Offseason Update: Sept. 23, 2017

Fall arrived yesterday afternoon but we’ve yet to see the chill rains come. The big Nats are lurching towards the postseason, the drama reduced to who will make the postseason roster (a.k.a. who’s healthy enough to play) and how he’ll be used.

100 wins? Home-field advantage? Both possible but not probable. Even Stevie Wonder can see that Dusty Baker has been managing the club to minimize fatigue, which has prompted the knee-jerk comparisons to spring training.

But we’re here to talk/read about the minor-leaguers….

As noted in the comments, the Nats were near the bottom of the collective standings with a .456 winning percentage, tied with the Mets. While it’s tempting to put that all on the Syracuse Chiefs, the worst team in AAA at 54-87, the Harrisburg Senators (60-80), Auburn Doubledays (30-45), and DSL Nationals (28-43) also “contributed.”

Unlike a year ago, we can’t point to the breakthrough of a new starter or position player or even a key reliever. It was supplying the “next man up” (my apologies, but DC is still a football town) for the bevy of injuries that have dogged this team/organization like they were wearing Milk-Bone underwear even more than last season, which was a lot.

There’s still some guys to be excited about, but the vast majority of them are in the lower minors, which means a lot of the buzz is based on things that are constant variables like their age or their draft position. And if we’re honest, there are roughly half a dozen guys that wouldn’t make a Top 30 list in most other organizations.

I can’t say that the organization isn’t still meeting the bare minimum requirements of developing talent that can be useful to the big club, albeit mostly in depth and trading chips. But I can say it’s not doing much else.

I’m sure you’ve gotten over the shock of not a single Chief making the International League Top 20 for Baseball America, but you may be a little surprised that two Nationals farmhands made BA’s Eastern League Top 20 – Victor Robles and Erick Fedde.

About the only argument you can make against Robles is that he didn’t play enough, though BA – as it usually does – sets the bar very low: just one PA or ⅓ IP per team game for position players and starting pitchers (20 appearances for relievers). Personally, I’d set it at about twice those marks, except for the relievers; that does seem about right.

Fedde, on the other hand, wasn’t exactly dominant at any level this season. Yes, I know it’s not all about stats but I do believe the two are not mutually exclusive. I’d also have to question his placement since he split time between starting and relieving for Harrisburg. But incumbency is also a BA hallmark…

I’d expect Robles to make the Carolina League Top 20, and FWIW, Carter Kieboom does have the necessary number of PAs for the Sally Lg. so stay tuned this week.

As noted a year ago, these have become more difficult to do. The system isn’t as deep as it used to be (or seemed to be) and all the losing tends not to produce the kind of numbers or streaks that are “G-worthy.” I had forgotten about my “note to self” to drop the GBI from every three weeks to monthly. That seems about right these days, and that’ll be the goal in 2018.

As for the watchlist, it may get shorter, but it’s a core part of the offseason ritual, and it’s how I get caught up on the short-season guys, so I don’t see it going away.

We’re now in the re-signing season, where would-be FAs opt to stick around rather than try their luck elsewhere:
• RHP Brady Dragmire
• LHP Hector Silvestre
• IF-OF Khayyan Norfork

No huge surprises here. Dragmire was (finally) starting to pitch well at the end of the season. Silvestre turns 25 in December and has yet to pitch above High-A, but between Washington’s pitching-starved upper minors, and it’s “sunk-cost” approach to Dominican prospects, he might get that chance in 2018. Norfork has made a career thus far on his versatility, and let’s face it: He could be the next Adrian Sanchez.

Despite having a handful of players in their third DSL season, the team actually had a fairly normal blend of players in terms of age. Like a year ago, the batters were a shade older than league average (18.2 vs. 18.1) while the pitchers were slightly younger (18.4 vs. 18.7).

The offense was right around league average (4.65 R/G vs. 4.60) but the pitching was 35th in the 40-team DSL and nearly a run worse (5.49) per game. The defense was also right around league average (.955 FA vs. .956). All of this is sight-unseen, strictly numbers-based observation, so take it with a fistful of salt.

Without further comment, here are the obligatory Top 5’s, excluding “three-timers” and players who were old for the level…

1. Wilmer Perez, C/1B/DH
.288 GPA, 17-2B, 4-3B, 3HR
1. Alfonso Hernandez, LHSP
2.10/2.53/1.17, 9.86 K/9IP
2. Adrian Liriano, SS/2B
.242 GPA, 15BB
2. Rafael Gomez, RHSP
4.09/2.88/1.27, 1HR in 55IP
3. Landerson Pena, RF/LF
.244 GPA, 13SB
3. Joan Adon, RHRP
3.54/3.12/0.96, 9.96 K/9IP
4. Luis Aquino, SS/LF
.240 GPA, 19SB
4. Niomar Gomez, RHSP
4.07/3.17/1.27, 2.52 K:BB ratio
5. Caldioli Sanfler, CF
.237 GPA, 58 of 60G at CF, .984 FA
5. Pedro Gonzalez, RHSP
5.30/3.51/1.63, 12GS, 52⅔ IP, turned 17 in July

An honorable mention goes to Geraldi Diaz, the analog to Pedro Gonzalez. He also turned 17 in July and appeared in 41 games behind the plate with a .989 fielding percentage while hitting .001 below the .232 league-average GPA. Folks interested in seeing the entire team’s stats can find them here.

Sunday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 8-2 @ Indianapolis,
1:35 p.m.
Fedde (1-1, 5.57) vs.
Holmes (8-5, 3.44)
Harrisburg Won, 4-2 (8 inn.);
Won, 3-0
@ Hartford,
1:35 p.m.
Voth (3-1, 3.71) vs.
French (7-11, 6.54)
Potomac Lost, 3-2 @ Frederick,
2:00 p.m.
Guilbeau (3-3, 4.59) vs.
Sedlock (4-4, 6.09)
Hagerstown Postponed vs. West Virginia,
2:05 p.m.
Bourque (5-6, 4.91) and
Braymer (1-0, 10.13) vs.
Wallace (3-6, 3.54) and
Meyer (1-0, 3.46)
Auburn Lost, 5-3 @ Lowell,
5:35 p.m.
Romero (0-0, 0.00) vs.
GCL Nationals Lost, 4-3 vs. GCL Cardinals,
10:30 a.m.

