Nationals Arm Race

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

2020 draft coverage: Local draft-prospects to keep an eye on


Thanks to uncertain times, the 2020 draft class from a “local” perspective has been … well gutted.

Not one player that I can find with ties to Maryland or Washington DC was drafted.  Just two players with ties to Virginia were drafted in the 5 round 2020 draft (who i’ve listed in the section below), both Virginia Tech players.  Not one UVA player selected, meaning they retain a huge chunk of their class heading into next season, not the least of which is Nate Savino, who reclassified to skip his senior  year of HS, go to school … only to have the season cancelled.

how many of these players are NDFA candidates?  Hard to say; but some will be looking at pressure/competition for their partial scholarships, which means we’ll see some movement.

First draft of this post?  6/9/17, when a freshman (!) was named 2nd team all-Met.  A few years on-wards we know that freshman in particular (Jack Bulger) has become a significant national prospect, one of the best prep prospects to come out of the DC area since the 2016 class (which saw two upper round picks in Joe Rizzo and Khalil Lee)  plus state POTY Jake Agnos, an eventual collegiate all American.

The College players are mostly drawn from my 2017 Local High School draft coverage, listing guys who were HS seniors in 2015 who went to 3-year programs and who are now draft eligible.

Major Local College Draft Prospects for 2020

  • Ian Seymour, LHP from Virginia Tech (via Westborough MA): 2nd round, #57 overall pick
  • Taylor Carson, C/1B from Virginia Tech (via Duluth, GA): 4th round, #130 overall pick.
  • Andrew Abbott, LHP UVA (via Halifax Co).  2019 Collegiate National team extended-roster selection.  Went undrafted in 2020 despite being ranked #116 by MLBpipeline.

Lesser Local College draft eligibles w/ Local Ties

  • See for full Virginia listing
  • see for full Maryland draft prospect listings
  • Nats 2016 Draftee Matt Mervis just signed as an NDFA with the Cubs.

DC/MD/VA Local Prep players for 2020

  • Nate Savino, LHP from Potomac Falls.  Potomac District POTY in 2018 as a sophomore.  UVA commit.  Diamond Elite summer team.  Showing 92 from the left-hand side as a sophomore in HS games; wow.  NovaNine as a sophomore.  PG Junior Nationals 2018.  1st team all state VHSL Class 5 2018 as sophomore.  Player of the Year Class 5 Region D in 2018 as a sophomore.  1st team USA Today all-state 2018 as Soph.  Gatorade POTY for Virginia in 2019 as a Junior.  All Region 5C as Junior in 2019.  U18 National Team.  #4 on BA’s 2020 prep list, a legitimate upper-first round talent.  Nov 2019 update: Savino has decided to graduate early and will enroll at UVA.  By most accounts he was projected possibly as a 1st round, top 10 pick in the 2020 draft; this move means he’s passing up at least $4M in signing bonus dollars to go to a school in UVA which, frankly, does not have a great history of developing top-end starters.
  • Jack Bulger, C from DeMatha.  2nd team All-Met as a *freshman* in 2017.   Early commit to Vanderbilt.  Team Elite Prime.  At 2018 PG Junior Nationals.  Also at the Cary, NC PDP 2018 event despite only being a rising Junior and was named in the highlights article.  HM All-Met 2018 as a sophomore, 2nd team USA Today all-state 2018 as Soph.  Gatorade POTY for Maryland in 2019 as Junior.  1st Team USA Today HS AA in 2019 as junior.  Wow.  U18 National Team.
  • Collin Bosley-Smith, RHP Wilson HS.  2nd team All-Met 2018 as a sophomore.  USA Today DC POTY in 2018 as a sophomore.  Gatorade POTY in DC in 2019 as a junior.  Early commit to Duke.  Mid-Atlantic Red Sox summer team.
  • Eddie Eisert, SS O’Connell HS.  1st team all WCAC as sophomore in 2018.  1st team all VISAA Division I as a junior.  Early NC State commit.
  • Ryley Johnson, OF from Colgan (Manassas).  1st team all Class 6 Occoquan region as a sophomore in 2018.   Richmond braves summer team.   2nd team VHSL class 6 all-state in 2018 as sophomore.   All Region 6C as junior.  1st team VHSL All-6A 2019 as junior.   ECU commit.
  • Ryan Calvert, RHP/1B from LaPlata HS.  Prepbaseballreport Maryland POTY in 2019 as junior.  Evoshield Canes summer team.
  • Riley Eikhoff, RHP from Patriot HS (brother of former Patriot and UVA player Nathan Eikhoff); All Region 6D in 2019 as junior.  Evoshield Canes National summer team.  UVA commit.
  • Jordan Peyton, SS from Riverdale Baptist via Colonial Beach VA.  PG Junior Nationals 2018, early commit to Radford.
  • Alex Greene, OF from DeMatha as well.  written up at 2018 PG Junior Nationals, ranked 12th in the entire class, early UVA commit.  Richmond Braves summer team.  2nd team All-Met 2018 as a sophomore.  USAtoday all-state in 2018 as Sophomore.
  • Josh Moylan, 1B/3B from Spalding HS.   2019 Area code games, early commit to ECU.
  • Thomas Trinca, OF from Centreville.  2nd team All 6A-North region as a freshman in 2017.  Stars Baseball summer team.  All Region 6D in 2019 as junior.  1st team VHSL All-6A 2019 as junior.  George Mason commit.
  • Shane Saunders, OF from Osborne Park.  All 6-A North Region 2018 as Sophomore.  Stars Baseball summer team.  All Region 6D in 2019 as junior.  Canes Gold summer team.
  • Matt Frye, Util Lee HS.   2nd team Class 5 Region D all-region 2018 as a sophomore.
  • Jake Maske, OF DeMatha.  USAtoday all-state in 2018 as Sophomore.
  • Nathan Cmeyla, C from Briar Woods HS.  PG Junior Nationals 2018.  1st team Class 5 Region D all-region 2018 as a sophomore.  1st team All 5C as junior in 2019.
  • Teddy Merritt, RHP from McLean.  2nd Team All 6-A North Region 2018 as Sophomore.
  • Cameron Mozingo-Morales, 1B/RHP from Osborne Park.   2nd Team All 6-A North Region 2018 as Sophomore.   Stars Baseball summer team.
  • Robert Kelley, RHP from Marshall.   2nd Team All 6-A North Region 2018 as Sophomore.  All Region 6D in 2019 as junior.
  • Malik Kabra, OF from Robinson.  1st team all Class 6 Occoquan region as a sophomore in 2018.
  • Joe Vogatsky, RHP/3B from Kettle Run HS POTY.   VA Class 4C POTY in 2019 as junior.  Early commit to JMU.  1st team VHSL All-4A 2019 as junior.
  • Julian Heitman, SS Oakton HS.  Stars Red summer team.
  • Jacob Cassady, RHP from Lake Braddock; All Region 6C as junior in 2019.
  • Braden Mack, C from Potomac.  All Region 5D as a junior in 2019.
  • Ben Thomas, OF from Potomac.  All Region 5D as a junior in 2019.
  • Ethan Snyder, DH from Broad Run.  1st team VHSL All-5A 2019 as junior.

Extended DC/MD/VA Prep players (outside DC Area) on the radar.

