"Organizational Recap" on mlb.comYesterday MLB posted an article reviewing the 2004 performance of the Nationals' farm teams. None of the teams last year had a winning season:
League (Level) Team W L PCT
Pacific Coast (AAA) Edmonton 69 74 .483
Eastern (AA) Harrisburg 52 90 .366
Florida State (A) Brevard County 53 72 .424
S. Atlantic (A) Savannah 58 80 .420
NY-Penn (SS) Vermont 34 38 .472
Gulf Coast (R) GCL Expos 22 38 .367
Two of the teams here aren't our affiliates next year, AAA Edmonton and A Brevard County. Instead, we have AAA New Orleans Zephyers (66-79, .455 PCT) and the Potomac Cannons (20-40, .429 PCT).
They also recapped the year of five people they had previously identified as prospects to watch. Two were on the major league roster, so let's look briefly at those guys:
- Chad Cordero, who did well on our major league roster as a setup man and occasional closer. He was the #7 rookie pitcher by VORP, with a 24.4. His 2.94 ERA, 1.34 WHIP are not as impressive as his stretch at the end of the year, where from the end of August through the end of the year, he threw 16.2 innings and gave up 1 earned run, with a 1.02 WHIP and 10.26 K/9.
- Terrmel Sledge, .269/.336/.462 18.1 VORP over 133 games, which is not bad at all for a rookie outfielder. In fact, he ranked 11 by VORP for major league rookie position players. Adjusting for pitching, park factors, etc., his EqA for the year was .265, which is still better than the MLB average of .260. Realistically, Sledge is going to be competing for playing time next year with Endy Chavez, who hit .277/.318/.371 with a 14.5 VORP over 132 games. Chavez is much better at making contact, striking out every 13.3 PAs as opposed to every 6.6 for Sledge. But he has a miserable walk rate (once every 17.7 PAs compared to Sledge's still unimpressive 1/10.95 PAs). Overall, while Chavez is likely to get the bulk of the playing time initially, I would much rather see Sledge out there. Sledge is better at getting on base, and actually has some power, explaining the higher VORP over the same number of games (and, 94 fewer PAs). The difference shows up quite well when looking at EqA, where Chavez hits well under the league average with a .244.