Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

Nats Prospects: Where to see them in 2016


Giolito may be "the man" but Voth could be a serious rotation candidate himself.  Photo via mlbdirt

Giolito may be “the man” but Voth could be a serious rotation candidate himself. Photo via mlbdirt

(2015’s version of this post)

Now that we’re basically through Prospect Ranking season (though I havn’t seen Fangraphs rankings of the Nats system for 2016 yet … if I missed it feel free to give me a link), and now that the four full season rosters have been announced, here’s a fun little look at where our top 30 Prospects (as ranked by are starting out 2016.  (Note: Bill Ladson previously posted something similar; i’ve just expanded it to the whole big list of prospects).  And here’s a link to every Nats prospect ranking list I know of dating more than 10+ years.

Last NameFirst NamePosition2016 Starting Level2015 Starting LevelDraft/IFA signing YearHow Acquired? Nats top 30 Feb 2016
GiolitoLucasRHPAAHigh A2012 1stDraft1
TurnerTreaSSAAAAA2014 1stTrade2
RoblesVictorOF (CF)Low ARookie2014 IFAIFA3
FeddeErickRHPHigh ALow A2014 1stDraft4
LopezReynaldoRHPAAHigh A2012 IFAIFA5
DifoWilmer2BAAAA2010 IFAIFA6
ColeA.J.RHPAAAAAA2010 4thDraft/Trade7
StevensonAndrewOF (CF)High AShort A2015 2ndDraft8
VothAustinRHPAAAAA2013 5thDraft9
SeverinoPedroCAAAAA2011 IFAIFA10
PerkinsBlakeOF (CF)XSTRookie2015 2ndDraft11
AbreuOsvaldoSSHigh ALow A2012 IFAIFA12
FrancoAnderson3BXSTRookie2013 IFAIFA13
WardDrew3BHigh AHigh A2013 3rdDraft14
SotoJuanOF (corner)XSTDSL2015 IFAIFA15
BautistaRafaelOF (CF)AAHigh A2012 IFAIFA16
ReetzJaksonCLow AShort A2014 3rdDraft17
BaezJoanRHPLow ALow A2014 IFAIFA18
GloverKodaRHP (reliever)High AShort A2015 8thDraft19
WilliamsAustenRHPAAHigh A2014 6thDraft20
KeiboomSpencerCAAHigh A2012 5thDraft21
de los SantosAbelRHP (reliever)AAAAA2010 IFATrade22
WisemanRhettOF (corner)Low AShort A2015 3rdDraft23
LoraEdwinSSLow AShort A2013 IFAIFA24
HearnTaylorLHPLow AShort A2015 5thDraft25
GutierrezKelvin3BLow AShort A2013 IFAIFA26
ReadRaudyCHigh ALow A2011 IFAIFA27
LeeNickLHPAAAA2011 18thDraft28
SkoleMatt1B/3BAAAAA2011 5thDraft29
BostickChris2BAAAA2011 44thTrade30

And, for good measure, here’s every other Nats prospect still active in our system who hasn’t exhausted their rookie eligibility and who has ever appeared on a Nats Prospect list, and where they’re starting (organized by level highest to lowest).