  • Quade Tomlin, 2B from Liberty Christian Academy.  1st team All 4-A region as a freshman in 2017.  1st team all-state VHSL as a freshman in 2017.  2nd team all state VHSL Class 4 2018 as a sophomore.  Evoshield Canes National summer team.  2019 Area code games.  Liberty commit.
  • Jeremy Wagner, OF/RHP from the Miller School (Albemarle) POTY as Junior.  Early Austin Peay commit.  VISAA divisoin II POTY 2019 as a junior.
  • Nic Britt, SS from Greenbriar Christian (Chesapeake).   Evoshield Canes summer team, early commit to UVA.   PG Junior Nationals 2018.
  • Rylan Brown, OF from Greenbriar Christian (Chesapeake).   Evoshield Canes summer team.  PG Junior Nationals 2018.  1st team VISAA Division II all-state 2018 as a sophomore.
  • Tanner Schobel, SS Waslingham Academy (Williamsburg). PG Junior Nationals 2018,  2nd Team USA Today all-state 2018 as soph.  VISAA Division III POTY as Junior in 2019.  Early Virginia Tech commit.
  • Harrison Clifton, LHP Steward HS Richmond.  Early commit to Clemson.
  • Garrett Payne, RHP Miller School in Charlottesville,  early commit to NC State.  All VISAA Division II all-state 2019 as junior.
  • Nick Noonan, OF from Deep Run HS.  2nd team all-state VHSL 5A as a freshman in 2017.  2nd team all Richmond Metro in 2017 as a freshman.
  • Tristan Gordan OF from Page County HS.  1st team all VHSL 2A in 2017 as a freshman.  Again 1st team all VHSL Class 2 as sophomore as his team wins the state title.
  • Drew Stanley, RHP from Hickory HS (Chesapeake): Class 5 Region A POTY as a sophomore in 2018 (!).  Canes Mid-Atlantic summer team.  2nd team VHSL all-state Class 5 2018 as sophomore.  1st team all-Tidewater 2019 as junior.
  • Zian Honaker, RHP from Salem HS (Salem).   Winning pitcher in the Class 4 state final in 2018 as as sophomore; 12-0 in his career at this point.
  • Elijah Dunlap, RHP from Riverheads.  All State VHSL Class 2 as a sophomore in 2018.
  • Trey Carter, OF from Carlisle HS in Martinville.  PG Junior Nationals 2018.
  • Alex LaRou, RHP from Cosby HS. PG Junior Nationals 2018.
  • Carter Trice, SS from Lee Davis HS in Mechanicsville.  PG Junior Nationals 2018.
  • Jackson Cherry, OF Jefferson Forest HS.  2nd team all state VHSL Class 4 2018 as a sophomore.  Canes mid-atlantic summer team.  1st team VHSL All-4A 2019 as junior.  Mercer commit.
  • Philip Forbes V, 2B Menchville.   2nd team VHSL all-state Class 5 2018 as sophomore.  1st team VHSL All-5A 2019 as junior.
  • Lucas Carmichael, util Matoaca.   2nd team VHSL all-state Class 5 2018 as sophomore.
  • Andrew Ward, OF Fluvana County.  1st team VHSL all-state Class 3 2018 as a sophomore.
  • Blake Fisher, ? Highland School.  1st team VISAA Division II all-state 2018 as a sophomore.
  • Jon Sawyers, ? Atlantic Shores HS.  1st team VISAA Division II all-state 2018 as a sophomore.
  • Michael Stewart, RHP/1B from Collegiate (Richmond).  1st team VISAA Division I in 2019 as junior.  Early commit to JMU.
  • Nigel Williams, 2B/SS from Collegiate (Richmond).  1st team VISAA Division I in 2019 as junior.
  • Ethan Chenault, RHP from The Miller School (via Forest, VA).  1st team VISAA Division II in 2019 as junior, early commit to UNC-Wilmington.
  • Ethan Firoved, LHP First Colonial HS (Virginia Beach).  1st team VHSL All-6A 2019 as junior.  1st Team all-tidewater 2019 as Junior.  Class 6 Region A Co-Player of the Year 2019 as junior.
  • Aiden Tierney, C/OF Colonial Forge HS (Fredericksburg).  1st team VHSL All-6A 2019 as junior.
  • Zach Dzarnowski, C Hickory HS.  1st team VHSL All-5A 2019 as junior.
  • Tyler Warren, OF Atlee HS.  1st team VHSL All-5A 2019 as junior.
  • Bailey Reynolds, 1B from Libery Christian Academy.  1st team VHSL All-4A 2019 as junior.  Dirtbags summer team,  uncommitted.

Sources used


99 Responses to '2020 draft coverage: Local draft-prospects to keep an eye on'

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  1. MLB Draft Tracker showing Lindsly and Parker already signed, with considerable slot savings. Infante said to have been promised $1.2M, a little over $300M over slot. I don’t think he’s worth it, but that’s supposedly the price of doing business with high schoolers.

    Is there any listing of FA draft signings? All I have seen for the Nats thus far have been Gio Diaz and Jackson Coutts, who supposedly weighs 240 . . . but only hit nine homers across three college seasons. Of course that gives him nine more than Diaz . . .


    16 Jun 20 at 1:20 pm

  2. Here’s the high-school take on the catcher they signed from San Jac:


    16 Jun 20 at 1:25 pm

  3. More on Torres, who sounds extremely promising for $20K:


    16 Jun 20 at 1:26 pm

  4. Todd — You mentioned Law’s ranking on the last post. I don’t have a subscription; did he list a top 10? I see that he’s putting Cavalli ahead of Rutledge and Garcia. That just makes me laugh. (Also, what happened to Law wanting to have Romero’s love child during that draft? Law hyped him more than anyone else did.) I don’t hate Law, and he’s connected and often has some good insights. But Rutledge is better than Cavalli, and Romero probably is, too. I mean, Romero’s college stats were miles better than Cavalli’s. I have no idea where Denaburg falls in the equation, but he was certainly better coming out of high school than Cavalli was, and he’s still younger than Cavalli.

    Oh, and Cole Henry was a lot better than Cavalli in college, despite being in a tougher conference.

    Look, I hope Cavalli lives up to his alleged “potential.” But what he is right now is a guy with a 4.07 career ERA in college, 4.18 in his draft spring, 1.47 career WHIP. If he posts those numbers at Hagerstown next year (where numbers generally are a little higher than college numbers), we’re going to hate this pick.


    16 Jun 20 at 1:51 pm

  5. I just posted something about this at Nats Prospects so will try not to repeat myself too much. But I was just looking at the post-draft FA signings across baseball, and only a few teams are doing much with it at all. Most, like the Nats, have hardly signed anyone:

    What gives? Are all the players just going back to college? What are they going to do if the draft settles permanently at only 5-10 rounds and is tremendously over-stuffed next year? Are most organizations just not being very aggressive with their signings? I mean, the vaunted Dodger organization has signed only one guy. The Trashstros and Fauxsox, who both lost draft picks for their cheating, have been aggressive, but few others have.

    The Nats were supposed to really have a leg up here, with their large scouting department and their connections to so many college programs. The Trashstros have almost no scouts but have signed eight, including one from Oklahoma, where, um, we should have some established relationships.


    17 Jun 20 at 10:31 am

  6. The article in today’s Miami Herald is very telling, and it sounds like the Nats adopted our strategies for this draft, bless them. It seems they wanted Infante at 55, and could not agree on the money with him when they called. So they went with Henry (and therefore may have had to go over slot). They got to 71 and Infante was still there – and the Nats upped their offer to 300K over slot, he agreed, and they went for him. So that tells you why they went to Lindsley for 20K at #4 and then, got the lefty at #5 for 100K. So three other picks to divide those slot savings up amongst – but all underclassmen. Perhaps Powell will not be an overpay, but if the Nats used the system to fund three overshot signings, I’d say mission accomplished.

    Infante is a gamble of their scouting evaluation, but if he was slated to come into UM as a starting player, he’s got a good pedigree. It’s been exciting to read about him. I am partial to the Canes as forensicane, as I once announced their games, but one thing is for sure, they have a great eye for recruiting talent and a scholly there is high value.

    The more I read about the NDFA signees, the more I like. Torres sounds like a guy who had the qualities of Jakson Reetz coming out of HS. Was one of the top prep catchers a year ago and slated to play at LSU, and tearing it up at SJ in the early going, a leader and with great defense. More exciting than Lindsley, and they got him at 20K. Can’t wait to see who else they draw in the coming weeks!

    Also, have to like how they are pushing for arms in a post Harris-Doolittle-Hudson world. Why draft Storen when you can get Powell in the third round? Powell and Cronin and another riser (German, Bourque, etc) – me likey a lot.


    17 Jun 20 at 10:54 am

  7. KW – be patient. A lot of players are totally in play, they are just now doing diligence on all of the franchises that are after them. No movement means 1) The Nationals are competing against teams for the same player 2) Players are waiting for offers from their preferred team or dream team from growing up 3) Young men are legitimately deliberating whether to go back and raise their stock. Give them a chance to be indecisive.

    Remember also that there are plenty who expected to be drafted because they read the same rankings we do. They were not. They hurt. But when that goes away, the itch to get started in the pros may seem very reasonable for the right person.

    In the last thread when I introduced this point about how promising this would be, I suggested this would develop over a month. I think we will still see signings come in for many months. If certain baseball-rich states like California lock down because of the new China virus and play is not possible, players may circle back in order not to further stall their development. The ability to provide turbo to ambition when external forces stifle it.


    17 Jun 20 at 11:03 am

  8. Fore — Cool background on your connection to the ‘Canes.

    Yes, I also saw the Miami Herald article and frankly was horrified that the Nats considered drafting Infante at #55. He was #149 on the board, and not in the FanGraphs top 200 at all. It seems pretty certain the Nats could have gotten him at pick #94 or 123, maybe even 153. Now Infante wants mid-2d-round money from them, even though there’s no indication that this was the market for him. The slot value for pick #149 is $360K, basically a quarter of what they’re going to give Infante. Sigh. As I’ve said, I sure hope he turns out to be that good, but he was the only hitter of any consequence the Nats drafted, and a significant overreach/overpay based on the supposed market for him.

    On the flipside, I completely agree with you in liking Powell and Cronin where they drafted them. The Nats have had faltering bullpens year after year, and it should would be good to come up with some quality guys internally. If it were me, I’d also go on and make the call to transition Romero to the bullpen and give them three potential high-leverage back-end arms moving through the system.

