Sunday, July 24, 2011

Round 13: Casey "Ory" Kalenkosky, 1B, Texas State University

Texas State Bio

One sentence analysis: Texas State's latest slugging 1B is a personal favorite, but needs to work on his strikeout totals to be a more successful hitter.

More analysis and notes: roundup: "Kalenkosky provides some pop, as his 21 home runs ranked sixth in the nation entering NCAA Regionals, but he also boasted a .327 batting average this season."
From John Sickels, Minor League Ball, 6/14/2011: "Kalenkosky (13th round, Texas State) has massive power (21 homers) that could play nicely in pro ball if he keeps the strikeouts (50 in 245 AB) from eating him up."
From Baseball America, 6/7/2011: "Kalenkosky hit 20 homers in two seasons at Cisco (Texas) JC and nearly matched that total during the regular season, tying the Texas State record with 18. The 6-foot, 195-pound righthanded hitter's power will have to carry him, however. He lacks the pitch recognition to hit for a high average and is a below-average runner and defender. He does have arm strength and has seen brief action as a catcher."

Kalenkosky has not signed with the Nats.

Round 14: Cody Stubbs, OF, Walters State CC

Tennessee Bio
Walters State Bio

One sentence analysis: In 2011, Stubbs broke out the lumber after a disappointing 2010 season at Tennessee and his resulting transfer to Walters State CC.

More analysis and notes:
Could develop into a slugging 1B/corner OF type, and would be a nice value if the Nats could sign him away from his UNC commitment. Known as Roland by, but goes by Cody. Hit .403/.455/.776 with 17 homers and 75 RBI's this season. 20 BB/27 K is decent for a slugger like Cody. roundup: "The Red Sox drafted Stubbs out of high school (29th round, 2009), but he went to Tennessee for a season before transferring to Walters State, where he also played for one season."
From Allan Simpson, Perfect Game, 5/15/2011: "High-profile Tennessee transfer; got locked in at plate late (.411-12-64), but tended to feast on inferior velocity."

Stubbs has not signed with the Nats.

Round 15: Zach Houchins, SS, Louisburg College

Louisburg Stats Page

One sentence analysis: 2011's most infamous Nats pick hit .349/.391/.512 in Junior College ball this season.

More analysis and notes: roundup: "Houchins hit .349 with four home runs, 35 RBIs and seven stolen bases."
From Baseball America, 6/7/2011: "The best junior-college prospect in the state is either shortstop Zach Houchins or first baseman Tyler Molinaro. Houchins has good strength and bat speed and has consistently hit the ball hard this season. He has a good arm but lacks the speed and actions to stay at shortstop."
Houchins' Twitter has been deleted after some uproar from the Nationals blogosphere for being inappropriate/racist/bad. For Love of the Nationals has a recap post, though, and Adam Kilgore spoke with the apologetic teenager. It would probably be beneficial for both sides if the two part ways now, as the Nats would face a PR disaster by signing him.

Houchins has not signed with the Nationals.

Round 17: Esteban Guzman, RHP, San Jose State

San Jose State Bio

One sentence analysis: The big righty struck out almost 1 batter per inning at San Jose State.

More analysis and notes: roundup: "The 6-foot-4 Guzman struck out 74 batters over 75 2/3 innings with a 3.33 ERA."
Guzman sounds ecstatic to be drafted and says he'll likely sign, according to Paul Farmer of the Fairfield Daily Republic (6/7/2011). Farmer quotes Guzman as saying, "There’s a great chance I’ll probably sign and start my career this summer," as well as "Obviously it’s a dream come true. I get to start my pro career, but it’s just a start." In the same article, his coach Jason Chatham described him as a pitcher: "The kid lives in the low 90s. He’s got a great breaking ball. He’s got excellent poise on the mound."
SJSU's website had a nice getting-to-know-you interview with him last year.

Surprisingly, Guzman has not signed with the Nats yet.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Round 19: Hawtin Buchanan, RHP, Biloxi HS (Mississippi)


One sentence analysis: The huge (6'8") righty from Mississippi will almost certainly fulfill his commitment to Ole Miss, but the Nats made a nice risk/reward pick here in the 19th round.

