Results tagged ‘ Destin Hood ’
With the recent promotion of both Bryce Harper and Tyler Moore, we have had to shelve our Down on the Farm pieces we were planning to roll out in April. We listened to your calls for a report on Destin Hood. In fact, we took them seriously enough that we decided to put it into print, and will have it for you in the next edition of Nationals Magazine, available in-park for all June and July home games. But we’ve also been sitting on another particular prospect watch piece for a couple of weeks. That turned out to be fortuitous timing for us, as the man in question – left-handed starter Danny Rosenbaum – has gone out in the meantime and proven exactly why he should be featured in this space, and why you should read all about him below.
Currently heading up the rotation at Double-A Harrisburg, Rosenbaum was pointed out to us by Director of Minor League Operations Mark Scialabba back in Spring Training. If the southpaw was under the radar before the season started, this former 22nd-round pick out of Xavier need not worry about that for long. Blessed with a low-90s fastball that he can both cut and sink, a curveball and a developing changeup, he has succeeded at every level of the system so far, and is opening eyes and making headlines in 2012.
Rosenbaum has quietly posted impressive numbers at every stop so far in the Minor Leagues. However, he’ll have a hard time staying a secret for much longer with the tear he’s on right now in the Eastern League. Following another sparkling start on Monday – in which he struck out five without a walk, allowing six hits over 7.0 scoreless frames – Rosenbaum’s 2012 numbers are bordering on the absurd. His ERA stands at 0.76 (3 ER/35.2 IP) and he has struck out 23 against just two walks. He leads his circuit in ERA, innings pitched and WHIP (0.70), and is currently in the midst of a 24.2-inning scoreless streak that stretches all the way back to April 13. Opponents had hit just .232 against the lefty in his career before this season; in 2012, they are batting just .180.
Since beginning his professional career with the Gulf Coast Nationals Rookie League team in 2009, the lefty has posted a sub-2.50 ERA at each stop along his path through the minors. He has been remarkably consistent along the way as well, carrying a BB/9 of around 2.5 and a K/9 above 7.0 at every level. Never a high strikeout pitcher, his strong K/BB ratio and a very low home run rate (just 13 allowed over 388.0 innings in his career) have allowed him to continue to succeed.
“Danny’s kind of a later round draft pick who came in here and put up numbers right away,” said Nationals Director of Player Development Doug Harris. “He had a chance to advance and he’s been challenged with his progression.”
Rated just 23rd in Baseball America’s preseason organizational rankings and sixth among left-handed pitchers (those numbers coming before four of those above him, including fellow southpaw Tom Milone, were traded to Oakland in the Gio Gonzalez deal), Rosenbaum has clearly exceeded outside expectations. But Scialabba suggests he may even be better than Milone, who is off to an excellent start out in Oakland.
“He compares with Milone physically,” said Scialabba. “But I think his stuff might even be a little better.”
In referencing a prospect, it always helps to try to make such comparisons, in order to help project the type of player he might become as he fully develops. When you are Jewish and left-handed, of which Rosenbaum is both, Sandy Koufax references are inevitable. There has been a deeper connection to the Dodger great than just that in Rosenbaum’s life, though, as he explains.
“Growing up you always heard about Sandy Koufax, who played at the University of Cincinnati,” he said, referencing the school the cross-town rival just a few miles down the road from Xavier. “People were always saying ‘Oh, there’s the next Sandy Koufax.’ It’s a real privilege to even be considered in the same sentence.”
A better recent comparison for Rosenbaum on the field might be Ted Lilly, a similarly-sized lefty with a strong cutter/curveball/changeup repertoire. Rosenbaum has actually posted better Minor League numbers in nearly every statistical category (save for strikeouts) than Lilly, who was twice an All-Star and posted double-digit win totals in nine consecutive Major League seasons. Lilly was a fairly low profile, 23rd-round pick by the Dodgers, but earned his way to the Major Leagues through his competitive, workman-like approach on the mound. While Rosenbaum was disappointed on draft day, he hopes to follow a similar path.
