|As semi-predicted in this space a year ago, Walters’s power flipped on
in 2013 with 29HRs and a .517 SLG%, which earned him a September
callup. Unfortunately, Walters is stuck behind both Ian Desmond and
Anthony Rendon and hasn’t played much besides SS (though he’s very
athletic and has a strong arm). His ascendance gives the Nats a tough
decision: groom him for a utility role or keep him in AAA as inventory
and/or trade bait.
|A three-time watchlister, Difo gets the benefit of the doubt from what
would otherwise be considered lackluster numbers due to two factors:
(1) He played at every level below AA in the U.S. (2) He showed some
decent skills when I saw him in person in Potomac. Best best for 2014
is Hagerstown, though another interpretation of his ’13 usage is that
he’s a younger version of Francisco Soriano.
|Baseball America praised Masters as the Nationals best defensive
pick from the 2013 Draft, noting “excellent hands, above-average arm
strength and easy infield actions.” The 14th Rd. pick out of Central
Arizona College struggled offensively at Auburn. Scouting reports are
few and far between so it would appear Masters is a glove seeking a bat.
|One of the inaugural “DSL Guys,” Abreu validated the selection with a
strong sophomore season in the GCL (OK, fine: That the Nats have
used him almost exclusively at the position was also a clue). About the
only category he didn’t improve in was on-base percentage, as his BA,
SLG% increased while his K rate and CS% decreased. He doesn’t turn 20
until June, so Auburn seems a bit more likely than Hagerstown for his