Author Topic: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?  (Read 2338 times)

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Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #75: March 10, 2023, 05:46:46 PM »
https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2023/03/10/washington-nationals-prospects-rebould/

Svrluga today:
Quote
The roots of what is playing out here at Washington Nationals spring training can be traced back to the evening of Friday, July 2, 2021. Before first pitch, those Nats were 40-39, 2½ games back of the Atlanta Braves, second in the National League East. They had a chance. In the second inning, left fielder Kyle Schwarber — coming off a stretch in which he walloped 16 homers in 18 games — cracked a single that he thought he could stretch into a double.

Rounding first, Schwarber’s hamstring popped. Cue an organizational pivot. Did Schwarber’s injury lead directly to a worst-in-the-majors, 107-loss season in 2022 and a 2023 in which the excitement isn’t about the current major league roster, but those in the future? No. Does it help answer the question: How did the Nationals go from perennial contenders to absolute reclamation project? Absolutely.
...
As the Nationals headed into a key stretch in late July 2021, they were undecided: Buy or sell? Their system was already thinned, some from a decade of trying to buy at the trade deadline (and in the offseason), some by drafts that didn’t work out, some by drafts that lacked a first-round pick because they had signed marquee free agents in the offseason.

Then came the following set of events: They lost the last game of a series against Miami, were swept over the weekend in Baltimore, sent Strasburg to a doctor to evaluate his persistent neck and shoulder issues — and received the recommendation that the 2019 World Series MVP undergo surgery to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome. By the time they agreed to send Scherzer and Turner to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 29, they were eight games under .500 and eight games back of the Braves, in fourth.

“Believe me: No general manager, no field manager, wants to rebuild,” Rizzo said. “It’s last on our list of things to do. These are organizational decisions that we have to make. And we sat and we met like we always do, and we thought about it, and we made the decision that it was time to kind of re-fertilize the farm system and take a step sideways to move forward.”

Ties out to what I've been saying: since the trades in 2021, they have made a decision to rebuild, and exercised that plan.  Talks about how in camp now are Wood, Green, Susana, House, Hassell, and Henry (Svrluga says Henry is lined up to pitch in AAA as soon as May).

Quote
“This is the most upside group in the minor leagues that we’ve ever had coming up,” Rizzo said. “You talk about big, physical, toolsy, athletic guys. And I think that there are tools translate into playability and should translate into becoming the foundation going forward.

“But my thought is always [that] it takes 10 prospects to get one superstar. The more, the better. The more athletic players that you can put in the system, the better chance you have of having a good group of players that turn it into the core of a championship club — like we had in ’12 to ’19.”

It's not like they are planning on all these guys becoming superstars. Rizzo says the opposite.  I'll let the prospect and system raters rate the system relative to other systems. But to say these guys, and Abrams and Ruiz, are all likely busts is a just Eeyoring.


Offline HalfSmokes

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #76: March 10, 2023, 06:15:28 PM »
You can think they have a legitimate shot and questioning an organization fielding a team Vegas thinks will lose 100 games. You can sign guys who are at least capable of looking like major league players.

Offline Senatorswin

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #77: March 10, 2023, 07:39:09 PM »
If the Nats had signed everybody who was eligible for free agency on their team, they would of had these players with their current MLB ranking:

11 Trea Turner
12 Juan Soto
15 Max Scherzer
17 Bryce Harper
44 Kyle Schwarber

They wouldn't of had much else because of poor drafting. So they took the few pieces they had left and traded them to teams who did draft well. Because of inferior drafts they did the only thing they could do. Nats fans will have to see a lot of loses the next year or two but at least we can enjoy watching the prospects develop and hope a majority pan out. That's more than fans of teams like the Tigers, A's, Royals and Angels can do who have no hope for the present or future.

