Preferred Anonymous –> “Dear NatsGM, where you been?”
Yes, I apologize for my absence the past week, unfortunately three forces were to blame: one part writer’s block, one part preparing for next week’s draft (look forward to plenty of draft coverage the next two weeks) and one part I went on a short family vacation. I expect to resume my typical every other day writing schedule going forward.
I encourage you to continue sending me your questions and feedback, either in the comments section after each column, though Twitter @NatsGMdotcom, on Facebook search “NatsGM”, and email me at NationalsGM@gmail.com.
The Professor from Bethesda, MD -> “What would the All-Time Washington Nationals team look like?”
Interesting question, Professor… (and yes, this person’s email name was “The Professor”) As per your question, I limited my search to the six previous seasons of the Washington Nationals (2005/2006/2007/2008/2009/2010) and reviewed the statistics for each player to find the best season at each position, and thus, an “All-Time Washington Nationals” team.
C- Brian Schneider, 2005 -> 369 ABs, .268/.330/.409 10 HRs and 44 RBI
1B- Nick Johnson, 2006 -> 500 ABs, .290/.428/.520 23 HRs and 77 RBI
2B- Ronnie Belliard, 2007 -> 511 ABs, .290/.332/.427 11 HRs and 58 RBI
SS- Cristian Guzman, 2008 -> 579 ABs, .316/.345/.440 9 HRs and 55 RBI
3B- Ryan Zimmerman, 2010 -> 525 ABs, .307/.388/.510 25 HRs and 85 RBIs
LF- Alfonso Soriano, 2006 -> 647 ABs, .277/.351/.560 46 HRs, 41 SBs and 95 RBI
CF- Brad Wilkerson, 2005 -> 565 ABs, .248/.351/.405 11 HRs and 57 RBI
RF- Jose Guillen, 2005 -> 551 ABs, .283/.338/.479 24 HRs and 76 RBI
DH- Adam Dunn, 2009 -> 546 ABs, .267/.398/.529 38 HRs and 105 RBI
SP1- John Patterson, 2005 -> 198.1 IP, 9-7, 3.13 ERA, 1.195 WHIP and 185 Ks
SP2- Livan Hernandez, 2010 -> 211.2 IP, 10-12, 3.66 ERA, 1.323 WHIP, and 114 Ks
SP3- Esteban Loaiza, 2005 -> 217 IP, 12-10, 3.77 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 173 Ks
RP1- Chad Cordero, 2005 -> 74.1 IP, 2-4, 1.82 ERA, 0.969 WHIP, 47 Saves and 61 Ks
RP2- Hector Carrasco, 2005 -> 88.1 IP, 5-4, 2.04 ERA, 1.098 WHIP, 2 Saves and 75 Ks
RP3- Sean Burnett, 2010 -> 63 IP, 1-7, 2.14 ERA, 1.143 WHIP, 3 Saves and 62 Ks
What really sticks out when looking at this All-Time team, the Nationals have had poor production from Catcher, Second Base, and Center Field the entire existence of the organization. I think the combination of Wilson Ramos and Derek Norris at Catcher and Danny Espinosa at Second Base should be long-term solutions to these problems, but it further highlights the need for some resolution in center field.
timhurt via Twitter -> “June 6th is around the corner, what does your ideal draft board look like?”
With the draft just one week away (quick plug: I will be live blogging the Day 1 and Day 2 of the MLB draft Monday and Tuesday next week, please join me here at NatsGM.com) I figured this would be a good time to do my first mock draft of the Top 10, along with the National’s selections at #23 and #34.
NatsGM MLB Mock Draft Volume 1:
#1 Pittsburgh ->UCLA RHP Gerrit Cole
If reports are correct, the Pirates are choosing between Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Danny Hultzen for the top pick. I think the potential of a long-term shoulder problem with Rendon will be enough to have Pittsburgh shy away and pass on him, leaving them to select between the higher ceiling player in Gerrit Cole and the higher floor player in Danny Hultzen. Teams should favor ceiling at the top of the draft and I think the Pirates will as well.
#2 Seattle ->Rice 3B Anthony Rendon
The rumors have Seattle wanting a bat and I think they run to the podium if Anthony Rendon is still available. If Rendon goes 1-1 to Pittsburgh, this selection would get very interesting, as I think they pass on Starling’s price tag… perhaps they would take Florida HS SS Francisco Lindor?
#3 Arizona ->UVA LHP Danny Hultzen
Assuming it goes Cole and Rendon, in some order #1 and #2, I think the easiest projection in the Top 10 would be Hultzen to Arizona. The Diamondbacks drafted Danny in the 10th round three years ago, and have been enamored with him ever since.
#4 Baltimore ->HS RHP Dylan Bundy
I have tried to contact friends I made within the Orioles and they are saying nothing about this pick, except they have no signability concerns. My brain is telling me they would prefer a college starter, seemingly closer to the majors like Trevor Bauer, Taylor Jungmann, or Matt Barnes but with how coy the Orioles are acting, I think they take the best player available, which is Dylan Bundy.
