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Player Reports

  1. 1. Keibert Ruiz | C
    Keibert Ruiz
    Born: Jul 20, 1998
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 225
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela 2014.
    Signed By: Francisco Cartaya/Pedro Avila (Dodgers)
    Minors: .310/.377/.616 | 21 HR | 0 SB | 284 AB

    BA Grade: 60/Medium

    Track Record: Ruiz signed with the Dodgers for $140,000 at the age of 16 in 2014 out of the Venezuelan academy run by former big leaguer Carlos Guillen. At the time, he was considered more of a defensive catcher, but that’s not the case now. Ruiz’s star really began to rise when he reached Double-A at age 19 in 2018. A return to Double-A the next season due to a logjam at catcher in the Dodgers’ organization slowed his progress, but a promotion to Triple-A later that year seemed to get him going again, at least up until he was sidelined with a fractured finger. Formerly the Dodgers’ No. 1 prospect, Ruiz immediately became the top prospect for the Nationals upon being traded to Washington as part of the massive deal that sent Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to Los Angeles at the 2021 trade deadline. After getting a cup of coffee in the big leagues in 2020, Ruiz saw more regular playing time down the stretch with the Nationals in 2021 and responded by showing the offensive prowess that has the organization excited about his potential.

    Scouting Report: A switch-hitter, Ruiz has long had a knack for making contact, but up until recently he had faced questions about his ability to impact the baseball. Adjustments made with the Dodgers, including getting more upright in his stance and keeping his hands closer to his body, have helped him make higher-quality contact, a trend that carried over in his small sample with the Nationals. Recent evaluations have also noted that he’s made strides in his approach and hunting for pitches against which he can do damage in the right counts. Traditionally, he’s been more effective from the left side, but recent improvements in his righthanded swing have made him much more of a well-rounded threat at the plate, where he projects to be a plus hitter with average power. Ruiz doesn’t necessarily have standout tools from a defensive standpoint, but rival evaluators are quick to praise his ability to make it work and have taken note of improvements in game calling and relationship building with his pitching staff. He blocks well and has the potential to be an above-average receiver. His arm strength is fringy, which led to a caught stealing rate of less than 20% with the Nationals last season.

    The Future: Ruiz is the Nationals’ catcher of the future, which is a change from his time with the Dodgers, where he was blocked by Will Smith. After getting a taste of regular playing time in the big leagues and getting hot down the stretch at the end of last season, Ruiz looks poised to make a name for himself in 2022.

    Scouting Grades
    Batting: 60. Power: 45. Speed: 30. Defense: 55. Arm: 50

  2. 2. Cade Cavalli | RHP
    Cade Cavalli
    Born: Aug 14, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 226
    Drafted/Signed: Oklahoma, 2020 (1st round).
    Signed By: Jerad Head
    Minors: 7-9 | 3.36 ERA | 175 SO | 60 BB | 124 IP

    BA Grade: 60/High

    Track Record: As a 2020 draftee, Cavalli’s minor league debut was delayed to 2021, though he did impress at the Nationals’ alternate training site in 2020 after being drafted 22nd overall out of Oklahoma. Once on the field this year, the righthander wasted no time making a statement, soaring from High-A to Triple-A over the course of the season. Importantly, after battling injuries in college, Cavalli stayed healthy all season and showed his ability to handle a heavy workload. He led the minor leagues with 157 strikeouts.

    Scouting Report: Cavalli’s stuff is electric. Over the summer, rival managers in Double-A Northeast voted his the best fastball and breaking ball in the league. His fastball sits 95-97 mph and has touched as high as 100 using an easy, yet powerful delivery. He throws two distinct breaking balls, a power curveball and a slider that is cutterish at times. The latter is used effectively to get off hitters’ barrels. He gets good sink on his changeup, but evaluators are less enthused about that offering. He has a sinker in his arsenal, but it’s a distant fifth pitch. Don’t be fooled by his big frame, either. Cavalli is a plus athlete who fields his position well. He struggled a bit in his short time at Triple-A, but the organization is working with him to get outs in the zone more often, a necessity against mature hitters.

    The Future: The Nationals couldn’t have asked for much more out of Cavalli in 2021, and he looks the part of a front-of-the-rotation starter whose arrival will come sooner rather than later.

    Scouting Grades
    Fastball: 70. Curveball: 55. Slider: 60. Changeup: 55. Control: 50

  3. 3. Brady House | SS
    Brady House
    Born: Jun 4, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 215
    Signed By: Eric Robinson
    Minors: .322/.394/.576 | 4 HR | 0 SB | 59 AB

    BA Grade: 55/Very High

    Track Record: House was ranked among the best prep prospects in the 2021 draft, and at one point was considered a possible top overall pick, thanks in large part to loud offensive tools. The Nationals selected him 11th overall and signed him for $5 million, the seventh-highest in the class and a little more than $450,000 over the pick value. House shined in the Florida Complex League after signing, hitting .322/.394/.576 and showing an exciting all-around game.

