• In January 2007, then DC GM Jim Bowden announced, in an article by MLB.com's Bill Ladson entitled, "Notes: Robinson offered Spring job", that the Washington Nationals had signed four international free agents out of the Dominican Republic, three of them pitchers, left-handers Randy Almonte, (17yrs old), and Francisco Vizcaino, (18 yrs old) and right-hander Marcos Frias (18 yrs old) as well as a catcher, Ricardo Martinez, (18). Having finally been purchased from Major League Baseball by the Lerners in July of 2006, the Nationals entered the winter of 2007 with an agenda, Mr. Ladson writes, they'd been unable to pursue in, "...the previous five years":
"...the Nationals/Expos didn't have a budget to sign talented players outside the United States. Now, with ownership in place, the Nats are working quickly to sign the best players around the world."
One of the pitchers signed that day, Marcos Frias, found his way onto Hardball Times' writer Matt Hagen's list of the "Top 10 prospects for 2010: Washington Nationals", as the 10th best prospect (3rd best pitcher) following a 2009 season with the Class-A Hagerstown Suns which saw the now-21-year-old right-hander described by MLB.com's Bill Ladson in that first article announcing his signing as throwing, "...a heavy sinker and...a fastball that gets up to 92 mph," post a (9-5) record in 23 starts and 126.2 IP in which he walked 30 (2.1 K/9), struck out 112 (8.0 K/9) and posted a 1.22 WHIP.
• The Hardball Times' Matt Hagen's scouting report on Marcos Frias:
"Scouting reports are tough to come by on Frias, but his numbers are hard to ignore, forcing my bullish outlook. Based off of the brief video and scouting reports I have on him, I am going to take a shot in the dark on a young man with a live arm."
• The Nationals Farm Authority's Brian Oliver had Frias ranked as the 15th best pitcher in the Nationals' system in his mid-December list entitled, "NFA Top Prospects", but Mr. Oliver seems no less impressed than Mr. Hagen by the 21-year-old right-hander's potential:
"Frias could quickly climb this list if he builds upon his solid season in Hagerstown. The 21-year old Frias apepars to have the control and strike-throwing ability to turn into a back of the rotation option."