Indianapolis 8 Syracuse 2
• Simms (L, 0-3) 5+ IP, 7H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 3K, HR

Syracuse clinched its no-playoffs bid with an 8-2 loss to Indianapolis, but remains tied with Las Vegas in the battle for the worst record in AAA.

Harrisburg 4 Hartford 2 (8 inn.) – GAME ONE
• Estevez 6IP, 4H, 2R, 1ER, 2BB, 4K
• Bacus (W, 1-1) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Hernandez 3-4, R, HR, RBI
• Read 2-4, 2R, 2HR, 2RBI

Raudy Read homered to tie it at 2-2 in the 6th and put the Sens up 3-2 as they took the first game from the Yard Goats, 4-2 in eight innings. Wirkin “For the Weekend” Estevez got the start and the no-decision with six innings of two-run ball on four hits and two walks while striking out four. Dakota Bacus followed with two scoreless innings to earn this win, his first at AA this season. Yadiel Hernandez also went deep while going 3-for-4 to lead the Harrisburg hit column.

Harrisburg 3 Hartford 0 – GAME TWO
• Dragmire 3IP, 4H, 0R, 2BB, 2K
• Lara (W, 3-2) 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Marmolejos 3-3, R, BB, RBI
• Gamache 2-3, BB, RBI
• Taylor 2-4, 2-2B, 2K

Four Sens relievers combined for five-hit shutout in the second game to complete the doubleheader sweep, 3-0. Brady Dragmire went the first three, scattering four hits and two walks while Braulio Lara earned the win with two goose eggs and two baserunners. Ryan Brinley and Andrew Robinson both turned in scoreless inning to earn the hold and save respectively. Jose “Orange” Marmolejos* pealed off his 12th HR while going 3-for-3 with a walk to pace Harrisburg’s offense.
* Hyper-aggressive fantasy owners, folks who just learned about Harper’s injury: the nickname is a pun on his last name, which sounds like “marmalade.”

Frederick 4 Potomac 2
• McGowin (L, 0-1) 4IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 5K, HR
• Pantoja 3IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Masters 1-3, R, BB, 2RBI
• Wiseman 1-3, BB, 2K

David Masters’s two-run HR in the 9th masked an abysmal night on offense as Frederick edged Potomac, 3-2. Kyle McGowin lost for the 12th time in 15 games started with two runs allowed on five hits and three walks over four innings. Jorge Pantoja one-hit the Keys over three innings to keep things close. Jakson Reetz collected the fourth and final walk and scored ahead of the third and final hit of the night before Wiseman and Lora fanned for the 11th and 12th P-Nats whiffs to end the game.

Hagerstown vs. West Virginia – PPD
Saturday afternoon’s thundershowers came and went but still claimed the game as officials deemed the field too wet to play on. They’ll shoot for to make it up with a doubleheader today.

Lowell 5 Auburn 3
• Raquet (L, 1-2) 4⅓ IP, 7H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 3K, HR, WP
• Smith 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 1-0 IR-S
• Esthay 1-3, R, BB, RBI
• Boggetto 1-3, BB

Auburn led early 2-0 but could only answer once to Lowell’s rallies in the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 7th to lose again, 5-3. Nick Raquet took the loss with four runs let in on seven hits anf two walks while striking out three. David Smith stranded one in the 5th and pitched a clean 6th, which wasn’t all that bad. The Doubledays were held to just four hits and four walks, with Kameron Esthay and Branden Boggetto the only two batters to reach base twice.

GCL Marlins 4 GCL Nationals 3
• Guillen 5IP, 5H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K, WP
• Butler (BS, 1; L, 1-1) 3IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Antuna 2-4, RBI
• Evangelista 2-4, 2R, HR, RBI

The G-Nats tumbled to their fourth straight loss, 4-3 to the G-Marlins. Angel Guillen did his part, allowing just one run over five innings on five hits without and two strikeouts. Dan Butler did not, as he gave up two in the 6th to blow the save and the deciding run in the 8th to get the “L.” Juan Evangelista singled and homered and scored twice as both he and Yasel Antuna went 2-for-4 to account for four of the seven G-Nats’ hits. Roster move: Jairon Peguero reassigned from the DSL Nationals.

DSL Update
The D-Nats had a winning week of 4-2, which was good enough to climb into 7th place, percentage points ahead of the D-Yankees. There are just two weeks left until kids go back to school in the season, and the “let’s take a closer look before instrux” exodus to Florida has begun with Jairon Peguero. This week, the D-Nats play the D-Twins, D-Rockies, and the D-Yankees

Sunday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 9-4 vs. Rochester,
1:05 p.m.
Rogers (1-0, 0.00) vs.
Slegers (12-4, 3.13)
Harrisburg Lost, 7-4 vs. Binghamton,
1:30 p.m.
Estevez (3-1, 3.77) vs.
Gsellman (MLB Rehab)
Potomac Lost, 6-0 @ Winston Salem,
2:00 p.m.
Williams (2-3, 3.70) vs.
Dunning (4-5, 3.35)
Hagerstown Won, 2-1 @ Lakewood,
1:05 p.m.
Bourque (5-6, 5.04) vs.
Medina (4-7, 3.24)
Auburn Lost, 3-1 @ Williamsport,
5:05 p.m.
Raquet (0-1, 2.37) vs.
Garcia (3-2, 3.38)
GCL Nationals OFF DAY vs. GCL Mets

Syracuse 9 Rochester 4
• Severino 1-4, R, RBI

Syracuse a-salted Rochester for five runs in the 1st and never looked back in a 9-4 win, the fourth for the “Salt Potatoes” in five August games. Roster move: RHP Erick Fedde recalled to Washington.

Binghamton 7 Harrisburg 4
• Crownover 6IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 1K
• Collins (BS, 1; L, 0-1) 1IP, 3H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 2K, HR
• Ward 2-4, R, HR(GS), 4RBI
• Robles 2-4, 2B

Drew Ward respects his elders but still smacked a granny in the 6th inning to give the Sens a 4-2 lead. Tim Collins gave it all back and then one more as Binghamton rallied for five in the 7th to take the game, 7-4. The meltdown ruined starter Matt Crownover’s six innings of two-run ball on six hits and no walks with one whiff. Ward also singled to go 2-for-4, as did Victor Robles, who apparently appeased manager Matt LeCroy with four flyballs caught “the right way.”

