Nationals Arm Race

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

Full Season Affiliate roster Analysis


On 4/5/22, because for some weird reason AAA started 3 days before the rest of the minors, we got the Rochester roster announcement. Then, on 4/8/22, we got the other three full season affiliate roster announcements (click here for Harrisburg, Wilmington, Fredericksburg). H/T to Luke Erickson and for these links.

After several hours of furious XLS work, the Big Board is now up to date for these rosters. The 2022 big board features some new stuff from year’s past: i’ve now got links to every player ( links for minor leaguers, links for MLB players), plus i’m keeping track of Promotions/Demotions via color coding. So, Green right this moment indicates a promotion from their final resting spot last year while Red indicates a demotion from their final resting spot.

(Note: this was written before a couple of over-the-weekend transactions so there may be a couple of now obsolete-details here).

Here’s some macro observations per team by level:

  • AAA: 12 of the 28 man roster are home grown, which seems like more than in year’s past. That includes a big chunk of the positional players and rotation … but just one home-grown reliever. Interesting. Meanwhile, 2022FAs or Rule5 pickups account for another 12 of the team … and if you add in 21FAs/Rule5s it accounts for 17 of the players on the team. That’s a lot of newly acquired veteran FAs hanging out in Rochester. I wonder what the clubhouse culture is like.
  • AA: Also has an inordinate number of MLFAs/Rule5 pickups: 10 of the players are 22MLFAs or Rule5 pickups (counting Gushue perhaps unfairly). In terms of draft pedigree, not too many real prospects here either. Furthermore, 17 players on the roster were there at season’s end last year, meaning not a ton of upward movement here (see more on that later on in the Promotions/Demotions section). Slightly surprised to see some names repeating here, especially Cluff and Carillo, but i’m not shocked. Cate, the opening day starter last year, starts the season on the IL.
  • High-A: Almost entirely home grown or prospects acquired through trade; just two MLFAs here. Amazingly Mendoza is repeating the level, as is Antuna. He may be the sole 40-man roster player in all of the minors in A-ball right now. Two interesting arms here: Irvin finally back from TJ, and Parker continuing in high-A where he was promoted to mid-season. Pineda repeating as well; he’s only 22 but it seems like the prospect shine is gone.
  • Low-A: Entirely home grown roster, split evenly between IFAs (15) and the Draft (16) with a few NDFAs thrown in. two of the most important names on this roster (Rutledge, Denaburg): on the DL. Of course they are. But in the exciting column, nearly every young hitting prospect we care about is here: House, Boissiere, Infante, White, and Arias all stand to feature in the field here.

Lets do some promotion/demotion thoughts by level:

  • AAA promotions: Wilmer Perez and Cole Freeman. Freeman i suppose gets promoted to ride the pine, while Perez gets an inexplicable promotion from basically High-A, where he hit .206 last year, so i’m thinking this is short lived.
  • AA Promotions: Connell, Dunn, Gausch, Henry, Evan Lee. that’s it from last year’s end-of-season HighA roster. All eyes of course are on Henry and new 40-man member Lee, though i’m happy to see Gausch moved up. Connell and Dunn both seem like they’ll be bench pieces.
  • AA Demotions: Lara, Gushue, Flores, Fuentes. Getting demoted after spending most or all of 2021 in AAA is not a great sign. I’m not quite sure why Flores in particular is even still here, himself being a 2021 MLFA. Gushue lost out in the catcher numbers game presumably. Gilbert Lara only spent a couple weeks in AAA and probably should have always been in AA, so this is a harsh determination. Lastly Fuentes, who was so good in AA in 2019 but then got shelled in AAA last year. He’s only 24, and i’m hoping he’s more than just a middling org-guy right hander.
  • High-A Promotions: Baker, Barley, Gonzales, Vega, Sanchez, Cuevas, Merrill, Willingham, Kirian, CRomero, Knowles. That’s a ton of promotions from last year, to go with a ton that happened mid season in 2021. These guys move freely in the low minors.
  • High-A Demotions: Daily, Canning. Daily is a 25-yr old 1B/OF who hits in the low 200s now in A-ball; surprised he’s even still on the team. Canning slugged just .316 in AA last year; both are fighting for their jobs now.
  • Low-A Promotions: 14 of them from the FCL/DSL last year: Infante, House, Rivero, White, Arias, Cacheres, Ferrer, Gonzalez, Sinclair, Threadgil, Greenhil, Glavine, Ribalta. Makes sense and great to see so many names, especially young ones, pouring into full season ball.
  • Low-A Demotions: Just one: Junior Martina, a 3B who didn’t exactly light low-A on fire last year and is now back as a 24yr old.

Lastly, lets talk about who was left behind in XST after being on a full season roster last year. Every name here is someone to be concerned about, either because they didn’t make the team or because maybe they’re hurt.

  • 2021 AAA to XST: Alex Dunlop, Sterling Sharp, Andrew Lee, Nick Wells. Dunlop may be squeezed out of a catcher’s job with the acquisition last year of three guys. Sharp has now gone from 40-man roster to not making the AAA roster: one has to wonder what’s next for him. Lee and Wells were both long relievers in AAA; now what for both of them? (Note: Braymer was called up to replace an apparently injured Verrett two games into the season, but the concern for his place remains)
  • 2021 AA to XST: Kyle Marinconz, Armond Upshaw, Ryan Tapani. Marinconz gets pushed to XST when Lara gets pushed down from AAA to make way for … MLFA veteran signing Urena? odd. Upshaw might have run out of time; he and Canning both cut from the AA outfield. Tapani was decent last year; maybe he’s hurt.
  • 2021 High-A to XST: Catchers Andrew Pratt and Drew Millas. Paul Witt, JT Arruda, Ricardo Mendez, Alfonso Hernandez, Tyler Dyson. The catchers maybe are staying in XST to catch arms? Millas was an NRI this spring and was a valuable trade acquisition piece. Witt and Arruda are middle infielders who got beat out by Baker and Barley; understandable. They might be DFAs soon. Mendez probably got caught in the same OF shuffle that pushed down Canning. lastly two starters in Hernandez and Dyson that both pitched well last year, so maybe they have a knock.
  • 2021 Low-A to XST: Boone, Fein; not much to think here; perhaps they’re going to go back to the FCL.

Here’s to a fun 2022 minor league season!

Written by Todd Boss

April 11th, 2022 at 11:45 am

Posted in Nats in General

6 Responses to 'Full Season Affiliate roster Analysis'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Full Season Affiliate roster Analysis'.

  1. Not to hijack your thread, Todd, but WaPo reporting that the Lerners might be selling the Nats:


    11 Apr 22 at 1:07 pm

  2. Andrew Lee is on the current roster on the Harrisburg website and pitched in Friday’s game.


    11 Apr 22 at 2:34 pm

  3. Supposedly Méndez is rehabbing a hamstring strain, so that’s him explained. Millas apparently had an intercostal strain. Sounds like both are close, FWIW.


    11 Apr 22 at 2:51 pm

  4. Thanks Todd for all the hard work.I know updating the Big Board must have been a bear.

    A lot less filler with the rosters than years past.

    Mark L

    11 Apr 22 at 4:38 pm

  5. andrew Lee: my bad; i have cut and paste errors with him and Evan Lee constantly on the big board.

    Todd Boss

    11 Apr 22 at 4:59 pm

  6. Whither Tim Cate?

    In other news, it stinks losing Klobosits to the A’s, who claimed him when he was DFA’d.


    12 Apr 22 at 10:33 am

Leave a Reply