“I just used that as fuel for the fire, to really go out there and prove myself,” said the southpaw of his selection, which came 651 picks after the Nationals took Stephen Strasburg first overall in 2009. “It was a great situation, because there were all new front office people here. They came and talked to us and said ‘We don’t care if you’re a first-round draft pick or a 50th-round draft pick, everyone is right here,’” he recalled, holding his hand parallel to the ground to show that all players, regardless of their status as an amateur, would be evaluated by the same standards as professionals.
That came as a huge relief to Rosenbaum, who took the message to heart: for better or for worse, nothing you have done to this point matters. Coming off what he considered a disappointing final year at Xavier, it allowed him to have a new approach, one he has carried with him throughout his Minor League career.
“I just try to start each year over from the beginning,” he said. “If I have a good year, great, that’s awesome, but I just try to go back to Spring Training in better shape, with better conditioning, and better stamina than I had the year prior. That’s how I approach every offseason: just work harder than I did before.”
After proving himself over the past few years, Rosenbaum draws rave reviews from anyone and everyone in the Nationals front office. His tough mental approach has led him to become stronger physically as well, something that Harris believes will be the tipping point for his future success.
“He’s a strong-bodied kid,” explained Harris. “His body has continued to evolve. He has a better understanding of what he needs to do, particularly in his core and his lower half to allow him to be as successful as he can possibly be.”
That approach won’t change for Rosenbaum, who has seen his hard work translate not just into numbers, but more importantly, a shot at the ultimate goal of making the Major Leagues.
With the Nationals enjoying an early off day Friday following their thrilling, 2-1 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Opening Day, we decided to make the 20 mile drive northeast from Nationals Park to Price George’s Stadium, home of the Bowie Bay Sox. Why, you might ask, would we do such a thing? We wanted to check in on Rick Ankiel and Michael Morse, both on Major League rehab assignments with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators, who opened their season in Bowie. We also wanted a chance to see a couple of prospects – Destin Hood and Danny Rosenbaum – play in a real game.
While we didn’t get a chance to see Rosenbaum, a starting pitcher whose turn of the rotation lands on Sunday, we got more than our fill of Ankiel and Morse, despite each taking only three at-bats. They each looked healthy enough right from the start. Ankiel swatted the first pitch he saw deep out of the park to the opposite field, and Morse followed with a ringing double off the wall in right-center. Morse saved his best at-bat for last, though, blasting a towering shot the opposite way that hung in the air forever and still got out on a chilly Maryland night.
We also saw prospects Eury Perez and Jeff Kobernus each deliver two-hit nights, both using their speed to their advantage. Both put pressure on the defense with bunts and both stole a bag, contributing to the 5-2 victory. While Hood had an off night at the plate, he looked impressive in his batting practice rounds and clearly is a player to keep an eye on over the next couple of years.
Back to big league ball today, as Nationals fans will get their first regular season look at Gio Gonzalez at Wrigley Field. We’ll have more here at Curly W Live following the game.
With the team traveling down the east coast of Florida to Melbourne for a 7:05pm start against the Miami Marlins, here at Curly W Live we thought it would be a good time to check in on the Nationals Minor League camp, to which all players reported this week.
When we showcased our first prospect of the year, Tyler Moore, a few weeks ago, we asked you who you would like to see us feature next. The voting was very close, with Destin Hood, Alex Meyer and Michael Taylor all receiving a near equal amount of votes. Since the interest is obviously there, we decided we might as well go ahead and talk to all three of them, as well as a couple other prospects you may not know about just yet. We’ll bring them all to you in our Down on the Farm series as we progress through Spring Training.
For now, though, let’s hold a quick tie-breaker poll to see who you would like us to feature today:
On our second day here in Viera, we snuck over to the minor league complex a few hundred yards north of Space Coast Stadium to catch up with some of the up-and-comers in camp. We spoke with pitchers Alex Meyer and Danny Rosenbaum as well as outfielders Michael Taylor and Destin Hood, then followed up with infielder Anthony Rendon in big league camp. We’ll be providing full prospect watch pieces (as we did with Tyler Moore) on each of them in the weeks and months to come, but in the meantime, we spoke with Rendon about what he’s learned his first couple days in camp.
