The Nationals picked a top prep bat in the first round and they went that route again in the second round. This time it was Daylen Lyle. Lyle was considered the top high school player in the state of Kentucky and Rawlings named him their National Player of the Year for two years in a row. In his final high school year, he led Trinity HS to a state title and hit .550 with 18 home runs. I fully expect this name to move up the list rather quickly.
I called Cronin the closer of the future when he was drafted in 2019 with the comp pick received after Harper went to the Phillies. That opinion is still the same, the only difference is now he has some other competition further down this list. He is a lefty with a fastball curveball combo. That fastball reminds me so much of a prime Sean Doolittle. It is a mid 90s fastball that has movement and a high spin rate.
That is exactly what made Doolittle so successful in 2017 and 2018. Cronin also has a 12-6 curveball that he uses as a change of speed pitch to pair with his fastball. The biggest reason I call him the closer of the future is the make up. He closed for Arkansas which is a top-level college program and has not had a k/9 lower than 14.5 in his minor league career to this date.
He sped through A ball with an ERA of 1.23. He has slowed down a little in AA, but he still gives up zero runs more often than not. I would expect to see Cronin as our main lefty at some point in 2022.
Another young high upside international player in the Nationals top 20. This time it is Roismar Quintana. Quintana is a stocky 18-year-old outfielder and the key to his success is going to be his bat. At 18 years old Quintana made his stateside debut in the Florida Complex League. He only appeared in three games, but in those games, he had two hits and two RBIs. This is a name to keep an eye on during the 2022 minor league season.
This was the third piece the Nationals received in the Max Scherzer and Trea Turner deal. Carillo is one of those names that I expect to compete for high leverage spots in the Nationals bullpen soon. The Dodgers spent 2021 in the minors trying to force him into a starting pitcher role and while that is still a possibility the control just is not there. So far in 2021, he has walked 29 batters over 59 innings. On the other end, he has struck out 70 in the same time frame. He has the stuff to be a starter, a long inning reliever, or even a closer, but his potential is tied to his ability to control all four of his pitches.
15. Donovan Casey
Casey was the final prospect included in the Scherzer/Turner deal. Barley and Casey could be ranked on either side of each other, but Casey takes the back seat here as he is four years older. He is another athlete that needs his bat to be more consistent, but he already has fourth outfielder potential as is.