Nats Prospect Trends
We’re just about two months into the season, so I wanted to take a look at the Nats’ prospect trends thus far in the season. In today’s article, I’ve written up all of my pre-season top 20 prospects (although 3 have not played at all this season), and have blurbs on a total of 39 players below.
IF Trea Turner (pre-season #2) – Hitting .310/.376/.472 at AAA in 222 PA (including a perfect 17/17 in SB). Hitting 1.000/1.000/1.333 in the majors. If only he played a position where the Nats could use an offensive boost!
RHP Austin Voth (pre-season #9) – It’s amazing how Voth has gotten better at progressively more difficult levels over the least three years. He’s rocking a 5.09 K/BB ratio with a 2.83 ERA in 57 and 1/3 innings in AAA. Wouldn’t surprise me if he would be the one the Nats would call upon if they needed a spot start over Giolito, Cole, Lopez, or Fedde.
OF Andrew Stevenson (pre-season #10) – The speedy outfielder is leading the organization in hits with 68 in 52 games in A+ ball, going .316/.365/.423 in 235 PA. This season basically looks like his best case MLB scenario – basically a Ben Revere with a little bit more pop and a little less speed.
RHP Koda Glover (pre-season #17) – Doing everything to appease the radar gun scouts (hitting triple digits on the gun) and the box score scouts (13.1 K/9, 4.11 K/BB). Wouldn’t be surprised to see him soon, and could be one of the first (maybe even the first?) 2015 draft picks in the entire league to reach the Majors.
RHP Jefry Rodriguez (pre-season #18) – I’ll try and hide my enthusiasm, but Rodriguez has bounced back from a bad 2015 season with a good start to his 2016 campaign – in 57 and 1/3 innings, he’s got a solid 2.53 K/BB ratio and a sparkling 2.67 ERA. Now, just keep him healthy.
C Jakson Reetz (pre-season #20) – Before you see his .212 batting average and freak out, just trust me here. I’ve never been a huge Reetz fan, but he’s improving pretty much across-the-board from what he did last year; he’s walking 15.7% of the time (up from 9.8% last year), striking out 23.6% of the time (down from 28.0% last year), has a .141 ISO (up from .035 last year), and has a lower-than-normal BABIP (.275). He’s also thrown out 35% of would-be base-stealers (better than his 2014 rate of 23%) and has just 4 errors and 5 passed balls in 274 innings after having 11 errors and 14 passed balls in 505 and 2/3 innings in 2014 and 15. Baby steps, but he’s a young 20 year old catcher in A ball.
1B/3B Drew Ward (pre-season #22) – already has more homers in 47 games (8) than he had in 115 games last year (7). The .310/.413/.532 triple slash is pretty nice for a 21 year old in high-A ball.
OF Brian Goodwin (pre-season #25) – I’m cautiously optimistic here – he’s at .303/.362/.479 in 209 PA, with 20 extra base hits and 7 steals. A lot of it is BABIP-driven (.370 BABIP this season), but the .176 ISO is a breath of fresh air after back-to-back .109 and .114 ISOs in 2013 and 2014.
RHP Andrew Lee (pre-season #28) – Solid 2.56 K/BB ratio, decent 3.71 ERA in 51 innings for Hagerstown. Stock isn’t majorly up, but I can see him rising quietly but quickly, like Austin Voth did.
IF Max Schrock (pre-season #29) – The little ball of awesome (5’8”) can hit – he’s at .313/.373/.436 in 233 PA, with 18 extra base hits, 14 steals and an even 18 BB and 18 K.
IF Kelvin Gutierrez (pre-season #43) – Hitting a solid .295/.338/.390, with 10 steals and 15 extra base hits in 231 PA. I think he’ll grow into more power as he matures, so making contact is cool with me.
RHP Tommy Peterson (pre-season #51) – 2015 12th round pick (and slightly overslot signing at $125,000) has 24 strikeouts and 2 walks in 26 and 2/3 innings for Hagerstown this season.
LHP Matt Crownover (pre-season #53) – 2015 6th round pick has an impressive 3.25 K/BB ratio and a sterling 2.05 ERA in 44 innings between Hagerstown and Potomac.
RHP Pedro Avila (pre-season #68) – this kid turned 19 in January and is rolling through Hagerstown, with a 2.88 ERA and 2.85 K/BB ratio in 40 and 2/3 innings. He’s definitely on the rise.
RHP Ryan Brinley (pre-season #83) – 2015 27th round pick has video game numbers in his professional career between the GCL, Auburn, Hagerstown, and Potomac: 52 and 2/3 innings pitched, 43 H, 13 R, 5 BB, 39 Ks, 0.911 WHIP, and 7.8 K/BB ratio.
RHP Jorge Pantoja (pre-season #93) – 2015 30th round pick has an impressive 7 wins in 13 relief appearances (not that it matters a bit), but what does matter is his 2.73 ERA and 4.4 K/BB ratio in 26 and 1/3 innings for A-ball Hagerstown, following up on a solid 3.67 K/BB ratio last year.
OF Caleb Ramsey (pre-season NR) – Not really a prospect at 27 (28 in October), but I could see him getting a look as a 5th OF who can get on base, run a little bit and play solid defense. Hitting .312/.379/.414 this year.
