Saturday, November 10, 2012

Is Desmond MLB's best shortstop?

Photo by AP
Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond had by all accounts a breakout season for Washington in 2012. He upped his batting average and power numbers significantly, and in turn cut down on errors which had always been his most glaring flaw. The combination of improvements he made turned him into a National League All-Star, a Silver Slugger, and a Gold Glove finalist.

Desmond was one of the best players on the N.L. East champion Nationals and, with a closer look at the numbers, may have been the best shortstop in the majors in 2012.

Take a look at Desmond’s 2012 stats and where they rank in baseball among shortstops:

.845 OPS – 1st in MLB
.292 BA – 3rd in MLB (1st in NL)
25 HR – 1st in MLB
73 RBI – 2nd in MLB
21 SB – 7th in MLB
72 R – 7th in MLB


Tops in the league in homers and OPS, and with 21 stolen bases to complement, no one at the position provided the tools Desmond did in 2012. He, at least at the moment, is arguably the most versatile shortstop in the majors.

Desmond reaching this height was aided by several factors. For one, Derek Jeter and Jimmy Rollins are older and not the MVP’s they used to be. Jeter and Rollins both had solid years, especially for their age, but Desmond’s youth gives him better range and a higher upside. Desmond also posted his numbers despite missing 32 games to an oblique injury.
 
Another thing working in Desmond’s favor was the absence of Troy Tulowitzki for most of the season. The Rockies’ shortstop is a two-time winner of both the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards in the National League. He had posted three consecutive seasons of at least 27 homers and 92 RBI before missing most of 2012.

Even if Desmond’s distinction is the league’s best shortstop is qualified in that way, he represents a type of player that is much more rare than it was just a few years ago. Few teams have shortstops than are very good defenders and produce at a high level at the plate quite like Desmond.

If you go ten years back to 2002, Desmond’s numbers wouldn’t stack up quite as well. Back then five different shortstops hit at least 24 homers and three posted at least 120 RBI. Desmond’s OPS would rank fifth instead of first and his runs scored would place 15th.

Offensive numbers around baseball are down overall since 2002 which was during a sort of heyday for power-hitting shortstops. And as the league has changed, fewer and fewer shortstops like Desmond have emerged. While the position has moved more towards a focus on defense with few players being big producers at the plate, the rarity of Desmond’s talent is clear.

206 comments:

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SonnyG10 said...

Wow, best shortstop in the major leagues! Good going Desi.

UnkyD said...

Yep...(buffs his nail on his shirt, in smug satisfaction...)

NatsJack in Florida said...

I'll be the first to greet him at Spring Training in February and announce that I have officially laid to rest his previous nickname, Ian " The Big Tease" Desmond.

Way to go kid.

SonnyG10 said...

Davey has one big job left...getting Espi going at the plate like he did Desi.

natsfan1a said...

Somebody's dog is getting cookies tonight. :-)

SonnyG10 said...

Back from my timeshare week in Massanutten. Boy am I glad to get back to my FIOS network. The network in Massanutten is slow as molasses. We don't have very good cable up there either...no MLBTV.

whatsanattau said...

According to the Nationals web site, there are 36 players on the 40 man roster including Lannan, Kimball, Maya, Flores, Brown, and Rivera. Some of those players could be dropped. But if you had four spots to protect and promote minor league players, which four farmhands would you award 40 man roster spots too right now? My first two: Goodwin and Walters.



Gonat said...

SonnyG10 said...
Davey has one big job left...getting Espi going at the plate like he did Desi.

November 10, 2012 3:02 PM
______________________________

Davey and Eck worked extensively with Espi most of the season but what do you do when you work with a player who keeps reverting back to bad habits?

Keep in mind on May 8th Espi had a .517 OPS with a .186 BA so maybe they were successful as dire as things were then, and in the month of July actually batted .300 and finished the season with a .717 OPS.

From that low point in the season to end of the season Espi raised his OPS 200 points which is huge. Unfortunately .717 stinks especially when you consider Stephen Strasburg had a .759 OPS

Doc said...

Yeah, Desi deserves the 'Best' distinction--hands down!!!!

At this point, writers with a modicum of sabermetrics at their fingertips, do a better job of picking stars than ballplayers and managers. According to Billy Ripkin, they don't use any.

Case in point, Jones from the O's (Runs Saved -17) vs. Trout (Runs Saved +23). Guess who got the Golden Glove???

Same series of issues with Desi and Rollins. Plus Rollins hits in a phone booth; Desi hits in a real ballpark!


baseballswami said...

Desi is truly an awesome shortstop. I am so happy about his break-out season. But he seems to also be an allstar person, husband, father and teammate. We are lucky to have him.

JaneB said...

Yes. Yes he is.

JaneB said...

Ian Desmond Cooooookieeeeerr!

SCNatsFan said...

You just have to hope Espi matures the same way

Traveler8 said...

i am looking at the list of stories on the right, and reading Amanda Comak's tweets - why is it that Scott Boras's pronouncements are considered news? I stopped reading Kilgore after he had a whole column that was all Boras explaining why the Nats should re-sign Pudge, all recited as through this was a neutral evaluation.

MicheleS said...

Wow, how far has Ian come over these last few years. Love that the doubters (most of us) have been eating crow all year.

Plus he totally got jobbed on the Gold Glove, that tool from Phillie should not have even been nominated.

Avar said...

Being a fellow doubter w/ MicheleS, I'm now an enthusiastic fellow crow eater. Couldn't be happier to see Desi blossom.

I think it's a strong case that he was the best SS in MLB last year. W/ Tulo back in '13 we'll see how it goes but even if he's the 2nd best, that is amazing.

rabbit34 said...

MicheleS, Desi may not have received the Gold Glove, but the good points...we finished first, the Phillies didn't; we have Desmond, the Phillies don't. Sleep well!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Michele, I could see being a little worried on Desi last July but he had a very good August and September of 2011.

All Davey changed was his approach and staying back on the ball, mostly the mental side of the game.

What really infuriated me was people throwing Desi into trades as if he had no value.

I've always liked Desi and just saw him as a player who had to believe in himself.


natsfan1a said...

From reading various stories/tweets over time, I've developed the impression that Kilgore might be more easily manipulated into running with something fed to him by (anonymous or other) sources than some of the other beat writers. Or maybe it's a mutual thing. Getting the spin out on the part of the source, and generating page views for AK. Anyhoo, just an impression. fwiw. imho. etc.

Oh, and #$%@ the Phillies. That is all. :-)

Traveler8 said...

i am looking at the list of stories on the right, and reading Amanda Comak's tweets - why is it that Scott Boras's pronouncements are considered news? I stopped reading Kilgore after he had a whole column that was all Boras explaining why the Nats should re-sign Pudge, all recited as through this was a neutral evaluation.
November 11, 2012 2:34 AM

Avar said...

Before everyone starts saying there was never any reason to doubt, let's not forget that before '12, he last three seasons OBP were 318, 308 and 298 so lousy and getting worse. And that strong finish to '11 brought his OBP UP to 298. That is horrible folks. '12 was a breakthrough year of large proportions.

So, I'm in the fan club now but I have not renounced my previous criticisms, they were well warranted.

JT said...

I must admit, I've always been a Desi fan, from as far back as his days with the Savannah Sand Gnats! He just needed time to blossom, which he has an I couldn't be happer for him. Espi is another story. Love his glove but his bat has to start finding contact.

MicheleS said...

I really think what helped Desi the most was Davey's unwavering confidence in him. When someone believes in you and you don't worry about being benched,it does wonders for your faith in your own abilities.

Gonat said...

