First, thanks to "E" for inviting me to post an occasional story, column or commentary on Federal Baseball. I'll try to keep my commentary succinct and easy to read, if not easy to digest. I'm extremely happy to be a small part of the team, and hope everyone else will be too!
29. Washington Nationals: Ross Detwiler and Josh Smoker, two of their top three prospects at this time in 2008, took huge steps backward this past season, and the Nationals' botched negotiations with first-round pick Aaron Crow were just more of the same from Jim Bowden's reign of error. The consistent failure to convert veteran big leaguers into any sort of prospects and questions about their practices in Latin America will leave them stuck down here even if they have a successful draft in 2009.
"Zimmermann spent most of his first full pro season in Double-A, good for any recent draftee but even more so for a pitcher out of a Division III school, as he is. He's not a potential ace but a very high-probability No. 3 with a chance to be better than that because of his plus command.
Zimmermann is a classic four-pitch pitcher who changes speeds well and commands his stuff, locating his 90-94 mph four-seamer to all parts of the zone. He also keeps the ball down. His best pitch remains his mid-80s slider, short and tight with good tilt, although his curve is tighter now than it was when he was an amateur. Plus, he turns his changeup over well.
He has good feel for pitching, above-average command and average control."
It's pretty well known that Jim Bowden has a history of hyper-inflating players, then blaming them publicly when they don't live up to his over-inflated expectations. But if you take Law at face value, this is fairly damning evidence that "The Plan (tm)" isn't working as well as Stan Kasten of Jim Bowden hoped that it would.