Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Taking a look at the rest of the Nats' 22 signed draft picks

37th round pick Nick Serino via MassLive

On Monday, I looked at the first half of the 2010 draftees the Nats have signed so far. Today it's time for the second half. Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot of info on most of these guys, especially in the form of scouting reports. But I'll do my best to dig up any info I can!

Also, I have completed an interview with Mike Gallo, a RHP who just signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Nats. I'm going over final touches with him, so it should be up soon.

RF Chad Mozingo (20th round-Rice University)

Nothing from Seiler, Sickels or Oliver.

Rice Official Site: "Combines bat speed with speed on the bases. Equally capable of hitting in the top or middle of the lineup. (Coach) Wayne Graham said 'Chad's potential is almost unlimited. He plays great defense and he can hit. We are hoping for a banner year, an all-star type year for him.'"

From the looks of it, Mozingo does things pretty well across the board but without an extraordinary tool. He makes decent contact, walks an average amount, doesn't strike out way too much, has some power and some speed. Besides his coach's opinion, I've seen nothing about his defense, so I guess we'll assume for now that it's good. He's not afraid to play hurt, but at the same time appears to be semi-injury prone (broken wrist, damaged ligaments in ankle, ant bite, etc.).

RHP Cameron Selik (22nd round-University of Kansas)

A little more on Selik than most of these other guys.

Sickels (5/25/2010): "He's a big guy at 6-3, 240 pounds, a "strong legs" type. His numbers are so-so this year, 4.66 ERA with a 68/30 K/BB in 85 innings, 86 hits. But he has a decent fastball at 88-92 MPH, and got some nasty break on his slider at times, in addition to mixing in a few changeups. He would profile as a bullpen back-ender at the higher levels, but someone in the later rounds could pick him up. Guys with worse arms have been successful pitchers.

The Kansan noted that Selik hit 95 mph in a start against Baylor in March. It looks like he's finally starting to come around from his Tommy John surgery in 2007 (a good article from KU's official site about his recovery can be found here. Another by the Kansan can be found here). Another interesting note about his selection: Selik was Stephen Strasburg's catcher growing up.

It appears that Selik has two internet-savvy cousins who found NFA on draft-day, so maybe they'll find this post and tell us a little more about him!

RHP Colin Bates (23rd round-Unviersity of North Carolina)

Instantly my new favorite Nats prospect because of this gem from his UNC bio: "Pitches with a piece of his removed rib in his back pocket." Nice.

NFA commenter Cdoug passed along this scouting report on 6/8/2010: "Bates’ fastball touches 93 and his slider has decent tilt and bite. At 6-1, he is probably limited to being a reliever. Oddly, he carries in his pocket a piece of one of his ribs. After his freshman year, Bates developed a clot on his lung caused by the rib jabbing into it when he threw. He had the rib removed and has since kept it in his pocket as a reminder of how fast things can be taken away."

UNC's official site had a nice Q&A session with Bates during his redshirt freshman season in 2008. I like to see this, too: "An outstanding student, Colin is a three-time member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll and two-time member of the All-ACC Academic Baseball Team. The Naperville, Ill., native graduated May 9, 2010 with a bachelor's degree from the Kenan-Flager Business School."

5 Tool Talk had this to say about Bates in April of 2009: "Colin Bates is a very interesting draft-eligible sophomore. He has a slighter build, but has a high waist, long legs and a strong lower half overall. His fastball can get straight, but he commands it well, and it works even better for him when he’s getting his curve/slurve over for strikes."

Baseball America said last year, "A redshirt sophomore who had a rib removed during thoracic outlet surgery in November 2006, Bates has low-90s velocity and bulldog tenacity out of the bullpen but doesn't hold his velocity on back-to-back days."

Bates was taken in the 37th round by Oakland last year but didn't sign. He's an intriguing pickup to me.

LHP Christian Meza (25th round-Santa Ana College)

I wasn't able to dig anything up about Meza's stuff, but it looks like he was headed to Cal State Fullerton to pitch next year after spending two years at Santa Ana College (a junior college). He went 10-1 with a 3.30 ERA this year, allowing 90 hits and 40 walks in 92 and 2/3 innings while striking out 96. He won the Orange Empire Conference pitcher of the year award in both 2009 and 10 and was named theSouthern California co-pitcher of the year this year as well.

LHP Chris Manno (26th round-Duke University)

There is a lot more on Manno out there than most of these other guys because he's a Nats redraft (taken in the 38th round last year) with pretty good college numbers.

