>Augusta Nationals Preview

>Augusta Nationals

Offense: C-
Defense: D+
Pitching: C
Top Player:
Lou Riley (P)
Prediction: Third Place
Top Questions: Just how well can these young players play this season?

The Nationals had a third place finish last season but everyone could see the improvement that this team is making. The team is very young and still learning how to play the game. The offense is full of power bats, with a couple top of the order type players to help the big boys drive in the runs. The biggest problem with a power hitting team is that the strikeouts will destroy any kind of rallies that the team needs.
On the defensive side the Nationals will struggle. The defense up the middle is very poor and will cost the team several victories this season. But they are young and could be decent defensive players in a couple seasons

CATCHER

Richard Jones
(.251Ave, 19HR, 80RBI, 75R)

Jones is an average hitter, with a good eye. Jones’s durability for a catcher is unheard of, as he played all 162 games last season. Hitting Grade: C
Jones is not a very good defensive catcher. Jones does have trouble in throwing out runners trying to steal a base. Fielding Grade: D
Overall Grade: C

FIRSTBASE

Dwight Ross
(.324Ave, 3HR, 13RBI, .390OBP)

Ross is a good hitter and has a ton of speed for first basemen. Ross only played in 43 games last season and will be looking to proof he can play everyday. Hitting Grade: B-
Ross is a poor defensive first basemen and would be a DH if he was in the American League. Fielding Grade: D-
Overall Grade: C+

Alfredo Ford
Minor Leagues Last Season

Ford is a poor hitter but have some big power in his bat. Ford will need to play against right-handed pitchers only, has he struggles against any left-handed pitcher. Hitting Grade: D
Ford is a below-average defensive first basemen but does have good range. Ford could be used as a defensive replacement through out the season. Fielding Grade: C-
Overall Grade: D

SECONDBASE

Bernie Mesa
(.275Ave, 2HR, 38RBI, 63SB)

Mesa is a poor hitter, with almost no power in his bat. Mesa led the team in stolen bases with 63 and will look to repeat that performance again this season. Hitting Grade: D
Mesa is a poor defensive second basemen. His problem is not getting to the ball; his problem is fielding the ball cleanly. Fielding Grade: D-
Overall Grade: D

THIRDBASE

Jon Bigley
(.286Ave, 31HR, 87RBI, 89R)

Bigley is an average hitter with some good power in his bat. Bigley lead the team in Homeruns (31), RBI’s (87) and Runs (89) and was really the only offensive weapon they had last season. Hitting Grade: C
Bigley is a below-average defensive third basemen. He just can not do anything well at third but his bat makes up for his defense. Fielding Grade: D-
Overall Grade: C

SHORTSTOP

Robin Little
(.337Ave, 10HR, 31RBI, .400OBP)

Little is a poor hitter with some big power in his bat. Little only played in 53 games last season and produced very well for the team. Hitting Grade: D
Little is below-average defensive shortstop at this point of his career. Really needs to improve his glove work and should probably belong at third base. Fielding Grade: C-
Overall Grade: D+

OUTFIELD

Albert Mercedes
(.286Ave, 23HR, 78RBI, .350OBP)

Mercedes is a poor hitter with a little power in his bat. Mercedes played every game last season and led the team in hits (183), but also led the team in strikeouts (139). Hitting Grade: C-
Mercedes is a below-average defensive right fielder with decent arm. Fielding Grade: C-
Overall Grade: D+

Eduardo Tarraga
(.303Ave, 9HR, 25RBI, 37G)

Tarraga is a average hitter but with some good power in his bat. Tarraga only played in 37 games last season but this young player showed the league what he is capable of doing. Hitting Grade: C
Tarraga is a poor defensive right fielder but does have a rocket arm, even though he is a little inaccurate with it at times. Fielding Grade: D+
Overall Grade: C-

Dean Gagne
(.298Ave, 8HR, 37RBI, 69G)

Gagne is a above-average hitter with a little power and a good eye. Gagne only played in 69 games last but played so well during that time, he should be a opening day starter this season. Hitting Grade: C+
Gagne is a good defensive left fielder with a very strong arm. Fielding Grade: B-
Overall Grade: C+

Luis Batista
Rule 5 Draft Pick

Batista is a below-average hitter with some good power in his bat. Batista will probably be used as pinch hitter for most of the season. Hitting Grade: C-
Batista is a below-average defensive left fielder, mostly because he has trouble catching the ball. Do not expect Batista to be used a defense replacement this season. Fielding Grade: C-
Overall Grade: C-

