Thursday, June 07, 2007

...And All The Rest

By all accounts, the Nationals did very well for themselves with their next few selections after the Detwiler pick.

Leading off the Supplemental Round (one of the two picks they got for Soriano), they took Josh "Not Jeff" Smoker, a LH starter out of John Schuerholz' backyard in GA. Baseball America has rated him the 16th best pitcher in the draft, and there were a few mock drafts that had him going in the first round (Here's one that had him as high as 15, and here's one that had him at 14). So it's a good value pick. The Nats certainly didn't seem to think he'd be available then.

Here's Baseball America's Scouting Report on him:
"He has been a mainstay on the wood bat and showcase tour for years, and has a portfolio as deep as any player in the draft, including college players. He'll run his fastball in on right-handers, snap his curve for a swing-and-miss pitch and lean on his splitter for strikeouts, as it at times can be unhittable. He pitches with fervor and guile, endearing himself to teammates and scouts alike."


He's committed to Clemson, so he has leverage. The Nats need to do what it takes to get him under contract. They can't afford to let him go to school. (Here's a decent article about him from the hometown paper.)

With their second supplemental pick (for the loss of Jose Guillen -- hey, he finally contributed something!), the Nats took Michael Burgess, a HS rightfielder who is not to be confused with this Michael Burgess. Todd Jacobson reports that they were planning on taking him with the 31st pick, so being able to nab him with the 49th is just gravy. (Though it could raise questions as to what the Nats saw that other teams didn't...)

He's supposed to have excellent power and a cannon for an arm. The MLB.com scouting report has some beautiful highs, and some sorrowful lows. He went to the same High School as Gary Sheffield and Doc Gooden, and the local paper has their puff piece on him here.

In the second round, with the Cubs pick they got as compensation for Soriano, they took Jordan Zimmermann (not to be confused with him or more importantly, him) Zimmerman is a Junior at the U. of Wisconsin, Stevens Point ($20 to anyone who knows where the hell that is!), where he's had lots of success. The MLB.com scouting report says that he has an above-average fastball, but the rest of his pitches need work. He's a bit of a project, but there's enough upside that there's a good chance he could crack the back of a rotation or become a solid bullpen arm (especially if he doesn't develop more pitches).

With their second round pick, they took SS Jacob Smolinski, which by a few accounts seems a bit of a stretch. NFA has a so-so scouting report of him here.

At this point, it's definitely a crapshoot. I'll let you guys google for yourselves:
Other picks
100: Steven Souza, High School shortstop.
130: Derek Norris, High School catcher.
160: Bradley Myers, College Relief pitcher.

  • All-in-all they got two first-round talents, including the second-best college pitcher in the draft. That's not a bad return.

    They just need to get these kids signed and sent to Florida ASAP. If their dedication to "The PLAN!" and the statements they made about the pillaging of the MLB payroll and roster are to be taken at face value, they need to open up their wallets and do what's necessary. They have until August 15th to demonstrate to the fans that they were serious.

  • One other note... We can officially evaluate part of the Soriano non-trade now.

    By not trading him, the Nats gained Jeff Smoker, a first-round talent, and Jordan Zimmermann, who projects, at worst, to be a reliever.

    Was the non-trade worth it?

  • 14 Comments:

    • you dont know if the soriano trade was worth it. Its going to take a few years. I still think we should of went for Garza or Kevlin Slowey last year

      By Blogger Ji, at 6/07/2007 10:31 PM  

    • I'm losing track of the particulars at this point -- I'll check later -- but I'm pretty sure the Garza offer has been pretty thoroughly debunked.

