Voth delivers clutch start; Desmond may not be ready next week

Right-hander Austin Voth (rhymes with "both") tossed six scoreless innings as Triple-A Syracuse dropped Norfolk 3-0. The Chiefs pitchers have now not allowed a run in 19 consecutive innings. In the third inning, Brian Goodwin delivered a run-scoring single. Clint Robinson's groundout moved runners into scoring position. Brandon Snyder then delivered a two-run single, scoring Caleb Ramsey and Goodwin. The three runs were all the ... read more

Minor league pitching updates: Ross and Fedde

On Saturday, right-hander Joe Ross made his debut with the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs in a 10-0 setback to Rochester. Ross went 2 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Here's what a source who was at the game told me: "First before anything, it has to be said that it was 41 degrees at first pitch, ... read more

Nats minor league rosters announced; Lannan update

Here is the full rosters for each of the Nationals' affiliates, announced by their respective clubs today. Left-hander John Lannan continues to work on his transition to a sidearm delivery at the Palm Beach facility. When ready, he could get into games at an affiliate on a future date. TRIPLE-A SYRACUSE CHIEFS Pitchers Joe Ross A.J. Cole Austin Voth Jacob Turner Taylor Hill Matt Albers ... read more

Minor leaguers also love West Palm Beach, plus pitching updates

We heard early in spring training what the new Nationals facility in West Palm Beach meant to the major league players. It also is a big deal to the guys fighting to move up in the minor league camp. Low Single-A Hagerstown manager Patrick Anderson said the minor league camp players were thrilled to get into such a state-of-the-art facility and work so closely with ... read more

Updates on infielders and pitchers on the early camp roster

Quick hits on some Nationals early camp players. I always get good reports on third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez. Last year, the 22-year-old hit .296 for three teams, with 23 doubles, six triples, four homers, 25 stolen bases and 56 RBIs. "Gutierrez looks great," said Single-A Hagerstown manager Patrick Anderson. "He's picking up where he left off last year. He's working on a couple of things ... read more

More notes on outfielders Soto, Perkins and Upshaw

I always appreciate the time catching up with coaches and managers in the Nationals system. This week, I grabbed a few minutes with low Single-A Hagerstown manager Patrick Anderson, who is coaching and managing in the West Palm Beach facility with the Nationals prospects. Anderson said he has been impressed with how the young players have arrived in shape and appear stronger after offseason work. ... read more

Nats will not change approach in developing Victor Robles

The No. 1 rated Nationals prospect is 19-year-old outfielder Victor Robles, who made a nice step up last season, advancing to high Single-A Potomac. Robles is a part of another talented corps of outfielders on the early camp roster with the club in West Palm Beach. Nationals director of player development Mark Scialabba said they are not altering their plan for Robles, or any other ... read more

Nats' early camp roster: Sagdal and power hitters

Focusing on the Nationals' early camp roster and the potential for power hitting, I asked Nationals director of player development Mark Scialabba about the players that stand out in this category. Do they go from their high school and college numbers to decide who can hit for power or is it developed as they become better hitters? "You look at our approach. Early on in ... read more

Nats' early camp roster: Infielders

Let's take a quick snap shot of some of the infielders that are on the early camp roster. Sheldon Neuse is a third baseman who has made his way up the Nats prospect list last season. The 22-year-old was a second round selection in 2016 and hit .230 in 36 games at short-season Single-A Auburn. "Neuse is at third base," said Nationals director of player ... read more

Nats' early camp roster: J.D. Martin and John Simms

Here are some early camp notes on a pair of now veteran right-handers in J.D. Martin and John Simms. 34-year-old Martin looked to reignite his career last season by returning as a knuckleballer. Martin pitched in 24 games between 2009-10 with the Nationals, going 6-9 with a 4.32 ERA. He last pitched professionally in 2013, but returned to the mound within the Nationals organization in ... read more

