THE NatsGM Show #99 – Guest Grant Paulsen

On a special Memorial Day episode, THE NatsGM Show #99 is now available and we are proud to welcome back from the “Grant and Danny Show” on 106.7 The Fan DC, Grant Paulsen!

This week’s conversation sees Grant giving his thoughts on the Washington Nationals, the problems with the bullpen, the depth of the starting rotation and looking ahead to the trade deadline.  In addition, Grant talks about the Washington Capitals, the upcoming expansion draft and the forthcoming offseason.

Thank you to Grant for joining us again and to you for downloading!

Link to our previous interview ->

Scouting Weston Davis RHP Hagerstown Suns

Weston Davis RHP Hagerstown Suns (Evaluated 4/9/17)

Fastball (40/45)                 Slider (30/40)                     Changeup (30/35)

Intriguing, projectable athlete listed at 6-3 185lbs, with easy potential to add 15+ pounds as he matures.  Throws from a low 3/4s arm slot, between the letters and his arm pit.  Uses a simple one-step and rock windup, repeats his mechanics reasonably well.  Arm slot leaves him particularly susceptible to lefties.

3-pitch repertoire – Fastball (89-92mph T93) shows some arm-side run and natural sinking movement, especially at lower velocities.  Struggles with his command AND control, particularly to the arm-side.  Slider (73-75mph) has 10-4 sweeping movement; inconsistent both in shape and throwing for strikes – can spin the pitch and shows some potential but extremely raw.  Changeup (80-83mph) replicates his arm speed well but shows precious little movement; more similar to a batting practice fastball.  Can locate for strikes but not enough sink or fade to disrupt hitter’s timing.

11th round pick in 2014 (signed for an over-slot $200,000 bonus), the 20.5 y/o has an ideal pitcher’s frame, a quality fastball and natural movement on his pitches.  His main weaknesses include his below-average command/control and nascent secondary offerings.  This is an interesting arm and a “name to remember” but unless his command and off-speed pitches improve, he is likely to stagnate in the upper minors.

{ Editor’s Note: Apologies for the lack of pictures and video of Mr. Davis – It was not from a lack of effort but rather a lack of photographic talent. }

Scouting Carter Kieboom

Carter Kieboom                SS/3B                    Hagerstown Suns

DOB:  9/3/97        Height: 6-2        Weight:   190      Bats:  Right         Throws: Right

7-Word Scouting Report:  Promising hitter, Intriguing Power; Future Third Baseman

Future Grades:   Hit (55) / Power (50) / Run (55) / Defense (45 @ SS, 55 @ 3B) / Arm (50 @ SS, 55 @ 3B)

Washington’s 1st round pick, 28th overall, in 2016 from a Georgia high school, signed for slightly under-slot for $2 million.  19.5 y/o listed as 6-2 190lbs, very projectable body and total baby face, potential to add 10-15lbs of muscle – obvious athlete with quality speed, have clocked him in the 4.20-4.27 second home to first from the right side.  Gritty competitor, grinder – like his makeup but have observed him chirp with umpires, needs to temper this habit.

Right-handed hitter; shows lithe, loose wrists and obvious bat speed, whips the barrel through the strike zone; natural barrel skills and the ball sounds different off his bat.  Shows a willingness to work the count and has an advanced approach at the plate – does show some swing-and-miss, some can be attributed to seeing pitches but does struggle with quality spin away and will chase fastballs above the letters.  Has loft in his swing and naturally backspins the ball, allowing him to flash good power, especially to the pull side.  Has power to right-center and speed allows him to generate plenty of doubles in the gaps.  Perhaps most impressively, has shown legitimate improvement series to series and week to week.

Defensively Kieboom currently plays a passable shortstop, utilizing his above-average speed and outstanding instincts to make the routine plays.  Hands are just average and can get stiff when moving, especially laterally.  Lower half can get somewhat stiff and does not possess the natural fluidity of a major league shortstop.  Arm is solid-average and accurate with reasonable carry.  Tools feel like he could stay at shortstop in the majors, but would be a bottom five defender – profiles significantly better at the hot corner, where first-step quickness, instincts and arm would allow him to project as an above-average defender.

Kieboom is an impressive, polished high school draft pick who plays the game with a “good” swagger.  He shows a mature approach at the plate, with excellent barrel skills and some emerging power, especially to the pull side.  Like any teenager, he needs to add strength, but there is a good chance he could develop into an above-average hitter with average power – that profile fits better at shortstop, but should work fine at the hot corner.  Defensively could play a tolerable shortstop in the majors; however considering the wizardry demanded at the position in 2017, profiles much better at third base long-term; second base could also be an option based on organizational need.

Kieboom projects as a slightly above-average (Role 55) third baseman, with a medium floor due to his instincts and impressive skills at the plate.  There is also medium risk in his profile, with the biggest concerns being his distance from the majors, his eventual defensive position and how he develops recognizing spin at the plate.  Kieboom should spend most of 2017 at Hagerstown and has a major league ETA of very late 2019 or 2020.


{Editor’s Note – Carter Kieboom was injured running to first base Friday night and was placed on the disabled list.  This report was written prior to this injury and is assuming this will not affect his long-term future.  We wish Carter a speedy recovery.}

Scouting Tyler Watson

Tyler Watson      LHP        Hagerstown Suns

Fastball (45/55)                 Curveball (40/45)              Changeup (50/55)

7-Word Scouting Report:       Potential Above-Average Fastball Changeup, Curveball Determines Ceiling

Over-slot 34th round pick in 2015, signed for $400,000 from an Arizona high school.  Listed as 6-5 200lbs, well-built frame with projection remaining in lower half.  Nearly 20 y/o with traditional 3/4s arm slot; repeats mechanics well both from windup and stretch, quiet motion into a waist-high leg lift, reasonable extension towards home.  Stays closed in delivery, hides the ball well both to lefties and righties.  Surprisingly polished for a teenager in Low-A, pounds the strike zone and works the sides of the plate; rarely misses in the hitter’s power zone, particularly impressive working the inner third to righties.

3-pitch repertoire – Fastball sits 88-90mph, T91 4x with natural cutting action and some sink, pounds the lower third of the strike zone; works both sides of the plate, particularly inside to righties.  Curveball (72-75mph) was inconsistent throughout, some lacked shape and were “spinners” while others showed some late bite into the strike zone – can locate for strikes, especially arm side.  Changeup (82-84mph) is his best present pitch, showing excellent arm speed and quality sink, will throw for strikes; impressive for Low-A.

Watson is a polished, high school lefty who shows impressive command of the strike zone and an advanced approach to attacking hitters.  Both his fastball and changeup are quality pitches and project as above-average future offerings.  Curveball currently lags, but he can spin the pitch and locate it for strikes – could be an average future pitch but more likely fringe-average.

The biggest risks in his profile are distance from the majors, the development of the breaking ball and the assumption he will add a tick or two of velocity as he matures.  Watson profiles as a back-end starting pitcher, with a ceiling of a #4 if the curveball significantly improves with development; medium floor, medium risk prospect.  Should spend much of 2017 in Hagerstown, and could reach the majors in 2020.