The Nationals’ prospect depth took a little bit of a hit as one could imagine when they sent three of the top pitchers in the system to the White Sox in the trade that netted outfielder Adam Eaton.
Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez were always consistently ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in the Nationals system by several publications and websites. Former Florida pitcher Dane Dunning was also in the top 10 on those lists.
MLB.com has come out with its positional rankings and had the Nats ranked No. 16 overall. The blog noted how good outfielder Victor Robles projects based on his skill set. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo wouldn’t include the teenager in any of the offseason deals, even though Robles’ name was mentioned many times. Robles is No. 1 on the MLB.com Nationals top 30 prospect list.
MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis recently wrote that Robles, the No. 7 overall prospect, has the best all-around tools of any player in the Minors, giving Washington some real heft at the top of its system.
The Nationals also expect good things from third baseman Drew Ward, first baseman Jose Marmolejos, outfielder Juan Soto, outfielder Blake Perkins and shortstop Osvaldo Abreu. Marmolejos, the two-time organizational player of the year is at No. 27.
A couple of players moving up the charts are outfielder Nick Banks (No. 25) and shortstop Yasel Antuna (No. 22).
The lefty hitting and throwing Banks made headlines as part of the Team USA collegiate national team and hit .277 in 60 games for short-season Single-A Auburn. Nationals scouts have had their eye on Southeastern Conference talent with the likes of Dunning and Stevenson, and the 22-year-old Banks is no exception. He was a fourth round 2016 draft selection out of Texas A&M. He was honored as a mid-season All-Star in 2016 while with the Doubledays.
Antuna, a 17-year-old switch-hitter with power, was signed in July alongside shortstop Luis Garcia. Antuna was ranked No. 14 in MLB.com’s top international prospects.