Nats' early camp roster: Johansen and Silvestre

Moving on, we'll spotlight a couple of the pitchers from the Nationals' early camp roster. Right-hander Jake Johansen showed well in the Arizona Fall League to wrap up his season. In nine games for the Glendale Desert Dogs, Johansen posted a 2.13 ERA without a decision. He allowed 13 hits and three earned runs in 12 12/3 innings, with five strikeouts and three walks. After ... read more

Nats' early camp roster: Catchers

The Nationals have depth at the catcher spot on the early camp roster, headlined by Jakson Reetz, a 2014 third-round draft pick out of Hickman, Neb. Reetz had seven hits in his last five games at low Single-A Hagerstown to wrap up 2016. He hit .281 in his final 10 games. Reetz caught 88 games for the Suns after notching 79 games combined in 2014 ... read more

Nats' early camp roster: Outfielders

The Nationals' early camp roster is set for 2017. The team will separate into teams for intrasquad matchups beginning next week. Nationals director of player development Mark Scialabba says each member of this roster came in looking in good shape and several are physically stronger than they were last season. In particular, the college players drafted in June 2016 have made strides. "To a man, ... read more

A look at the Nationals' early camp roster

Here is a rundown of the Nationals' early camp roster, which includes No. 1 prospect Victor Robles, an outfielder, and 34-year-old knuckleballer J.D. Martin. Players on the roster that are participating in the World Baseball Classic are left-hander Robert Orlan and infielder Adrian Sanchez. Right-handers Joan Baez A.J. Bogucki Weston Davis Matt Derosier Hayden Howard Jacob Howell Tyler Mapes J.D. Martin Phillip Morse Francys Peguero ... read more

MLB.com has Nationals' minor league position players ranked No. 16

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 ... read more

Hill, Suero, Lee, McGowin and Soto look to make splash in big league camp

Three top Nationals prospects were invited to big league camp, which starts this week, including the Nats' top pitching prospect. I have written a good amount on Erick Fedde, Drew Ward and Andrew Stevenson. Here is a closer look five other non-roster invitees to Nats camp: RHP Taylor Hill 27 6-foot-3, 230 lbs. Nashville, Tenn. Vanderbilt Hill has made nine appearances and pitched 21 innings ... read more

Dominican pitchers making big strides in Nats organization

Bullpen depth is a commodity the Nationals want to shore up in 2017. The good news is that the organization is soon going to bear the fruit of its top talent from the Dominican Republic. The Nats also have some outstanding Dominican starting pitchers building from the lower levels on the farm. Here is a list of some of the up-and-coming hurlers in the Nationals ... read more

More praise for Nats prospects Ward, Marmolejos and Soto

Reviewing some of the other Nationals infield prospects we have not touched on yet, and that list must include third baseman Drew Ward. He extended his season in the Arizona Fall League, where MLBPipeline.com senior writer Jim Callis got to see him play in person. "He's a guy who was a high school player when they signed him," Callis said. "Power is his tool. It's ... read more

Nats add veteran relievers Nathan, Albers on minor league deals

The Nationals, in their ongoing search for a new closer, have signed the man who ranks eighth all-time with 377 saves. Whether Joe Nathan, at 42, still has enough left in his twice-reconstructed elbow to save another major league game remains to be seen, but the club is willing to take a low-risk chance on him. In signing both Nathan and veteran right-hander Matt Albers ... read more

Stevenson continues to hunt baseballs, move up Nats chain

Nationals prospect Andrew Stevenson finished off an impressive 2016 season by playing 21 games in the Arizona Fall League. Stevenson's big highlight was a 5-for-6 game against Peoria in November. In the 15-3 Glendale win, Stevenson hit a solo homer, had two RBIs and scored three runs. The 22-year-old ended up hitting .353 with four doubles, two triples, two homers, 12 RBIs and nine stolen ... read more