    Scouting Report: Power is House’s most noteworthy tool, with some evaluators believing that he could eventually have 70-grade raw power. He also earned high marks in his debut for showing the ability to hit the ball to all fields with authority. Whether he sticks at shortstop is the biggest outstanding question with House, but he showed nothing in the FCL to suggest the Nationals should look to move him anytime soon. He’s not the flashiest defender, but he makes all the routine plays look routine, has good hands, an on-time internal clock and more than enough arm for the position.

    The Future: As a player who just turned 18 in June, House has a lengthy climb in front of him. But it also would be impossible for the organization not to be enthused by what they saw in 2021. Testing himself at Low-A is due up next season.

    Scouting Grades
    Hitting: 50. Power: 65. Speed: 50. Fielding: 55. Arm: 55.

  4. 4. Yasel Antuna | OF
    Yasel Antuna
    Born: Oct 26, 1999
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 170
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2016.
    Signed By: Pablo Arias
    Minors: .227/.307/.385 | 12 HR | 4 SB | 405 AB

    BA Grade: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: Signed for $3.85 million out of the Dominican Republic in 2016, Antuna had not played much in 2019 or 2020 thanks to injuries and the pandemic, save for a very impressive stint at the alternate training site in 2020. That rust showed in a 4-for-67 start at High-A Wilmington in 2021, but a late-season push in which he hit .315 in July and August helped him finish strong and get back on track. As much as anything else, it was valuable for Antuna to get through a full season healthy and productive.

    Scouting Report: Antuna has one of the most exciting offensive profiles in the Nationals’ system. A switch-hitter who is seen as being better from the left side, his bat speed and repeatable swing from both sides help him hit the ball to all fields with authority. A couple of adjustments during the season in 2021, including getting his lower half more involved in his swing and switching from a two-handed finish to a higher one-handed finish are viewed as helping him work back from the extended slump early in the season. He’s a plus athlete, but there have always been questions about his viability as a shortstop. To that end, the organization is currently working with him on transitioning to the outfield corners.

    The Future: Antuna was always destined to be a bat-first prospect, but a move to the outfield provides clarity on his profile. As long as he hits, he will continue to move. Double-A is his next stop.

    Scouting Grades
    Hitting: 50. Power: 60. Speed: 50. Fielding: 45. Arm: 50.

  5. 5. Cristhian Vaquero | OF
    Cristhian Vaquero
    Born: Sep 13, 2004
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 180

    BA Grade: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: Vaquero was a young player on the rise in the Cuban junior leagues before he left the country to sign with a major league club. When the 2021-22 international signing period opened on Jan. 15, the Nationals poured nearly all of their bonus pool money into signing Vaquero for $4.925 million, the highest bonus of any player in his international class.
    Scouting Report: With a sleek, athletic frame, Vaquero is a dynamic, premium position talent. He’s an explosive player with a quick first step in center field, then takes long, gliding strides to cover plenty of ground with well above-average speed. With a plus arm and the ability to track the ball well off the bat, Vaquero has the potential to develop into a plus defender. At the plate, Vaquero is an aggressive hitter who hunts fastballs, and while some scouts were split on Vaquero’s pure hitting ability, he has the strength projection to grow into above-average power. While a lot of teams saw Vaquero early on while he was strictly hitting lefthanded, he became a switch-hitter before signing and will continue that with the Nationals.
    The Future: Vaquero is far from the big leagues, but he quickly becomes one of the most exciting players in the lower levels of Washington’s farm system. He will likely start his career in the Dominican Summer League.
    Scouting Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 55. Speed: 70. Fielding: 60. Arm: 60.

  6. 6. Andry Lara | RHP
    Andry Lara
    Born: Jan 6, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 235
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2019.
    Signed By: Ronald Morillo
    Minors: 3-3 | 4.66 ERA | 52 SO | 21 BB | 49 IP

    BA Grade: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: Lara signed for $1.25 million as the top player in the Nationals’ 2019 international class, meaning he had the misfortune of having his debut delayed due to the pandemic. After spending 2020 sequestered in a hotel and the team facility in West Palm Beach, Fla., and then battling through struggles at instructional league late in the year, Lara finally debuted in the Florida Complex League in 2021, pitching well enough to earn a promotion to Low-A Fredericksburg near the end of the season.

    Scouting Report: Lara has a smooth, classically beautiful delivery, clean arm action, a physical frame and the stuff to match. He gets good extension on a fastball that has made a recent velocity jump into the mid 90s. His breaking ball is a potential plus pitch down the line, and he flashes a changeup that also projects to be a usable pitch. Given his youth, it’s no surprise that Lara is still tapping into his strength, but at the same time, he is given high marks for preternaturally good feel to pitch and for being a leader by example.

    The Future: Lara may be seen as a long way away from the big leagues given his age, and that’s true from the standpoint that next season will be his first crack at a full-season league, but he possesses traits that suggest he could move through the system quickly. He has the upside to be a front-end starting pitcher if he continues to progress.

    Scouting GradesFastball: 60. Slider: 60. Changeup: 50. Control: 50

  7. 7. Cole Henry | RHP
    Cole Henry
    Born: Jul 15, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 214
    Drafted/Signed: Louisiana State, 2020 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Brandon Larson
    Minors: 3-5 | 2.30 ERA | 70 SO | 12 BB | 47 IP

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: In two years at Louisiana State, Henry had a 3.61 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 77.1 innings. As a draft-eligible sophomore, the righthander was selected in the second round at the end of the 2020 season. He debuted in 2021 and was excellent for High-A Wilmington. He missed some time in the middle of the season with elbow soreness, but upon returning, he finished the season as strong as he started.

