Author Topic: Nationals Prospect Reports / Minor League Rankings: 2024  (Read 2177 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline imref

  • Moderator
  • ***
  • Posts: 42122
  • Re-contending in 202...5?
Jim Callis’ top-100 on MLB pipeline:
Crews-7
Wood-14
House-48

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 39048
  • Platoon - not just a movie, a baseball obsession
Jim Callis’ top-100 on MLB pipeline:
Crews-7
Wood-14
House-48

Wood seems to have taken a hit going into this year. Fringe top 10 instead of  top 5. Good to see House back in the top 50.

Offline imref

  • Moderator
  • ***
  • Posts: 42122
  • Re-contending in 202...5?
Baseball Prospectus top 10:
Dylan Crews, OF
James Wood, OF
Brady House, 3B
Cade Cavalli, RHP
Yohandy Morales, 3B
Jarlin Susana, RHP
Travis Sykora, RHP
DJ Herz, LHP
Andrew Pinckney, OF
Robert Hassell III, OF

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 39048
  • Platoon - not just a movie, a baseball obsession
no Vaquero. everyone AA or higher except Sykora and Susana.

Offline Elvir Ovcina

  • Posts: 5539
Man, Hassell behind a 4th round pick from last year who's older than him is not exactly a sign of confidence in the upside.  On the other hand, neither is the fact that he's likely to head to AA for the third year...

Offline imref

  • Moderator
  • ***
  • Posts: 42122
  • Re-contending in 202...5?
i don't get Susana being top-10. I get that he's young, but he showed no ability to pitch at low-A last year and ended up spending the final two months or so of the season on the developmental list. He needs to take a big step forward this year.

To be fair to Hassell, he only got a cup of coffee in AA in 2022 but spent most of last year there after coming back from the hamate injury.  This is a make-or-break year for him.

Offline Elvir Ovcina

  • Posts: 5539
i don't get Susana being top-10. I get that he's young, but he showed no ability to pitch at low-A last year and ended up spending the final two months or so of the season on the developmental list. He needs to take a big step forward this year.

To be fair to Hassell, he only got a cup of coffee in AA in 2022 but spent most of last year there after coming back from the hamate injury.  This is a make-or-break year for him.

He's the size of a horse, throws 100, and his numbers weren't bad considering that he was 19 (and still is).  The walks and strikeouts both went the wrong direction last year, but he was 19.  Also, he's 19. 

My thing with Hassell is that he was drafted 50-ish picks ahead of another lefty-hitting HS outfielder from Tennessee, was consistently ranked above him as a prospect, and that dude is Evan Carter (and he's younger than Hassell).  You don't expect a guy drafted in the top-10 overall to be failing AA three seasons later.  A hamate injury is annoying, but it doesn't screw you up for a full season, especially on the contact front.  161 Ks in 545 PAs while hitting .221 at in AA is a pretty serious issue even at 21, and especially so if you're still iffy to stick in CF.

Offline IanRubbish

  • Posts: 447
You don't expect a guy drafted in the top-10 overall to be failing AA three seasons later.  A hamate injury is annoying, but it doesn't screw you up for a full season, especially on the contact front.  161 Ks in 545 PAs while hitting .221 at in AA is a pretty serious issue even at 21, and especially so if you're still iffy to stick in CF.

What I don't get is how his K rate got worse.  Prior to the trade in '22, he had 66K's in 300+ ABs for the Padres High A team.   Then last year he K's 152 times in 414 ABs in Harrisburg.  Have to wonder about the coaching staff he's working with.

Offline Slateman

  • Posts: 62955
  • THE SUMMONER OF THE REVERSE JINX
He's the size of a horse, throws 100, and his numbers weren't bad considering that he was 19 (and still is).  The walks and strikeouts both went the wrong direction last year, but he was 19.  Also, he's 19. 

My thing with Hassell is that he was drafted 50-ish picks ahead of another lefty-hitting HS outfielder from Tennessee, was consistently ranked above him as a prospect, and that dude is Evan Carter (and he's younger than Hassell).  You don't expect a guy drafted in the top-10 overall to be failing AA three seasons later.  A hamate injury is annoying, but it doesn't screw you up for a full season, especially on the contact front.  161 Ks in 545 PAs while hitting .221 at in AA is a pretty serious issue even at 21, and especially so if you're still iffy to stick in CF.
To be fair, it was the 2020 draft and there werent a lot of games to scout. The subsequent next three high school position playera arent fairing much better.

