April 23, 2014

Washington Nationals Minor League and Prospect Report — Week Ending April 15

by Tyler Radecki, Staff Writer

Syracuse Chiefs, AAA International League (3-7)

Bryce Harper: Harper is off to his usual slow start in Syracuse, which shouldn’t come as a surprise, especially considering he is the youngest players in the International League. He’s hitting .220/.256/.375 with three doubles, one triple, one RBI and one steal and has two errors as well. As much as fans wanted to see him start the season in the majors, it’s become clear that he just isn’t ready yet (but he’s close).

Tyler Moore: Moore is off to a fantastic start, smacking five home runs in his first 10 games in AAA. What’s even more encouraging is that he has five walks to seven strikeouts and is hitting an overall line of .297/.372/.730. The improved discipline is a game-changer because up until this point, he’s been a guy who doesn’t walk a ton. He’s going to see some time in LF soon according to MASN’s Byron Kerr, which I imagine is so that the Nats can find a way to bring his power to D.C. easier (I don’t think Adam LaRoche is going anywhere this year).

Corey Brown: While Moore is hitting the home runs, Brown is doing a great job of getting on base: he’s walked 11 times to just four strikeouts through 10 games. He’s hitting .306 as well, and is continuing his strong hitting from the end of last season and spring training. He had a September call-up last season, and I think there’s a strong possibility we see him in D.C. this season if he continues to show great patience.

Josh Wilkie: Wilkie is one of two bullpen arms in Syracuse that I’ll be keeping an eye on. After two strong seasons in AAA, he’s back in Syracuse this season and in 3 1/3 innings this season, he’s given up two runs on four hits and three walks. It’s a small sample size, so nothing to worry about here yet.

Ryan Perry: Acquired in the off-season for Collin Balester, Perry is starting the year in Syracuse and has given up two runs off five hits in three innings for the Chiefs.

Harrisburg Senators, AA Eastern League (7-4)

Destin Hood: Hood is off to a slow start in AA, hitting just .132/.171/.316 with one home run, eight RBIs and two steals through 10 games. He’s stilling hitting for power (four out of five hits are extra-base hits), but the average is paltry and he’s only got one walk through 38 at-bats. It’s still early, and I expect him to pick it up soon.

Jeff Kobernus: While Hood is struggling, Kobernus is swinging a hot bat, hitting .375 through the season’s first 10 games. He doesn’t walk much, but if he can maintain such a high average and continue stealing bases (seven steals already), he may have worked himself back into the conversation as a guy the big-league club will look at late in the year (especially as a pinch runner).

Eury Perez: I really like the way Perez has started the season, hitting .340 with a .392 on-base percentage through 11 games. He saw a drop in his OBP last season – mostly due to his lower average – so if he can keep the average around .300, he should get on base at around a .350 clip, which is more than acceptable for a center fielder.

Daniel Rosenbaum: His first two starts in AA were both great, combining for 12 2/3 innings pitched, three earned runs against (2.13 ERA), no walks and seven strikeouts. His ground-ball rate continues to be phenomenal (2.56 groundballs per one flyout) and he’s showing he can handle AA just fine after six starts last year and two so far this season.

 Potomac Nationals, High A Carolina League (3-6)

Anthony Rendon: The Nats’ top pick of the 2011 draft suffered what was originally believed to be a sprained left ankle this week, but it turns out he suffered a slight incomplete fracture and will miss considerable time. Nats general manager Mike Rizzo believes his season is not in jeopardy, but now Rendon has suffered serious injury to both ankles. For what it’s worth, he was 2-for-4 with one double, one triple and two walks in his two games played. We’ll keep an eye on his status.

Michael Taylor: One of the team’s favorite prospects, Taylor has shown great patience so far (eight walks in nine games), but is hitting just .200. He started off slow last season before turning it on in the second half, but the improvement in walks is a great sign to see from such a young hitter.

David Freitas: Freitas had a very strong year in Hagerstown last season, and has continued to show great patience as he’s off to a .360/.414/.600 start so far this season. I know the team has Wilson Ramos and Jesus Flores, but after Derek Norris was traded, it’s good to have a catching prospect who can hit – even if it’s in high-A.

Hagerstown Suns, Low A South Atlantic League (6-5)

Brian Goodwin: He was off to a blazing start until a leg injury (believed to be a pulled hamstring) landed him on the disabled list: he was hitting .375/.524/.813 with one double, two home runs, eight RBIs and two steals. The injury is not considered serious – the team is hoping that Goodwin can return as soon as his 7-day disabled list stint is over on April 17.

Matthew Skole: Skole has picked up right where he left off last season in Auburn, hitting .306/.386/472 with three doubles, one home run and 15 RBIs through 10 games. Concerning: 15 strikeouts in just 36 at-bats and two errors at third base already.

Alex Meyer: He started off the season on a great note, pitching 5 2/3 innings of two-hit, no-run ball with four strikeouts on April 7. His next start was not pretty: he lasted just two-thirds of an inning, giving up five runs on three hits and two walks.

Wirkin Estevez: He’s three starts into the season, and none have been that impressive. His best came Sunday, as he pitched 5 1/3 innings of three-run ball with two walks and five strikeouts. He has struck out 15 in just 14 1/3 innings, though, which is a good sign.

Kylin Turnbull: The 2011 fourth-round pick seems to be the only one of the high 2011 picks doing well, as he’s pitched to a 3.72 ERA through 2 starts with one walk and four strikeouts.

Comments

  1. A couple of notes on the Potomac prospects, which I saw in person all three games over the weekend.

    …Taylor is promising as a hitter, but needs work on defense and baserunning. Granted, he’s new to the position, but the baserunning blunders cannot be explained away.

    …Freitas can hit, but one has to wonder how much longer he’ll be asked to learn how to catch. We’ve been spoiled the past two seasons with backstops with MLB arms, so anyone else is going to look mortal, but the knock on his game is a poor throwing arm and it is indeed warranted.

    …Rendon has what is known as an incomplete fracture; there is no such thing as partial or slight fracture. Unfortunately, my spies are telling me that break may be the least of his problems, and having broken an ankle, it’s the ligaments that we should be worried about, not the bone.

  2. ckstevenson says:

    Also to note on Goodwin, I believe his injury has been clarified as a quadriceps issue, which is expected to heal faster than a hamstring pull.

    • Dave Nichols says:

      Thanks. We’ve seen conflicting reports. Officially, the Nats/Suns list as “upper leg injury”.

  3. Josh Kimball says:

    What’s whats the status on Rick Hague? He’s for sure a top prospect. Can’t wait to see what he does this season. He has lots on fans.

  4. Mark Turner says:

    Very sad to hear about Rendon, everyone kinda knew hes been prone for injury. Very talented player- seems as though injury will keep him back.
    Hopefully Michael Taylor can start hittin better. Good player.
    I see someone posted about Rick Hague- I agree, very anxious to see what he will do this year. He had a fantastic spring training last year and and started of last season very well before the injury to his shoulder. I won’t be surprised if they send him to double A. Good bat, fast and plays short very well.

    Jeff Kobernus- has a great bat, very fast, great baserunner, good for him on moving up to double A.

    David Frietas- good catcher- an very strong hitter.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Taylor: He remains very raw (as a commenter pointed out last week), but he had a very solid week, going 5-for-16 (.312) with three doubles, four RBIs, two walks and [...]

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