Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Harper signs, plus draft pick updates

Stan Kasten pie-ing Mike Rizzo in the face to celebrate the Harper signing. Tweeted by Nats Daily News.

The wait is over; Bryce Harper is officially a Washington National. It is no surprise that he waited until the last second to finalize his $9.9 million contract (total, not all signing bonus). Everyone knew Harper was going to sign, so we'll move right along to some information people might want access to: the professional performances of 2010 Nats draft picks. Part 1 happened last night, so we'll just pick up where we left off!

OF Connor Rowe - 21st round (Texas)
Hitting .234/.280/.416 in 24 games in Vermont. 18 hits in 77 at-bats with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 3 homers, 11 runs, 11 RBI, 4 walks and 27 strikeouts. Rowe has been thrown out in 2 of his 3 stolen base attempts. He has 2 assists from center field but 3 errors in only 44 total chances in the outfield.

Hitting isn't Rowe's best tool, but a 4:27 BB:K ratio just doesn't cut it for a non-pitcher, especially one hitting .234. I have no issue attributing Rowe's errors to a small sample size. He'll be a good defensive CF, it's just his bat we need to worry about.

RHP Cameron Selik - 22nd round (Kansas)
1-0, 3.04 ERA in 13 games in Vermont (23 and 2/3 innings). 21 hits, 10 runs (8 earned), 23 strikeouts, 13 walks, 1 homer allowed, .228 BA against.

Selik is doing what he needs to do right now, but he needs to walk less batters while maintaining his strikeout rate if he wants to climb levels. A nice start, though!

RHP Colin Bates - 23rd round (North Carolina)
3-3, 5.26 ERA in 11 games in Vermont (37 and 2/3 innings). 44 hits, 24 runs (22 earned), 35 strikeouts, 6 walks, 3 homers allowed, .291 BA against.

Bates has the BB and K rates we're looking for, but has been a little too hittable so far. For a guy whose best tool as described by Andy Seiler, "is a rubber arm that can be used on a regular basis out of the bullpen," I'll take the 1.4 BB/9 rate and run with it.

DH Russell Moldenhauer - 24th round (Texas)
Hitting .234/.366/.506 in 23 games in Vermont. 18 hits in 77 at-bats with 3 doubles, 6 homers, 17 runs, 19 RBI, 16 walks and 16 strikeouts. Moldenhauer is 1/1 in his stolen base attempts. He hasn't played the field at all.

The plate discipline and power are nice, don't get me wrong, but we have to find this guy a position to play (even if it's inside linebacker for the Redskins). The fact that he's DHing in A ball does not speak volumes about his future in a National League organization.

LHP Christian Meza - 25th round (Santa Ana College)
1-2, 1.83 ERA in 8 games in the GCL (19 and 2/3 innings). 12 hits, 7 runs (4 earned), 20 strikeouts, 8 walks, 1 homer allowed, .174 BA against.

Meza has pitched extremely well. His 5.5 H/9 rate is completely unsustainable, but his 9.2 K/9 looks nice. Hopefully he can keep it that way while lowering his BB rate from 3.7 to 3 or lower.

LHP Chris Manno - 26th round (Duke)
0-0, 1.46 ERA in 8 games in the GCL (12 and 1/3 innings). 6 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 20 strikeouts, 6 walks, .143 BA against.

Like I said about 11th rounder Neil Holland yesterday, Manno's deceptive delivery means he needs to be getting hitters out at all levels, especially low ones. He's killing the GCL right now, which is a good sign. Manno is one to watch-I wouldn't be surprised if he shot up through the organization this year and next.

OF Rick Hughes - 29th round (Marin CC)
Hitting .266/.365/.406 in 19 games split between Vermont and the GCL (16 of 19 in the GCL). 17 hits in 64 at-bats with 4 doubles, 1 triple, 1 homer, 13 runs, 9 RBI, 9 walks and 21 strikeouts. Hughes is 2/3 in his stolen base attempts. He has 1 OF assist and no errors in the field yet.

Hughes hasn't really shown us anything yet. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but his stat line is very average, especially for a 20 year old playing mostly in the GCL.

C Jeremy Mayo - 31st round (Texas Tech)
Hitting .267/.382/.477 in 28 games in the GCL. 23 hits in 86 at-bats with 7 doubles, 1 triple, 3 homers, 18 runs, 13 RBI, 15 walks and 26 strikeouts. Mayo was caught in his only stolen base attempt.

