Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Unofficial Strasburg on MASN & MASN HD Drinking Game

1 drink if Bobby Sunshine:

  • says “young man”
  • says “beautiful day”
  • says “youngster”
  • says “good head on his shoulders”
  • says “See. You. Later.”
  • complains about Strasburg’s draft bonus
  • complains that Strasburg has never pitched a big-league inning

Drain glass if Bobby Sunshine:

  • says “jamjob,” “jam sandwich,” or some other jam variant
  • says “How far it this one going to go?” & ball is not HR
  • makes fun of stats

1 drink if Kenny Powers:

  • says “Niiiiiiiiiiiiice”
  • says “trust his stuff”
  • says “smackem yackem”
  • pines for the X-Mo camera
  • says “lunch”
  • tries to break down a batter’s swing

Drain glass if Kenny Powers:

  • emits a Paciorek-like subhuman wail when things go the Nats’ way
  • rides the officials for the Nats not getting calls
  • denigrates bloggers or people on Twitter

Monday, March 1, 2010

Top Prospects?

Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus put out his list of the Nats' top 11 prospects coming into the 2011 season:

Five-Star Prospects
1. Stephen Strasburg, RHP
2. Derek Norris, C
Four-Star Prospects
3. Drew Storen, RHP
4. Danny Espinosa, SS
Three-Star Prospects
5. Ian Desmond, SS
6. Michael Burgess, OF
7. Eury Perez, OF
8. Jeff Kobernus, 2B
9. Chris Marrero, 1B
10. Juan Jaime, RHP
Two-Star Prospects
11. Paul Demny, RHP

Four More:
12. Destin Hood, OF: This big outfielder remains high on upside, but raw with the bat.
13. Justin Maxwell, OF: A toolsy outfielder, Maxwell has plenty of secondary skills, but he's 26, and he might never hit for average.
14. Brad Meyers, RHP: He’s a command and control righty who is very good at what he does, but his ceiling ends at a back-end starter.
15. J.R. Higley, OF: Higley certainly passes the scouting sniff test, but will he hit?

To quote Freddy Prinze, "Looking good!"

Or maybe not. Just for fun, here's Goldstein's 2008 top 11:

Five-Star Prospects
1. Chris Marrero, 1B
2. Ross Detwiler, LHP
Four-Star Prospects
3. Michael Burgess, OF
Three-Star Prospects
4. Josh Smoker, LHP
5. Justin Maxwell, OF
6. Jake McGeary, LHP
7. Collin Balester, RHP
Two-Star Prospects
8. Jordan Zimmerman, RHP
9. Jake Smolinski, OF
10. Colton Willems, RHP
11. Adam Carr, RHP

Just Missing: Esmailyn Gonzalez, SS; John Lannan, LHP; Shairon Martis, RHP

And here's the 2009 list, which will really turn your stomach:

Four-Star Prospects
1. Jordan Zimmermann, RHP
2. Michael Burgess, RF
3. Ross Detwiler, LHP
Three-Star Prospects
4. Derek Norris, C
5. Jack McGeary, LHP
6. Chris Marrero, 1B
7. Destin Hood, LF
8. J.P. Ramirez, OF
9. Esmailyn Gonzalez, SS
Two-Star Prospects
10. Rogearvin Bernadina, CF
11. Adrian Nieto, C

Just Missed: Garrett Mock, RHP; Colton Willems, RHP; Terrell Young, RHP

Just two prospects appear on all three top 11 lists (Marrero and Burgess). In 2008, Goldstein rated the Nats as the 14th best organization in baseball. McGeary/Smoker/Detwiler have been mostly vaporware. Marrero/Maxwell/Burgess have consistently underperformed. Zimmermann graduated to Tommy John surgery. Most of the 2009 top 11 fell off the list, which makes sense as Goldstein rated the Nats' organization 29th last season. The 2009 Nats top 11 would have been bottom shit on most other teams, and they've been replaced by players either drafted in 2010 or, more interesting, players already in the system who didn't make the top 11 in previous years (Espinosa, Desmond, Perez).

What really stands out for me is how much the underperformance of those starting pitchers drafted in 2007 set the organization back. I used to complain that the Nats hadn't developed any position players, but I suppose my new complaint is going to be "Where are the pitchers?" (No, Mike, I'm never going to believe you no matter how many times you repeat the phrase "young arms" in reference to Martis/Chico/Mock/Stammen/Martin.)

Goldstein states that "having Strasburg alone moves this system up the organizational rankings considerably." While some of the more recent draft choices and a few old favorites seem to be performing, how good is the system really when Strasburg's thumb is taken off the scale?