Good morning DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily! The Washington Nationals had a much-needed day off yesterday, but there’s still plenty of news to talk about as the team gets closer and closer to Opening Day.
In today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Jim Callis discusses the great success of the Nationals’ farm system and the vast number of quality major leaguers it has created in recent years. As Callis notes, the Nationals’ wealth of homegrown talent goes well beyond the likes of Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, as several other players such as Anthony Rendon have made their way through the system and helped make the team a World Series contender.
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Of course, this doesn’t come as a shock to those who have been following the Nationals for the last few years. Even when the team was losing a hundred games each year and appeared to be destined to spend the rest of eternity in the bottom of the standings, everyone knew that the Nationals were slowly building up a wealth of young talent and had the potential to be great in the future. Now, as the Nationals look to win their third division title in four years, that potential has turned into reality.
While there are plenty of reasons for the team’s rise to greatness, there’s no doubt that the farm system is the main reason the team has climbed form the very bottom of the NL East to a perennial World Series contender. You can say what you want about the mammoth deals they gave Jayson Werth and Max Scherzer, but the heart and soul of the team has been built through the draft and not through free agency.
Also in today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes discusses the pitching side of the Nationals’ farm system success. As Janes notes, the Nationals have a wealth of young pitching talent both on the big league club and in the minors, and there are plenty of talented pitchers to look forward to coming up the pipeline. Be sure to check out Janes’ article below, it’s definitely worth a read.
And as always, be sure to stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals Spring Training needs.
Pipeline Perspectives: Nats’ system has had best five-year run
Until the Expos moved from Montreal in 2005, Washington hadn’t had a Major League team since the Senators bolted for Texas after the 1971 season. The Nationals did a poor imitation of a big league club in their first five seasons, averaging 93 losses and finishing last in the National League East four times.
The past five seasons have been much more enjoyable for fans in the nation’s capital. Washington has averaged 86 victories and is coming off three consecutive winning seasons, something the city hadn’t seen since the 1931-33 Senators. The Nationals have advanced to the playoffs in two of the past three seasons after two editions of the Senators reached the postseason just three times in 71 tries.
The biggest reason for that turnaround is that no franchise has had a more productive farm system in the past five years. In this week’s Pipeline Perspectives, Jonathan Mayo makes a compelling case for the Cardinals, but they can’t match the superstar talent that the Nats have graduated since the end of the 2009 season. Read full article here.
Nationals feel they’ve won the young arms race
VIERA, Fla. — One early March morning, just outside the third base line on a minor league field down the road from Space Coast Stadium, Lucas Giolito stood surrounded by a circle of his fellow prospects, who were listening to the 20-year-old rather than paying attention to infield drills.
Nationals Assistant General Manager Doug Harris headed toward the huddle, signaling those who noticed not to tell Giolito. He lurked quietly behind the 6-foot-6 right-hander until a few wandering eyes and chuckles from his audience told Giolito he was there.
“Hi, Doug,” said Giolito with a half-guilty grin. “I’m telling a story!” Read full article here.