Prospect Spotlight – Andruw Monasterio

Andrew Monasterio       SS/2B                    Potomac Nationals (High-A)

DOB: 05/30/1997      Height:  6’0”       Weight: 175       Bats: Right          Throws: Right

Originally signed by the Chicago Cubs as an international free agent in May 2014, Monasterio was acquired by Washington in the August trade of Daniel Murphy.  The 21-year-old Monasterio is a plus athlete with a projectable 6’0” 175lbs frame and looks the part of a major league infielder.  He possesses easy above-average speed and excellent instincts, which allows him to impressively run the bases.  Monasterio shows tremendous hustle and a high Baseball IQ.

Defensively Monasterio has split time between shortstop and second base in my viewings.  He shows soft hands and polished actions fielding the ball.  Monasterio has above-average first-step quickness and excellent instincts, helping him range well in any direction.  He possesses an above-average, accurate arm with a quick release.  In addition, he seems comfortable charging the baseball and throwing on the run.  Monasterio projects as average at shortstop, and potentially above-average at either second or third base.

At the plate the right-handed hitting Monasterio has a simple, quiet swing built for contact.  He has average to slightly above-average bat speed.  He keeps his hands close to his body and naturally swings inside-out.  In game action he primarily uses the middle of the field, making solid contact and peppering the gaps with line drives.  Monasterio will flash occasional power during batting practice and can pull inside fastballs enough to keep pitchers’ honest.  Assuming he adds strength as he matures, he still profiles as a “30” power hitter.  However, his contact oriented approach and easy swing project as a “40/45” type hit tool in the big leagues.

Monasterio is an intriguing prospect due to his athleticism, plus-plus Baseball IQ and potential for three above-average tools.  His lack of a plus tool and true home run power limits his ceiling, but Monasterio’s defensive aptitude at three infield positions should get him to the major leagues.  He has a ceiling as a versatile backup infielder, with his likely outcome being a Triple-A infielder who receives a few major league promotions.

THE Joshua Kusnick Experience #40 – What Artery Did I Stab?

THE Joshua Kusnick Experience Episode #40 is now Live!

Our conversation begins with Josh sharing a terrifying and hilarious story of stabbing himself while moving.  Next we discuss Josh’s success with online date apps and we put scouting grades on the various services.  Finally Josh shares stories about a crazy Uber ride in Chicago, somehow having John McCain’s autograph and making Lorenzo Cain jealous.  Thanks for listening!

Victor Robles Provides Glimpse Into The Future

Yesterday, the Nationals interrupted a road trip to play contest at Nationals Park against the Cubs rescheduled due to rain. At this point in the season, neither team likely wanted to make the trip, but it was one of the most entertaining and well-played games of the season. Unfortunately the Nationals were unable to come away with the victory, but a silver lining in this difficult loss was the play of rookie Victor Robles.

Robles served as Washington’s leadoff hitter and starting center fielder yesterday, going 1-3 with a walk, a run scored, a run-scoring sacrifice fly and a stolen base. In addition, Robles made two Web Gem-worthy defensive plays in the outfield. This game should serve as a reminder of the type of dynamic player Robles is and the role he could play for the Nats in 2019.

The 2018 campaign has essentially been a lost season for Robles, who dislocated his elbow in gruesome fashion in a game during the first week of the year. This injury caused him to play in only 52 minor league games this season, batting .270/.371/.370 with two home runs and 19 stolen bases. However, if you can recall back to March when the cherry blossoms were blooming and the Capitals were limping into the playoffs, Robles was Washington’s top prospect, ahead of teenage wunderkind Juan Soto.

Offensively as a leadoff hitter, Robles has the unique ability to hit for a high batting average by making consistent hard contact, while also providing a legitimate home run threat. Furthermore, Robles has a patient approach at the plate and a keen batting eye, which helps him draw his share of walks. He also has a knack for getting hit by pitches, as he has been hit 97 times in his 397 minor league games. He understands that his role as a leadoff hitter is to get on-base, and once he does, Robles creates havoc on the base paths.

Yesterday during the seventh inning with the Nationals down 3-2, Robles flashed his baseball smarts by cleverly taking advantage of a defensive shift by the Cubs to pull off a delayed steal second base. Robles wisely understood the situation and made an incredibly savvy play to get in scoring position. The next batter, Trea Turner, drove him home with a double to tie the game.

Defensively, Robles also made an impact Thursday, notching an outfield assist in the first inning by throwing out Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo at second base with an absolute laser throw. Later, in the fifth inning, Robles again robbed Rizzo, swiping an easy hit from him with a diving effort into the right-center gap. Robles is blessed with outstanding speed and a strong throwing arm, making him the prototypical center fielder and a player who also impacts the game defensively.

September baseball can be difficult to watch when your team is not chasing a playoff berth. Not to mention Mother Nature has done her best in recent weeks to stifle Nationals baseball. Nonetheless, standout performances from young players like Robles, who are building blocks to the organization, keep me watching each night and incredibly optimistic about the future of the Nationals.

*Originally Published at MASNSports.com on 9/14/18*

THE NatsGM Show #137 – Lauren from Mispillion River Brewing

THE NatsGM Show #137 is now available and we welcome from Lauren Bigelow, Sales & Marketing Ninja at Mispillion River Brewing!

Our conversation begins with Lauren sharing a story of the most famous celebrity to visit the tasting room and introduces Mispillion River Brewing.  Next we discuss the evolution of craft beer in the marketplace and the explosion of breweries in the state of Delaware.  Finally Lauren shares some of the biggest challenges in the craft beer industry, what a Sales & Marketing persons’ job entails and we play a game of “Rapid Fire“.

BIG thank you to Lauren and Mispillion River Brewing for being so gracious, and audience member Craig for helping arrange our conversation.  Thanks for listening!