Author Topic: Nationals Prospect Reports / Minor League Rankings 2023  (Read 369 times)

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Online imref

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Baseball America notes we have the youngest group of top-10 prospects in baseball.


Offline Natsinpwc

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Don’t think that’s a good thing. 

Online imref

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Don’t think that’s a good thing. 

Not in the short term. And more uncertainty in the long term.

Offline HalfSmokes

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Not in the short term. And more uncertainty in the long term.

Under 20 is just a crap shoot and it’s so far away that there’s no point of hoping to compete in a couple of years

Online imref

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Under 20 is just a crap shoot and it’s so far away that there’s no point of hoping to compete in a couple of years

2025 (best case)

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Yes, but while there's a high bust potential, there's also high ceilings. I mean, Wood is the #3 game-usable power prospect in baseball per mlb.com, and Susana is a top 5 closer prospect per same source

Online Senatorswin

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There were two guys named Harper and Soto who people projected great things for when they were 18 and they turned out okay. Then again there was a guy name Robles everybody thought was going to be the cats meow and that didn't turn out okay.

I can remember back in the old Nationals MLB fan forum there was a guy, I can't remember what he was called, and he said on a number of occasions when Robles was supposed to be the hot prospect that there was a guy named Soto that was a better prospect than Robles.

Offline zimm_da_kid

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Wood will be here by mid 2024 at the latest.  He has posted superb numbers in every category (walks, power, avg, steals) and hits the ball hard to back it up

Online Elvir Ovcina

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Wood will be here by mid 2024 at the latest.  He has posted superb numbers in every category (walks, power, avg, steals) and hits the ball hard to back it up

That seems very optimistic.  Numbers are good, but low-A is too far away to say anything like that.

Mid-2024 would require him to crush A+ this year and then keep hitting in AA.  Not many guys hit enough in AA at age 20 to project to MLB by midseason the next year. 

Let's wait until the dude tees off against something better than an average SEC team before we start calling him an MLB player in 18 months.

Online imref

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MiLB has Woods has Woods as a 2025 arrival. The only top prospect expected to arrive this year is Hassell,

Offline Natsinpwc

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MiLB has Woods has Woods as a 2025 arrival. The only top prospect expected to arrive this year is Hassell,
I think we have discussed in the past how those estimates are usually overoptimistic.

Offline nobleisthyname

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Hassell arriving this year seems pretty optimistic. He struggled in his cup of coffee last season in AA and then broke his hand in the AFL.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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I think we have discussed in the past how those estimates are usually overoptimistic.
Hassell arriving this year seems pretty optimistic. He struggled in his cup of coffee last season in AA and then broke his hand in the AFL.
I think the ETAs for guys rated as having good tools are more or less based on "if everything goes right at the level he's assigned," and thus are inherently optimistic.  They don't expect guys to struggle much if they are rated as having MLB tools across the board like Hassell.  He did not put up great numbers in 45 PAs at Wilmington and 122 PAs in Harrisburg.  He's not going back to Wilmington (his week before the call up was fine, so they moved him), so if he shows he can handle AA over 3-4 months, I would not be too surprised by a straight call up after, say, Dickerson is dealt at the deadline. With his draft pedigree, he was a prospect SD pushed, and it seemed that he did well when he repeated A+ in 2022.   A more cautious approach with financial and roster benefits would be to try him at AAA at the end of 2023 and start him there for a couple months before a late May / early June call up in 2024.

As somebody right now slated to go to 25 games this year, I'm kind of hoping for the optimistic track.

Online Elvir Ovcina

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I think the ETAs for guys rated as having good tools are more or less based on "if everything goes right at the level he's assigned," and thus are inherently optimistic.  They don't expect guys to struggle much if they are rated as having MLB tools across the board like Hassell.  He did not put up great numbers in 45 PAs at Wilmington and 122 PAs in Harrisburg.  He's not going back to Wilmington (his week before the call up was fine, so they moved him), so if he shows he can handle AA over 3-4 months, I would not be too surprised by a straight call up after, say, Dickerson is dealt at the deadline. With his draft pedigree, he was a prospect SD pushed, and it seemed that he did well when he repeated A+ in 2022.   A more cautious approach with financial and roster benefits would be to try him at AAA at the end of 2023 and start him there for a couple months before a late May / early June call up in 2024.

As somebody right now slated to go to 25 games this year, I'm kind of hoping for the optimistic track.

I've bolded the two words that matter most as to whether the dude is tracking towards a 2023 call-up.  Guys who are fast movers don't generally repeat levels. 

I like Hassell.  I also don't think he is anywhere near a top-30 prospect.  He's not even the best lefty-hitting tall white HS CF/RF from Tennessee with a two-syllable surname in his draft class, despite being ranked first by the draft fetishists at MLB.com in that bizarrely narrow subgroup.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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I've bolded the two words that matter most as to whether the dude is tracking towards a 2023 call-up.  Guys who are fast movers don't generally repeat levels. 