While Mayo's offensive numbers look nice, his defensive numbers are disappointing, with 3 errors, 8 passed balls and only 5 basestealers thrown out in 25 attempts. He'll need to improve them if he wants to keep moving up in the system.

OF Randolph Oduber - 32nd round (Western Oklahoma State JC)
Hitting .375/.445/.616 in 29 games in the GCL. 42 hits in 112 at-bats with 9 doubles, 3 triples, 4 homers, 26 runs, 29 RBI, 11 walks and 27 strikeouts. Oduber is 15/16 in his stolen base attempts. He has 2 outfield assists and has made no errors this year.

If an MVP of Nats draft picks had to be picked right now, Oduber would be the winner, no doubt. His stat lines look like those of the 2006 version of Alfonso Soriano when compared to the rest of his teammates. Lots of power, lots of speed...he's an exciting prospect to watch.

LHP Ryan Sherriff - 33rd round (West Los Angeles JC)
Still hasn't pitched this year. Not sure what the deal is. Brian from NFA posted back in June that Sherriff was the one discrepancy in a re-released list of picks to sign, so maybe he didn't sign after all.

1B Tyler Oliver - 35th round (Wabash Valley JC)
Hitting .219/.318/.288 in 25 games in the GCL. 16 hits in 73 at-bats with 2 doubles, 1 homer, 8 runs, 11 RBI, 11 walks and 19 strikeouts. Oliver stole a base on his only chance. He has made only 1 error in 125 chances at 1B so far.

Oliver must have used up all of his homers this spring when he hit 30. 73 at-bats is way too small of a sample size to declare his power gone, but it would be nice to see some improvement before the season ends.

OF Wander Nunez - 36th round (Western Oklahoma State JC)
Hitting .234/.318/.330 in 30 games in the GCL. 22 hits in 94 at-bats with 1 double, 4 triples, 11 runs, 10 RBI, 7 walks and 19 strikeouts. Wander has no homers and is 4/5 in his SB attempts. He has 2 OF assists and has made no errors in 41 total chances.

Nunez is a toolsy type, so it's no surprise he has a bunch of triples, steals and nice fielding numbers. He needs to start hitting to move up, though.

LHP Nick Serino - 37th round (University of Massachusetts)
2-2, 2.70 ERA in 11 games in the GCL (16 and 2/3 innings). 13 hits, 6 runs (5 earned), 18 strikeouts, 2 walks, .206 BA against.

2 walks in 16 and 2/3 innings? Sweeeeeeeeeet. Serino can keep moving up pretty quickly with control like this.

RHP Kevin Cahill - 41st round (Purdue)
0-1, 4.15 ERA in 10 games in Vermont (17 and 1/3 innings). 17 hits, 8 runs (8 earned), 24 strikeouts, 9 walks, .254 BA against.

Cahill is pitching well in Vermont. His walk numbers are a little high, but his strikeout numbers are very impressive.

OF Rashad Hatcher - 49th round (Patrick Henry CC)
Hitting .138/.194/.138 in 22 games in the GCL. 4 hits in 29 at-bats with 3 runs, 3 RBI, 2 walks and 11 strikeouts. Yet to get an extra base hit or steal a base, although he was caught once. Hatcher has successfully played all 15 chances in the field he's gotten.

Hatcher has been pretty bad, but it's still only 29 at-bats. Not sure why he's gotten so little playing time, but he could fall off the radar soon if he doesn't start hitting.

Now onto some undrafted free agents:
RHP Mike Gallo (Milligan College)
0-2 with a 10.80 ERA in 10 games (15 innings) in the GCL. 22 hits, 23 runs (18 earned), 5 homers allowed, 11 strikeouts, 8 walks, .314 BA against.

Mike is a friend of the program, so he gets to go first. His first stint in the GCL has been pretty discouraging, but his BB and K rate stats aren't awful. If Mike starts to keep the ball in the yard like he did in college, he'll be back on the right track.

IF Mills Rogers (Carson-Newman College)
Hitting .254/.370/.331 in 37 games in the GCL. 33 hits in 130 at-bats with 20 doubles, 1 triple, 22 runs, 22 RBI, 23 walks and 25 strikeouts. Rogers has stolen 3 out of the 4 bases he's tried at. He has 4 errors in the field between 46 total chances at SS and 3B, but has been errorless in 216 total chances at 1B.