Gonat said...
222 - Desmond is Davey's personal project. Ian will have a much better year. If he doesn't then Shortstop will be on the 2013 shopping list.

I don't move Danny.
February 02, 2012 10:52 PM
________________________________

MicheleS, Davey's personal project. Those of us who had unwavering faith in Desi to turn that improvement he showed for the last 2 months of 2011 was prudent.

That Walk-Off HR from Desi on May 2nd of 2012 was the point you knew 2012 was going to be a special season for Desi.

Gonat said...

Gonat said...
NatsJack on Florida said...
This the last time I'll say this.

Ian Desmond is going to lead off and and be shortstop for 162 games (barring injury).

So Peric, shut up!

February 02, 2012 9:53 PM
__________________________________

Thank you, thank you, and thank you. I am sick of the daily bashing and especially those that think Lombardozzi can take over leadoff and 2nd base and Espinosa can make a successful switch to shortstop and everything will be better.

The Fantasy Island approach here sometimes is tiring.

February 02, 2012 10:18 PM
______________________________________

Most of the Desi hate were people wanting Espi at SS, Lombo at 2nd, and Desi traded.

Scarey to think how bad 2012 would have looked if those Anon's had gotten their way.

Gonat said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
Michele, I could see being a little worried on Desi last July but he had a very good August and September of 2011.

All Davey changed was his approach and staying back on the ball, mostly the mental side of the game.

What really infuriated me was people throwing Desi into trades as if he had no value.

I've always liked Desi and just saw him as a player who had to believe in himself.
November 11, 2012 8:10 AM
___________________________________

I agree. It always seemed to be the mental approach with both his offense and defense. The difference is guys like you and NatsJack and myself and a few others could see it while most of the posters here wanted Desi gone even if he was given away in a trade for a case of sunflower seeds.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Gonat, it's all about observe but verify.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I wish I was as optimistic on Espi because if how he finished the season. The good news is Espi had a much better 2nd half but then regressed in Sept/Oct.

Davey can probably live with Espi's 2nd half slash .264/.321/.432/.752

whatsanattau said...

I'm not right often enough to let this conversation go without comment. The stats did support havIng faith in Desmond. A look at the minor league record showed the OBP, OPS, SLG percentage track record that supports last years performance.

Gonat said...

whatsanattau said...
I'm not right often enough to let this conversation go without comment. The stats did support havIng faith in Desmond. A look at the minor league record showed the OBP, OPS, SLG percentage track record that supports last years performance.

November 11, 2012 10:08 AM
________________________________

I saw it that way also. The question is why most here didn't see it or weren't patient enough to want him back for 2012.

It was downright horrible on here with people suggesting trades where they wanted Desi thrown in as a freebie.

I won't mention who said it but one regular poster said Lannan, Flores, and Desi for BJ Upton which would have been a 1 year rental for BJ. So much for that idea.

blovy8 said...

While you guys are patting your virtual backs, you do realize that Desmond did have to make adjustments, and that no one was saying the guy was going to hit as many as 25 home runs, right? I doubt that adjustment would have happened were he batting leadoff the whole season again. I thought the only way he could improve would be through power, since it was obvious he was never going to get on base all that much unless he became a much more passive hitter to what he'd ever been, but I figured .270-280 with 18 home runs would be how it'd go. If they pitch a little differently to him, he might be that again, and then you are probably looking at Tulo, Reyes being better and Alexei Ramirez, Astrubal Cabrera, Starlin Castro, etc being about as good.

Espinosa still has a lot of potential if you allow a normal young player curve, where he has to adjust to breaking pitches and the added difficulty of keeping his stroke from both sides of the plate. He's an elite defensive infielder, so you can waite longer for his bat to come around. I don't think anyone needs to immediately crap on Lombardozzi either, since 2012 was his first season and he had to learn a new position. There's no reason to think that with his excellent contact rate, he can't improve into a higher obp sort of player that would not be miscast in a leadoff spot. He's already a good defensive 2nd baseman. Think of how long it took Desmond to get to that point at short. Eight years of professional ball, and this is the first season you can say he's good there. You can't look at two guys who haven't had the development time yet and make a sweeping conclusion that everything will stay the same.

Gonat said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
I wish I was as optimistic on Espi because if how he finished the season. The good news is Espi had a much better 2nd half but then regressed in Sept/Oct.

Davey can probably live with Espi's 2nd half slash .264/.321/.432/.752

November 11, 2012 9:52 AM
______________________________________

There's that ole saying "Its not how you start but how you finish".

It will be tough to get that post-season 1-15 out of my mind and looking totally over-matched.

Yes, its a small sample size but was a continuation of Espi's poor September.

My theory is Espi got hot after the All Star break and continued with good results into August but then you saw in late August his swing started to get longer, his HRs went up and he had his best power month but then the Strikeouts started piling up again and in his last 30 games he struck out at a season high pace.

Here's what you can't live with is his POOR clutch numbers especially the constant situations where he had a runner on 3rd with less than 2 outs which calls for CONTACT. Espi K'd 11 of the 24 ABs and slashed .208/.222/.208/.431 That is completely unacceptable.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Gonat, you nailed it and beyond the simple stats is at critical times when all you need is contact, not even a hit, and if you can't do that, it's a problem.

The rookie TyMo in Game 1 of the postseason as a pinch hitter shortened his swing and served a ball the oppo way for a 2 RBI game winning single. That's contact. That's clutch. THAT'S APPROACH! It's staying within yourself.

JaneB said...

Whatever we think or thought or say or said, the one who did the work was IAN. He made the changes and as far as I'm concerned, all back pats go to him.

Now, more cookies.

Gonat said...

SteveM, I believe Espi is your 2nd baseman in Spring Training and go from there. The underlying metrics from Lombo were a missed bag and not sure even Lombo is the answer behind Espi but certainly Lombo was asked to do a lot coming off of the bench and not getting regular playing time.

Gonat said...

JaneB said...
Whatever we think or thought or say or said, the one who did the work was IAN. He made the changes and as far as I'm concerned, all back pats go to him.

Now, more cookies.

November 11, 2012 11:22 AM
_________________________________

Very true but even Ian would tell you that he did improve through the help and faith from his coaches.

Ian said he owes a lot of thanks to Larry Bowa for his big difference in his defense. Bowa saw that he was doing a leg cross-over instead of shuffling his feet. It made a huge difference.

Again, subtle changes to the finer points and big changes to his approach and the mental aspect.

Doc said...

Check out Jason Martinson for future infield back up.

Plays SS, so he must have an arm. And he's got some pop, with 22 dingers between Hag and Pot. Possibly, some interesting comparisons to Lombo.

He stole a bunch of bases too!

Not doing too much in AFL, but then he's not getting on the field heck of a lot.

Avar said...

Sorry guys but trying to project minor league stats to major league stats is a a lost cause. It's been tried by the best and there just isn't a correlation.

Why is it so terrible to say that through '11 Desi was a lousy major league hitter and this year he had a breakthrough. I don't think it's crazy to question if he will repeat that year in '13. I think he'll come close but it's not crazy to question it.

FWIW - I posted all my complaints about Desi's performance under this name and I stand by them. I'm also thrilled that he turned it around. I was rooting for him.

Avar said...

Oh yeah, as a fan it was easy to root for Desi to turn it around b/c of his class, professionalism and work ethic.

In contrast; remember Nook Logan, Felipe Lopez and Nyjer Morgan?? Those were dark times my friends. These days are long gone.

Gonat said...

Avar, bad Minor League stats is a "death wish". I would agree that good Minor League stats usually don't guarantee you anything. Great Minor League stats is generally a good indicator.

