In the midst of the minors playoff hubbub, MASN’s Byron Kerr published the 2013 Florida Instructional League rosters. With the end of the season, there’s now time to take a closer look, beginning with the pitchers:
|Player||Pos.||Age||2013 Team(s)||2012 Invite||Notes|
|A.J. Cole||RHSP||21||POT, HBG||N||A breakthrough year for twice-coveted (’10 draft, ’13 trade)
starter, who may have had a better year developmentally
than Taylor Jordan.
|Pedro Encarnacion||RHSP||22||HAG||Y||Stayed put in Low-A for the whole season and made serious
improvements in his peripherals (HR, BB, K rates) from 2012
|Lucas Giolito||RHSP||19||GCL, AUB||N||Started slowly in GCL but found his stride. Don’t be surprised
if he’s held back in XST like Cole, Ray, Purke in ’14
|Jacob Johansen||RHSP||22||AUB, HAG||N||The Nats top draft pick in ’13, he’s the big-bodied, hard-
thrower that the Nats lust for and were not scared off by poor
college nos. or command issues.
|Nick Lee||LHSP||22||AUB||Y||Has moved up slowly and steadily, with much ado about the
jump in K’s (10.1) but not as much attention paid to the
corresponding rise in BB’s (3.0 to 4.3)
|Brett Mooneyham||LHSP||23||HAG, POT||Y||Still a work in progress but will get plenty of chances
because he’s still relatively young, still lefthanded, and
can still break 90 m.p.h. without max effort
|R.C. Orlan||LHSP||22||AUB||N||Missed 2012 with TJ surgery, put up decent numbers in his
first pro season, better when viewed through post-surgery
|Travis Ott||LHSP||18||GCL||N||25th Rd. pick out of (*gasp*) a PA high school, turned 18
in late June. Tall, lean (6’4″, 170) but reportedly tops out
around 90 m.p.h.
|Ronald Pena||RHRP||21||HAG||Y||Began the year as a starter, but was shifted to the
bullpen where he had much better ratios and success.
|Nick Pivetta||RHSP||20||GCL, AUB||N||4th. Rd. JuCo pick out of New Mexico, one of a handful
of multi-level pitchers, which is generally a good sign.
|Robbie Ray||LHSP||21||POT, HBG||Y||Like Cole, Ray rebounded from a horrific 2012 and got the
bump to AA where he adjusted well and actually improved his
|Luis Reyes||RHP||18||DSL||N||Got promoted from the DSL to the GCL for one final start,
so clearly the Nats are interested in a longer look.
|Jefry Rodriguez||RHSP||20||GCL||Y||Three DSL guys were invited last year, but
um, Rodriguez was the only one to make the leap stateside,
where he was a key cog in the GCL rotation.
|Derek Self||RHRP||23||POT, HAG||Y||Challenged with leap from AUB to POT but failed, and
was dropped down in the 2nd half. Hard-thrower that the
Nats seem determined to make into a late-inning option.
|Hector Silvestre||LHP||20||POT, GCL||N||Silvestre had something of a comeback year, finishing #2
for the G-Nats to Wander Suero in several categories, after
repeating the DSL in 2012.
|John Simms||RHP||21||GCL, AUB||N||11th Rd. pick out of Rice, previous drafted by the Nats
in 2010 (39th). Used mostly in relief, but made two spot
starts late in the season for Auburn.
|Wander Suero||RHP||22||GCL||N||Just turned 22 (Sunday), but even 21 is a little old
for the GCL, where he dominated (1.65 ERA, 0.82 WHIP)
after spending three years in the DSL.
|Blake Treinen||RHSP||25||HBG, AUB||N||This year’s “old guy,” who’s coming off a late-season
injury and is probably just in attendance to check on
his mechanics and health, like Rob Gilliam a year ago.
|Kylin Turnbull||LHSP||24||POT, AUB, HAG||Y||Still tweaking the mechanics, Turnbull struggled early and had
to take two steps back (POT to AUB) before settling in and
finishing strong in Aug/Sep for Hagerstown.
|Phillips Valdez||RHRP||21||GCL||N||Got the bump to the GCL despite subpar nos. in the DSL in
2012, but performed well. Turns 22 in November, so…
|Austin Voth||RHRP||21||GCL, AUB, HAG||N||5th Rd. pick out of the Univ. of Washington. Named to the
FIL prior to his last outing during the playoffs, which
reportedly ended due to injury.
|Deion Williams||RHSP||20||AUB, GCL||Y||Converted to pitching late last season, the former shortstop
is a (classic) project, plain and simple.
As in years past, the group tilts toward youth and inexperience — roughly two-thirds spent 2013 in the short-season leagues, four of the seven full-season guys were 22 or younger. I think most folks are going to be interested in how the GCL guys do next season (this will be true for the position players as well), especially there’s that nagging question of whether they broke out or was it a factor of age/experience. Unfortunately, we’re going to know until more than six months than now.
Finally, don’t get too hung up on who didn’t get invited. You can take a gander at the some of the pitchers invited last year and see some names that you might not remember seeing much this year, or at least not in a positive sense. FIL is simply a chance for the organization to spend some extra time teaching, (hence the name and the bevy of young/short-season guys).
Next post: The FIL Hitters.