Vote for Your Favorite Arms


Well, the Shohei Otani sweepstakes are over (read—if you can—Lt. Dans: It wasn’t the highest bidder) and the Giancarlo Stanton drama continues, but otherwise the hot stove remains unlit.

Perhaps that will change when the Winter Meetings convene tomorrow in Orlando, but in the meantime, let’s use this downtime to vote on Washington’s minor-league pitchers and find out who will be #2. (If you don’t know who #1 will be, please do not operate machinery – heavy or light).

As always, send your Top 10 list to enfieldmass-top10arms[at]yahoo[dot]com (link will open your preferred email client) or post them in the comments.

The votes will tallied with weighting in reverse order (#1 = 10 points, #2 = 9 points… #9 = 2 points, #10 = 1 point). Once I feel like I’ve gotten enough votes, I’ll post the results along with the usual commentary and snark.

Thankfully, the Nats don’t have anyone on the 40-man who’s both on the cusp of exhausting his rookie eligibility and good enough to be considered, but for future reference, I’m cool with using BA’s simpler limits of 130AB, 50IP and/or 30 appearances for something like this.

Nats Make Some Minor-League Signs

In the latest BA transaction post, we’re finally seeing some free-agent signings for Washington:

• 3B Michael Almanzar BRef
• SS Jason Martinson BRef
• OF Ryan Raburn BRef

Yeah, the band’s getting back together…

…Almanzar re-signs after splitting time between Detroit and Washington’s AAA teams in 2017.

…Martinson, who went solo signed with Texas last winter, returns to the organization that drafted him in the 5th Rd. of the 2010 draft.

…Raburn, who also split time in AAA for two organizations (Chicago and Washington) in 2017, comes back with the hope of sticking with the big club on the bench, as he did for two months last summer (albeit thanks to plethora of injuries).

All three would appear to be ticketed for Syracuse for next summer, though the Nats do have a history of using veteran free agents to fill gaps at both AA and AAA.

Stay tuned for the “Favorite Pitchers” post.

The NationalsProspects.com Top 10 Position Players

The pendulum has swung back to a consensus again, with just 17 different players named on 10 ballots. The top three players were so named on every ballot but one, as predicted in the comments.

What’s perhaps the most glaring, albeit probably not unwarranted, is that last year’s #4 position player—Drew Ward—not only dropped off the list but had zero votes.

Before I go any futher, ze list:

  1. Victor Robles
  2. Juan Soto
  3. Carter Kieboom
  4. Daniel Johnson
  5. Yasel Antuna
  6. Luis Garcia
  7. Raudy Read
  8. Andrew Stevenson
  9. Jose Marmolejos
  10. Blake Perkins

Others receiving votes: Kelvin Gutierrez, Pedro Severino, Eric Senior, Jake Noll, Israel Pineda, Tres Barrera

For the third straight year, five players were holdovers. But unlike years past, none were traded away and just one (Brian Goodwin) graduated. The other four (Ward, Rafael Bautista, Anderson Franco, and Severino) dropped off the list, thought it should probably be noted that a list like this will tend to skew to the new, particularly in a system that’s never been very deep in position players.

Next up: The pitchers, a.k.a. Erick Fedde and the 2017 draft class, which promises to be much harder to pick even without anyone having been traded this month.

Vote for Your Favorite Bats

It’s time to put up a post before people think the site’s gone dark.

This is our 8th annual crowd-sourcing exercise for the Top 10 (or more likely, Victor Robles and the next nine) minor-league position players.

Quick rundown on how this works: Send me your Top 10 list of minor-league position players (40-man guys are eligible as long as they have rookie status) to enfieldmass-top10bats[at]yahoo[dot]com (link will open your preferred email client) or submit them in the comments.

I’ll tabulate the voting with a reverse-order weighting (#1 = 10 points, #2 = 9 points… #9 = 2 points, #10 = 1 point). When it feels like I’ve got a decent number of submissions, I’ll either update this post (if nothing new has happened) or create a new one to let folks know the Russians told me to stop I’m ready to post the “Top 10 Nats Bats” post.

As you might have guessed, I use the word “Bat” as a shorthand for “position player” – we all know too well there are guys in the system who need to be hidden on defense and guys at the plate who look like Jeff Sessions in a Big & Tall store. Try to account for defense when making your picks since the N.L. enjoys losing out on free agents, the All-Star Game, and the World Series still doesn’t have the DH.

Unfortunately, the Winter Meetings are still more than a week away—the Rule 5 Draft nearly two weeks away—so we’re looking at some more dead time on the minor-league front.

Byron Kerr has been profiling the 2018 Nats Top 10 per Baseball America and is halfway through, having recently finished with #6 Luis Garcia.

And if you’re the sort who obsesses over former players who, for the most part, couldn’t hold a spot on the current 25-man roster, Mark Zuckerman has you covered.(No offense to Zuckerman, he’s drawing a paycheck and needs to file stories – my derision is with the subset of “fans” who wax nostalgic for players who weren’t as good as their typed-with-one-hand comments would suggest.)

Otherwise, I think we’re in for another week of the Shohei Otani sweepstakes and whither Giancarlo Stanton, a.k.a. how fast can a popular player become more hated than the team’s previous owner?

As always, feel free to discuss in the comments…