Here's what NFA re-posted from Baseball America last year: "Junior lefthander Christopher Manno is the Blue Devils’ best prospect and could go anywhere from the fifth to 10th round. Like Wolcott, he works primarily off his fastball. He’s long and lean with deception and some projection left in his body. Manno at times sits at 83-87 mph, though he often throws harder and was 89-91 mph at times in the Cape last summer, when he went 3-0, 1.93 with 45 strikeouts in 42 innings. His changeup can be plus at times, while his slider is below-average. Manno is young for his draft class and doesn’t turn 21 until November."

Seiler (7/7/2009): Manno should have gone much earlier, and he was in consideration for the top ten rounds quite easily as a lefty with good size and great deception. His fastball is below-average, but he couples it with a contrasting changeup that gets a lot of funny swings.

Seiler answered a question on Manno in an "All Questions Answered" thread on 6/11/2010: Q: Thoughts on Duke’s LHP Chris Manno (26th, DC) – did he stuff back up a bit this year? A: Stuff was still down. Below-average velocity and stuff in general.

A nice interview with Manno from before the 2010 season can be found here. Some excerpts:

"It's hard not to root for Duke's senior lefty Chris Manno. He's humble, gives credit to coaches and teammates before himself and plays the game smart. He's both the kind of guy you want on the mound in a crucial game as well as someone you'd trust to date your sister."

"Q: The terms “funky” and “herky jerky” have been used to describe your pitching form. Yet, it's hard to say anything disparaging with the results. Has anyone attempted to tinker with your delivery or endorsed a change in your approach? A: Being herky jerky isn't necessarily a bad thing. You can watch a bunch of major league pitchers who are jerky jerky and funky, but their mechanics are actually good. My mechanics have developed throughout years and they're very sound if you watch them on tape. The way I deliver the ball and the way it comes out are just different. I do everything my coaches tell me to do and they've really, really helped me over the years. I just throw a little different – which is kind of good from what I heard.

Q: You were a late round draft choice of the Washington Nationals in the amateur drafts last spring. Was there much consideration in turning down the Nat's offers to go pro? You could been paid to play and continued your education later. A: Absolutely. That was definitely a consideration. I was honored to be drafted by them. You have to understand that I still have a lot of space for improving at the school I'm at right now. I haven't outgrown my coaches and I still have a lot to learn from them...In regards to me possibly signing it was absolutely an option, it's always been my dream to sign, but it just wasn't the right time. To be very honest I made it quite clear to scouts that it was going to take a significant commitment for me to leave an institution like Duke."

I really like Manno, especially as a 26th rounder. With a quirky delivery, he has a chance of being an effective ML pitcher. In the 26th round, there isn't any risk if he doesn't become one. He's portrayed as a high character guy. And the Nats obviously like him a lot, since they took him two years in a row. An all-around great pick to me.

C Jeremy Mayo (31st round-Texas Tech University)

Nothing from the big boys on Mayo. Hit .299/.395/.508, which is decent but not all that special. For someone that was voted by the baseball coaches of the Big 12 as the co-best defensive catcher, he made a ridiculous number of errors this year (12).

His coach, Dan Spencer, had some nice things to say about him: "He’s a kid that takes good care of his body and is proud of his work in the weight room,” Spencer said. “But he is also blessed with that good arm and has really polished his catching skills. He does drills at full tilt, asks questions about baseball as far as helping him prepare and wants to know things like a coach would, which is the next step in becoming a great catcher."

Mayo has the potential to be a solid backstop, but has to cut down on errors and work on his hitting to keep moving.

LHP Ryan Sherriff (33rd round-West Los Angeles College)

Almost nothing on this guy. The only thing I dug up were his 2010 stats (and even they were almost impossible to find): 7 starts, 4.58 ERA, 42 hits allowed, 35 K and 8 BB in 35 and 1/3 IP. Not too inspiring, but there is probably more to this guy that I simply can't find...Googling Ryan Sherriff West Los Angeles College will just lead you to the Los Angeles Sheriff's office page.

1B Tyler Oliver (35th round-Wabash Valley College)

Oliver hit .456 with 30 homers and 103 RBI this year. He comes with unusual circumstances; Oliver had so many problems with his right arm that he taught himself how to throw lefthanded and stuck with it. He has bounced around from commitment to commitment, likely due to his injury history. He was committed to the University of Kentucky for next year, but signed with the Nats instead. He's a beast with the bat and that's all that matters to me. His commitment to his baseball career despite some injuries that would have ended many other players' careers impresses me.

