Thursday, May 10, 2007

How 'Bout Them Prospects

Ah, you know "The PLAN!" is working well when Jim Bowden starts polishing the poo of our prospects. To read this article, we're on the cusp of a young team of all-stars, a town where all our prospects are above average.

  • Slugger Josh Whitesell, the first baseman for AA Harrisburg is now hitting a robust .360 with five homers, 14 RBI and a .452 on-base percentage. Scouting Director Dana Brown has always labeled Josh as a sure-thing major league bat and his performance is certainly backing that up. With continued improvement at first base, his value continues to rise.

    Whitesell is 25 and playing his second straight year at AA; he strikes out in about 20% of his ABs.

  • Mike Daniel’s impressive spring training brought rave reviews as former major leaguer Lenny Harris compared him to a young David Justice.

    That's a bit better. Daniel is 22, but he slugged .357 last year. At least there's a bit of an upside here. (When Justice was 22, he slugged .490 at AA)

  • Marvin Lowrance got off to a .291 start with four home runs and Dee Brown starts the year by hitting .336 with a .413 on-base percentage for the Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League.

    Lowrance is 22 and struggled at Potomac last year, but there's some upside, too. Dee Brown is already 24, and he's still in A Ball, his third straight year.

  • We have two lanky left-handers with good deception: John Lannan who is 4-0 with a 2.70 ERA at Potomac and Cory Van Allen, who has made four starts for Hagerstown, has 24 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings pitched and no walks!

    You can't criticize Lannan, although his K rate isn't as high as you'd like. He's 22 and improving. The same goes for Van Allen.

  • Alex Morales is turning heads after his 95-mph fastball helped him start the year in the back end of the Potomac bullpen with only four hits and 21 strikeouts in 16 innings pitched.

    He's already 24. And although he Ks a lot of batters, control has always been a problem for him.

  • A former top prospect, Mike Hinckley, and a former No. 1 pick, Clint Everts, had lost their prospect status over the last couple of years due to injuries and subsequent sub-par performances. One of the most exciting parts of the 2007 baseball season for the Nationals has been that both of these fine young pitchers are finally healthy and are beginning to regain their prospect status.

    Talk about burying the lead!

    Hinckley's reemergence is the story of the season! 33.1 IP, 3.00 ERA, 28 K! He's 24, and he's going to need to continue to improve, but this season is a huge step up over last year.

    I'm not as bullish on Everts, although he has a year or two of youth on Hinckley. He's much better than last year, but his K numbers -- always important for a minor leaguer -- aren't exceptional.

  • There are certainly some performances to get excited about, and there are a few players taking steps forward from non-prospect to "Hmmm.... if he keeps improving, I wonder..." That's certainly better than what we had last year, and it's certain to improve over the next few years.

  • Remember, Baseball-Reference has the entire organization's major and minor league stats laid out on one easy page for you. Here's the pitching staff. Here's the offense.


    • I wouldn't write Whitesell off quite that quickly. He's been working hard at shortening up his swing and improving the strikeout problem, and it looks like he's had some success with that this year.

      Now, it may turn out that he just had a hot month, but if he can keep it up all season, we've got a capable guy to fill in at first base while Nick Johnson is injured in coming seasons. Granted, that's no Pujols, but he's one of the guys in the upper minors with a legit shot to play in the majors at all.

      By Blogger John, at 5/10/2007 12:05 PM  

    • Bowden is just trying to put a positive spin on a bad situation. This happens all the time in the media, so it should come as no surprise here.
      Everybody knows it's B.S. I don't even follow minor league ball and I still have heard numerous reports about how terrible our farm system is. The 'Plan' needs more than one year to work. If the Lerners don't shell out some money on at least a few free agents, nobody is going to come watch games. Who wants to pay to see the home team get stomped??

      But then again, I'm going tomorrow night, so I guess I'm the jackass.

      By Blogger Rob B, at 5/10/2007 4:59 PM  

    • if i hear about more 25 yr old AA
      "prospects" or, god help us, 24 yr old A "prospects," i think i'm gonna puke. puke, hey, that's a funny word!

      By Blogger Bill, at 5/10/2007 7:04 PM  

    • Sound familiar?

      By Blogger RPS, at 5/11/2007 10:00 AM  

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