Zephyrs Produce Prospect Surplus In 2005

Although their record may not reflect the success the Zephyrs had in 2005, the players that grew into outstanding prospects on their watch tell all you need to know. From Brandon Watson, to Jason Bergmann, to Bill Bray, New Orleans made some definite progress in player development in 2005. We sat down with their radio voice, Tim Grubbs to chat about the 2005 squad.

At first glance, New Orleans' 2005 campaign looks rather disappointing considering their last place finish in the American South Division. But, the beauty of player development is that it is not wins and losses that matter, but the players it produces in order to eventually help the big league club. And, for a team at the AAA level, the players that perform well usually get their chance at the show in due time.

From former first round picks to sleepers, to flat out surprises, there were young players hitting their stride everywhere you looked with New Orleans. Perhaps having the most spectacular breakout season of them all, in fact, was Brandon Watson, a highly touted center field prospect. Batting an impressive .355, good for third in the league, to go along with 31 stolen bases, Watson made a strong argument to be considered for Washington's center field job in 2005.

"Brandon Watson made so much progress this year," Zephyrs' radio voice, Tim Grubbs told CapitolDugout.com. "He really evolved into an outstanding player and became really what the organization thought he could be. He used to really show no pop and didn't look like the same player he was this year. I could see him having a really good shot as a big league player. I can see the organization viewing him as a Juan Pierre type of player."

Hard throwing lefty and first round pick, Bill Bray has battled injury problems in his short professional career, but in healthy stretches, the former College of William and Mary standout has shown flashes of absolute brilliance. And, his numbers may not show just how well he performed with New Orleans, but what he did do was possibly give a hint as to what his role may be in the big leagues as early as next season.

"Obviously, Bray was a first round pick and the organization was and still is expecting him to move up the ladder pretty quickly, " Grubbs explained. "I thought he was very, very impressive while he was with us. You might look at his numbers and say 'he really wasn't that good.' But, that's just not true. If you look closer, you'll see that his numbers were fantastic coming into the last month. After that, it was just fatigue. He's had his injury problems and he just ran out of gas."

There has been quite a bit of discrepancy over what Bray's role may be with the Nationals since he joined the organization, and there still may not be a definitive answer. He was drafted as a reliever, converted into a starter, but he now may be where he belongs, back in the bullpen.

"Bray was really great coming out of the bullpen while he was here," Grubbs commented. "I know they've tried him in a few different roles, but I think a late inning relief role is the best for him. As a lefty who throws as hard as he does, he'll make an excellent setup man or a closer. The Nationals might be set for a long time with a closer, but he could make an impact very soon as a setup man."

Two of the biggest names on the prospect landscape for the Nationals were obvious contributors with New Orleans (Watson and Bray), but the players who get overlooked, otherwise known as "sleepers", are often times the ones who make big impacts on the big league level with very little fan fare.

"Brendan Harris is a guy who really jumped out in the Arizona Fall League this year," the Zephyrs' radio voice continued. "I mean, he showed talent during the season, but he kind of got himself in a rut that he couldn't get out of. He had a solid regular season, but just really took off in Arizona. So, in a way, he got a bit overlooked. He spent much of the season bouncing between second base and third base and he never seemed to really find himself with us. But, he really broke out in the AFL and he could really sneak up on some people."

Pitching was not a strength for the Zephyrs in 2005, but make no mistake, there were some intriguing pitching prospects that were in key development years of their careers. Bill Bray is the obvious example of this, but there were certainly others that could prove to be valuable in the foreseeable future for Washington.

"There's no hiding the fact that the Zephyrs lacked a little bit in pitching this year," Grubbs revealed. "But, that doesn't mean there weren't some guys who are legitimate. Obviously, the most impressive guy to me was Bill Bray. But, Jason Bergmann also has a big future ahead of him I think. He was really solid for us and he's a guy who could help a big league team out of the bullpen as well."

