Sunday, August 7, 2011

Nats "expected to sign" top 4 picks?

Per Adam Kilgore of the Post: "Rizzo has spoken with the representatives for the players but hasn’t made significant headway. Again, though, it would be more surprising if the Nationals were nearing agreements. The Nationals are still expected to sign all four players by the deadline." I'm not surprised at all about Rendon, Goodwin and Meyer, but Purke is expected to sign? Yipee!

Signing all 4 of these guys (plus Kylin Turnbull, the Nats' 4th rounder) would be HUGE. If all of them do sign, I would put my Nats top prospects list as follows:

(note - I edited these on 8/8/11 at 5 pm EST. Original list can be found in the comments)
1 - Bryce Harper
2 - Anthony Rendon
3 - Matt Purke
4 - Brad Peacock
5 - A.J. Cole
6 - Derek Norris
7 - Alex Meyer
8 - Brian Goodwin
9 - Destin Hood
10 - Chris Marrero
11 - Robbie Ray
12 - Sammy Solis
13 - Stephen Lombardozzi
14 - Tom Milone
15 - Brad Meyers
16 - Eury Perez
17 - Zach Walters
18 - Erik Komatsu
19 - David Freitas
20 - Kylin Turnbull
21 - Danny Rosenbaum
22 - Matt Skole
23 - Rick Hague
24 - Jack McGeary
25 - Josh Smoker
26 - Tyler Moore
27 - J.P. Ramirez
28 - Randolph Oduber
29 - Jason Martinson
30 - Corey Brown

What do you guys think about a list like this?

Also, head on over to 2011 Nationals Draft Info and check out each player's profile: Rendon, Meyer, Goodwin and Purke


  1. I wouldn't be as confident at Kilgore sounds. Purke is going to command a HUGE contract, and I'm not so sure the Nats will match that, especially when Rendon, Meyer and Goodwin won't come cheaply either.

    A few comments on your list:
    I haven't seen much from Solis that does anything to warrant his 2nd round selection. For a 23 year old, I'd expect better numbers and at a level higher than A+. Cole and Ray (both 19 year olds) are putting up numbers nearly identical to Solis but at low A Hagerstown. I'd drop Solis a few spots to #14, then bump Lombardozzi to #10. He's done nothing but get better with each promotion. I'll be interested to see what he can do in a September call up.
    I'd also boost Robbie Ray a bit. As mentioned, he's been very good for his age. Looks like he'll be very good.
    I'd also swap Meyers for Perez. Meyers has put up solid numbers in AAA. While his prospect status is fading (almost 26), I've been less than impressed with Eury Perez. What little power he started with has totally disappeared.

    Hague is very interesting. It's unfortunate he missed the whole season, but I'm excited to see him healthy next year.

    Also, I'm bigger on Freitas than others, but I think he's been overlooked by most, when he's essentially Norris-lite: both have good patience, but Freitas has less power but better defense (and so far has demonstrated an ability to hit for average).

    I'd also include Erik Komatsu, Kevin Keyes, Corey Brown, Taylor Jordan and Blake Kelso (in that order), instead of retreads like McGeary, Smoker and Ramirez (reputation lasts only so long until 5 very poor minor league seasons start to paint a better, more realistic picture) and Karns (who, as a 23 year old, has been terrible in the NYPL).

  2. You know, I have felt lately like the signs were there to expect a Purke signing too.
    (a) they had to know drafting him that it would take $4m or so to sign him, given the family's history in previous negotiations, and the fact that he has leverage as a Soph eligible
    (b) injury becomes the key variable, and there have been several reports that the Nats feel like he is not an injury concern
    (c) they have signed no International FAs of note (cash)
    (d) they freed up even more cash by dumping Marquis and Hairston
    (c) he is the type of prospect (potential #1 starter) that is highly coveted. We aren't talking corner OF here.

    So I think that they are prepared to go to $4m. Maybe Purke holds out for $6m, like he agreed to in Texas, but I think that he bites at $4m

  3. On your prospects, I might flip Cole and Peacock. Goodwin and Marrero seem too high, Ray and Hood too low.

  4. will, I think you may be selling smoker and mcgeary short...both are rebounding from major arm issues but still have ML stuff and are starting to perform. smoker's walks are scary but he'll rebound. I like (and considered) the guys you listed, just am a fan of ramirezs ability to hit (not this year though!). I'll reconsider the last 15 and reorder as well. and I really like freitas.

    Wally, I like peacock and marreros track records and polish, thus the higher ratings. Hood is great this year but I think Goodwin is a better bet to be an ML player as Hood is still very raw. I'll look it over again though.

    thanks for reading!

  5. Honestly I can't see Purke signing; he's going to want a number closer to the $6M he was offered out of HS, and his choice NOT to play in the Cape means the Nats have no way of knowing just how recovered he is. They can't possibly offer him first round money after what's happened to him. Its not in Purke's best interest to take a $1.5M deal if he can get his mojo back and get a $6-7M deal next spring.

    On your prospect rankings: I'd have Ray and Lombardozzi higher, Peacock lower. All Ray has done is out-perform AJ Cole in low-A; i'd put them together until one outshines the other.

    I know Peacock has been the prospect darling and all, but lots of scouts think he barely has a 2nd pitch and no third pitch, which means ceiling of middle relief. I hope i'm wrong but until he gets to the majors we just won't know. Also the two guys we picked up in trade were both pretty decent prospects (Komatsu more than Walters; he was a BA top10 guy for Milwaukee).

    No love for Tyler Moore? All he's done is hit bombs for the 2nd year in a row. 31 last year, on pace for 29-30 this year in AA. Maybe he's the answer we've been looking for long-term at 1B in 2013 and beyond.