Offline Natsinpwc

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #78: March 10, 2023, 07:51:37 PM »
Here’s an under 26 ranking. Nats right there with Detroit and KC. I don’t see much hope even if the young players pan out. Unless the Lerners sell. They seem satisfied with the one title.

https://amp.foxsports.com/stories/mlb/mlb-26-and-under-power-rankings-which-clubs-have-the-best-young-players

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #79: March 10, 2023, 07:54:13 PM »
You can think they have a legitimate shot and questioning an organization fielding a team Vegas thinks will lose 100 games. You can sign guys who are at least capable of looking like major league players.
that's fair. I am also somebody who looks at available FAs and try to figure out which ones could be had at a reasonable price, so yes, maybe another starter or regular could be signed, and I am always looking for Pudge or Werth

Offline Senatorswin

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #80: March 10, 2023, 09:41:11 PM »
Here’s an under 26 ranking. Nats right there with Detroit and KC. I don’t see much hope even if the young players pan out. Unless the Lerners sell. They seem satisfied with the one title.

https://amp.foxsports.com/stories/mlb/mlb-26-and-under-power-rankings-which-clubs-have-the-best-young-players

Here's the MLB minor league rankings:

https://www.prospects1500.com/milb/2023-mlb-farm-system-rankings/

The Nats are 14th because more weight is put on prospects in the higher minor leagues which is fair. But here the writeup about the Nats:

"There are few teams with more high-end talent in the lower levels of the minors than the Nationals. Names like James Wood, Elijah Green, Brady House, Cristhian Vaquero and Jarlin Susana have all yet to play a single inning above Single-A. This system took a major step forward following the Juan Soto trade and has the potential to keep climbing these rankings based on the development of some of these players."

The Tigers are ranked 23, The A's 20, Royals 24, Angels 25. They have no present or near future.

Offline Natsinpwc

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #81: March 10, 2023, 10:15:16 PM »
Here's the MLB minor league rankings:

https://www.prospects1500.com/milb/2023-mlb-farm-system-rankings/

The Nats are 14th because more weight is put on prospects in the higher minor leagues which is fair. But here the writeup about the Nats:

"There are few teams with more high-end talent in the lower levels of the minors than the Nationals. Names like James Wood, Elijah Green, Brady House, Cristhian Vaquero and Jarlin Susana have all yet to play a single inning above Single-A. This system took a major step forward following the Juan Soto trade and has the potential to keep climbing these rankings based on the development of some of these players."

The Tigers are ranked 23, The A's 20, Royals 24, Angels 25. They have no present or near future.
The reason they put more weight on guys in the higher minors is that most of the guys at the lower levels will bust. Or get injured. Or both.  So I think you are overrating the Nats chances at this point.  We already see Hassell with injury problems.  House had the mysterious back issue. Both Cavalli and Gore were shut down last year with arm problems. It’s certainly better than it was but I don’t think they are in a much better position than the Royals or Tigers. The As are waiting on figuring out what town they are going to.  The Angels are a mess but still have a better chance to compete the next 2-3 years. The Ruiz signing is a good sign.

Offline Senatorswin

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #82: March 10, 2023, 10:59:52 PM »
The reason they put more weight on guys in the higher minors is that most of the guys at the lower levels will bust. Or get injured. Or both.  So I think you are overrating the Nats chances at this point.  We already see Hassell with injury problems.  House had the mysterious back issue. Both Cavalli and Gore were shut down last year with arm problems. It’s certainly better than it was but I don’t think they are in a much better position than the Royals or Tigers. The As are waiting on figuring out what town they are going to.  The Angels are a mess but still have a better chance to compete the next 2-3 years. The Ruiz signing is a good sign.

Couldn't disagree more. Sure most of the Nats top prospects are in the lower minors and some probably won't pan out, but it will be interesting watching to see how they're doing. I don't think the Nats have ever had this many highly regarded prospects at one time. Six of their top 10 prospects are outfielders. If just two pan out they can add another outfielder in free agency when the time comes. They have a shortstop, second baseman and catcher who look good. They have a first baseman/DH who was as good as any rookie last August and September. They have 3 MLB ready starters who have promise.

The Tigers, Royals and A's don't have anybody at the MLB level and nothing in the minors. The Angels were 73-89 last year, haven't appreciatively upgraded over the offseason, and will probably lose Ohtani either in July or next offseason.

Offline Natsinpwc

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #83: March 10, 2023, 11:50:43 PM »
Couldn't disagree more. Sure most of the Nats top prospects are in the lower minors and some probably won't pan out, but it will be interesting watching to see how they're doing. I don't think the Nats have ever had this many highly regarded prospects at one time. Six of their top 10 prospects are outfielders. If just two pan out they can add another outfielder in free agency when the time comes. They have a shortstop, second baseman and catcher who look good. They have a first baseman/DH who was as good as any rookie last August and September. They have 3 MLB ready starters who have promise.