"Another guy who stands out is Roy Corcoran," he continued. "The talent and the stuff is definitely there for him. He just needs to get healthy and stay healthy again. Plus, he tends to be very streaky. If he can find some consistency, he has a lot to offer as well."

It is often said that if an organization can produce two or three big league contributors per year out of their farm system, they are headed in the right direction. Well, if that statement is as true as it seems, then the Nationals appear likely to be on track to meet that standard again in 2006. Of course, all the players New Orleans radio announcer, Tim Grubbs mentioned won't be major contributors in the big leagues next season, but it is safe to say that a a fair amount of them will.

Capitol Dugout Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nAt first glance, New Orleans' 2005 campaign looks rather disappointing considering their last place finish in the American South Division. But, the beauty of player development is that it is not wins and losses that matter, but the players it produces in order to eventually help the big league club. And, for a team at the AAA level, the players that perform well usually get their chance at the show in due time.\r\n

\r\nFrom former first round picks to sleepers, to flat out surprises, there were young players hitting their stride everywhere you looked with New Orleans. Perhaps having the most spectacular breakout season of them all, in fact, was Brandon Watson, a highly touted center field prospect. Batting an impressive .355, good for third in the league, to go along with 31 stolen bases, Watson made a strong argument to be considered for Washington's center field job in 2005. \r\n

\r\n\"Brandon Watson made so much progress this year,\" Zephyrs' radio voice, Tim Grubbs told CapitolDugout.com. \"He really evolved into an outstanding player and became really what the organization thought he could be. He used to really show no pop and didn't look like the same player he was this year. I could see him having a really good shot as a big league player. I can see the organization viewing him as a Juan Pierre type of player.\"\r\n

\r\nHard throwing lefty and first round pick, Bill Bray has battled injury problems in his short professional career, but in healthy stretches, the former College of William and Mary standout has shown flashes of absolute brilliance. And, his numbers may not show just how well he performed with New Orleans, but what he did do was possibly give a hint as to what his role may be in the big leagues as early as next season.\r\n

\r\n\"Obviously, Bray was a first round pick and the organization was and still is expecting him to move up the ladder pretty quickly, \" Grubbs explained. \"I thought he was very, very impressive while he was with us. You might look at his numbers and say 'he really wasn't that good.' But, that's just not true. If you look closer, you'll see that his numbers were fantastic coming into the last month. After that, it was just fatigue. He's had his injury problems and he just ran out of gas.\"\r\n

\r\nThere has been quite a bit of discrepancy over what Bray's role may be with the Nationals since he joined the organization, and there still may not be a definitive answer. He was drafted as a reliever, converted into a starter, but he now may be where he belongs, back in the bullpen.\r\n

\r\n\"Bray was really great coming out of the bullpen while he was here,\" Grubbs commented. \"I know they've tried him in a few different roles, but I think a late inning relief role is the best for him. As a lefty who throws as hard as he does, he'll make an excellent setup man or a closer. The Nationals might be set for a long time with a closer, but he could make an impact very soon as a setup man.\"\r\n

\r\nTwo of the biggest names on the prospect landscape for the Nationals were obvious contributors with New Orleans (Watson and Bray), but the players who get overlooked, otherwise known as \"sleepers\", are often times the ones who make big impacts on the big league level with very little fan fare.\r\n

\r\n\"Brendan Harris is a guy who really jumped out in the Arizona Fall League this year,\" the Zephyrs' radio voice continued. \"I mean, he showed talent during the season, but he kind of got himself in a rut that he couldn't get out of. He had a solid regular season, but just really took off in Arizona. So, in a way, he got a bit overlooked. He spent much of the season bouncing between second base and third base and he never seemed to really find himself with us. But, he really broke out in the AFL and he could really sneak up on some people.\"\r\n

\r\nPitching was not a strength for the Zephyrs in 2005, but make no mistake, there were some intriguing pitching prospects that were in key development years of their careers. Bill Bray is the obvious example of this, but there were certainly others that could prove to be valuable in the foreseeable future for Washington.\r\n

