Archive for Nationals

Job Posting: Washington Nationals Baseball R&D Developer

Position: Developer, Baseball Research & Development

Location: Washington, DC

The Washington Nationals are seeking a full stack web developer to join their Baseball Research & Development team. The developer will work on a small team to build and maintain an internal web application used by scouts, coaches, player development staff, and the baseball operations front office. Some key features of the site include scouting reports, video, player projections, custom reports and tools, and the display of both public and proprietary metrics related to player performance and evaluation.

Applicants should have demonstrated web development and software engineering experience and be excited about the opportunity to work on software that has a significant impact within a baseball organization. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Prospect Notes: Top 100 Prospects List Update

Kevin Goldstein and I have updated the pro portion of the Top 100, which means we quickly reviewed the placement of players in the 50 FV tier and above, and considered who was not yet in those tiers but should be based on how they’ve looked during the first month of the 2021 season. I still have three total org audits to do — Milwaukee, Oakland and the Cubs — before I start peeling graduates off the list. Those will be completed shortly. You can find the updated list here.

Also, if you missed it, Kevin and I updated our draft rankings and posted a Mock Draft on Monday.

The lone change up near the top of the 100 is Riley Greene moving into the top 20; he’s in the mix with several other similarly-aged players with the talent to be consistent All-Stars, like Bobby Witt Jr., Julio Rodríguez, and Corbin Carroll.

DL Hall moved into the 55 FV tier on the strength of his stuff. He’s still walking a fairly high rate of opposing batters but just on the strength of his three plus pitches, could be a Haderesque relief weapon even if he can’t start. Read the rest of this entry »

On Max Scherzer and Saving Velocity

With the continual increases in league-wide fastball velocity each year, we’re beginning to understand that pitcher aging curves are going to change dramatically. As Jeff Zimmerman’s work makes clear, older pitchers are holding onto more of their fastball velocity and shedding usage at the same time. There’s a survivor’s bias in studying the pitchers who have accrued the most innings, but there’s something to be learned about the limits of maintaining velocity from pitchers who exemplify the modern game.

Max Scherzer is an archetype of the modern pitcher: someone who has been all gas and punchouts. But as he ages, he appears to be entering into a slow decline. He’s boosted his K-BB% rate from 23.4% last season to 30.9%, but his fastball has lost 0.6 mph (94.9 to 94.3 mph) off its average and 0.8 mph (97.9 to 97.1 mph) off its max. And while we can argue about averages, what might be most important for measuring arm health is max velocity.

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October Isn’t Everything: Storylines to Keep an Eye on in the National League

In May, I took a look at some of the most compelling storylines in the American League for the teams least likely to make the postseason. Since that post ran, Shohei Ohtani has been involved in a benches clearing incident (don’t worry, he’s fine) and Miguel Cabrera inched closer to his 3,000th hit with this bases-clearing double to put the Tigers ahead of the Brewers:

The Brewers are in first place in the NL Central right now, so they will not be making another appearance in this post, as our projections like their chances in a tight division race and predict that they’ll hold that spot to win the division. No, this post is for the teams that are much less likely to make the postseason — the teams that won’t play meaningful baseball in October, but that can hopefully still offer something to the fans who continue to show up. Let’s delve into the prospects, players, and milestones on the horizon for the non-contenders in the Senior Circuit. Read the rest of this entry »

The Best Pitching Matchups of the Week: May 24-31

In past iterations of this column, a combination of pressing narratives and fatigue with certain pitchers and their respective teams, or a straight up lack of interesting matchups have forced us to get creative. Not so this week, where the first three days of the week each feature games with giant WATCH ME signs stapled to their probable pitchers. Beginning with the Padres-Brewers series, the final week of May has gifted us some undeniably fun fixtures.