Avar said...

I'll agree with "generally a good indicator" for great minor league stats. I felt like some were saying they knew Desi would break out because of minor league stats. I can't quite buy that logic. It was reason to give him a long look which they did and I'm glad they did.

fast eddie said...

Off topic, but does anyone know when "the dominos start to fall", as Rizzo calls them.
You'd think ALR (and other FAs) would make a decision before Xmas so he can enjoy stress-free holidays.
Sounds like Rizzo made his best offer and is taking a wait-and-see approach.
I'm dyin' here--the "expense" is killing me!

CALSGR8 said...

And yet Rollins got the Gold Glove!!! Go Figure!

whatsanattau said...

More important than being right (though I'm not embarrassed by that) is that the lack of patience and observation often leads to bad decisions. Johnson and Rizzo Faith in Desmond was rewarded. It's instructive. Yes Desmond did the hard work, but management gave him opportunity. Of course knowing which prospects to Trust and which to trade to Oakland is rather important.

natsfan1a said...

On the support front, see also the man whose jersey number Desi adopted this year. :-)

baseballswami said...

We do have reasons for concern with Espi. Just because Ian broke out, that doesn't automatically mean that he will, too. Different people. I hope he does, but there might be platooning in his future to upgrade at the plate if he can't pull it together. I hope he is Gold Glove, Silver Slugger this time next year. If you had asked me a year ago which Nats would have those titles right now I would have totally failed.

Joe Seamhead said...

Wasn't there a bit of controversy in spring training last year because Ian was off to a slow start and was being criticized for working on his hitting with an old high school coach over the winter?
I also remember last winter many fans wanting to throw him under the bus, but also more then a couple on this board feeling that 2012 was a make or break year for him.

natsfan1a said...

I seem to recall something about that. Couldn't turn up anything specific with some quick online searching just now but did find a nice SI piece on Ian, from late September.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Joe, I think the High School coach issue was on the Blogs and just fueled by the old Desi hate.

baseballswami said...

Funny how Desi, ALR and Jayson were all frequent targets during the off season. Perhaps that's some kind of reverse charm ? If so, Danny should be due to have an MVP year and Drew should win the Cy Young;)

peric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peric said...

Why is it so terrible to say that through '11 Desi was a lousy major league hitter and this year he had a breakthrough. I don't think it's crazy to question if he will repeat that year in '13. I think he'll come close but it's not crazy to question it.

And no one gives his true mentor any credit? Davey Johnson. Before that Davey was not in a position to mentor Desmond's skill set. Last season he was. Big difference.

Again, Davey has laid claim to the idea that he is the very best at developing top talent, top prospects for the major leagues. And he likes to do it **IN** the major leagues not the minors. Did the same thing with the Mets, and when tried to do in other places where he managed. Sometimes he was blocked from doing so ... and that typically led to Davey's demise. Not with the Nats though.

Same deal with Harper.

Same deal with Rendon. Which is why the Nats are not really pushing too hard to get LaRoche back. Zimmerman NOT Tyler Moore will go to first base. Sorry folks but that's what will be the likely scenario. And the Uptons? Anyone other odd over 30's veteran you conjure up like Bourn? NO. They WILL need another left-handed bat in the outfield to go with Harper. That would seem to preclude Morse after next season and only after next season. How long until Goodwin is ready? In spite of Mark's criticisms of him Corey Brown might be that solution. Let's face it Mark I'm sure saw Michael Morse as a typical AAAA type that couldn't make it with Seattle. And Mark was wrong about Morse and I expect he'll be wrong about H-Rod AND Brown. And perhaps Erik Komatsu who the Cardinals thought well enough of to draft rule 5 and keep for quite a spell. Then he got claimed!
So, I expect Mark will be wrong on this one ...

The only "thirty plus" guy I can see them going after to replace LaRoche would be Berkmann as a part-time bench player. That's a potent switch hitting bat capable of impact hitting in fangraph's tier 1 level. He wouldn't start but he could make one helluva a hairy chested bat on the bench next to Davey. If he's healthy. Offensively he'd be far better than Mark DeRosa. Far better than just about anyone you could conjure up for a bench role.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Peric, plenty of people here gave credit to Davey for Desi's ascent. I think you are wrong about Desi being lousy thru.'11. As soon as Davey took over last year Desi began to look better at the dish.

On some of your other ideas, where do I begin...

peric said...

I think you are wrong about Desi being lousy thru.'11.

His fielding improved year-by-year but his approach at the plate was terrible. And we learned that it was in fact Jim Riggleman's influence. (Although if you ask Ben Goessling Rizzo was always to blame and Riggleman walked on water. Glad I am he went back to Minnesota.)
Riggleman apparently wanted everyone to hit to the opposite field. Had a completely different approach than the one Davey Johnson proselytizes about.

WHO DO you think was right Ghost? We see that the team that Riggleman had even with the comparatively weak starting pitching had enough talent to do a lot better than it did?

Again, the difference? Johnson.

SonnyG10 said...

I was one of the people who supported Ian from the beginning. I saw enough flashes of brilliance to want to stick with him. However, he did have his problems and I can understand the people that were down on him. Like NatsJack has said, Ian was a tease. I am glad Mike and Davey stuck with Ian. He is going to be an elite shortstop for us for a long time.
I have the same feeling for Danny as I did for Ian. I see enough brilliance in him to want to stick with him also. What has made a big impression on me is Danny’s footwork turning double plays. He has excellent footwork for a second baseman. He seemed to catch on to the footwork immediately which impressed me because he had always been a shortstop before. He has a cannon for an arm which will turn more double plays than someone with an arm like Lombardozzi. I really like his range and that arm also comes in handy on relays from the outfield.
Danny does need to step up on improving his offense. I think there could be two problems. He has trouble seeing the ball at times, so I wonder if he needs contacts or laser surgery. I would think this has already been checked, however, so I don’t think this is really the problem. The other problem is that I think he tries too hard to hit home runs. I remember seeing him the year before last when he had been in a big slump and he hit a left handed home run. They showed an up close shot of him as he is starting his home run trot and you could read his lips saying “About f***ing time”. This is not the attitude I want to see from him. The home runs should come naturally, not as being forced. I have tried to think of ways to discourage him from having that mentality. I remember someone on this blog saying that Ted Williams (I think it was Ted Williams) fined one of his players if they hit the ball in the air to the fence. While I wouldn’t do that with Espi, maybe you could set a rule that if he strikes out more than twice in a game, he has to sit out the next two games. See if that doesn’t improve his contact. Or maybe some other variation would make an impression on Danny.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Peric, définitely Davey. Read all my post today and the last 18 months. I haven't changed my views.

The only 2 players I have changed opinions on the last 3 years is Lannan prior to the 2011 season and Detwiler on July 18 of this year and in both cases they did what needed to change. It doesn't mean they are Aces but they are both good where they are slotted.

I would enjoy being wrong on Espi and HenRod.

MicheleS said...

Nice write up from federal baseball on Rizzo's interview on MLB Radio. Talks about LaRoche/Morse/Moore also talks about Greinke

Rizzo

NatsNut said...

Michele and others, thanks so much for sharing links of articles you find. I love it and for me, it increases the value of this blog.

Gonat said...

NatsNut, I agree. Never assume we all have seen this great stuff!

Gonat said...

SteveM, as I ready SonnyG10's remarks on Espi, what do you need to see from Espi to turn him into a better player on offense?

Gonat said...