Voth improved his changeup, curveball to get big league ready

Right-hander Austin Voth has continued repeating his changeup delivery into the offseason, determined to keep the muscle memory in place since his success with the pitch at the end of the Arizona Fall League. "Right now, I'm just playing catch, coming back in from long tossing," Voth said. "I will throw it at a long distance from 120 (feet) and air it out. And then ... read more

How Austin Voth turned around his Arizona Fall League season

In his first three starts in Arizona Fall League play, Nationals right-hander Austin Voth was struggling. Unable to find the accuracy he had consistently reached during the season, he wasn't hitting his spots with his most reliable pitches. Voth surrendered 13 runs on 13 hits in those initial 9 2/3 frames. He was suddenly 0-1 with a 12.10 ERA. Glendale pitching coach Sam Narron worked ... read more

No. 1 Nats prospect: Victor Robles

The Nationals' top prospect according to Baseball America was all the talk at last month's Winter Meetings. Several teams inquired about 19-year-old center fielder Victor Robles and for good reason. No. 1: CF Victor Robles Robles played two months for low Single-A Hagerstown before being promoted to high Single-A Potomac on June 27. He hit .305 for the Suns and .262 for the P-Nats. He ... read more

No. 2 Nats prospect: Erick Fedde

With Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning traded to the Chicago White Sox, one remaining pitching prospect who had his name brought up a lot in offseason trade talks takes center stage. Right-hander Erick Fedde appears to be close to making a big splash with the Nationals after gaining momentum with a solid 2016. The 23-year-old pitched in 18 games (17 starts) with high ... read more

Nationals sign veteran lefty Cotts to minor league deal

The Nationals are bringing another veteran left-hander into the fray to compete for a bullpen job this spring, signing Neal Cotts to a minor league contract with an invitation to big league camp, a source familiar with the deal confirmed. Cotts, who turns 37 in March, owns a 3.96 ERA in 483 career appearances since 2003, most of those coming with the White Sox and ... read more

Nats' entire minor league coaching staff returns for 2017

The Nationals announced there were no major adjustments to their minor league coaching staff for 2017, with each level retaining the same coaches as they had in 2016. The exception was strength and conditioning, where a number of coaches were promoted or assigned more responsibility. Mike Warren was named strength and conditioning coach at Triple-A Syracuse. Brett Henry was promoted from Syracuse to the major ... read more

No. 3 Nats prospect: Juan Soto

We hear a ton about Victor Robles, but there are more and more Dominican players that the Nationals are building who are going to start making names for themselves each passing season. This season that breakout player could well be outfielder Juan Soto. Soto absolutely tore through the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and then didn't miss a beat with an outstanding showcase week with the ... read more

No. 4 Nats prospect: Wilmer Difo

Shortstop Wilmer Difo was so critical to the Nationals' late-season push that he made the postseason roster and had the final at-bat in the National League Division Series. But he is still a young prospect, and is important to the Nats' infield depth. Baseball America's top 10 Nationals prospects list has him at No. 4. No. 4: SS Wilmer Difo I asked Baseball America national ... read more

No. 5 Nats prospect: Andrew Stevenson

The Nationals have continued to build outfield depth in their system over the past few seasons. One example is former LSU standout Andrew Stevenson, who had a very nice 2016 campaign. In the list of Baseball America Nationals top 10 prospects, Stevenson comes in at No. 5. No. 5: CF Andrew Stevenson His NCAA and College World Series experience demonstrated how far along he was ... read more

Update on Matt Skole and the importance of winter league baseball

It turned into a pretty big year for Matt Skole, as he put together consistency with Triple-A Syracuse to the tune of 140 games, 24 homers and 78 RBIs. Skole, 27, was rewarded by his promotion to the Nationals' 40-man roster for the first time in his career. Skole wrapped up his season by playing for over a month in the Mexican Pacific Winter League. ... read more

How do Nats prospects end up playing in winter leagues?