Monday, May 24, 7:40 PM ET: Blake Snell vs. Brandon Woodruff

In his first year in San Diego, Blake Snell seems to be learning his new city using a method that many non-pitchers find helpful: a lot of walks. Snell has already issued 25 walks in 40.1 innings (13.7 BB%) and allowed hitters to reach base at a clip comfortably above the league average. The former Ray has a .330 on-base percentage against him, while the rest of the league is at .313. Read the rest of this entry »

Yadiel Hernandez, Sleeping Giant

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Why is it so easy to fill in the pool that the Washington Nationals own? That’s right — it has no depth. The Nats have relied on a stars-and-scrubs approach for years, hoping that their stellar headliners can offset some of the clunkers at the bottom of the roster. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but the central motivation behind their roster has been strikingly consistent in recent years.

In 2021, some of the stars aren’t shining as brightly as the team hoped. Juan Soto has missed three weeks with injury and is off to a slow, power-sapped start. Stephen Strasburg made only two starts before landing on the Injured List. Patrick Corbin has been disastrous. Offseason acquisitions Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber, who were supposed to stabilize the lineup, are off to slow starts, Bell in particular. It’s not a great year for the boom/bust roster-building philosophy.

In a great stroke of irony, however, the Nats have found a solid bat that could lengthen their lineup and give Soto and Trea Turner some help. There are just two problems: they have nowhere to play him, and he still has some tinkering to do. Yadiel Hernandez looks like the kind of hitter that good teams need, an above-average bat summoned from the minors. Due to the team’s roster construction, he’s been banished to the bench. Should a spot open up, however, he might be the exact thing the team has been missing.
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Max Scherzer and the Coming Wave of 3,000-Strikeout Pitchers

Last Saturday in the Bronx, Max Scherzer showed off the dominant form that has earned him three Cy Young awards and seven All-Star selections. Admittedly, he wasn’t exactly facing Murderer’s Row, but against a Yankees team that had recently righted itself with a 7-1 tear, he struck out 10 out of the first 14 batters he faced, finishing with 14 strikeout in 7.1 innings, that while allowing just two hits, one walk, and one run.

The Nationals wound up losing that game in 11 innings, but nonetheless, the outing was the latest example of the 36-year-old righty in vintage form. The 14 strikeouts was the most by a visitor in the new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009, and the most by any opponent in any iteration of Yankee Stadium since Pedro Martinez’s ultra-dominant one-hit performance against the defending champions in 1999:

Most Strikeout Against the Yankees in the Bronx
Pitcher Tm Date IP H R ER BB SO
Pedro Martinez Red Sox 9/10/1999 9.0 1 1 1 0 17
Mike Moore Mariners 8/19/1988 (2) 9.0 5 1 1 2 16
Max Scherzer Nationals 5/8/2021 7.1 2 1 1 1 14
Mark Langston Mariners 8/19/1986 9.0 5 3 3 2 14
Sam McDowell Cleveland 5/6/1968 9.0 7 2 2 3 14
Hal Newhouser Tigers 5/27/1943 9.0 4 2 2 2 14
Matthew Boyd Tigers 4/3/2019 6.1 5 1 1 3 13
Jason Schmidt Giants 6/8/2002 8.0 2 3 3 4 13
Bartolo Colon Cleveland 9/18/2000 9.0 1 0 0 1 13
Tom Gordon Royals 4/20/1991 7.0 4 0 0 4 13
Roger Clemens Red Sox 9/30/1987 9.0 10 0 0 1 13
SOURCE: Baseball-Reference

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Front Office Conference Call Agendas: National League

Building off of yesterday’s American League conference call agendas, let’s move on to the National League and see what’s on the docket for the teams of the senior circuit.

