THE Joshua Kusnick Experience Episode 7 – Remembering Johnny Dakota

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After a lengthy hiatus, we are back with Episode #7 of THE Joshua Kusnick Experience!

This week Joshua and I discuss a multitude of topics including Jeremy Jeffress & Michael Brantley, 6-year free agents, his disdain for the Arizona Fall League, our mutual love for Johnny Dakota and Saved By The Bell, former client David Herndon, and his first appearance on Deadspin.

Indeed among the pop culture references there is plenty of intriguing insights into the business of baseball and the job of an MLB agent – Download and Enjoy!

THE NatsGM Show Live – Guest Moose From Ring of Honor


On a special episode of THE NatsGM Show, I was fortunate to interview Ring of Honor’s Moose before last Friday’s live event in California, Pennsylvania.

A former NFL star, Moose and I discussed his career in football, the transition into professional wrestling and the stigma attached to former players entering sports entertainment.  In addition, we discussed his favorite wrestlers growing up, his experience at the Ring of Honor tryout camp and his opinion on Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning.

Thanks to Moose for sharing some time prior to his match and to Ring of Honor for granting me permission to interview this superstar.  Download and enjoy this conversation with the next great big man in professional wrestling!

NatsGM Prospect Potpourri – Carlos Cortes, Forest Whitley and Spencer Kieboom


Carlos Cortes OF/2B Oviedo, Florida – Perfect Game All-American Classic 8/16/15

The MVP of the 2015 Perfect Game All-American Classic, Cortes is quite simply a pure hitter, as his left-handed swing is smoother than a politician. Cortes has quick, loose wrists and excellent bat speed, allowing him to barrel the baseball and spray line drives to all fields. Listed at 5-8 185lbs there are questions how much power Cortes will develop in the future, but his hit tool projects as plus.

Defensively Cortes is particularly unique, as he plays second base right-handed but plays the corner outfield positions as a lefty. He has above-average speed and a strong arm with each, including rumored upper-80s velocity from the left side. In only one viewing it is difficult to confidently project where he future lies defensively, but teams covet this South Carolina commit due to his polished lefty bat. With teams desperately seeking bats in the draft, it would be surprising to see Cortes play college baseball.

Forrest Whitley RHP San Antonio, Texas HS – Under Armour All-America Game 8/15/15

Entering in the top of the 2nd for the National team was massive 6-7 230lbs Texan Forrest Whitley. He overpowered the opposing hitters, needing only 12 pitches to retire the side 1-2-3 with two strikeouts and a ground out to second base. Whitley featured a 94-96mph fastball with exceptional life and some arm-side movement, along with a firm 87-90mph changeup with some sinking action and an 82-85mph hard-biting curveball. His motion has some excess movement and needs refinement, though he uses his long frame and limbs well to get good extension toward home plate through his delivery. Whitley looks like a top prospect on the mound and projects as a potential early 1st round selection next June.

Spencer Kieboom Catcher Potomac Nationals

Washington’s 5th round pick in 2012, the 24-year-old Kieboom is an absolute pleasure to watch defensively behind the dish.  Kieboom possesses a plus throwing arm, a quick release and excellent feet, which allow him to routinely post 1.85-1.93 second pop times to second base.  In addition, he is extremely quiet receiving the baseball and shows the ability to block pitches in the dirt.  Overall Kieboom profiles as a plus (“60) defensive major league catcher.

Offensively the right-handed hitting Kieboom lags behind his defense, but he does possess skills.  He shows good raw pull power in batting practice and the ability to draw a walk, as evidenced by his .352 career on-base percentage.   He also has a knack for making contact and does not strike out much, but this does not translate to much hard contact during game action.  Perhaps I am optimistic, but I think Kieboom could develop into a “35” hit – “30/35” power major league hitter.

Kieboom should see major league time simply because of his defensive wizardry; however his below-average potential at the plate likely limits his ceiling to a backup capacity.  He could begin 2016 in Double-A and reach the major leagues sometime in 2017.

The Washington Nationals Should Acquire OF Tyler Holt

The Washington Nationals are currently limping toward a disappointing finish to the 2015 season and general manager Mike Rizzo must now begin seeking ways to improve the team for the future. In this vein, it caught my attention on late Wednesday afternoon when the Cleveland Indians designated for assignment OF Tyler Holt. The Nationals project to have a lack of outfield depth in 2016, both in the majors and upper minors, and Holt is a low-cost attempt to patch this organizational weakness.

At the plate the 26-year-old Holt has struggled hitting major league pitching, batting .231/.271/.253 in 91 at-bats over parts of the past two seasons. However, the right-handed hitting Holt has done well in the minors, batting a career .274/.367/.351 and .304/.398/.382 in 595 at-bats at Triple-A. He does not hit for power but has stolen 158 bases in 201 professional attempts. Holt does show a knack for making contact and utilizing his speed, giving him a chance to be a “40/45” hit “20” power hitter in the majors. An easy comparison would be current Nationals’ OF Matt den Dekker, except with a tad less power and Holt is right-handed.

Defensively Holt uses his good speed and solid baseball instincts to play all three outfield positions capably. He also has a fringe-average arm. These abilities coupled together make him profile as an above-average defender in left field and a fringe-average type at the other positions. Holt projects as a 5th outfielder or Quad-A player, with the ceiling of a productive big league reserve for a few seasons.

Logistically the Nationals could place OF Denard Span on the 60-day disabled list to clear room on the 40-man roster for Holt. Additionally, because of the expanded rosters in September, he could immediately be placed on the team’s active roster.

If the cost to acquire Holt is the standard major league baseball waiver fee or sending Cleveland cash considerations or a “Non-Prospect” minor leaguer, I would pounce on the opportunity. Holt quickly gives Washington a player it currently lacks, a right-handed hitting speedy outfielder with some contact ability and defensive versatility. Washington will likely be seeking a player like this to pair with den Dekker next season as the team’s 5th outfielder. This is an extremely low-risk to fill an organizational need, with a small chance of potential reward. I will make that gamble every day, therefore bring Tyler Holt to Washington!