For those unfamiliar with Rendon, he was the Nationals’ first-round pick last year’s First-Year Player Draft, going sixth overall. Many insiders considered the Rice University junior to have the best bat in the Draft, after he hit 26 home runs and drew 65 walks while striking out just 22 times in his sophomore season. The 21-year-old is experiencing his first Spring Training starting this week and soaking in the experience.
Curly W Live: It’s your first camp. How is it coming in and being a professional for the first time? Do you feel like a professional yet?
Anthony Rendon: Yeah, I guess so, I’m out of college (laughing). It’s a great experience down here, I wasn’t expecting this much, but everybody’s been pretty nice to me. I’ve had a lot of free time, but everything’s been scheduled out pretty good. I’m just happy to get into a routine.
CWL: Who were you most excited to meet and start working with?
AR: I was excited to meet everybody in the Nationals organization as a whole. If I’m going to be part of this organization for a long time, I’ve got to get used to everybody.
CWL: How much anticipation was there for you to get down here and start playing?
AR: I was really excited. I haven’t been playing for a long time. You know, the offseason really kills you. You start getting that itch, once you see the high school kids start to play, then the college kids start to play. You see your old teammates playing and you have to wait another week or so to start playing. So I was really excited to get down here and get started.
CWL: What are you looking to accomplish in your first professional season?
AR: I’m just trying to get used to everything, trying to get into a routine. I want to be out there every day, trying to be an everyday player throughout the whole season. I just want to play 130 games, or however many games I play. Because I know I’ve had a history of missing out, I want to try to leave that in the past and move forward.
CWL: Have any of the veterans tried to help you out at all?
AR: I talked to a couple of the guys, I told (Chad) Tracy and (Adam) LaRoche, “I need tips for the first Spring Training”. They told me to just stay quiet and be observant, just try to take everything in and not try to do too much. Take it easy, don’t try to go out there and showboat, just try to be the first guy out here and get used to it.
Stay tuned through the weekend, as we’ll have coverage of a very special event here at Space Coast Stadium. In advance of the second annual Wounded Warrior Amputee Celebrity Softball Classic (check out highlights from last year’s event here), following the Nationals-Red Sox exhibition game at Nationals Park on April 3, the team will join Nats at Spring Training. This Friday and Saturday the team will visit Space Coast Stadium in Viera to work out and meet with Nationals players in preparation for the Celebrity Softball Classic. More on that and everything else happening here at Nationals Spring Training coming up later this week.
There are 13 days left before the Nationals’ pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in Viera, Fla. That means there isn’t a better time to look at impact prospects in the Nationals system than now. We won’t rank them–ESPN’s Keith Law did that for us. It is hard enough to rank the Super Bowl teams, and there are just two, let alone the Top 10 Nationals prospects. It is the type of arbitrary system that if ten people ranked them, there would be ten different results. That’s just how it works.
Here is the Nationals’ Top 10 Prospects:
1- OF Bryce Harper: Harper became a household name when he was anointed by Sports Illustrated as “Baseball’s Chosen One” as a 16-year-old sophomore in high school. He has lived up to the lofty expectations in his short professional career too. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft from the College of Southern Nevada, moved to right field during the Instructional League and proved he can play there in the Arizona Fall League. He faced the top pitching prospects in the AFL and hit .343/.410/.629 with one home run in 35 at-bats as a taxi-squad player. The brazen 18-year-old with superstar potential was possibly the most-hyped prospect in Draft history, besting teammate Stephen Strasburg. He won’t be in the Majors in 2011 but don’t ever count him out for buzz-worthy quotes or memorable made-up words like “oppo-boppo.”
2- C Derek Norris: It was an interesting 2010 year for Norris to say the least. The Nats top catching prospect with a Russell Martin like build and playing style enjoyed his first Big League camp after he broke his hamate bone in 2009. But he then missed the first month of the 2010 season due to complications from surgery. Shortly after he returned to action, he was sidelined again when he was hit in the head with a 95 mph fastball. He never fully recovered until the Arizona Fall League. He hit .278 (15-for-54) with 19 RBI, 11 walks and a .403 on-base percentage in the AFL. The 22-year-old is a beast at the plate with a short, strong and compact swing with power to all fields and has led his league in walks each of the past seasons.
