• I knew I wouldn't be going out tonight so after a long day of work on a Saturday I stopped by the local newwstand put $7.99 on the debit card and brought home this year's edition of Lindy's Sports 2010 Baseball Preview, with its market-specific cover featuring the Yankees' Mark Teixeira, the Mets' Johan Santana and a glowing Chase Utley hovering about the top of the page. There aren't too many surprises inside for fans of the Nationals, but seeing Washington listed as the third of ten top stories of 2009 in Jim Caple's column, "Roaming the Majors", caught my attention...Of course, the paragraph quickly recounted the history of the franchise, the move from Montreal to Washington with a moment for Jim Bowden's legal troubles and departure and then on to Stephen Strasburg, who's compared to Kelly Leak...Here we go...
• But elsewhere, inside Lindy's Sports season preview, a few weeks after they were released online, Baseball America's Will Lingo lists BA's Top 50 prospects in baseball in an article entitled, "Phenoms: A Look At The Top 50 Major League Prospects For 2010", with Stephen Strasburg beating out the Atlanta Braves Jason Heyward, at least on this list...The only other Nationals' prospect on the list is catcher Derek Norris who's ranked 32nd overall by Baseball America, after the '07 4th Round pick, "...led the South Atlantic League with a .413 on-base percentage," and hit .286 with 30 doubles, 23 HR's and 82 RBI's for the Class A Hagerstown Suns in 2009.
• College of Southern Nevada catcher Bryce Harper is atop the list of Collegiate Prospects Allan Simpson compiled for Lindy's Sports annual baseball preview, followed by LSU right hander Anthony Ranuado and University of Mississippi lefty Drew Pomeranz. Right-handed high schooler James Taillon is listed as the Top High School Prospect in the country, with Mr. Simpson writing that, "The crown jewel of the 2010 class, Taillon could be the first high-school righthander to be taken first overall in the 45-year history of the draft." Which of these players do you think was atop the Rizzo Regime's list when they held a Mock Draft a few weeks back?
The Nationals were picked to finish fifth in the NL East, mais bien sur, someone please alert me if any preseason prognosticator does anything different, but the interesting thing in the organizational overview was Lindy's Sports' projected rotation for 2010: (w/2009 Stats)
- RHP - Jason Marquis - (15-13), 4.04 ERA (4.10 FIP), 33 GS, 216.0 IP, 80 BB, (3.33 BB/9), 115 K's (4.79 K/9), 1.38 WHIP, .264 BAA.
- LHP - John Lannan - (9-13), 3.88 ERA (4.70 FIP), 32 GS, 206.1 IP, 68 BB (2.97 BB/9), 101 K's (3.88 K/9), 1.35 WHIP, .265 BAA.
- RHP - Garrett Mock - (3-10), 5.62 ERA (4.28 FIP), 28 G, 15 GS, 91.1 IP, 44 BB (4.34 BB/9), 72 K (7.09 K/9), 1.73 WHIP, 2.82 BAA.
- LHP - Scott Olsen - (2-4), 6.03 ERA (5.24 FIP), 11 GS, 62.2 IP, 25 BB (3.59 BB/9), 91 K's (6.03 K/9), 1.72 WHIP, .320 BAA.
- RHP - J.D. Martin - (5-4), 4.44 ERA (5.67 FIP), 15 GS, 77.0 IP, 24 BB (2.81 BB/9), 37 K's (4.32 K/9), 1.42 WHIP, .281 BAA.
Bill James, who's featured in the magazine in an interesting article by Larry Stone entitled, "Numbers Game", has projected the following for the pitchers Lindy Sports Preview predicts will make the Nationals' twenty-ten rotation:
- Jason Marquis - (12-11), 4.37 ERA, (4.70 FIP), 32 GS, 202.0 IP, 77 BB (3.43 BB/9), 110 K's (4.90 K/9), 1.42 WHIP, .266 BAA.
- John Lannan - (11-11), 4.03 ERA, (4.66 FIP), 32 GS, 199.0 IP, 73 BB (3.30 BB/9), 101 K's (4.57 K/9), 1.37 WHIP, 2.63 BAA.
- Garrett Mock - (6-10), 4.91 ERA, (4.15 FIP), 31 G, 25 GS, 143.0 IP, 59 BB (3.71 BB/9), 122 K's (7.68 K/9), 1.52 WHIP, .282 BAA.
- Scott Olsen - (5-8), 4.98 ERA, (4.84 FIP), 22 GS, 121.0 IP, 50 BB (3.72 BB/9), 91 K's (6.77 K/9), 1.50 WHIP, .277 BAA.
- J.D. Martin - (10-10), 4.07 ERA, (4.16 FIP), 29 GS, 177.0 IP, 44 BB (2.24 BB/9), 125 K's (6.36 K/9), 1.28 WHIP, .267 BAA.
?'s For The DC Faithful...
• Are you assuming Scott Olsen's right back in the rotation?
• Garrett Mock? It's obvious DC GM Mike Rizzo likes Mock, he drafted him in Arizona and the Nationals traded for Mock once Rizzo moved to the nation's capital, have you seen enough out of Mock to pencil him in as a starter?
• Is Craig Stammen in your 2010 rotation? Collin Balester? Stephen Strasburg? Miguel Batista?
• Are you giving the Nationals any chance to escape the NL East's basement?
• Should the Nationals take Bryce Harper or a pitcher? As of now, where do you stand?
• In an small feature included in the Nationals' organizational overview the Lindy's Sports' writers select "3 Breakthroughs" which picks three, "Prospects Close To Making Their Mark". Strasburg is obviously no. 1 on the list, but which two players join the '09 no.1 overall pick?
• Who will be the biggest surprise on the Nationals' roster? I'm picking Elijah Dukes to finally put it all together. Will Jesus Flores sit Ivan Rodriguez down like he sent Paul LoDuca and Johnny Estrada to the bench?