While we await the games to begin, the Nationals — via Byron Kerr of MASN — have revealed the minor-leaguers coming into Florida early, a.k.a. “accelerated camp” with a reporting date.
In essence, this is the analog to the Instrux of the fall, where prospects are given extra time for instruction and a chance for the coaches to make sure everyone’s moving in the right direction.
As much as you might want to draw inferences from who’s been selected and who hasn’t, you can’t. It nearly goes without writing that almost all of these guys are on the 2014 watchlist. After the list, I’ll break it down…
|Dakota Bacus||Spencer Kieboom||Osvaldo Abreu||Isaac Ballou|
|John Costa||Cole Leonida||Wilmer Difo||Rafael Bautista|
|Matt Derosier||Raudy Read||Cutter Dykstra||Theo Bowe|
|Ian Dickson||Pedro Severino||Cody Gunter||Destin Hood|
|Pedro Encarnacion||Jason Martinson||Narciso Mesa|
|Wirkin Estevez||David Masters||Brandon Miller|
|Lucas Giolito||Stephen Perez||Drew Vettleson|
|Taylor Hill||Shawn Pleffner|
|Jake Johansen||Tony Renda|
|Nick Lee||Drew Ward|
|Warner Madrigal||John Wooten|
First, let’s address the unfamilar names…
…Costa was the Nats 13th Rd. draft pick out of Palm Beach State JC last June but did not pitch, having had TJ surgery in March 2013.
…Derosier was a 24th Rd. Pick out of Southwestern JC who made 10 of 11 appearances for the G-Nats (he retired eight of nine batters faced in a middle-relief outing in July for Auburn)
…Madrigal is returning to the U.S. after having been sold to the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Central League by the Arizona Diamondbacks last summer. He made 31 appearances and had a 2-0 record with a 3.23 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP.
Now, for a few random thoughts…
…Wooten is listed as an infielder, but that does not necessarily mean a shift to 1B. Example: Justin Miller, who the Nats tried to convert to catcher in the 2012-13 offseason but ultimately did not catch.
…While it would be nice to see GCLers Abreu, Read, and Bautista in full-season ball, Read was also invited to this shindig last year without spending time north of Florida.
…The presence of Kieboom and Estevez, however, is hoped to mean that their recoveries from Nationals elbow have progressed enough to appear in games before mid-June.