3- C Wilson Ramos: The 6-foot-0, 220 pound Ramos is built like a linebacker and has legs like Secretariat. He will enter the spring as part of the Nats’ catching platoon with Rodriguez, much like how they rotated starts in September, but he could become the No. 1 catcher by midseason. He led Aragua to the Venezuelan Winter League finals, batting .296 with seven doubles, a triple, two home runs and 21 RBI in 24 games.
4- RHP AJ Cole: Cole was drafted in the fourth round in the 2010 Draft out of Oviedo (Fla.) High School. He has the potential to be a frontline starter and could move fairly quickly for a high school draftee. His fastball has touched the mid-to-upper 90s, and he continues to master a solid curveball. His change-up may be a work in progress, but shows promising potential. He will likely start the season with Single-A Hagerstown.
5- SS Danny Espinosa: He is a switch hitter who can hit for power to both sides of the field. He is a sound defensive player too. He played shortstop at Long Beach State–a shortstop factory–and was drafted in 2008 and continued to play the position until he was converted into a second baseman when he was called up to Triple-A Syracuse in August. It was an inevitable move for him with the Nationals knowing full well it wouldn’t be long before he arrived in the Big Leagues where Ian Desmond was already proving his potential as the Nationals’ shortstop of the future. Despite the change of position, Espinosa has excelled and his days as a shortstop seem to have only strengthened his ability to play with speed and agility.
6- LHP Sammy Solis: The 2010 Draft will always be about Bryce Harper, but don’t sleep on Solis. He was the 51st overall selection in last year’s Draft out of the University of San Diego and he signed two days before the Aug. 16 deadline. He was impressive against older competition in the Arizona Fall League and posted a 3.80 ERA in 24 innings. He will likely start the season at Single-A Potomac and could arrive in DC sometime next season.
7- OF Eury Perez: Perez adjusted well to Single-A ball and showed signs of improvement throughout the summer months. The 20-year-old athletic center fielder has plus-speed and he utilizes it both defensively, at the plate and on the base paths. He finished second in the Minors with 64 steals and succeeded at an 83 percent rate, up from 67 percent in 2009. He will likely start the season at Single-A Potomac.
8- LHP Robbie Ray: Ray is another high school pitching gem from the 2010 Draft. The 12th-round pick from Tennessee –slightly misleading because it was assumed he had a strong commitment to pitch at the University of Arkansas which hurt his Draft stock–pitched one inning for the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters. He will likely start the season with Single-A Hagerstown.
9- 1B Chris Marrero: Marrero was ranked No. 1 on Baseball America’s list entering the 2008 season but he broke the fibula in his right leg and tore ligaments in his ankle on a slide at home plate. After recovering, he turned in a solid Double-A performance in 2010 to claim a spot on Washington’s 40-man roster. Marrero hit .306 and impressed his Manager, Pat Listach, with his defense in the Puerto Rican League playing with teammate and friend Danny Espinosa. He is becoming a more consistent overall hitter. He was selected to the Eastern League All-Star team and showcased his plus-raw power by finishing second in the Home Run Derby, hitting 13 home runs in two rounds. He will likely start the season in Triple-A Syracuse.
10- OF Destin Hood: Hood had a nice April to start out the 2010 season and is beginning to see the fruits of his hard labor. He came to Spring Training last season in tremendous shape determined to succeed on the field, at the plate and on the base paths. Destin possesses well-above-average raw power and is working to improve his command of the strike zone by creating a consistent approach at the plate. The 20-year-old Hood is one of the younger prospects in the organization. He has shown tremendous strides in the past year batting .285 (140-for-492) with 65 RBI in 129 games with Single-A Hagerstown.
Baseball America has a slightly different ranking–don’t we all–but Harper is the unanimous No. 1.