Last NameFirst NamePosition2016 Starting Level2015 Starting LevelDraft/IFA signing YearHow Acquired?
DavisErikRHP (reliever)AAAAA2008 13thTrade
SolisSammyLHPAAAAA2010 2ndDraft
GoodwinBrianOF (CF)AAAAA2011 1st-SuppDraft
JordanTaylorRHPAAAAAA2009 9thDraft
MartinsonJasonSSAAAAAA2010 5thDraft
GraceMattLHP (reliever)AAAAAA2010 8thDraft
RamseyCalebOF (Corner)AAAAAA2011 11thDraft
HillTaylorRHPAAAAAA2011 6thDraft
BradyMichaelRHP (reliever)AAAOO - AA2009 24thTrade
SanchezAdrian2BAAAA2007 IFAIFA
VettlesonDrewOF (Corner)AAAA2010 1stTrade
PleffnerShawn1BAAAA2011 26thDraft
MendezGilbertoLHP (reliever)AAAA2011 IFAIFA
BacusDakodaRHP (reliever)AAAA2012 9thTrade
BallouIsaacOF (Corner)AAAA2013 15thDraft
DykstraCutter2B/SSAAAAA2008 2ndTrade
KeyesKevinOF (Corner)AAAAA2010 7thDraft
PerezStephenSSAAHigh A2012 8thDraft
SimmsJohnRHPAAHigh A2013 11thDraft
HollandNeilRHP (reliever)AAXST2010 11thDraft
TurnbullKylinLHPHigh AHigh A2011 4thDraft
SilvestreHectorRHPHigh AHigh A2011 IFAIFA
SelfDerekRHP (reliever)High AHigh A2012 9thDraft
JohansenJakeRHP (reliever)High AHigh A2013 2ndDraft
ValdezPhillipsRHPHigh ALow A2009 IFAMLFA
EstevezWirkinRHPHigh ALow A2010 IFAIFA
Marmolejos-DiazJose1BHigh ALow A2011 IFAIFA
ReyesLuisRHPHigh ALow A2013 IFAIFA
RodriguezJefryRHPLow ALow A2012 IFAIFA
AgustinTelmitoOFLow AShort A2014 IFAIFA
LeeAndrewLHPLow AShort A2015 11thDraft
SchrockMax2B/SSLow AShort A2015 13thDraft
Rivera Jr.MarianoRHP (reliever)Low AShort A2015 4thDraft
BenincasaRobertRHP (reliever)XSTAA2012 7thDraft
PimentelDavinsonCXSTDSL2014 IFAIFA
WatsonTylerLHPXSTGCL2015 34thDraft
SpannMatthewLHPXSTHigh A2010 25thTrade
WootenJohnUtilXSTHigh A2012 37thTrade
DavidsonAustinInfXSTLow A2014 13thDraft
DickeyRobbieRHPXSTLow A2014 4thDraft
GunterCody3B (now a RPH)XSTRookie2013 6thDraft
FuentesStevenRHPXSTRookie2014 IFAIFA
EncarnacionRandyOF (Corner)XSTShort A2011 IFAIFA




Written by Todd Boss

April 14th, 2016 at 12:51 pm

30 Responses to 'Nats Prospects: Where to see them in 2016'

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  1. Nice to see their higher prospects at higher levels, especially with such large turnover of the major league roster underway.

    That fangraphs list is a peeve of mine. No, it isn’t out yet. I liked Kiley McDaniel’s work a lot, and this new guy is taking forever to publish. We are 7-10 games into the season, and he still hasn’t finished his offseason update. Almost time to update the top 50, for crying out loud. Ok, that was an exaggeration

    I’ll be surprised if they keep him


    14 Apr 16 at 2:00 pm

  2. I was struck at how many IFAs they have now. Maybe that’s their new M.O.; draft pitchers out of college, but really push IFA candidates from Latin America.

    Todd Boss

    14 Apr 16 at 3:19 pm

  3. The list is particularly goofy this year. While you can’t really argue with the three they selected, from that point there are all kinds of strange choices:

    No 4 Fedde–rated so high because he was a 1st rounder, but has yet to show that he’s fully recovered from his TJ surgery.

    No 9 Voth–meanwhile, this guy has led all Nats minor leaguers in Ks two years in a row and has a career minors ERA of 2.65.

    No 11 Perkins–rocketed up the list after being drafted last year despite turning in a half season BA of .211 with an OPS of .548

    Unranked Agustin–meanwhile, this OF prospect who is one month younger than Perkins had a 2015 BA of .344 with an OPS of .849 and is already playing full season ball.

    No 15 Soto–has yet to play a game as a professional.

    No 30 Bostick–meanwhile, this guy had a combined OPS of .710 at A+ and AA, stole 31 bases and was deemed good enough that he was placed on the 40-man roster.

    No 19 Glover–2015 draft pick makes the list on the basis of putting up a 1.80 ERA in 30 IPs with 38 Ks

    Unranked–Andrew Lee–meanwhile, this 2015 draft pick is the same age as Glover, put up a 1.63 ERA in 38.2 IPs with 47s, AND is being converted to a starter. Yet he doesn’t make the list at all.

    I don’t know who put that list together, but any of us amateur Nats farm system watchers could do a lot better.

    Karl Kolchack

    14 Apr 16 at 7:30 pm

  4. Can’t disagree with you at all Karl. Excellent points of comparison.

    Todd Boss

    14 Apr 16 at 8:10 pm

  5. Thanks, Todd, this is a minor league seamheads dream reading about this stuff.

    Mark L

    14 Apr 16 at 9:02 pm

  6. Karl beat me to the Andrew Lee shout-out! I must be slipping. Lee out-pitched Fedde at both Auburn and Hagerstown, but Fedde got the promotion to Potomac. Lee has given up only one run across two starts this year so should be arriving in Woodbridge soon.

