Checking in on top pitching performances on farm

The Nationals, of course, have some of the top position player prospects in baseball. But there are some arms that are impressing on the mound as well.

One of the best stories on the Nats farm this season is Brad Lord, a 2022 18th-round pick out of the University of South Florida.

After posting a 4.04 ERA and 1.328 WHIP in 27 games (17 starts) between Single-A Fredericksburg and High-A Wilmington last year, the right-hander has been one of the best starters in all of Minor League Baseball this season.

Lord earned his first promotion to Double-A Harrisburg after one scoreless start with Wilmington. In 12 starts with the Senators, he is 7-1 with a 1.55 ERA, 1.052 WHIP, 9.6 strikeouts-per-nine-innings rate and 3.40 strikeout-to-walk rate.

Last week, he produced his second-career double-digit strikeout performance with seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball and 10 strikeouts for his seventh win of the season.

In the Nationals organization, he ranks first in ERA, wins, strikeouts (71) and innings (67.2), and second in opponents’ average (.199) and WHIP.

Lord was named Eastern League Pitcher of the Month in May by going 5-0 with a 0.87 ERA.

Last year’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year for the Nats Andrew Alvarez earned his first bump up to Triple-A Rochester.

The left-hander went 4-2 with a 2.89 ERA and 1.151 WHIP in 10 starts with Harrisburg before getting promoted to Rochester. He posted 9.0 K/9 and 2.65 K/BB rates while also pitching a seven-inning complete-game shutout.

Alvarez had a rough introduction to Triple-A, giving up six runs in 2 ⅔ innings in his first start, but bounced back last week to toss five shutout frames in his second outing with the Red Wings.

Then there are two big young arms at Fredericksburg who are starting to come around.

Jarlin Susana’s 6.10 ERA in 11 starts isn’t anything to get too excited about, but he has been much better as of late.

The 6-foot-6, 235-pound flamethrower earned his first win of the season last week with second strikeouts over five innings of two-run ball. Over his last three outings, he has a 1.20 ERA (two earned runs in 15 innings), 25 strikeouts and a .125 opponents’ average (6-for-48).

Susana’s 12.8 K/9 is definitely impressive, but his 5.7 BB/9 needs improvement. At only 20 years old, he’s still young, but the Nats would like to see him more consistently in the strike zone with his triple-digit fastball.

As Mike Rizzo now famously said in the offseason, he doesn’t care how fast you throw ball four.

Travis Sykora has joined Susana in the FredNats rotation after starting the year in the Florida Complex League. The Nats’ third-round pick out of high school last summer has eased his way into the professional ranks.

The 6-foot-6, 232-pound righty worked five shutout innings last week, holding the opposition to just two hits while striking out three. Although he’s 0-3, Sykora has a 3.55 ERA and 1.145 WHIP in seven Single-A starts. He has struck out 32 in 25 ⅓ innings (11.4 K/9) and has not allowed more than two earned runs in any outing.

Coupled with the strong rookie seasons of Mitchell Parker and DJ Herz, the Nationals’ pitching depth looks a whole lot deeper now.

Game 72 lineups: Nats vs. Diamondbacks
Winker hopes to return in few days after MRI comes...

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to