Nationals Baseball: Our former guys

Friday, July 28, 2017

Our former guys

Just as a thought exercize I wondered how this below philosophy applied to guys the Nats already got rid of in trades?

Jesus Luzardo - age target for league which is great considering he had surgery. Impressive stats but so little to work with (20 IP) and so far down (rookie). All talent based

Sheldon Neuse - When Nats traded him he was a solid player in A-ball* not quite a prospect but perhaps rounding into one.

So Nats didn't really give up much here in terms of minor leaguers.  Oakland has kept Luzardo in Rookie as part of the recovery year and moved Neuse up to High-A where he is younger and can become a real prospect if he succeeds there (too soon to tell)

Jeffrey Rosa (for Enny) -  He was an old rookie league player with mediocre stats.

Nats got Enny for nothing.

Dane Dunning - First round draft pick who looked good in Low A and seemed ready and willing to be aggressively moved up in 2017 as per usual.  Very early and in low minors but it was what you wanted to see.

Lucas Giolito - A true PROSPECT taht begin to hiccup a little in AA in 2015 as a 20 year old but still was way young. Despite not getting production there moved up to AAA in 2016 and performed well. Still a PROSPECT but the spectre of that overall mediocre AA performance was hanging over his head. That was 100+ innings saying he's being pushed beyond his current limits. 

Reynaldo Lopez  - Another PROSPECT, and another one with production issues. This time at High A in 2015 at 21. A little older than Giolito but responded better in 2016 to AA and AAA. He had a jump in K-rate in AA that was very promising, but it went right back down in AAA. Still a PROSPECT but with maybe only a year before age would force a downgrade.

These were legitimately two PROSPECTS and another guy who easily could be one in 2017. What you could say though is both the PROSPECTS were having production issues. It could be they were just young and going to get over it, but it could also be them hitting their level. Doesn't matter if you are major league good or AA good you should still look really good in low A.  Since then Dunning looked real good in A-ball but has stalled a little in High A, keeping him in the prospect range rather than something more special. Giolito has seen things start really badly and then leveled out to adequate. Age keeps him as a PROSPECT, he's still two years under to low range for AAA, but he's looking far more AJ Cole than Stephen Strasburg. Reynaldo Lopez hasn't quite put it together but he's put up another solid year especially recently (In last 6 games - 1.96 ERA, 0.927 WHIP, Opp OPS .547, three of his four double digit K games this year) You may not be feeling ace but you'd have to say he's still a PROSPECT who should see major league time this year so who knows?

Max Schrock  (for Rep) - A guy who you could honestly say made himself into a PROSPECT though you didn't see that in rankings. 21yo in High A with an .826 OPS.

By production arguably a better get than either of the guys the Nats gave to Oakland this year. This is where scouting diverges from me. Both those guys were essentially high draft picks, loved for talent and what could be. Schrock was a mid-range draft pick who had to perform to raise any eyebrows. Where as I accept what I see on the field, scouts are more dubious about these types.

As a waiver trade part - Schrock didn't play much for Oakland last year. This year they pushed him to AA and he's continued to perform, hitting .316 with an .816 OP in AA. He's still under the radar but he's a 22yo hitting well and fielding well in AA. He's done nothing production wise to say he's not a PROSPECT. Anyone saying something else is clinging to three year old scouting reports saying he shouldn't be able to be doing what he has been doing.

Taylor Hearn (other part of Melancon deal) - propsect who was kind of a young Enny. Great swing and miss stuff but when he didn't have it he was hittable and gave up bombs and walked too many. Kind of an outskirt prospect.

So he was more than a throw in to the deal, but less than a vital part. He was the change, where as Rivero was the dollars. The type of guy that gets thrown around in deals alot because he's interesting enough to tip the scales, but not vital enough to worry about losing. The Pirates seemed to say "don't worry about control. Just worry about not being hit" and it worked wonders in A-ball. However on his promotion to High A this year he's not quite as K-dominant and he needs to either be that or work on his walk-rate. Still a prospect up a level so that's good but needs to step up next year to keep it that way.