More analysis and notes:

From what I've read, Buchanan has already started classes at Ole Miss and is no longer a major target for Rizzo and the Nats. Stranger things have certainly happened, though, as the Nats have been very aggressive with drafting and signing HS pitchers with signability issues in the past (Robbie Ray, Jack McGeary, Brandon King, etc.). I wonder if the Nationals drafted Buchanan and Laxer back-to-back to try and convince the two of them to go pro together. Pure speculation, of course, but adding a second gigantic righty in this draft would be huge for the Nationals (literally). roundup: "The 6-foot-8 Buchanan dropped this low over fears that he will follow through on his commitment to Ole Miss. His fastball is in the low 90s."
From John Sickels, Minor League Ball, 6/14/2011: "Buchanan is strongly committed to Ole Miss but would have gone 15 rounds higher if considered more signable."
From Baseball America, 6/7/2011: "Scouts flocked to Mississippi for a deep pool of high school talent this year, and the towering Buchanan seemed to be at his best when the heat was on. At 6-foot-8, he's athletic enough to have played quarterback in the fall, and he has room to fill out even though he's a listed 230 pounds. He repeats his delivery well for a prep pitcher of his size, and one evaluator called him the "definition of a big-body power arm." He elicits comparisons to former Ole Miss righthander Cody Satterwhite, who was similarly physical, but Buchanan may throw harder more consistently. After sitting 86-91 mph early in the spring, he was hitting more 93s as the season went along. His changeup is his best secondary pitch, and he hasn't shown much of a feel for his loopy, slow curveball. Some scouts are concerned about Buchanan's arm action in the back, as his elbow tends to get inverted, much as Stephen Strasburg's more celebrated arm does. Buchanan was at his best against the likes of Senquez Golson and Mason Robbins, two of Mississippi's top prep hitters. He's an Ole Miss legacy who is considered a tough sign."
From Matt Garrioch, MLB Bonus Baby, 11/22/2010: "Hawtin is all projection. He's 6'8" and throws low 90's. He's athletic for his size and is definitely a project worth taking a shot on." Garrioch ranked Buchanan #42 on his top 150 here.
From Andy Seiler, MLB Bonus Baby, 7/18/2010: "Extremely tall, and he still manages to have projection despite already packing on some 230-240 pounds on his 6’8’’ frame. He has a very deceptive above-average fastball when he’s on, and his release point is so close to the plate that his 88-90 mph fastball looks more like 91-93. His curveball is a potential plus pitch, too, and I’ve heard of a few average changeups thrown in when he was here at East Cobb a couple weeks ago. If he had 3-4 more miles an hour on his fastball, we’d be talking about him as a top ten pick."
From Team One Baseball, 6/28/2010: "Hawtin has a mature frame and a pro pitcher body, standing 6’8’’ and weighing 240 lbs. He utilizes his great body to throw his fast ball on a downhill plane that ranges from 86-90 MPH. Hawtin has a quick, fluid delivery, good glove side lead, and a smooth arm action. Buchanan has excellent mound presence, and a sharp 11-5 breaking ball with good potential. Hawtin's stock on the mound can rise even higher if he can improve his change-up."

Follow @Hawtin_Buchanan on Twitter

Buchanan has not signed with the Nats.

Round 20: Josh Laxer, RHP, Madison Central HS (Mississippi)

(from My601)

One sentence analysis: The hard-throwing high schooler has already started summer classes at Ole Miss, so the Nats may have missed their chance to sign him.

