Washington Nationals Top 10 Prospects Updated

The Nationals system has a few impact players but has a significant lack of depth — especially amongst the arms.

Click here for the pre-season Top 10

1. Victor Robles | OF | AAA —> Robles spent much of the year on the sidelines dealing with injuries while fellow outfield prospect Juan Soto zoomed to the Majors and had a major impact. If healthy in 2019, Robles should have a strong year, too, and has the ability to impact the game in almost every aspect. He is extremely athletic and has a chance to hit for average, power (although this will be his last tool to fully develop), steal a ton of bases and play plus defence.

2. Carter Kieboom | SS | AA —> Kieboom split the year between A-ball and double-A while showing solid offensive potential. And he has yet to fully tap into his raw power, which is manifesting more as gap pop right now. He also has a chance to produce above-average on-base numbers. Defensively, he has a chance to be an average shortstop but may eventually move to third base.

3. Luis Garcia | SS | A+ —> Just 18, Garcia had a breakout 2018 and could be the next fast-moving “Juan Soto” in the Nationals system. He split the year between both A-ball levels while hitting for average and doing a decent job controlling the strike zone. He needs to be a little more patient at the plate but he has an all-fields approach that belies his age. He may hit for power in time. Garcia didn’t steal many bases last year but he has the ability to nab 20-30. Defensively, he has a good shot at sticking at shortstop.

4. Daniel Johnson | OF | AA —> Johnson took a step back in 2018 while dealing with injury, which may have impacted his overall numbers. He’s still a raw hitter for being 23 but he has 20-20 potential. Johnson needs to do a better job of making consistent contact to fully realize his potential. Defensively, he has the raw skills to play center but lacks true instincts and is better suited to right field for now where his strong arm is an asset.

5. Wil Crowe | RHP | AA —> Crowe isn’t flashy but he could settle into a big league rotation as an innings-eating No. 4 starter. He has a solid fastball-curveball combo — as well as a slider that flashes above-average — but he gets hit around too much and doesn’t miss as many bats as expected due to modest command. Crowe will need to watch his conditioning and he has modest athleticism.

6. Mason Denaburg | RHP | DNP —> Denaburg was selected 27th overall in 2018 but didn’t pitch after signing. He wasn’t a consensus first round pick but he has a ton of raw potential. He split his time in high school between hitting and pitching while also playing multiple sports. Focusing on baseball — and pitching — full time could really help him unlock his potential. His fastball has good zip and his breaking ball is his second-best offering.

7. Yasel Antuna | SS | A —> Antuna struggled in his first taste of full-season ball but he was just 18. He swung and missed too much for someone with modest power (although he should grow into more) at this point. He really struggled in the first half of the year but made adjustments and looked great in July before injuries ended his season. A switch-hitter, he hit just .165 from the right side. He has the potential to be an average shortstop but may eventually move over to third base.

8. James Bourque | RHP | AA —> Bourque’s numbers were pretty pedestrian prior to 2018 but a move to the pen may have saved his career — and catapulted him towards the Majors in 2019. He was overpowering as a reliever — even with below-average control. He struck out 76 batters in 53 innings while inducing an above-average number of ground balls. He’ll need to improve the command and control to be a high-leverage guy but the potential is there in time.

9. Raudy Read | C | AA —> Read is straddling the line between future regular and back-up catcher. His strong arm behind the plate gives him a chance to catch base runners but he’s still a work-in-progress when it comes to the finer aspects of catching. Offensively, he makes a solid amount of contact and has a little pop in his bat. He might hit in the .240-.260 range but it would help if he trimmed down his aggressiveness a little bit and worked the count more.

10. Nick Raquet | LHP | A+ —> Raquet’s numbers don’t immediately pop out but he’s a left-handed ground-ball machine who allowed just four homers in 122.2 innings last year. His control is much better than his command, which is why he doesn’t strike out a lot of guys. He also lacks a reliable breaking ball. His fastball-changeup combo might play nicely out of the bullpen where he might find more mid-90 fastball readings.

Just Missed:

Jake Irvin | RHP | SS —> A fourth round pick in 2018, Irvin isn’t flashy but he has a chance for three average pitches and his strong frame should provide lots of innings. If the Nationals have success making tweaks to his delivery, Irvin has No. 4 starter potential.

Israel Pineda | C | SS —> Just 18, Pineda held his own at the plate in advanced short-season ball. He controls the strike zone well and has some raw pop. He has a strong arm behind the plate but is raw in most other aspects.

Telmito Agustin | OF | A+ —> Inconsistency has plagued Agustin since he signed but his raw, athletic potential remains intriguing. Injuries limited him to just 63 games in A-ball but he controlled the strike zone better and showed some gap pop. When healthy, he has the speed to steal 20 bases. He projects as a fourth outfielder.



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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.