    As for the free agent signings, it’s hard to be patient when it would seem that the early birds will get the prime guys from this field. We’ll see, but I’m disappointed thus far. Torres does look encouraging, and Coutts was off to a very hot start in 2020, but across his career, he hasn’t shown the power for a corner position.


    17 Jun 20 at 1:50 pm

  9. KW

    17 Jun 20 at 3:04 pm

  10. Law’s top 10 for nats from Mar 2020 (which can’t have changed much since):

    In order he goes: Kieboom, Garcia, Rutledge, Denaburg, Crowe, Cate, Antuna, De la Rosa, Yean and Lara.

    As far as Law “loving Romero?” not sure i agree with that one. Here’s his 6/7/17 pre-draft writeup/rankings:

    “59. Seth Romero, LHP. School: (dismissed from University of Houston). He has top-10 stuff, a questionable delivery, some injury history and grade 20 makeup. Someone will roll the dice here, but given where he’s likely to be drafted, I wouldn’t put my job on the line for a kid with this track record of bad decisions.”

    Todd Boss

    17 Jun 20 at 3:24 pm

  11. KW – If you look closely, most of the top rated undrafteds have not signed. Teams are signing players they like, and I’ll bet most of them are “uncontested.” The organizations that are signing more contested players likely organizations that can sell themselves or can sell opportunity.

    Also, I have not yet seen a breakdown of the class of the signed UDFA. The Nationals have signed three underclassmen, not one senior.

    Also, the team tends to make their announcements of signings en masse, so keep the faith. It’s early.

    You have to trust your scouts, not ratings. I am sure Rizzo laid eyes on Infante if they were going to draft him at 55. Rizzo knows talent better than Keith Law, and of that were not the case, the pundits would be GMs. That means the Nationals had him ranked well above 55, because certainly there were players that other teams coveted that the Nationals did not (think Cavalli drafted at 22 – lower than the Nationals ranked him). He’s being started at SS but its clear he can play anywhere and has the twitchy toolsy loves the game profile. So maybe the Nationals value versatility because it helped them with Rendon, Turner, and Michael Taylor.

    As for Romero, he’ll get the chance to show whether he has the stuff to start. But if they have to switch him because he’s ready for the bigs one day and there is already a full house in place among the starting five, no harm to that. The layoff is a test of his maturity and whether he will ever blossom, because he’s been waiting forever to turn it loose and now has to wait some more. I so hope we get minor league ball this year.


    17 Jun 20 at 3:25 pm

  12. I read something today that teams are offering NDFAs contracts … for 2021. not for 2020. Since, you know, there’s no minors this year. But by offering a 2021 contract they get an extra service time year! how convenient. One more way for teams to f*ck over amateurs in 2020.

    Todd Boss

    17 Jun 20 at 3:26 pm

  13. As far as Law putting Cavalli over Rutledge. Well we know he doesn’t rate Garcia. I dunno; maybe its juco vs big12 baseball? Cavalli is a year older than Rutledge so should be a year more polished. I dunno. anything we say one way or the other is entirely speculative.

    Todd Boss

    17 Jun 20 at 3:29 pm

  14. Law on Romero: Translation – meh. Of course he wouldn’t put his job on the line – he doesn’t have that job! Pundits NEVER recommend players with bad history. It enables them to write “top-10 stuff,” and “Attitude 20” and always say they are right when later quoted. GMs don’t care to be wrong because when they look over their shoulder at what is in print, they are eaten alive. This was well represented in “Draft Day.”

    I don’t think Rizzo is perfect. But I do think he doesn’t give a shayt. And that is an essential quality for his job. If he likes Cole Henry more than Wilcox, who was available at 55, there is a damn good reason. And maybe it was signability. But what the Infante scenario illustrates is that the Nationals did truly stick with their draft board and got a player they rated even higher than Cole Henry.


    17 Jun 20 at 3:31 pm

  15. Law ranked him in the 50s. As in, a mid to late 2nd rounder. He was not a fan. And yet the Nats and Rizzo went right ahead and not only drafted him in the first, but gave him an over-slot deal!?? Still inexplicable to me.

    I hated the pick at the time, hate it now.

    Todd Boss

    17 Jun 20 at 3:53 pm

  16. Neither Alex Lange nor Tanner Houck, whom you preferred, have given reason to be any more excited. Wil Crowe arguably has a higher ceiling than both.

    I was meh on Romero, but I’ve not given up on him at all. I like high ceiling picks in the first round, having watched Randy Moss dominate when others wouldn’t touch him. Romero, of all of these four, still has a higher ceiling in 2020, though an admittedly lower floor.


    17 Jun 20 at 5:00 pm

  17. You’re kidding right Forensicane? You think Romero, right now, is more exicting and a better prospect than either Lang or Houck? Lang solved high-A in 2018 and got promoted to AA in 2019. Houck is on Boston’s AAA roster right now and was an NRI this spring.

    Where is Romero?? Oh that’s right, he’s eating donuts on his couch in Houston having pitched a grand total of 47 pro innings at a level no higher than Low-A. he’ll start in low-A in 2021 while Houck is in major league camp. And even this is specualtive because I have zero confidence that Romero a) actually kept up with his rehab properly, b) hasn’t gained 50 lbs, c) will actually abide by spring training 2021 curfews or d) has learned any lessons towards being a professional athlete in general.

    Todd Boss

    17 Jun 20 at 5:22 pm

  18. I just remember Law writing right after the draft that he thought Romero could be in the Nats’ MLB bullpen before the playoffs THAT FALL. Turned out he was so out of shape that it took more than a month after the draft before they let him on the field.

    I was on Lange in that draft if we had to take a pitcher (turns out we should have been on Pearson, taken three picks after Romero), although I preferred a hitter in the person of Brent Rooker, who went 35th to the Twins and is already MLB-ready, although still striking out a lot, like he did in college. The dude hit 23 homers in the SEC in his draft year, though.

    Supposedly, there were positive reports about Romero in this spring, but I certainly agree with Todd that leaving him off the reservation all summer is dangerous. We’ll see. Can’t imagine he has much trade value, so we just have to hope that he’s as (once) advertised. But he remains the pick I hated most at the time they made it in Nats history. (I was, however, both amazed and thrilled that Crowe fell to them in the 2d round.)


    17 Jun 20 at 6:53 pm

  19. Todd, I hadn’t heard about teams making offers to players for 2021, which is so totally screwed, but not surprising. Can’t think you would get any particularly desirable players that way, though.

    Fore, I hope Infante makes it, but I’m not holding my breath. Even most of the Nat “toolsy” high-school draftees have meandered through the system, usually repeating one level, including Taylor, Souza, Ward, Reetz, and Hood. Blake Perkins proved to be a disastrous overdraft. Infante is already “older,” turning 19 next week, and is really hurt by not being able to play in the GCL this year. Most high schoolers aren’t ready for a full-summer A-ball team right away, so he’ll probably just be in the GCL next year in his age-20 season. Age puts him behind the 8-ball.

    My bigger point is that they left a lot of very good college hitters on the board when they reached to take Infante: Gentry, Nwogu, Workman, et al., not to mention Calabrese among the high schoolers, who Law loves and who is almost two years younger than Infante.

    Look, the Nats desperately need hitters, and well before a high school pick is likely to emerge in five-plus years. Yet Infante was the ONLY legit hitter they took. Lindsly was just to get his slot money. This is all the more reason I’m frustrated that they’re not being aggressive in pursuing FA hitters. I mean, look at Law’s list — beyond Kieboom and Garcia, his next two are Antuna, who will have barely seen the field in two years, and de la Rosa, who hit .232 and then missed a year. I personally have some hope for Mendoza (and less than most for Garcia), but that’s it, boys and girls. And that’s a scary proposition for the future.


    17 Jun 20 at 7:14 pm

  20. 2021 contracts being offered to players:

    Mendoza’s greatest hope is that the NL retains the DH.

    Todd Boss

    17 Jun 20 at 8:36 pm

  21. Clearly the Nats see something in Infante they really like. I hope they’re on to something. The kid certainly doesn’t appear to lack for confidence.

    Honestly, at this point, if Romero makes it to Double-A, I would be shocked.


    17 Jun 20 at 10:58 pm

  22. As I said, I hope Infante proves me wrong and is a hidden jewel. However, this smacks of another of the Nats’ we’re-smarter-than-everyone-else picks, which, um, we’re still waiting for even one of them to succeed. In fact, that 2017 draft with Romero (1st), Raquet (3d), and Freeman (4th) had three of those type of picks.

    The Nats’ 2020 draft reminds me a bit of 2017 and 2018 when the Nats took a highly projectable arm in the 1st round (Romero, Denaburg, and now Cavalli) and a steady, accomplished one in the 2d (Crowe, Cate, and now Henry). Thus far, the steady, accomplished guys are WAY ahead of the projectable ones.

