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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The 2012 Hagerstown Suns-The Hitters

The 2012 Hagerstown Suns hitters had a variety of position players over the course of a season.
The Suns ranged from legitimate prospects,faded prospects that are attempting to rejuvenate their careers,organizational soldiers and players are about to see their careers go away.

The player of the year for the Suns and the organization (officially) was third baseman Matt Skole.
Skole showed plus power (27 homers) and hit .286 to add to an OPS of over 1,000.
Skole has flaws as he struck out over 100 times and I do not see him playing third in the long term as his range is limited and his arm accuracy is questionable.
The Nationals might consider a move to either first or the outfield in the future...

The other prospect was 2011 compensation pick Brian Goodwin,who hit well after a stint on the disabled list early in the season.
The Nationals in one of their decisions that make one wonder leaped Goodwin from Hagerstown to AA Harrisburg,where he showed power (five homers),but hit just .223 there.
Goodwin has plus speed and appears to me to be a prospect to make a run at the Washington centerfield job in 2014...

The Suns featured a few players returning to the level and a few of them spent 2011 at High A Potomac,so this had to be quite a comedown for them.

Jason Martinson spent the first half with the Suns before a promotion to Potomac.
Martinson hit 22 homers between the two stops,which is impressive for a shortstop and stole thirty bases between the two as well.
However,Martinson still strikes out way too much (167 between the two teams!) and the fielding still is a major issue.The jury is still out on his future considering his contact issues..

J.P. Ramirez spent the first month of the season in Hagerstown before returning to Potomac.
Ramirez was at one time a powerhitting prospect,but that has disappeared from his game as Ramirez hit just two homers combined for the season in 377 at bats.
Considering that power was the main plus tool of Ramirez's game,I would say Ramirez has slipped to the border of the organizational soldier...

Cutter Dykstra spent the entire season with the Suns and spent time at second and third as Dykstra attempts to add versatility to his viability as a prospect.
Dykstra hit .291,stole 32 bases and was better than expected defensively,but hit just seven homers after dropping a level.
Dykstra will need a strong season next year to have a chance of being considered as potential big leaguer,....

Steven Souza was a destroyer in his seventy games in Hagerstown as he smacked 17 homers in 70 games and between Hagerstown and Potomac posted an OPS well over .900.
Souza is now an outfielder,which is now his third position change and is still 23  after seeming to be around forever.
Souza's power spurt might have put him back into the prospect picture slightly,but a caveat-he was at a level far lower (Hagerstown) and then at Potomac was repeating a level,so try to not get too excited all things considered.
Souza should start at Harrisburg next season and needs a quick start to show that he has matured as a player.

The prospects drop off from there though.

Billy Burns hit for a high average (.322),stole 38 bases and played excellent defense.
Burns also hit zero homers and was a little old for the level,so I would hesitate to put him on the prospect list yet,although hustle guys like Burns tend to raise through the system higher than one would think on pure ability.

Caleb Ramsey showed a nice outfield arm and better speed than you expect (22 steals and 10 triples),but only hit seven homers and is 24 years old.
Another college player that looks to be a level behind his age..

The prospects dip even more from there

Khayan Norfork showed flashes in 19 late season games,but will start the season at 24 with only those games above short season.
If the Nationals like his prospects,he'll start next season in Potomac....

Bryce Ortega missed much of the season and showed a steady glove at shortstop,but little power (1 homer) and for an older player (just turned 24),did not show enough with the bat for me to consider a true prospect.

Justin Miller played three different infield spots and is being converted to catcher in the off season.
Another 24 year old showed surprising power (10 homers),but struck out over 100 times and I don't see Miller advancing unless he really clicks behind the plate...

26 year old Brett Newsome was just OK in his fourth year in Hagerstown as a Sun.
Problem is that 26 year olds are not in Hagerstown if they are a prospect....

Adrian Nieto finally had the opportunity to be the full time backstop in his third year in Hagerstown
and did passably (.257 and 6 homers in 70 games),although he missed time again due to injury.
Nieto needs a big jump in Potomac next season or he is likely to be finished as even a mild prospect..

J.R. Higley looks to be through after a season that saw him demoted from Harrisburg and then play poorly for the Suns with a less than stellar effort.
Higley turns 25 in June,I think he is on the way out...

Hendry Jimenez barely hit .205 after a strong 2011 at Auburn,Jimenez has to be looked as a disappointment...

Cole Leonida regressed in his second year as a Sun,hitting under .200.
Leonida looks to be either the insurance catcher that rotates from team to team according to need or headed to independent league play.

The less said about Jeremy Mayo,Carlos Alvarez and Angelberth Montilla the better as none of the three distinguished themselves in limited play with none of the three hitting over .200.

The 2012 Hagerstown Suns won the second half of the SAL,but most of the prospects were gone from the team by the time the title was won.
I like Skole,if he can strike out less and Goodwin has plenty of physical tools,but otherwise-not a ton of optimism for the future outside of those players.






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