Winston-Salem 6 Potomac 0
• Reyes (L, 7-11) 2⅔ IP, 7H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 0K, HR
• Rivera 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Page 1-2, 2B, BB
• Sagdal 1-3, 2B

Potomac continued its decade-long struggle with Winston-Salem at BB&T Park with another loss, a 6-0 shutout. Luis Reyes was booted before the end of the 3rd as the Dash lit him up for five runs on seven hits and two walks. It was a moot point, though, as three Winston-Salem pitchers combined to limit the P-Nats to three hits and three walks while striking out 13. Matt Page was the sole batter to reach base twice as he walked and doubled.

Hagerstown 2 Lakewood 1
• DeRosier (W, 1-2) 6IP, 7H, 0R, 0BB, 9K
• Morse (SV, 3) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Beckwith 1-3, R, BB, SB
• Ruiz 1-4, 2B, 3K

Three Suns pitchers combined to strike out 16 and walk none in a 2-1 win over the Blue Claws. Starter Matt DeRosier fanned nine over six shutout frames while giving up seven hits to earn the win. Hayden Howard added five more K’s to the tally in his two innings while Phil Morse bounced back from a bad outing to strike out two and work around an error for the save. Tyler Beckwith singled, walked, scored a run, and stole a base to lead the four-hit, two-walk, two-steal, and two-sacrifice offense.

Williamsport 3 Auburn 1
• Crowe 2⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 4K, HBP
• Troop (L, 2-3) 4⅓ IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 5K, HR
• Upshaw 1-3, RBI
• A. Martinez 0-3, R, BB, SB

Williamsport worked around four errors and outpitched Auburn, 3-1 to take the series opener. Wil Crowe got the start and was lifted with two out and one on in the 3rd after his 54th pitch. Alex Troop got the last out then gave up two runs on three hits over the next four innings to suffer the loss, his third. Armond Upshaw’s RBI single to drive in Andres Martinez accounted for the Doubledays’ lone run, as Auburn was held to three hits and three walks.

GCL Nationals – OFF DAY
The G-Nats won just one game this week but remain in first place in the GCL East by 2½ games over the G-Astros. Weather permitting, they’ll play or complete seven games this week with one scheduled off day (Thursday).

DSL Nationals – UPDATE
The D-Nats split their six games this week but will be eliminated from the playoffs with their next loss or the first-place team’s win. Three weeks remain in the season, which ends one week before the GCL ends, so if the Nationals are inclined to move anyone up for one more look, they have the opportunity.

Sunday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 8-5 vs. Gwinnett,
1:05 p.m.
J. Turner (0-3, 8.39) vs.
Albers (10-3, 3.13)
Harrisburg Lost, 9-3;
Lost, 8-3
vs. Portland,
1:30 p.m.
Crownover (0-5, 4.55) vs.
Villanueva (4-3, 8.10)
Potomac Lost, 5-4 vs. Myrtle Beach,
1:05 p.m.
Reyes (6-10, 4.81) and
Sanburn (4-3, 4.55) vs.
Hatch (4-8, 3.80) and TBD
Hagerstown Won, 3-0;
Lost, 4-1
vs. West Virginia,
4:35 p.m.
DeRosier (0-2, 10.95) vs.
Escobar (8-5, 4.01)
Auburn Won, 3-1 @ State College,
6:05 p.m.
Raquet (0-0, 3.21) vs.
Castano (6-1, 2.62)
GCL Nationals Won, 5-2 vs. GCL Astros,
12:00 p.m.

Gwinnett 8 Syracuse 5
• Valdez 2IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 2K

Shawn Kelley was in midseason form as he gave up a first-inning HR and struck out two to dig a 1-0 hole that the Chiefs couldn’t climb out of in an 8-5 loss to the Braves. Roster moves: RHP Shawn Kelley assigned from Washington for MLB rehab; 1B-3B Matt Skole designated for assignment.

Portland 9 Harrisburg 3 – GAME ONE
• G. Ross (L, 2-1) 5IP, 10H, 9R, 9ER, 3BB, 4K, 2HR
• Schepel 2IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Marmolejos 2-4, R, HR, 3RBI
• Joseph 2-4, R

Jose “Orange” Marmolejos pealed his 10th HR in the 1st to give Harrisburg a 3-2 lead but it was all Portland after that in a 9-3 final. Greg Ross took the loss with all nine runs charged to him on ten hits, including two homers. He walked three and struck out four. Kyle Schepel mopped up with two scoreless innings. Marmolejos went 2-for-4 as did Corban Joseph to lead the Sens’ attack.

Portland 8 Harrisburg 3 – GAME TWO
• Dragmire 4IP, 4H, 2R, 1ER, BB, 2K, HR
• Cordero (L, 2-5) 2IP, 3H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 3K, HR, BK, WP
• Marmolejos 1-3, 2R, BB, HR, RBI
• Gamache 1-3, 2RBI

Jimmy Cordero continues to challenge his 40-man status as he coughed up four runs in the 5th in the Sea Dogs’ 8-3 victory over the Senators to complete the doubleheader sweep. Brady Dragmire got the spot start with four innings of two–run ball on four hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Cordero lost for the fifth time while giving up his sixth HR in 42⅔ innings thrown. Jose Marmolejos went deep again and also walked while Dan Gamache drove in two to pace the Harrisburg offense. Roster moves: RHP Taylor Hill reassigned from Syracuse.

Myrtle Beach 5 Potomac 4
• Baez (L, 1-7) 3⅔ IP, 3H, 3R, 2ER, 7BB, 2K, BK
• Rivera 2⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 3K, 2-0 IR-S
• Masters 2-3, R, 2B, BB, RBI
• Lora 2-3, R, 2B, BB, RBI, SB

Joan Baez walked seven in his return to the Carolina League as Potomac’s four-run 7th fell short of what they needed in a 5-4 loss to Myrtle Beach. Not coincidentally, Baez lost for the seventh time while giving up three runs and three hits and striking out two over three and 2/3rds innings. Mariano Rivera III stranded two while getting the final out of the 4th and put up two more goose eggs but Ronald Pena wasn’t as effective as he was dinged for what proved to be the game-winning runs in the top of the 7th. David Masters and Edwin Lora both went 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, a run scored, and an RBI in the P-Nats’ ten-hit parade.

