While this is third in our series, it’s the fourth staff to be set at the end of spring training, which often leads to some disappointment for the fans… and the players. At least at the outset. Thanks to the half system — and a steady stream of pitchers working their way back from injury — top picks do pass through in the second half of the season.
I personally like to think of High-A as a proving ground for prospects. Maybe I’m biased as a season-ticket holder for the level, but it sure seems like this is where wheat gets separated from the chaff.
On that somewhat dischordant note, let’s review how I picked the 2013 P-Nats pitchers:
|A.J. Cole||Christian Meza||Aaron Barrett|
|Robbie Ray||Matt Swynenberg||Colin Bates|
|Taylor Hill||Richie Mirowski|
|Taylor Jordan||Greg Holt|
|Kylin Turnbull||Ben Hawkins|
In what’s becoming a pattern, I got a lot right… but just barely. Meza and Turnbull were demoted, Hawkins was released, and Purke made six starts for Hagerstown, twelve for Potomac. This reinforces another mantra which I’m sure will be repeated again in six weeks: It’s not where a guy starts, it’s where he finishes (see: Jordan, Taylor).
Recall that yesterday I picked six starters for Harrisburg. Now one of those guys might start in Syracuse, but it’s also possible that one of them will start here, too. If I’m right about Lucas Giolito being held back like A.J. Cole and Robbie Ray, then it’s not hard to envision the odd man out in Harrisburg beginning here until he’s ready, then the board is reset — happened last year with Purke/Schwartz/Jordan (not precisely, but close enough for this anecdote) and to a lesser extent in 2012 with Purke and Nathan Karns (Cameron Selik was bumped up instead of a starter).
Of course I want to wrong about Giolito… I’d rather see him pitch two months from now instead of four or six (or not all), but the Nats track record says otherwise.
With that, I give you my guess for the 2014 Potomac pitchers…
|Brett Mooneyham||Ian Dickson||Matt Spann|
|Pedro Encarnacion||Ronald Pena||Gilberto Mendez|
|Kylin Turnbull||Cody Davis|
|Dakota Bacus||David Fischer|
|Nick Lee||Greg Holt|
Next up: The 2014 Hagerstown Suns