    I was also going to mention Agustin. Bryan Mejia is also as good as a number of the infielders who are listed, as is Schrock, who is off to a great start at Hagerstown.

    And yes, Perkins really struggled in rookie league, while fellow HS signee Tyler Watson dominated, yet Watson gets no mentions. It will be interesting to see what both of those guys do against the college draftees at Auburn later this year.


    15 Apr 16 at 6:52 am

  7. Wally, on your comment about higher prospects at higher levels, it’s all in arms, not in everyday players. Turner is the only bona fide MLB everyday player the Nats have at the top two levels, at least for a contender. There are guys like Severino, Kieboom, Difo, and Bostick who still have good shots to be bench guys, but none has impressed me yet as a Nats-level starter.

    If you want to be harsh, you could say that you have to go all the way down to Hagerstown to Robles to find the next potential everyday starting player. That may not be completely true – Drew Ward has started to hit in his second stint at Potomac, for example, and Stevenson has progressed well as a Revere-type player – but it would be a valid observation.

    That said, it should be noted that the Nats made a lot of progress in just one year in improving their position players. They traded for Turner and Bostick, drafted Stevenson, Perkins, Wiseman (who is still struggling), and Schrock, and signed Soto. That group represents a significant talent bump. They also had several of the young Latin players take notable steps forward.


    15 Apr 16 at 7:21 am

  8. KLaw just dumped a bucket of cold water on Fedde in his chat yesterday. . Says he’s a 2 pitch pitcher and he’s going to struggle to get LH out.

    Todd Boss

    15 Apr 16 at 10:37 am

  9. I’m ok giving Perkins a pass if the team asked him to switch hit and he never had done that before …

    Todd Boss

    15 Apr 16 at 10:38 am

  10. KW: What about former minor league player of the year Matt Skole? I hold out hope.

    Stevenson: not sure who sees him as a future MLBer honestly. I just feel like he’s goign to have to hit .340 to account for his weird swing and complete lack of power.

    Todd Boss

    15 Apr 16 at 10:41 am

  11. KW – that may be, but you can’t have everything. It is a rare contender that also hits all marks for farm systems too. Really just BOS and LAD, who threw tons of money at 16 yr old kids and Cuban escapees.

    Overall, I feel better about the prospects of the farm than I have. I expect next year’s rankings to tank quite a bit due to the expected graduations of Giolito and Turner, but if the young kids keep improving, it will still be pretty solid


    15 Apr 16 at 11:11 am

  12. I do not think Skole has much of a MLB career any more.


    15 Apr 16 at 11:11 am

  13. Skole is currently hitting a robust .095 as his 27th birthday approaches in July. I was on his bandwagon for quite a while, seeing him as LaRoche’s replacement. Goodwin is hitting .368, though. If you’re looking for a comeback story, maybe he’s it. He still hasn’t shown much power, however. Until he does, he’s basically den Dekker at best.

    I’m not a Fedde fan. His prospect ranking is still based on where he was drafted. Of course I hope he proves me wrong, but if you go by what he’s actually done, he’d be much farther down the list. I still don’t understand why he got promoted but Lee didn’t, all the more so with Potomac using a bunch of 25 and 26-year-old pitchers. (One guy is 28!)

    I share the concern about Stevenson. I was not a fan of how high the Nats drafted him. His upside looks like Revere or Billy Burns. You can’t fault how he’s progressed, though. He’s doing well at Potomac so could be at AA just a year after being drafted.


    15 Apr 16 at 1:44 pm

  14. Skole looks like a poor man’s Chris Marrero at this point. It’s too bad, because he looked like he was headed for big things before he lost a full season due to a freak injury.

    Karl Kolchak

    15 Apr 16 at 2:01 pm

  15. What the heck happened to Skole? His batting avg the last couple years including so far this year makes Espinosa look like a batting champion.

    Interesting that Goodwin is off to a hot start. Turner too, and what I’ve noticed about him last year and this is even on those days when they face a monster pitcher and only scratch out 2 or 3 hits in a game – Turner has one of those hits.

    I was really hoping to see a different Michael Taylor this year but it looks like the same old K machine. I would seriously consider keeping Dendekker up instead of Taylor when Revere comes back.

    The Espinosa apologists better start getting their material ready. He’s tracking for his patente sub Mendoza again with very weak contact even though he’s desperately trying not to strike out. And his defense is not making anyone forget Ozzie Smith either. I have never seen a player with his demeanor at the plate. He is literally meditating and doing breathing exercises between pitches trying to slow the game down.