The Tigers, Royals and A's don't have anybody at the MLB level and nothing in the minors. The Angels were 73-89 last year, haven't appreciatively upgraded over the offseason, and will probably lose Ohtani either in July or next offseason.
The Angels are projected to be about a .500 team. So they have a shot at a wild card. If they trade Ohtani they might rebuild their system as the Nats did.  The Tigers were considered a top five system a few years which is a lesson. The Nats were considered to have top system around that time with guys like Kieboom and Robles and Fedde. Let’s hope Thai group works out better.

Offline IanRubbish

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #84: March 11, 2023, 01:49:41 AM »
The Angels were 73-89 last year, haven't appreciatively upgraded over the offseason, and will probably lose Ohtani either in July or next offseason.

They added Hunter Renfroe, who'll hit more HRs than any Nat this year.

The Angels also have a 23 yo catcher, Logan O'Hoppe, who had a .960 OPS last year in AA and is far more patient than any hitter in the Nats lineup.  They've also got a great SS prospect in Zach Neto who has also done more in AA than any Nats prospect, and they've also got a great young starter in Reid Detmers.   

Wouldn't be surprised if they have their best season in 7-8 years in 2023. 

Offline Senatorswin

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #85: March 11, 2023, 04:03:13 AM »
They added Hunter Renfroe, who'll hit more HRs than any Nat this year.

The Angels also have a 23 yo catcher, Logan O'Hoppe, who had a .960 OPS last year in AA and is far more patient than any hitter in the Nats lineup.  They've also got a great SS prospect in Zach Neto who has also done more in AA than any Nats prospect, and they've also got a great young starter in Reid Detmers.   

Wouldn't be surprised if they have their best season in 7-8 years in 2023.

In the minor league ranking that came out in February has theirs 25th and that's with more weight given to the upper minors.

Offline nobleisthyname

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #86: March 11, 2023, 07:34:58 AM »
It's not like they are planning on all these guys becoming superstars. Rizzo says the opposite.  I'll let the prospect and system raters rate the system relative to other systems. But to say these guys, and Abrams and Ruiz, are all likely busts is a just Eeyoring.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding your point but there's a middle ground between superstar and bust. Ruiz is already not a bust but he's also far from a star. I think the concern is a lot of fans are expecting these highly touted prospects to turn into all-stars when the much more likely outcome is something like with Ruiz.

That's more than fans of teams like the Tigers, A's, Royals and Angels can do who have no hope for the present or future.

The Tigers were the current Orioles just a couple seasons ago. They're a lesson in how a highly touted system can still bust at the major league level. I would not use them as a comparison to the Nats because there's no reason the Nats won't end up like them yet.

I also wouldn't count out the A's making a return to competitiveness sooner than later. They seem to be good more often than not for the past several decades.

Offline Senatorswin

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #87: March 11, 2023, 10:31:03 AM »
Maybe I'm misunderstanding your point but there's a middle ground between superstar and bust. Ruiz is already not a bust but he's also far from a star. I think the concern is a lot of fans are expecting these highly touted prospects to turn into all-stars when the much more likely outcome is something like with Ruiz.

The Tigers were the current Orioles just a couple seasons ago. They're a lesson in how a highly touted system can still bust at the major league level. I would not use them as a comparison to the Nats because there's no reason the Nats won't end up like them yet.

I also wouldn't count out the A's making a return to competitiveness sooner than later. They seem to be good more often than not for the past several decades.

The Nats prospects could end up being a bust like the Tigers but at this point there's no reason to think they will. So the point is at this time the Nats have hope and it will be fun keeping an eye on the prospects where teams like the Tigers don't have much hope at the major or minor league levels. The A's have been successful in the past building winners but again at this point they don't have the players at either level to think they're going to win anytime soon. The Nats have built a winner in the past also and at a higher level than the A's.

I wouldn't put a ceiling on Ruiz yet. We know we have him for the next 10 years if we want him, but we don't know how good he can be yet.