Hagerstown 3 West Virginia 0 – GAME ONE
• Davis (W, 2-3) 7IP, 5H, 0R, 3BB, 4K
• Perkins 2-3, R, 2B
• Agustin 1-2, R, BB

Weston Davis shut out (off?) the Power on five hits as the Suns took the opener, 3-0. The 21-y.o. walked three and struck out four over seven innings to win his second Sally Lg. game this season. Blake Perkins singled, doubled, and scored a run while Telmito Agustin singled and walked to lead the Hagerstown offense.

West Virginia 4 Hagerstown 1 – GAME TWO
• Sharp (L, 4-9) 5IP, 7H, 4R, 3ER, 0BB, 1K
• Simonds 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Perkins 0-2, R, BB, SB
• Noll 2-2, HBP, RBI

West Virginia nearly returned the favor as they held Hagerstown to just two hits and split the doubleheader with a 4-1 win. Sterling Sharp lost his ninth game while giving up all four Power runs on seven hits with no walks and one whiff over five innings. Kyle Simonds followed with two scoreless, giving up a hit and striking out one. Jake Noll drove in Blake Perkins with two outs in the 1st to prevent the shutout, which became apparent when Noll was the only Sun to reach base the rest of the game (Robles in the 4th, single in the 7th).

Auburn 3 West Virginia 1
• Crowe 3IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Troop (W, 2-2) 4IP, 2H, 0R, BB, K
• Esthay 2-4, RBI
• Scudder 2-4, 2B

In typical Nationals style, Wil Crowe’s NYPL debut came without warning in a 3-1 Doubledays’ win over the Black Bears. Crowe tossed three scoreless innings with no walks issued, two hit allowed, and two set down on strikes. Alex Troop, the announced starter, won in relief with four shutout frames with one walk and two hits allowed. Every Auburn batter reached base wit Kmeron Esthay and Jake Scudder both going to 2-for-4 to lead the Auburn hit column.

GCL Nationals 5 GCL Cardinals 2
• Malvin Pena 4⅓ IP, 4H, R, ER, 4BB, 5K, 2WP
• Guillen (W, 1-0) 2⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K, 3-1 IR-S
• L. Garcia 3-5, R
• Cramer 2-4, 2R, HR, 2RBI, BB
• Evangelista 2-4, 2B, BB, CS

The G-Nats made it seven straight with a 5-2 win over the G-Cards. Malvin Pena started by but ran out of gas in the 4th, as he was lifted with the bases loaded and one out. He was charged with one run on four hits and four walks while striking out five. Angel Guillen let in one inherited runner while closing out the 5th, then put up two goose eggs to earn the win. Luis Garcia led the G-Nats’ attack with a 3-for-5 game, followed by Jackson Cramer and Juan Envangelista, who both went 2-for-4. Roster move: RHP Connor Zwetsch assigned from Washington (NDFA, Oregon).

DSL Update
The D-Nats won just two of six games to keep a firm grip on last place in the DSL South and reduce their tragic number to eight. At home, they’ve been able to break even (12-12) but on the road, not so much (6-18). This week, the D-Nats take on the Rockies, Yankees, and Mets1.

Sunday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-4 @ Columbus,
4:05 p.m.
Satterwhite (1-3, 4.03) vs.
Plutko (5-9, 6.94)
Harrisburg Won, 7-3 vs. Binghamton,
1:30 p.m.
T. Hill (4-1, 5.17) vs.
Conlon (6-7, 3.81)
Potomac Winning, 6-5
(Susp., Top 5th)
vs. Lynchburg,
1:05 p.m.
TBD and Silvestre (7-5, 4.48) vs.
TBD and Chiang (7-7, 3.85)
Hagerstown Lost, 8-3 @ Augusta,
7:05 p.m.
M. Mills (11-2, 3.13)
Woods (5-6, 3.48)
Auburn Lost, 5-4 @ Williamsport,
5:05 p.m.
Raquet (0-0, 2.89) vs.
Garcia (2-2, 3.13)
GCL Nationals Lost, 1-0;
Lost, 4-1
vs./@ GCL Marlins  

Columbus 5 Syracuse 4
• Stevenson 1-5, R, HR, 2RBI
Roster move: SS Bengie Gonzalez assigned from Washington (released by Rochester on 7/20).

Harrisburg 7 Binghamton 3
• Voth (W, 1-1) 5IP, 4H, 3R, 2R, 2BB, 2K
• Self (H, 3) 2IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Read 3-4, 2R, 2B, HR, 4RBI
• Collier 2-4, 3R
• Gamache 2-4, RBI

Raudy Read’s two-run double highlighted a four-run 5th as Harrisburg took another one from Binghamton, 7-3. Austin Voth was the pitcher of record and got the “W” but was charged with all three runs on four hits and two walks over five innings, which required 80 pitches to complete. Derel Self and Phillips Valdez combined for four scoreless innings to keep the Rumble Ponies in the barn. Read also singled and homered and drove in four total while Zach Collier and Dan Gamache both went 2-for-4 to lead the Senators attack. Roster move: IF Stephen Perez reassigned from Syracuse; OF Alec Keller placed on the 7-Day DL, retroactive to July 18.

Potomac 6 Lynchburg 5 – SUSP.
• Guilbeau 4⅔ IP, 7H, 5R, 5ER, BB, 6K, HR
• Sundberg 3-3, 2RBI

Rain halted play with two outs in the 5th. Whether that denied the P-Nats a chance for a rain-shortened win or the Hillcats a chance to tie it up became a moot discussion about 50 minutes later when the umpires called it a night. They’ll complete it this afternoon along with a seven-inning game for a de facto doubleheader.

Augusta 7 Hagerstown 3
• Sharp (L, 4-8) 3⅓ IP, 9H, 6R, 6ER, BB, K, 0HR, WP, 2HBP
• La Bruna 2-4, SB
• Beckwith 1-3, BB, RBI, SB

Augusta went Sherman on Sharp, marching him to the showers after six runs with one out in the 4th as they cruised to an 8-3 win over Hagerstown. Sharp gave up nine hits, one walk, hit two batters, and struck out one in his eighth loss. Kyle Simonds stranded two in the 4th and finished the game, allowing two more runs on two hits and a walk. Angelo La Bruna led the Suns’ hit column with two of the team’s seven hits. Roster move: RHP Jose Morales released.