So signing LaRoche is the no.1 priority, though the GM said, "We do have to have some parallel discussions going on at the time, because you just don't know where it's going to go with Adam or any other free agent for that matter."
________________________________

Reading between the lines: JUSTIN UPTON. There isn't another 1st baseman to look at and you have to believe like Rizzo said Morse to 1st and either get a new LF or shift Werth to LF, Bryce to RF and get a new CF which doesn't seem as likely given Rizzo's statement about carrying 3 $100 million players.

MicheleS said...

During an interview on MLB, Desi did mention that Bowa helped him on his fielding. Had something to do with to much practicing screwing up your release point on your throws.

MicheleS said...

Gonat.. Agree on the 3 big contracts. I wonder how that impacts the Starting Pitcher? Just glad Rizzo isn't ruling anyting out. I love that Davey is lobbying for ALR, but Rizzo is keeping all options open.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Gonat at 6:23, if Espi could turn 1 K per week into 1 H then he'd be an All Star. His BA with those extra 1 hits per week is 25 more hits which equates to 45 points to his BA. Last year would've made him a .289 BA

MicheleS said...

And another link for info on Sean Burnett.

I know there were some issues with how Kilgore seems like a mouth piece for agents, etc. But I want to know this stuff, gives you at least 1 side of the story, better to have it out there than sitting here wondering what the heck is going on.

Gonat said...

MicheleS said...
Gonat.. Agree on the 3 big contracts. I wonder how that impacts the Starting Pitcher? Just glad Rizzo isn't ruling anyting out. I love that Davey is lobbying for ALR, but Rizzo is keeping all options open.

November 11, 2012 6:36 PM
____________________________________

Sounds like Greinke and Bourn are both $100 million players and of course Josh Hamilton who isn't on the Nats radar anyway.

MicheleS said...

Well, I for one am not in for another $100M. Werth was the bad team tax, RZ was thanks for being good when we sucked (and please stay healthy). I would rather get a bridge SP until those Baby Nats are ready to come up - I am developing a fondness for Mr Meyer. And I Can't Believe that people would speculate/want the Nats to go after Hamilton.. Absolutely not, and it has nothing to do with his personal stuff, he is 31/32, and is always seeming to get injured.

MicheleS said...

Oh and for you all to set your DVR's, MLB Network is premiering a new show tomorrow at 9 AM and it's called Hot Stove. Bryce is going to be on it tomorrow before they hand him the NL ROY.

blovy8 said...

What the minor league stats do is help you evaluate what kind of player a guy is likely to be. Espinosa struck out about 19-22 percent of the time there, and so far in the majors it's gone from 25 to 29 percent. Even when he was hitting better in the middle of the season, he was striking out a lot. If his pitch recognition, patience, a different 2-strike approach, etc. - any of this kind of thing improves, he can be an above average to good hitting infielder pretty easily. That's an adjustment, maybe he can't do it, but there's no reason not to give him that time - if the defensive numbers are close to believable, it's an easier choice than Desmond was. The guy has already hit 38 homers in two seasons, with a pretty clear weakness. Even if it turns out that he's always going to strike out like Uggla or Weeks, he's a TON better defensively.

Gonat said...

MicheleS said...
And another link for info on Sean Burnett.

I know there were some issues with how Kilgore seems like a mouth piece for agents, etc. But I want to know this stuff, gives you at least 1 side of the story, better to have it out there than sitting here wondering what the heck is going on.


November 11, 2012 6:41 PM
________________________________

Someone just wrote a few days ago something about agents feeding wrong information to the media for deceptive purposes and the King of taking the bait is Bill Ladson. He has run with stories that are far from logical too many times.

Nobody forces the media to write this stuff and if people don't think Kilgore has credibility, then don't read it. I don't have a problem with Kilgore getting the story close to right. He seems to work hard and has put together some good interviews in the past.

baseballswami said...

Rizzo seems to watch for a while and let the desperate big spenders get their frenzy out of the way. Last year it seemed like the Marlins were building a World Series winner and Rizzo bided his time. The Dodgers went into a spending mania to go to the post season . Look how both turned out. Even Prince was no guarantee as the Tigers barely made it into the playoffs. The Nats chemistry is a delicate mix and we have some awesome players that it would be nice to keep, some young guys coming along. Careful, please.

MicheleS said...

Gonat. Totally agree you on Kilgore. some stuff you just have to take with a grain of salt (Mr Ladson). But I like all the coverage, because at least we have COVERAGE!! Off season stinks. And Spring Training can't come fast enough.

JaneB.. give your doggie a Desi treat for me!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Gonat I call it disinformation. Generally it is someone from the agents office that calls you and gives you the info with a disclaimer that it was overheard. I don't print everything I hear as some of it is far fetched.

Gonat said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
Gonat I call it disinformation. Generally it is someone from the agents office that calls you and gives you the info with a disclaimer that it was overheard. I don't print everything I hear as some of it is far fetched.

November 11, 2012 7:11 PM
________________________________

I didn't think Boras was the one calling guys like Kilgore giving secret source information.

Gonat said...


Here's more from Olney..

•The Diamondbacks believe that the Rays are the second-best possible fit for a trade, behind the Rangers. The Rangers don't want to give up Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar and Justin Upton would give Rays some badly needed offense in the middle of their lineup. However, Tampa Bay might have pause over the pay bump coming to Upton. He is set to earn $9.75MM in next season, $14.25MM in 2014, and $14.5 in '15. The Rays could make that work, but it would mean dedicating roughly 20% of their payroll to one player.
______________________________

It sounds like the price is coming way down on Justin Upton. We all know the Rangers don't have the spare parts to put up a great package and while the Rays have tons of prospects, they don't give away "good deals".

I'm still not counting out the Nats.

natsfan1a said...

They've run the Hot Stove show in previous offseasons as well. Go, Bryce! Go, Davey! Go, Gio! :-)

natsfan1a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
natsfan1a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
natsfan1a said...

And Gonat, if you were referring to my comments earlier, of course nobody forces beat writers to pen a particular story (well, except maybe their editors ;-)).

Nor did I say anything about them being given wrong information or attempts at deception. I did mention spin, however, which is something else, to my way of thinking. But if you meant someone else, then never mind.

Gonat said...

natsfan1a said...
And Gonat, if you were referring to my comments earlier, of course nobody forces beat writers to pen a particular story (well, except maybe their editors ;-)).

Nor did I say anything about them being given wrong information or attempts at deception. I did mention spin, however, which is something else, to my way of thinking. But if you meant someone else, then never mind.
November 11, 2012 7:40 PM
________________________________

No, it wasn't you. Someone wrote on this subject a few days ago how the writers get their "sourced" information.

I always wondered if it was "Blue Horseshoe" giving the tip like Charlie Sheen in Wall Street "Blue horseshoe loves Blue Star Airlines."

baseballswami said...

They walk a fine line. They report on the team but their livelihoods depend on them building relationships. If they are constantly calling out players and reporting gossip, then they will be shut out. In order to get these people to give you a good interview they have to feel comfortable and have some level of trust. The players ( manager, GM), might be obligated to talk to the reporters but can always stick to yes, no and no comment. They spend a lot of time around one another. An adversarial relationship would not be productive.

Gonat said...

http://siriusxmsports.posterous.com/mike-rizzo-washington-nationals-general-manag

Listen to the Mike Rizzo interview that MicheleS talked about.

fast eddie said...

Ghost:
I rarely disagree with you, however, your post that "if Espi had a hit for every K once a week, he would have been an all-star".
And, if my aunt had b***s she'd be my uncle.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

fasteddie, I know. Just trying to put a positive spin on it.

It has always intrigued me how that 1 extra hit every 7 games turns an average player into a star. A high K player puts more balls in play, BABIP is their friend.

Key is more contact and less K's.