Online Natsinpwc

  • Posts: 25483
What I don't get is how his K rate got worse.  Prior to the trade in '22, he had 66K's in 300+ ABs for the Padres High A team.   Then last year he K's 152 times in 414 ABs in Harrisburg.  Have to wonder about the coaching staff he's working with.
Double A separates the boys from the men. 

Offline Slateman

  • Posts: 62955
  • THE SUMMONER OF THE REVERSE JINX
Double A separates the boys from the men. 
Which is why I generally dont care about prospects until they hit Double A.

Offline Elvir Ovcina

  • Posts: 5539
Which is why I generally dont care about prospects until they hit Double A.

I'm here agreeing with Slate again, and not just because I live in a AA town.  The jump is big, and it's also one that a lot of guys can't bridge.  A fair number of guys do okay in a second year here after a half year up from A+, but there aren't many who have parts of 3 seasons here and go on to much. 

It's one of those levels where you can do it or you can't.  You start to see the MLB backwash in AA.  If you can't quickly get better than those guys, it's not going to happen.

I'm willing to give the current generation some slack, Hassell included, because of 2020.  The progression of guys through here has been weird over the past couple of years.  But man, if he's not doing it by July, put him on the Yasel Antuna All-Stars.

Offline imref

  • Moderator
  • ***
  • Posts: 42122
  • Re-contending in 202...5?
BBA ranks the Nats’ farm system #15. Down from 7 last year :(

https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/2024-mlb-farm-system-talent-rankings/

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 39048
  • Platoon - not just a movie, a baseball obsession
BBA ranks the Nats’ farm system #15. Down from 7 last year :(

https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/2024-mlb-farm-system-talent-rankings/
this is without graduating anyone significant. Just Irvin and Alu

Offline welch

  • Posts: 16238
  • The Sweetest Right Handed Swing in 1950s Baseball
BBA ranks the Nats’ farm system #15. Down from 7 last year :(

https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/2024-mlb-farm-system-talent-rankings/

...and I thought the Nats had a good draft.

Offline IanRubbish

  • Posts: 447
...and I thought the Nats had a good draft.

Pinckney showed some promise and is not getting much recognition.  We'll see how he does this year in the high minors, but I think the org's poor coaching impacts the patient college hitters a lot less than the patient high schoolers.

Offline welch

  • Posts: 16238
  • The Sweetest Right Handed Swing in 1950s Baseball
this is without graduating anyone significant. Just Irvin and Alu

It includes Cavalli and Rutledge, plus Millas.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 39048
  • Platoon - not just a movie, a baseball obsession
It includes Cavalli and Rutledge, plus Millas.
I think they area all rookie eligible still.

Offline welch

  • Posts: 16238
  • The Sweetest Right Handed Swing in 1950s Baseball
Cavalli, Rutledge, Millas, and Young are MLB regulars. Remove them, and the minor league organization is thinner.

Offline blue911

  • Posts: 18437
Elijah Green.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 39048
  • Platoon - not just a movie, a baseball obsession
armando cruz has not blossomed, either.

Offline KnorrForYourMoney

  • Posts: 16253
  • pissy DC sports fan
I think they area all rookie eligible still.
Cavalli, Rutledge, Millas, and Young are MLB regulars. Remove them, and the minor league organization is thinner.

JCA is right.  There's no curve or special consideration for "about to be an MLB regular" or "these players are going to graduate soon."  It's a simple, hard cutoff separating rookie eligibility and non-eligibility.

Taking into account how the farm system might look in a year or two after a bunch of guys become MLB regulars is something that's left for a year or two down the road, when it actually happens.

Offline imref

  • Moderator
  • ***
  • Posts: 42122
  • Re-contending in 202...5?
Keith Law's top 100:
https://theathletic.com/5245693/2024/02/05/top-100-mlb-prospects-2024-keith-law/

Crews - 7 (ahead of Skenes, behind Langford)
Quote
Crews was already on scouts’ radar as a high school junior for his advanced hit tool and potential for power, but a rough start to his senior year followed by a global pandemic that ended the 2020 season and cut the draft short. Well, he ended up at LSU, and things worked out just fine, as he mashed for three years as a Tiger and ended up the second pick in the 2023 draft. Crews can really hit, going .426/.567/.713 last spring for LSU, then hitting .355/.423/.645 in 14 games in Low A after he signed, although an aggressive two-level promotion to Double A finally slowed him down. His swing is really simple and when he’s on time, it’s short and direct and the contact is loud. He’s an average to a tick above-average runner, but so far he’s looked very good in centerfield thanks to great reads, although he may end up pushed to a corner by a superior defender once he’s in the majors. When he was playing with Double-A Harrisburg, pitchers were able to mess with his timing by changing speeds, even getting him to cut through some fastballs in the upper half of the zone, so there are some adjustments for him to make before he races to the majors. It might slow his progress by a few weeks, but his ceiling as a hitter who’s among the league leaders in all three triple-slash categories while playing up the middle or playing plus defense in a corner is still there.