More analysis and notes:
First of all, please read my interview with Josh here.
It's interesting to see that Laxer has the figure he's willing to sign for prepared (and public): $900k. In a draft that features some expensive players at the top but a ton of college seniors that will sign around or under slot in the top 10 rounds, the Nationals can likely afford to pay Laxer. roundup: "Another Ole Miss commit, Laxer throws a 95 mph fastball. He struck out 110 batters and walked 19 in 68 innings this season."
From Baseball America, 6/7/2011: "In many years, Mississippi signee Josh Laxer would have been the top prep pitcher in the state. At 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, he pounds the strike zone with quality stuff, touching the low 90s and sitting around 88-89 mph with a fastball that has good armside life and sink at times. He spots his slurvy breaking ball well and knows how to pitch. His lack of physicality may make college ball a better fit."
From Josh Dellenger, The Clairon-Ledger, 6/4/2011: "As the Jaguars' ace, the Ole Miss signee drew dozens of scouts with his 95-mph fastball, a nasty slider and unique change-up - the last one he swiped from his older brother. For Laxer to bypass a college career at Ole Miss, the money must be right. In fact, he has a figure in mind: 'Anywhere around' $900,000, he said. It's an amount he and his family agreed upon."
From Travis Recek, My601, 3/25/2011: "Josh is a hard-throwing righty with solid mechanics at this stage in his development. His fastball can sit in the low 90's and when he avoids walks, he can be pretty unhittable at the high school level. Scouts have their eye on him as a potential draft pick based on his velocity and his make-up as a player. He's not going to wow you with his height, but his overall build is pretty solid for a kid his age."
From Team One Baseball, 6/28/2010: "Laxer is a strong, thin, wiry athlete that currently projects better on the hill than in the INF. Josh throws a fastball ranging from 86 to 90 MPH that has A/S run. He is an aggressive Pitcher with a live / loose arm and an on-time delivery. He has quality off-speed pitches, he changes speeds very well, and can pitch to both sides of the plate. Laxer has excellent mound presence and is a legitimate prospect. In the INF, Josh has soft hands and good lateral movements. He has a good idea, he can throw from different arm slots, and he makes things look easy. Offensively, Laxer is an aggressive hitter with good strength and pop in his bat. He centers the ball well on the barrel and with better use of his lower 1/2 strong offensive numbers can become even better." Note-this is from last summer, so apparently his fastball velocity increased by 5 MPH in that span.

Follow @joshlaxer on Twitter.

Laxer has not signed with the Nats.

Round 24: Kyle Ottoson, LHP, Arizona State University

Arizona State Bio

One sentence analysis:
This is the fourth time the lefty has been selected in the MLB draft, but Ottoson sounds fairly eager to bring his knuckle-curve to the Nationals.

More analysis and notes: 2.18 ERA, 112 hits allowed, 43 BB/183 K in 153 innings in community college from 09-10. 3.40 ERA, 43 hits allowed, 20 BB/46 K in 50 and 1/3 innings for Arizona State this year. Solid pick. roundup: The Nationals are the fourth team to draft Ottoson, whom the Rockies selected in 2008 (39th round), the Yankees picked in '09 (36th) and the Phillies took in '10 (48th)."
From Parker Cotton of the Greeley Tribune, 6/7/2011: "'The thing you always remember about Kyle was that nasty knuckle curve,' Danley said. 'None of our guys could hit it in practice and none of the opponents could either.' As for possibly signing with the Nationals, Ottoson said he spoke with the team’s area scout Mitch Sokol on Tuesday afternoon and said more negotiations would take place when ASU’s season is finished. 'Right now I’m excited about heading to Austin tomorrow and a chance to play in the College World Series,' Ottoson said. In the event Ottoson decides not to sign with the Nationals, he still has Arizona State to fall back on. 'If I don’t go to the Nationals, I’m having a great time at ASU and I love playing in the Pac-10, and I would look forward to coming back next season to help get us to the College World Series again,' Ottoson said. On the other hand, if he signs, he knows he would have to start in the minors, but that’s all part of the journey. 'That’s the first step,' Ottoson said. 'I’d be more than happy to go where they send me and get my road started.'"

Ottoson has not signed with the Nationals.

Round 29: Sean Cotten, C, Tusculum College

Tusculum Bio

One sentence analysis: The D.C.-born, North Carolina-raised Cotten is likely the best player in Tusculum history.

More analysis and notes:: roundup: Cotten shattered the school record with 186 RBIs in his four-year career. He hit 35 career home runs and stole 34 bases, while also hitting for average."
Cotten is Tusculum's all-time HR, RBI, TB, BB and sacrifice fly leader. Can't find anything else on him at the moment other than that he also played some 1B at Tusculum.

Cotten was reported to have signed with the Nats on June 16, 2011 by Baseball America, and was said to be assigned to the Auburn Doubledays on June 15, 2011 by Tusculum's website, but has not appeared the Nats draft page as signed yet and has disappeared from the Doubledays' roster.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Round 31: Josh Tobias, OF, Southeast Guilford HS (North Carolina)

Perfect Game Bio

One sentence analysis: The switch-hitting middle infield prospect compares his batting game to Carl Crawford and defense to Jimmy Rollins, but will most likely fulfill his commitment to the University of Florida.