    But . . . don’t spit out your coffee . . . I’m about to sorta defend Romero. First, though, let’s revisit why it was such a stupid pick in the first place. He had been kicked off his college team THREE times: for being way out of shape, for smoking dope, and for being such a bad seed that his teammates beat him up. Yes, his teammates were so fed up with him that they beat him up! Plus he had a history of elbow issues. In short, he was a walking disaster, and nearly every one of those disasters has recurred since the draft.

    So why did they take him? Well, when he actually made it to the mound in college, he was pretty awesome (career numbers): 2.43 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 11.5 K/9 (15.7 as a junior), and 2.8 BB/9. Those numbers are miles ahead of Cavalli’s, and of most of the other 2020 1st-round arms. The few times Romero has been able to find the mound as a pro, he’s got a 13.1 K/9. So it seems that his stuff is “electric.”

    IF — HUGE “if” — Romero has grown up and his arm has healed with the extra year off, there’s still potential. However, he will turn 25 next April and still hasn’t appeared at the A+ level. That’s why I keep floating the idea of going on and putting him in the bullpen. His path to the majors as a reliever likely would be 1-2 years, vs. 3+ as a starter. It takes time for starters to develop their secondary pitches and to figure out the most effect sequencing of them.

    Sure would be great to have Romero, Cronin, and Powell all pan out for the bullpen as well as continued development from Suero, Rainey, and Finnegan. That group has the potential to be a heck of a cheap, controlled ‘pen within two or three years or so. We’ve just got to survive until then . . .


    18 Jun 20 at 9:13 am

  23. Mendoza played 3B most of his time in Tallahassee and presumably can be competent enough to play in the field at 1B. They don’t need him on the left side of the infield if Kieboom can stick at 3B (and Trea can be retained).

    The Nats threw Mendoza in the deep end into full-season A-ball after the draft. He responded with an overall positive 128 wRC+ and an elite 14.2% BB rate. His 23.8% K rate is concerning but not out of line with his college tendencies, and not Drew Ward-level bad. The big concern is that his power dried up with the wood bat, with only 16 extra-base hits in 55 pro games. He dropped from .595 SLG in the spring in college to .383 as a pro. As a 1B/DH, power will absolutely make or break him, particularly HR power. It was certainly worth the “gamble” of the #94 pick on a guy with 16 homers, though. Sure wish they had drafted some similar guys in 2020.


    18 Jun 20 at 9:40 am

  24. BA’s analysis of our draft class:

    The Nationals went with pitching and college heavy this year, getting a pair of arms who had a chance to go higher than where Washington selected them with its first two picks. Many scouts believe Cavalli was the best college pitcher outside of the Asa Lacy/Emerson Hancock/Reid Detmers/Max Meyer quartet, while Henry had plenty of comp-round buzz leading up to the draft.

    Both pitchers are big and physical, with loud stuff, which matches Washington’s recent preferences. The Nationals also acquired a fast-mover candidate in Powell, one of the best college relievers in the draft. Parker racked up plenty of strikeouts in his junior college career, while Lindsly is a typical senior sign without many loud tools to speak of.

    Washington’s sole high school selection, Infante, brings several above-average tools. He’s a good runner with a strong arm and also has some power potential. He’s old for the prep class, but that doesn’t usually faze the Nationals. Washington did a nice job adding arms that could move reasonably quickly to help the major league club, and took a shot on some upside with Infante.

    Todd Boss

    18 Jun 20 at 1:07 pm

  25. the NL adding the DH drastically changes Mendoza’s life. He played 3B in college yes; he was frigging awful. He made 16 errors in 64 games and had below a .900 fielding percentage. In the CWS he literally looked like he had never played 3B before. There’s no way he is staying at 3B. Frankly, i’m not sure i’d trust him at 1B either. At least Zimmerman, when forced over, could still field the ball.

    now that being said … the real test of Mendoza is going to be found in AA. He’s not there yet. When he hits AA and suddenly faces MLB-quality velicity, we’ll see if he’s MLB-quality hitter. as you say, if he plays 1B in the majors he’s gonna have to hit like a veteran 1B slugger that are a dime a dozen. otherwise why bother; we’ll keep signing Eric Thames for a couple million bucks a year.

    Todd Boss

    18 Jun 20 at 1:13 pm

  26. Yes, the Nats have had good success in bringing in a string of competent 1B/DH types for $5M or less. I just point to Mendoza because there are so few other hitters in the organization with any hope at all.

    I just looked up Antuna, and he’s actually Rule 5-eligible this December (wow). When he actually played in A-ball in 2018, his line was .220/.293/.331. Yes, he was young, and that was an aggressive placement, but still. He will be 21 in 2021, so no longer a kid. De La Rosa will be 19 in 2021. He struck out 29.3% of the time in the GCL last year. Yes, he was 17, though. Roismar Quintana weighs significantly more than De La Rosa and may have more power potential.

    But the crop of hitters with much of a ceiling is really, really thin.


    18 Jun 20 at 4:13 pm

  27. The layoff for guys like Romero and Antuna, and their lousy track record of being able to stay healthy and effective, is severe enough that I barely consider them prospects anymore.

    Tell me how Romero develops as anything like what you hope for from a first-round pick. Maybe he surprises me and ends up being a decent reliever. More likely, I think, he continues floundering and eventually hangs it up, or the Nats cut bait.

    I’ve never been a real believer in Antuna. Not only does he carry a light bat, his defense is atrocious; I seem to recall one year he committed something like five errors in three days.


    18 Jun 20 at 5:50 pm

  28. Well, as I noted in detail, I never would have touched Romero with a 60.5′ pole, was screaming that they not pick him BEFORE they did. I would trade him if someone offers anything for him. I doubt he has much, if any, trade value right now, though, so all they can do hope he can still turn into something. He once did have talent, or neither U of H nor the Nats would have given him so many opportunities.

    I don’t hold much actual hope for Antuna, either, just pointing out that they’re pretty dang slim with hitters if he keeps getting listed among their top five hitting prospects. They might want to consider drafting some. Oh, wait . . . too late . . .


    18 Jun 20 at 9:19 pm

  29. We’ll see where this discussion is a year from now. The opinions have been drawn and we’ll see who’s right.


    18 Jun 20 at 9:33 pm

  30. The international pool is the primary source of position player talent. Gone are the days of smiley, but the yield has been positive. It may be overemphasised, but another signing period is coming and the Nata are expected to sign heavily.


    18 Jun 20 at 9:59 pm

  31. It would be a nice exercise to see which team’s starting 8s have the most players developed via the amateur draft, and amateur draft plus international marketplace. How do we know that the laments about our World Series Champions are so different from most franchises? So much of this sounds like, ‘why can’t we be like the Dodgers andYankees?’


    18 Jun 20 at 10:09 pm

  32. The fact that they won a championship can exist equally with the fact that they’ve still got a flawed drafting and development system. The front office has been skillful in other ways in covering for this deficiency, but it also keeps the price of doing business high. The draft problems also make it harder every year to maintain a championship-level squad.

    The Nats’ drafting and developing has been faltering, for a long time, in large part due to continuing to make the same types of picks and expecting a different result (insanity). That’s why it drives me nuts every year when they make the same kind of picks.

    Since Rendon (drafted 2011), the only position player the Nats have drafted and developed to even marginally sticking in the majors is Andrew Stevenson, who wasn’t deemed good enough to be on the playoff roster. Point to traded Brian Goodwin, Billy Burns, and Sheldon Neuse if you wish, but none of those would make more than a Stevenson-like impact on this team right now. Also, yes, Carter Kieboom (2016) is about to graduate, so if he sticks, that will make one position starter drafted and developed in the last nine years.

    There was no internally drafted pitcher on the playoff roster other than Strasburg (drafted 2009), a generational talent who they’ve had to pay a lot to keep. Fedde and Voth may or may not still make it, but as back-enders at best. There really isn’t anyone else of impact on the horizon from drafts 2009-16. Yes, there has been a fair amount of pitching that has been traded, but it has been traded in large part to fill holes created because of lack of success of internal drafting and development.


    19 Jun 20 at 10:58 am

  33. The progress of individual prospects is usually not linear, and it takes a lot of time to evaluate whether an individual draft pick “works out” or not. Sometimes close to a decade needs to pass. It’s certainly fine to say that guys drafted in 2016-18 have not lived up to expectations, but it’s far too soon to say any of those guys is a bust. Would anyone be surprised if Romero has a good season next year and ends up pitching in MLB by the end of the season? I wouldn’t at all. Similarly, Fedde has been a disappointment. But would I be surprised if he became a serviceable back-end starter or a good reliever as soon as this year? No, I wouldn’t, even though I think the probability of it happening is below .5.

