OMG: Washington Nationals (redux)
In the change over to WordPress, it looks like the OMG (One More Guy) from the Washington Nationals got deleted. So here it is again, in case you didn’t get the chance to see it:
Here’s the Nationals’ Top 10 Prospect list and here’s OMG (One More Guy) from their system:
Josh Smoker, LHP: Remember him? Back in 2007, he was the first pick of the supplemental first round of the Draft
(No. 31 overall). He was a projectable high school lefty from Georgia with an impressive amateur resume.
Things really hadn’t been working out too well for him. He had been brought along slowly by the Nationals. In 2007, he only got into two games with short-season Vermont to get his feet wet. In his first full season, 2008, he pitched largely in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League, pitching only a grand total of 44 1/3 innings. The 2009 season was more GCL work, where he did have a 3.38 ERA over 42 2/3 IP.
In 2010, it was time to push the lefty and see what he could do. It wasn’t pretty. Over 19 starts with full-season Hagerstown, Smoker was 3-10 with a 7.38 ERA and the league was hitting a robust .319 against him. He was, obviously, not throwing well and his velocity was down.
So the Nats moved him into the bullpen and Josh Smoker the pitcher was re-born. In 11 outings spanning 13 1/3 IP, he allowed just eight hits (.174 BAA) and two runs (1.35 ERA). He struck out 21 and saved three games and his stuff bounced back. The 2011 season should be an interesting one to see if Smoker can continue to jump back on the map.