Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Nationals Draft History: 2011 Rounds 11-20

Round 11: OF Caleb Ramsey, Houston roundup: "Ramsey hit .318 and drove in 46 runs in his senior season. He stole five bases and did not homer."
Unfortunately, there is very little I could find on Ramsey besides this interview from last summer. The 2010 Cape Cod League All-Star hit .318/.416/.430 this year, including a bunch of doubles and triples but no homers in his senior season at Houston. He was 5/6 on stolen bases as well. Since Ramsey is on Twitter, I will do my best to contact him and find out what type of player he really is.
Follow Caleb on Twitter

Round 12: LHP Blake Monar, Indiana roundup: "A shoulder injury limited Monar to 3 1/3 innings a year ago, but he recovered to go 6-3 with a 3.52 ERA this season."
Monar was taken out of high school by the Yankees in 2009's 16th round.  
From Baseball America, 6/7/2011: "A year ago, lefthander Blake Monar's career as a pitcher appeared finished. He injured his shoulder in Indiana's season opener and served as a reserve outfielder, then spent the summer lifting weights and honing his swing. But his arm bounced back in the fall, allowing him to return to the mound. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder's out pitch always has been his curveball, and he sets it up with an 88-90 mph fastball that peaks at 92. His changeup is effective at times, though he'll need better command to remain a starter rather than becoming a lefty specialist. Despite his comeback, his medical history still concerns some teams." 
From Gordon Engelhardt, Evansville Courier & Press, 6/7/2011: "Monar said a Nationals scout contacted him before and after he was selected and they were pretty close financially. 'I think when it's all said and done I will get top-10 round money,' Monar said. 'Negotiations haven't really started yet. But they will definitely be around the ballpark I'm asking for. I don't want to say numbers yet. I'm pretty happy how everything went down.' Monar, a 6-foot-2, 205-pounder, posted a 6-3 record with a 3.52 earned run average for the Hoosiers."

Round 13: 1B Casey Kalenkosky, Texas State roundup: "Kalenkosky provides some pop, as his 21 home runs ranked sixth in the nation entering NCAA Regionals, but he also boasted a .327 batting average this season."  
From John Sickels, Minor League Ball, 6/14/2011: "Kalenkosky (13th round, Texas State) has massive power (21 homers) that could play nicely in pro ball if he keeps the strikeouts (50 in 245 AB) from eating him up."
From Baseball America, 6/7/2011: "Kalenkosky hit 20 homers in two seasons at Cisco (Texas) JC and nearly matched that total during the regular season, tying the Texas State record with 18. The 6-foot, 195-pound righthanded hitter's power will have to carry him, however. He lacks the pitch recognition to hit for a high average and is a below-average runner and defender. He does have arm strength and has seen brief action as a catcher."

Round 14: LF Cody Stubbs, Walters State CC roundup: "The Red Sox drafted Stubbs out of high school (29th round, 2009), but he went to Tennessee for a season before transferring to Walters State, where he also played for one season."
Known as Roland by, but goes by Cody. Committed to UNC for next year. Hit .413 with 17 homers and 76 RBI's this season. Really not a whole lot on Stubbs online, but I'll do my best to dig more up!

Round 15: SS Zach Houchins, Louisburg College roundup: "Houchins hit .349 with four home runs, 35 RBIs and seven stolen bases."  
From Baseball America, 6/7/2011: "The best junior-college prospect in the state is either shortstop Zach Houchins or first baseman Tyler Molinaro. Houchins has good strength and bat speed and has consistently hit the ball hard this season. He has a good arm but lacks the speed and actions to stay at shortstop."
Zach's Twitter has been deleted after some uproar from the Nationals blogosphere for being inappropriate/racist/bad. For Love of the Nationals has a recap post, though.