      Nobody really knows what the offers were, but the team continues to insist they weren't anywhere near the level of what the rumors were. And Kasten has admitted that he vetoed one potential trade because the return was so slight. So who knows.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 6/07/2007 10:35 PM  

    • My sister got her BA at Stevens Point so I know where that is! And dang, it's cold there (first hand knowledge after shivering through her grad ceremony)

      By Blogger MissChatter, at 6/07/2007 11:23 PM  

    • Given that the only offer a remember being even semi-confirmed was Soriano to the Twins for SP Scott Baker and LF Jason Kubel, I'm very comfortable this morning with the draft picks. I don't think there's any argument that Smoker has a higher ceiling than Baker (and Butcher and the unfortunately named Sal Candlestickmaker). And Kubel looks like Snelling minus the batting eye.

      By Blogger Nate, at 6/08/2007 7:59 AM  

    • Stevens Point is home to a famous trivia contest. It sure is cold, though. The file footage of JoZimm shows him pitching in a snowstorm.

      -Brick

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/08/2007 8:09 AM  

    • if they don't back up the brinks truck and sign their first 4 picks, i will be royally pissed at this organization.

      By Blogger (j)on, at 6/08/2007 8:20 AM  

    • haha well said after all the constant hoop-la about sticking to the "Plan", the time has come to either put up or shut up...

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/08/2007 8:31 AM  

    • That is a great point.

      Get ready to be disappointed....

      JimB and Kasten have already started talking about how this year's rule is different and if they do not sign #6 this year they get #6a next year.....

      got to love these two, they are so slippery. I think Kasten is going to regret being associated with Bowden and Lerner....his Atlanta good name is going to be covered with Bowden slim soon.

      By Blogger JayB, at 6/08/2007 9:17 AM  

    • And Terry Porter, long-time point guard for the Portland Trailblazers, went to Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

      By Blogger John O'Connor, at 6/08/2007 9:30 AM  

    • My recollection is that Garza was never offered as well. And let's face it, even Bowden would have had to jump all over that.

      I read in several places that the Angels offered Ervin Santana and Erick Aybar, but that Bowden was holding out for Wood, Kendrick, or Weaver (all of whom the Angels were never going to include and rightfully so).

      I would much rather have Santana/Aybar than the picks. Santana's been inconsistent, but he was only 23 at the time and in the National League he very well could thrive. Smoker was a great pick, but he's not helping the team before 2010 at the earliest -- if ever. Let's face it, Soriano was the one chance the Nationals had to add a good young arm who could contribute over the next 2-3 years and I think they should have taken it.

      Cordero might bring a SP if a team is desperate enough, but he's the only guy.

      By Blogger RPS, at 6/08/2007 10:35 AM  

    • I'm pretty sure I remember reading that Aybar/Santana wasn't offered either.

      I've never been high on Santana, but he is young and 'developed'. Who knows.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 6/08/2007 10:39 AM  

    • If he was never offered by the Angels, then I think they made a mistake, given their stocked farm system. The Angels had a great Sept., but they had a just over .500 August. Could Soriano have helped them win 4 more games? Who knows, but if he would have, it would have been well worth the price.


      And while Santana objectively may not be a top prospect, from the Nationals perspective, he would have immediately become, far and away, the best pitcher on the staff.

      On a more positive note, job well done on the draft. Although I was holding out hope they would grab Matt Harvey.

      By Blogger RPS, at 6/08/2007 11:07 AM  

    • The big unanswerable question with youthful pitchers is whether their pitching arms can hold up in a major league setting (assuming they progress that far). There are so many pitchers, including a host of current Nats, whose physical problems have negated their potential. Is it because they're brought along too fast? I don't know.

      The Nats' combine keeps talking about delivering a championship team, which I think is based more on bravado than confidence, but it cannot be done without four or five proven quality starters, of which we now have zero.

      My preference would be to concentrate on OBP bats in the draft, then trade for pitchers, or buy them outright (a la Boston with the Japanese guy), once they're proven big-league material. Well, "the Lerner way" is a lot cheaper--it has that going for it.

      By Anonymous JohnR (VA), at 6/08/2007 3:45 PM  

    • By Blogger Sneakers hobbies, at 10/25/2009 8:23 PM  

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