Welcome to another addition of Touch’em All. We are going to take a quick look at some of the top pitching performances to date in the Washington Nationals organization. We will also look at some of their better prospects that are struggling, injured, or both. Some new life has been infused into this teams pitching depth with Friday’s signing of Lucas Giolito. However, even with that this is one of the worst pitching organizations in baseball. Clearly depleted from off-season trades. Lets jump right into it.
AAA Syracuse Chiefs
Christian Garcia RHP – Age 26 – A career minor leaguer, Garcia could finally get a call to the show this summer. He’s 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA and has a 45/9 K/BB over 34 innings out of the bullpen this season. He’s one of the few bright spots on a very veteran Syracuse roster.
AA Harrisburg Senators
Erik Davis RHP – Age 25 – The 2008 13th round pick has rebounded from an off 2011 season. He’s 7-3 with a 2.91 ERA and 4 saves to go with a 59/16 K/BB ratio over 55.2 innings on the season. No longer an option as a starter, however could find himself in the Nationals pen down the road.
Patrick McCoy LHP – Age 23 – Like Garcia and Davis, McCoy has spent his career in the minors. He’s 5-1 with a 3.48 ERA and has a 43/12 K/BB ratio over 41.1 innings on the season. At 23 years old, he does have a little more time on his side than the previous 2 mentioned.
High A Potomac Nationals
Robbie Ray LHP – Age 21 – After jumping onto the prospect map last season, the 2010 12th round draft pick is finding the Carolina League to be far more challenging than the Sally was. He’s 3-6 with a 5.11 ERA and has a 50/29 K/BB ratio over 68.2 innings on the season. His FIP of 4.18 is almost a full point higher than it was last year. He’s pitched better over his last 10 starts, but even those have been up and down. He’s likely to be back in the CL again in 2013.
Rob Wort RHP – Age 23 – The 2nd time around in the Carolina League has been far more productive for Wort than the 1st time. He’s 2-4 with a 2.52 ERA and has an impressive 65/14 K/BB ratio over 39.1 innings out of the bullpen. Another Nationals RP who is too old for the league he’s in and needs to step it up as his window is going to close soon.
Low-A Hagerstown Suns
Alex Meyer RHP – Age 22 – The 23rd overall pick in 2011 draft is 7-4 with a 3.10 ERA and has a 107/34 K/BB ratio over 90 innings on the season. His BABIP of .292 is good and his 2.63 FIP is exceptional. Still, we are cutting him a little slack considering that this is 1st year of pro ball, but he’s clearly too old and too advanced for the Sally. Considering that he’s allowed just 1 run on 9 hits to go with a 19/4 K/BB ratio over his last 13 innings, he’s due to move up to Potamac very soon.
Matt Purke LHP – Age 21 – Purke will be 22 in a few days and has been on the DL twice. He’s been on the DL this time since June 10th with shoulder tendonitis. He wasn’t very effective in his 3 starts sandwiched between DL trips.
Kyle Turnbull LHP – Age 22 – The 2011 4th round draft pick hasn’t exactly been turning heads in his pro debut. He’s 4-4 with a 4.82 ERA and has a 48/28 K/BB ratio over 84 innings. He’s got a mid-90’s fastball, but his off speed offerings are lacking and he’s as inconsistent as they come. Still the Nationals are high on him and are convinced that he has a high ceiling.
Short Season-A Auburn Doubledays
Brett Mooneyham LHP – Age 22 – The 2012 3rd round pick is off to a 0-0 start with a 0.00 ERA to go with 2 hits, 3 walks, and 4 strikeouts over 4.2 innings. The former team USA member struggled with his command for most of the season with Stanford. When I saw him in Seattle in April against the University of Washington he got clobbered because he couldn’t keep his fastball down and his change up was not very effective. Still, he’s one of the better pitching prospects the Nationals have and has a ceiling as a #4 or #5 starter.
Nicholas Lee LHP – Age 21 – The 2011 18th round pick came out of the bullpen in the GCL in 2011, but is getting a chance to start in the NYP this season. He’s 1-0 with a 2.11 ERA and has a 20/6 K/BB ratio over 21.1 innings.
Robert Benincasa RHP – Age 21 – The 2012 7th round pick is 0-0 with a 6.75 ERA and has a 5/0 K/BB over 2.2 innings to go with 1 save this season.
Bryan Harper LHP – Age 22 – It was fun that the Nationals selected Bryce’s older brother late in the 2011 draft. What’s not fun for anyone is that he is 0-0 with a 12.91 ERA and has a 8/6 K/BB ratio over 7.2 innings out of the pen. Obvious, like brothers of stars before, this is a novelty and it won’t last very long.
Rookie Gulf Coast Nationals
Lucas Giolito RHP – Age 18 – Before his injury, he was viewed as the top prospect in the 2012 class. We still view him as the best from that close. He signed with the Nationals at the deadline on Friday for $2.925 million, and then turned 18 on Saturday. Not a bad weekend. He hasn’t started a throwing program yet, but that should begin shortly. While he’s hit 100 mph with his fastball, don’t expect that to be on display this season. There’s a chance he will get into GCL action, but it’s about as slim as you can get though.
Ivan Pineyro RHP – Age 20 – The 6’1″ Dominican hurler is 0-0 with a 2.38 ERA and has a 23/7 K/BB ratio over 22.2 innings in his North America debut. He had over a K per inning last season in his pro debut in the DSL.
Joel Barrientos LHP – Age 18 – The 6’2″ Dominican weighs in at a mere 145 pounds, but has had few problems in his GCL debut. He’s 1-0 with a 1.72 ERA and has a 17/4 K/BB ratio over 15.2 innings.
Rookie Dominican League Nationals
Elisaul Gomez LHP – Age 20 – The 6’1″ Dominican is 4-2 with a 2.75 ERA and has a 27/21 K/BB ratio over 39.1 innings on the season.
Jefry Rodriguez RHP – Age 18 – The 6’5″ Dominican is 0-1 with a 2.88 ERA and has a 25/23 K/BB ratio over 34.1 innings.
Maximo Valerio RHP – Age 16 – The 6’2″ Dominican is 0-4 with a 4.71 ERA and has a 19/11 K/BB ratio over 28.2 innings.
That’s it for our Nationals pitching report. Check back soon for pitching a hitting reports from other major league organizations.
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