    Scouting Report: Henry has a power repertoire, including both a four-seam and two-seam fastball that run into the mid 90s, with the four-seam fastball touching the high 90s. His changeup, which features good armside life, is currently his best secondary pitch and tunnels well with his fastball. But his curveball, a short breaker that has been an inconsistent offering for him, tightened up over the course of the season and shows signs of being a plus pitch down the line. In addition to his considerable stuff, Henry goes right after hitters, pitching with moxie and little fear. There is some reliever risk with Henry, because some rival evaluators make note of his reliever arm action.

    The Future: The organization is thrilled with where Henry is after he came back from injury strong. A healthy 2022 season will be key in his development, as it will presumably give him a chance to handle a heavier workload than he has to this point of his career.

    Scouting Grades
    Fastball: 60. Curveball: 50. Changeup: 55. Control: 50

  8. 8. Joan Adon | RHP
    Joan Adon
    Born: Aug 12, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2016.
    Signed By: Pablo Arias
    Minors: 7-6 | 4.97 ERA | 122 SO | 40 BB | 105 IP

    BA Grade: 45/Medium

    Track Record: Initially a $50,000 signing, Adon has already far surpassed the expectations set by his relatively modest status as part of the Nationals’ 2016 international signing class. The Nationals placed Adon on the 40-man roster after he impressed at the alternate training site in 2020. He validated the confidence the organization showed in him by climbing the ladder through High-A, Double-A and Triple-A in 2021 to make his major league debut in September, throwing 5.1 innings with nine strikeouts against the Red Sox at home.

    Scouting Report: Adon has always had a good fastball, and that pitch averaged 94-96 mph 2021 and touched 97-98. Improvement in both his slider and changeup between his last full season in 2019 and the 2021 season helped him catapult to the big leagues. He gets good depth on an above-average power slider, though some evaluators note that it’s more of a chase pitch right now than one he lands consistently for a strike. Command of this offering might be the key to further improvement. His solid-average changeup shows good armside life. Back-to-back seasons of more than 100 innings as a starter has also proven his durability.

    The Future: Adon’s experience as a reliever in 2017 and 2018 and lingering concerns about command made many consider him a future reliever. His power stuff would still make him a potentially good fit as a big league bullpen, but his 2021 season allayed many of the concerns about him and opened eyes to the possibility that he sticks as a starter.

    Scouting Grades
    Fastball: 60. Slider: 55. Changeup: 50. Control: 45

  9. 9. Gerardo Carrillo | RHP
    Gerardo Carrillo
    Born: Sep 3, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: Mexico, 2016.
    Signed By: Mike Brito/Roman Barinas/Juvenal Soto (Dodgers)
    Minors: 3-7 | 4.76 ERA | 108 SO | 50 BB | 97 IP

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: Carrillo’s velocity made a big jump after he grew three inches and put on 25 pounds soon after signing in 2016, but his quest since then has been to harness his stuff. Formerly buried fairly deep in a loaded Dodgers organization, Carrillo immediately became one of the Nationals’ top pitching prospects after coming over in the deal that sent Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to Los Angeles.

    Scouting Report: A very good athlete with a lightning-quick arm, Carrillo can pitch east to west with electric stuff. He leads with a fastball that sits 94-97 mph and has touched 99 with massive sink and run. He generates that velocity with relative ease and can hold it deep into his outings. His fastball pairs well with his best secondary pitch, a short, firm slider/cutter hybrid going the other direction in the high 80s to low 90s. He also works with a slurvy curveball and a changeup that are clearly behind the fastball and slider. Below-average command continues to be a nagging issue for Carrillo, and that limits his upside, but there’s hope that improvements still to come in repeating his mechanics and optimizing pitch usage could raise his profile as a potential starter.

    The Future: The command issues that persist for Carrillo as he works his way closer to the big leagues make a future in the bullpen increasingly likely. As a member of the Nationals’ 40-man roster and with his fantastic stuff, that future might not be that far away.

    Scouting Grades
    Fastball: 65. Curveball: 45. Slider: 60. Changeup: 50. Control: 30

  10. 10. Jackson Rutledge | RHP
    Jackson Rutledge
    Born: Apr 1, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'8" Wt.: 250
    Drafted/Signed: San Jacinto (Texas) JC, 2019 (1st round).
    Signed By: Brandon Larson
    Minors: 1-6 | 7.68 ERA | 41 SO | 20 BB | 37 IP

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: Leading with a fastball that touched triple digits, Rutledge was dominant in his one season at San Jacinto, along the way becoming the rare junior college player to be named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award. That performance was enough for the Nationals to draft him 17th overall in 2019. After an excellent debut season in 2019, Rutledge earned some time at the alternate training site in 2020, but he took a step back last season, thanks at least in part to shoulder tightness early in the season and recurring blisters later in the year.