    Slightly off topic: the Nats famously drafted Strasburg, Harper, and Rendon in consecutive years. Each has completed his club-control years and each has signed contracts covering free agent years. The total dollar value of these contracts is $895 million – $245 million for Rendon, $330 million for Harper, and $320 million for Strasburg ($75 million from the first extension and $245 from the second). In three consecutive years, the Nats drafted players who commanded an average of $300 million on the free agent market. To me, this is absolutely staggering. I don’t know how much credit the Nats get for this – all three players to varying extents were “no brainers.” But I think it’s incredibly unusual for a single team to draft such valuable players in three consecutive years.


    19 Jun 20 at 11:48 am

  34. In the Rizzo era, the Nats have succeeded every time they have taken a position player with their first pick in the draft: Harper, Rendon, Stevenson (in 2d round), and Kieboom. Harper was a given, of course, but Rendon was sort of a happy accident. If I’m remembering correctly, some folks thought Rizzo had a fondness for Hultzen, but the Mariners saved us from that mess. And the Royals will be kicking themselves forever for taking Bubba Starling.

    Much like the Nats, the Royals were on their way at that time on a run of success. But when you not only miss out on a Rendon, but take someone who doesn’t contribute at all, it makes it harder to maintain that run. Rendon became a huge part of sort of the second wave of Nat talent that the Royals didn’t have when their better players hit free agency. This is pretty much my point here — that you have to keep infusing the cheap, controllable talent.

    We’ve discussed here in past years how difficult it is to define a “successful” draft. I mean, if you scroll through the Dodger drafts for the last 10 years or so, to name a team that wins plus has a good farm system, there’s nothing overwhelmingly impressive with their draft success. The Cards have had pretty regular success in finding contributing players, although not a lot of stars other than Flaherty. The Yankees haven’t been particularly successful. The A’s have some real hits like Gray and Chapman, and also some guys like Muncy who have succeeded elsewhere. The Bosox got Betts at #172 and Bradley at #40 in the same draft, but not much else remarkable.

    Mostly as you flip through these draft years by team, it’s a pretty depressing wasteland of failure. It’s an inexact “science,” to be sure.


    19 Jun 20 at 1:35 pm

  35. The Nats signed Cavelli this afternoon. Still waiting to see the numbers.

    Mark L

    19 Jun 20 at 5:02 pm

  36. Gonna take a crack at our top 30 prospects based closely on the preseason list, and I’m assuming Henry will sign considering he’s already updated his Twitter bio with “@nationals”

    1. 3B Carter Kieboom (MLB)
    2. 2B/SS Luis Garcia (AA)
    3. RHP Jackson Rutledge (A)
    4. RHP Cade Cavalli (n/a)
    5. RHP Cole Henry (n/a)
    6. RHP Wil Crowe (AAA)
    7. 2B/SS Sammy Infante (n/a)
    8. RHP Andry Lara (n/a)
    9. RHP Eddy Yean (A-)
    10. RHP Mason Denaburg (Rk)
    11. LHP Tim Cate (A+)
    12. RHP Holden Powell (n/a)
    13. LHP Seth Romero (A)
    14. LHP Matt Cronin (A)
    15. 1B Drew Mendoza (A)
    16. LHP Mitchell Parker (n/a)
    17. SS/3B Yasel Antuna (A)
    18. OF Jeremy De La Rosa (Rk)
    19. C Israel Pineda (A)
    20. OF Roismar Quintana (n/a)
    21. RHP Joan Adon (A)
    22. RHP Tyler Dyson (A-)
    23. RHP Reid Schaller (A)
    24. C Tres Barrera (MLB)
    25. SS Jackson Cluff (A)
    26. RHP Jake Irvin (A+)
    27. LHP Ben Braymer (AAA)
    28. RHP James Bourque (MLB)
    29. RHP Steven Fuentes (AA)
    30. SS/2B Gio Diaz (n/a)

    Diaz might be aggressive even at #30, but the tools seem to be there and the guy he’s beating out for that last spot is Raudy Read, who is not a promising player.


    20 Jun 20 at 3:51 am

  37. Samuel Infante just signed for $1 million, which was a bit over slot.

    Mark L

    20 Jun 20 at 5:21 am

  38. Infante at more than slot, but less than he $1.2M the Miami Herald article had him wanting.


    20 Jun 20 at 8:12 am

  39. Sao — Wow, you’re really buying into Infante. Not me. I would buy the hype on Quintana over Infante and over De La Rosa.

    Some things on lists like these are hard to quantify. For example, as of right now, I have more confidence that Cronin can/will make the majors than Cavalli. Also, Cavalli may have more physical talent than Cronin does, but as of now, Cronin is better at what he does than Cavalli is. Also, I think Cronin’s possible ceiling is as high as closer, while Cavalli’s may be as only a #4-5 starter. (Believe the hype on Cavalli if you want, folks, but Fedde was considerably better than him in college, and at altitude.)

    I share optimism on Mitchell Parker, but I don’t know that I would have him ahead of Schaller, who was reasonably effective in his A-ball season and has a high physical projection. I’m still not sure what to think of Dyson, who at one time was thought of in top-10 pick conversation. But he sure couldn’t put away anyone at Auburn last summer (3.98 K/9).

    Steven Fuentes was born the same year as Dyson, just a few months older. He was pretty dominant at AA last summer. Yes, there was a PED bust, but he’s always been effective. He’s probably destined for the bullpen, but he might be a Stammen-like two-inning guy, which is both valuable and increasingly rare. He’s one of my stealth favorites in the system.


    20 Jun 20 at 8:31 am

  40. I also think Rutledge’s potential ceiling is much higher than Garcia’s. I haven’t seen enough yet to convince me that Garcia will even hit enough to be an MLB regular, or to have much pop if he does.

    I buy thinking that Rutledge has ace ceiling. But I also agree that he still has a lot to prove with repeatable delivery and third and fourth pitches. It’s still possible that he ends up more Treinen than Stras. But either is worth more than a light-hitting middle infielder.


    20 Jun 20 at 8:39 am

  41. My expectation is Infante taps into his raw power more as he develops. There’s certainly a good chance he fizzles, but I think the Nats see a ceiling of a 20-20 shortstop there, which would be worth a few WAR every year.


    20 Jun 20 at 11:44 am

  42. What the Nationals see in Infante is enough that they went 200K over slot. So they clearly see him as a starting caliber player. Remember, these Nationals know they can get quality on the international pool for a lot less than 1 million dollars. And they do. And they just paid him only 250K less than Andry Lara.

    So the nationals may be wrong in their assessment, but I think they’ve telegraphed their enthusiasm, especially as they pegged Infante at #55, higher than Henry.


    21 Jun 20 at 12:42 pm

  43. As I’ve said, I hope Infante makes it. A couple of things bother me about the pick, though. One is that the Nats made him the only real hitter they took in an organization starved for hitters. If they had taken someone like Wells at #22, it would have been more palatable for them to take a flyer on a high school bat at #71. That’s the other thing that bothers me: they’re “out there” with this pick. FanGraphs, which loves high schoolers, didn’t even have Infante in their top 200. They chose him over quite a number of other high schoolers who were more highly rated on nearly every other board. We’re hoping that they end up looking like geniuses, of course, but odds are that they won’t.

    Odds are that it will be several years before we know anyway, as even most of the best high school picks take at least four or five years to make The Show.

    Of course if we’re being brutally realistic, we’ll note that of the #71 picks over the last 25 years, the top CAREER bWARs read as follows: 10.1, 7.2, 4.4, 2.6, -0.3, -0.4. (That last one belongs to Tanner Rainey, by the way, who we hope ends up owning this list.) Only 9 out of 25 players picked at #71 prior to Infante have made the majors, and only 4 of those 9 have posted positive WAR. So it’s long shot from that poll position no matter how you slice it.

    But if it were me, I would have bet on Gentry, or Calabrese if you wanted a high-school hitter.


    21 Jun 20 at 1:24 pm

  44. Who was the last Canadian the Nats drafted in a Day 1/2 round? Pivetta?


    21 Jun 20 at 4:30 pm

  45. He’s the last one I remember that high. Eric Senior (13th round in 2017) is the last Canadian I can recall, and he was from a southwestern JUCO so probably not scouted in Ontario. He had video-game numbers at JUCO but failed to launch as a pro.


    21 Jun 20 at 8:54 pm

  46. The numbers are in on Cavalli; he signed for $3.03 million, which was his exact slot value.

    Someone is getting paid a lot more than his slot, but who?

    Mark L

    22 Jun 20 at 6:19 pm

  47. Henry. By my math, if Powell signed at slot, there’s enough to give Henry nearly $1.9M. If Powell signed under slot, Henry’s bonus could flirt with $2M.


    22 Jun 20 at 11:04 pm

  48. I’ve got no problem paying Henry well over slot. Results-wise, he was one of the best pitchers in the draft. Meyer and Lacy had better numbers, but it’s hard to argue that anyone else did. Henry’s numbers are as good as, or better than, those of Emerson Hancock, the #6 overall pick. You just scratch your head when you look at the numbers of guys like Tanner Burns (#36) and Henry (#55) compared to those of some guys picked much higher, including Cavalli.