Each offseason, a handful of Nationals prospects get the opportunity to work on their skills and gain valuable playing time experience in winter league competition in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Do the Nationals just send whichever players they want to these teams? Or does the player decide when and where he plays? There is a winter league agreement that's the governing ... read more

No. 6 Nats prospect: Koda Glover

Right-hander Koda Glover made one of the more astonishing moves in one season when he jumped from high Single-A Potomac to the Nationals in a matter of four months last summer. Glover, 23, out of Oklahoma State, pitched for Potomac, Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse from April to August. During that span, Glover went 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA in 40 games, striking out 66 ... read more

No. 7 Nats prospect: Luis Garcia

For the most part, those on the Baseball America top 10 Nationals prospects list have played at least one season in the organization. However, No. 7 prospect Luis Garcia is starting his first season with the Nationals after signing as an international free agent in July. This Garcia is a 16-year-old shortstop out of the Dominican Republic, and not the pitcher of the same name ... read more

No. 8 Nats prospect: Carter Kieboom

The Nationals were thrilled to be able to grab shortstop Carter Kieboom in the first round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft. The club had been well acquainted with his brother, catcher Spencer Kieboom, and in their times scouting him got to see Carter work, as well. Carter Kieboom turned down a full scholarship at Clemson University to go pro with the Nationals. Carter, 19, ... read more

No. 9 Nats prospect: Pedro Severino

The Nationals lost starting catcher Wilson Ramos to a devastating ACL injury at the very end of the 2016 regular season. Ramos is recovering well and was signed by the Tampa Bay Rays to a two-year deal. The Nationals quickly re-signed veteran backstop Jose Lobaton and reacquired Derek Norris, who began his career as a Nationals draft selection in 2007 and went on to success ... read more

No. 10 Nats prospect: Austin Voth

Accelerating thanks to an incredible end to his Arizona Fall League play, right-hander Austin Voth comes in at No. 10 on the recently released released Baseball America Nationals top 10 prospects list. No. 10: RHP Austin Voth Voth tossed 15 scoreless innings to wrap up his season with the Glendale Desert Dogs. Teddy Cahill, Baseball America's national writer, said Voth's overall numbers this season in ... read more

Nationals sign Burriss, three pitchers to minor league deals

The Nationals added some pitching depth to the organization Tuesday - and brought a local favorite back to the franchise, as well - during a series of minor league signings. Right-handers Jacob Turner and Michael Broadway, left-hander Tim Collins and infielder Emmanuel Burriss all agreed to minor league deals with invitations to big league spring training. None would appear at this point to be strong ... read more

Victor Robles leads Baseball America's Nationals top 10 prospects list

The Nationals worked hard during the Winter Meetings looking to improve their team. Three of their top prospects - right-handers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning - were included in a deal with the White Sox for center fielder Adam Eaton. Several teams asked about center fielder Victor Robles in trade scenarios, but general manager Mike Rizzo would not include him in those talks, ... read more

Abreu and Johansen head list of Nats prospects eligible in Rule 5 draft

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. - This morning the Rule 5 draft will commence, and there are a handful of Nationals prospects that are exposed and eligible to be drafted. Here are the stipulations to be eligible for the Rule 5 draft: "Players first signed at age 18 must be added to 40-man rosters within five seasons or they become eligible to be drafted by other organizations ... read more

MLBPipeline.com's Jim Callis likes what he sees in Victor Robles, Andrew Stevenson

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. - Nationals minor league center fielder Victor Robles has been climbing up the prospect charts after an outstanding 2016 season. Robles hit .280 with 118 hits, 37 stolen bases and 75 runs for three teams, fortifying national attention to his elite skill set. Last season, Robles was ranked as the No. 3 prospect in Baseball America's Nationals top 10. Robles' name has ... read more

MLBPipeline.com's Jim Callis sees big value in Nats' starting pitching prospects (video)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. - Despite losing out to the Red Sox in the Chris Sale sweepstakes, the Nationals are still bargaining from a position of strength as far as minor league starting pitching prospects go here at the Winter Meetings. One big question after last season: Had the Nationals' top pitching prospect, right-hander Lucas Giolito, lost some of his luster because of some lukewarm starts ... read more