Top 10 Prospects 2011
1. Bryce Harper, of
2. Derek Norris, c
3. Danny Espinosa, ss/2b
4. A.J. Cole, rhp
5. Wilson Ramos, c
6. Sammy Solis, lhp
7. Cole Kimball, rhp
8. Eury Perez, of
9. Chris Marrero, 1b
10. Brad Peacock, rhp
In case you forgot or never knew… here are the rankings for the past few seasons. You can use it to discredit the ranking system or use it as proof to show just how hard it is to turn potential into Major League results.
Top 10 Prospects 2010 (according to Baseball America)
1. Stephen Strasburg, rhp
2. Derek Norris, c
3. Drew Storen, rhp
4. Ian Desmond, ss
5. Danny Espinosa, ss
6. Chris Marrero, 1b
7. Jeff Kobernus, 2b
8. Justin Maxwell, of
9. Michael Burgess, of
10. Destin Hood, of
Top 10 Prospects 2009
1. Jordan Zimmermann, rhp
2. Ross Detwiler, lhp
3. Chris Marrero, 1b
4. Michael Burgess, of
5. Jack McGeary, lhp
6. Derek Norris, c
7. Destin Hood, of
8. Adrian Nieto, c
9. J.P. Ramirez, of
10. Carlos Alvarez, ss
Top 10 Prospects 2008
1. Chris Marrero, 1b
2. Ross Detwiler, lhp
3. Collin Balester, rhp
4. Michael Burgess, of
5. Jack McGeary, lhp
6. Josh Smoker, lhp
7. Jordan Zimmermann, rhp
8. Glenn Gibson, lhp
9. Justin Maxwell, of
10. Colton Willems, rhp
The Nationals Minor League report (
The MLR 5.12.10.pdf) is a weekly window into the Nationals farm teams, with updated standings, league leaders, team and individual player stats, and the latest team and player news.
This Week’s Top Headline
COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF: Syracuse RHP Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to make his second Triple-A start tonight at 7:05 p.m. vs. Norfolk (Orioles). In his Triple-A debut last Friday, Strasburg fired 6.0 shutout innings of one-hit ball to earn the win. In six combined starts with Syracuse and Double-A Harrisburg, he is 4-1 with a 1.29 ERA (4 ER/28.0 IP). Strasburg’s stingy .143 (14-for-98) batting average against is the second lowest in Minor League baseball among starting pitchers. Prior to joining Syracuse, he went 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA (4 ER/22.0 IP) in five starts with Harrisburg.
***MASN will televise Stephen Strasburg’s 2nd Triple-A start tonight on tape delay immediately following the conclusion of the Orioles-Mariners game.
Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs
International League North Division
18-12, 1st Place, 1.0 Game Ahead
DR. DREW: In 11 combined appearances with Syracuse and Double-A Harrisburg, RHP Drew Storen owns a 1.23 ERA (2 ER/14.2 IP) and a 14.0/1 strikeout-to walk ratio (14 SO, 1 BB). Since joining Syracuse on April 29, he has allowed one earned run over 5.1 innings pitched (1.69 ERA) in four appearances. Storen was Washington’s 2nd selection in the first round (10th overall) of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft and went 4-for-4 in save opportunities and recorded a 0.96 ERA (1 ER/9.1 IP) in seven appearances with Harrisburg.
JOEL THE PROPHET: RHP Joel Peralta is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA (2 ER/14.1 IP) and a .184 (9-for-49) batting average against in 12 games. His eight saves in as many opportunities are tied for second in the International League and tied fifth in Minor League baseball. The Bonao, Dominican Republic native has fanned 16 and walked three, an average of 10.29 strikeouts per 9.0 innings and only 1.93 walks per 9.0 innings. Peralta was signed by Washington as a Minor League free agent on December 15, 2009.
THRILL OF THE CHASE: 2B/3B Chase Lambin‘s .343 batting average paces Washington farmhands and ranks fourth in Minor League baseball among switch hitters. He has hit safely in nine straight games and 23 of 27 games overall. Lambin signed with Washington as a Minor League free agent on January 7, 2010.
