We're currently in a serious case of organizational introspection approaching the trade deadline as we assess the value of the pieces of our 70-win pace team. Rizzo has to look at our farm system and look at the offers being placed on his table. He has to look at the major league pieces and assess what players have done with the opportunities they have been given. We have at least one disappointment (Nyjer Morgan), one to be continued (Ian Desmond), and one exceeded expectations (Roger Bernadina). We clearly have some weaknesses in our rotation that need to be addressed. As Nats fans, however, we can have a bit of organizational narrowmindedness. We can tend to overvalue our guys that are fan favorites or undervalue guys who have made key boneheaded plays that aren't statistically significant but have cost key games. We often lack the time to properly assess other organizations top to bottom to get a sense of how our prospects compare to other team's prospects, especially teams outside the NL East. One thing that can be helpful is looking outside of the organization for other assessments on are overall organizational talent. Satchel Price at Minor League Ball (John Sickels) and Beyond the Box Score has done an organizational assessment of the Nats, and I think that it provides a good objective starting point for assessing our system as we contemplate the best moves for the front office during deadline season. My thoughts on this analysis after the jump.
1) People are genuinely impressed by the organizational bedrock that we have. Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, and Bryce Harper are assets that other organizations envy. This is a new heady feeling for us having genuine superstars on the team.
2) Key components of the present team would cost a lot more in 2013. Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham cannot be included in looking at the 2013 Nats because they aren't under contract. Even Zimmerman will probably be clamoring for an extension in the final year of his contract. If you think the selling discussion over Dunn is fierce, imagine what it would be for Zim in 3 years.
3) We may be overvaluing some of our prospects. Jordan Zimmermann, Derek Norris, and Danny Espinosa do not get the type of respect elsewhere that they do in Natstown. They are seen as quality prospects for sure, but people don't look at them as locks for the Top 50 anymore and they are not followed nearly as closely elsewhere as they are here.
4) Three players that I have all but given up on are mentioned as potential pieces. Waiting for leap forward Chris Marrero at 1B, flawed Michael Burgess, and dual identity Stammen are included as best present options for 2013.
5) We lack rotation depth. We really, really, really lack rotation depth. Brad Meyers was chosen as the fifth starter candidate (after Strasburg, Zimmermann, Detwiler, and Stammen). He's hurt. He's not thought very highly of, and he may be worse than AJ Morris today.
I hope that people will view this fanpost, and rec it (rec'd Fanposts are surfaced) so that we can have a long term forum that newbies can view on the overall state of the organization. I encourage Federal Baseball members to contribute to the discussion at Sickels as well. I felt like a rather lonely souldrummer as the only Nats poster in the least commented thread in the "Look at 2013" series so far. Even Pirates and Royals fans are more focused and aware of stronger farm systems than we are at the moment.