Results tagged ‘ Sammy Solis ’
Earlier today, Baseball America unveiled its annual Top 10 Prospect List for the Washington Nationals heading into the 2013 season. There has been a lot of movement since last season, with only four of last year’s prospects returning to the list. The reason for this is two-fold: some names, like Bryce Harper and Steve Lombardozzi, have become fixtures at the Major League level, while others have been traded in deals for the likes of Gio Gonzalez and Denard Span, making the Nationals imminently more competitive in the present. In both senses, the farm system has done its job. But that hardly means it is now bereft of top-level talent.
The complete list, along with more information on each player, is listed below. We have already covered a good number of the prospects in our Down on the Farm reports this past season, and will pick up the rest during the 2013 campaign.
1. Anthony Rendon – INF | Last Year: 2
Considered by many to be the top bat in the 2011 Draft, the Nats snagged Rendon with the sixth overall pick. After dealing with an early-season injury, the Rice University product rebounded for a strong season, moving quickly through the system and finishing in the Arizona Fall League.
2. Lucas Giolito – RHP | Last Year: N/A
Taken with the 16th overall selection, the Nationals went for upside with Giolito, who showcased some of the best raw talent of any hurler in his draft class. Though he missed the end of his senior year of high school with an injury and has since had offseason surgery, Mike Rizzo and company are very high on the young pitcher, as are industry insiders like ESPN’s Keith Law and MLB Network’s Peter Gammons.
3. Brian Goodwin – OF | Last Year: 5
Another fast riser through the system, Goodwin crushed the South Atlantic League in the first half of his inaugural pro campaign to earn a two-level promotion to Double-A Harrisburg. He joined Rendon in the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars game, where he homered as part of a 2-for-5 performance.
4. Matt Skole – INF | Last Year: 21
Skole opened eyes in his first full professional season. The Georgia Tech product clobbered 27 home runs in just 101 games at Low-A Hagerstown to earn South Atlantic League player of the year, even with a late-season promotion to Potomac. He showed tremendous patience, batting a combined .291/.426/.559, collecting 99 walks and 104 RBI. But despite the impressive display of power and run production, the biggest accolades for Skole within the organization came from as a result of his huge strides forward on defense at third base. That earned him Nationals Minor League Player of the Year honors.
5. Nathan Karns – RHP | Last Year: N/A
The highest mover from last year’s list (from being unranked in a group that runs 30 deep), Karns improved upon an encouraging 2011 season by lowering his walk rate and increasing his strikeouts, yielding tremendous results. He fanned 148 batters in just 116.0 innings, winning 11 games over two levels en route to the Nationals Minor League Pitcher of the Year Award.
6. Christian Garcia – RHP | Last Year: N/A
It seems that on every team, every year, there is a surprise Minor Leaguer who breaks out and makes the big leagues as a September call-up. Garcia was that surprise this year, though his talent was well documented. Fully recovered from a second Tommy John surgery, the righty flashed a high-90s fastball and devastating slider to a 0.86 ERA with 66 strikeouts in just 52.1 innings across Double-A and Triple-A. He impressed enough in his debut to earn a spot on the playoff roster, and will likely have an impact as a member of the Nationals pitching staff.
7. Eury Perez – OF | Last Year: 22
A September call-up like Garcia, Perez was primarily used as a pinch-runner in the Majors in 2012, where the Nationals took advantage of his blazing speed. He actually posted better numbers in Triple-A than at Double-A last season, combining for a .314/.344/.361 line and 51 steals between three stops in the minors. Perez will still be just 22 on Opening Day, and will be in Major League camp come Spring Training.
8. Sammy Solis – LHP | Last Year: 8
Taken by the Nationals in the second round out of the University of San Diego back in 2010, Solis missed the 2012 season due to injury. Washington has high hopes for the lefty, who is on track to be fully healthy by spring after posting an 8-3 mark with a 3.13 ERA in 17 A-ball starts back in 2011.
9. Matt Purke – LHP | Last Year: 7
A third-round selection out of TCU in 2011, Purke made just three starts at Hagerstown this year before being shut down. The 6’4”, 205-pound lefty pitched well in the Arizona Fall League in 2011 and got some time against Major Leaguers in Spring Training this past season. With at least two plus pitches, Purke will be worth keeping an eye on this year.
10. Zach Walters – INF | Last Year: 19
Walters was the return chip from the Jason Marquis trade in 2011 and has proven to be a consistent, heady player as he has moved through the system. With his athletic, strong body and a plus arm, he’s a switch-hitter whose solid defense profiles across the infield. He reached Triple-A by the end of 2012 and, at just 23 years of age, seems to have a bright future ahead.
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
Bryce Harper has been labeled the Lebron James of baseball. So in case you didn’t watch “The Decision: Part II,” Bryce Harper is taking his talents to the desert and will join the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League. It was a decision–influenced by Harper’s talent–and made by General Manager Mike Rizzo and his staff because they didn’t want him to be idle for the next two months after he held own in the Instructional League. Yeah, there are drawbacks but Rizzo believes the benefits will easily outweigh the possible cost: struggling.
Harper proved he can play in the Florida Instructional League. He batted.319 (15-for-47) with four doubles, a triple, four homers, 12 RBI and seven walks. Harper–who led Washington’s Instructional League squad in homers, RBI and walks–posted .407 on-base and .702 slugging percentages en route to a stellar 1.110 OPS (OBP+SLG).
Now, this isn’t the Instructional League–the AFL offers the top-talent that is knocking on the door of the Majors–but Rizzo isn’t concerned.
“There is a high level of baseball going on,” Rizzo said. “Two months of this guy working out, practicing and playing will only benefit him. He is going to be fine in the [AFL].”
To ease Harper into the action they will restrict his playing time. He will join his new club on Tuesday as a member of the Scorpions’ Taxi Squad. Translation: he will work out, travel and dress normally as do members of Scottsdale’s active roster but he will only be eligible to participate in games twice a week, usually on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Harper will also be eligible to replace Nationals farmhands on Scottsdale’s active roster due to injury.
Part of the incentive to send Harper to Arizona is that he will be able to work extensively with Manager Randy Knorr, considered one of the best teachers in the Nationals organization, to learn the intricacies of right field. He will also work with Hitting Coach Rick Eckstein to refine his swing.
“He’s 17 years old and he doesn’t even turn 18 until Saturday,” Rizzo said. “He is very excited. What I had to decide on was: ‘Is he going to be over his head in the AFL?’ It’s a very advanced league, but I think he is going to handle it. It’s going to be very valuable to him.”
While this may seem like it is putting him on a fast track to the Majors, it isn’t. He is still expected to start the season in Single-A.
“He is going to A-ball, make no mistake about it,” Rizzo added. “He is not going to be a rushed guy. We are going to let his performance and development dictate where this guy goes.”
In other news not Harper, here are a few Nationals farmhands who performed at high levels during the just-completed Instructional League: outfielder Tyler Moore (.550, 4 doubles, 2 home runs, 11 RBI), catcher Sandy Leon (.429), outfielder Eury Perez (.357, 3 stolen bases), infielder Steven Souza (.345, 4 doubles, 2 home runs, 4 RBI), righthander A.J. Morris (0.00 ERA in 4 games, 7 strikeouts in 5.0 innings), lefthander Sammy Solis (0.00 ERA and 9 strikeouts in 9.0 innings spanning 3 games), righthander Ryan Mattheus (1.35 ERA and 6 strikeouts in 6.2 innings) and lefthander Robbie Ray (2.53 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 10.2 innings spanning 4 games).