like to tell you the latest dispatch from Baseball America on the 2012 international signings gives significant information.

Alas, IFAs are much like a politicians — long on promise, short on details.

Before I editorialize, let me distill what little there is from the BA review for paid subs…

The big sign was Dominican centerfielder Luis Guzman, a 6’1″, 185-lb. left-handed hitter who turned 17 in September and went for $385K on July 2nd. He’s praised for “an advanced approach at the plate, great balance[,] and good bat speed” with plus speed and a plus arm (both 55 on the 20-80 scale).

Venezuelan Aldrem Corredor — also 17, a lefty, and listed at 6’1″, 185 — but with more power and less speed. BA is projecting him as a corner outfielder and noted his price tag at $190K.

Sixteen-year-old third baseman Neivy Pilier warranted a post in December for his youth and $225K bonus. Nothing new in terms of scouting or description.

Finally, another outfielder: Darryl Florentino who was described as a 6’2″, 180-lb speedster and praised for his athleticism. No age was given, but he was reportedly inked for $85K on July 2nd.

Of course, it’s been two years since the Nationals made a big deal about its 2010 signings and just one (Gilberto Mendez) has played north of Florida. The point, of course, is not to complain but to emphasize that despite the hype, it could be a while.

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.

10 thoughts on “Baseball America Reviews Nats’ International Signs”

  1. I would like to see a lot more of these signings, given that the Nats won’t have much opportunity for great improvement in the draft for the next several years, pobably. The team might be in good shape for 4 or 5 years, but there needs to be a pipeline for when the current window of opportunity closes.

    1. I labored for quite some time to bridge this to a chart that emphasizes how many of the *current* replacement-level players at each position were IFAs and/or HS draftees — Perez, Leon, Marrero at AAA, Hood at AA — but couldn’t do it w/o making the BA piece look like a premise for a rant.

  2. I wonder if the Nationals would consider emulating the Rays internationally from last year. Since Washington has next to no “domestic” budget, blow the limits internationally this year and forego the next two international markets (the penalty for going over)

    This all hinges on the 2013 international crop being above average

    1. Or conversely, I’d like to see the Nats trade away their IFA cap space to a club who actually derives value from IFAs. The Nationals have been absolutely awful since Smiley-gate. Clubs like the Rays and Rangers are very good at acquiring international talent, therefore $1m in IFA cap space would be a lot more valuable to them than to the Nats.

      Trade IFA cap space for greater minor league depth. It will be interesting to see how the new CBA rules will work out in the next couple years.

    2. Which, if Tampa Bay decided to go all-in last year vs. this year begs the question: Did they do that because they felt that 2012 was going to be the better than either 2013 or 2014? Certainly some folks have argued that the spending binge the Nats went on in 2011 was in preparation for the new CBA taking away the option of going over slot early and often (now, it’s just early 😉

    1. IIRC, the limit was $2.9M. So anytime you’re spending close to (or more than) 10% of your budget on just one guy, I’d say it’s significant.

  3. The Nationals seem well stocked with pitchers from top to bottom. Loaded is probably a better term. I have followed Matt Grace from his high school days through UCLA to the National organization. He has seemed to hold his own, but has not shown a steep enough growth pattern to be considered for the big club.He seems stalled between Patomac and Hagerstown. I seem to remember that coaching intensity for pitchers at those levels is not a priority. Big lefties are an in demand commodity.Why do you think the Nationals hold on to him rather than working some kind of trade? Both sides will benefit.

    1. There are three kinds of pitchers: old, young, and hurt. The Nats have the former and the latter in spades. The problem is that there’s an awful lot of stock tied up in the “hurt” category.

      I’m not sure what you mean by “coaching intensity,” aside from the specious notion that a highly charged/emotional personality will “rub off” on the players and get results. I can tell you that the current research suggests that people respond better to positive reinforcement and a calm demeanor, which is why folks from the Harvard Business Review were so interested in picking Terry Francona’s brain after he guided the Red Sox to World Championships in ’04 and ’07.

      As for Mr. Grace, he hasn’t stalled — he’s progressed steadily, basically a level a year. What he hasn’t done is “break out” and earn an in-season promotion. But the Nats still control him for four more years, so there’s no hurry to trade him and, quite frankly, no market for him — every organization has a player similar to him in some respects. I personally liked the way that he finished up the 2012 season in Potomac, enough that I put him on this site’s watchlist for LHPs.

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