Tuesday Breakdown: The Mysteries of International Signings

Hope you had a good 4th of July. Mine was pretty good until the illegal fireworks started getting set off and my dogs freaked out. There really isn’t much big Nats news from over the weekend. The Nats had a winning streak but that ended. They signed a bunch of teenagers to large contracts. It’s really hard to get excited about international signings. It’s the most the Nats have ever spent and they got some top ranked guys but they’re 16 and so far away from the majors.

Did you realize that 16 year olds were born in the year 2000? We’re a couple seasons away from having a major league baseball player that was born in the year 2000 and that is scary. Back to the international signing period and it’s lack of ability to excite people. The draft is somewhat exciting when you’re favorite team has the top pick and it’s a year that Stephen Strasburg or Bryce Harper are available. Those guys were hyped up and publicized long before the draft. I don’t even know who the first overall pick was this year and if the Nats pick weren’t related to a prospect already in their system I wouldn’t have remembered him either.

Now amplify how unknown the players are in the draft times a thousand and that is the international signing period. The players drafted at least have college or high school stats and accomplishments to list. The players signed as international free agents are just kids and a lot of them aren’t even playing with regulation baseball equipment. It makes a great story when they make it to the majors but for me, the common fan, to get excited about them at this stage is impossible.

Look at Victor Robles. He is on the fast track to the majors having just been promoted to Potomac and if he makes a two level jump again next season he has a chance to be a September call-up in 2017, and even that feels like too far away to get excited about. Part of it has to do with the Nats being good. The farm system was much more exciting when it was something that was going to save the team. Take Turner and Giolito for example. Giolito is the top prospect in all of baseball. The same as Strasburg and Harper and yet his debut and arrival to the majors was met with a hundredth of the excitement, and for Turner there is a segment of fans that don’t even want him in the majors.

Waiting for players like Robles, Turner, and Giolito is how Nats fans used to get their jollies. Now it’s turned to almost an extreme of some thinking call-ups will ruin team chemistry and send the Nats spiraling out of control. I think we can find a balance of being excited for the arrival of hot prospects and watching the team have success at the top level because they’re so interconnected, and in order to sustain success the Nats are going to have to keep increasing the power of the farm system.

Also before I close this out Zack Hample is an asshole.   

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