9. Drew Ward
This past season, Ward ended up playing at high-A Potomac and double-A Harrisburg. He had a slash line of .252/.348/.412 with 14 home runs and 56 RBI’s. During the first half of the season at Potomac, the third baseman hit .292 with 11 home runs and made the Carolina League All-Star game as the starting third baseman.
While Ward wasn’t on the top ten on Baseball America’s list, he is currently number seven on MLB Pipeline’s list of the top Nats prospects. If anything, Ward helped his case with a strong performance in the Arizona Fall League.
In his second stint in the AFL, Ward had a strong performance and was named to the AFL Top Prospects team by MLB.com. With the Glendale Desert Dogs, the 22-year-old hit .309 with eight RBI’s in 21 games. His 25 hits were tied for the fifth most in the AFL.
On defense, Ward did make a few errors in his 51 games with the Harrisburg Senators (ten). But, his 14 errors in 2016 were way less than the high error total that he had in 2015 (29).
Across the two levels, Ward had 121 strikeouts this season. If he can cut down on the strikeout totals, he has a good power bat that can be successful as he rises up the farm system. Ward may not be at the upper tiers of the farm system, but if he can build off of the success in the Arizona Fall League, he could have a good 2017 season.