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • We’re over .500 and we’re banged up. This team is better than people on the outside thought. That said, I don’t think we’ll be exceptionally busy in terms of buying this summer. We’re not catching the Padres or Dodgers, and let’s not forget about the Giants. Let’s stick to the plan and just keep getting better long-term.
  • The rotation has been up-and-down, and Corbin Martin is probably the only minor league piece with a chance to contribute in that area. Let’s get some ideas going as to how we get through 162 games with depth issues in that department.
  • Let’s have some initial talks about draft strategy, as we’re picking sixth. It feels like there is a four-player tier at the top of the draft, so let’s see if there’s a tier-two player we like at six, or if we should be more creative and spread the wealth a bit.
  • The offense overall has been good, but our infield is not hitting. There aren’t any immediate moves to make, but it sure would be nice to see Seth Beer get off to a nice start to gauge whether he can get some at-bats up here as a Christian Walker replacement.
  • We love having the presence of Eduardo Escobar and Asdrúbal Cabrera, but there should be a market for both this July, and we should be listening. Let’s focus on arms in those discussions.
  • The same goes for David Peralta, even though he’s been our second best hitter and is signed for next year as well. That extra year, which is a cheap one at that ($7.5 million), should help generate some interest.

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The Best Pitching Matchups of the Week: May 3-9

This week kicks off with two exciting players who should leave a huge impact on the sport over the next decade, and concludes with two who left their fingerprints all over the last one.

Monday, May 3, 9:38 PM ET: Tyler Glasnow vs. Shohei Ohtani

Outside of a deGrom-Ohtani matchup (which, All-Star Game, if you’re listening…) you’d be hard pressed to come up with a more exciting combination of starting pitchers. Tyler Glasnow, a pitcher who’s been abandoned by consistency at times in the past, is turning his question marks into periods. The looming issue with Glasnow was always when, not if, his strikeout numbers would reach kick-ass status. Like many of his fellow right-handed power pitchers, getting out of Pittsburgh was a great start. In his first full season with Tampa – albeit in just 12 starts – Glasnow made it over the 30% K-rate hump for the first time. His second full season with the Rays ended with a 38.2 K% and a trip to the World Series. This season, he’s still climbing, and hitters are getting completely neutralized.

Notching 10 or more strikeouts in three of his last four starts, including a career-high 14 on April 12 against the Rangers, Glasnow’s strikeout percentage is a robust 39.2%. With Blake Snell and Charlie Morton out of the picture, Glasnow is still bulldozing everything in his path, and he’s on an immaculate pace.

Tyler Glasnow, 2021 Season
6 37.2 39.2 7.7 1.67 1.69 .144 .210 .227

The most elementary reasons for that? Rather than going all in on fastballs and curveballs – pitches he threw a combined 95.4% of the time last season – Glasnow has scaled back the curve and introduced a slider-cutter hybrid. He’s spoken about the increased confidence that came from working with Tampa Bay’s coaching staff and their support, stating that they instructed him to “out stuff” guys rather than trying to dot the corner. When he only had two pitches though, his stuff was too predictable. Enter the “slutter,” a pitch that Glasnow admits has made things easier on him, which I’m sure he and his Boy Meets World good looks really needed. Read the rest of this entry »

Top 22 Prospects: Washington Nationals

Below is an analysis of the prospects in the farm system of the Washington Nationals. Scouting reports were compiled with information provided by industry sources as well as our own observations. As there was no minor league season in 2020, there are some instances where no new information was gleaned about a player. Players whose write-ups have not been meaningfully altered begin by telling you so. Each blurb ends with an indication of where the player played in 2020, which in turn likely informed the changes to their report if there were any. As always, we’ve leaned more heavily on sources from outside of a given org than those within for reasons of objectivity. Because outside scouts were not allowed at the alternate sites, we’ve primarily focused on data from there, and the context of that data, in our opinion, reduces how meaningful it is. Lastly, in an effort to more clearly indicate relievers’ anticipated roles, you’ll see two reliever designations, both on team lists and on The Board: MIRP, or multi-inning relief pitcher, and SIRP, or single-inning relief pitcher.

For more information on the 20-80 scouting scale by which all of our prospect content is governed, you can click here. For further explanation of Future Value’s merits and drawbacks, read Future Value.

All of the numbered prospects here also appear on The Board, a resource the site offers featuring sortable scouting information for every organization. It can be found here.

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