Here is a good rundown of some of the pitchers in the Nationals system to get your week off to good start.
I had a chance to catch up with Nationals pitching coordinator Spin Williams, who is (always!) on the road checking in with and checking out Nationals prospects and just got back from Florida, Single-A Potomac and the Dominican Republic.
Williams had an update on several pitchers, including right-hander Wirkin Estevez, the Pitcher of the Year in the Dominican Republic last season. A few fans have asked for an update on Estevez.
“He is a good-looking young pitcher,” Williams said. “He has got three pitches he throws over the plate for strikes. He has a fastball, curveball and changeup.”
Nineteen-year old Estevez is in extended spring training in Florida and will probably be assigned to Short-Season Single-A Auburn, which begins play June 17. Former Potomac Nationals manager Gary Cathcart will manage Auburn.
Williams says the Nats are making progress in scouting Dominican pitching again.
“I think our scouts have done a good job of getting better bodies with better arm action,” Williams said. “The kids need to get stronger, (but) it is a lot better than it was a couple years ago.”
Right-hander Cameron Selik was promoted to Potomac last week from Single-A Hagerstown and has accelerated well.
“He has grasped what we try to teach in the organization: pitching to contact,” Williams said. “He has had a lot of success. He can work the top to the bottom of the strike zone. He has done real nice job. We felt he was the kind of guy that at his age (and) the month he had, we needed to move to the next level and see what he can do.”
Left-hander Ryan Demmin was sent back to extended spring training to work on a few things, including his breaking pitches. Williams said he needs reps.
“Mainly we just want him to get to pitch,” Williams said. “He only had two months of professional baseball last year and going to the Carolina League is quite a jump.”
Williams points out that they are very happy with the progress of right-hander Ryan Mattheus.
“He is doing extremely well in our Double-A bullpen. We traded for him from Colorado. He is going to be a guy we are going to have to reckon with down the road. He deserves it and has worked very hard and he has been very impressive,” WIlliams said.
Right-hander Taylor Jordan got hit on the forearm last week, the only thing that has slowed him down in the first six weeks at Hagerstown.
“He is a guy we like in the organization as a guy who has a good chance,” Williams said.
Right-hander Brad Peacock got roughed up Sunday for Double-A Harrisburg, but every other outing has been lethal.
“Peacock has really blossomed into the pitcher we hoped he would with the stuff he has. He has got good stuff, ” Williams said.
There are a lot of quality arms in Triple-A Syracuse who are keeping the scores down and getting guys out. Williams talked about a few of those hurlers, including recent promotion Brad Meyers.
“When Meyers is healthy, he has done it almost every year,” Williams said. “Yunesky Maya, Ross Detwiler and Craig Stammen have all been pitching well in Syracuse. Tom Milone is figuring out Triple-A, he will be a good pitcher there.”
We will have more from Willliams as the week moves along. Let me know any questions on prospects you would like me to ask him about here or on Twitter: @bkerr32.