And now we are in Week Three of our epic journey to recap every player that graced the ballfield for the hometown team. We are enjoying the give-and-take in the comments section, so feel free to share your thoughts and stats with us.
Tom Milone – Age 24 – Under team control until at least 2014
How He Became A Nat: Drafted by Washington in the 10th round of the 2008 Amateur Draft.
The Raw Numbers:
Games with the big club: 5
K/BB at Harrisburg in 2010: 155/23
K/BB at Syracuse in 2011: 155/15
Key Stat: Age – 24. 5 big league games is a small sample size, so we are going conceptual. Tom Milone, with Jordan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, and Brad Peacock represent a core of young starting pitching poised to breakout for the Nats over the course of the next year or two. He has shown impeccable command over the past 2 years, cut his walks by a third against better competition in the second year, without a dip in K’s. Great pitching staffs aren’t usually made up of 4 power arms or 4 finesse guys, it takes a mix, and Tom Milone could be the perfect complement to the power arms listed above.
Best Game: Sept 20 vs. the Phillies. Over 6 innings Tom held the vaunted Phils lineup to no runs on just 4 hits, striking out 2 and walking no one. Milone claimed, “It was actually pretty easy” to move the ball in and out. Against the prohibitive National League favorite. On the road. Freak boy. (Yes we realize he didn’t face Utley, Howard or Rollins. Tom Milone still pitches for the Nationals. The team he faced was still the Phillies.)
Worst Game: Sept 26 vs. the Fish. In his very next start he did exactly what you can’t do. Go four and a third against the last place team in your division. Granted he was victimized by some bad luck, any starter in your rotation needs to go at least 5 against a last place team, if you expect to compete in the MLB, let alone the National League’s East Division. (Ok, the Marlins’ lineup is no joke and last place jabs aside, the Nats pitchers need to spend some serious time looking at tape of Babe Stanton, LoMo and Gaby or they will continue to be dominated by the “Miami Marlins”).
CapBall Grade: B+ - In his cup of coffee Milone showed flashes of being a polished Major League pitcher. In a very small sample size, Milone had 15ks and 4bb and while the 1.231 WHIP is not ideal, the BAbip shows that pehaps some luck was involved in a least some of those 28 hits over 26 innings. The grade is mostly given based on the overwhelming sense of progress his arrival, along with Peacock, signaled for a Nats fan base hungry for relevance.
2012 Nats Status: He will start 10+ games for the 2012 Washington Nationals, whether he is in the rotation when camp breaks, or is first or second up from Syracuse when the eventual need for a starter arises. Write it down, take a picture…we don’t care.