Taylor Hill Taylor Hill
DOB: 3/12/89
Ht. 6’3″
Wt. 235
Bats: R
Career Stats
While Hill faded very badly down the stretch, he still had a strong
enough season overall to post an I.L.-best WHIP of 1.12 and finish
2nd in ERA at 2.68 (though his 4.23 FIP is telling). Hill compensates
for his average stuff with good command of the classic repetoire
(FB/SL/CV/CU) and has a knack for generating ground balls. Doesn’t
walk many or strike out many, which is concerning, given that he has
given up better than a hit per inning for his entire career.
A.J. Cole A.J. Cole
DOB: 1/5/92
Ht. 6’5″
Wt. 200
Bats: R
Career Stats
As predicted here a year ago, Cole returned to AA and made 14 starts
for the Senators before rising to AAA, where he put in 11 before being
shut down for the playoffs. While he can touch 96 with the FB, Cole now
works in the 91-93 range, pounding the lower third of the zone with good
location on both sides of the plate. His mid-80s CH has become his
primary secondary pitch, while his low-80s SL continues to develop and
his fringy CV becomes a show-me pitch.
Joe Ross Joe Ross
DOB: 5/21/93
Ht. 6’4″
Wt. 205
Bats: R
Career Stats
Ross spent most of 2014 in the pitcher’s hell that is the California Lg.
before making three starts for AA San Antonio in late July and early
August. Ross, the younger brother of Tyson, features a low-90s FB
and can touch 96 when he maxes his effort with a mid-80s SL and a
low-80s CU. It’s worth noting that Ross finished the season on the DL
with “illness and fatigue,” which will be ignored if he starts 2015 well
and harped on if he struggles.
Austin Voth Austin Voth
DOB: 6/26/92
Ht. 6’1″
Wt. 190
Bats: R
Career Stats
For the second straight season, Voth pitched at three levels (Low-A,
High-A, AA) and had success at each stop but the last. The Nationals
attribute Voth’s struggles to fatigue, but common sense says he was
rushed (just six GS at High-A after 13 at Low-A). The UW product
features above-average command of a low-90s FB to go along with
CU and CV, the latter of which scouts say he’s still trying to master.
He’ll return to Harrisburg to start the 2015 campaign.
John Simms John Simms
DOB: 1/17/92
Ht. 6’3″
Wt. 205
Bats: R
Career Stats
Simms also pitched three levels, but only put in five relief appear-
ances in Low-A, similar to Blake Schwartz in 2013 (i.e. he was
parked until a slot opened up at Potomac). Like Voth, he works with
a FB/CU/CV arsenal, but seems to have much greater separation
between the heat and the offspeed stuff. Unlike Voth, he made more
starts at AA than A+, though the, um, same tired excuse was cited.
Also likely to go back to City Island in 2015.
Ian Dickson Ian Dickson
DOB: 9/16/90
Ht. 6’5″
Wt. 215
Bats: R
Career Stats
Dickson was a “Notable Arm” on the 2014 watchlist but “graduated”
to this category with a strong second half for Potomac, winning four
of his last five decisions and lowering his ERA from 6.25 to 4.37. He
split time between starting and relieving but finished the season as
a starter. Despite his size, he doesn’t throw terribly hard (high 80s)
but does get a lot of movement on his pitches. Like a lot of pitchers
who fit that description, he’ll need to improve his secondary pitches.
Gilberto Mendez Gilberto Mendez
DOB: 11/17/92
Ht. 6’0″
Wt. 165
Bats: R
Career Stats
Mendez was among the much-ballyhooed crop of 2011 IFAs and is
now on the verge of becoming the first from that group to make it
to AA. He can touch 90 with his fastball, but is not a blow-you-away
high-heat reliever. Instead, he’ll use his low-80s slider and change
to make the fastball “play up,” and was mostly successful with the
approach. Very strong K:BB ratio (5.44) which he’ll need against AA
hitters if he can’t get any more m.p.h. on the heater.