    Scouting Report: Rutledge has a striking 6-foot-8, 245-pound frame on the mound and a mean fastball to match. The pitch is not only a high-90s offering that touches triple digits, but it features good cut and carry. His best secondary pitch is a slider that is at times a wipeout pitch. Currently, he’s working on learning how to manipulate his slider to better throw it in the strike zone and to give him a couple of different versions of the pitch. An average curveball and changeup give Rutledge a traditional starter’s repertoire, but concerns about consistency have made some wonder if his future is as a high-leverage reliever.

    The Future: As recently as 2020 instructional league, some rival evaluators saw Rutledge as not far off from Cade Cavalli in the prospect pecking order, but Cavalli continued to take off in 2021 while Rutledge faltered. Still, the latter’s stuff is some of the best in the system, and having a healthy 2022 season would go a long way toward getting him back on track.

    Scouting Grades
    Fastball: 70. Curveball: 50. Slider: 60. Changeup: 50. Control: 45

  11. 11. Armando Cruz | SS
    Armando Cruz
    Born: Jan 16, 2004
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 165
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2021.
    Signed By: Modesto Ulloa/Ricky Vasquez

    BA Grade: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: One of the highest-profile international players available in the 2020-21 signing class, Cruz inked a $3.9 million deal with the Nationals one day before his 17th birthday, giving him the largest bonus awarded to a 16-year-old in the class. Cruz got his feet wet in the Dominican Summer League over the summer.

    Scouting Report: Cruz is a high-end defensive player who had international scouts raving about his ability prior to his signing. He has great hands, extremely quick feet and a smooth transfer to his plus arm, which helps him make the flashy play look routine. He charges the ball well using speed that has improved from below-average to slightly above-average in recent years. Though he can dazzle with some of the tricks he can pull fielding the ball in practice, it’s not just physical tools that make him a top-of-the-scale defensive shortstop. He also gets fast reads off the bat and is an instinctive player. Offensively, he’s very much a work in progress, but the Nationals like his natural bat-to-ball skills and saw improvement at the plate as the summer wore on. He’ll undoubtedly add some strength as he matures, but power is not likely to be a part of his game in the end.

    The Future: Cruz’s defensive prowess is such that evaluators project him to be a plus defender, with a ceiling as one of the elite defensive shortstops in baseball. That will be his ticket through the Nationals’ system, with his offensive value being the icing on the cake should he come into his own in that regard.

    Scouting Grades
    Hitting: 50. Power: 40. Speed: 55. Fielding: 65. Arm: 55.

  12. 12. Riley Adams | C
    Riley Adams
    Born: Jun 26, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 225
    Signed By: Jim Lentine (Blue Jays).
    Minors: .233/.372/.475 | 7 HR | 0 SB | 120 AB

    Track Record: A third-round pick of the Blue Jays in 2017, Adams steadily hit his way to the big leagues over the course of four years. He debuted with the Blue Jays in June before being sent to Washington for Brad Hand just before the trade deadline. With the Nationals down the stretch, he hit .268/.422/.465 in 35 games.
    Scouting Report: Adams has a power-based skill set, both defensively and at the plate, which matches his physical frame. As a hitter, he has plus or maybe even plus-plus raw power that comes with some swing and miss thanks to length in his swing, but not enough swing and miss that he can’t get to power during games. Defensively, he has plus arm strength, but issues in his release keep his arm from being as effective as it could be. In past minor league seasons, he nabbed greater than 40% of would-be base stealers, but those numbers eroded as the competition got better.
    The Future: With the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark and limit the run game somewhat with his arm, Adams has value as a toolsy backup catcher, and with Keibert Ruiz ahead of him, that’s likely his immediate future. However, if he continues to produce as he did in a small sample in 2021, he could also elbow his way into at-bats at other positions.

  13. 13. Aldo Ramirez | RHP
    Aldo Ramirez
    Born: May 6, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: Mexico, 2018.
    Signed By: Sotero Torres/Eddie Romero/Todd Claus.
    Minors: 2-2 | 3.26 ERA | 35 SO | 12 BB | 39 IP

    Track Record: Ramirez signed with the Red Sox out of the Mexican League for $550,000 in 2018. He continued to pitch well against more mature competition, first in the Dominican Summer League in 2018 and later in the New York-Penn League in 2019. After starting 2021 off strong at Low-A Salem, Ramirez was sidelined with elbow tendonitis in June and was traded to Washington in exchange for Kyle Schwarber in July. After the trade, he made just a handful of appearances in the Florida Complex League.
    Scouting Report: Ramirez has always stood out for the way his stuff plays up due to his good fastball command and feel for his secondary pitches. In recent years, his stuff has ticked up, however, with his fastball now touching 98, all while maintaining feel for a potential plus curveball with impressive movement and depth and a potential average changeup. His numbers in the FCL after the trade weren’t pretty, but some in the organization point to Ramirez perhaps trying to do too much in an effort to make a good first impression.
    The Future: Being healthy through a full season workload at Low-A or High-A will be a good next step. If Ramirez can continue his mastery of the finer points of pitching while his stuff ticks up, a future as a back-of-the-rotation starter is in play.