Mahoning Valley 5 Auburn 4
• Troop (L, 1-2) 4IP, 6H, 4R, 3ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Tetreault 3IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Boggetto 2-5, R, 2RBI, E(5)
• N. Perkins 1-2, R, 2BB

Alex Troop’s lights found the Scrappers’ bats and shined for four runs early, which left few in Falcon park smiling, having fun, or feeling like they were number one in another 5-4 loss by the Doubledays. Troop (@supertrooper_32) lasted four innings and walked none but gave up six hits, including a homer as he lost for the second time. Nick Bogetto singled twice and drove in two while Nic Perkins scored once, singled once and walked twice to lead the Auburn attack.

GCL Mets 1 GCL Nationals 0 – COMP.
• Ja. Johnson (L, 1-1) 1IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1K
• Alastre 4IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 2K
• Blash 2-3

They picked up where they left off on Monday, with the G-Mets leading 1-0 and that’s how it finished. Jared Johnson took the loss with the lone run allowed on two hits and no walks with one whiff. Following the Tim Collins rehab innings, Tomas Alastre pitched four scoreless with one and two walks allowed. Jamori Blash singled twice to account for two of the four (4) G-Nats hits.

GCL Mets 4 GCL Nationals 1 – GAME TWO
• Ma. Pena 5IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 4K
• N. Ramirez (BS, 2; L, 1-1) 1IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 0K
• Antuna 1-2, BB, E(11)
• Cramer 0-1, 2BB

The G-Nats extended their losing streak to five with a 4-1 loss to the G-Mets in the second game. Malvin Pena tossed five shutout innings, the bullpen coughed up all four runs in the final two frames, with Nector Ramirez blowing his second save and losing his first game. Yasel Antuna singled once, walked once, and committed his 11th error in 19 games while Jackson Cramer walked twice. The G-Nats managed just three hits total.

DSL Update
The D-Nats split their six games this week but remain in the 2017 default for the Washington affiliates (last place), 14 games behind and a tragic number of 17 with five weeks left in the season. Wilmer Perez (18) leads first-year batters with an OPS of .764 while Niomar Gomez (18) leads first-year pitchers with 31⅓ IP in 7GS and a pitcher’s line of 3.45/2.67/1.15.

Sunday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 7-4 vs. Pawtucket,
1:05 p.m.
Long (1-3, 4.66) vs.
Walden (7-3, 3.31)
Harrisburg Won, 5-2 @ Richmond,
12:05 p.m.
Estevez (2-0, 3.38) vs.
Reed (0-1, 11.74)
Potomac Won, 3-2 @ Wilmington,
4:05 p.m.
Guilbeau (2-2, 4.12) vs.
Puckett (8-7, 4.18)
Hagerstown OFF DAY @ Lexington Sharp (4-6, 3.09) and
C. Pena (4-5, 5.59) vs.
Bender (2-2, 5.04) and
O. Gomez (4-7, 4.52)
Auburn Won, 5-2
(14 inn.)
@ Vermont,
5:05 p.m.
Troop (1-0, 2.45) vs.
Howard (0-0, 0.00)
GCL Nationals Lost, 3-1;
Lost, 3-2

Pawtucket 7 Syracuse 4
• Cole (L, 4-4) 6IP, 8H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 6K
• Stevenson 0-5, 4K
• Severino 1-4, RBI
Roster moves: RHP Dustin Antolin released; RHP Kevin Jepsen activated from 3-Day TIL.

Harrisburg 5 Richmond 2
• Simms (W, 4-6) 7IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 5K; 1-3, RBI
• Robinson (SV, 3) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Read 2-4, 2R, HR, 2RBI
• Gamache 2-4, R, 2-2B
• Abreu 1-3, R, 2B, BB, RBI

After six meetings of the Dan Snyder Fan Club scoreless innings, Harrisburg broke out for three runs in the 7th and two runs in the 8th as they evened up the series with a 5-2 win over Richmond. John Simms got the win with seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and one walk while striking out five. Andrew Robinson pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the save. Raudy Read smacked a two-run homer in the 8th while Dan Gamache doubled twice and scored a run to lead the Sens offense.

Potomac 3 Salem 2
• Williams (W, 1-1) 5IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 7K
• Sanburn (S, 1) 4IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 4K, HR
• Carey 2-4, 2R, 2B
• Wiseman 3-4, 2RBI

Potomac broke up Salem’s bid for a fourth straight shutout with a run in the 1st and prevented the four-game sweep with a 3-2 win. Austen Williams threw five scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk and fanning seven for his first A+ win of the season. Nolan Sanburn coughed up a two-out, two-run homer in the 9th but closed out the game for the rulebook save. Rhett Wiseman went 3-for-4 with two RBI while Dale Carey singled, doubled, and scored twice to pace the P-Nats attack.

Hagerstown – OFF DAY
Saturday was a rare day off, albeit spent travelling from Western Maryland to Central Kentucky in preparation for a doubleheader today. The Suns have won just three times in July but are still within two games of first place in the Sally North as they start the first leg of a three-state, ten-game roadtrip.

Auburn 5 Vermont 2 (14 inn.)
• DeRosier 6IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• D. Smith (BS, 1) 3IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 2K
• Barnett (W, 2-0) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Boggetto 2-7, R, 2RBI
• Ortiz 2-7, 2B, RBI

Auburn rallied for three unearned runs in the top of the 14th and held on for a 5-2 win. Matt DeRosier started and pitched six scoreless innings, with a single hit allowed, no walks, and three strikeouts. The Lake Monsters rallied to tie it in the 8th with two runs off David Smith. Jake Barnett was the winning pitcher with two perfect innings in the 13th and 14th. Branden Boggetto, Oliver Ortiz, and Chance Shepard each went 2-for-7 and combined for two runs and three RBI to drive the Doubleday offense.

GCL Astros 3 GCL Nationals 1 – GAME ONE
• Collins (L, 0-1) 1IP, 2H, 2R, 0ER, 0BB, 1K
• M. Pena 4IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 3K
• L. Garcia 2-4, RBI
• Caulfield 2-3, R

The G-Astros got two runs early and held on for a 3-1 win in the opener. Tim Collins gave up two unearned runs in his single rehab inning of work for the loss while usual-starter Malvin Pena turned in four innings of one-run ball. Luis Garcia and Phil “Don’t Call Me Holden”* Caulfield both had singles, with Garcia driving in Caulfield in the 7th to break up the shutout bid. * Sorry – just had to get that one out of the system… FWIW, “Catcher in the Rye” was published on this day in 1951.