Gonat said...

fast eddie, funny/true. SteveM's logic to BABIP doesn't exactly work in reality as Espi would have to strikeout 3 times less a week which is 69 less times in the season, or, do whatever he did in the month of July which is the most logical as he went to a shorter swing which resulted in a .300 BA in the month of July.

SonnyG10 said...

That's why I think Espi needs an incentive to change his approach.

Gonat said...

SonnyG10 said...
That's why I think Espi needs an incentive to change his approach.

November 11, 2012 10:28 PM
________________________________

I agree with you. He deserved to be benched as he regressed back too many times to that longer looping swing. Just not Davey's style.

If we are frustrated, how do you think Davey and Eck feel.

fast eddie said...

Ghost/Gonat:
Even if Espi doesn't improve his hitting from last year, we can carry one weak bat (at 7 or 8)in this lineup because of his superior defense.
I was a Desi detractor last spring and boy, was I wrong.

Gonat said...

fast eddie, if Espi could get those clutch numbers up, I would agree but he has killed this team by K'ing too many times w/ runners sitting on 3rd w/ less than 2 outs and in general failing with RISP and did it several times in the playoffs.

The stats say you bat him 9th when Strasburg is on the mound and that is just hard to ponder.

Gonat said...

From Amanda Comak...

--- The Justin Upton rumor mill was fired back up this past week at the GM Meetings with the Diamondbacks listening on their 25-year-old outfielder. Rizzo and Upton go way back as the Nationals' GM was the scouting director for the Diamondbacks when they drafted the Virginia native in 2005.

So the question came up: Would the Nationals be interested in a possible trade for Upton?

"He's a great player," Rizzo said. "A great player. But all the trades you make you have to balance. Of course Justin Upton improves our team and every other team. But what holes does it create to get him? Do the holes create more problems than the acquisition. That's the question."
_____________________________

The 2 "Buts" are interesting on "trades" and "holes".

fast eddie said...

Gonat:
The "trades" and "holes" comments tell me Upton will not be a Nat. Too many suitors bidding up the price.
Remember the Gio trade? No one saw it coming and Rizzo was likely the only one pursuing him.

Gonat said...

fast eddie said...
Gonat:
The "trades" and "holes" comments tell me Upton will not be a Nat. Too many suitors bidding up the price.
Remember the Gio trade? No one saw it coming and Rizzo was likely the only one pursuing him.

November 12, 2012 7:36 AM
______________________________________

Agreed but I thought the asking price has come down by seeing what the other rumored trades look like. Sounds like with the Rays they want a #3 pitcher and a 3rd base or SS prospect and at least one other player.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Gonat, let's say the shift is to 3 players and now they want Detwiler, Rendon and Lombo. Can't do that deal either.

natsfan1a said...

Okay, thanks. You know, I've not ever seen that movie to this day. I guess I should sometime, as I've heard it was good. :-)

Gonat said...

No, it wasn't you. Someone wrote on this subject a few days ago how the writers get their "sourced" information.

I always wondered if it was "Blue Horseshoe" giving the tip like Charlie Sheen in Wall Street "Blue horseshoe loves Blue Star Airlines."

November 11, 2012 7:47 PM

MicheleS said...

1A.. I was driving into the office to day and guess what song came on.. BTO.. You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet. I consider it a sign that Harper wins ROY.

natsfan1a said...

I love it, Michele!

MicheleS said...

Ghost, I would be really disappointed if they tossed Ross in a deal. Talk about a tease! He finally blossomed after getting kicked to the bullpen. I want to see him do it for an entire year. Plus he came up big time down the stretch and in Game 4. He still needs to gain weight ;-)

NatsJack in Florida said...

OK... First a little about the event. The Central Florida Collegiate Baseball League was formed 12 years ago and Davey was actually a founding member of the organization. The organizers saw a need for another summer baseball league for the many college players that live and go to school within the region.

The event is their fall/winter fundraiser consisting of a seminar on Saturday, the coctail social on Sunday and the golf scramble on Sunday. The cocktail social has a whole lot of memorablia on display and avaialble for aution. Attendees consist of former players, alumni of the league (Hunter Pence is the most famous) and local supporters and volunteers that assist in making the league the success that it has become.

Three seasons ago Davey, Joe Oliver and Frank Viola were all managers in the league. And Davey had been a manager all along until 2011 when Rizzo felt the need for him to be "more available" to the Nats. Funny how that worked out, huh?

I got there at 6:00 PM and immediately ran into John Hart and Fred McGriff who were extremely gracefull in their comments to my praising them for their work with MLB Network and Radio respectively. Both very nice and spent 5 minutes relating their TV/Radio stories as it's fairly new to both of them. John has been with MLB almost from the start but being on national TV was new.

Later Pence, Eck and Davey showed up and I got to chat with each plus managed to plop myself down within earshot of Davey, Susan and Eck and casually evesdropped on their conversation. More on that and the 15 minutes I spent with Eck 1 on 1 later.

Have to prepare for my work trip to Charleston, S.C.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Golf scramble on MONDAY!

Don said...

Desmond the best SS in MLB? Come on. He had a wonderful season, he broke out and put it together after years of teasing us, he may have had arguably the best season of any SS in the bigs last year and his future looks bright; but he's got to do a lot more than have one (130 game) outstanding season to be seriously in some conversation of best SSs in the game.

Dave said...

Was Ian Desmond better (even in the field) than Jimmy Rollins this year? No question at all.

Maybe Desi wasn't the Gold Glove SS in the National League, but Rollins? Really? Come on!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsJack, cant wait to hear what Eck said on Espi.

NatsLady said...

Thanks for the report and the photos on Twitter, NatsJack. It's a long wait for real baseball, we are living on scraps, until then.

Exposremains said...

I have to say I don't see how Laroche will come back to the Nats. I think he can get a 5 year deal with an AL team. Unless the Nats will give him the same amount of money over 3 years, I think he's gone. The he's our top priority is just good PR by Rizzo.

UnkyD said...

Don:
he's got to do a lot more than have one (130 game) outstanding season to be seriously in some conversation of best SSs in the game.
--------------
No. He doesn't.

UnkyD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Exposremains, the Bosox arent going 5 years on ALR. Maybe the Rangers. Rizzo will probably go 3 years tops.

Don said...

I think that the Nats should waive good bye to ALR, as much as I love the guy. The price is going to be high (plus foregoing draft pick compensation) on a guy with skills that are at least somewhat to be had in the market. Not sure what a trade might bring, but Carlos Pena brings the power and the glove (Rizzo wanted the guy in the past too), but not the good AVG, but you could bat him 7th on this club anyway. Potential upside guys could be had on the cheap, like Travis Ishikawa, who has the glove and should hit for decent average but not the big power, but again he'd be batting 7th. Tweeners like James Loney (a guy who is not likely to mash HRs but can hit a bunch of Doubles and who can field) are out there to be had on chaper/shorter deals too. ALR is a very nice player to have but at $35M+ I am not sure he's a good investment for the Nats.

Exposremains said...

SteveM,

I don't think 3 years will do it and I can understand why.

SonnyG10 said...

I think ALR will be gone also. I am glad we have Mike Rizzo to figure out the best path for us to take. It will be interesting to see how this winter plays out.

Chase, we could use a new thread, buddy.

baseballswami said...

Lazing around this morning watching HotStove - they did a call with Bryce and his Dad - easy to see why Bryce is such a quality kid. Awards this week should be interesting. I think the big debate on the mvp in the al is intriguing. Lots of people think Cabrera should win because of the triple crown - but that is only based on offense. Shouldn't the mvp be based on a wider skill set? Hope Bryce, Davey and Gio win!

