Washington Nationals: Top 50 Prospects Entering 2022

DENVER, CO - JULY 11: Cade Cavalli #20 of National League Futures Team pitches against the American League Futures Team at Coors Field on July 11, 2021 in Denver, Colorado.(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JULY 11: Cade Cavalli #20 of National League Futures Team pitches against the American League Futures Team at Coors Field on July 11, 2021 in Denver, Colorado.(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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Washington Nationals
NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 11: Gabe Klobosits #68 of the Washington Nationals pitches during the seventh inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on August 11, 2021 in New York City. This is a continuation of August 10 game which was suspended due to inclement weather. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /

40) Holden Powell, RHP, 22

Powell is yet another prospect with college relief experience that has all the tools to make a real impact at the big league level. If it was not for an injury last year that limited him to only 4.2 innings he would likely be in Harrisburg or Rochester knocking on the big league’s door. He was the closer for UCLA as a freshman and did very well. His mid to low 90s fastball paired alongside his wipeout slider make him a solid candidate to move quickly through the system if healthy.

39) Daniel Marte, CF, 20

Marte is an interesting prospect who the Nationals acquired in 2018. He is already a very solid outfielder with a great arm, Baseball America ranks it as the best arm in the Nationals system. Unfortunately, the bat has yet to match the arm but at only 20 years old he has the potential to improve.

38) Seth Shuman, RHP, 24

Shuman is another player that was acquired at this year’s trade deadline. He looked great as a part of the Oakland Athletics system, but he struggled once he arrived in Wilmington. In 34 innings with the Blue Rocks, he posted a 6.03 ERA, and his HR/FB rate more than tripled. He gave up 8 home runs over that 34 innings after only giving up only 6 in his previous 93.2 innings. If he can remember how to keep the ball in the park I would expect him to move up this list quickly.

37) Alfonso Hernandez, LHP, 22

Hernandez signed with the Nationals in 2016 at the age of 16. He has really posted solid numbers throughout his time at many different levels with the Nationals, but in 2021 he really took a big step forward. He pitched in over 100 innings for the first time and was effective over two levels. So far with this organization, he’s pitched 262 innings with a 2.91 ERA. He will end up in Harrisburg in 2022 and he is still only 22 years old.

36) Jose Ferrer, LHP, 21

The Nationals signed Jose Ferrer during the 2017 international signing period. He is a 5’11” lefty from the Dominican Republic and has done nothing but impress since joining the organization. He has a fastball that sits in the low 90s and his best secondary pitch is his curveball. Ferrer debuted for the organization in 2018 at the Dominican Summer League. During that time he pitched 30 innings and struck out 53 batters.

After that, he moved to the states and pitched 21 innings while continuing to impress. In 2019 he showed some control issues, but it seems like he fixed that this past year. In 2021 he pitched another 35 innings while striking out 47. Since 2018 he’s pitched just over 85 innings and gave up a total of 30 earned runs. Ferrer is someone to keep an eye on going forward.

35) Richard Guasch, RHP, 23

Guasch came over in the Josh Harrison and Yan Gomes trade with the A’s and he looked pretty good. He struck out 92 over 74 innings last year which is a great sign. Then you run into the issue of walking far too many batters. He walked 46 batters in the same amount of time and unless he corrects this issue he won’t be able to stick as a starter.

34) Todd Peterson, RHP, 24

Todd Peterson is another reliever that could impact the Nationals soon. Peterson missed 2020, but he came back in 2021 and was very impressive. Especially in his fall league showing. He has been a reliever in some tough spots for a great college program in LSU and his high 90s fastball and newly found love for his slider give him the potential to be a quality addition to a big-league bullpen.

33) Gabe Klobosits, RHP, 26

Speaking of upside. Gabe Klobosits had every Nationals fan dreaming of a bullpen savior when he put together a masterful minor league showing in 2021. At AA he gave up 2 ER in 20 innings while striking out 26 and then in AAA he put together another great 18 innings. Those hopes came back to earth once he made his major league debut as he gave up runs in 6 of his 11 games.

Big leaguers don’t struggle often when they know the chances of getting a fastball are very high. Klobosits needs to improve his secondary pitches and control, but I believe he will be a part of this bullpen sometime in the near future.

32) Tim Cate, LHP, 24

This may seem low for Tim Cate, but I am not sure where he belongs in the future. He has one of the best curveballs in the system, but is that really going to carry him to big league success as a starter? I personally am not sold on that. I see his ceiling as a long man out of the pen with Paulo Espino upside. That is why he is ranked behind others that simply have more upside.

31) Israel Pineda, C, 21

Last year when you looked at the Nationals system Pineda was really the only hope for a long-term answer to the catcher position. He has shown glimpses of being able to hit for power and the team loves his abilities behind the plate. Now he’s simply one of many potential catcher options and will need to find a way to stand out in 2022.