Edgardo Guerrero
(.268Ave, 13HR, 39RBI, 15SB)

Guerrero is a above-average hitter with some good power in his bat. Just like most of the offense in Augusta this season Guerrero is young but still should produce some good number for the team. Hitting Grade: C+
Guerrero is a poor defensive centerfield in this point of his career. I do not know if his offensive production will off-set unearned runs he will created for his pitchers. Fielding Grade: D+
Overall Grade: C+

The Nationals pitching will be decent this season but the team will be rely on journey-men pitchers and rookies to get some important outs. The starting pitchers can get outs for about 5 innings but anything after that could be tempting fate. If they can find a closer and a workhorse type pitcher on this team, then the bullpen should be ok, but those are big ifs.

STARTING PITCHING

Lou Riley
(12-8, 2.38ERA, 200.1IP, 173SO)

Riley is clearly the staff ace and a above-average starting pitcher. He is considered a senior citizen on this very young team. Poor bullpen help and an offense that struggled to score runs during his starts ruined what could have been a career season for Riley last year. The only problem with Riley at this point of his career is that after the 6th inning he gets tired and has to rely on the bullpen finish the job.
Overall Grade: C+

Marcus Adkinson
(12-8, 3.26ERA, 160.0IP, 1.36WHIP)

Adkinson is an average starting pitching that struggles to get beyond the 6th inning. Unlike Riley the bullpen did save a ton of games for Adkinson last season, which would explain his 12-8 record. Adkinson will struggle at times but his strikeout capabilities will always get him out of trouble.
Overall Grade: C

Hong-Chih Kida
(4-7, 4.81ERA, 91.2IP, 78SO)

Kida is an average starting pitcher and will provide a perfect middle of the rotation type pitcher. Kida will give up some runs, so the offense needs to be ready to hit when he is on the mound
Overall Grade: C

Ryuu Hujimoto
Minor Leagues Last Season

Hujimoto is an average starting pitcher that is still young and will get better.
Overall Grade: C

Benito Olivares
Minor Leagues Last Season

Olivares is an average starting pitcher that is still young and will give up some homeruns during his rookie season.
Overall Grade: C

BULLPEN

Dustin Gagne
(5-5, 5.10ERA, 25-30 Saves, 56SO)

Gagne an average reliever and was given the closer role by default last season. Gagne struggled trying to end games and had lost the job several times during the season. Will Augusta give Gagne another chance this season?
Overall Grade: C

Derrin Henry
(6-7, 3.36ERA, 120.2IP, 105SO)

Henry is an above-average reliever and due to the teams lack of a workhorse was forced to pitch a ton of innings last season. Asking a young 22 year old reliever to pitch over 100 innings had to be tough for the team but I believe that the team will be asking even more out of Henry this season.
Overall Grade: C+

Ariel Padilla
Minor Leagues Last Season

Padilla is an average reliever with great control. Will the lack of strikeout potential from Padilla cost him getting into the game on a regular basis?
Overall Grade: C

Herman Baker
(8-10, 4.31ERA, 154.2IP, 1.28WHIP)(Little Rock Bullfrogs)

Baker is a below-average reliever with a lack of a strikeout pitch. Baker will probably be used as a long-reliever maybe even getting a start or two this season.
Overall Grade: C-

Eduardo Cordero
(6-2, 2.47ERA, 69.1IP, 50SO)

Cordero is a below-average reliever that struggles against left-handed hitters. Cordero did a great job last season holding leads. If the team can keep him away from left-handers he should do really well this season.
Overall Grade: C-

Victor Costilla
(3-8, 4.43ERA, 111.2IP, 21SV)(Chicago Choking Goats)

Costilla is a below-average reliever that has a rubber arm and can pitch almost every game if the team watches his pitch count.
Overall Grade: C-

Woody Hermanson
Minor Leagues Last Season

Hermanson is a poor reliever at this point of his career. He probably needs another full season in the minors before getting called up.
Overall Grade: D+

Ed Adcock
(5-3, 3.43ERA, 63IP, 2IRS) Wichita Wingnuts

Adcock is a below-average reliever at this late point of his career. He can get you a big out if needed but sometimes his wildness gets the better of him from time to time.
Overall Grade: C-

Anibal Sosa
Minor Leagues Last Season

Sosa is a poor starting pitcher but probably needs a couple more years in the minors before making the move to the majors.
Overall Grade: D

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