\r\n\"There's no hiding the fact that the Zephyrs lacked a little bit in pitching this year,\" Grubbs revealed. \"But, that doesn't mean there weren't some guys who are legitimate. Obviously, the most impressive guy to me was Bill Bray. But, Jason Bergmann also has a big future ahead of him I think. He was really solid for us and he's a guy who could help a big league team out of the bullpen as well.\"\r\n

\r\n\"Another guy who stands out is Roy Corcoran,\" he continued. \"The talent and the stuff is definitely there for him. He just needs to get healthy and stay healthy again. Plus, he tends to be very streaky. If he can find some consistency, he has a lot to offer as well.\"\r\n

\r\nIt is often said that if an organization can produce two or three big league contributors per year out of their farm system, they are headed in the right direction. Well, if that statement is as true as it seems, then the Nationals appear likely to be on track to meet that standard again in 2006. Of course, all the players New Orleans radio announcer, Tim Grubbs mentioned won't be major contributors in the big leagues next season, but it is safe to say that a a fair amount of them will.\r\n","mobileBody":" \r\nAt first glance, New Orleans' 2005 campaign looks rather disappointing considering their last place finish in the American South Division. But, the beauty of player development is that it is not wins and losses that matter, but the players it produces in order to eventually help the big league club. And, for a team at the AAA level, the players that perform well usually get their chance at the show in due time.\r\n

\r\nFrom former first round picks to sleepers, to flat out surprises, there were young players hitting their stride everywhere you looked with New Orleans. Perhaps having the most spectacular breakout season of them all, in fact, was Brandon Watson, a highly touted center field prospect. Batting an impressive .355, good for third in the league, to go along with 31 stolen bases, Watson made a strong argument to be considered for Washington's center field job in 2005. \r\n

\r\n\"Brandon Watson made so much progress this year,\" Zephyrs' radio voice, Tim Grubbs told CapitolDugout.com. \"He really evolved into an outstanding player and became really what the organization thought he could be. He used to really show no pop and didn't look like the same player he was this year. I could see him having a really good shot as a big league player. I can see the organization viewing him as a Juan Pierre type of player.\"\r\n

\r\nHard throwing lefty and first round pick, Bill Bray has battled injury problems in his short professional career, but in healthy stretches, the former College of William and Mary standout has shown flashes of absolute brilliance. And, his numbers may not show just how well he performed with New Orleans, but what he did do was possibly give a hint as to what his role may be in the big leagues as early as next season.\r\n

\r\n\"Obviously, Bray was a first round pick and the organization was and still is expecting him to move up the ladder pretty quickly, \" Grubbs explained. \"I thought he was very, very impressive while he was with us. You might look at his numbers and say 'he really wasn't that good.' But, that's just not true. If you look closer, you'll see that his numbers were fantastic coming into the last month. After that, it was just fatigue. He's had his injury problems and he just ran out of gas.\"\r\n

\r\nThere has been quite a bit of discrepancy over what Bray's role may be with the Nationals since he joined the organization, and there still may not be a definitive answer. He was drafted as a reliever, converted into a starter, but he now may be where he belongs, back in the bullpen.\r\n

\r\n\"Bray was really great coming out of the bullpen while he was here,\" Grubbs commented. \"I know they've tried him in a few different roles, but I think a late inning relief role is the best for him. As a lefty who throws as hard as he does, he'll make an excellent setup man or a closer. The Nationals might be set for a long time with a closer, but he could make an impact very soon as a setup man.\"\r\n

\r\nTwo of the biggest names on the prospect landscape for the Nationals were obvious contributors with New Orleans (Watson and Bray), but the players who get overlooked, otherwise known as \"sleepers\", are often times the ones who make big impacts on the big league level with very little fan fare.\r\n

\r\n\"Brendan Harris is a guy who really jumped out in the Arizona Fall League this year,\" the Zephyrs' radio voice continued. \"I mean, he showed talent during the season, but he kind of got himself in a rut that he couldn't get out of. He had a solid regular season, but just really took off in Arizona. So, in a way, he got a bit overlooked. He spent much of the season bouncing between second base and third base and he never seemed to really find himself with us. But, he really broke out in the AFL and he could really sneak up on some people.\"\r\n