Prospects don't always pan out. But with 6 of the top 10 Nats prospects being outfielders if 2 of them develop into really good players in two years you could sign a Soto or other high free agent. Regardless, there's hope and it will be fun watching what happens.

Offline nobleisthyname

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #88: March 11, 2023, 01:16:22 PM »
The Nats prospects could end up being a bust like the Tigers but at this point there's no reason to think they will. So the point is at this time the Nats have hope and it will be fun keeping an eye on the prospects where teams like the Tigers don't have much hope at the major or minor league levels. The A's have been successful in the past building winners but again at this point they don't have the players at either level to think they're going to win anytime soon. The Nats have built a winner in the past also and at a higher level than the A's.

My main contention was saying these were franchises without hope. The Tigers now are where we were 1.5 seasons ago. And while things look bleak for the A's right now they're the west coast Rays so it's hard for me to discount them for long.

I wouldn't put a ceiling on Ruiz yet. We know we have him for the next 10 years if we want him, but we don't know how good he can be yet.

Prospects don't always pan out. But with 6 of the top 10 Nats prospects being outfielders if 2 of them develop into really good players in two years you could sign a Soto or other high free agent. Regardless, there's hope and it will be fun watching what happens.

Ruiz absolutely can develop more, I just don't think the expectation should be that he will. As a 2-3 WAR player he's already had a more successful outcome than the vast majority of prospects. Your line about how if at least 2 of our 6 outfield prospects turn into stars then we're in a really good spot is kind of indicative of the mentality I'm talking about. It's pretty unlikely that at least 2 of the 6 outfield prospects turn into stars and the Nats would have to get somewhat lucky for that to be the case. That doesn't mean they'll bust (some will), but they might "just" turn out to be serviceable major leaguers, which is still very valuable.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #89: March 11, 2023, 02:44:24 PM »
The prospect profiles on fg are interesting because they rate the likelihood of various outccomes ranging from bust to perennial all star. Most of the prospects in the nats system that we are hoping for have bust as their likeliest or second likeliest outcome.  Very few guys with a hump in the middle of the distribution. Wood, who they're more high on than just about anyone, is a bit more of a ski jump than a halfpipe.  Tbh, I would be curious about BP, which gives ranges as well. I think other teams probably have fewer guys with as high a likelihood of star potential at the top of their rankings.

Offline nobleisthyname

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #90: March 11, 2023, 03:06:30 PM »
The prospect profiles on fg are interesting because they rate the likelihood of various outccomes ranging from bust to perennial all star. Most of the prospects in the nats system that we are hoping for have bust as their likeliest or second likeliest outcome.  Very few guys with a hump in the middle of the distribution. Wood, who they're more high on than just about anyone, is a bit more of a ski jump than a halfpipe.  Tbh, I would be curious about BP, which gives ranges as well. I think other teams probably have fewer guys with as high a likelihood of star potential at the top of their rankings.

That's an interesting point. That would suggest to me that we have a greater chance at ending up like the Tigers, but also a greater shot at potentially becoming our own version of the Braves.

Offline Senatorswin

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #91: March 11, 2023, 03:53:02 PM »
My main contention was saying these were franchises without hope. The Tigers now are where we were 1.5 seasons ago. And while things look bleak for the A's right now they're the west coast Rays so it's hard for me to discount them for long.

Not counting 2020 since 2007 the A's have had 8 losing records, 6 winning records and 1 .500 season. They haven't won a World Series since 1989. Granted they don't have the resources of most teams but with a depleted minor leagues there's no reason to believe in the A's near future and not the Nats.

Ruiz absolutely can develop more, I just don't think the expectation should be that he will. As a 2-3 WAR player he's already had a more successful outcome than the vast majority of prospects. Your line about how if at least 2 of our 6 outfield prospects turn into stars then we're in a really good spot is kind of indicative of the mentality I'm talking about. It's pretty unlikely that at least 2 of the 6 outfield prospects turn into stars and the Nats would have to get somewhat lucky for that to be the case. That doesn't mean they'll bust (some will), but they might "just" turn out to be serviceable major leaguers, which is still very valuable.

Again, from the latest MLB minor league outlook:

"There are few teams with more high-end talent in the lower levels of the minors than the Nationals. Names like James Wood, Elijah Green, Brady House, Cristhian Vaquero and Jarlin Susana have all yet to play a single inning above Single-A. This system took a major step forward following the Juan Soto trade and has the potential to keep climbing these rankings based on the development of some of these players."