Stevenson, Ward named to AFL All-Prospects Team

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. - The Arizona Fall League today announced its 2016 Top Prospects Team, which included two top Nationals offensive prospects, third baseman Drew Ward and center fielder Andrew Stevenson. "We are proud of how all of our players went about their business, how they work and represented the Nationals organization in Arizona this fall, and are excited to see both Andrew Stevenson and ... read more

Final Arizona updates on Ward, Stevenson and Abreu

Third baseman Drew Ward went from taxi squad player in 2015 to full-time participant in the 2016 Arizona Fall League and impressed. Ward hit .309 with six doubles and had one stolen base, 13 runs scored and eight RBIs in 21 games. He continued where he had left off in high Single-A Potomac (16 doubles, 11 homers) and Double-A Harrisburg (seven doubles and 24 RBIs). ... read more

Nick Lee rebounded from early struggles to finish strong in Arizona

Left-hander Nick Lee was able to rebound from one tough Oct. 27 outing against Mesa to have a solid finish in the Arizona Fall League for the Glendale Desert Dogs. In that game, Lee surrendered four hits and two runs over 1 1/3 innings with one walk and two strikeouts. But Lee was able to post a 1.54 ERA in 10 overall outings. He had ... read more

Jake Johansen focuses on throwing strikes and a new breaking pitch

Right-hander Jake Johansen was able to break through with his consistency in the Arizona Fall League. Johansen found the strike zone and got out good hitters to the tune of a 2.13 ERA over 12 2/3 innings in nine appearances. He struck out five and walked three, allowing only three total runs. Glendale Desert Dogs pitching coach Sam Narron, whose regular season job is with ... read more

Austin Voth's "little adjustments" fueled three-game win streak in Arizona

The Glendale Desert Dogs came back from a slow start in Arizona Fall League competition, finishing just a half-game from the title tilt. Surprise advanced to the championship and also won the season series with the Desert Dogs 4-2. But the seven Nationals prospects in Arizona made the Saguaros work for that opportunity. "At our low point, we were 6-12," said Glendale pitching coach Sam ... read more

Five Nats prospects help lift Glendale to win in final AFL game

Glendale did their part to reach the Arizona Fall League title game, stopping Peoria 3-1. The Desert Dogs (17-15) won seven of their last 10 games, finishing the fall season as the hottest team in the league. But Surprise also won their final game to win the West division by a half-game. The Saguaros (17-14-1) face Mesa in Saturday's championship. In the final game, five ... read more

Stevenson wraps up big AFL season as Glendale seeks title match

Glendale center fielder Andrew Stevenson is surging to finish off his Arizona Fall League campaign. In the last 10 games, Stevenson is hitting .400 (16-for-40) with with a double, triple, homer, five stolen bases, 12 runs and two RBIs. His overall average is .354 with four doubles, two triples, two homers and 12 RBIs. This season with high Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg, the lefty-hitting ... read more

Austin Voth shares Player of the Week honors in AFL

Glendale Desert Dogs pitcher Austin Voth was named co-winner of Player of the Week honors in the Arizona Fall League for Week 5 of competition. Voth shared the honor with Scottsdale shortstop and Yankees product Gleyber Torres. The 24-year-old right-hander threw five scoreless innings in his only start last week, striking out three and scattering three hits. Glendale pitching coach Sam Narron said Voth was ... read more

Spin Williams honored with Mike Coolbaugh Award

Many times over the years, if you were attending a Nationals minor league game, you would have a good chance of seeing Donald "Spin" Williams there. Williams, the Nationals' senior advisor for player development, has been a part of the organization for 11 seasons and is beginning his 39th season in professional baseball. Today, Williams was honored by Minor League Baseball as the recipient of ... read more