This is a special guest post from Twitter’s own @isaacthings. Enjoy!
Today is the NHL’s expansion draft. If you’re unfamiliar, here’s a quick primer of the NHL expansion rules: each team is allowed to select a certain number of its players to protect. Any others are eligible to be selected by the expansion team, which must select exactly one player from each team.
So, in the spirit of keeping things topical, I decided to take a crack at seeing who the Nationals would protect in an expansion draft. MLB had its own expansion draft 20 years ago when the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays joined, and therefore has its own set of rules.
By all accounts, the Nationals had a good draft. In the part that really matters — Day 1, which is composed of the first two rounds — they did what has worked so well for them in the past: Pick players (usually pitchers) who fall for reasons other than ability. The selections of lefty Seth Romero and righty Wil Crowe meet those criteria to a T, as Romero fell due to character concerns and Crowe fell due to medical concerns after his return from Tommy John surgery. In the part that matters least — Day 3, which is rounds 11-40 — they did what every team does: Select enough players to fill out your minor league teams, with a few unsignable high schoolers and your executives’ grandkids thrown in.
NOTE: This post will be updated through the day as more mock drafts include the latest intel. All updates will be clearly marked as such.
The MLB Draft is today, and boy am I excited.
As has been mentioned in every single article about the Nationals for the past four weeks, their bullpen is bad. But for once, this is an article that isn’t (directly) about them.
After yet another game in which the bullpen proved porous, Nats Twitter is once again abuzz with demands for a new reliever. As if there was any doubt, the team has acknowledged its greatest weakness in a significant way, announcing that top starting pitching prospect Erick Fedde will shift to relief with an eye towards contributing in the majors sooner rather than later.
But even returns to form from existing relievers and a star turn from Fedde would not be enough to rescue the sorry bunch that is the Nationals’ relief corps. It’s stupendously likely that the Nationals will move to acquire a reliever at the trade deadline. That deadline is still more than two months away, but it’s never too early to start thinking about guys who might soon be wearing the curly W.
With every day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to the truth, by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two.
—Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
A disclaimer: I am not a scout. None of the opinions expressed below reflect any assessments I have made based on any video or information a scout might utilize. What I am is an aggregator of scouting reports: I read any I can find, and what I have written below is based on my synthesis of the reports of others. Without further ado, I present to you: the Nationals prospects whose stock has risen the most this season, in no order.
If you stayed up to watch the entirety of Wednesday’s game, perhaps the only drama in the late innings was to see whether or not Trea Turner would get another at-bat, and with it a chance for a second consecutive cycle. The accomplishment is laughably improbable; the career record for cycles is three, set by four players. The only player to match the feat since World War 2 is Adrian Beltre.
Think about Jayson Werth for a second.
As a Nats fan who loves to worry, is he on your list of concerns? The bullpen, the defense, Trea’s hamstring… Werth doesn’t register, right?
Well, he shouldn’t. Just in case you were thinking about it.
Now, there is a reason or two to worry about Werth. But let me explain why even those shouldn’t concern you. Please, remain calm for the duration of the article.