Round 16: SS Deion Williams, Redan H.S. (Ga.) roundup: "The 6-foot-3 shortstop signed a letter of intent at Georgia State after playing in the Under Armour All-American Game as a high school junior. His father and grandfather both played professionally in the Red Sox organization."
From John Sickels, Minor League Ball, 6/14/2011: "Williams is toolsy and raw and has major league bloodlines, being the grandson of former major leaguer George Scott."
From Baseball America, 6/7/2011: "The state's top middle-infield challenger to Julius Gaines was athletic Deion Williams, who plays at Redan High, the same school that produced recent big league infielders Brandon Phillips and Chris Nelson. At 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, he's tall and lean with an excellent frame that should fill out well. He has bloodlines as the grandson of former big league slugger George Scott. His defense is his best attribute now, as he has arm strength and quick feet. He doesn't have great actions, and while his swing has some looseness, he doesn't drive the ball consistently. He's signed to Georgia State."
"Deion Williams is a sleeper! Every scout and scouting department that I speak with drools at his potential, projection and tools. He is worth the risk!"-Commenter MLB Scout II on Minor League Ball, 4/24/2011.
From Mike Holmes, Georgia State Sports, 11/17/2010: "Deion Williams is a nationally ranked prospect from Redan High School where he played for Marvin Pruitt, one of the most successful baseball coaches in the state...A multi-tool shortstop, Deion currently ranked as the fifth best player in the state of Georgia and is ranked 86th nationally by PGCrosschecker...He led Redan to the final four of the state playoffs last season, one of the top finishes in school history...Last year, he participated in the Under Armour All-American Game after playing summer ball for former Panthers Mark Mortimer and Jack Stewart...Baseball has a long tradition in his family as his grandfather, George Scott, signed with the Boston Red Sox and spent 13 years playing professional baseball. His father Dion also played in the Boston Red Sox organization and was the head coach at McNair High School for 11 years, winning 200 games."

Round 17: RHP Esteban Guzman, San Jose State roundup: "The 6-foot-4 Guzman struck out 74 batters over 75 2/3 innings with a 3.33 ERA."

Guzman sounds ecstatic to be drafted and says he'll likely sign, according to Paul Farmer of the Fairfield Daily Republic (6/7/2011). Farmer quotes Guzman as saying, "There’s a great chance I’ll probably sign and start my career this summer," as well as "Obviously it’s a dream come true. I get to start my pro career, but it’s just a start."
 In the same article, his coach Jason Chatham described him as a pitcher: "The kid lives in the low 90s. He’s got a great breaking ball. He’s got excellent poise on the mound."
SJSU's website had a nice getting-to-know-you interview with him last year.

Round 18: LHP Nicholas Lee, Weatherford College roundup: "The Draft-eligible southpaw went 5-4 with a 2.80 ERA this season."
Lee pitched for Weatherford, a Junior College in Texas this year, and is signed to play for the Oklahoma Sooners next year. He was a 38th round draft pick last year by the Houston Astros.
From Perfect Game: "Lefty showed mid 80s FB and nice slider at AC"
Not a whole lot of info on Lee because it's hard to Google a guy named Nick Lee. I'll be adding stuff to Lee's profile whenever I find it, though.

Round 19, RHP Hawtin Buchanan, Biloxi H.S. (Miss.) roundup: "The 6-foot-8 Buchanan dropped this low over fears that he will follow through on his commitment to Ole Miss. His fastball is in the low 90s."
From John Sickels, Minor League Ball, 6/14/2011: "Buchanan is strongly committed to Ole Miss but would have gone 15 rounds higher if considered more signable."
From Baseball America, 6/7/2011: "Scouts flocked to Mississippi for a deep pool of high school talent this year, and the towering Buchanan seemed to be at his best when the heat was on. At 6-foot-8, he's athletic enough to have played quarterback in the fall, and he has room to fill out even though he's a listed 230 pounds. He repeats his delivery well for a prep pitcher of his size, and one evaluator called him the "definition of a big-body power arm." He elicits comparisons to former Ole Miss righthander Cody Satterwhite, who was similarly physical, but Buchanan may throw harder more consistently. After sitting 86-91 mph early in the spring, he was hitting more 93s as the season went along. His changeup is his best secondary pitch, and he hasn't shown much of a feel for his loopy, slow curveball. Some scouts are concerned about Buchanan's arm action in the back, as his elbow tends to get inverted, much as Stephen Strasburg's more celebrated arm does. Buchanan was at his best against the likes of Senquez Golson and Mason Robbins, two of Mississippi's top prep hitters. He's an Ole Miss legacy who is considered a tough sign."
From Matt Garrioch, MLB Bonus Baby, 11/22/2010: "Hawtin is all projection. He's 6'8" and throws low 90's. He's athletic for his size and is definitely a project worth taking a shot on." Garrioch ranked Buchanan #42 on his top 150 here.
From Andy Seiler, MLB Bonus Baby, 7/18/2010: "Extremely tall, and he still manages to have projection despite already packing on some 230-240 pounds on his 6’8’’ frame. He has a very deceptive above-average fastball when he’s on, and his release point is so close to the plate that his 88-90 mph fastball looks more like 91-93. His curveball is a potential plus pitch, too, and I’ve heard of a few average changeups thrown in when he was here at East Cobb a couple weeks ago. If he had 3-4 more miles an hour on his fastball, we’d be talking about him as a top ten pick."
From Team One Baseball, 6/28/2010: "Hawtin has a mature frame and a pro pitcher body, standing 6’8’’ and weighing 240 lbs.  He utilizes his great body to throw his fast ball on a downhill plane that ranges from 86-90 MPH.  Hawtin has a quick, fluid delivery, good glove side lead, and a smooth arm action.  Buchanan has excellent mound presence, and a sharp 11-5 breaking ball with good potential.  Hawtin's stock on the mound can rise even higher if he can improve his change-up."