Abel De Los Santos Abel De Los Santos
DOB: 11/21/92
Ht. 6’2″
Wt. 180
Bats: R
Career Stats
Acquired along with 2B Chris Bostick from Texas, De Los Santos
can bring the heat (91-94) but also spins a high-70s curveball
and a mid-80s slider. The 22-y.o. began 2014 in Low-A but was
quickly moved to High-A where he struck out 53 in 45⅔ innings
while going 5-2 with eight saves in 33 appearances. He’ll likely
join Mendez in the Harrisburg bullpen to begin 2015.
Wander Suero Wander Suero
DOB: 9/15/91
Ht. 6’3″
Wt. 175
Bats: R
Career Stats
Suero was jumped from the GCL to Low-A after a lights-out 2013 and
was promoted after just 21⅔ innings to Potomac. That proved to be
too much, too soon as the Carolina League pounded him (.303 OBA)
and was returned to the Suns after two months. Suero features a
cutting FB for which there’s some dispute as to the velocity; Nats say
low-90s, scouts say high 80s. Also, throws a CV and CU but despite his
control (1.4 BB/9) he lacks command, which will probably keep him in
relief despite his late-season success as a starter for Hagerstown.
Lucas Giolito Lucas Giolito
DOB: 07/14/94
Ht. 6’6″
Wt. 255
Bats: R
Career Stats
Giolito has been the Nats #1 prospect for three years running but
2014 was his first full season after coming down with Nationals elbow
shortly after getting drafted in 2012. He did not disappoint, making
20 starts (though he was skipped for three turns in the rotation in
May) before they pulled the plug in mid-August. Giolito features a
high-90s FB that he’s still learning to command, a sharp 12-6 CV, and
a changeup that continues to improve. Though he should start ’15 at
Hi-A, the Nats have a history of having high-profile prospects skip
Potomac, and could use the guise of a “strong spring” to do it.
Nick Pivetta Nick Pivetta
DOB: 2/14/93
Ht. 6’5″
Wt. 220
Bats: R
Career Stats
Pivetta is the latest example of prospect whose praise (#10 per BA in
its initial 2015 Top 10) does not match his production (4.22/4.60/.137
at Low-A in ’14). The 22-y.o. Canadian features a 92-94 FB that touches
96, an 11-5 CV that’s Carter-era (77-81) and an in-progress CH. Scouts
point to issues with mechanics and command that have led to his pitches
being left up in the zone, which also negates the effectiveness of his
secondary offerings. Ticketed for Potomac to begin 2015.
Reynaldo Lopez Reynaldo Lopez
DOB: 1/4/94
Ht. 6’0″
Wt. 185
Bats: R
Career Stats
Lopez burst onto the scene in 2014 with triple-digit fastball after miss-
ing most of 2013 with arm soreness. He struggled in his first two starts
for the Suns before dropping down, dominating the NYPL for seven starts,
then returning to the Sally with a vengeance (4-0, 0.23 ERA). Lopez can
hit 98 right out of the gate and stays in the mid-90s as he approaches the
6th. Scouts credit a mechanical adjustment made in Auburn that turned a
slurve into a curve and put more downward movement on his fastball.
Most likely to start 2015 at Potomac.
Robbie Dickey Robbie Dickey
DOB: 4/6/94
Ht. 6’3″
Wt. 205
Bats: R
Career Stats
Dickey is probably the least-known of the three three-level pitchers in 2014.
A 4th Rd. pick out of Blinn Junior College last June, he made three appear-
ances in the GCL before he was shipped to Auburn for five starts, then fin-
ished his rookie season with two starts and a relief outing in the playoffs
in the Suns. Dickey features a FB/CT/CV/CH repetoire, hitting the mid-90s
with his FB, which has led to some speculation as him being used as a late-
inning reliever. Most likely to return to Hagerstown in 2015.
Jean Ramirez
No Photo Found
Jean Ramirez
DOB: 10/24/94
Ht. 6’4″
Wt. 180
Bats: R
Career Stats
Ramirez was the statistically best pitcher for the (tied for) third-place GCL
Nationals with a mediocre line of 3.41/3.60/1.45 though he was just 19
and in his second professional season. Whether that’s enough to move up
is anybody’s guess; he could just as easily repeat… or get released.