Nobody knows yet how many will come through, especially since they are in the low minors, but so far they've shown promise and there's no reason at this point to be overly pessimistic.

Offline Slateman

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #92: March 15, 2023, 07:13:54 AM »
Whoever wanted podcasts, new episode of Bustin Loose dropped today. Has an interview with Josiah Gray

Offline GburgNatsFan

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #93: March 15, 2023, 11:04:28 AM »
Thanks.
Whoever wanted podcasts, new episode of Bustin Loose dropped today. Has an interview with Josiah Gray

Offline Senatorswin

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #94: March 18, 2023, 10:44:42 PM »
One more thing about MLB coverage. I was listening to Baltimore sports talk radio yesterday and they said "next we'll have Mark Viviano on and we'll talk Terps, Lamar and maybe even the Orioles if we get to it". They didn't get to it. So I looked up MLB attendance.

 In 2022 MLB had the lowest attendance except for the COVID years 2020 and 2021 since 1997. The RSN's are tanking. Payroll in 2022 was the highest it's ever been. MLB will survive but if I were an owner I think I'd think twice about giving a 13 year contract for 400 million.

Offline Natsinpwc

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #95: March 18, 2023, 11:03:22 PM »
One more thing about MLB coverage. I was listening to Baltimore sports talk radio yesterday and they said "next we'll have Mark Viviano on and we'll talk Terps, Lamar and maybe even the Orioles if we get to it". They didn't get to it. So I looked up MLB attendance.

 In 2022 MLB had the lowest attendance except for the COVID years 2020 and 2021 since 1997. The RSN's are tanking. Payroll in 2022 was the highest it's ever been. MLB will survive but if I were an owner I think I'd think twice about giving a 13 year contract for 400 million.
But revenue was back to pre Covid levels last year.  They are making money all sorts of ways other than attendance.

Offline Natsinpwc

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #96: March 18, 2023, 11:15:15 PM »

Offline Natsinpwc

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #97: March 19, 2023, 08:24:17 AM »
Me too. Just tried to listen to one of those but they keep crashing on my IPhone. Will try again later.

Listening to the latest Locked on Nationals from a couple of days ago. After Cavlli injury but before the final diagnosis.  Host is upset about Chad Kuel getting the nod.  Now he is raging against the draft lottery.  Oh well. I guess that’s what a podcast is. I think he would benefit from pauses between his topics.  They seem to run into each other. Has lots on his mind. Next up his thoughts ok MASN.   Will try a few more. Also will try Bustin Loose Baseball.  And the Nats Insider one when the season starts.

Offline Senatorswin

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #98: March 19, 2023, 05:05:12 PM »
https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mlb-sets-new-record-for-league-revenue-in-2022-pulling-in-estimated-10-8-billion-per-report/

As a fan I hope MLB continues to be strong but didn't the RSN's pay all they were supposed to last year? Apparently they won't going forward. There's no question fans are going to games less and less. MLB has the oldest fan base of any major sport. Hopefully the new rules speeding the game up will bring in more younger fans. With fans not going to games as much would a lesser interest in the game follow? One would hope MLB might try to increase attendance by making the concessions affordable but I won't hold my breath for that.

Offline Natsinpwc

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Re: Are The Nationals in Spring Training?
« Reply #99: March 19, 2023, 06:18:36 PM »
As a fan I hope MLB continues to be strong but didn't the RSN's pay all they were supposed to last year? Apparently they won't going forward. There's no question fans are going to games less and less. MLB has the oldest fan base of any major sport. Hopefully the new rules speeding the game up will bring in more younger fans. With fans not going to games as much would a lesser interest in the game follow? One would hope MLB might try to increase intendance by making the concessions affordable but I won't hold my breath for that.
I hear ya. At its peak I think attendance was about 30000 a game and now down to 26/7 thousand. I think it will continue to come back. The way ticket prices are they are getting more money than when attendance was higher. Not sure how the RSN thing pans out.  If MLB steps in for the Bally franchises I assume folks will have to pay the $150 a year for MLB tv. That will give them some relief. And uniform ads and such are coming.