Wood - 19
Quote
Wood has turned out to be the jewel in the trade that sent Juan Soto to San Diego. Wood has shown several elite tools already and reached Double A last year at age 20, but also carries some real risks related primarily to the strike zone. Wood is an outstanding athlete with 70 speed and 80 raw power, and if anything he’s improved his conditioning in pro ball to get even more out of his physical gifts. He can play plus defense in center and I’ve gotten occasional run times from him that grade out at 80. He started last year in High-A Wilmington, generally a tough place for power, and hit .293/.392/.580; his eight homers in 42 games ended up second on the team for the season. When the Nats bumped him to Double-A Harrisburg, which is a better home run park, the power stayed but the sheer size of his strike zone and some of his pitch recognition both led to a big jump in his strikeout rate, from 27 percent to 34 percent, with fastballs up and sliders in the lower third both becoming issues for him. He’s every bit of 6-6, maybe even 6-7 at this point, and between his height and how hard he swings, he’s going to have some whiff; the challenge for him and the Nats will be cutting it down to a manageable level so he hits enough to get to that 40-homer power and isn’t an OBP liability. My guess is there isn’t much middle ground here; the ceiling is that middle-of-the-order offense in a plus right fielder or 50/55 centerfielder, while the floor is another guy who can’t cut his K rate below 30 percent and bounces around for years as teams hope to catch lightning in a tall bottle.

House - 53
Quote
House was the Nats’ first-round pick in 2021, then he missed more than half of his first full pro season with a back injury and COVID-19, so this past season was more of a proper debut for the slugging third baseman. He hit .297 or better at three different levels, from Low A to Double A, and struck out less than a quarter of the time on the season as he showed much better offspeed recognition than he had previously. He even flashed some power, with 12 homers in 88 games, although I think the expectation for him is even higher than that. Unfortunately, House is over-aggressive at the plate, swinging first and asking questions later, walking less than 5 percent of the time between High A and Double A, so his batting average, while not empty, was also less than full: he hit .312/.365/.497 on the year. He’s awkward at third base at times because he’s so big, but he’s got plenty of arm and when I’ve seen him he’s made the routine plays. He doesn’t have to become a high-walk guy to be an above-average regular — stay at third and up the in-game power and he’ll get there even with a 5 percent walk rate, because he already hits the ball pretty hard and can get the ball in the air, if sometimes too much. There are a number of paths to success here as long as he can tighten up the pitch recognition.

Cavalli: 74
Quote
Cavalli reached the majors at the end of 2022, making one start before hitting the injured list and eventually undergoing Tommy John surgery last March that wiped out his 2023 season. Prior to the injury, he showed size, stuff, athleticism, and the need to work on command and sequencing, things that you hope would come with more repetitions. He’s got easy plus velocity on the fastball and works with a four-pitch mix highlighted by a curveball that has power and depth and moves in a different direction than his other pitches, allowing him to play more with sequencing to change hitters’ eye levels and expectations. He has a solid changeup that he uses primarily against left-handed batters, with almost no platoon split in 2022, and a short slider that’s hard and cutter-like in shape and function. Once he returns at some point this spring, he’ll be working to regain his feel, but also to pound the zone more and work on mixing his pitches more effectively. He still has that mid-rotation, innings-eater upside, assuming anyone even remembers what that means at this point.

Offline Smithian

  • Posts: 11478
  • Sunshine Squad 2022
BBA ranks the Nats’ farm system #15. Down from 7 last year :(

https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/2024-mlb-farm-system-talent-rankings/
Elijah Green and Robert Hassell seemed to have flamed out.

Offline HondoKillebrew

  • Posts: 827
Elijah Green and Robert Hassell seemed to have flamed out.

What a disappointment Green is. He was highly rated by a lot of folks, but damnit. Can’t afford whiffs on top picks. Rizzo, good with trades but everything else . . .