Thursday, August 25, 2005

Where Will You Be Wintering?

Jim Bowden discusses the status of the Nats farm system as well as the organization's plans for some of its top prospects in his weekly Examiner article.
We added two teams in the Dominican Republic and placed them at one of the best complexes in the Dominican. We were able to put half a team in Venezuela that we didn't have before. And we're able to do an accelerated program in spring training for the developmental program. And most recently we've instituted participation in the Instructional League for our top prospects that runs from October through December. We'll also be the first team to have that Instructional League team in the Dominican at our complex.
This is good news for the Nats. Unfortunately, it basically resets the farm system to what would be considered normal for a marginal to average major league franchise. I'm happy the foreign pipeline has been re-established but it will require an increased investment as well as time to begin paying dividends. Let's hope the new owners see the value in having a presence in not only the Caribbean and South America, but also branch out to include Central America, the Pacific Rim, and Europe. Additionally, Bowden discusses where some of the higher rated prospects are going to spend their fall/winter.
  • Arizona Fall League: Ryan Zimmerman (no position mentioned), Larry Broadway 1B, Brendan Harris (2B/3B), Chris Schroder and RHP Josh Karp with the 6th player to be determined. Schroder is the only one of the five guys mentioned that I have not been following. Thus far the 27-year old Schroder has spent time with the GCL Nationals (7/18 to 7/20), Potomac (7/20 to 8/1), Harrisburg (4/7 to 5/4 and 8/1 to present) and New Orleans (5/4 to 7/18). In 37G, entirely as a RP, he is 2-3 with 5 saves in 50.1IP with 42H 29R(24ER) 10HR 23BB 69K [4.29ERA 1.29WHIP 4.1BB/9 12.3K/9 1.8HR/9]. Not necessarily a long term prospect (case in point, Gary Majewski is 25 and is already in the majors).
  • The Instructional League:In the Dominican and include 40 of our top minor league prospects including 3B Kory Casto, SS Ian Desmond, CA Devin Ivany, RHP Collin Balester and RHP Clint Everts.
  • Winter Ball: Tony Blanco and Alex Escobar (no country mentioned). Brandon Watson and Tyrell Godwin in Mexico.
  • Names Not Mentioned: These guys were not mentioned by name but that does not necessarily mean they won't be playing in the winter: Mike Hinckley LHP, Bill Bray LHP, Daryl Thompson RHP (if healthy), Darrell Rasner RHP, Danny Rueckel RHP, Rogearvin Bernadina OF, Edgardo Baez O, Shawn Hill RHP (if healthy), Jason Bergmann RHP, Erick San Pedro CA (if healthy), Greg Bunn RHP, Shawn Norris IF, Josh Labandeira SS, Chris Lugo RHP, Brian Peacock CA, Armando Galarrraga RHP, and additionally the 2005 draft picks: Ryan DeLaughter, Marco Estrada, Mike Daniel, Jack Spradlin, John Howell (if healthy), Dee Brown (if healthy), John Lannan, Craig Stammen, Andre Enriquez, Deryck Johnson, Michael Watkins, Josh Palm, Eduardo Pichardo, Tim Pahuta, Ricky Shefka, Coby Mavroulis, Antonio Evangelista, Jeffrey Taylor, and Andrew Lane.

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