LHP Nick Serino (37th round-University of Massachusetts)

Serino is a childhood friend of Mike Gallo, the Nats undrafted free agent who I interviewed as well as a college teammate of Mitchell Clegg, a 2009 Nats draft pick who has been tearing the minors apart.

Serino had a rough season, going 2-6 with a 6.72 ERA, but struck out almost 11 batters per inning. UMass coach, Mike Stone, said thisabout Serino: "He's got a good arm. It's just a matter of throwing more strikes and economizing his pitches," Stone said. "He was awful close to having a better record than he did."

Despite Serino's poor overall numbers from 2010, his ability to strike batters out is valuable, especially when we're talking 37th round lefthanders. He'll be one to keep an eye on for the rest of the year.

RHP Kevin Cahill (41st round-Purdue University)

Cahill's numbers were pretty ugly in his first three seasons at Purdue, but improved greatly in his senior year. He struck out 8.9 batters per 9 innings while walking 6.0-not great by any standards, but better than before. Cahill looks like an organizational arm, but like Serino, the improving K rate is intriguing.

OF Rashad (Dimetrius) Hatcher (49th round-Patrick Henry Community College)

The Nats' one local signee came out of Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, VA. Hatcher hit .386/.459/.579 in 2010 with 14 steals in 17 attempts. His 18:30 BB:K ratio is decent and his 6.5 second 60 yard dash time is impressive; Hatcher could turn out to be a nice prospect.

PHCC Coach Chris Parker said this about Hatcher: "It’s great for Rashad. That was the best-case scenario for him. He will sign, and hopefully he’ll make a run for it. He’s got a lot of tools and raw ability. He’s a great kid that hopefully will have a chance to do great things with the game of baseball."

Perfect Game USA posted this scouting report on Hatcher in 2007: "Lean athletic body, good solid swing, finishes well, some power, drives ball to gaps, good arm speed, has carry on throws, strong arm, 85 from OF."

Here's what I've found on the undrafted free agents:

SS Mills Rogers (Carson-Newman College)

Rogers hit .378/.448/.637 with 30 extra base hits, an 18:33 BB:K ratio and an 8/11 SB success rate. His 23 errors and .915 fielding percentage are discouraging, but you take whatever you can get out of an undrafted free agent infielder who can hit.

RHP Tim Dupuis (Assumption College)

The Assumption College release is all I can really find on him: "He finished this past season 3-2 with an individual team-record 11 saves and a 3.77 earned run average and is the career closer for the Greyhounds with 28 saves (21 in the last two seasons). He posted an 11-7 overall record with a 2.50 earned run average with 106 strikeouts in 122.1 innings in his team-record 94 appearances. He allowed no home runs in his closer role for Coach George Reidy." The only other thing I can really point out is his BB:K ratio in 2010: 8:31 in 28 and 2/3 innings. I'm cool with that.

RHP Mike Gallo (Milligan College)

I won't go too far into depth with Mike because I'll be posting an interview with him soon. He went 2-1 with Milligan in 2010 with a 2.70 ERA in 40 innings, striking out 33 while walking 18. Gallo's best trait is his ability to limit the opposition to singles, with 0 homers allowed and only 6 extra base hits allowed at all this year.

RHP Zach Gerler (Austin Peay University)

Gerler was drafted in the 31st round in 2006 by the Orioles. He played two years of community college ball in the infield as well as his junior year at Austin Peay. He switched to pitching for his senior year and had semi-disappointing results, putting up an 8.41 ERA and 10 saves in 35 and 1/3 innings where he allowed 33 hits, 23 walks and hit 14 batters while striking out 35. The fact that Gerler had the stuff to be a closer in what looks like his first time pitching in 4 years makes me think he is miles away from his 2010 stat line, but he'll have to put in a lot of work with the pitching coaches to move up in the system. Here's an interesting article on Gerler and the mental side of college baseball.

RHP Ben Graham (Emporia State)

Graham recently said exactly what I like to hear out of young pitchers: "I’m finding out what kind of pitcher I am, kind of my identity. Just learning that that I don’t have stuff to blow by people, but if I get ahead in the count, then I have the ability to get a lot of ground balls."

He went 8-3 with a 2.45 ERA in 84 and 1/3 innings this year, throwing 5 complete games and 2 shutouts. 13 walks in 84 and 1/3 innings is pretty sweet. 20 extra base hits? Not so much. Graham seems to understand what he needs to do to keep moving through the system, and I certainly hope he continues to do so!

One last note-I love to interview prospects, draft picks and their coaches. If you're a family member or friend of one of these guys, feel free to pass the link along and have them contact me!

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