From what I've read, Buchanan will almost certainly fulfill his commitment to Ole Miss rather than sign. Stranger things have certainly happened, though, as the Nats have been very aggressive with drafting and signing HS pitchers with signability issues in the past (Robbie Ray, Jack McGeary, Brandon King, etc.). I wonder if the Nationals drafted Buchanan and Laxer back-to-back to try and convince the two of them to go pro together. Pure speculation, of course, but adding a second gigantic righty in this draft would be huge for the Nationals (literally).
Follow Hawtin on Twitter

Round 20, RHP Josh Laxer, Madison Central H.S. (Miss.) roundup: "Another Ole Miss commit, Laxer throws a 95 mph fastball. He struck out 110 batters and walked 19 in 68 innings this season."
From Baseball America, 6/7/2011: "In many years, Mississippi signee Josh Laxer would have been the top prep pitcher in the state. At 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, he pounds the strike zone with quality stuff, touching the low 90s and sitting around 88-89 mph with a fastball that has good armside life and sink at times. He spots his slurvy breaking ball well and knows how to pitch. His lack of physicality may make college ball a better fit."
From Josh Dellenger, The Clairon-Ledger, 6/4/2011: "As the Jaguars' ace, the Ole Miss signee drew dozens of scouts with his 95-mph fastball, a nasty slider and unique change-up - the last one he swiped from his older brother. For Laxer to bypass a college career at Ole Miss, the money must be right. In fact, he has a figure in mind: 'Anywhere around' $900,000, he said. It's an amount he and his family agreed upon."
From Team One Baseball, 6/28/2010: "Laxer is a strong, thin, wiry athlete that currently projects better on the hill than in the INF.  Josh throws a fast ball ranging from 86 to 90 MPH that has A/S run.  He is an aggressive Pitcher with a live / loose arm and an on-time delivery.  He has quality off-speed pitches, he changes speeds very well, and can pitch to both sides of the plate.  Laxer has excellent mound presence and is a legitimate prospect.  In the INF, Josh has soft hands and good lateral movements.  He has a good idea, he can throw from different arm slots, and he makes things look easy.  Offensively, Laxer is an aggressive hitter with good strength and pop in his bat.  He centers the ball well on the barrel and with better use of his lower 1/2 strong offensive numbers can become even better." Note-this is from last summer, so apparently his fastball velocity increased by 5 MPH in that span.

It's interesting to see that Laxer has the figure he's willing to sign for prepared (and public): $900k. In a draft that features some expensive players at the top but a ton of college seniors that will sign around or under slot in the top 10 rounds, the Nationals can likely afford to pay Laxer.
Read my interview with Josh here.
Follow Josh on Twitter


  1. I just came across your blog (from MLBTR), and I'm glad I did. I've been trying to find some good commentary on the Nats draft.

    On Stubbs, he was ranked #166th by Baseball America. Not too shabby for the 427th pick! It also might suggest that he'll be a tough sign, given his commitment to UNC. Maybe Goodwin can have a chat with him about how fun taking classes are in Chapel Hill...

  2. Stubbs looks solid the more I see about him. I have a good feeling about him signing for no particular reason.

    Glad you stopped by! Feel free to come back and comment away whenever you read :)