#5 KC ->HS OF Bubba Starling
The Royals have been floating rumors that they want a college player that would arrive more in line with Hosmer, Moustakas, Duffy, Montgomery, and the rest of their emerging prospects. Sources have said that they have not seen Starling this spring, yet they were all over him last fall and Starling likely has the most star potential in this entire draft. He has risk, especially with his hit tool, but he could be a franchise player/elite superstar type talent: those types rarely get past the top five.
#6 Washington ->UCLA RHP Trevor Bauer
I think the Nationals are in a good position drafting 6th this year, as I think there are a top six players (Cole, Rendon, Starling, Bundy, Hultzen, and Bauer) then some drop off. I expect these players to be drafted as the top six in some order: I believe the Nationals sit back and select whoever is left, preferring a college pitcher if given a choice.
#7 Arizona ->UConn RHP Matt Barnes
This selection is unprotected as Arizona failed to sign Barret Loux in 2010 (smart decision), meaning the Diamondbacks must sign this player or receive no compensation in 2012. Thus I expect they will make a pre-arranged draft day deal with the player they select, leading me to believe they will draft a college pitcher from the group of Matt Barnes, Taylor Jungmann, Sonny Gray, and Jed Bradley.
#8 Cleveland ->HS SS Francisco Lindor
If Trevor Bauer somehow was available here, I think he would be a slam dunk pick. I am not very confident in this projection, as the conventional wisdom has the Indians selecting a college pitcher that can be quick to the majors and more reasonable in terms of signing bonus. That said, Lindor is a great prospect that can stay at shortstop in the majors and has some legitimate pop from the middle infield. At pick #8 or anywhere on down, some team is going to get quite a value, and I project Lindor’s talent too much for Cleveland to pass on.
#9 Chicago Cubs ->HS RHP Archie Bradley
They have consistently been linked to high school talent, either Starling if he slips or Archie Bradley. Bradley is a strong prospect with a fastball that hit 101mph in his state championship game and rumors that he is rising up draft boards from mid-first round to the #8-#12 area. He would be a tremendous addition to the Cubs farm system.
#10 San Diego ->Texas RHP Taylor Jungmann
San Diego’s pick is unprotected as the Padres failed to sign RHP Karsten Whitson from the 2010 draft (likely a bad move, Whitson is excellent and a likely top 10 pick in 2013) so they must sign this selection or receive no compensation, similarly to Arizona at #7. I would expect the Padres to focus on cost with this choice, and target one of the many solid college pitchers. Likely a deal will be arranged before this selection is made, I think they choose the safest of the college starters left, and Jungmann has been a workhorse for Texas the past three years and pitched well in the College World Series as a freshman two years ago. He should be a solid mid-rotation starter for many years and a great value pick at #10.
#23 Washington -> Miami-Dade CF Brian Goodwin
Obviously projecting this late in the 1st round is difficult if not impossible without inside information, but I expect that if Kentucky RHP Alex Meyer is somehow available at #23, he will be the selection (highly unlikely). If not, I think the Nationals will be tempted if one of the college starters slips to here, or if UConn OF George Springer is available as well. This is also rather unlikely, which is the reason I believe GM Mike Rizzo will look to add an up-the-middle player, and the most talented available is Miami-Dade CF Brian Goodwin. Goodwin started as a freshman in 2010 at North Carolina and was solid on Cape Cod last summer, but was dismissed from the Tar Heels for a school infraction. This forced Goodwin to transfer, which he did to a community college to allow himself to be draft eligible this year. He is raw with the bat, but has the skills to stay in center field and become a future leadoff hitter. I am a big fan and hope the organization has the good fortune to add him at #23.
#34 Washington -> Coastal Carolina RHP Anthony Meo
The Nationals should see some nice talent available at #34, which is the first selection in the compensation round. I think GM Mike Rizzo would hope that a college starter is available here, especially if they take a hitter at #6 or #23. I have mentioned Oregon LHP Tyler Anderson in previous columns, and he would be a nice choice here, and there have been plenty of rumors linking the Nationals with Georgia HS OF Larry Greene, known for his tremendous raw power. But assuming the Nationals take a pitcher at #6 and a hitter at #23, I think they will look at pitching, specifically Coastal Carolina RHP Anthony Meo, an underrated pitcher with a dynamite 92-95mph fastball and a strong breaking pitch, though he is somewhat raw and will need development time in the minor leagues. However, he has two plus pitches and that makes him a strong value at this point in the draft.
Thanks everyone for the great questions, please keep them coming!
This “Tip of the Fedora” goes out to all our service men and women on this Memorial Day, who put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms and way of life. My Grandfather enlisted at 17 years old in the Navy and was brave enough to have been at Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941 and lived to tell about it. I miss you Pop Pop!