SonnyG10 said...

If Danny develops like we want, and Rendon develops like we want, I wonder if Rendon could play first base. How tall is he? Then after two or three years maybe you switch Ryan and Tony.

I just looked up Rendon's height. He is only 6'0". Maybe a little short to play first.

JD said...


SonnyG10,

Rendon won't play 1st base and he won't play 2nd base. He is a 3rd baseman and a potential all star at that position. This is why from the Nats point of view the best value for Rendon may be in a trade.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Pena and Loney are both non-starters. (Literally and metaphysically.) A 7-8-9 of Pena, Espinosa and the pitcher would have other teams salivating; might walk Harper, Morse and Desmond intentionally in order to get to them.

Loney was a career under-achiever who last year morphed into being a bum.

There is no reason Rendon couldn't play 1B, Not sure why, but 6-feet is hardly disqualifying. Vic Power, one of the all-time great fielding 1Bs, was "only" 6'0". Rod Carew played 1B for all or parts of ten seasons at 1B -- and at 6'0".

As to what Rizzo might do if LaRoche leaves, there is no reason to assume an Upton. Apart from the price necessary to pry J. Upton from AZ, Rizzo could do something as simple as acquire Moreland from Tejas, espec. if Texas signs LaRoche, as part of a Moore/Moreland L/R platoon, or even less expensively someone like LaHair from CHC, also to platoon. (Looking at Moreland's nos., it's hard to see exactly why Texas would want LaRoche anyway. Maybe we have over-hyped the Texas possibility.)

JD said...


Theo,

If ALR leaves there is every reason to expect Morse at 1st base; he is better than all the names you mention above and this also gives you an opportunity to fix your outfield defense.

SonnyG10 said...

JD said...

SonnyG10,

Rendon won't play 1st base and he won't play 2nd base. He is a 3rd baseman and a potential all star at that position. This is why from the Nats point of view the best value for Rendon may be in a trade.
November 12, 2012 11:30 AM


JD, you might be right, but I'd sooner cut off my right arm than trade Anthony. (well maybe that's a bit drastic). Theo thinks he could play first, so maybe he could do that. I just want a way we can keep Zimm, Desi, Espi, and Anthony. It'll break my heart to have any of them traded. Of course I knew this could happen when the Nats became good, so I will roll with whatever Mike Rizzo comes up with.

Don said...

Rendon MIGHT be 6' tall. He's not your 1B of the future folks, at least not on an every day basis.

UnkyD said...

JD:
" This is why from the Nats point of view the best value for Rendon may be in a trade."
---------------
I just can't see how you don't find a place for Rendon... I don't think championship-calibre organizations EVER trade talent like that...

SonnyG10 said...

So Don, how can I have my cake and eat it too. How would you make this work?

NatsLady said...

I am not 100% sure that Rizzo saying LaRoche is his first priority is all PR. If Adam is "reasonable" and will go for 2 years for excellent $$ plus a 3rd year option, they might be able to make it work. Remember that the Red Sox are not likely to contend this year. Texas could contend, but they have other 1B option. I don't worry too much about "blocking" prospects, as that is what trades are for, and we need some LHP's in the bullpen. I think you want to keep LaRoche for 2013 for that "unfinished businee" and you don't want to give him a no-trade option in case in the middle of 2014 he needs to go.

Please stop worrying about Danny. If he were playing SS we would not be having this conversation, as SS is not expected to be a big offensive producer. Well, on the Nats, it is. So let Desi make his "Desi leaps" and Danny turn those great double-plays, and consider the sum of their efforts. Of course, I'd be glad to see Danny improve offensively. But he is saving a LOT of runs for us.

NatsLady said...

Sorry, "unfinished business."

Theophilus T. S. said...

JD --

I dissent from the acquisition of any Upton, or any other outfielder currently known to be available that would "fix [our] outfield defense." Not worth the money, bodies or, in some cases, the headache.

I didn't pose Moreland or LaHair as the best available 1B. I just think they might be reasonably/inexpensively priced, and in a platoon w/ Moore would (maybe) produce close to 30 HR and 100 RBI for a year or so until a more permanent solution emerges.

Nobody's seen a full season of Tyler Moore in the major leagues at any position. He has less experience in the OF than Morse -- and I think for the time being Morse is the better outfielder. (I saw Moore crash into the wall ate in the season, about eight feet from the baseball, and that's enough to give anyone second thoughts about putting him out there full time.)

I also think beginning the season w/ Moore full-time at either position, expecting him to play every day is dangerous (not to mention the RH/LH imbalance). You might end up getting Carlos Pena's bat and Adam Dunn's glove (or worse).

Pardon me for looking for a cost-efficient Plan B.

(Plan C would be a Moore/Brown platoon in LF. But I do think that would be a Hail Mary.)

JD said...


UnkyD,

'I just can't see how you don't find a place for Rendon... I don't think championship-calibre organizations EVER trade talent like that..'

I disagree. The Nats picked Rendon because he was the best player available when they drafted even though they knew he may be blocked. Teams trade great prospects all the time; It depends what you get in return.

I wrote last week that I think we match up very well with the DBacks; there are trade possibilities which could elevate both teams.

Feel Wood said...

I just can't see how you don't find a place for Rendon... I don't think championship-calibre organizations EVER trade talent like that...

In 2005 the Red Sox - a championship organization at the time - traded Hanley Ramirez and Aníbal Sánchez to the Marlins for Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell and Guillermo Mota. Ramirez and Sanchez were every bit equivalent in talent to Anthony Rendon, yet the Red Sox traded them and remained a championship organization. It happens.

JD said...


Theo,

1) Moore or Morse in the outfield = crappy defense.
2) I am not sure how you conclude that Justin Upton is a 'headache' - based on what?
3) To me he is a potential perennial all star and he's only 25.
4) The economics you are considering would be mitigated to a great degree by deleting the ALR contract.
5) I don't think Upton is the only option; Rizzo has the history of being very creative.

JD said...


NatsLady,

I am reading where the Giants are about to sign Afeldt to a 3 year $15 - $20 mil contract. That's insane and it probably makes Burnett a very difficult sign. Rizzo may just have to find that lefty somewhere else.

Fuentes and Downs weren't very well known before they became excellent and then they faded back into mediocracy. Perhaps someone like Bill Bray or someone like him can step in?.

JD said...


Feel Wood,

Exactly right. When Josh Becket led the Red Sox to a world series win their fans were not lamenting the loss of Hanley even though he was an exceptional player for the Marlins for several years.

MicheleS said...

Just saw that Rizzo wil be on ESPN 980 at 1:15

peric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peric said...

5) I don't think Upton is the only option; Rizzo has the history of being very creative.

He's not a left-handed hitter. He's not an option. They have Werth instead of Upton. You can't have both and Werth is signed long-term with a no-trade.

Right now it sure looks like Anthony Rendon is next and very, very soon. They have to take that under serious consideration. Rendon is hitting .309 and is doing better than Skole and Goodwin. That has an effect on getting someone like the Uptons BECAUSE like-it-or-not people Rendon is younger, features a far more valuable glove and just might have a much higher ceiling than the right-handed hitting Uptons.

Give it up.

Look for potential left-handed hitting left-fielders ... like CarGo, Carlos Gonzalez. That seems to me a much higher probability than either Upton at this point. They can offer Brian Goodwin as part of the deal.

Faraz Shaikh said...

did CarGo not have worse advanced fielding metrics than Michael Morse last season?

peric said...

I wrote last week that I think we match up very well with the DBacks; there are trade possibilities which could elevate both teams.

