People of Federal Baseball! After some delay, the time is upon us for another stroll down memory lane with some of your favorite (or, depending on the specific case, less-than-favorite) ex-Nats! Previously, we have had occasion to consider those ex-Nats who saw time in the National League and the American League this past year. We now move on to the minor leagues. Due to the volume of ex-Nats rambling around the minors, I’m breaking this into two posts. Today, we’ll cover players who appeared in the affiliated minors; next time, we’ll consider the unaffiliated minors. I know this division is a bit arbitrary, because it splits up AAA-level players (i.e., we’ll look at the Pacific Coast League and International League today, but won’t examine the Mexican League until next time), but doing things this way will result in two better-balanced posts. Should I do something like this again next season (we’ll assume that (1) the Mayans didn’t really predict the end of the world, and (2) even if they did, they’re going to be wrong), a different breakdown may well be warranted.
Anyway, this time we’ll survey ex-Nats whose highest level of 2012 play was in the PCL, IL, and Eastern League. Some of these guys were pretty well-traveled this year, so where relevant I’ve noted if they played in other leagues, too. As a side note, it doesn’t look like there were any ex-Nats who topped out in any other affiliated minor leagues (but as you’ll see, several of them did spend time in the low minors).
As before, several caveats: (a) I’ve borrowed the idea for this survey from Twinkie Town; (b) the stats are from Baseball-reference.com; (c) ex-Expos are not included; (d) players who spent time in the Nats system but never appeared in the majors are not included; and (e) players who are still in the Nats system are not included. Additionally, I should note that a lot of these guys are already on the move this offseason; I haven’t included these subsequent developments.
Okay, let’s get down to business. First, guys who topped out at the PCL; then, the IL; and finally, the lone fellow who spent the year in the Eastern League. I suspect the odds are good that I’ve missed someone here--if you have more information, drop a comment! (But remember--we’ll be checking out the Mexican League, Japan, and unaffiliated minors like the Can-Am and Atlantic League next time.)
The Pacific Coast and International Leaguers
106 G, 424 PA, .317/.407/.507
Aside from a pretty good 2007 season with the Rays, Harris is most notable for (1) not being the answer to the Minnesota Twins’ middle infield woes, and (2) being a minor piece in several noteworthy trades (look it up--usually the Twins end up on the losing end).
Jason Bergmann, Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Rockies) (2005-2010):
28 G, 40.0 IP, 6.98 ERA, 1.85 WHIP
Bergmann started the year with Camden Riversharks in the Atlantic League and posted a 0.81 ERA in 22 games. He responded to the Rockies’ interest by pitching much like he did for the Nats.
20 G, 109.2 IP, 7-1, 3.69 ERA
As you can see, Vargas had a decent stint with the Sounds, but it didn’t stick--he ended his 2012 campaign with Vaqueros Laguna in the Mexican League.
Corey Patterson, Nashville Sounds (Brewers) (2009):
117 G, 390 PA, 10 HR, .251/.285/.410
Remember when this guy was one of the top prospects in all of baseball?
Victor Garate, Nashville Sounds (Brewers) (2009):
29 G, 39.1 IP, 7.78 ERA, 40 K
After one game with the York Revolution in the Atlantic League, Garate went to the Sounds and did what he usually does: struck guys out and gave up a bunch of runs.
23 G, 62.1 IP, 8.66 ERA
Redding, too, began 2012 in the Atlantic League (with the Sugar Land Skeeters); Redding, too, gave up a lot of runs upon making the jump to the PCL.
49 G, 56.2 IP, 3.65 ERA, 25 SV
Okay, Albaladejo actually made it up to the majors this year, but I managed to omit him from the NL rundown. He spent most of the season in Reno, where he did enough to merit the September call-up.
123 G, 420 PA, .222/.310/.495
J.D. Martin, New Orleans Zephyrs (Marlins) (2009-2010):
29 G, 130.0 IP, 5.95 ERA
47 G, 61.2 IP, 3.79 ERA
After six years in the Nats system, Mock lasted 35 games with Pawtucket (of the International League) and 12 with OKC.
45 G, 155 PA, .331/.355/.514
Until this year, Bard had seen major league action every season since 2002. Still, there’s always work for a back-up catcher.
Wil Ledezma, Albuquerque Isotopes (Dodgers) (2009):
38 G, 37.1 IP, 6.99 ERA, 48 K
Another ex-Nat who strikes guys out in between surrendering runs, Ledezma’s year didn’t end with the Isotopes--he tossed exactly one inning for the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan. He may be Curacaoan, but he’s no Roger Bernadina.
28 G, 134.2 IP, 12-9, 6.01 ERA, 139 K
Peacock obviously has a few things to work on before he’s going to see significant time in the bigs, but the K/9 rate is impressive.
15 G, 14.1 IP, 7.53 ERA
After five years in Japan and sitting out 2011, Nitkowski was back in 2012. He breezed through 6 games with the Binghamtom Mets in the Eastern League, but enjoyed less success with Buffalo.
27 G, 13-6, 169.1 IP, 3.45 ERA
Ladies and gentlemen, your 2006 National League leader in losses!
Mike O’Connor, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (Yankees) (2006-2008):
31 G, 3-6, 108.2 IP, 3.73 ERA
He seems to have turned into one of those well-traveled AAA-level pitchers.
122 G, 452 PA, .241/.306/.356
I’ve commented there’s always work for back-up catchers; the same is arguably true of utility infielders.
105 G, 399 PA, .268/.301/.328
The Mets traded him to the Nats for Luis Ayala in 2008. Ayala appears to have found his groove the last two seasons; Hernandez not so much.
Logan Kensing, Indianapolis Indians (Pirates) (2009):
11 G, 11.0 IP, 4.09 ERA
Kensing had an eventful year in the Pirates system: after four good games with Bradenton Marauders (Florida Leauge), he moved up to the Altoona Curve of the Eastern League before ending the year in Indianapolis. He doesn’t appear to be in any danger of moving higher than that in the near future.
Daniel Cabrera, Indianapolis Indians (Pirates)/Reno Aces (Diamondbacks) (2009):
23 G, 126.0 IP, 4.50 ERA
Also an active year for Cabrera: after a game in Bradenton, the Pirates brought him up to Indianapolis, before sending him to Reno.
Shairon Martis, Indianapolis Indians (Pirates)/Rochester Red Wings (Twins) (2008-2009):
14 G, 67 IP, 5.78 ERA
And a busy year for Martis: after 11 games with Altoona, the Pirates promoted him to Indianapolis for 4 games, at which point he went to the Twins system, appearing in 4 games for the New Britain Rock Cats (Eastern League) and starting 10 games for the Rochester Red Wings (IL).
2 G, 4.0 IP, 2.25 ERA
After all of one inning with the Bristol White Sox of the Appalachian League, the White Sox moved him all the way up to Charlotte, where he threw two more games.
1 G, 2.1 IP, 15.43 ERA
Apart from shot the Nats gave him in 2010, Atilano has been in the minors since 2003. This year, he pitched one game with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos of the Southern League before throwing another with the Bats.
The Eastern Leaguer
12 G, 64.2 IP, 5.98 ERA
Once again, meh.
And there you have it! What a barrage of memories this has been. It’s good to know that these guys are working, at least, but it’s also nice to know that they are not employed by the Nats. Stay tuned for the ex-Nats in the unaffiliated minors!