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  1. The Nationals have the most impressive AFL group. They have their top prospects going: Strasburg, Norris, Marrero, Storen, and Espinosa. That group could go down as one of the best ever for an AFL.

    Comment by pm — August 31, 2009 @ 2:08 pm

  2. btw, Jake Arrieta is not in Baltimore. He is in AAA struggling right now.

    Comment by pm — August 31, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

  3. The key for Norris is catching experience. He had 16 Passed Balls in 47 games in 2008 @ Vermont, and 27 PB in 95 games this year @ Hagerstown. He’s also getting pitched around a lot in Low-A.

    Comment by Velocity — August 31, 2009 @ 3:00 pm

  4. I meant in the BAL organization…

    Comment by Marc — August 31, 2009 @ 3:12 pm

  5. No mention of Corey Brown from the A’s contingent? Not a fan of his?

    Comment by Mike — August 31, 2009 @ 3:28 pm

  6. Arrieta’s putting up a sub-4 FIP and ERA, I don’t see how you can say he is struggling.

    Comment by Nick — September 1, 2009 @ 6:45 am

  7. Not sure what the comment about Storen’s control is all about. I’d say with 9 saves in 9 outings and 2 hits and no runs in AA that that doesn’t indicate a control problem.

    Comment by bigfatfan — September 1, 2009 @ 10:35 am

  8. As a guy who has spent a lot of time watching Hagerstown Suns games this season, and had the chance to watch both Norris and Storen this season, I can make two salient points:

    1. Norris is on pace to catch 100 games this year, by far the most of his short career. And remember, he’s only been catching for three years. He has been a bit off at the plate in August, but there’s not a lot of protection for him, and teams are pitching around him (28 BB in 24 gms and the only person in the SAL with more than 20 BB in the month). Giving him a few days off before the AFL and catching less than every day should both help him out.

    2. Storen’s breaking ball (slider?) is a legitimate MLB-ready pitch. The single most devastating pitch I saw all year. Good velocity on the fastball, but it took him a couple of outings to adjust to facing professional hitters. Even one’s in A ball. He’ll be a good bullpen arm for the Nats, soon.

    Comment by SubsFan — September 1, 2009 @ 11:09 am

  9. bigfatfan, Storen’s control isn’t bad, it’s just off compared to what he did in lower levels. At AA he’s got 6 BB and 9 K, whereas in high-A that split was 2/11. I think he’s getting used to the better competition, though, and really when we say “better,” what we mean is “striking out more guys.” Even when he’s not putting them away at the plate, he sure keeps them from scoring.

    Comment by Brian — September 1, 2009 @ 11:16 am

  10. Well, it is AA after all – not single A. I think he’d rather throw less pitches and get the guys out and not be so concerned with the K.

    Comment by bigfatfan — September 1, 2009 @ 2:22 pm

  11. Brian – With “SubsFan (SunsFan?)’s observation, maybe the AA batters are laying off his curveball a bit rather than swinging and missing like they did in low A (26K/ 0BB). The low hits in 11 IP may also indicate some weak contact when they don’t lay off.

    He also seems to be getting a ton of luck on BABIP. .080 with 11% LDs. 50% flies. Neutralized per Minor League Splits, his BABIP would be .368, WHIP 1.90, FIP over 5. Again, 11 IP – tough to tell much. Jsut pushing around small numbers, so any extrapolation is going to be tippy.

    Comment by JCA — September 1, 2009 @ 3:32 pm

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    Comment by donald x. wetzel — October 28, 2009 @ 7:35 pm

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