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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

An early look at the minor leagues: High-A ball

The Brevard County Manatee
Florida State League (High-A ball)
Season starts: Not available.

In the list below, uppercased players appear to be the most likely to make the major leagues, although it is very early in their careers. Scouting reports (previously published on this site) have also been included for players on the Nationals’ top 15 pitchers and top 15 hitters lists. As always, more in depth statistics for all players can be found at The Baseball Cube.

Pitchers’ stats include ERA, innings pitched, walks-strikeouts. Hitters’ stats include batting average, on-base average and slugging percentage.

Field Staff: Not available.

Starting Rotation
LHP Jon Felfoldi
Experience: 3
Age: 24
Height/Weight: 6’1’’ 180
2004 Level and Stats: Low-A, 3.51, 26, 17 -20

RHP DEVIN PERRIN
Experience: 2
Age: 24
Height/Weight: 6’7’’ 225
2004 Level and Stats: Low-A, 4.50, 122, 62-108

Perrin, who stands 6'7'', averaged eight strikeouts per nine innings in low-A ball last year and power is the name of his game. Unfortunately Perrin also walked almost five batters per nine innings and it remains to be seen whether his future lies in the starting rotation or the bullpen.

RHP DARYL THOMPSON
Experience: 2
Age: 19
Height/Weight: 6’1’’ 170
2004 Level and Stats: Low-A, 5.08, 103, 30-79

Thompson does not have the big, strong pitchers body that scouts love but he handled full season ball at the age of 18 and could still grow and add muscle. He has a great feel for pitching and solid makeup for a teenager. Thompson throws his fastball in the low 90s and possesses a nice curve and solid changeup. It is hard to project where Thompson will fit into a rotation in the majors because he is still young and developing but he could fit in as a No. 3 starter at this point.

RHP Nick Long
Experience: 4
Age: 22
Height/Weight: 6’3’’ 180
2004 Level and Stats: Low-A, 4.89, 105, 61-81

RHP Armando Galarraga
Experience: 6
Age: 23
Height/Weight: 6’3’’ 170
2004 Level and Stats: Low-A, 4.65. 110, 31-94

Bullpen
LHP BILL BRAY
Experience: 1
Age: 22
Height/Weight:
2004 Level and Stats: Low-A, 4.91, 7, 1-6

Bray may move slower than Chad Cordero, who was another first round college reliever draft pick. The Nationals are considering having him pitch out of the starting rotation this year in an attempt to get him more innings and gain experience. Baseball America says he has a change to be a real dominating left-handed reliever closing out ballgames.

RHP Richard Campbell
Experience: 1
Age: 23
Height/Weight: 6’0’’ 170
2004 Level and Stats: Short Season, 4.09, 22, 10-25

RHP ANTHONY PEARSON
Experience: 2
Age: 23
Height/Weight: 6’3’’ 190
2004 Level and Stats: Low-A, 3.81, 85, 49-106

LHP Jeremy Plexico
Experience: 2
Age: 25
Height/Weight: 6’4’’ 210
2004 Level and Stats: Low-A, 2.63, 82, 25-102

RHP Brett Reid
Experience: 2
Age: 25
Height/Weight: 5’11’’ 200
2004 Level and Stats: Low-A, 1.98, 64, 20-84

RHP ALEX MORALES
Experience: 2
Age: 22
Height/Weight: 5’11’’ 165
2004 Level and Stats: High-A, 4.55, 63, 41-55

At 5’11’’ 165 lbs. Morales is no friend of the scout but he does flash a 94 mph fastball despite his small frame. He also has an excellent slider (70 on the 20-80 scale), which possesses a sharp break. A decent changeup completes his repertoire. Morales biggest problem in 2004 was his command and he will likely return to high-A ball to start the season. If his body cannot standup to the rigors of starting, Morales could make a nice middle reliever.

LHP Brett Nyquist
Experience: 2
Age: 24
Height/Weight: 6’7’’ 200
2004 Level and Stats: Low-A, 5.67, 106, 27-79

Lineup
C Salomon Manriquez
Experience: 5
Age: 22
2004 Level and Stats: Low-A, .264 .311 .39

1B JOSH WHITESELL
Experience: 2
Age: 23
2004 Level and Stats: Low-A, .250 .351 .453

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.

2B Jason Conlisk
Experience: 3
Age: 24
2004 Level and Stats: Low-A, .215 .298 .327

3B KORY CASTO
Experience: 2
Age: 23
2004 Level and Stats: Low-A, .286 .337 .474

Casto’s biggest problem is his defence, which might necessitate a switch in position. On the plus side, Casto works hard and has shown improvement. He has enough power potential to try out a corner outfield position. At the age of 23 and still in the low minors, Casto needs to get on the fast track pretty soon if he wants to become an impact major leaguer. A more patient approach at the plate could help speed up his arrival time in The Show.

SS Trey Webb
Experience: 2
Age: 23
2004 Level and Stats: Low-A, 241 .312 .321

LF Frank Diaz
Experience: 4
Age: 21
2004 Level and Stats: High-A, 242 .303 .380

CF Roger Bernadina
Experience: 3
Age: 21
2004 Level and Stats: Low-A, .240 .340 .371

Bernadina is probably the most talented position player in the system but he is a long way from making the Nationals Major League club. He is quite inexperienced, even though he has played three professional seasons, because he played limited baseball growing up in the Netherlands. Bernadina showed promise in low-A ball in 2004 by taking a fair number of walks and stealing 24 bases in 26 attempts. He has the potential to be a five-tool center fielder and invoke memories of Vladimir Guerrero.

RF Jim Kavourias
Experience: 5
Age: 24
2004 Level and Stats: High-A, .153 .223 .252


Bench
C Luis Apodaca
Experience: 6
Age: 22
2004 Level and Stats: Low-A, .206 .283 .314

IF Vince Rooi
Experience: 6
Age: 23
2004 Level and Stats: High-A, .200 .297 .305

OF Jason Tuttle
Experience: 2
Age: 25
2004 Level and Stats: High-A, .272 .348 .301

OF Reg Fitzpatrick
Experience: 4
Age: 22
2004 Level and Stats: Low-A, 245 .310 .350

Next up is a breakdown of the projected 2005 Harrisburg Senators double-A minor league team.

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