I like Hassell.  I also don't think he is anywhere near a top-30 prospect.  He's not even the best lefty-hitting tall white HS CF/RF from Tennessee with a two-syllable surname in his draft class, despite being ranked first by the draft fetishists at MLB.com in that bizarrely narrow subgroup.
My point was they moved him quickly to A+ in 2021.  He was given a birthday present of a promotion to AA when he turned 21.  At any rate, we don't disagree that 2023 is an if everything goes perfectly scenario, or a "what the heck we got nothing better" rush.  I think the moderate scenario is a bump from AA to AAA if he puts up decent AA numbers, then a bump to the majors in 2024 say, after they ensure he won't get credit for a full season service time and perhaps after he's not a threat for super 2.  BTW - he has to be added to the roster before the 2024 Rule 5 draft, so sometime before the end of 2024 looks more like an outside date unless he's a bust.

Offline Natsinpwc

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I’m with Elvir. Wake me up when they get to Double A and do well there. Even then it’s not a sure thing.

Online imref

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BBA updated its top 100:

11. James Wood OF
57. Robert Hassell III OF
58. Elijah Green OF
61. Cade Cavalli RHP

Offline blue911

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Hassell didn’t repeat A+.In 2021, he had a late season call up to Ft Wayne where he had less than 100 PA.

Offline Smithian

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I’m with Elvir. Wake me up when they get to Double A and do well there. Even then it’s not a sure thing.
AA is the smart rule.

Pretty embarrassing the Nationals that they sold multiple Hall of Famers in All Star form in back-to-back deadlines and they'll like barely slip into the top half of farm system rankings.

Offline Section214

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AA is the smart rule.

Pretty embarrassing the Nationals that they sold multiple Hall of Famers in All Star form in back-to-back deadlines and they'll like barely slip into the top half of farm system rankings.

Agreed on the AA discourse, anything before then is just something to keep an eye on. To your second point, I feel as though we could have done better in the Turner/Max deal, but in those two trades we also added our starting SS, C and 2 of our starting rotation. If those four guys were still in the minors, we'd have maybe the best farm in baseball.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Hassell didn’t repeat A+.In 2021, he had a late season call up to Ft Wayne where he had less than 100 PA.
yes.  Maybe my use of "repeat" left the wrong impression.  I was using "repeat" to say he had exposure there and went back the next season, but it's not like he had a full season.  I guess same thing could be said about Harrisburg: he was there for about 120 PAs.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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While in general the "show me something in AA before I get excited" is a prudent rule, you can't ignore that folks who get paid to evaluate players just rated Wood #11 in all baseball.  To the extent he's at low level and that generates uncertainty, you can also say his ceiling has to be pretty darn high to be ranked above AA/AAA guys.

Online Elvir Ovcina

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My point was they moved him quickly to A+ in 2021.  He was given a birthday present of a promotion to AA when he turned 21.  At any rate, we don't disagree that 2023 is an if everything goes perfectly scenario, or a "what the heck we got nothing better" rush.  I think the moderate scenario is a bump from AA to AAA if he puts up decent AA numbers, then a bump to the majors in 2024 say, after they ensure he won't get credit for a full season service time and perhaps after he's not a threat for super 2.  BTW - he has to be added to the roster before the 2024 Rule 5 draft, so sometime before the end of 2024 looks more like an outside date unless he's a bust.

He has to be added to the 40 before the 2024 Rule 5.  That doesn't mean he needs to be promoted to the majors then if he's not ready.  He'll only be 23 then, so that's hardly bust territory unless there are huge, huge red flags.

Online imref

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Hassell's final 2+ weeks at AA were promising - .293   .379   .397. I agree that he starts at AA and hopefully gets a AAA promotion at some point. Barring injury to a starter, he's probably a September call-up unless he is dominating in the minors.

Offline Smithian

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While in general the "show me something in AA before I get excited" is a prudent rule, you can't ignore that folks who get paid to evaluate players just rated Wood #11 in all baseball.  To the extent he's at low level and that generates uncertainty, you can also say his ceiling has to be pretty darn high to be ranked above AA/AAA guys.
I'm not "ignoring", I'm just not getting excited. I like Low A ball. I like attending FredNats games. I appreciate the act the low minors are starting to look a lot better in talent. I just am not envisioning any specific player in the team's long term plans until AA.

I put Robert Hassell in that category of, "Promising but too far away" until he put together a couple good weeks in Harrisburg.

If James Woods hits the ball hard in Wilmington next season, I'll be pleased. If around midseason he gets a Harrisburg call up and shows signs of life, I'll be really excited.