    Anyway, I think Henry was a steal at where the Nats picked him. He knows how to pitch and should be able to advance through the organization quickly, like their last two 2d-round arms, Crowe and Cate. Like those two, Henry may not have the highest of ceilings, but I think he has the highest floor of anyone else the Nats took in this draft, perhaps by far.


    23 Jun 20 at 8:10 am

  49. The full draft dollar accounting is on the Draft tracker’s 2020 worksheet here;

    Right now, not knowing what Powell signed for, they have 575,500 “extra” dollars from the first three known picks. Add a 5% cushion on that figure and that’s currently what they could tack onto Henry’s $1.3M slot. Odds are they got Powell on an underslot deal though, so you have to figure all that will go to Henry, pushing his bonus over $2M.

    Todd Boss

    23 Jun 20 at 11:26 am

  50. Thanks Todd, good work.

    Mark L

    23 Jun 20 at 12:16 pm

  51. Henry signed at $2M, according to Jesse Dougherty. So that means Powell must have signed at about $500k, significantly under slot.

    Anyway, that’s all six draft picks signed within two weeks of Draft Day. Is that a Nationals record?


    23 Jun 20 at 3:45 pm

  52. Actually, if Henry only signed for 2M, then Powell could have gone over slot by a bit and they’d still be ok with a 5% cushion.

    …. unless this year’s rules eliminated the 5% cushion?

    Todd Boss

    23 Jun 20 at 4:00 pm

  53. Apparently no Boras clients waiting until 11:59 p.m. of the last day! I never actually heard whether any of this year’s picks are Boras guys.


    23 Jun 20 at 4:02 pm

  54. KW

    23 Jun 20 at 4:17 pm

  55. The final numbers are in —–

    Cole Henry signed for $1.31 million, which was his exact slot number, same as Cavalli.

    Holden Powell signed for $500,000, which was 100k less than slot.

    That leaves a lot of signing money, do they have someone in mind?

    Mark L

    24 Jun 20 at 6:21 am

  56. That’s interesting. Henry certainly was in a position to ask for more as a draft-eligible soph, and one generally more highly thought of than where he was picked. I guess this is indicative of how cowed this draft class to feel like it has to just take what’s offered. That’s why I think it’s so weird that so many draft-eligible sophs came out this year. So many were picked later than expected, too, including Ginn, Henry, and particularly Wilcox.


    24 Jun 20 at 6:47 am

  57. Draft summing up:

    I liked the value of the picks of Henry, Powell, and Parker. Before the draft, it seemed clear that the second tier of hitters was going to be gone by the time the Nats picked in the 2d round, and that the value would be in a college pitcher. Henry was probably the best of the lot by #55, although Wilcox and Beeter were still on the board. (It will be interesting to see if either of those guys sign.) OF Danny Cabrera, Henry’s LSU teammate, was also still available at that point. Based on some draft boards, Powell might have been a bit of a reach at #94, but he was one of the best pure relievers in the draft, and the Nats have a huge need in that area. Parker had video-game numbers at a high-caliber JUCO, and I scratch my head at why he wasn’t more highly ranked. Definitely worth a flyer at #153.

    Now the down side. The Nats have only taken one hitter in the 1st round in the last NINE drafts. Not coincidentally, Kieboom is poised to become the only starting field player taken in those drafts. Stevenson (2d round) is the only reserve to make it thus far. I just don’t understand what was so special about Cavalli and his ERA of over 4 that made them take him over Wells or some other hitter. Maybe Cavalli harnesses everything and becomes an ace, but to me, an advanced college hitter would have been better than a mediocre college starter who “projects.”

    As I’ve said, Infante also strikes me as a real reach, particularly with college hitters like Tyler Gentry, Jordan Nwogu, and Gage Workman still on the board, among several others. Maybe the Nats are smarter than everyone else and Infante is indeed special. Maybe all of those college hitters have some damning flaws and will end up like Rhett Wiseman. We’ll see.


    24 Jun 20 at 8:20 am

  58. Actual baseball in 2020: hard to get too excited about it as there are still so many hurdles, highlighted by Blackmon’s positive test. I’m still sort of in “I’ll believe it when I see it” mode. Nats theoretically should be in good shape for a sprint season because of their great starting pitching. They obviously can’t afford another 19-31 start, though, or a bullpen implosion.

    Two big questions: do they fully commit to Kieboom starting, and who is the 5th starter? Those questions from spring training seem like they were 18 months ago!


    24 Jun 20 at 9:38 am

  59. I’m flabbergasted that the team has seemingly left a million dollars of signing bonuses on the table. Shocked. Last year they spent every last single possible dollar up to the 5% overage cap on players.

    they would need to sign 50 frigging NDFAs to make up that dollar amount. I just don’t know what to say.

    That being said, kind shocked henry signed for slot.

    Todd Boss

    24 Jun 20 at 10:31 am

  60. Not to be a debbie-downer on the MLB season … but a couple of things keep popping up:
    – they keep shutting down spring training facilities due to outbreaks. Uh, if you can’t have spring trainign, how are you gonna have a season?
    – I have yet to hear how they plan on dealing with the Toronto team; current “non essential” travel between the two countries is banned, and even if you do arrive into Canada y ou’re supposed to self-quarantine for 14 days. Uh, if you quarantine for 14 days, how are you supposed to play baseball?

    Todd Boss

    24 Jun 20 at 10:35 am

  61. Todd Boss

    24 Jun 20 at 10:50 am


    That makes more sense. with a $2M bonus, the Nats basically exhausted their bonus nearly to teh dollar. by my count they came within $700 of their bonus pool.

    Todd Boss

    24 Jun 20 at 10:52 am

  63. Todd, I got Henry’s bonus directly from MLB.
    Not saying I talked to Henry’s agent but MLB is saying less than what Dougherty at the Post is saying.

    I don’t know now who is right.

    Mark L

    24 Jun 20 at 11:48 am

  64. Henry DID have a ton of leverage as a sophomore.

    I don’t know the rules exactly but thought that any money left over from the draft could go to a free agent. Either scenario makes sense.

    Mark L

    24 Jun 20 at 11:58 am

  65. Welp, the guvs of NY, NJ, and CT just announced a 14-day quarantine for visitors from nine states, including FLA. In practical MLB terms, the Yankees can’t play the Rays, and the Marlins can’t play the Mets, home or away.


    24 Jun 20 at 12:51 pm

  66. Also, presumably, if MLB players for the Yankees or Mets have been training in FLA or AZ (a distinct possibility), they’ll be quarantined when they arrive in NYC so would miss the first two weeks of training.

    Yep, really hard to see all of this working.


    24 Jun 20 at 12:53 pm

  67. Henry bonus; yeah i see the discrepancy in sources; mlb draft tracker says one thing and beat reporters another.

    Todd Boss

    24 Jun 20 at 1:10 pm

  68. Why can’t we just enjoy the fact that they signed all their players?


    24 Jun 20 at 1:39 pm

  69. fore, who said we weren’t enjoying this?
    Theres a lot of chess moves here and we’re trying to clear the fog

    Mark L

    24 Jun 20 at 2:26 pm

  70. It’s done. Player transactions can start tomorrow.

    Now let’s start two new threads: Who is on the Nationals 60 player list?

    Who are the UDFAs (rolling and slow….) to sign?


    24 Jun 20 at 3:36 pm

  71. Coincidentally, if you add the 21 players who are on the Triple-A roster right now (and not the 40-man) to the 39 players who are on the 40-man roster, you get 60.

    That being said, there are a bunch of guys like Wil Crowe, Luis Garcia, Yadiel Hernandez, etc., who are assigned to Double-A or a lower level whom I’d expect the Nats to carry for the season. And it’s possible the Nats will move Friday to jettison some players from the 40-man roster they don’t want to pay for the season, which would clear some additional space.

    Keith Law thinks most if not all teams will end up putting some young prospects on the taxi squad list for player development purposes, since there won’t be minor league play. So hypothetically, we could see guys like Rutledge or maybe even Cavalli on the taxi squad, although probably not in actual games.


    24 Jun 20 at 7:04 pm

  72. Here’s a question I haven’t seen answered elsewhere: Is the COVID-19 Related Injured List (CRIL) going to work like the 10-day IL, wherein the player remains on the major league roster but is inactive, or the 60-day (now 45-day) IL, wherein the player is temporarily taken off the major league roster and another player from off the 40-man roster can fill that spot?


    24 Jun 20 at 7:27 pm

  73. I haven’t read any of the new, made-up rules about rosters. Do we have any idea how this 60-man thing will work? Will options (or lack thereof — Ross, Voth, Difo, Sanchez, Taylor, et al.) come into play? If someone is on the 60 but not the 40, will DFAs be involved?