RHP Tim Dupuis (Assumption College)

1-1 with a 4.60 ERA in 12 games (15 and 2/3 innings) in the GCL. 18 hits, 8 runs (8 earned), 12 strikeouts, 2 walks, .295 BA against.

Me likey the no-walkie.

RHP Zach Gerler (Austin Peay University)

0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in 9 games (12 innings) in the GCL. 11 hits, 10 runs (8 earned), 8 strikeouts, 5 walks, .250 BA against. Gerler has also hit 5 batters.

Not a bad start for Gerler, but not a great one either. I may sound like a broken record, but he needs to strike out more and walk less. Easier said than done, though.

RHP Ben Graham (Emporia State)

3-2 with a 2.63 ERA in 14 games (27 and 1/3 innings) in Vermont and Hagerstown. 22 hits, 9 runs (8 earned), 24 strikeouts, 5 walks, 3 homers allowed, .210 BA against.

Graham is off to an impressive start, moving all the way up to Hagerstown already (where he has pitched 21 of his 27 and 1/3 total innings). Batters are having a tough time with him, but they hit the ball hard when they get a hold of his pitches. Nice work by Graham to start yis pro career, though!

RHP Shane Zellers (Undrafted FA-Alvernia University)

1-0 with a 5.19 ERA in 14 games (17 and 1/3 innings) in Vermont. 20 hits, 10 runs (10 earned), 13 strikeouts, 8 walks, 3 homers allowed, .282 BA against.

Zellers is doing about what you would expect from an undrafted free agent. Not bad, but certainly room for improvement. Zellers has thrown 7 straight shutout innings, though, so that's a good sign.

RHP Brandon Meister (Miami (OH))

0-0 with a 2.70 ERA in 7 games (6 and 2/3 innings) in the GCL. 5 hits, 2 runs (2 earned), 8 strikeouts, 0 walks, .208 BA against.

Meister doesn't have a whole lot of appearances, but I'm digging the 8 K and 0 BB thing. Let's keep that going, Mister Meister.

RHP Billy Ott (Cal State Northridge)

2-1 with a 2.61 ERA in 9 games (31 innings) in the GCL and Hagerstown. 24 hits, 10 runs (9 earned), 24 strikeouts, 5 walks, .218 BA against.

Ott has also made it up to Hagerstown, where he has struggled a bit. He dominated the GCL, though, with a 1.17 ERA and a 19:3 K:BB ratio.

LHP Ryan Demmin (Minnesota State/Wisconsin-Oshkosh)

1-1 with a 1.47 ERA in 10 games (18 and 1/3 innings) with Vermont. 16 hits, 3 runs (3 earned), 20 strikeouts, 6 walks, .239 BA against.

Demmin is off to a great start in Vermont. He has especially done well against lefties, holding them to a .207 batting average.

Monday, August 16, 2010

32 signed, 1 to go


The Nats have signed 32 of their 2010 draft picks, including 24 of their top 26. That number will reach 25 when Bryce Harper signs, as forecast expert Ollie Williams predicts. The Nats went over slot over the weekend to sign 2nd, 4th and 12th round pitchers Sammy Solis, A.J. Cole and Robbie Ray. All other Nats picks who have signed have played in the minors except 33rd round LHP Ryan Sherriff. Here is a recap on how the other draft picks have fared in their professional baseball debuts (recaps for rounds 21 on as well as undrafted FA signings will be posted tomorrow).

SS Rick Hague - 3rd round (Rice)

Hitting .289/.362/.388 in 30 games between the GCL and Hagerstown. 35 hits in 121 at-bats with 6 doubles, 3 triples, 22 runs, 16 RBI, 15 walks and 24 strikeouts. Hague is 3/4 on stolen base opportunities and still has not hit a home run. He has 13 errors on 92 total chances at SS.

Hague's calling card is the ability to do everything pretty well, but nothing great. I'd like to see a little more power, but he has plenty of time to develop that. His fielding stats are scary-bad right now, but I'm not worried yet. He is looking decent so far.

