THE NatsGM Show #110 – Celebrity Guest Mike Ferrin

We’re back for Episode #110 of THE NatsGM Show and we are proud to welcome returning guest from MLB Network Radio and the Pre & Postgame host for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Mike Ferrin!

This week Mike and I begin our interview with his take on the success of the 2017 Arizona Diamondbacks, breaking down pitchers Robbie Ray and Zack Godley, plus the outstanding offensive performances from Paul Goldschmidt and JD Martinez.  Next we discuss the Washington Nationals, the work Mike Rizzo did at the trade deadline and Bryce Harper’s future long-term home.  Finally Mike previews the National League Playoffs, gives advice to young broadcasters and mentions Professor Parks (RIP).

BIG thank you to Mike for clearing some time and to you for downloading – please tell your friends about the show and follow us on Twitter @Nats_GM.

THE Joshua Kusnick Experience #18

THE Joshua Kusnick Experience #18 has dropped ahead of Hurricane Irma (stay safe Josh!) and as per usual, Josh covers many topics baseball-related and not.

On this episode Josh begins by reflecting on the recent trade deadline deal of his client Jeremy Jeffress, plus the success of clients’ Seth Lugo and Carlos Asuaje.  Then we shift the discussion to Carlos Baerga, players who struggle in a new environment, the worst trades in baseball history, and youth travel baseball.  Finally Josh talks about a new client, passing on signing a potential top-5 draft pick next spring and much more!

Thanks to Josh for clearing some time during the season and ahead of a potential catastrophe, and to you for downloading.

Scouting Report – Taylor Gushue Catcher

Taylor Gushue        Catcher        Potomac Nationals

Hit (30)     Power (50)     Arm (50)    Defense (45)    Speed (30)

Taylor Gushue was Pittsburgh’s 4th round pick (131st overall) in the 2014 draft after a successful career at the University of Florida and signed for $388,800.  Born in December 1993, the 23-year-old Gushue was acquired by Washington last September in exchange for infielder Chris Bostick.  Listed at 6-1 215lbs, Gushue has an ideal catcher’s frame, with thick legs and a powerful upper-body.  Far from the stereotypical base-clogging catcher, Gushue is a good athlete with below-average speed, posting 4.35-4.37 second times home to first from the left side.  Finally Gushue possesses excellent makeup, constantly hustling and actively encouraging his pitchers.

Behind the dish Gushue possesses a quick release and good accuracy, allowing his solid-average throwing arm to “play up”.  He is a quality athlete with the strength and durability to catch every day.  He has quick, nimble feet and does a reasonable job blocking pitches in the dirt.  Gushue displays soft hands and tries to frame pitches near the strike zone, but does have a tendency to stab at the ball on occasion.  He does not have stellar natural tools, but his hustle, baseball instincts and sheer desire allow him to project as a fringe-average major league defender.

Offensively the switch-hitting Gushue shows a mature approach at the plate and a solid awareness of the strike zone.  He will work the count and hunts fastballs early.  Gushue has average to fringe-average bat speed and a relatively flat, linear swing.  In spite of this, his notable strength and use of his lower half allows him to generate impressive power in batting practice and average game power.  Gushue struggles with spin late in counts and is susceptible to velocity up in the zone, which creates plenty of strikeouts. These swing issues aside, Gushue projects as a “30” hitter with “50” power.

Gushue is a terrific example of a “change of scenery” player – after languishing for a few seasons in the Pittsburgh organization, he has re-emerged as a prospect this season for Washington.  His lack of an above-average tool limits his ceiling, but his raw power, switch-hitting ability and strong work ethic gives him a chance at a major league career.  Gushue has a ceiling as a top-quality backup catcher, with his likely outcome being a Triple-A catcher who acts as an organization’s third catcher.

Scouting Wine – Sampling Gio Gonzalez Wine

Recently I had the opportunity to attend Washington Nationals Gio Gonzalez’s Uncorked For A Cause Event, in which his Gio Gonzalez Sonoma County 2014 Cabernet was unveiled.  As part of the charitable donation for attending, each guest was given a bottle of the wine to take home as a souvenir.

Unfortunately Mrs. NatsGM could not attend this with me, so she was eager to taste Gio’s wine to see if he was as good a winemaker as he is a baseball player.  Because we use baseball’s 20-80 scouting scale to describe most everything, we saw an obvious opportunity to act like faux wine snobs and scout Gio’s wine.

Marketing and Presentation

NatsGM – 50       Mrs. NatsGM – 45

The label is relatively straightforward, classy and rather plain, with the two “Gs” for Gio Gonzalez interlocking.  While I appreciate the plain red label, I do worry a consumer could pass it while shopping at the store.  Also, I wish there was a stronger nod toward baseball.

Appearance and Aroma

NatsGM – 55       Mrs. NatsGM – 65

Immediately one notices the dark burgundy, almost purple color of the wine.  We decanted the wine for a while with good results, as the aroma seemed to soften and flourish with exposure to air.  It has a nice peppery smell with a hint of spice notes.

Taste

NatsGM – 55       Mrs. NatsGM – 50

The first taste on my palate was quite spicy and sassy, which was rather unexpected, yet by sips four and five it became quite smooth and “fruity”.  I quite enjoyed the flavor and quickly enjoyed my portion of the wine.  It was especially enjoyable when I paired it with a few bites of cheese.

Overall

NatsGM – 60       Mrs. NatsGM – 50

With the understanding I am not a wine connoisseur, I was quite impressed with Gio Gonzalez’s wine.  In the past when I have enjoyed wine because of a fun label or a unique connection to the winemaker, the results have often disappointed.  However, this had a nice fruit taste and was quite easy-to-drink, making it an enjoyable experience.  This was really quite good and overall the wine “plays up” due to the involvement of Gio Gonzalez.  I would not hesitate to drink this again and think it could be a nice holiday gift for any Nationals’ fan.

For more information, please see https://www.eventbrite.com/e/uncork-for-a-cause-with-gio-gonzalez-tickets-32260902227# or @GioGonzalez47