RHP Lucas Giolito (pre-season #1) – Giolito’s peripherals aren’t perfect (unimpressive 4.6 BB/9, decent 8.3 K/9), but remember that he’s a 21 year old in AA-ball. He’s doing just fine.
OF Victor Robles (pre-season #3) – Hitting .312/.410/.471 in 208 PA as a 19 year old in A ball. Maybe I shouldn’t have traded him in my dynasty league.
RHP Erick Fedde (pre-season #4) – ERA doesn’t look great at 5.00, but he’s got a sterling 4.6 K/BB ratio (46 K and 10 BB in 45 innings). I’m not all that worried, but I’ll finally slot Reynaldo Lopez ahead of him.
RHP Reynaldo Lopez (pre-season #5) – Look past the 4.17 ERA and see his sexy 10.3 K/9. BB/9 is up a bit as well, but still right around 3 K/BB.
3B Anderson Franco (pre-season #8) – As far as I can tell, Franco has been hanging out in Florida all spring and will start playing games in Auburn this month after the draft.
IF Chris Bostick (pre-season #11) – Quietly hitting .296/.352/.417 in 221 PA in AA. Pop and steals are notoriously absent so far this season (2 HR, 5/11 SB, .121 ISO) after a 4 HR, 6/7 SB and .281 ISO performance in the Arizona Fall League and three straight 11 HR and 24 SB seasons. He’s also played LF five times this year (and played there 20 times last year), and will likely be groomed as a utility-type.
OF Rafael Bautista (pre-season #12) – Overall line of .258/.346/.306 isn’t impressive (although I’m cool with the 25 BB/35 K in 242 PA part). He does have an insane 29 steals in 33 attempts through 53 games, though, which is super cool.
OF Blake Perkins (pre-season #15) – Hanging out with Anderson Franco right now. No official games played this year, and is presumably working on his switch-hitting still.
OF Juan Soto (pre-season #19) – Probably also chillin’ with Franky Franco and B-Perks in Viera (although he may play in the Dominican Summer League this year).
IF Wilmer Difo (pre-season #6) – It’s a little early for me to hit the panic button on Difo despite his .213/.293/.248 triple slash in 226 PA at AA. His BB rate is way up (9.3%, up from 3.1% last year), his K rate is way down (11.1%, down from 20.7% last year in AA), and his BABIP is a lowly .262. That being said, he’s got a .035 ISO, with 5 doubles, 1 triple, and no dongers on the year. The lack of hard-hit balls scares me a bit, as do his 11 errors (after just 13 errors last year).
RHP A.J. Cole (pre-season #7) – It’s nice to see his K rate back up a ticket to 7.3 K/9, but he’s been way too hittable this year (10.7 H/9), thus the 1.409 WHIP and 4.85 ERA. I miss the good old days of 2011-13 Cole with the K/BB ratio over 4.50. The only edge he has on his competition at being called up to the big leagues is that he’s on the 40-man roster and the likes of Giolito, Fedde, Lopez, and Voth are not.
C Pedro Severino (pre-season #13) – Just doing Pedro Severino things with the bat, hitting .260/.288/.336 in 140 PA, making good contact but with basically no power (8 XBH) or walks (5 BB). Also, he’s only throwing out 29% of attempted base-stealers, well below his previous career low of 35% (and career average of 37%).
OF Telmito Agustin (pre-season #14) – Only has 13 games under his belt this season, but has a ghastly 1 BB vs 17 Ks in 47 PA. He is a 19 year old playing in A-ball, and it’s only a 13 game sample size, but yeesh.
RHP Abel De Los Santos (pre-season #16) – Shiny 10.4 K/9, but ugly 5.8 BB/9 and 1.714 WHIP. Needs to be better at pitching.
RHP Austen Williams (pre-season #23) – Walks way up, K’s continue to drop, giving him a 1.36 K/BB ratio in 50 and 2/3 innings in Harrisburg. 42 runs allowed in 50 and 2/3 innings.
LHP Nick Lee (pre-season #26) – 27 K in 26 innings is less cool when you also have 20 BB.
LHP Taylor Hearn (pre-season #27) – has a 0.00 ERA and 4 K/BB ratio for the season…but that’s because he has a foot fracture.
RHP Joan Baez (pre-season #33) – Joan, your pitching. Woof. 1.21 K/BB ratio in 41 and 2/3 innings at Hagerstown.
RHP Dakota Bacus (pre-season #58) – Control has fallen off the face of the earth this year, with 6.4 BB/9 (previous career worst was in 2015 at 3.1 BB/9). K’s are way up in his first year as a full-time reliever, though (9.7 K/9).
LHP Taylor Guilbeau (pre-season #59) – Ghastly 32 R and 44 H allowed in 33 innings, but 5.14 K/BB ratio (36 strikeouts and 7 walks).
OF Isaac Ballou (pre-season #60) – It was fun while it lasted, but Ballou is hitting .237/.296/.338, with no homers, only 3 steals, and 28 K in 143 PA this year as a 26 year old mostly in AA.
OF D.K. Carey (pre-season #63) – Hitting .201/.310/.319 with a 23.8% K rate in 44 games at Potomac, where he’s already old for his level (24 and a half).