GCL Astros 3 GCL Nationals 2 – GAME TWO (8 inn.)
• German 3IP, 1H, 2R, 1ER, 3BB, 0K, 2WP
• Chu (L, 0-1) 1+ IP, 0H, 1R, 0ER, 2BB, 0K
• Ventura 2-3, RBI
• Caulfield 1-3, BB

Thanks to the GCL’s man-on-second to start extras experiment, it took just three batters (E, IBB, BB) for the G-Astros to win in the 8th and complete the doubleheader sweep. Jhonatan German started and gave up the first two runs (one earned) on one hit and three walks over three innings. Gilberto Chu took the loss on the unearned run let in over one-plus innings pitched. Edwin Ventura singled twice and drove in a run to lead the G-Nats’ six-hit, one-walk offense. Roster move: LHP Sean Adler (NDFA) assigned from Washington.

DSL Update
The D-Nats went 2-3 in the final week to fall to 13-23 and DFL in the DSL South, 12½ games off the pace. Today is the DSL All-Star Game and somehow there are two D-Nats on the N.L. roster: 2B Jesus Morales and RHP Rafael Gomez. Tomorrow, they begin a week of playing the D-Yankees, D-Mets1, and the D-Phillies Red both home and away.

Sunday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 5-0 @ Buffalo,
1:05 p.m.
Cole (3-2, 5.75)
Aa. Sanchez (1st AAA start of ’17)
Harrisburg Postponed @ Binghamton,
1:05 p.m.
Crownover (0-3, 6.04) and Estevez (2-0, 3.86)
vs. Oswalt (5-3, 2.13) and
Conlon (5-6, 4.15)
Potomac Lost, 7-1 @ Buies Creek,
2:00 p.m.
Borne (3-3, 1.95) vs.
Alcala (2-3, 3.38)
Hagerstown Lost, 8-1 @ Lakewood,
1:05 p.m.
Sharp (4-5, 3.51) vs.
Suarez (5-2, 1.73)
Auburn Postponed vs. Mahoning Valley,
12:05 p.m.
Alastre (0-0, 4.50) and
Turnbull (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Hockin (0-1, 8.59) and
Tati (1-1, 3.00)
GCL Nationals OFF DAY vs. GCL Mets,
12:00 p.m.

Syracuse 5 Buffalo 0
• Edw. Jackson (W, 1-0) 6IP, 0H, 0R, 4BB, 5K
• Stevenson 1-5, RBI

Harrisburg vs. Binghamton – PPD
Rain washed away Game Two of the three-game series between Harrisburg and Binghamton. They’ll shoot to make it up this afternoon with a doubleheader. Roster move: RHP Taylor Hill reassigned from Syracuse.

Buies Creek 7 Potomac 1
• Sanburn (L, 3-2) 6+ IP, 5H, 6R, 5ER, 2BB, 2K, 2HR
• Skulina 1IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Gamache 4-4, R, 2B
• Masters 1-3, BB, CS

The Astros scored twice in the 6th and four times in the 7th as they took another one from the P-Nats, 7-1. Nolan Sanburn ran out of gas in the 7th with three batters faced and none retired as he was charged with the first six runs on five hits and two walks. He took the loss, his second. Dan Gamache went 4-for-4 with a double and a run scored while David Masters walked and singled to lead the Potomac offense, which struck out 13 times.

Lakewood 8 Hagerstown 1
• C. Pena (L, 4-4) 3⅓ IP, 6H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 1K, HR, HBP
• Fuentes 2⅔ IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 4K, 1-0 IR-S
• Johnson 2-4, 2B, RBI
• Perkins 1-4, OF assist at HP

Rain didn’t claim this one—just delayed it nearly two hours—but maybe it should have as Hagerstown’s eight-game win streak was ended with an 8-1 loss to Lakewood. Carlos Pena lost for the fourth time with five runs given up on six hits and two walks over three and a 1/3rd innings. Dan Johnson singled and doubled and drove in the sole Suns run while Blake Perkins singled once. The rest of the lineup was 0-for-23 with three walks.

Auburn vs. Mahoning Valley – PPD
The rain that claimed the game in Binghamton also got ’em in Auburn. They’ll also try to make it up today with a doubleheader.

GCL Nationals – OFF DAY
It’s not every Sunday off this season in the GCL for the G-Nats, who are 3-1 after their first four games. This week it’s home games today, Tuesday, and Saturday with road games tomorrow, Wednesday and Friday.

DSL Update
The D-Nats finally put together a winning week with a 4-3 mark and twice (two times!) broke into double digits in runs with 10-5 and 11-5 wins vs. the DSL Yankees. But they remain dead last in the DSL South.

Sunday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 6-5 vs. Buffalo,
1:05 p.m.
Cole (3-2, 5.68) vs.
House (6-6, 3.70)
Harrisburg Won, 6-5 @ Portland,
1:00 p.m.
Hill (2-1, 6.00) vs.
Villanueva (1-2, 10.67)
Potomac Lost, 3-2 vs. Carolina,
1:05 p.m.
Reyes (5-6, 4.75) vs. TBD
Hagerstown Won, 9-5 vs. Greensboro,
2:05 p.m.
Watson (4-2, 3.29) vs.
Mahoney (2-2, 1.88)
Auburn Won, 7-6
(11 inn.)
vs. Williamsport,
6:05 p.m.
DeRosier (0-1, 9.00) vs.
Armas (0-1, 6.75)

Syracuse 6 Buffalo 5
• G. Ross 5⅓ IP, 6H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 3K, 2HR
• Suero (W, 1-0) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Burriss 3-4, R, RBI
• Robinson 3-5, 2B, RBI
• De Aza 2-4, R, BB, RBI

The Chiefs continue to not lose, taking their fourth straight with another walkoff, 6-5 over the Bisons. Starter Greg Ross was ineffective, giving up all five Buffalo runs on six hit and two walks over five and a 1/3rd innings. The win went to Wander Suero, capping off three and 2/3rds of scoreless relief from the Syracuse ‘pen. Alejandro De Aza plated the game winner with a bases-loaded single in the 9th after a Brandon Snyder walk, a Clint Robinson single and an intentional walk to Neftali Soto. Robinson and Burriss both had three hits to lead the Chiefs’ offense.