  14. 14. Jeremy De La Rosa | OF
    Jeremy De La Rosa
    Born: Jan 16, 2002
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 160
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2018.
    Signed By: Modesto Ulloa.
    Minors: .209/.279/.316 | 5 HR | 7 SB | 326 AB

    Track Record: The Nationals signed de la Rosa for $300,000 in 2018 and started him stateside in the Gulf Coast League rather than Dominican Summer League. They continued to push him aggressively by making him part of the 60-man player pool in 2020 and having him compete at the alternate training site. He struggled in his first full minor league season with Fredericksburg, with a .595 OPS and a nearly 40% strikeout rate.
    Scouting Report: De la Rosa has a well-rounded set of tools. He’s a plus runner underway, a good athlete, a potential future plus defender in the outfield, even if that future ends up at a corner, and is an intriguing offensive player. There is confidence that he will be at least an average hitter, as he has a preternatural ability to get in a good hitting position and hit the ball on a line with authority, but evaluators are more mixed on his power. He shows plus raw power in spurts, with some assuming a solid hit tool will help him continue to unlock that power as he matures and others unsure that he’ll ever have better than below-average power in-game.
    The Future: The Nationals were aggressive in moving de la Rosa early, but he’s still a raw prospect. He simply needs to keep compiling at-bats in large numbers.

  15. 15. Matt Cronin | LHP
    Matt Cronin
    Born: Sep 20, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 195
    Drafted/Signed: Arkansas, 2019 (4th round).
    Signed By: Jerad Head.
    Minors: 4-1 | 3.00 ERA | 50 SO | 16 BB | 30 IP

    Track Record: Cronin put up a 2.77 ERA in 64 relief appearances for powerhouse Arkansas over three college seasons before being drafted in the fourth round in 2019. He dominated in his debut in 2019 in Low-A, and after spending time at the alternate training site in 2020, picked up where he left off in 2021 with mostly dominant outings in the FCL and in High-A, which earned him a promotion to Double-A Harrisburg. He took some lumps and battled his command in his first look at Double-A, but still managed 18 strikeouts in 11.1 innings.
    Scouting Report: There’s little ambiguity about Cronin’s profile as he moves through the system. He’s a reliever, and a good one at that. He works with a high-spin fastball that reaches the mid 90s and a 12-to-6 curveball that has good depth and late break. Both pitches show plus potential. He’ll also use a split changeup, but it’s a third offering at this point. Cronin has a back-end bullpen mentality and isn’t afraid to go after hitters. Some rival evaluators see Cronin as being a Sean Doolittle type of reliever at the big league level.
    The Future: Cronin fits the archetype of the fast-moving college reliever, and with his move all the way up to Double-A in 2021, his big league debut is not that far off in the distance.

  16. 16. Jackson Cluff | SS
    Jackson Cluff
    Born: Dec 3, 1996
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: Brigham Young, 2019 (6th round).
    Signed By: Mitch Sokol.
    Minors: .214/.306/.289 | 2 HR | 7 SB | 159 AB

    Track Record: Cluff had just one year, 2019, as a starter at Brigham Young, as he spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons on his Mormon mission, but it was strong enough for him to be selected in the sixth round that year. The Nationals have been aggressive with Cluff. He began at Low-A in 2019, spent time at the alternate training site in 2020 and skipped High-A to spend much of the 2021 season at Double-A Harrisburg.
    Scouting Report: Cluff is a player whose intangibles stand out. The organization raves about his makeup. From a skill standpoint, Cluff is an advanced defender with a strong arm who can handle second base or shortstop. Offensively, he has an aggressive approach at the plate, looking for his pitch early in counts. He uses all fields, he has some pop but isn’t a masher, and while he’s not a burner, he’s a willing base stealer. His performance at the plate in the Arizona Fall League this year turned heads as well.
    The Future: After some growing pains in Harrisburg, Cluff started to get comfortable, only to have injuries slow him. A repeat of that level is likely. His maturity and defense give him a high floor as a utility infielder.

  17. 17. Donovan Casey | OF
    Donovan Casey
    Born: Feb 23, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 190
    Signed By: Rich DeLucia (Dodgers).
    Minors: .269/.329/.430 | 16 HR | 22 SB | 484 AB

    Track Record: A 20th-round draft pick out of Boston College in 2017, Casey has already provided outstanding pick value by riding a well-rounded skill set all the way to the upper levels of the minors. After hitting well in a repeat trip to Double-A Tulsa early in 2021, Casey was dealt to Washington as part of the Max Scherzer and Trea Turner blockbuster.
    Scouting Report: After not hitting for much power at Boston College despite having above-average raw power, Casey has had no such problem hitting for power in the minor leagues. He has holes in his swing, which has at times led to a high strikeout rate, peaking at nearly 40% at Triple-A Rochester last season. He’s an outstanding defender with a rifle for an arm, excellent athleticism and good speed. While in Tulsa, opposing managers in Double-A Central voted him the best defensive outfielder and best outfield arm in the league.
    The Future: By getting out of a loaded Dodgers system, the path to the big leagues, and regular playing time, has opened up a bit for Casey. He’ll be 26 on opening day next season, but he’s been productive at every stop so far and he provides tremendous defensive value. A big league debut in 2022 is on the table.