SS Jason Martinson - 5th round (Texas State)

Hitting .241/.344/.321 in 51 games in Vermont. 45 hits in 187 at-bats with 5 doubles, 5 triples, 28 runs, 20 RBI, 28 walks and 52 strikeouts. Martinson is 3/5 on stolen base opportunities and still has not hit a home run. He has 13 errors on 208 total chances at SS.

Martinson's bat was considered his weakest piece, so it's a little disappointing to see his poor contact rates and lack of power at this point (although his power was never supposed to be that great). His season is far from a train-wreck, with an OBP over .100 above his batting average, but Martinson has a ways to grow in the minors. His .938 fielding percentage isn't anything to be afraid of yet, but he does need to cut down on the errors.

C Cole Leonida - 6th round (Georgia Tech)

Hitting .138/.225/.175 in 23 games in Vermont. 11 hits in 80 at-bats with 3 doubles, 11 runs, 3 RBI, 8 walks and 25 strikeouts. Leonida has no triples, home runs or stolen base attempts. He has 2 errors in 172 total chances behind the plate with 3 passed balls. He has only stopped 6 out of 25 base stealers.

It looks like Leonida missed the first 10 days of August due to injury (and was in a 2/23 slump going in), and I think it's fair to assume at least part of his poor performance is a reason. His defense is supposed to be more advanced than his bat, so we'll have to keep an eye on his stolen base and passed ball numbers after the season.

OF Kevin Keyes - 7th round (University of Texas)

Hitting .203/.347/.284 in 24 games in Vermont. 15 hits in 74 at-bats with 3 doubles, 1 homer, 7 runs, 13 RBI, 15 walks and 22 strikeouts. Keyes has been thrown out in 2 of his 3 stolen base attempts. He has made 1 error in 32 total chances in the outfield (mostly LF) with 2 assists.

Where's the power? 24 games is a small sample size to judge, but 4 extra base hits is disappointing for a guy whose power was his only above average tool.

LHP Matthew Grace - 8th round (UCLA)

0-1, 7.90 ERA in 7 GCL games (13 and 2/3 innings). 20 hits, 16 runs (12 earned), 7 strikeouts, 2 walks, .345 BA against. Grace had one terrible game where he allowed 8 runs without recording an out. In all of his other games, he has allowed 13 hits and 8 runs (4 earned), good for a 2.63 ERA. He's not walking anyone, but his strikeout numbers aren't that impressive, either.

Grace is tagged as only a future LOOGY by both John Sickels and Andy Seiler, so it's important to look at his vs L numbers as well: 2 and 2/3 IP, 3 hits, 5 runs (3 earned), 0 walks, 1 strikeout with a .273 BA against. Not super encouraging, but not a total disaster. Remember, it's only 13 and 2/3 innings pitched.

RHP Aaron Barrett - 9th round (Ole Miss)

0-2, 9.26 ERA in 7 games in Vermont (11 and 2/3 innings). 13 hits, 14 runs (12 earned), 16 strikeouts, 12 walks, 2 homers allowed, .271 BA against.

Barrett's consistency was often questioned by draft experts, and I can see why. He can show up in any game with his A stuff or his D stuff...looks like he's been showing a lot more of the latter this year. He was a senior, so I had hoped he would have been more advanced, but again it's too early to call his poor performance much more than disappointing.

IF Blake Kelso - 10th round (Houston)

Hitting .316/.362/.380 in 42 games in Vermont. 50 hits in 158 at-bats with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 18 runs, 18 RBI, 12 walks and 13 strikeouts. Kelso has stolen 5 out of the 6 bases he's attempted this year. He has made 7 errors in 149 total chances across the infield, with 2B being his best position (.971 fielding percentage).

Finally, someone I can be really optimistic about! Kelso has Jamey Carroll written all over him, and has really impressed me so far. His ability to hit at higher levels is still a question mark, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

RHP Neil Holland - 11th round (Louisville)

2-0, 1.85 ERA in 14 games in Vermont (24 and 1/3 innings). 21 hits, 7 runs (5 earned), 30 strikeouts, 6 walks, 1 homer allowed, .233 BA against.

The sidewinding righty is doing exactly what he needs to be doing right now. His deceptive delivery needs to fool A-ball hitters if he wants it to fool ML batters, so he's starting on the right track. And for the record, I'm a big fan of the 5:1 K:BB ratio.