  6. I'm admittedly not a big Moore guy but I pegged him in the 20-25 range. must have lost him in a cut/paste operation. will fix later. I really like Walters but question his ability to stick at SS for now.

  7. and missing komatsu was bad on my part.

  8. Todd Boss said...

    Honestly I can't see Purke signing; he's going to want a number closer to the $6M he was offered out of HS, and his choice NOT to play in the Cape means the Nats have no way of knowing just how recovered he is. They can't possibly offer him first round money after what's happened to him. Its not in Purke's best interest to take a $1.5M deal if he can get his mojo back and get a $6-7M deal next spring.

    Todd - but don't you think that the Nats knew all that going in? I agree that they won't go to $6m, but I don't think that they took him without being prepared to go to $3-$4m if he checked out health wise. That is why I was intrigued by their comments that they do not think that he is a health risk. The trades and no international signings just feel like they are clearing money to go to that level.

    If the above is right, then it comes down to whether Purke would sign for $4m v. going back in to the draft next year for a shot at $6m. Who knows what they decide, but reasons for him to take the $ now are (i) he is two years older than last time around, (ii) he may feel confident that he is over the injury, but he can't completely discount it popping up again, and (iii) uncertainty about the next CBA, what it means for draftees and when it takes effect.

    I dunno, I just have a feeling. I'll bet you a beer?

  9. By the way, Sickels likes Walters more than Komatsu

  10. Unless you stealth edited, Tyler Moore is listed at #21. I'm not a fan of Moore either. He's basically a Chris Davis, Wily Mo Pena, Brandon Wood type (just 3 off the top of my head; there's many more examples). They all posted huuuuge numbers in the minors (far better than Moore has ever done), but they could never succeed in the majors because they have no plate discipline. Moore is the same story. Major league pitching is going to eat him up. You simply cannot succeed with a 5% BB rate and a 22% K rate (ask Ian Desmond). Once he begins facing better pitchers (in AAA and the Majors), they're going to easily make him chase pitches outside the zone. And I didn't even mention the fact that he's consistently played below his age level (age 24 season in AA).

  11. Wally, to me Purke was an insurance policy. Rendon had serious questions surrounding him on draft day. After all, 5 teams passed on him (widely considered the best or second best player) before the Nats. If there was really something there that the Nats didn't see at first, they could still walk away from the draft with a top 10 talent without signing Rendon. Additionally, I think they were probably very surprised to see Purke fall as far as he did. They already got their guys in Meyer and Goodwin, so it didn't hurt too bad to likely waste a third round pick on a flyer.

    Even without a once-in-a-generation #1 pick, it looks like this draft will be even more expensive than the previous two. Rendon should command around $6m, Meyer $1-2m, Goodwin $1-2m, Purke $5-6m. That's ~$15m for the first four picks.
    2010: Harper 10m + Solis 1m + Hague 750k + Cole 2m = ~14m
    2009: Stras 15m + Storen 1.6 + Kobernus 700k + Holder 200k = ~17.5m

    So I suppose it's not out of the question (at least by past standards), but there's still a lot of money that could be spent on guys in the later rounds like Turnbull, Stubbs and Buchanan

  12. If ya'll bet a beer on Purke signing, can I claim 5% of it as a fee for the bet happening on my comments page? :D

    There was no stealth edit...I've been on my phone all day so I didn't check back to see about Moore, just assumed I missed him.

    Thanks for the lively discussion today, Wally, Will and Todd. Once the signing deadline comes and passes, I'm going to run a series of polls that will let Nats fans vote on their top prospect list, so make sure to look out for that!

  13. I'm going to edit my list a little bit, but will leave my old list here in the comments so in 5 years when Tyler Moore hits 75 HR in a season I can kill myself.

    1 - Bryce Harper
    2 - Anthony Rendon
    3 - Brad Peacock
    4 - Matt Purke
    5 - A.J. Cole
    6 - Derek Norris
    7 - Alex Meyer
    8 - Brian Goodwin
    9 - Chris Marrero
    10 - Destin Hood
    11 - Sammy Solis
    12 - Robbie Ray
    13 - Stephen Lombardozzi
    14 - Tom Milone
    15 - Eury Perez
    16-20 range: Brad Meyers, Rick Hague, Zach Walters, Jack McGeary, Kylin Turnbull
    21-25 range: Tyler Moore, Josh Smoker, Danny Rosenbaum, David Freitas, Matt Skole
    26-30 range: J.P. Ramirez, Nathan Karns, Justin Bloxom, Randolph Oduber, Jason Martinson

  14. Will - I hear you, and it is logical. But I think that Laxer, Stubbs and Buchanan were the fallback picks in case of a signing failure or Rendon injury problem. Kind of like JP Ramirez a few years ago. Decent young upside guys that were pricing themselves out of market unless they were needed for fallback.

    Purke, I think, was just a flyer on his injury. Had he pitched to his capabilities and fell to the Nats at 6 this yer, they would not have had any problem throwing big dollars at him (imo). So I think that they see him as a #1, and if healthy, why wouldn't they pay up? That is why I think the comments attributed to the Nats are interesting. If you weren't going to sign him, wouldn't you start planting reports that you aren't comfortable with the injury/lack of Cape Cod playing time?

    I am also reading tea leaves around some of the trades. Why wouldn't they pay some of Marquis and Hairston's salary to get a better prospect? Their payroll is way low, and they have no international free agents to speak of. Unless they wanted to make a splash with Purke? Anyhow, that is my theory.

    And I'll revise my bet: if they sign Purke AND he is healthy, I'll buy beers all around.