Bowden's Prospects Not Panning Out

Three years in, and Bowden has almost nothing to show for it

While talk of off-field shenanigans continues to swamp Nats GM Jim Bowden, the ineffectiveness of the on-the-field portion of his job is getting increased attention this week, too.

When the Lerner family bought the team, the first words out of their mouth were about needed improvements in the minor leagues.  The more money and support they pumped into the minors, the quicker the pipeline of top players would flow up to D.C. like a Georgetown water main break.

The other component was a dedication to international signings.  They talked about reaching out in Latin America, and, well, apparently it's hard to recruit many top prospects when men in dark suits are watching your every move.  Under a cloud of suspicion, Jim Bowden simply cannot -- and has not -- gotten any production internationally.

So they're left with the draft.  And a few years in?  They don't have much.

Baseball America, which many consider to the bible of the industry, released their Top 100 prospects list, and after three drafts under the Lerner/Bowden regime, how many Nats are listed?  One.

Jordan Zimmermann finished 41st, a respectable showing.

But that was it.  No other Nat appeared on the list after three years of dedication to "The Plan!"

In a chat on their site accompanying the list, BA claims that had the Nats signed last year's first-round pick Aaron Crow, he'd have been in the mid-40s as well.  But they didn't.  And he's not.

ESPN baseball analyst Keith Law explained what's wrong with some of their players in a Q&A he did this week.  He points out that the Nats' top prospects all have weaknesses -- Chris Marrero can't field; Michael Burgess has a long swing, etc.

Law went on to say that three years is sufficient time to restock a farm system, if you draft smartly.

And in year three of the Bowden/Lerner partnership, the Nats are still in the bottom third of the league with only one truly top prospect.

Jim Bowden's not getting the needed results on the field, and he's a distraction off the field.  Why is he still employed?

Chris Needham used to write Capitol Punishment.  He has never been named a top prospect for anything in life.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us