Tuesday, September 1, 2009

2010 Roster Building-Catchers

Last year, I tried a "who should we go after?" series, begging the Nationals to spend some money to field a competitive team. In the bats edition, I suggested signing Adam Dunn and Mark Ellis (but penciled Austin Kearns in as my #5 hitter and projected him to hit .270/.360/.470...d'oh!). In the starting rotation edition, I suggested signing Oliver Perez and guessed that Tim Redding and Jason Bergmann could sustain 30+ games started with ERA's under 4. Double d'oh!

Now that I am a year older and (hopefully) wiser, I've devised a new plan for the Nats. The hitting is here, but they need to come up with pitching, ASAP. But to buy me some time to figure out the pitching (easier said than done), we'll go 1 position each day, starting with catchers. Follow along with the series here.

Best combination of idealistic and realistic candidates: Jesus Flores and Josh Bard
Other possibilities in the organization: Wil Nieves
This assumes Flores' health (never a safe assumption). Bard is more valuable than Nieves off of the bench to me because he can hit (and specifically, switch hit), so I'd rather keep him. Also, Nieves should still have options left so the Nats can keep him to start in AAA with no problems.
Sleeper Pick (from the organization): None. Jumping from A-ball to ML is too far of a leap for Derek Norris, especially given his issues with passed balls.
Sleeper Pick (from outside the organization): Brian Schneider. He's been horrid with the bat this year (.189 batting average, .200 BABIP), but he's outperforming his career averages in walk and strikeout rates as well as isolated power. He is still a great defensive catcher, however, with consistently good CS% and very few errors and passed balls. He could come at quite a bargain this offseason, and I'd rather the Nats go into 2010 with him backing up Jesus than either Bard or Nieves to be honest.
2009 production by Nats catchers to date: .259/.315/.364, 8 HR, 43 R, 60 RBI
2010 projection: Much, much better than 2009 offensively. Even if Flores doesn't peak offensively next year, they will still improve, but I expect Flores to hit at least .265/.325/.440 or so. Bard will likely improve as well, as he is hitting well below his career averages but with similar rate stats and that awful groin injury. If Schneider were to come aboard, he would almost positively hit better than the .189/.272/.318 garbage he's put up so far in 2009.

A list of the Nats currently under contract can also be found at Cot's.
The latest projected Elias Rankings (for Type A/B Free Agent purposes) can be found at MLB Trade Rumors.
Splits for the Nats' 2009 season by position can be found at Baseball-Reference.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave your questions and/or comments here and I'll get back to you ASAP!