Washington’s once-barren farm system is finally on the upswing. Universal Top 100 prospects Cade Cavalli and Brady House lead the way, with Cole Henry and Jackson Rutledge shortly behind. All four are seen as vital parts of the Nationals’ future, but unlike in years past, the farm system is no longer top-heavy. Instead, the farm is slowly gaining depth.
Here are a few Nationals prospects to keep an eye on for the 2022 Minor League season.
Washington’s farm system lacks first base depth behind 2021 third-round pick Branden Boissiere. A standout at the University of Arizona, in his last year Boissiere slashed .369/.451/.506, with five homers, 63 RBIs, and an OPS of .957.
"“A left-handed hitter and fielder, Boissiere showed off an advanced approach at the plate during his three years with the Wildcats. He can drive the ball to all fields, work counts and draws walks while limiting his strikeouts. While he hasn’t put up huge power numbers, he showed more extra-base authority this spring, and there’s average power in there.”“While Boissiere is limited to first base, he has very good actions there, with good hands and agility to be an above-average defender at the position.”"
Josh Bell is entering the last year of his contract and while the Nationals should focus on re-signing him, Boissiere has the potential to take over reigns down the line. His bat will carry him through the minors and while he needs to grow into some power, his ability to make contact is something to keep an eye on.
Drafted in the fifth round of 2021, T.J. White had an impressive Florida Complex League debut. In 53 at-bats, he hit .283, with four homers, 12 RBIs, and an OPS of .903.
Shortly after he was drafted, White told reporters what scouts wanted to see him improve on his contact at the plate and cut back on his strikeouts. They also wanted to see him ease into his power and work on his defense.
Defensively, he spent the majority of his time this summer in rightfield but spent a few games in left. He’s expected to stay as a corner outfielder, but could always move to first in the future.
This year he will probably start the season at A ball and will go as far as his power takes him.
A seventh-round pick in 2019, Todd Peterson is an intriguing relief prospect to keep an eye on. Last year at A+, he went 1-1, with a 4.15 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings. He struggled with command at times, walking 12 batters.
He was invited to the Nationals Arizona Fall League roster where he held his own against some of the top prospects in baseball. In 10 1/3 innings, he went 1-0, with a 2.61 ERA, and eight strikeouts.
Despite numerous attempts, Washington has yet to fix their bullpen problem, finishing second to last in ERA in 2021. After numerous free-agent/trade acquisitions have failed, the Nationals need to focus on developing their own reliever talent. Only 23, Peterson has a chance to become a vital part of the bullpen moving forward.