It's an interesting mix here. The Nats either paid too much for Rep or too little for Doolitte/Madson. I think Schrock and Giolito play into my hands - about production being paramount to talent. But Lopez is seemingly an age / time case where the talent guys can say that his natural skill just needed some more innings to catch up.

Also it shows these are decent guys that the Nats are giving up in terms of prospect value. However it should also show you that really only the best PROSPECTS are the guys you HAVE to protect. There's a lot of questions for anything else.

*Nationals Propsects does NYPL, Low A, High A.   I do Low A, A, High A. 


JE34 said...

These last two posts have been fascinating and enlightening, and a major time saver. Great stuff!

Anonymous said...

Trade em all for Mike Trout!

Chas R said...

Good post Harper. Very interesting stuff.

Anonymous said...

In general I've been happy with every trade Rizzo's made except for Scrabble (potential overpay) and maybe the Melancon trade (never been a fan of the closer role and feel paying that much for an "established closer" is just silly).

But the Eaton trade I have a feeling the Nats are going to win, and would have been by a decent margin if not for the ACL tear which you obviously can't predict. I think Giolito is uncomfortable in everything he does, whether it's changing his mechanics or making adjustments in approach or moving up a level, and that's going to hold him back from developing into anything more than a below average #3 or a #4. Lopez was always projected as like a #4 and nothing to this point really screams otherwise, maybe he makes the jump to a #3. Dunning's also expected to be no more than average. So the Nats gave up 3 prospects who are easy to pick up in FA for not a ton of money.

So while they were the PROSPECTS, Rizzo utilized them effectively. That's why I'm of the opinion that Rizzo should be building a trade around Soto for a controllable SP, because the team needs more pitching depth and Soto is still almost 4 years out from being an impact in the majors. Doesn't really look like Gray is going to happen with the Yanks driving his price tag up, but there are plenty of sellers on the market with pitchers who haven't been named in the rumors.

Commonwealh Kid said...

Not disagreeing with your assessment that Schrock has or should have improved his status as a prospect. I kinda see him as Lombardozzi 2.0, pretty similar minor league numbers. Which I guess is an overpay, but is probably still meh.

Kevin Rusch said...

I always thought it was peculiar that Lopez and Giolito have been viewed as semi-flops when they're in AAA at 21, and Dunning is in A ball at 21 and doing well and gets little attention. I mean, I know it's just about perception, but still. It's just kinda weird.

BxJaycobb said...

Thing is....if those 3 all turn out to be Number 3s....we would clearly lose the trade, not win it. To win it we probably need: at least 1 to be a bust, and none to be ace types.

blovy8 said...

Pivetta for Papelbon was bad. Too much at the time to get some of the money taken off a costly contract for a bum. Pivetta doesn't look like he would have helped much this year yet, but he's probably got a decent future.

Harper said...

CK - I can't argue in one aspect. I would have been higher on Lombo than most. He did have production. A couple things that Schrock has over Lombo.

1) He's just slightly better at a bunch of things. Slightly more patient. Slightly more contact. I hear praise of his fielding I didn't for Lombo. Individually it would be nothing, combined it could be the difference between a bench player (which I was fine with Lombo being) and a starter.

2) Consistency. In 2011 you saw big drops in Lombo's BB-rate and isoSLG in AA and AAA while K-rate remained fairly constant. What did we see in the majors? BB-rate dipping even further, isoSLG same, K-rate though fairly constant. Hello Singly Joe. We see a bit more consistency in Schrock's numbers which leads one to believe that will continue. Of course we don't have the equivalent of Lombo's 2011 yet to compare. If Schrock's numbers head in wrong direction next year, this comparison will seem even more apt.

This is a nice look to remind you guys - I'm no minor league expert - and there are reasons the guys that are where they are on lists are where they are. Talent does matter.

(of course in 2011 guys like Michael Burgesss, Eury Perez, Chris Marrero would have been liked more than Lombo bc of talent and Lombo had a better career. Bet on Schrock to be SOMETHING)

Harper said...

Anon - I agree but I guess we don't know if there is someone on the market that'll match up with Soto. Seems like there could be but I haven't heard many Gray like names out there. Wouldn't do it for a Darvish type myself.