  18. 18. Daylen Lile | OF
    Daylen Lile
    Born: Nov 30, 2002
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 195
    Signed By: Brian Cleary.
    Minors: .219/.362/.250 | 0 HR | 2 SB | 64 AB

    Track Record: Few high school hitters in the 2021 draft class had a long-term track record of hitting at a high level like Lile’s. That earned him a place on the high school All-America team in 2021 and a second-round selection by the Nationals, who were excited to add his polished bat to the system. He signed for $1.75 million, or $169,800 over the pick value. He spent his first season in the Florida Complex League, where he was primarily limited to DH duty due to an arm injury.
    Scouting Report: Lile has a quiet setup at the plate with very little pre-pitch movement. His swing is easy and repeatable, and he leans on his hands to spray line drives to all fields. With a relatively light frame at present, some evaluators are dubious of his future power projection, but internally, there is hope power will come along later. Some evaluators see Lile as a potential center fielder down the line, but more likely, he ends up in left field thanks to fringy arm strength and average speed.
    The Future: Because he doesn’t project to add much value defensively and power may never be part of his game, Lile is going to have to hit, hit and hit some more, as he did all throughout his prep days, in order to move up the ladder.

  19. 19. Tim Cate | LHP
    Tim Cate
    Born: Sep 30, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: Connecticut, 2018 (2nd round).
    Signed By: John Malone.
    Minors: 2-10 | 5.31 ERA | 81 SO | 37 BB | 97 IP

    Track Record: Connecticut’s career strikeout leader, Cate was selected in the second round in 2018. He had a big year in 2019, winning the Nationals’ minor league pitcher of the year. He spent time at the alternate training site in 2020 before stumbling at Double-A Harrisburg in 2021.
    Scouting Report: Cate does a lot of things well to be effective despite being undersized and having something less than electric stuff across the board. He has an easy delivery, he moves the ball around the zone well and he can locate. His curveball is the one current plus pitch in his arsenal, and it’s a true hammer. His changeup shows signs of being a future above-average offering, but he was inconsistent with it in 2021. His fastball has fringy velocity in the high 80s and low 90s, but his ability to cut and sink it helps move it off barrels. Cate is capable of plus-plus command, and the reality is that he needs it, because he gets hit more than most when he misses spots, as was the case in Harrisburg.
    The Future: There’s likely a place in the big leagues at some point for Cate just based on his durability, pitchability, moxie and his ability to use his curveball as a weapon at will.

  20. 20. Sammy Infante | SS
    Sammy Infante
    Born: Jun 22, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 175
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Miami, 2020 (2nd round supplemental).
    Signed By: Alex Morales.
    Minors: .215/.329/.364 | 3 HR | 3 SB | 121 AB

    Track Record: One of the top shortstops in the 2020 high school class, Infante was drafted 71st overall and signed for an over-slot $1 million bonus to buy him out of his college commitment to Miami. Later that summer, he worked at the Nationals’ alternate training site. He got his first taste of the minor leagues in the Florida Complex League in 2021.
    Scouting Report: Infante struggled in his debut season as he learned what it takes to be a pro and the level of consistency that it requires to be successful. His maturity and level-headedness, which were repeatedly mentioned as among his strongest attributes during the draft process and at the alternate site, no doubt helped him push through. He embraced playing second base in the FCL in deference to his teammate Brady House, but he has the strong fundamentals, soft hands and strong arm needed to at least earn a shot to stick at shortstop. Moving forward, Infante will have to cut down on the whiffs, but there is confidence he can be at least an average hitter with occasional power.
    The Future: Given that he will be two years removed the draft, the 2022 season will be big for Infante to take strides forward, even understanding that he’s still a long way from the big leagues.

  21. 21. Mitchell Parker | LHP
    Mitchell Parker
    Born: Sep 27, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 195
    Signed By: Jimmy Gonzales.
    Minors: 4-12 | 4.87 ERA | 144 SO | 38 BB | 102 IP

    Track Record: A $100,000 signing as a fifth-round pick in 2020, Parker was productive out of the gate in his debut season in 2021. He had a 4.08 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 57.1 innings in Low-A before earning a promotion to High-A, where his 5.89 ERA doesn’t fully reflect how effective he was.
    Scouting Report: Parker has a varied repertoire that could help him stick as a starter, even without plus stuff across the board. With a delivery that could use some refinement, his fastball typically sits in the low 90s with elite carry, and he maintains that velocity well into his starts. He also features a low-80s splitter that one rival evaluator described as having “crazy” movement similar to that of a cutter, a changeup with plus sink and a mid-70s curveball with good depth that is better against left-handed hitters than right-handed hitters. None of those pitches are elite, but all have average or better potential. Parker has also proven to be a good competitor in his starts.
    The Future: As long as Parker performs like he did in 2021, expect him to move. Without any setbacks, Double-A in 2022 should be in his sights.

