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Thoughts on Lancaster and Telvin Nash

The conventional wisdom is that Lancaster is a terrible home for our high A affiliate because of the hitter-friendly venue; it screws up our pitchers, and so we must make sure our best prospects (Lyles, Folty) avoid it all together, because our 2nd tier prospects have been scarred for life. Exhibit A: Ross Seaton, who posted ugly peripherals there (6.64 ERA), and never wants to talk about it. Exhibit B, Bobby Doran, (9.05 ERA in 2011).

Well it's 2012 and Seaton has re-emerged as a solid prospect. In the meantime, Doran had a 3.57 ERA in 17 starts in High A. Throw in Tropeano, who had a 3.31 ERA in 12 LAN starts, and Jake Buchanan, who seems to have been overrated as a prospect after his good year there in 2011, and it seems like we can see LAN as merely an extreme hitters' park, instead of a graveyard for pitching prospects.

Now to T Nash, of whom I've never been a fan. For those who've read my analysis, my main metric is how players improve or maintain as they go up levels. A quick Nash recap: 3rd rounder in 2009, with a DOB of 2/20/1991.

2009: GCL: .604 OPS in 142 ABs with 1 HR

2010: GRN: .863 OPS with 12 HRs in 220 ABS. Also walked 25 times (around 12% rate). Also got a brief sniff at Tri-City

2011: LEX: .858 OPS with 14 HRs in 268 ABs. Huge K %, but still a nice walk %

2012: LAN: .810 OPS with 29HRs in 393 ABs. Still walking above 10% of PAs, but a downright vulgar K%.

What needs to be acknowledged here is that Nash has been pushed through the system awfully fast. Rather than repeat LEX in 2012, where he only played 73 games because of his hammate bone, he was pushed to LAN. Yes, his April power surge was unreal, but his struggles demonstrate that he probably was outmatched in a lot of ways. Still, he kept his OPS above .800 and his walk rate above 10%.

Does Nash have a future? I don't know, but it seems a bit premature to give up on a player who's been able to maintain his stats as he's moved forward. He has struck out more in his last two levels, but his power has increased, and his walks remain steady. I'd like to see a LAN outfield next year of Nash, Aplin, and Tucker. At the very least, he deserves another year of evaluation.

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