Washington Nationals announce 63-man roster for spring training
By Matt Weyrich
The Washington Nationals announced today the full list of players heading to spring training, including 24 non-roster invitees.
With pitchers and catchers reporting for major league spring training in just a few days, the Washington Nationals have released the list of all 63 players that will be with the team in to West Palm Beach, Florida. Among the group is 24 non-roster invitees who will be vying for a crack at the MLB roster.
Three of the organization’s top prospects will be making their first appearance at big league camp. Starting pitcher Erick Fedde, outfielder Andrew Stevenson and third baseman Drew Ward are all ranked among the team’s top seven prospects by MLB Pipeline.
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Fedde, 23, finished last season at double-A Harrisburg and could be a dark horse candidate for the final rotation spot if Joe Ross or Gio Gonzalez don’t have strong springs. The former first-round pick posted a 3.12 ERA with 123 strikeouts in 121 innings between A and AA in 2016.
Stevenson, 22, was selected by the Nats in the second round of the 2015 draft. The former LSU standout is highly-regarded as one of the best defensive outfielders in the minor leagues. He was named to MLB Pipeline’s All-Defense team after the 2016 season.
Stevenson hit .276/.332/.374 between A and AA last season and is a potential option for a bench job with Michael Taylor and Brian Goodwin as his biggest competition.
Ward, 22, has been in the team’s system since 2013 when he was drafted out of high school. He posted his best numbers to date during the first half of last season at high A-Potomac, hitting .278/.377/.491 with 11 home runs over 64 games before being promoted to AA.
Fedde, Stevenson and Ward join fellow minor leaguers Wander Suero, Nick Lee, Kyle McGowin, Neftali Soto and Taylor Hill as the eight players to be invited that are not listed on the team’s 40-man roster.
Washington signed eight veterans to minor league deals over the winter as well. Left-handed pitchers Tim Collins and Neal Cotts, right-handers Joe Nathan, Vance Worley, Jeremy Guthrie and Matt Albers and position players Emmanuel Burriss and Brandon Snyder will compete for respective bullpen and bench spots.
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The Washington Nationals are reigning NL East division champions and return with a majority of their MLB talent in hopes of making a run at the World Series. A majority of the roster is already set, but every year a few players make their way onto the roster that weren’t being discussed at the start of spring training. Which players do you think stand the best chance at making the team? Let us know in the comments below!