Harrisburg 6 Portland 5
• Eitel 5IP, 3H, 2R, 1ER, 5BB, 2K, WP
• Brinley (BS, 1; W, 4-4) 1IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, BB, K, HBP
• Robinson (SV, 2) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Read 2-4, 2R, 2B, HR, BB, 4RBI
• Norfork 2-3, BB

Raudy Read bailed out Ryan Brinley’s three-run meltdown in the 8th with a two-run homer in the 9th for a 6-5 Harrisburg win over Portland. Brinley was lit up for three runs on three hits and a walk in just one inning but got the blown-save-win. The save went to Andrew Robinson with a 1-2-3 ninth. Derke Eitel started and pitched five innings of one-run ball on three days’ rest. Jose “Orange” Marmolejos also homere while Read also doubled and drove in four to lead the Sens offense.

Carolina 3 Potomac 2
• Guilbeau (L, 1-1) 6IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 5K
• Schepel 3IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 6K
• Sundberg 2-4, 3B, RBI
• Page 1-3, BB

One bad inning was enough for the P-Nats to lose Last Night in Woodbridge.

Hagerstown 9 Greensboro 5
• Bourque (W, 2-3) 5IP, 7H, 5R, 3ER, 3BB, 2K
• Howard (H, 2) 3+ IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, BB, 3K
• Reetz 2-3, R, HR, HBP, 2RBI
• Perkins 2-3, 2R, 2B, 2BB, RBI
• Beckwith 2-3, 2R, BB

The Suns took a magnifying glass to the ‘Hoppers as they scored seven times in the first three innings and put the game away with two in the 8th for 9-5 win. James Bourque got the Jack Morris win with all five Greensboro runs allowed on seven hits and three walks over five innings. Hayden Howard pitched three scoreless innings and went to the mound in the 9th for the four-inning save but was pulled after putting the first two runners on. Tommy Peterson stranded them both while quashing the rally for the save. Telmito Agustin was the beer man (hombre de las cervezas?) in Hagerstown’s 12-hit, four-walk assault, led by Blake Perkins with two hits and two walks.

Auburn 7 Williamsport 6 (11 inn.)
• Alastre 4IP, 6H, 3R, 2ER, 3BB, 3K
• Barnett (W, 1-0) 3IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Meregildo 2-4, R, 2B, HR, BB, RBI
• Ortiz 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Simonetti 2-5, R, RBI

The Doubledays walked off in the 11th as they took advantage of the Crosscutters’ fifth error for a 7-6 win. Joshual Ramirez reached on a botched catch and scored as Jeyner Baez doubled to left. The sequence made a winner out of Jake Barnett, who tossed three scoreless innings of relief. Tomas Alastre made the start and was touched for three runs on six hits and three walks over four innings. Omar Meregildo and Oliver Otiz both went 2-for-4 with HR and an RBI to pace the Auburn attack.

DSL Update
The D-Nats are now 5-13 after a 2-4 week. SSDL – the starters have an ERA of 2.86 while the relievers are a Kelley-esque 6.81. As you might have already guessed, the offense is 36th in the 40-team DSL, averaging 3.78 runs per game. Two (2) of the three (3) players with an .800 or better OPS are in their third season in the DSL.

Sunday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-2 @ Lehigh Valley,
1:35 p.m.
Long (1st AAA start of ’17) vs.
Leiter (0-0, 6.92)
Harrisburg Won, 2-1
(10 inn.)
vs. Richmond,
1:30 p.m.
McGowin (1st AA start of ’17) vs.
Flores, Jo (1-1, 2.31)
Potomac Won, 5-2;
Lost, 6-3
@ Carolina,
2:00 p.m.
Reyes (5-6, 4.15) vs.
Diplan (4-3, 5.50)
Hagerstown Won, 6-5 @ Lexington,
2:05 p.m.
Bogucki (0-1, 5.82) vs.
Eckert (2-4, 4.77)

Lehigh Valley 5 Syracuse 2
• Antolin (L, 2-3) 3⅔ IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 4BB, 1K
• Solis 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Stevenson 4-4, 2B
• Sanchez 1-4, R, HR, 2RBI

A brief 2-1 lead was erased with a three-run 4th by Lehigh Valley, which took this one, 5-2 from Syracuse. Dustin Antolin started and lost, hitting the showers with two out in the aforementioned 4th after giving up four runs on five hits and four walks. He struck out one (1). The Chiefs’ bullpen held the IronPigs to one run over the final four and a 1/3rd innings, including a goose egg from rehabbing Sammy Solis, but the bats were largely silent aside from Andrew Stevenson (4-4, 2B) and Adrian Sanchez (two-run HR) as they had just one RISP opportunity and left on five baserunners.

Harrisburg 2 Richmond 1 (10 inn.)
• Simms 6⅔ IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 8K
• Robinson 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Self (W, 1-0) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Sandford 2-3, R, 2BB, RBI, SB, CS
• Hernandez 1-3, BB, RBI

A walk, sacrifice, and a two-out single gave the Senators a 2-1 walkoff win in ten innings over the Flying Squirrels. John Simms got yet another no-decision with an unearned run let in on one hit–the only one Richmond got–over six and 2/3rds innings. R.C. Orlan, Andrew Robinson, and Derek Self combined for 3⅓ scoreless innings of relief, with Self picking up the win. Darian Sandford connected on the gamewinner and went 2-for-3 with two walks and a stolen base to lead the Harrisburg attack. Roster moves: UT Corban Jospeh placed on the 7-Day DL; 3B Drew Ward activated from the 7-Day DL.

Potomac 5 Carolina 2 – GAME ONE
• Sanburn (W, 2-1) 7IP, 5H, 2R, 0ER, 2BB, 9K, HBP, WP
• Bacus (SV, 2) 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K
• Robles 2-3, 2R, BB, 2SB, OF assist at 1B
• Sagdal 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 4RBI
• Sundberg 1-3, R, SAC, SB(10)

Nolan Sanburn’s seven strong innings combined with four RBI from Ian Sagdal powered Potomac to a 5-2 win over Carolina in the completion of Friday night’s suspended game. Sanburn gave up both Mudcat runs on five hits and two walks while fanning nine for his second win. Dakota Bacus spun two scoreless to pick up the save, his second. Sagdal smacked a three-run HR in the 4th to erase an early 2-0 deficit and added an RBI double in the 8th while Victor Robles reached base three times on two singles and a walk and stole two bases as the P-Nats made the most of their six hits and three walks.

