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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Top 15 Position Players (Part 2 of 3)

Below is the second of three looking at the Nationals Top 15 position players.

6. Devin Ivany, C, 22
2005 destination: low-A

Supposedly a better hitter than San Pedro, Ivany hit a measly .170 last season in low-A ball after signing out of the University of South Florida. He may have been tired after a long college season but a sub-.200 batting average is never a good sign. Ivany projects to hit for power, but he is currently a line-drive hitter with gap power. Defensively Ivany possesses a good arm for neutralizing the running game and he is athletic behind the plate.

7. Erik San Pedro, C, 21
2005 destination: low-A

San Pedro is an excellent defensive catcher, but his bat is questionable. If San Pedro can get competant enough with the bat to hit .240-.250 in the major leagues, his could be an everyday catcher. He probably won't hit for a lot of power.

8. Edgardo Baez, RF, 19
2005 destination: low-A

The Expos rushed Baez a bit last season and he struggled mightily in low-A ball as a teenager. Baez could turn out to be a special player though and he projects to be a power-hitting right fielder with a cannon arm. His lack of speed is the only thing preventing him from being mentioned as a five-tool prospect. Like many of the Nationals’ players in the low minors though, he is raw. He must improve his pitch recognition and ability to hit breaking balls. Baez is said to have excellent work habits, which bodes well for his future.

9. Tony Blanco, IF/OF, 23
2005 destination: double-A

Blanco has always possessed a boatload of talent, but he did not really tap into it until last season. His power is impressive and he is going to need it to succeed as an everyday corner outfielder in the Major Leagues. He hit 29 home runs between two levels in 2004, but his batting average dropped 60 points after a promotion to double-A. Blanco does not possess enough defensive ability to play third base in the majors but he could also end up at first base. With the Nationals’ outfield depth, as a December Rule 5 draft pick, he is likely to get caught in a numbers crunch and be sent back to Reds organization.

10. Josh Whitesell, 1B, 23
2005 destination: high-A

Whitesell possess a lot of raw power, which he is still trying to translate into home run power. He has the potential to hit for a respectable average as well and he has shown promising plate discipline. Right now his defence is no better than average, after spending most of his college career as a designated hitter. Whitesell is a player to watch this season and could be poised for a breakout season.

Look back Friday to see the final installment of the Nationals’ Top 15 position players.


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