\r\nPitching was not a strength for the Zephyrs in 2005, but make no mistake, there were some intriguing pitching prospects that were in key development years of their careers. Bill Bray is the obvious example of this, but there were certainly others that could prove to be valuable in the foreseeable future for Washington.\r\n

\r\n\"There's no hiding the fact that the Zephyrs lacked a little bit in pitching this year,\" Grubbs revealed. \"But, that doesn't mean there weren't some guys who are legitimate. Obviously, the most impressive guy to me was Bill Bray. But, Jason Bergmann also has a big future ahead of him I think. He was really solid for us and he's a guy who could help a big league team out of the bullpen as well.\"\r\n

\r\n\"Another guy who stands out is Roy Corcoran,\" he continued. \"The talent and the stuff is definitely there for him. He just needs to get healthy and stay healthy again. Plus, he tends to be very streaky. If he can find some consistency, he has a lot to offer as well.\"\r\n

\r\nIt is often said that if an organization can produce two or three big league contributors per year out of their farm system, they are headed in the right direction. Well, if that statement is as true as it seems, then the Nationals appear likely to be on track to meet that standard again in 2006. Of course, all the players New Orleans radio announcer, Tim Grubbs mentioned won't be major contributors in the big leagues next season, but it is safe to say that a a fair amount of them will.\r\n","skipOnMobile":true,"skipOnMobileReason":"Unsupported Markup","unsupportedMarkup":"body","media":[],"dateOverride":"2005-12-16T20:31:00","authorOverride":"Frankie Piliere","role":"","isPremium":true,"isHotNews":false,"isRumor":false,"syndicationFlag":true,"isClassified":true,"hotNamesLinked":true,"storyImage":"[MEDIA:279531]","mainImage":{"url":"[MEDIA:279531]"},"thumbnailImage":"[THUMBNAIL:279531]","heroImage":{},"authorImage":"","tags":[],"nodes":["1934431","1909295","1855719","1853098","1853130","274","313183","313192","313283"],"isActive":true,"inActiveAndMemberHasPublishRights":false,"createdOn":"2005-12-16T21:14:18.667-08:00","createdById":"509016","modifiedOn":"2005-12-17T11:08:26.943-08:00","modifiedBy":"509016","imgs":[],"viewStats":[{"from":"2015-08-03T05:00:00","to":"2015-08-03T06:00:00","count":4},{"from":"2015-10-25T16:00:00","to":"2015-10-25T17:00:00","count":1}],"hasVideo":false,"brandUnsafe":false,"breakingNews":false},"editorsChoice":{"siteUrls":[],"networkUrls":["http://www.scout.com/college/football/recruiting/story/1711260-scout-s-top-5-hs-recruit-highlights-week-6","http://www.scout.com/story/1710624-odell-beckham-jr-sideline-tantrum-backfires","http://www.scout.com/college/football/recruiting/story/1711551-best-coaching-fit-lsu","http://www.scout.com/nfl/story/1710816-watch-nfl-top-plays-of-week-3"],"topRibbonWidgets":[],"carouselStoryUrls":[],"storyStreamUrls":[],"storyStreamBlacklistUrls":[],"videoStories":[{"type":"StorySummary","containerType":"StorySummary","id":"1677397","siteId":"381","isPublicSite":true,"subdomain":"sbb","siteFolder":"/mlb/scouting","canonicalUrl":"http://www.scout.com/mlb/scouting/story/1677397-2016-mlb-draft-best-available-day-2","shortUrl":"http://foxs.pt/1rgtQ4J","siteName":"Scouting Baseball","forumName":"","friendlySubdomain":"Scouting Baseball","title":"2016 MLB Draft: Best available, day 2","subtitle":"","seotitle":"2016 MLB Draft: Best available, day 2","caption":"","deck":"Who are the best players still available at the start of day 2 of the draft? 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