    We suck with non-roster hitters, of course. I can’t even remember who was in spring camp. Garcia, Yadiel Hernandez (who didn’t hit at all in the spring), Jacob Wilson, Brandon Synder, Nick Banks. Oh, and Jakson Reetz, although he would be the fifth catcher, which seems excessive.

    Lots of pitchers to choose from. I can’t remember this spring’s reclamation projects. Crowe would be a likely add. Many others like Condra-Bogan, German, Mario Sanchez, Fuentes (what would be the status of the rest of his suspension?), Bacus. Istler wasn’t on the spring roster. Maybe Cate. Do they draw from lower? Rutledge, Romero, Cronin? Let them throw some BP against the big boys and see how it goes?

    But then I still don’t think it’s actually going to happen . . .


    24 Jun 20 at 7:52 pm

  74. I forgot my man Andrew Lee, who was also an NRI in the spring.

    Sao, I don’t want Cavalli and his 4.18 ERA from this spring anywhere near the big club right now. Long-long shot, but you want to look at any of the new draftees, you would look at a guy experienced at relieving, and dang good at it. Holden Powell was practically untouchable this spring. In 9.1 IP (8 appearances), he gave up only 3 hits, 2 walks, and no runs. He also struck out 20, for a freakish 19.3 K/9.

    The Nats already have a lot arms on the 40-man who probably won’t be on the 26-man, though: Finnegan, Harper, Bourque, Braymer, Barrett, Austen Williams. And let’s be frank: if the bullpen falls apart to where they are through this level of guys and looking at AA-AAA guys, we’re already going to be in a deep hole in a sprint season. There’s no way they can afford to start off like they did last year, wasting start after start by Max and Stras.

    I will note that they’re not deep on lefty relievers. Doolittle and Elias figure to be on the roster, with Braymer in reserve, and that’s pretty much it. So it wouldn’t be surprising to see them at least consider Cate, Cronin, or S. Romero for the 60-man. Cronin is the one with actual relief experience, and dang good at it.


    25 Jun 20 at 7:58 am

  75. I think the Nats could carry some players for developmental purposes or to have them in workouts, with no intent of giving them their MLB debuts. Cavalli could be one of those guys, but I actually think Lindsly might be likelier; split between two spring sites, they will need plenty of catchers so pitchers can get their work in, and catchers are less fungible than other types of players if there are injuries or a wave of infections midseason.

    Agreed that Cronin, Cate, and Romero all make sense.


    25 Jun 20 at 2:30 pm

  76. KW, did you really say ‘dang’?

    Mark L

    25 Jun 20 at 2:41 pm

  77. Dang, I did!

    Sao, I would assume they’ll be allowed some non-roster catchers for working out pitchers on the taxi squad, but that’s just a guess. They’ll only need two on the MLB roster in Gomes and Suzuki; Read and Barrera are on the 40-man; and Gushue and Reetz were official NRIs in the spring. I imagine that’s sorta the pecking order.


    25 Jun 20 at 5:16 pm

  78. Here are the Nats’ NRIs from the spring:

    RHP: Dakota Bacus, Bryan Bonnell, Wil Crowe, Paolo Espino, Jhonatan German, Javy Guerra, David Hernandez, Kevin Quackenbush, Derek Self

    LHP: Fernando Abad, Sam Freeman

    C: Welington Castillo, Taylor Gushue (S), Jakson Reetz

    INF: Luis García (L), Brandon Snyder, Drew Ward (L), Jacob Wilson

    OF: Emilio Bonifácio (S), Yadiel Hernandez (L), JB Shuck (OF/LHP), Mac Williamson

    From these 22, they have released Self, Ward, Shuck, and Williamson. One would assume that the remaining 18 will form the core of their taxi squad. They actually would have three slots to fill since they only have 39 on their 40-man roster.

    With the OF cuts, Nick Banks would seem very likely to be added. Beyond him, I have no idea with other hitters, as they released a lot of their AAA and AA hitters from 2019. Cole Freeman got the AFL nod along with Banks, but beyond a couple of AA playoff games, he hasn’t played above A+. They may not feel the need to add other hitters, though, as they have several multi-position guys on the roster with Cabrera, Castro, Kendrick, Thames, and Difo, as well as Bonafacio, Snyder, and Wilson on the taxi squad.

    Anyway, in looking at this, they’re probably only going to be adding one or two pitchers. Do they go with experience, like Mario Sanchez, Andrew Lee, or Condra-Bogan, or flyers like Rutledge or Cronin, or somewhere in between with Cate?


    26 Jun 20 at 8:33 am

  79. KW

    26 Jun 20 at 8:38 am

  80. They released David Hernandez as well, and IMO there’s no reason to put Espino and Bacus on the taxi squad as those were basically feel-good spring invites for guys who have logged a lot of years with the organization.

    Banks makes sense. With the new extra-inning rule, Freeman makes sense. I think they have to carry Seth Romero if he’s healthy. I think they probably need one more catcher to round out the numbers between D.C. and FXB. I would like to see what Cronin can do; other relief options include but aren’t limited to Istler, Condra-Bogan, and Peña, as well as Holden Powell.


    26 Jun 20 at 11:38 am

  81. Sao, I agree with your logic on Espino. Bacus actually was pretty effective in Fresno (relatively speaking), but yes, there’s not a huge upside there. The only potential argument for Espino might be that he’s one of the very few starters here, but they’ve got seven likely with the big club already with Voth/Ross/Fedde, plus Crowe, McGowin, and perhaps Braymer in reserve. If they get down past 10 starters over 60 games, they’re toast anyway. That said, they still might add someone like Mario Sanchez to the taxi squad over Espino.

    I’ve scratched my head over the Nats’ treatment of Istler ever since they acquired him. He was at AAA with the Dodgers when they got him in 2018, and I thought for sure that he was be an NRI in spring 2019. Nope. Not only that, they sent him down to A+, where he dominated, then on to AA, where he was nearly as good. Surely he would be an NRI in 2020, . . . but nope. He’s not 6’4″ and doesn’t (allegedly) “touch 98,” but he sure gets guys out.


    26 Jun 20 at 12:08 pm

  82. Also, in a normal season, I’m pretty sure Fedde would have been sent to the minors to stay stretched out (in fact, I think they’ve already technically optioned him, although that might be wiped off the books). With very limited preseason, though, I’ll bet they keep all three of Fedde, Ross, and Voth on the active roster, as they’re going to need some multi-inning relief options. Sanchez pretty much is already just a five-inning starter anyway.


    26 Jun 20 at 12:12 pm

  83. Emily Waldon says Joan Adon will be on the 60-man. If that’s accurate, doubt he’ll be the only player not considered MLB-ready who rides with the Nats.


    26 Jun 20 at 12:15 pm

  84. For anyone not reading Luke’s site, today is Todd’s 10th birthday, or at least his site’s birthday.

    Well done Todd!

    Mark L

    26 Jun 20 at 12:35 pm

  85. Yes, just saw that about this site on Nats Prospects. Looks like Todd didn’t realize it, either! Both sites have certainly provided some of us with a lot of distraction over the years, playing GM in our spare time. Thanks, Todd!


    26 Jun 20 at 1:22 pm

  86. Sao — that’s definitely a “wow” on Adon. I know the organization was really high on him in spring 2019. He wasn’t bad at Hagerstown, but he wasn’t lights out, either, and he’s really fallen on some prospect lists. There are a slew of guys who are at the same level or higher in the organization who are thought of as good as him or better. I’d start with Rutledge, Cronin, and Romero, none of whom has pitched above A-ball but are thought to be high-end talents. (I wouldn’t think Denaburg would be among them since he’s never made it out of the GCL.) Guys farther up the food chain like Condra-Bogan, A. Lee, and Cate would make more sense to me, though.


    26 Jun 20 at 1:28 pm

  87. I had no idea it was 10 years. who knew. we’ve come a long way.

    i see a couple more NDFAs that I don’t think i’d seen before.

    Also see that all our NDFas and draftees are assigned to GCL, so i’ve updated the big board.

    McKenzie Mills released a few days ago…

    Todd Boss

    26 Jun 20 at 2:02 pm

  88. KW

    26 Jun 20 at 8:26 pm

  89. KW

    26 Jun 20 at 8:26 pm

  90. McKenzie Mills brought back some fella named Howie Kendrick in return. The Dodgers and Astros may regret that trade, but not the Nats!