    On the bright side, man do I love Daniel Murphy. Always scared me with the Mets and just love him for us. Yes I do have to look away and pray when he tries to turn a double play, but geez did we need a consistent bat like his.

    Rendon I’m worried about. if he doesn’t start to resemble the 2014 Rendon soon, I would flop him and D Murphy as you could hide Murphy’s defense better at 3rd.

    Marty C

    15 Apr 16 at 2:03 pm

  16. Between Skole & Goodwin, I’d be thrilled if 1 of them makes it to the show. Goodwin has had a very good 8-9 months,if he keeps it up he’ll get his chance.

    I’m with everybody on Fedde. Voth is far more accomplished and to put him behind Fedde is just plain dumb.

    Mark L

    15 Apr 16 at 2:11 pm

  17. I have a very old post about the strength of the various leagues around the country (and world) as compared to Pro leagues here .. and recently a former pro who played both in the low minors and in some international leagues piped up about my post. But he also talked about something directly related to what we’re talking about; why do 1st and 2nd round picks get longer looks than lesser picks? Well, its because basic economic theory of “sunk costs” just doesn’t enter the lexicon of baseball management. They continue to think of players in terms of what they paid to acquire them. So big bonus guys get more chances and then get higher scouting reports while lesser bonus guys (Andrew Lee) get forgotten. To be fair, Lee wasn’t exactly an unknown; he was our 11th round pick meaning that he was clearly a top-5 round talent that got snapped up as soon as the bonus pool implications were done. We have no idea what his bonus was but i’ll bet it was at or near $100k.

    Schrock, lest we forget, signed for $500k … valuing him as a late 3rd rounder. So far he’s hitting like it.

    Think about how long Mooneyham stuck around.

    Todd Boss

    15 Apr 16 at 3:54 pm

  18. Good point Todd. I’d say the pro sports team that cares the least about sunk costs, draft pick status, and player legacy status is the New England Patriots. The most successful franchise of the last 15 years.

    Marty C

    15 Apr 16 at 4:29 pm

  19. A more charitable explanation for higher picks hanging around longer has nothing to do with the signing bonus/sunk costs. Simply put, an organization should only draft a player in the top rounds if they believe the player has serious upside and is a potential big leaguer. A player drafted later doesn’t carry that level of belief. So the highly drafted player who struggles has a “cushion” of faith that it’s just a phase, while the later pick who struggles is simply confirming why they were a later pick.

    It’s sort of fair, and sort of not fair. But it’s reality, and it’s hard to see it changing even as statistical analysis becomes more widespread in MLB.

    John C.

    15 Apr 16 at 4:33 pm

  20. marty: my Cynical view on New England: It helps to be the most successful sports franchise when you have one of the best QBs of all time.

    Was Mike Shanahan a great coach … or did he have John Elway and Shannon Sharpe and Terrell Davis?

    Todd Boss

    15 Apr 16 at 4:37 pm

  21. Let’s say that at age 24, you go 1-7 at Potomac with a 5.44 ERA and a 1.812 WHIP. It’s time to go find a high school team to coach, right? Not if you’re a second-round pick like Jake Johansen. He actually got promoted to Potomac after posting 5.19/1.738 in a full season at Hagerstown in 2014.

    Getting back to Skole and Goodwin, in addition to Skole’s injury that cost him almost a full year, he also skipped Potomac (except for a brief cup of coffee there at the end of 2012). Goodwin skipped Potomac entirely. That might have worked for Bryce, but there’s only one Bryce. Michael A. spent two full years at Potomac, and Sousa scuffled around Hagerstown and Potomac for a long time. It’s a big step even for guys with major-league talent. I’m not saying that’s the only thing that derailed Skole and Goodwin, but the accelerated pace certainly didn’t help them.

    Of course Goodwin was one of the Big 4 who the Nats acted like they stole in the 2011 draft. Only Rendon made it. Alex Meyer didn’t even make the hideous Twins this spring and is back at AAA. Matt Purke is at AAA with the White Sox.


    15 Apr 16 at 8:53 pm

  22. When it comes to pitchers, where they were drafted is important but being able to throw hard helps as well. If a guy has a 96 MPH heater, teams are going to keep giving him chances hoping that the “light goes on.” If a guy only throws 90 MPH, he isn’t going to get a very long look unless he performs well, and even performing well will be no guarantee of ever making the show.

