Okay, so we’re back for da sequel! A reminder of the rules:
The guidelines for this battle:
- Player must have either been a hyped player or selected in the first three rounds.
- Not going for a full 25-man staff. Five starting pitchers, but max three relievers. They’re already kind of failed prospects in some respect as most are converted starters.
- I don’t have to own the key cards (yet). In fact, some may not be available. But I will make an effort to obtain them.
On with the show…
- 1B: Larry Broadway – How I did not want to call Larry a failed prospect. I tried and tried to avoid it, but in the end, I have to admit it. I blame the Nationals for his status, though. They frittered away a guy who consistently OPSed 800+ in the minors, never even giving him a shot. Makes me sad. Key Card –2002 Bowman Draft Gold
- 2B: Seth Bynum – I covered Seth as a prospect last year, but I think we can officially say he’s a failed prospect. Sigh. Key Card – 2008 Bowman Chrome
- SS: Esmailyn Gonzalez/Carlos Lugo – This guy is a can of worms and represents the worst of the Bowden era. His numbers would be great for a teenager in A-ball, but he’s much older than that. Key Card – 2008 Bowman Chrome Prospects
- 3B: Jake Smolinski – I meant to cover this guy forever, but never got around to it. He’s now in the Florida system and has never developed power or even made it past A-ball as a 21-year old. He could theoretically still develop, but as a Nats prospect, he’s a goner. Key Card – 2008 Tristar Auto
- C: Erick San Pedro – A 2004 second rounder, I’m not sure how much was ever expected of Erick, but he never lived up to being a second rounder, barely struggling to stay above the mendoza line in the minors and having absolutely zero power. He’s currently in the White Sox system. Key Card –2004 SP Prospects Link to the Future Dual Autographs
- OF: Justin Maxwell – It looked for awhile like Justin might be a serviceable fourth outfielder, but I’m ready to call him a bust after this year. He looks sunk out there in the field, and he can’t hit water falling out of a boat. At 26, he’s just not going to get any better. Key Card – 2008 Upper Deck Premiere Gold Auto
- OF: Frank Diaz – I lump Frank in with Larry Broadway, another player who was a victim of the organization. I know these sorts of injustices happen, but it’s frustrating. I covered him in May of 2009. Key Card – 2005 Bowman Draft Futures Game Used Relic
- OF: Kory Casto – Poor Kory. He looked like he was going to be another organizational victim, but then he just looked completely inept once he got his shot. Overmatched in every sense of the word, he ended up posting a career 43 OPS+. He’s currently playing in the Arizona system. Key Card – 2004 Topps Chrome Auto
- SP: Josh Smoker – Okay, this might be a little premature, as he’s only 21, but he hasn’t shown much in the minors. And I write this having ordered both his autographed card and Colton Willems’ autographed cards yesterday. I’ll just say that so far his career BB/9 is 4.4. Sure, his k/9 is 8.0, but given that he hasn’t even hit high-A yet, I’m not optimistic. Key Card – 2008 Bowman Chrome Prospects Auto (this is the one I ordered)
- SP: Colton Willems – Willems has possibly been worse than Smoker. He was okay up until 2009, when his ERA and WHIP blew up. There had been some warning signs previous to that, with a high WHIP and H/9 despite his relatively low ERA. He does seem to have better control than Smoker, but I’m going to guess his velocity is much lower and he isn’t able to compensate with his other pitches. I’d be very surprised if he ever makes it to DC. Key Card – 2007 Bowman’s Best Prospects Gold Auto (also ordered this)
- SP: Mike Hinckley – Mike got as high as #29 on the Baseball America Prospects list (2005), but he has only had a cup of coffee at the majors so far. Everything seemed to fall apart that year, as he went back to A ball from AA and faltered at Potomac. Since then, his bb/9 increased and SO/BB dropped dramatically. I don’t know what happened, but he’s bounced from the Washington system to the Texas system to Baltimore. Will he ever make it full-time in the majors? Who knows, but he’s 27 now, well past prospect status. Key Card – 2003 Bowman’s Best auto
- SP: Glenn Gibson – Glenn and Jordan Zimmermann and Ross Detwiler were the 2008 version of Stephen Strasburg and Drew Storen. Their careers have taken wildly divergent paths, but Glenn got dealt to the Rays in 2008 before returning to Washington this year. He’s only 22 still, but his SO/BB has been incredibly bad so far his career, and he’s looked nowhere near where people thought he would be; he hasn’t even made it out of A ball. Disappointing. Key Card – 2007 Bowman Heritage Signs of Greatness
- SP: Yunior Novoa – Yunior was a ballyhooed international signing by the Chicago White Sox who ended up in the Nationals system in 2006, showing some flashes of brilliance. I think he may eventually end up in the majors, but he really needs to get his WHIP down before he can make it. Key Card – 2008 Choice
- RP: Zech Zinicola -I covered Zech as a prospect back in May 2009. At the time I was hopeful he would be a contributor as a Nationals reliever one day. Since then, he’s been mediocre to downright awful, and while he may eventually make it, I don’t think he’ll ever be a star reliever. Key Card – 2007 Justifiable Autograph
- RP: Josh Wilkie – Josh was another highly-touted reliever who actually hasn’t done badly in the minors, but for whatever reason has not made the majors yet and missed his window. Key Card – 2009 Harrisburg Senators Team Card
That’s our all-failure Nationals team. Let’s recap:
- 1B: Lance Broadway (Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
- 2B: Seth Bynum – (Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
- SS: Esmailyn Gonzalez/Carlos Lugo – (Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
- 3B: Jake Smolinski – (Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
- C: Erick San Pedro – (Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
- OF: Justin Maxwell – (Made majors as a National) Career WAR: 0.2
- OF: Frank Diaz -(Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
- OF: Kory Casto – (Made majors as a National) Career WAR: -1.8
- SP: Josh Smoker – (Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
- SP: Colton Willems – (Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
- SP: Mike Hinckley – (Made majors as a National) Career WAR: 0.7
- SP: Glenn Gibson – (Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
- SP: Yunior Novoa – (Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
- RP: Zech Zinicola – (Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
- RP: Josh Wilkie – (Never made majors) Career WAR: 0.0
Wow, I did not expect Mike Hinckley to be the star of this team. Maybe the guy will live in the majors yet.
Next we’ll compare these two teams head-to-head. Looking at career ML WAR isn’t really fair, since a lot of these guys are younger and haven’t had a chance to make it. I have a different plan.