    26 Jun 20 at 8:28 pm

  91. Doesn’t seem like a big scramble to release players today, so I’m going to assume that holds and project the following 60-man list for the Nats, which could change before Opening Day (assuming, for the sake of this exercise, we get that far):

    C Brady Lindsly
    C Jakson Reetz
    C Kurt Suzuki
    C Raudy Read
    C Taylor Gushue
    C Tres Barrera
    C Welington Castillo
    C Yan Gomes
    INF Adrian Sanchez
    INF Asdrubal Cabrera
    INF Brandon Snyder
    INF Carter Kieboom
    INF Carter Kieboom
    INF Eric Thames
    INF Howie Kendrick
    INF Jacob Wilson
    INF Jake Noll
    INF Luis Garcia
    INF Ryan Zimmerman
    INF Starlin Castro
    INF Trea Turner
    INF Wilmer Difo
    OF Adam Eaton
    OF Andrew Stevenson
    OF Cole Freeman
    OF Emilio Bonifacio
    OF Juan Soto
    OF Michael A. Taylor
    OF Nick Banks
    OF Victor Robles
    P Anibal Sanchez
    P Austin Voth
    P Ben Braymer
    P Bryan Bonnell
    P Daniel Hudson
    P Erick Fedde
    P Fernando Abad
    P Gabe Klobosits
    P Jackson Rutledge
    P James Bourque
    P Javy Guerra
    P Jhonatan German
    P Joan Adon
    P Joe Ross
    P Kevin Quackenbush
    P Kyle Finnegan
    P Matt Cronin
    P Max Scherzer
    P Patrick Corbin
    P Roenis Elias
    P Ryne Harper
    P Sam Freeman
    P Sean Doolittle
    P Seth Romero
    P Stephen Strasburg
    P Tanner Rainey
    P Tim Cate
    P Wander Suero
    P Wil Crowe
    P Will Harris


    26 Jun 20 at 9:29 pm

  92. ^^ I think there’s a good balance of prospects who are pretty much just there to watch and learn, “reach” types who could maybe get a shot if they impress, and depth types who could step in as the roster is depleted.

    I stuck with most of the guys now on the 40-man, including “bubble” guys like Difo and Noll, but I left off Barrett and McGowin because I just don’t think the Nats have a lot riding on them at this point. Barrett is a nice guy with a great story, but he certainly didn’t look this spring like somebody I’d want on the mound in a meaningful inning; McGowin has basically been keeping a seat warm for Wil Crowe while he develops.

    Likewise, I kept just about all of the NRIs who are still in the organization, figuring there’s a reason they haven’t been released yet. Of course, the Nats could drop them by Sunday and instead give more prospects a look in camp (Jake Irvin, Tyler Dyson, and our recent draftees are among the pitchers I left on the cutting room floor in this exercise).

    It’s a bit of an eclectic mix of prospects, but I mostly went with pitchers with loud stuff, plus a few maybe-depth types, plus Lindsly, who is probably just along to be a bullpen catcher.


    26 Jun 20 at 9:36 pm

  93. Sao — That’s an interesting take. I think 50+ guys are a given. It’s the last few that will contain some surprises.

    I’ll definitely disagree on McGowin. I would certainly trust him more in the rotation, as the 8th starter or whatever, certainly ahead of Crowe right now, maybe even as good as Fedde (although I doubt the Nats would admit that). McGowin probably did best of any of the Nats pitchers in the PCL, with an ERA under 4.

    I agree with your reasoning on Barrett. He wasn’t good when called up last year or in the spring, so there shouldn’t be much expectation of him right now. That said, he might be a great “veteran presence” among the crew at Fredericksburg.

    Interesting inclusion of Klobosits. I like him, but why a guy that far down the chain over Condra-Bogan or Andrew Lee?

    I think they’ll be allowed some bullpen catching and won’t have to list Lindsly. If they’re going to take a new catcher, I think Torres has a higher ceiling than Lindsly.

    Yeah, they don’t have a lot to choose from with position players. And they may be in even more of a pickle after cut-downs because they’ll be at risk of losing Difo and Sanchez because, if regular rules hold, they’ll have to DFA them. I don’t think Cole Freeman is anywhere near MLB-ready, but he’ll probably be on this list because of so few other options. He could be useful as a pinch-runner in the 10th, but beyond that . . .


    27 Jun 20 at 9:25 am

  94. Sanchez actually does have a minor league option remaining. Difo doesn’t and looks like a midseason cut barring injuries.

    Cole Freeman as the pinch-runner — exactly. Don’t think he is qualified to do much else. Jackson Cluff could also be the guy here, or Rafael Bautista if he’s all the way back from his injury.

    Klobosits has prospect cachet. I like them fine, but Lee and Condra-Bogan have never been highly ranked prospects. Same with Istler.

    I like McGowin too. But the fact of the matter is he’s been given fewer opportunities than the other back-end/up-and-down starters, and the Nats just don’t seem to regard him as integral.


    27 Jun 20 at 12:29 pm

  95. As I said, I like Klobosits, if/when he can stay healthy, but I’ve never really thought of him in “prospect” terms. He was a senior taken in the 36th round after a mediocre college career and has mostly been old-for-level in the minors.

    I’m increasingly thinking this is all for naught anyway. Hard to see them moving ahead with this with exploding virus numbers in so many states with MLB teams. There are five teams in Cali, two in Texas and Florida, plus one each in AZ and GA. That’s 11 teams in hotspot areas, all of which likely will end up on the NY/NJ/CT quarantine list.


    27 Jun 20 at 1:51 pm

  96. I think whether this goes forward is going to depend on what happens over the next few weeks. If by mid-July new cases are sky-high, hospitals are filling up, and clubs are losing players left and right to the CRIL, I don’t see how this can move forward. But if by mid-July the numbers are starting to stabilize, the healthcare system is holding, and camps haven’t been heavily disrupted, then I think we play ball and see what comes next.

    We were never going to keep the country locked down indefinitely. People are instinctively drawn to one another. We just need to find ways to minimize that risk. Mask-wearing is easy; it’s mind-boggling that it’s become a political litmus test. Large gatherings (including crowded indoor spaces like bars and clubs) are inherently problematic because they present so many viral transmission vectors; at a certain point of prevalence, the odds that at least one person in that space rise to nearly 100%, and so do the odds it will spread to at least one person and likely more.

    Shaming people into staying at home altogether and telling them they need to isolate themselves from everyone they know outside their household is ultimately counterproductive, as evidenced by how far back the other way the pendulum swung as lockdowns were lifted. Certainly, lockdowns are bad for the economy. But if this thing runs away out of control again — as it seems to be at least on the cusp of doing in many states, if it isn’t already — and people won’t do the voluntary things they’re being asked to do, there aren’t a lot of alternatives.


    27 Jun 20 at 4:44 pm

  97. The latest COVID-19 spikes aren’t going to have been curtailed in the West and South within the four weeks until the prospective opening day. All of those states are attempting some form of not really closing again, so the curves won’t flatten too promptly. I don’t blame them for not completely wanting to slam the breaks on their economies, but the almost-inevitable result will be a longer run of intensified problems. Just look at how long it took for things to settle in the DC area from a spike, even with so much shut down — three-plus months.

    MLB’s insistence on travel to cities with varying degrees of outbreaks is really going to complicate things. Maybe the NBA can pull it off with everyone in one location . . . even if that location is a hotbed. The NHL is talking about playing in a couple of “hub” cities, again with players and support personnel somewhat isolated.

    Baseball by nature is pretty decently “social-distanced,” without much direct contact beyond tag plays, certainly nothing like the NFL, NHL, or NBA, where players are making contact the whole game. But I just don’t see how MLB is going to make it work with travel involved, and the NY and Toronto quarantines.


    27 Jun 20 at 8:00 pm

  98. Per noted above – the article on Dietrich quotes him to have said the discussions with the Nationals extended over several days. What’s to extend, for 20K? This is likely an example of a player who was convinced to sign with this organization as opposed to 1) Another organization or 2) Waiting for other opportunities to emerge.

    It’s why I think free agent signings will continue to trickle in, for the Nats and for all.

    Also, there are seedlings of independent leagues that will play this summer. Players and their agents are also likely looking for those potential showcase opportunities to make an impression and then, get pulled in for fall instrux if there is no renewed league shutdown or subsequent panic from the newly-emerging illness in Beijing.


    28 Jun 20 at 1:32 am

  99. On Adon – The Nationals, including Menhart, were particularly bullish on him last spring. He did not start that well, and remained in Hagerstown – though he was not at all expected to.

    We don’t know, for all the prospect lists, who some of the real fast risers of the system are until they are practically upon us. But Adon is not at all an unknown quantity.

    Klobosits is coming back from injury and so I would envision that he is less likely to occupy a spot than another low minors recovering pitcher who fills a need, specifically a left hander. But we’ll see, right?

    Truth is, no one knows what holes teams really have because people do not yet know which teams will have NPC (non-playing characters). In this regard, it’s a great thing that Nats have built their major league roster for versatility and depth.

    The new infielder who came over from the Royals this winter (I forget his name) I would expect on the roster more than Lindsly. If more catching is needed I think the Nats will sign some flotsam from another organization.

    Yadiel Hernandez disappointed this spring, but given his age and level and performance over the winter, I’d also expect him on a list of players for the active roster and the garage. Otherwise, they would have cut him loose or will.


    28 Jun 20 at 1:43 am

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