Bear with me — without the structure of the regular season and the divergence from what I’ve done in past offseasons, the first couple of posts might be a bit of a dog’s breakfast.
The most obvious thing to me is to touch upon what I would have written about in shorter form until the AFL starts up (good news — our man out there says he’ll continue to take pics and share with us). Then, the weekly posts will be AFL-centric with some news and notes thrown in.
THE STATE OF THE FARM
It’s been rebuilt and it’s churning out talent, though the run of uber-prospects (Strasburg-Harper-Rendon) may be over once Lucas Giolito makes his way to Washington. That’s okay because that’s how it supposed to work with World Series contending organizations. I’m still concerned that the organization runs old and that it relies very heavily on the Dominican Republic for its teenage talent, but it’s hard to argue against the results even when some of the injury gambles don’t pan out (see Solis, Sammy; Purke, Matthew).
BA TOP 20 PROSPECT LISTS
In years past, the first couple of weeks of BA issuing its Top 20 lists could be summed up in a picture or two for Washington fans. For the second straight year, the Nats have a GCLer on the list, as Jakson Reetz was named the #14 guy. A third-round pick in June, Reetz posted a line of .276/.431/.376 line as an 18-y.o. catcher, which of course, has drawn comps to 2007 4th Rd. pick Derek Norris. Defensively, he’s considered ahead of the A’s backstop at this stage in his career.
THE 2014 WATCHLIST
After clinching all that can be clinched in the day game on Friday — sounds a little dirty, no? — the Nats trotted out what some Twitterati geniusly called “your 2014 Syracuse Chiefs” on Friday night; an observation sharp enough to slice warm butter. Thankfully, there are those who understand how things work better than that. That said, it pains me a little to know two things: (1) A lot of the names are going to change in the 2015 edition (2) that edition is going to have to be smaller and less comprehensive. The alternative, of course, is to scrap it altogether, which, as you can see, I’m trying to avoid.
THE DSL NATIONALS
The trend of getting younger and better has continued — the average bat was 17.7 years old, the average arm was 18.4 years old; a half-year younger than the league averages for both. Despite their youth, the D-Nats were among the more potent offenses, tied for 4th at 6.19 R/G (lg. avg. 4.98) and leading the circuit in HRs. The flip side is that the pitching (5.36 R/G) and the defense — with the exception of the stolen-base prevention (2nd in CS%, 48; lg. avg. 34) — were both below average (.942FA, .951 lg avg.).
Cutting to the chase…
|TOP 5 BATS||TOP 5 ARMS|
|1. Davinson Pimentel, C/1B, .337 GPA, 6HR||1. Joan Baez, RHP, 1.15/2.96/0.91, 2.8 BB/9|
|2. Telmito Agustin, LF/CF, .310 GPA, 25SB, 10 3B||2. Steven Fuentes, RHP, 2.30/2.90/1.23, 10.2 K/9|
|3. Victor Robles, CF, .305 GPA, 22SB||3. Angher Cespedes, RHP, 3.94/2.52/1.16, 11.0 K/9|
|4. Israel Mota, RF, .281 GPA, 8HR, 47RBI||4. Yonathan Ramirez, LHP, 2.63/2.60/0.91, 2.0 BB/9|
|5. Andres Martinez, SS, .280 GPA, .908FA||5. Juan Bermudez, RHP, 2.08/3.55/1.05, 2.97 BB:K|
Honorable mentions go to Jeyner Baez, an 18-y.o. catcher with a 50% CS rate and a .256 GPA, and Wilber Pena, an 18-y.o. RHP who led the team in IP and tied with Bermudez with 14 games started. Folks can see all the team stats here.