According to Matt Eddy of Baseball America, the Nationals signed four players in the last week:
RHP Christian Garcia
The 2004 3rd round pick by the Yankees was once a promising prospect, but has seen his career shred to pieces by injuries over the years, most recently with his second Tommy John surgery in 2010. At only 25 (26 in August), his baseball life is still relatively young, and if he can stay healthy (which is a huge, ginormous IF), he could still be a solid ML pitcher.
From Rob Abruzzese, Bronx Baseball Daily, 2/17/2011: "Garcia was one hell of a prospect. He had a good fastball, a great curveball, and a solid changeup. He was potentially as good as Phil Hughes or better. The problem is that he can not stay healthy. He was drafted by the Yankees in the 2004 draft and seven years in the system he was only able to stay healthy for one season. Not a good track record. So the Yankees cut him loose after he underwent Tommy John surgery last April."
John Sickels ranked him #17 in the Yankees organization going into the 2009 season, giving him a C+ grade, #9/B- going into the 2007 season, #9/C+ going into 2006, and #9/C+ going into 2005.
OF Leonard Davis
Our 2008 minor league hitter of the year is back with the organization after spending the beginning of the 2011 season with the New Jersey Jackals of the Can-Am league.
Power has never been a problem for Davis, but plate discipline definitely has been. He has a career 178 BB/640 K ratio, including a 30 BB/112 K ratio in 2010 split between Syracuse and Harrisburg. Davis is a lefty hitter with extensive experience at 3B as well as some 2B experience, so there's a shot that he'll make the bigs some day, but he needs to conquer AAA first.
Leonard blogged for MLB.com during his time in the Arizona Fall League in 2008, so check that out.
RHP Cody Davis, University of Tampa
Davis, an undrafted free agent, will join his former University of Tampa teammate Shawn Pleffner, a 2011 Nats Draft Pick, in the Nats organization. Davis played OF more than he pitched at Tampa, but it appears that the Nats want him as a hurler. This season, Davis went 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA, 6 H and 4 BB allowed and 15 K in 16 and 2/3 innings pitched. Not bad numbers by any stretch, but they did occur in a small sample size. He made the Coastal Plain League All-Star Game as both an outfielder and a pitcher; Davis served as the Fayetteville SwampDogs' closer this season, going 1-1 with a 1.17 ERA, allowing 16 H, 3 BB and 29 K in 23 IP.
RHP John Peters, Augustana College (Illinois)
Peters is another UDFA who skipped his final year of eligibility to sign with the Nats. He went 4-1 with a 3.47 ERA this season, allowing 37 H and 17 BB over 46 and 2/3 innings, striking out 23 along the way. If you have a subscription to the Quad-Cities Dispatch, you can read an article about him. Sadly, I don't subscribe to small mid-western newspapers.
RHP Scott Williams, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Williams is a bonus, as he was noted in last week's transactions blog edition. He hails from the same college Jordan Zimmermann attended, so that's cool. He put up solid numbers for the Pointers this season, with an 11-2 record, 2.76 ERA, 101 K and 27 BB in 98 innings. In comparison, Zimmermann went 10-0 with a 2.08 ERA, 90 K and 18 BB in 78 innings in his last season at UWSP.
In an article from UWSP's official site, their coach Pat Bloom was quoted as saying, "I am confident that Scott will show that, like Jordan, he is a polished pitcher whose mound presence and competitive toughness are among his greatest attributes,” said Bloom. “He is certainly deserving of this opportunity, and I am happy for Scott and his family that he has a chance to fulfill his dreams."
The Portage Daily Register has a nice article about his road to professional baseball.