Buy or sell these players starts.
With Spring Training in full swing, fans are getting a glimpse of what is to come for their teams in the 2020 season. For the Nationals, the team is dusting off the cobwebs and overcoming their Championship hangovers. Some of the stars are off to very rough starts while some of the young talent has been impressive. Are we buying or selling the starts for some of these players?
The 19-year-old is the Nationals number two prospect and the future at second base. After stumbling in the minors, Luis Garcia has raked this Spring. In 16 at-bats, Garcia is hitting .429, with a homer, three RBI’s, and has an OPS of 1.000. In 42.1 innings, Garcia has yet to commit an error in the field.
Garcia showed that the future is bright, as he looked eerily similar at the plate to the Nationals slugger, Juan Soto.
Last year at Double-A, Garcia hit a mediocre .257, with four homers, 30 RBI’s, and an OPS .617. However, it looks like Garcia has adapted to the pitching at higher levels. His recent Spring has been impressive, and while tempting, he should stay in the minors for another year. He needs time to develop at second base.
Verdict: Buy. Garcia has looked like the real deal in his short sample size. Expect him to rake at Double-A to start the season. If Garcia continues to impress early on, don’t be surprised if he gets called up during the season.
Daniel Hudson was the saving grace for the bullpen last season. He was acquired from Toronto at the trade deadline and brought stability while closer Sean Doolittle was struggling with overuse and injury. In 25 innings with the Nats, Hudson went 3-0, while posting an impressive 1.44 ERA, with 23 strikeouts. He also went six for eight in save opportunities. He continued his dominance in the postseason, going 4-4 in save opportunities. He even recorded the last out in the 2019 World Series. The Nationals front office awarded him by handing him a two-year contract worth 11 million.
Hudson made his Spring debut and was awful. Many shook it off as Spring jitters, but his struggles continued into his next appearance. In 2.1 innings this Spring, Hudson has a 23.14 ERA, as opposing batters are hitting .500 off of him. Hudson has a career ERA of 3.83. It is very unlikely he will replicate his success with the Nats. Instead, expect how he pitched with Toronto (3.00 ERA, 48 strikeouts).
Verdict: Sell. While Hudson’s performance has been eye-opening, it is not time to panic just yet. After being shelled in his first two relief appearances, he calmed down in his most recent outing. On March 7, he looked like his usual self, pitching a perfect inning and striking out one. Expect Hudson to build off his most recent outing as he continues to get back into form.
Doolittle teamed up with Daniel Hudson in 2019 to form a formidable combo at the backend of the bullpen. Due to overuse, he finished with career lows in FIP (4.25) and ERA (4.05). However, after his sting on the IL, he returned to his elite form in the playoffs. He posted a 1.74 ERA and went 2-0 in save opportunities.
Similar to Hudson, Doolittle has struggled in his first few Spring appearances. In three innings of relief, Doolittle has a 9.00 ERA, while opposing batters are hitting .385 against him. Also similarly to Hudson, in his most recent outing, he posted a scoreless inning, only giving up one hit.
Verdict: Sell. It is important to note that Doolittle might be dealing with overuse from 2019. His most recent outing showed that he was back to normal. For now, there should be no need for alarm. Doolittle like many other stars, are still easing themselves back in.