|This is the sixth watch to which Skole has been named,
which says more about the state of the Nationals’ corner
infielders than the 2011 5th Rd. pick. In his first two seasons,
he flirted with a .300 BA with double-digit HRs and walks
aplenty (141 in his first 192 games). Since then, the BA
and BB have dropped, but the power and whiffs remain.
Barring an injury or a monster spring training, he’ll return
to AAA in ’17 to serve as backup to the backup in MLB.
|Like Skole, “the Orange” has been listed here since 2012,
steadily moving up the organizational ladder and producing
at each stop. 2016 was the first year Marmolejos was
challenged with multiple levels, and he responded with .751
OPS in 33G at AA and was protected from the Rule 5 Draft.
Not terribly fast, but he is solid-average on defense and
has some power, but will probably need to show more in ’17
to get more notice (respect) outside of our bubble.
|With power and true first basemen in short supply, a “too
old” (turns 22 in February 2017) Conner Simonetti makes
the watchlist as a 2016 draft pick (13th Rd.) out of Kent
state. Simonetti produced decent numbers last summer in
the GCL (.280/.333/.446) and committed just two errors
on defense in 33 games (.993 FA). Only legacy pick Ryan
Ripken blocks his path to Low-A in ’17, but if he’s sent
to Auburn instead, this may be his only appearance here.