Kevin - agree. It's part expectation that guys are going to keep moving forward at same rate. Part the reality that the special guys usually do do something like that. But we go from "OMG" to "Terrible" too quick. Some guys do need time.

Bx - That sounds about right. We probaby could have survived an 1/2 turn by one of them if the others failed and Eaton had given the Nats a full contract of good play. With the injury though the bar for "losing" this trade is lowered.

Blovy - I'll probably go back and do more. I found this fun.

Anonymous said...

Not saying you're wrong, Harper. You're usually right -- as in above average, considering your age and playing level. But let's start with some columns you wrote in earlier years, where you have noted, sagely, that many good players don't break out until 26 or later. Like Scherzer or Roark. Or Souza. MAT may have turned one of those corners. Brian Goodwin seems to be doing well, with enough pop (a 28 HR pace over 600 ABs) to have earned him an 800+ OPS. I come here for a reality check. PROSPECTS will break your heart. And yet... well, it's also fair to temper one's skepticism with humility. Sometimes they don't break your heart. And with Rizzo, there's a pattern.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 11:29:

"And with Rizzo, there's a pattern."

And that pattern is . . . what, precisely?

ssln said...

So a few corrections on Lucas Giolito. He is 23, not 21 as some of you thought. DOB 7/14/1994. He is having a terrible year at Triple A Charlotte. Record of 4-9 with an ERA of 5.02. In 104 innings he has given up 101 hits and 58 earned runs. 112 strikeouts vs 51 walks. Whip of 1.46. Nothing special. He does have an occasional got game. Threw a no hitter against Syracuse. Apparently, he was motivated. Also had a seven inning shutout recently. Generally inconsistent with his mechanics which produces inconsistent results.
One scout I read projects him as a bullpen guy in the Majors.
Lopez has been more consistent. White Sox are high on him. 4-5 type guy and likely to be called up in September to see what he can do.
Sox happy with Dunne but he is in A ball so he is still a project. Unless Dunne turns into a 2 or 3 it looks like we didn't give up much for Eaton. Certainly,it wasn't the worst trade of the century as some thought.
Still willing to give up Soto, Stevenson and a Double A pitcher for Wilson. Pull the trigger Rizzo. Doolittle is not the answer.

Jay said...

The question is are we going to be disappointed come Monday night when the Nats have traded for a minor bullpen piece and nothing else. The interwebs and tweeter will talk about how the Nats were unwilling to trade any of their top prospects. Rizzo stood his ground everyone will say. The Dodgers, Cubs, and Astros will make some big moves. The Nats will make the playoffs. Play valiantly in the first round. Maybe win and lose in the NLCS or maybe lose in the first round again. I wouldn't trade Robles. But IMO everyone else is fair game in my book. Imagine if the Nats had traded Giolitto for Andrew Miller straight up, as was rumored this time last year. Oh well.

KO said...

@harper how do you feel about the howie Kendrick trade?

Fries said...


I wonder if the Kendrick trade is setting up a trade involving Difo. If so, I'm all for it. Sell high on Difo since he really will never be more than a utility guy in my eyes (but I'm no scout)

G Cracka X said...

Howie post on Monday please!

BxJaycobb said...

Jay/Harper: I predict that Nats acquire Justin Wilson and no starter. Seems to line up with their interests re need and cost to get Wilson. If they don't do anything else, I think it's unfair to COMPLAIN. But nor would I be overjoyed. But I do predict that they get another arm for back end. And I think wilson is the best bet, and that they manage it without any major prospects since he's a rental.

Keith said...

I believe Wilson has one more year of arbitration so slightly more than a rental but I still agree though that Rizzo can get it done with less than Soto/Robles but if not should definitely package one of them to get multiyear help in the bullpen.

Jay said...

I'm not complaining. Just that it seems the Nats are in most rumors but usually fail to pull the trigger on deals FA, trades, or even manager hirings. Anyway, rough weekend with the other game of the double header to go. I'd like to see them get a SP and another RP imo. The Kendrick trade was a good move in my book. It wouldn't shock me if the Nats don't get anyone at the deadline and then try and get someone next month - I'm sure Melancon will clear waivers once he's back. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

Well, we won't be getting Justin Wilson...