Now that the minor league season has ended for the Nationals affiliates, I am going to begin a recap of each level highlighting the overall performances and top prospects at each level.
Today I start with the Dominican Summer League (DSL). Once again in 2007, the Nats had two teams in the DSL, both were based out of Loma del Sueño, Jose Rijo’s complex in the Dominican Republic. But unlike last season where both squads finished with a sub-0.500 record, the DSL Nationals1 not only finished with a winning record (49-15), they also won the DSL Championship, besting the DSL Yankees1 three games to two in the best-of-five series.
As you would expect, the Nats1 had both above average hitting and pitching while the Nats2 were below average versus the league as a whole. While the Nats1 did not hit as many home runs as the average team (in fact, both Nats teams combined were less than league average), they made up for it by stealing over fifty more bases with a greater success rate than league average (75% vs 66%). Add to that the pitching dominance the Nats1 demonstrated where they outperformed the league averages in virtually every pitching rate statistic.
The one thing to keep in mind when looking at these performances are the relative ages of the players involved. Below is a table showing the average of both the Nats 1 & 2 hitters and pitchers in DSL versus league average:
The Nats1 were clearly a more experienced team which likely played an important role in their results, especially with the pitching staff where the bulk of their starts were made by players 20 years or older. But taking a closer look at the actual composition of the roster, there are some promising signs …
|Pos||Nats1, Age||Nats2, Age||Pos|
|CA||Yan Carlos Hiciano, 20||Wilfri Pena, 20||CA|
|1B||Eduardo Urbina, 19||Juan Urdaneta, 18||1B|
|2B||Adrian Sanchez, 16||Hendry Jimenez, 17||2B|
|3B||Ferdinand Willans, 20||Miguel Vargas, 21||3B|
|SS||Dani Arias, 19||Francisco Soriano, 20||SS|
|LF||Juan Beltre, 21||Samuel Gomez, 20||LF|
|CF||Eury Perez, 17||Alejandro Hodge, 17||CF|
|RF||Carlos Cabral, 21||Eleazar Cuevas, 20||RF|
|DH||Danny Taveras, 20||Daniel Vinicio, 21||DH|
|CA||Ricardo Martinez, 18||Jose Altuve, 19||CA|
|MI||Cladio Fukunaga, 19||Felix Fermin Jr, 22||MI|
|CI||Yeurys Tejeda, 19||Victor Vizcaino, 19||CI|
|OF||Francisco Mojica, 20||Weesley Hernandez, 18||OF|
|OF||Jesus Morales, 17||OF|
|OF||Angelberth Montilla, 18||OF|
|SP||Federico Tanco, 21||Yael Arias, 21||SP|
|SP||Jorge Urena, 20||Randy Almonte, 18*||SP|
|SP||Marcos Frias, 18||Francisco Vizcaino, 18*||SP|
|SP||Wilmer Blanco, 21||Miguel Aracena, 20*||SP|
|SP||Juan Martinez, 21||Manuel Rivera, 19||SP|
|SP||Amado de los Santos, 21||Jose Taveras, 19*||SP|
|RP||Julio Perez, 19||Miguel Sabala, 20||RP|
|RP||Juan Jamie, 19||Ruben de la Rosa, 20||RP|
|RP||Damian Silva, 20||Juan Arana, 20||RP|
|RP||Victor Mota, 18||Joel Campana-Ventura, 17*||RP|
|RP||Ironel Paez, 16||RP|
|CL||Carlos Peralta, 21||Eduar Acosta, 22||CL|
|* = LHP|
The presence of players such as Jimenez, Sanchez, Perez, Paez, Morales and Hodge show that the Nationals are in fact replenishing their pipeline in the Dominican Republic. Players are entering the system from the Dominican, Venezuela and even Argentina. The most important signs are two fold, first, will these younger players continue to populate and eventually assume the majority of the roster spots and more importantly, will these names appear again in the Gulf Coast League, Vermont, all the way to Washington in the ideal scenario.
‘#’= switch-hitter; ‘*’= lefthanded
The Nationals saw some pretty solid performances from their youngest players. Alejandro Hodge and Eury Perez were the full-time starters in center field for their respective teams and both players showed solid on-base numbers and some developing speed on the base paths. 20-year Francisco Soriano was probably the biggest surprise, showing extra-base power (8/36 hits were for extra bases) while playing 35 games at shortstop. An interesting name on the list is Francisco Vizcaino who was signed as a LHP but also saw six games at DH and five games at 1B.
‘*’ = lefthanded
The clear stars here were Marcos Frias and Carlos Peralta. Frias became a solid starter for both the Nats1 (2-2 with 3.21ERA 1.29WHIP over 42IP) and the Nats2 (4-1 with 0.38ERA 1.53WHIP over 24IP), including a win in the championship clinching game. Though old by DSL standards, Peralta provided spectacular relief for the Nats1 with 15 saves in his 28 appearances.
Without further ado …
Top 15 DSL Prospects
- Federico Tanco RHSP
- Juan Beltre LF
- Marcos Frias RHSP
- Eduardo Urbina 1B
- Alejandro Hodge CF
- Eury Perez CF
- Hendry Jimenez 2B
- Jorge Urena RHSP
- Adrian Sanchez 2B
- Carlos Peralta RHRP
- Francisco Soriano SS
- Dani Arias SS
- Yeurys Tejeda SS
- Danny Taveras CA/DH
- Ricardo Martinez CA
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