More analysis and notes:
From Perfect Game: "Excellent All around Talent, Very good at WWBA, big power/speed combo, Aflac All American, big showing at PG National."
From Steve Garrity, DraftSite, 7/14/10: "Josh Tobias is...5’9"-ish, but he is built like a running back at 190 lbs. In the case of Tobias, big things come in small packages, as he produces some of the biggest power in the class. He is a switch hitter, though that may come to an end at the professional level as he is much more comfortable from the right hand side. Tobias utilizes a very short and compact stroke, along an extremely quiet load (he turns his front foot in to transfer his weight back before exploding forward), and amazingly quick hands to make consistent contact. In the field, he plays the left side of the infield, and can handle himself on the high school level. Tobias has plus speed, and it is a huge help at short, as it allows him to make all the plays. However the game is faster at the professional level, and with his size, some are not ruling out a possible move to second base. Tobias is one of the most toolsy players on the prep scene, and he continues to improve."

Tobias has not signed with the Nationals.

Round 34: Calvin Drummond, RHP, University of San Diego


One sentence analysis: Inconsistent righty with good stuff bit without peripherals to back them up so far.

More analysis and notes:
Drummond, a 38th round pick by the Brewers in 2008, went 3-4 with a 3.29 ERA in 76 and 2/3 innings this year for San Diego. His peripherals weren't all that impressive; 4.34 BB/9, 6.46 K/9 and almost 1 hit allowed for each inning pitched. Drummond did keep the ball in the yard well, however, and found ways to get outs. Since he was only a redshirt sophomore this season, Drummond has plenty of leverage to return to school.
From John Klima, Baseball Beginnings, 5/17/10
"Drummond was 91-92 in this look, 93-94 when I saw him in the Fall. The big body, the frame, and the radar gun will get him in the door. What he needs to keep himself there are consistent mechanics leading to consistent stuff. He did get the full scouting card treatment from me, which automatically means your arm interests me." Note-link includes video.
From Joel Badzinski, LaCrosse Tribune, 5/30/10:
"The key adjustment Drummond made was shelving his slider in favor of a cut fastball. His repertoire now includes a fastball that sits at 91 to 93 mph, a curveball, changeup and the cutter. 'All of his stuff can compete in the major leagues,' (Drummond's private instructor, former Major League pitcher Gary) Buckels said. 'He moved to the cutter and he caught on right away; it's flat-out nasty.'"

Drummond has not signed with the Nationals.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Round 37: Derrick Bleeker, RHP, Howard College

Arkansas Official Site

One sentence analysis: Bleeker needs to make up his mind about whether or not he wants to start his career as a full-time pitcher, but that is his professional future.

More analysis and notes:
The Nationals grabbed #1 (Goodwin), #4 (Stubbs) and #9 (Bleeker) from Baseball America's pre-season top 20 JuCo/Small College prospects list. Bleeker started out at Arkansas but apparently transferred for playing time concerns. He is currently committed to play at UNC next season.

From Brian Howell of the Longmont Times-Call, 6/8/11:
"Bleeker was a relief pitcher at Howard, compiling a 2.84 earned-run average and two saves in 12.2 innings of work. He struck out 14 hitters and walked just two. Also an infielder, he hit .318 (21-for-66) with four home runs and 19 RBIs."

From Howell, 6/7/2011:
"During a fall tournament, Bleeker took the mound for Howard threw a 97-mph fastball and an 87-mph slider. 'None of the scouts here had seen him before," (Howard coach Britt) Smith said. 'They were blown away by him as a pitcher immediately.' Like many others, however, Smith believes Bleeker is destined to be a pitcher. 'Ultimately, bottom line is, he's going to be a pitcher at the pro level,' Smith said. 'He can play a position (in the pros), but I think his upside is going to be further on the mound than it is as a position player. I don't think he fully understands how hard it is to make it as a position player.'
"'I still love pitching. But, if I had to choose, it would be hitting.' Of course, the Nationals could change that with a lucrative offer and give Bleeker something to think about. 'Yeah, I really would (have a tough choice),' he said. 'It's hard because North Carolina is such a great baseball school, but to know your dream (to play pro baseball) is right there in your hands, it would be really hard.'"

From UNC's official site, 4/29/2011: "Good two-way player...On the mound his fastball sits in the low 90s...Possesses a closers mentality...Has a pitcher's body with room to grow."