  22. 22. Evan Lee | LHP
    Evan Lee
    Born: Jun 18, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 200
    Signed By: Ed Gustafson
    Minors: 4-3 | 4.32 ERA | 104 SO | 32 BB | 77 IP

    Track Record: A 15th-round pick out of Arkansas as a draft-eligible sophomore in 2018, Lee has already wildly exceeded his draft position with his performance in the Nationals’ system. He excelled in the New York-Penn League in 2019, mostly as a reliever, putting up 2.65 ERA in 34 innings, and followed that up as a starter by striking out 104 batters in 77 innings in High-A in 2021.
    Scouting Report: Lee gets good extension on a fastball that primarily sat 91-93 mph last season but has touched the mid 90s in the past. He also features a potential plus curveball with an 11-to-5 shape that is a real put-away pitch at times, a slider that has cutter-type action and a changeup that subtracts nearly 10 mph off his fastball velocity. Of the four, evaluators are least enthused with the changeup at present.
    The Future: Lee began his time in the system in the bullpen, and perhaps that’s where he ends up if his fastball and curveball end up being his only two better-than-average pitches. He excelled as a starter in 2021, however, likely earning himself the chance to continue in that role for now.

  23. 23. Israel Pineda | C
    Israel Pineda
    Born: Apr 3, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 190
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2016.
    Signed By: German Robles.
    Minors: .208/.260/.389 | 14 HR | 0 SB | 293 AB

    Track Record: Originally a $450,000 signing out of Venezuela in 2016, Pineda impressed in his first two seasons in the system before taking a step back in his first full season in Low-A in 2019. After spending time at the alternate training site and instructional league in 2020, he spent 2021 at High-A, where he hit just .208 but showed off his power with 14 home runs.
    Scouting Report: Offensively, Pineda has a quick swing and impressive raw power, but he has an active setup and appears fidgety at times in the box, as if he’s tinkering with his setup in real time. His plate discipline and knowledge of the strike zone is still a work in progress. Defensively, his mobility is sufficient but not exemplary, and he has a strong arm, which has helped him put up caught stealing rates of 40% or better in each of his minor league seasons.
    The Future: Pineda has taken a step back since he was named a New York-Penn League all-star in 2018 as a young player in the league. He has loud tools that give him an intriguing ceiling, but there’s refinement to be made for him to reach it.

  24. 24. Daniel Marte | OF
    Daniel Marte
    Born: Jan 14, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2018.
    Signed By: Virgilio De Leon.
    Minors: .204/.363/.314 | 3 HR | 10 SB | 137 AB

    Track Record: After signing for $300,000 in 2018, Marte played well in the Dominican Summer League in 2019, at one point putting together a 17-game hitting streak near the end of the season. He continued that momentum by impressing at instructs in 2020. The 2021 season in the Florida Complex League was more of a challenge for him, but he showed enough to keep hopes high for his future.
    Scouting Report: Marte hit just .204 in the FCL in 2021, but some in the organization who observed his play saw him as the most consistent player in the lineup day to day, and he still managed a .363 on-base percentage. From a skill standpoint, he is brimming with plus tools. He’s a good runner with an excellent arm, giving him potential plus defensive ability in center field. He also has potential plus power. But plate discipline is a major issue at this point, as he struck out 59 times in 137 at-bats last season, and the holes in his swing got exploited in the FCL schedule, where everyone plays the same small handful of teams repeatedly.
    The Future: Marte has all of the raw tools to be a big leaguer, but the lack of plate discipline threatens to hold him back. That’s the development to watch as the 2022 season unfolds.

  25. 25. Roismar Quintana | OF
    Roismar Quintana
    Born: Feb 6, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 190
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2019.
    Signed By: Ronald Morillo.
    Minors: .308/.550/.692 | 1 HR | 0 SB | 13 AB

    Track Record: Quintana signed with the Nationals for $820,000 in 2019, and although his debut was delayed by the pandemic, he impressed in instructional league late in 2020. He got on the field in 2021 in the Florida Complex League, but a hamstring injury kept him out of action from early July to early September. He ended up with just 13 at-bats for the season, but he managed three extra-base hits in that small window, two doubles and a home run.
    Scouting Report: Quintana’s bat stands out. He has good feel to hit, keeps his barrel in the zone for a long time, and in a testament to the way he has developed his body since signing, plus raw power to all fields from a sturdy frame. He has impressive plate discipline for a player of his age, but at times he’s too passive at the plate for a player of his strength. Defensively, Quintana is likely a corner outfielder in the future.
    The Future: Health is paramount for Quintana as he goes into the 2022 season after he missed time at instructs in 2020 and just about all of the 2021 season. In a small sample, he’s shown to be one of the most exciting young hitters in the system, but he just hasn’t had many chances yet.

  26. 26. Tres Barrera | C
    Tres Barrera
    Born: Sep 15, 1994
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 215
    Drafted/Signed: Texas, 2016 (6th round).
    Signed By: Tyler Wilt.
    Minors: .201/.302/.284 | 3 HR | 0 SB | 169 AB

    Track Record: Barrera moved steadily through the Nationals’ system, eventually breaking through to the big leagues in 2019. He likely would have graduated from prospect status by now had he not been suspended for 80 games after a positive test for Oral Turinabol, which cost him the 2020 season. That particular drug is controversial in MLB, because Barrera and others who have tested positive for it maintain their innocence and suggest that there are flaws in the testing for it. He returned to Washington in 2021, hitting .264/.374/.385 in 91 at-bats.
    Scouting Report: Barrera checks all the boxes of a solid all-around defensive catcher. He receives well, has a quick release with a strong arm and works well with his pitching staff. He’s also a very good athlete. He’s not a middle-of-the-order bat, but he hit fairly well in the big leagues in 2021 and he’s performed at every stop along the way thanks to sound mechanics and good plate discipline.
    The Future: Barrera has proven himself as a solid backup catcher in MLB, and he has nothing left to prove in the minors. With Keibert Ruiz and Riley Adams both in the organization and on the roster, however, he will have to fight to stay in the big leagues with Washington.

