Past Washington Nationals teams have been boosted by strong rookie seasons. What Nats prospects will make an impact this season?
The Washington Nationals farm system is ranked in the lower half of the league by almost every publication that does these rankings. This low ranking is likely due to significant trades in previous years in which big prospects have departed the organization. Pitchers like Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning went to the Chicago White Sox for Adam Eaton while Jesus Luzardo went to the Oakland A’s in the Sean Doolittle trade.
Last season they traded Top-10 organization prospects in infielder Kelvin Gutierrez and outfielder Blake Perkins for Kelvin Herrera. Even acquiring Yan Gomes this offseason required the Nationals to part with young outfield Daniel Johnson and pitcher Jefry Rodriguez. With general manager Mike Rizzo opting not to sell at the July 31st trade deadline, the Nats were unable to get much in return for Herrera, Gio Gonzalez, Ryan Madson, and Daniel Murphy at the August 31st waiver deadline.
Moreover, with players like Juan Soto and former top pitching prospect Erick Fedde graduating from prospect status, the Nats farm system is thinner than it has been in years. Even so, the team has a strong, veteran clubhouse that should be competitive in the NL East. However, a good season from one of the following rookie prospects would enhance the Nationals’ chances of playing in October.