    Fair? Perhaps not, but teams would probably say they have only so many roster spots available on the minor league teams. Guys who only throw 90 are a dime a dozen, and only a very few of them ever master control to the point where they can get big league hitters out on a consistent basis.

    Karl Kolchack

    15 Apr 16 at 11:55 pm

  23. KW; good points all. Goodwin’s experience is why the Nats (and many other teams) are gunshy on HS picks.

    Meyer: amazing to me he’s STILL not in the big leagues. I hated that trade at the time; it doens’t look half bad now.

    Todd Boss

    16 Apr 16 at 6:28 am

  24. karl: completely right. Its crazy to think that Greg Maddox, if he was a prospect right now … would struggle to “prove” himself b/c he doesn’t throw 95.

    Its why a guy like Alec Hanson (Oklahoma) has literally been removed from his team’s rotation (Oklahoma) but will sitll be a 1st rounder. He’s got the velocity (upper 90s) and the body (6’4 or whatever).

    Todd Boss

    16 Apr 16 at 6:33 am

  25. A quick note on the current situation. I believe I heard that the Nats never led by more than 4.5 games last season. Current lead is +5. It’s VERY EARLY, but life is good thus far.

    And Harvey is 0-3.


    16 Apr 16 at 10:13 pm

  26. Now that there are several games in, there are already a number of players making statements about having stepped up their games. And others who are demanding that we notice.

    So I revisited my Nats top-50, and post below…I usually revisit this about every 25 games or so.

    I expect that many will disagree with many of my perceptions, but hey, it’s a free country! And at this point it looks like there are a number of names we should be mentioning that I have not yet seen here. So let me throw the hats in the ring of some people who get overlooked.

    And yes, I am proud to be the only person on this board who values Turner more than Giolito.

    Trea Turner AAA
    Luke Giolito AA
    Victor Robles A-
    Austin Voth AAA
    Jose Marmelos-Diaz A+

    Wilmer Difo AA
    Rey Lopez AA
    Rafael Martin AAA
    Sammy Solis AAA
    Rafael Bautista AA

    A.J. Cole AAA
    Koda Glover A+
    Max Schrock A-
    Spencer Kieboom AA
    Drew Ward A+

    Pedro Severino AAA
    Andrew Lee A-
    Andrew Stevenson A+
    Anderson Franco XST
    Telmito Agustin A-

    Austen Williams AA
    Tyler Mapes AA
    Chris Bostick AA
    Bryan Mejia A+
    Kelvin Gutierrez A-

    Mario Sanchez A+
    Taylor Hearn A-
    Erick Fedde A+
    Ryan Brinley A+
    Matt Grace AAA

    Bryan Harper AA
    Jeffrey Rodriguez A-
    Phillips Valdez A+
    Osvaldo Abreu A+
    Tyler Watson XST

    Brian Goodwin AAA
    Maximo Valerio XST
    Matt Crownover A-
    Nick Lee AA
    Joan Baez A-

    Pedro Avila XST
    Erik Davis AAA
    John Simms AA
    Mariano Rivera A-
    Isaac Ballou AA

    Jakson Reetz A-
    Blake Perkins XST
    Tommy Peterson A-
    Raudy Read A+
    Jason Martinson AAA


    17 Apr 16 at 1:58 am

  27. I will say that one of my predictions from the “Predictions” post is already coming to pass. I predicted that the Mets rotation would struggle through injury and regression. deGrom’s injury was not even the guy I thought would be hit (i thought Harvey and Snydergaard were good bets for D/L trips this year)…. but yeah, if everything went right for NYM last year, so far everything wrong.

    And meanwhile, today’s ridiculous gift of a win not withstanding, so far the Nats are doing what htey need to be doing. beat the poor teams.

    Todd Boss

    17 Apr 16 at 8:17 pm

  28. Wow, ranking our guys 1-50. That’s strong 🙂 Excellent stuff Dr Cane.

    Todd Boss

    18 Apr 16 at 2:50 pm

  29. 😉 trying to get a fire started…the point is, we on this board (and Ghost Steve) can do better, and hash it out better, than the pundits can. Have at it!

    PS – Seventeen of those top 50 had either not been in the organization at all, or not active beyond the DSL, at this time last year. That is ample reason to believe that this list will be remarkably transformed by the end of the season. That is part of the fun. Let’s see who rises as the year advances. I’ll repost after game 60.


    19 Apr 16 at 11:24 am

  30. […] (2016’s version of this post, 2015’s version of this post) […]

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