Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Lots of Good Minor League Information

The Washington Times has an article on Nats prospect Ian Desmond and other Nats prospects.
"He makes plays I've never seen before. He has a chance to be special defensively. There are things he needs to work on to be more consistent, but based on his age, there are other guys who are older and at higher levels who need to work on those same things. If he could do that, he'd be in the big leagues right now regardless of how he hits."
I had the opportunity to watch Desmond play a couple of games this weekend and they're right, Desmond has some amazing range and blazing speed. He gets to balls that you would not expect. I saw him track down a fly ball in mid-range LF along the foul line (the LF was playing in left center).
"We firmly believe the error totals are a result of him getting to more balls and making attempts on plays that other guys wouldn't have a chance on," Wogan said. "There are certain routine plays where he doesn't set his feet right or he doesn't position himself properly. Anything he does [wrong], he never makes the same mistake twice"
I agree wholeheartedly with this assessment. He has the ability defensively and just needs to relax at times and the errors should abate. The thing that will be Desmond's greatest challenge is his bat. There are similarities to the problems that "Inning" Endy Chavez faced. Desmond needs to improve his plate discipline and find ways to reach base given he is not, at present, a gap hitter. It will be interesting to see how he develops. ------------- Another note from the article: the identification of AZ Fall League participants from the Nationals.
Washington director of player development Adam Wogan said Zimmerman, Larry Broadway and likely Brendan Harris will be three of the six Nationals prospects to play in the Arizona Fall League. The league consists of six teams, and each organization sends six of its top prospects primarily from Class AA and Class AAA.
That's good news to see that Brendan Harris is still on the radar for the Nats. Some other candidates could be RHP Armando Galarraga, LHP Bill Bray, and perhaps RHP Collin Balester. --------------- As well as a Zimmerman update:
"The word is that he looks just as comfortable at short as he did at third," Wogan said. "We know his hands and his arm are very, very good from what we saw at third base. It's just a matter of how he reacts and how he turns the double play. So far, he's been solid."
--------------- Two Nats prospects shut down for the year:
A pair of Nationals prospects will not play again this season because of shoulder troubles. Pitcher Daryl Thompson had minor shoulder surgery, and Wogan said he expects Thompson to be ready next spring. Outfielder John Michael Howell -- the organization's ninth-round pick in this year's draft -- was off to a great start at short-season Class A Vermont (.363 in 113 at-bats) but complained of shoulder soreness and was shut down

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