Austin Voth: Checking in on the Nationals’ No. 9 prospect


Feb 24, 2014; Viera, FL, USA; Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo watches the spring training action at space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

One of the benefits of the offseason is that it gives us the opportunity to reflect on last season and to look forward to next year and beyond – a future that will undoubtedly be shaped not only by the team’s current big league stars, but also by the youngsters that are working their way up the minor league ladder.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be counting down the Nationals’ Top-10 prospects (as ranked by and breaking down what they have accomplished so far in their young professional careers. We will also predict if and when they will be ready to contribute at the big league level and where we expect to see them in 2015.

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Some of these names are well-known throughout the baseball world, while others are players that you may never have heard of before. Regardless of how prominent these players are in the ever-evolving world of the game’s rising stars, all of them will have an impact on the future of the Nationals and it’s important to monitor their progress as they continue on their path to the big leagues.

We began our series earlier this week with the Nationals’ No. 10 prospect, catcher Jakson Reetz. Next up on our list is right-handed pitcher Austin Voth – the team’s No. 9 prospect.

The Nationals drafted Voth, 22, in the fifth round of the 2013 First-Year Player draft and the young right-hander has quickly made his way up the Nationals’ farm system.

After joining the Nationals in 2013, Voth made his way from the team’s Gulf Coast League affiliate to Class-A Hagerstown in just half a season. The right-hander went 3-0 with 55 strikeouts and a 1.75 ERA in 46 1/3 innings in 2013.

As good as Voth was in 2013, he was even better in 2014. The right-hander continued his rapid ascent up the Nationals’ farm system, starting the year at Hagerstown before being promoted to High-A Potomac and making it all the way to Double-A Harrisburg by the end of the year.

Voth dominated for most of 2013, posting great ERAs for Hagerstown and Potomac, but struggled a bit after being promoted to Double-A Harrisburg, where he went 1-3 with a 6.52 ERA. But given the fact that he was pitching in college just last year, it’s understandable that he hit a minor speed bump on what has so far been a fast-track to the majors.

At just 22 years old, Voth could be ready to join the big league club in 2016 and has the potential to become a solid major league starter. The right-hander relies on a fastball that he can use to pound all corners of the strike zone. Although his fastball rarely breaks out of the low-90s, his excellent command should help him develop into a 200+ innings a year starter.

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The Nationals have plenty of talented young pitchers in the minor leagues that have the potential to become big league superstars, and Voth is no exception.

While we probably won’t see him pounding the zone at the big league level for at least a couple of years, Voth is one of the team’s most talented prospects, and given how much he’s already accomplished in his young professional career, there’s no telling what he can do for the Nationals in the future.

Check back here this weekend as we continue our Nationals Top-10 Prospects Countdown with third baseman Drew Ward.