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2017 Washington Nationals Midseason Top 10 Prospects



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Nationals Midseason Top 10
1. Victor Robles, OF
2. Erick Fedde, RHP
3. Juan Soto, OF
4. Carter Kieboom, SS
5. Seth Romero, LHP
6. Andrew Stevenson, OF
7. Luis Garcia, SS
8. Wil Crowe, LHP
9. Raudy Read, C
10. Kelvin Gutierrez, 3B
As the trade deadline approaches, the Nationals are sitting pretty.

They’re 12 1/2 games up on the Braves in a putrid National League East and once again appear to be a shoo-in for the postseason. That said, the Nats are not without their warts. The back of their bullpen this year had been a revolving door prior to the trade for Oakland's Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle. They have injury issues in the rotation after losing Joe Ross for the season and with Stephen Strasburg leaving Sunday's game after just two innings. In the outfield, Jayson Werth, Michael Taylor and Chris Heisey are all on the disabled list.

They also lost sparkplug Trea Turner to a fractured right wrist. Although they're hopeful of getting him back, there is no timetable for his return.

That said, the Nats have prospect ammunition to go get help, as they showed with their deal with the Athletics. The Nationals are reluctant to deal any of their top three prospects—Victor Robles, Erick Fedde or Juan Soto—but if they relented, especially on Robles, that would be intriguing enough to land a marquee acquisition.


1. Victor Robles, OF High Class A Potomac Age: 20

After the Nationals dealt top prospects Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning to the White Sox for outfielder Adam Eaton last winter, Robles instantly became the team’s top prospect. Given his blend of youth and skills, he might have filled that slot even if the system had stayed status quo. The 20-year-old has been excellent this year with Potomac, showing the same range, speed and arm that will allow him to stay in center field long term and reach the majors even if his offense didn't develop as planned. At the plate, Robles profiles as a top-of-the-order hitter for his ability to spray line drives all over the field and create havoc on the basepaths.


2. Erick Fedde, RHP Triple-A Syracuse Age: 24

Evaluators who saw Fedde through the years were curious about what he’d look like in the bullpen, where he could attack hitters with his fastball-slider combination in short bursts. Now at Triple-A, he’s made just one start since May 16 and has run his fastball up to 97 mph in relief. He uses the slider as a strikeout pitch and has a fringe-average changeup if he needs it as well.


3. Juan Soto, OF Low Class A Hagerstown Age: 18

Much like Robles last year, big things were expected of Soto in his full-season debut in the South Atlantic League. He delivered on that promise until he hurt his right ankle on a slide into home plate. The 18-year-old Soto put up a .950 OPS with three homers and 14 RBIs before the injury. He doesn’t have the same defensive cachet as Robles, but the Nationals see him as an impact corner outfielder.


4. Carter Kieboom, SS Low Class A Hagerstown Age: 19

Kieboom was tearing up the South Atlantic League before he was hurt. In his case, a right hamstring injury has kept him on the shelf since May 13. Before the injury, Kieboom was using his physical frame to drive balls all over the park. The Nationals will give him every chance to remain at shortstop, but they believe he’ll be an impact player no matter where he lands.


5. Seth Romero, LHP Not Yet Assigned Age: 21

Romero has top-end talent, he was suspended twice and eventually kicked off his college team at Houston. His stock dropped as a result and allowed the Nats to grab him with the 25th overall pick. Romero owns two plus pitches in his fastball and slider and has a potential average changeup. While his stuff isn't in question, his actions off the field will be kept on with a close eye.


6. Andrew Stevenson, OF Washington Age: 23

The Louisiana State product followed an excellent Arizona Fall League campaign with a blazing start at Double-A this season. He made a developmental leap in Triple-A after he adjusted his approach to cover the whole plate and learned to adapt to advanced sequencing, and earned his first big league callup last weekend. Stevensonb profiles as a leadoff-type hitter with the skills to stay in center field.


7. Luis Garcia, SS Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Age: 17

The No. 3 international prospect in 2016, Garcia signed with the Nationals for $1.5 million on July 2. He made his professional debut this year in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and has been lauded for his advanced offensive profile. He combines a line-drive swing with smooth actions, a strong arm at shortstop and plus-plus speed.


8. Wil Crowe, LHP Disabled List Age: 22

Crowe missed most of his sophomore season and all of his junior season at South Carolina after having Tommy John surgery. He came back this year and dominated for the Gamecocks, then was taken by the Nationals in the second round and signed for $946,500. Crowe combines a low-90s fastball with a sharp, upper-70s curveball and a tight slider. He also improved upon his mid-80s changeup.


9. Raudy Read, C Double-A Harrisburg Age: 23

Heralded by internal and external evaluators, Read is considered the best all-around catching prospect in the Nationals’ system. Defensively he has above-average hands and arm strength and shows the aptitude to handle a pitching staff. Scouts like his ability to hit in the future for both average and power, and think he has a chance to be an everyday catcher.


10. Kelvin Gutierrez, 3B Disabled List Age: 22

Gutierrez showed signs of rising up the Nationals’ ranks before he suffered a sprained ankle sustained on awkward contact with first base. He has slightly above-average raw power that should translate to in-game power as he matures and refines his strike zone. He is already a plus defender with an arm that ranks him among the best in the Carolina League.


RISING

• The scouting reports on OF Daniel Johnson coming out of New Mexico State may have underestimated him. Johnson was seen as a toolsy outfielder, but one who had work to do at the plate. So far, he’s proven to be more than a match for the South Atlantic League as the 22-year-old is second in the league with 17 home runs and among batting leaders thanks to his .300 average. Johnson is a plus runner and has a plus arm, so he has a well-rounded set of tools to go with his growing power.


FALLING

• Catcher Pedro Severino has gotten too pull-heavy at the plate and has gone backward overall. If he finds an all-fields approach and regains his hittability, he could move back up the ranks.

• Righthander Austin Voth has struggled with mechanics and command this season and has been hit hard at Triple-A.


HURTING

• Soto is currently on a rehab assignment in the GCL, but has missed more than two months with a slight fracture of his right ankle.

• Kieboom has missed nearly two months with a right hamstring injury.


GRADUATING

• INF Wilmer Difo hasn’t hit much in the major leagues and bounced back and forth between Washington and Triple-A Syracuse. He has provided value through his versatility.

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Alec Marsh Experiences Breakthrough

The 2019 second-rounder spent the offseason and summer improving three of his pitches.

• RHP Koda Glover has big-time stuff but has had trouble staying healthy. He’s been shelved twice this year with a hip impingement and lower back stiffness.

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