ATA(HUALPA) BOY: Since surrendering three earned runs in 0.1 inning in his season debut, LHP Atahualpa Severino has allowed only one earned run in his last 15.0 innings (11 appearances). Overall, Severino is 1-0 with a 2.35 ERA (4 ER/15.1 IP) in 12 appearances. Severino, 25, signed as a non-drafted free agent on February 13, 2004.
Double-A Harrisburg Senators
Eastern League Southern Division
13-19, 5th Place, 7.5 Games Back
VICTOR’S SECRET: LHP Victor Garate has hurled 14.2 consecutive scoreless innings in his last 11 appearances. The 25-year-old owns a 0.57 ERA (1 ER/15.2 IP) in 12 games. His .115 (6-for-52) BAA ranks 8th among all Minor League pitchers and opposing left-handed batters are just 1-for-15 (.100) against him. Garate was acquired off waivers from Los Angeles-NL on September 2, 2009.
TOMMY BOY: Last night at Altoona (Pirates), LHP Tom Milone pitched 5.0 innings of two-run ball in sleet and snow to earn his third win of the season. In three May starts, he is 2-1 with a 2.76 ERA (5 ER/16.1 IP). Overall, the 23-year-old southpaw is 3-1 with a 3.53 ERA (14 ER/35.1 IP) and a 5.0/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (30 SO/6 BB). Milone, selected in the 10th round of the ’08 Draft out of the University of Southern California and he led Washington farmhands with 12 wins last season.
START ME UP: RHP Jeff Mandel allowed two runs and three hits in 7.1 strong innings on Sunday vs. Richmond (Giants). In six starts with Harrisburg, Mandel owns a 3.82 ERA (14 ER/33.0 IP). Mandel, 25, was a 2009 Single-A Carolina League All-Star last season with Potomac and following the season, Mandel played with the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the highly-acclaimed Arizona Fall League.
Single-A Potomac Nationals
Carolina League Northern Division
14-18, 3rd Place, 6.0 Games Back
BURGESS KING: OF Michael Burgess is 15-for-44 (.341) with six doubles, three homers, 15 RBI, eight walks and eight runs in his last 12 contests. In 31 games overall, Burgess is batting .286 with 10 doubles, three home runs, 22 RBI and 20 walks. The strong-armed outfielder is third in the Carolina League with four outfield assists. Burgess is a two-time Minor League All-Star (2008, ’09) and was drafted by Washington in the sandwich round (49th overall) of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.
DR. KIMBALL: RHP Cole Kimball leads the club with three wins and is a perfect 4-for-4 in save opportunities. In 13 appearances, Kimball is 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA (5 ER/18.1 IP). Left-handed hitters are just 2-for-22 (.091) against him. The 24-year-old was Washington’s 12th-round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.
Single-A Hagerstown Suns
South Atlantic League Northern Division
16-15, T-3rd Place, 3.5 Game Back
STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES: LHP Daniel Rosenbaum struck out eight in 7.0 shutout innings of four-hit ball but received a no-decision on Monday at Augusta (Giants). In seven starts, he is 1-1 with a 2.03 ERA (9 ER/40.0 IP). The 22-year old southpaw has 36 strikeouts against seven walks (5.14/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio). Among Single-A South Atlantic League pitchers, he ranks ninth in ERA and tied for ninth in WHIP (1.00). Rosenbaum was selected in the 22nd round of the 2009 Draft out of Xavier University (OH).
EVEN STEVEN: INF Steven Souza ranks among the South Atlantic League leaders in runs (2nd, 26), RBI (t-3rd, 26), total bases (6th, 61) and slugging percentage (8th, .530). In his last 12 games, he is 16-for-41 (.390) with four doubles, two triples, one home run, 10 RBI and 10 runs scored. He has collected six multi-hit games in those 12 contests. Souza, 21, was Washington’s 3rd-round selection in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.
DESTIN(Y) IS CALLING: 20-year-old OF Destin Hood is tied for third in the league with 41 hits and ranks fourth with a .336 batting average. He has hit safely in 24 of 31 games overall. Hood was selected in the 2nd round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft and opened the 2010 campaign rated as the No. 10 prospect in the Nationals chain according to Baseball America.