Carolina 6 Potomac 3 – GAME TWO
• J. Mills 2IP, 5H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 3K
• Rivera 3IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K
• Sundberg 2-3, BB, OF assist at 2B
• Page 2-3, R, 2B

Carolina jumped on spot starter Jordan Mills for four in the 1st and cruised to 6-3 win, ending Potomac’s hopes for a .500 finish in the first half. Mills was dinged for five runs total on five hits and two walks over two innings. Mariano Rivera III spun three scoreless to keep things close but the offense didn’t respond. Jack Sundberg singled twice and walked once while Matt Page singled and doubled to lead the 10-hit parade.

Hagerstown 6 Lexington 5
• M. Mills (W, 7-2) 7IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 9K, HR
• Peterson (SV, 4) 2IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K
• Agustin 3-4, R, 2RBI
• Franco 2-3, R, BB
• Barrera 2-4, R, 2-2B, RBI

The Suns snapped a five-game losing streak with a 6-5 win over the Legends. McKenzie Mills won for the seventh time (T3rd Sally Lg.) with seven innings of four-run ball on six hits and a walk while striking out nine for the second time this season. Tommy Peterson finished the game with a run on three hits, no walks, and two whiffs for his fourth save. Telmito Agustin led the Hagerstown hit column with a 3-for-4 night, while Anderson Franco also reached base three times with a pair of singles and a walk.

DSL Update
Syracuse del Sur snapped an eight-game losing streak on Friday with a 5-1 win and then made it two in a row with a 6-4 triumph yesterday. Through 12 games the D-Nats are 3-9 and in last place in the DSL South. This week, they’ll play just two home games while taking on the Cardinals, Phillies Red (Philadelphia’s other team is the Phillies White), Angels, and Twins.

Offseason Update: Sept. 24, 2016

Well, it’s been a week. I know some of you are still smarting from another late-inning collapse by the big club, complete with the requisite angst of “the guy we traded away did better than the guy we traded for,” as well as another managerial blunder (pro tip: when you have a true CF available in the late innings, you might want to use him on defense), but this is a site devoted to the minor leagues, so let’s follow my digital 13’s from last year and see what’s what…


Two of the seven affiliates made the playoffs (Hagerstown, Potomac) and two narrowly missed (Harrisburg, GCL). Unfortunately, the other three were not believers in corporal punishment (that’s no hitting, kids) and had league-average pitching (Syracuse, DSL) or worse (Auburn), which resulted in finishes at or near the bottom of the standings.

Naturally, this is not the best bellwether. The system generated another starter for the big club (Trea Turner) and was able to call on a trio of upper-level starters (A.J. Cole, Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito) to fill in 16 times (as of this writing) for Joe Ross and Stephen Strasburg with subpar-but-not-bad-considering results (4-6, 5.11/5.04/1.51) as well as a hard-throwing reliever (Koda Glover). Even F.P. Santangelo can tell you that most of these guys were probably rushed a little, but it’s in line with the shift league-wide towards going younger.

As written in this space a year ago, the hopes for an influx of positional talent from the D.R. was fulfilled with the strong seasons from Juan Soto, Kelvin Gutierrez, and Jose “Orange” Marmolejos, with half-a-dozen or more guys behind them, though defense is a big “yeah, but” with the latter (e.g. Raudy Read, Osvaldo Abreu). And that’s not to overlook the ascendance of the age-appropriate Americans like Andrew Stevenson and Drew Ward.

In short, the system is still developing talent on both sides of the ball that can be used for both short-term and long-term needs.

These are just starting up, so it looks like it’ll be another few days before we see our first Nationals, though I think most of us can probably guess it’ll be only a handful total and usually one or two (tops), for any given league. In other words, SSDY.

A year ago, I was worried that this may have to be scrapped. I’m less worried about that than I am in keeping the GBI. I scaled it back this year and it still felt like a struggle to produce. I know it’s a popular feature, but if it stays, I think it’ll be monthly in 2017. My apologies in advance.

My season reviews are much, much shorter than they used to be (like below). But one of the writers at District on Deck has taken on that task, and I’m passing along links to his work on the Potomac Nationals and, with my sympathies (for him, not you), the Syracuse Chiefs.

In a word, disappointing. While I don’t follow this level as closely as I used to, it just seems to me that a team with a lot of guys repeating the level should have done better. After being the youngest set of batters in the DSL in 2015, the pendulum swung back to just slight older than the league average (18.4 vs. 18.2) while the pitching staff was still younger (18.7 vs. 19.1).

As alluded to above, the offense was horrible: 35th in the 42-team league and more than a half-a-run worse than the league average (3.80 vs. 4.46). The pitching improved from near-the-worst (33rd out of 38) to middle-of-the pack (4.43 R/G vs. 4.46). The defense was, like 2015, slightly below average (.953FA vs. .957FA — remember, all we have to go on are the stats).

Without further comment, here are the obligatory Top 5’s, excluding the old-for-the-level players…

1. Jose Cabello, C/1B
.259 GPA, 28 BB
1. Yelmery Sisneros, LHSP
0.43/2.39/0.91, 4.56 K:BB ratio
2. Santo Falcon, CF
.234 GPA, 12 SB
2. Angel Guillen, RHSP
1.67/2.61/0.94, 4.17 K:BB ratio
3. Brailin Mesa, RF/LF
.225 GPA, 16 2B
3. Gilbert Chu, LHSP
3.18/2.68/0.96, 1.6 BB/9
4. Jesus Morales, 2B/3B
.215 GPA, 10E
4. Warner Duran, RHRP
1.65/2.59/1.22, 6BB in 32⅔ IP
5. Juan Pascal, SS
.209 GPA, 55 of 56G at SS
5. Jairon Peguero, LHRP
4.91/2.91/1.46, 0HR in 33IP

As you might imagine, there are no honorable mentions this year, especially since there were just two (2) batters above the league average and under the age of 20. Folks interested in seeing the entire team’s stats can find them here.