RHP Chris McKenzie - 13th round (San Jacinto College North)

1-2, 8.54 ERA in 8 games in Vermont (26 and 1/3 innings). 40 hits, 29 runs (25 earned), 22 strikeouts, 12 walks, 2 homers allowed, .357 BA against.

McKenzie supposedly has good stuff, but it's been far too hittable in Vermont so far. Lowering the BB rate and raising the K rate could help him out to start, but when you're allowing 13.7 H/9, you need more than just that.

C David Freitas - 15th round (Hawaii)

Hitting .327/.408/.497 in 46 games in Vermont. 54 hits in 165 at-bats with 16 doubles, 4 homers, 28 runs, 34 RBI, 20 walks and 32 strikeouts. He's even 2/2 in stolen bases! Freitas has thrown out 12 of the 32 runners who have tried stealing on him this year (38%) and has 1 error and 1 passed ball.

Freitas is apparently taking advantage of Leonida's struggles, with an impressive combination of contact, power and discipline. He was seen by many as an overdraft, so it's nice to see him prove the doubters wrong...to start, at least.

RHP Mark Herrera - 16th round (San Jacinto College North)

2-1, 3.04 ERA in 12 games in Vermont (23 and 2/3 innings). 19 hits, 10 runs (8 earned), 30 strikeouts, 8 walks, .221 BA against.

Herrera has fared a lot better in his pro debut than his JuCo teammate McKenzie despite not having the raw talent. How is he getting people out? Don't know, don't care, as long as he keeps doing it.

RHP Tyler Hanks - 17th round (College of Southern Nevada)

4-0, 2.54 ERA in 8 games in the GCL (28 and 1/3 innings). 28 hits, 10 runs (8 earned), 21 strikeouts, 5 walks, 2 homers allowed, .264 BA against.

Hanks was a nice pick in the 17th round and looks to be doing pretty well against rookie ball opponents. I'd like to see him challenged a little bit, since he is one of the more talented pitchers taken by the Nats in this draft.

2B Justin Miller - 18th round (Middle Tennessee St.)

Hitting .261/.354/.423 in 37 games in Vermont. 29 hits in 111 at-bats with 8 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 24 runs, 18 RBI, 8 walks and 26 strikeouts. Miller is 2/3 in his stolen base attempts. He has committed 6 errors in only 42 chances; his infield work needs practice while his time in left field has been flawless.

He's doing well so far considering he projects to be a organizational or utility type of player. If he wants to separate himself, he needs to work to make one of his tools above-average, whether it be contact, speed, discipline or fielding.

OF Wade Moore - 19th round (Catawba College)

Hitting .278/.380/.391 in 51 games in Vermont. 47 hits in 169 at-bats with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 3 homers, 29 runs, 24 RBI, 27 walks and 38 strikeouts. Moore is 13/14 in his stolen base attempts and has only committed 3 errors in 104 total chances this season.

Moore is a guy on my list to watch. He has been hitting lefthanded pitchers for a higher average and OBP than righties despite being a lefty himself. It will be interesting to see whether or not that stays. I like a lefty bat who can get on base and steal second. Maybe Nyjer should take base-stealing tips from Moore.

OF Chad Mozingo - 20th round (Rice)

Hitting .238/.351/.306 in 41 games in Vermont. 38 hits in 160 at-bats with 5 doubles, 3 triples, 27 runs, 12 RBI, 29 walks and 30 strikeouts. Mozingo is 6/9 in his stolen base attempts and has been almost flawless in CF and LF, with 1 error (and 3 assists) in 82 total chances.

Mozingo can take a walk, play the field and could grow into being a decent base-stealer. But until he can learn to put the ball in play, his ML future is limited.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Nats to sign Solis and Cole

According to Baseball America's Jim Callis, the Nats have agreed to terms with 2nd round pick Sammy Solis ($1 mil) and 4th round pick A.J. Cole ($2 mil). I am ecstatic.

-Before today, I had zero confidence the Nats would get something done with Cole, simply because I had heard nothing at all on his negotiations.

-12th round pick Robbie Ray visited Nats Park over the weekend...will meeting Strasburg and getting his own personalized Nats jersey be enough to get him to sign? If so, the Nats will end up signing 25 of their top 26 picks (because there is no way Bryce Harper goes back to school). The only one missing would be 14th rounder Tim Smalling, who is returning to Virginia Tech due to an injured shoulder, which brought down the Nats' contract offer. Well done, Rizzo and crew.