Thursday, January 24, 2008

One Plan To Rule Us All

NFA has word about Baseball America's organizational rankings, which have the Nats jumping from last, all the way up to #9. Here's the ego-swelling quote from the press release:
“The Nationals’ march up our prospect rankings isn’t unprecedented, but it’s extremely impressive,” said Baseball America Editor In Chief John Manuel. “It shows a commitment to building an organization, not just a team, and to building it creatively, through trades for prospects, through the draft and through international signings. The Nats have shown that with the resources they now have, they intend to be players for top amateur talent. General Manager Jim Bowden should be commended especially for the team’s 2007 draft class, because he brought in strong personalities and strong talent evaluators to the organization and got them to work together for the common goal of restocking the farm system, and the early returns on the ’07 draft class indicate that mission was accomplished.”

Great news, of course, and a sign that that part of "Teh PLAN!!!!" is working.

Food for thought... there's rightfully a lot of praise for the success of the '07 draft and how well things went. What about the '06 draft though? There's Marrero (great) then a bunch of high profile picks that haven't yet panned out. There's still time of course, but I'd be interested to know what they did differently between the two drafts. Just lucky? Some sort of change? The power of Rizzo? Less Brain Typing? There's a lesson or three in there for the team, and I'm sure they've got their best minds (and Bob Boone) working on it.


  • In fairness, the Nats 2006 draft was muy heavy on high schoolers, so you'd expect them to have a longer development timeline. It'd be nice to see one or two more tearing thru the system like Marrero, but good steady progress is okay too. Still, it's an interesting contrast between '06 and '07, no doubt.

    By Blogger Nate, at 1/24/2008 2:14 PM  

  • Chris, none of the '07 picks have really "panned out" yet either...Detwiler was put on the 40 man for show, and they show promise, but let's see how they do when they have to face something other than Sally League competition. As for '06, the top 6 were all high-schoolers, so they're definitely a crapshoot at worst, or several years away at best. If Dukes ends up a keeper, then we can say Gibson "panned out," right?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/24/2008 2:15 PM  

  • He was drafted some time ago but has anyone heard anything about Ian Desmond? He plays a position we need filling and I seem to remeber talk about him being the next big thing. Has he been consigned to the 'never made the leap pile'? Is he being groomed gently?

    Just wondered...

    By Blogger Unknown, at 1/24/2008 2:18 PM  

  • Ben, Brian said in a comment thread over at NFA

    "Desmond is still only 22 years old. While he’s not Derek Jeter like 2005 pronouncements led us to believe, he is still a viable utility IF."

    By Blogger Ironic Goat, at 1/24/2008 2:37 PM  

  • desmond was listed at #14 on our top 20 list of prospects. he was also listed by BA as our probable opening day SS. then again, they had the chief as our opening day closer. crazier things have happened, i guess! :-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/24/2008 2:52 PM  

  • The '06 draft also yielded Colton Willems (#9), Adam Carr (#13), Stephen King (#16) and Glenn Gibson, who would have been on this list if we hadn't traded him for Tampa's problem child. That's not a bad haul. It's true that 6 of the top 11 prospects came out of the '07 draft, but that's partly because players tend to play themselves off this list rather than onto it, meaning the newer draftees are deemed to have comparatively unlimited upside (hence the "prospect" label) whereas guys from the 2003 or 2004 drafts lose their luster (see Kory Kasto who was #4 on this list a year ago).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/24/2008 3:18 PM  

  • Chris - It's an intersting question and one I'll probably explore for each draft class. The problem with such an analysis is that it is early to conduct such an assessment. As Nate mentioned, high schoolers have a longer development timeline. While Chris Marrero has garnered the attention, his accelerated development is really an exception to the rule. All of the high schoolers drafted/signed would be entering their sophomore year in college in 2008 (red shirting aside) so they still have time to develop. 2009 is a key year for the likes of Colton Willems, Stephen King, and Stephen Englund. They really should be performing at Potomac to be remain viable prospects (at least viable premium prospects).

    The other aspect of 2006 is the relative overall strength of the draft, not just the players the Nationals drafted.

    A quick scan of the top 10 or so guys shows premium guys like Evan Longoria, Andrew Miller, Clayton Kershaw, and Travis Snider. Solid to above average guys like Brandon Morrow, Billy Rowell, and Tim Lincecum. But it also contains question marks like Luke Hochevar, Greg Reynolds, Brad Lincoln, Drew Stubbs.

    If the 2006 draft goes down as a historically below average draft then the expected returns for the Nats need to be tempered.

    Bottom line is the Nats 2006 class remains high risk/hig reward.

    By Blogger Brian, at 1/24/2008 3:45 PM  

  • How much does it help to have (a) Mike Rizzo on board and (b) access to the Lerners' deep pockets (the naysayers will differ with me on this point)?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/24/2008 4:03 PM  

  • I agree that it is WAY too early to judge '06. Heck, you can't even truly judge an NFL draft class in only the third year (even though dipshit sportwriters do their draft "winners and losers" columns the day after).

    This is a key year for the '06 boys. It will be fun to watch.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/24/2008 9:05 PM  

  • Yeah Chris, one good draft does not a farm system build. 2006 points out what happens to poorer teams in small markets when they only draft guys they think they have a chance to sign and not go for the best on the board. If the Lerners are willing to spend the money on solid draft picks and good baseball men who know what they're doing - THE PLAN might fly.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/24/2008 9:33 PM  

  • BTW, Chris, thanks for the link to the draft reports on B-R. Dunno how I missed it before, but it's handy to have.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/25/2008 11:06 AM  

  • By Blogger Unknown, at 10/29/2009 9:01 PM  

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