  27. 27. Seth Romero | LHP
    Seth Romero
    Born: Apr 19, 1996
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 240
    Drafted/Signed: Houston, 2017 (1st round).
    Signed By: Tyler Wilt.
    Minors: 0-2 | 4.54 ERA | 55 SO | 15 BB | 36 IP

    Track Record: Romero’s career got off to a slow start, with just 14 total appearances to his name over his first three seasons in the system, none of them above Low-A, but he made up for lost time in 2020, when he arrived at the Nationals alternate training site and then debuted in the big leagues later that year. A rib injury slowed him for the first few months of 2021, which he spent primarily in Double-A.
    Scouting Report: Romero’s fastball sits in the low 90s, touching the mid 90s, and it’s easy velocity from the left side. His best offspeed offering is a plus slider that helped make him a natural fit for the big league bullpen in 2020. His changeup is a quality third pitch in his arsenal and he can throw all three pitches for strikes.
    The Future: The rib injury in 2021 was just the latest in a long line of injuries Romero has suffered in his career, which has in part allowed him to throw just 85.2 total innings in five seasons. His brief big league experience is exclusively as a reliever, but the organization wants to continue giving him the chance to prove he can start.

  28. 28. Mason Denaburg | RHP
    Mason Denaburg
    Born: Aug 8, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 195
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Merritt Island, Fla., 2018 (1st round).
    Signed By: Alan Marr.

    Track Record: With Denaburg, the trouble is that he doesn’t have much track record as a professional due to injuries. Since he was taken 27th overall and signed for $3 million after battling biceps tendonitis as a senior in high school, Denaburg has thrown just 20.1 innings in the system, all in 2019. He had shoulder surgery after the 2019 season and then dealt with tenderness early in 2020 before the pandemic shutdown. In March 2021, he had Tommy John surgery, costing him another season.
    Scouting Report: It remains to be seen what Denaburg will look like when he gets back on the mound, but he typically works with a fastball that touches as high as 97 mph, a high-spin curveball in the upper-70s and a changeup that was making strides toward being an average pitch. In his debut in 2019, he struggled with control, walking 14 in his 20.1 innings, and that will need improvement moving forward.
    The Future: Step one for Denaburg is getting healthy and back on the mound in games. Everything else is secondary at this point. At 22 years old next opening day, he has some catching up to do, but he still has time to get back on track.

  29. 29. Jordy Barley | SS
    Jordy Barley
    Born: Dec 3, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 175
    Minors: .228/.326/.360 | 10 HR | 45 SB | 364 AB

    Track Record: A $1 million signing for the Padres in 2016, Barley has been inconsistent in his first few seasons as he’s worked to turn his readily apparent speed and athleticism into production. He spent all of the 2021 season at Low-A, coming over to the Nationals’ system in July as part of the trade that sent Daniel Hudson to San Diego.
    Scouting Report: Barley has an impressive collection of tools but he’s not yet a complete player. He has game-breaking speed, and as he’s moved up, he’s become a more efficient base stealer. He also has power that projects as average down the line. Defensively, he has the hands and arm for shortstop, and he recently made a change to throw from more of a three-quarters slot to improve his accuracy, but he still makes errors in bunches, including 46 miscues last season. Some evaluators have noted that the errors seem to be more of the careless or mental variety rather than physical. He has primarily played shortstop but has also played plenty of second base, and some have seen center field as a potential landing place.
    The Future: Barley has come a long way in his development, but he still has a long way to go. His tools are endlessly intriguing, even if they still require a lot of refinement.

  30. 30. Drew Millas | C
    Drew Millas
    Born: Jan 15, 1998
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 205
    Drafted/Signed: Missouri State, 2019 (7th round).
    Signed By: Steve Abney.
    Minors: .264/.372/.348 | 3 HR | 15 SB | 322 AB

    Track Record: Millas’ professional career was delayed two seasons, first by a UCL injury and a blood clotting issue after he was drafted in 2019 and later by the pandemic. He finally took the field and was productive at High-A in 2021. He came to Washington in the trade that sent Yan Gomes and Josh Harrison to Oakland in July.
    Scouting Report: Defense is Millas’ calling card. An excellent athlete behind the plate, he receives the ball well, is nimble in getting down to block the ball, has an easy plus arm and plays the position with energy. He’s athletic and toolsy enough, in fact, that some evaluators see him as a possible fit as a utility player who could also play second and third base. He was productive offensively in 2021, and he has good bat-to-ball skills and excellent plate discipline, but his bat is light in general. He posts below-average exit velocities, and when batting from the left side, he has noticeable length in his load.
    The Future: As an athletic, defense-minded catcher who also takes good at-bats, Millas has a fairly high floor that should help him progress through the system fairly quickly. How well he develops into someone who can impact the baseball would seem to hold the key to unlocking a higher ceiling.

View Players 11-30

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