Bleeker has not signed with the Nationals

Monday, July 11, 2011

Round 38: Brett Mooneyham, LHP, Stanford University

Stanford Official Site

One sentence analysis: The top round talent missed the entire 2011 season due to injury and still has at least 1 more year of eligibility, so he likely will not sign.

More analysis and notes:
From Matt Garrioch, MLB Bonus Baby, 7/17/11: "Brett Mooneyham has good stuff but rarely has command. He throws 88-94 with a good breaking ball at times. He is a 6'5, 220 LB lefty who has a lot of potential but will likely return to Stanford for his senior season after missing most of this season with a finger injury."
From the Merced Sun-Star, 6/9/11:
"Mooneyham missed his entire junior season with the Cardinal after cutting the middle finger on his throwing hand before the start of the season. The gash required surgery and the former Buhach Colony ace was forced to sit for the year. It was a disappointing blow after Moooneyham had such a successful summer with the USA Collegiate National Team. He pitched in four games, going 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in 11 innings. Mooneyham is 9-10 with a 4.67 ERA in 30 games with Stanford. He has 28 career starts and 171 strikeouts in 1541/3 innings pitched."
From Nick Faleris, Diamond Scape Scouting, 2/17/11:" His release and arm slot lack uniformity from pitch-to-pitch, and are a large part of his control issues. As is apparent in the numbers, however, his stuff is true swing-and-miss quality, with a fastball generally sitting 89-93 mph and bumping 94/95 mph (though this past summer he was closer to 87-90, bumping 91/92). At its best, Mooneyham's slider is an above-average pitch that can be plus or better once he learns to throw the offering with more precision. When properly snapped-off, he gets hard late bite with good depth. He also drops a rudimentary change-up that shows promising tumble. If he can show his usual velocity this spring with a touch more consistency and fidelity, he will have no shortage of suitors."
From John Klima, Baseball Beginnings, 7/15/10: "Mooneyham didn’t pitch very well when I saw him at UCLA, but he still has the body and arm speed to be a first-round talent. The day I saw him, Mooneyham struggled with his release points and consistency. His fastball kept starting up in the strike zone. These things are correctable, and I hope Mooneyham has made progress by the time I see him next."
From Klima, 7/14/10: "Mooneyham is made for the mound, with tall and very broad shoulders. His fastball in this look was 89-92, averaged 90, and I felt lacked major league average movement and command. The curveball was 72-77, with average command, but lacked the power and bite the pitch should have. He threw a few change-ups at 78, which were average pitches. All this said, Mooneyham has a good arm. He needs to tighten his delivery based on this look. Too many times, he’s open, too many times, his fastball is starting up in the zone. His arm slows on the change-up. His stride and landing points were inconsistent in this look. He pitched with a slow tempo and didn’t look very confident in this outing. He wasn’t pitching with his fastball and this didn’t help him. All this said, Mooneyham is still a major league prospect. But he needs polish. What I’m looking for next time I see him is more consistent mechanics, more conditioning, and more confidence in himself and his fastball. I am by no means writing him off, but I want to see what comes next."
From his scouting report from the 2008 draft: "A big, imposing lefty with the potential to have some plus stuff is always interesting, but Mooneyham's lack of command may cause some to pause. He's got serious arm strength and should develop three average or above offerings in the future. The combination of wildness, a concern over whether he's mentally ready to make the leap to pro ball, a commitment to Stanford and having Scott Boras as an advisor all make Mooneyham a bit of a wild card for Draft day." Note-he was taken in the 15th round of the 2008 draft by San Diego.
Other articles/scouting reports on Mooneyham can be read here and here.

Mooneyham has not signed with the Nationals

Round 39: Peter Verdin, OF, University of Georgia

Georgia Official Site

One sentence analysis: The local (Paul VI HS) product had a mediocre junior season at Georgia, so he'll probably go back for his senior year.

More analysis and notes: Verdin  only hit .258/.325/.331 this season, with an awful 8 BB/37 K ratio. He did hit over .300 in his sophomore season, though, so there is room for improvement. He says he'll probably come back to school.
From Georgia's official website: "When I heard I’d been drafted by the Nationals I thought that was cool because that's my hometown team," said Verdin. "I wasn't sure if I was going to get drafted and going in the 39th round, I'm not expecting too much so I'll probably be coming back to school."

Verdin has not signed with the Nationals