And of course you're wrong. Rendon is the youngest, cheapest, highest ceiling player that goes both ways: he plays stellar defense and has an advanced approach at the plate. Its highly likely he is the superior hitter to Harper.

My god I don't know where you get this stuff? They aren't going to get yet another right handed hitter? They have Werth. What's wrong aren't you happy with Werth yet? Sheesh and they jump all over me for criticizing Werth's inability to hit in the middle of the lineup. Suddenly JD is replacing Werth with Upton because that is who would have to go dude.

Get it yet? They need left-handed hitting power in this lineup. They have PLENTY and to spare right-handed hitting talent. LEFT-HANDED is where Rizzo will go and it has to be an offensive player first. Not another slap hitter like Bourn or Gerardo Parra. Giggleman's Island is in Florida with the Blue Wahoos. That's where that kind of thinking belongs.

peric said...

did CarGo not have worse advanced fielding metrics than Michael Morse last season?

And if he did? He hits left-handed. Morse bats right-handed. CarGo is 25 Morse is now 30.

I'm not saying they will go after him. I'm just saying there is a much higher probability they pursue him than either a Justin or BJ Upton at this point.

Theophilus T. S. said...

For once, I'm all on board the 1:58 p.m. Peric.

JD said...


Peric,

Your point about a need for a left handed bat is reasonable but not absolute. The Cards were right handed other than Beltran and Descalso; they had about 4 righties in a row in their lineup.

CarGo is not a good defensive outfielder and Goodwin won't get you a top notch player at this stage of his career.

I still think Upton is a reasonable idea. I think Rendon's numbers in the AFL are wonderful but it's a small sample and he has yet to really dominate in the minors and to compare him to Justin Upton who had a near MVP year in 2011 and is just 25 is premature in the least.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Once upon a time, when Rendon was injured, I had a vision of him as trade material. In particular, I was thinking how the Rangers fleeced the Mariners w/ Justin Smoak for Cliff Lee (and then they blew it).

Rendon could be a Tulowitzki who hits .320 in any ballpark. He could be a Martin Prado (LF, 2B, 3B) who hits 25 HR w/ Gold Glove defense. Rizzo would be a damn fool if he traded him for anything less than Christie Brinkley in her prime, or somebody who had (recently) won two consecutive batting championships.

JD said...


Left handed hitting power = Harper & Espinosa oh and BTW who was the power hitting left hander on the world champion San Francisco Giants?

peric said...

I still think Upton is a reasonable idea. I think Rendon's numbers in the AFL are wonderful but it's a small sample and he has yet to really dominate in the minors and to compare him to Justin Upton who had a near MVP year in 2011 and is just 25 is premature in the least.

If Rendon comes up and plays third and Zimmerman moves to first which seems the likely scenario at this point. Trading Rendon is ridiculous and fool hardy. He may have one of the highest ceilings of any prospect in any major league baseball system.

And JD one could have said the same thing about Harper. Honestly, Harper did not look as good in the upper minors or in the AFL as the older Anthony Rendon does right now. He doesn't need a lot of minor league reps especially if your manager is Davey Johnson.

And you are comparing Upton to Rendon? Rendon has the higher ceiling, believe it. Still, you are blocking Rendon for a guy who would play Jayson Werth's position and his slot in the lineup. AND he would cost a lot in prospects!!! NO way that happens. Sorry to burst your balloon.

The Nats have a dearth of effective left-handed hitters in their lineup. And LaRoche could just be a 1 year flash-in-the-pan if you look at his overall stats since he came into the league with Atl. They need someone other than Harper who bats left. That is going to be the next highest priority for the Nats FO after getting another left-handed starter.

In other words before they waste valuable prospects on Upton they will attempt to trade for David Price. I think Drew was right when he suggested that. AND they also match up extremely well with the Rays.

peric said...

Left handed hitting power = Harper & Espinosa oh and BTW who was the power hitting left hander on the world champion San Francisco Giants?

The Giants don't play in the NL East.

JD said...


Theo,

Fistly; Rendon has not had a full healthy season anywhere in the past 3 years. Secondly; I think you are way jumping the gun in your projections. Yes he could do all these things you predict but he could also become Justin Smoak. Fact is you don't know.

peric said...

Left handed hitting power = Harper & Espinosa

Espy is a switch hitter and has been having problems on the left-side.

Again, when you've got a prospect like Rendon you really don't need an Upton. Because Rendon, if he stays healthy, has a good chance of being even more valuable.

JD said...

'The Giants don't play in the NL East.'

Yeah and?

peric said...

Yes he could do all these things you predict but he could also become Justin Smoak.

Smoak is a lumbering first baseman.

The right comparison would be Rendon could be another Espinosa struggling at the plate. I don't see that. He adjusts to the next level offensively faster and more effectively than Harper. His OBP tells the tale. He is working to get on base first leaving the power to come later once he has mastered the league he is in. Right approach. Not the approach Harper took until he got to the majors and Davey got on him.

peric said...

Yeah and?

Left-handed power and left-handed pitching are what rules. The Nats need both to maintain the division title.

Justin Upton just **IS NOT** as valuable nor has he a ceiling as high as Anthony Rendon who is the best prospect in the Nats system right now. It sure looks like Harper would have played 2nd fiddle if Rendon had stayed healthy this season. Of course Harper does have that coveted left-handed power bat which **IS WHY** he moved up so rapidly even though his minor league performance didn't warrant it.

Sheesh what team have you been watching? The Spankees? The Dodgers? Sure seems like you haven't been watching the Nats or listening to what Rizzo and Johnson have to say or left unsaid.

Theophilus T. S. said...

JD --

You really stuck your neck in the noose on the LH thing. St. Louis had Jay, leading off, whom you forgot, and at the beginning of the season they had Berkman (B). SF had Belt, Crawford, Blanco for fill-in, Sandoval (B) and at the beginning of the season, M. Cabrera (B).

Sometimes, circumstance and/or injuries create an unbalanced lineup. But I don't think any (good, well-managed) team intentionally goes into the season unbalanced and vulnerable to pitchers from one side of the plate or another.

JD said...


Peric,

You may be dead right about Rendon but you do tend to anoint young up and comers early and there is always a risk involved. The fact is Rendon has had a terribly time staying on the field and when you talk about him moving up quickly you are talking about a very small sample size.

Rendon landed at AA which is really a level he should have started at coming out of college and in his short stay there was just so so at the plate. The comparison to Harper is a tad unfair considering Harper did not turn 20 until after the season ended and Rendon played 3 years in college.

Again; Rendon may very well become a superb hitter and defender but Justin Upton is already a big time hitter and he's only 25.

Theophilus T. S. said...

"Justin Upton is already a big time hitter" ???

.280/.355/.430

Spare us the hyperbole.

JD said...


And in 2011

.289/.369/.529. 31 HR's and 105 RBI's and 6.4 WAR.

When Rendon puts up these kind of numbers be sure to come back here and tell us: "I told you so".

Oh yeah I forgot. This is what you do anyhow.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Interesting comments the last 3 hours. I really like Rendon and I see the potential. JUpton is proven. Problem as I see it is it isn't a 1 for 1 trade. If it was, buh-bye Anthony!

JD said...


Ghost,

I agree that Espinosa, Desmond, Rendon and Clip is too much for Upton and Bauer but if you take out Ramos or replace him with Flores it's not crazy.

sjm308 said...

This is what makes the "hot stove" interesting. We have no idea if Rizzo is even interested. We honestly have no idea if Arizona is interested and yet we can all chime away with what we would do.

I see both sides. Rendon looks to be a gem but has not yet finished a pro season with good health.

Upton has had one terrific year and his skills do not look to be diminished even though last year could be considered a step down.

I think we would all agree that an outfield of Werth/Harper/Upton would be the best defensive outfield ever seen in Washington. Its basically, what would Rizzo have to give up? On the other hand, our defensive infield last year was terrific and could be for years to come. If LaRoche signs for three years, I don't see how they move Zimmerman from 3rd. I do believe we will see Rendon this season but will it be sooner (not signing LaRoche would speed that up) or later?

Both groups defended their positions well and neither are wrong. Until we see what LaRoche does I doubt if anything else gets done but with Rizzo, you never know.

Time for a new post!!

Go Nats!

ps: just signed up for a Nationals License Plate. Not sure how that will work but I will gladly spend a few dollars to show my fandom.

UnkyD said...

JD:
"I agree that Espinosa, Desmond, Rendon and Clip is too much for Upton and Bauer but if you take out Ramos or replace him with Flores it's not crazy."
-----------------
What?!

JD said...



I accidentally put Desmond instead of Ramos in the 1st sentence.

Relax everyone; it's just a hot stove discussion.

NatsLady said...

sjm, which jurisdiction did you sign up for the plates? How much do they cost?

sjm308 said...

NL - got an email from the Nationals saying it was for DC and MD - nothing in Va yet. Also saw something in the Post under Steinbergs Sports Bog.Its just an application right now, no commitment or anything. I am guessing they will need a certain number to sign up but I honestly have no clue (that is my usual situation for most circumstances)

baseballswami said...

I heard that Atlanta is in the market for a backup catcher. Flores?

MicheleS said...

Swami, Wren and Rizzo, not sure they get along. and why woulr Rizzo give Wren anything that might help an in division rival.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

MicheleS, agreed on JFlo.

JD said...


Swami,

No way in hell we deal with the Braves

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD, the DBacks are not trading Bauer from what I hear. Their main needs is a MLB 3rd base upgrade and a SS and a #3 pitcher to slide in after Kennedy and Miley.

John C. said...

Peric, I hope you're right about Rendon. But as near as I can tell, the universe of fans, scouts, commentators, etc who think that Rendon is a better hitting prospect than Harper was is: you.

As I say, I hope that you're right. But to call it is more of a "unique" view than a "minority" one.

NatsLady said...

Thanks, sjm. I have handicapped plates from DC, won't want to change them, but will look into it. GO NATS!!!

MicheleS said...

I gather from her recent tweet, Amanda is going to be on the MLB Show

MicheleS said...

And there is this too..

Maury Brown‏@BizballMaury

Nationals send press release saying that after NL ROY awards announced, winner will be made available to media. NL ROY = #BryceHarper

Gonat said...

Get your popcorn ready, turn on the MLB Network. This will be a "LIVE" broadcast of ROY.

Gonat said...

MicheleS, I hope Maury Brown is correct

MicheleS said...

Sad thing, is we have at least 30 minutes of dragging out the AL ROY. and then 20 minutes of the NL ROY Profiles. JUST GIVE BRYCE THE AWARD.

MicheleS said...

I remember when Ryan was up for this. Still can't believe that he lost to Hanley. BLAH!!!! Hanley = cancer, Ryan = FOF

MicheleS said...

Not to encourage the man crush, but here is a good article on
Rendon

And I think the Nats AFL affiliate is in the running to play for the AFL Championship on Saturday.

Gonat said...

Rendon 2-4 with a walk and 2 doubles. He raised his BA to .319 and a .410 OBP.

Gonat said...

MicheleS, how are they going to make this a 1 hour show?

MicheleS said...

Gonat.. BLAH BLAH BLAH, TROUT, TROUT, BLAH BLAH BLAH, interview all the NL ROY's, BLAH BLAH BLAH, then compare with other Rookie classes, look at other 19 year olds, BLAH BLAH BLAH, 6:55, Bryce ROY.

MicheleS said...

@Mr_KevinJones: Hmmm, so the Nats send out an email saying there will be a conference call tonight at 7:30. #HarperROY

MicheleS said...

BTW.. Guess what, Trout unanimous ALROY

Faraz Shaikh said...

Shocking, Trout won AL ROY!

MicheleS said...

Faraz, WE NEED A RECOUNT!

Gonat said...

They need a live audience there to get some crowd noise and clapping when they announce the winner.

UnkyD said...

John C.: I actually do recall a consensus among pundits covering the draft, a couple of years ago that, Rendon was the best hitting prospect to come along in quite awhile. They generally would go on to add delineate that Harp was the best "power hitting" prospect. It was only suspicion about his shoulder, that caused him to dropto us... Can't cite sources, but its a strong recollection. I'm with Peric... I want, badly, to have his bat in OUR lineup, for a few years. If we're able to ink Stras and Bryce beyond arb, we prolly won't be able to keep him, but think of the trove he'd bring as an established Superstar...

Sorry for poking ya, JD... Hot Stoce is FUN!!!!

Faraz Shaikh said...

I know, right. How did Mike ever beat Darvish (26YO) of 3.9 ERA and Cespedes (27YO) of 142 hits is beyond me.

MicheleS said...

All I want for MR Rendon is a healthy season. That article that I posted lists all his injury issues. Ankle problems are NO FUN. I have had them my whole life and they can be extremely limiting. We know he can hit, and it looks like he can field as well, the question will always be, can he stay healthy. For all his injuries, Ryan has played (whether that was a good thing or not is always up for debate).

Gonat said...

Bryce biting his fingernails and pulling out the nail? GROSSSSS

MicheleS said...

What the heck is Wade Miley wearing? Is he going on Buck Commander with Adam? Obviously, he didn't win.

Gonat said...

Todd Frazier looks 30 years old.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Gonat, well Frazier looks 30 because he's almost 30. He turns 27 in February.

SonnyG10 said...

Hmmmmm, I guess Chase gets Veterans Day off; sigh!

MicheleS said...

Sonny, he is probably waiting to post the Bryce Is ROY feature so we can move over to that.

MicheleS said...

Look there is Amanda!!!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

How is this live as I am assuming it's dark in DC. Looked sunny behind Amanda.

John C. said...

Hmmm Amanda not a good job of stating Bryce's case. What about defense? What about WAR? Good thing the votes are already in.

MicheleS said...

John C.. I think this explains it.

Amanda Comak‏@acomak

If you're interested in seeing the Rookie of the Year announcements live (and me fumble over my words) tune into MLBNetwork from 6-7 p.m.

John C. said...

Really like the Clubhouse Confidential points for Harper - makes the strong case for Harper!

MicheleS said...

Ghost.. which is why that 7:30 conference call with Bryce tell us what is up on this award.

MicheleS said...

GO BRYCE! YEA!

Candide said...

Yeah, Bam-Bam! Congrats!

John C. said...

Hahpah! Rookie of the Year! Agree with the vote. Not a slam dunk like Trout, but the right call. Three great rookie seasons, Harper #1.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Yay, Congrats Harper!!!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Bryces pits are soaked. Bright camera lights and Vegas heat!

John C. said...

What does that sign behind Harper say?

Gonat said...

MicheleS said...
Ghost.. which is why that 7:30 conference call with Bryce tell us what is up on this award.

November 12, 2012 6:49 PM
__________________________________

They are saying this was not leaked beforehand but then again they are saying it is "live"

natsfan1a said...

Atta way, Bryce!

natsfan1a said...

I remember it well...grrr...

MicheleS said...

I remember when Ryan was up for this. Still can't believe that he lost to Hanley. BLAH!!!! Hanley = cancer, Ryan = FOF
November 12, 2012 6:06 PM

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