After CJ Abrams was promoted to make his Nationals debut on Monday, another prospect from the trade of Juan Soto and Josh Bell to the Padres is rising through the ranks of the farm system.
Robert Hassell III was promoted from high Single-A Wilmington to Double-A Harrisburg today, as the Senators open a six-game homestand against the Erie SeaWolves (Tigers).
Currently the Nationals’ No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline, Hassell started 0-for-16 with the Blue Rocks before recording his first hit in the eighth inning of his fifth game in the Nats system. That started an 8-for-21 (.381) stretch over his next five games, including a 3-for-4 outing with two RBIs on Friday and a 2-for-4 game on Saturday.
Hassell, who turned 21 on Monday, finished 8-for-38 (.211) with a double, three RBIs, six walks and a perfect 3-for-3 in stolen bases at Wilmington.
The promotion to Harrisburg is a trickle-down effect from some roster moves at Triple-A Rochester aside from Abrams.
Outfielder David Dahl opted out of his minor league deal at Rochester after the Nationals elected to utilize Josh Palacios and Alex Call in the major leagues. The 28-year-old slashed .224/.304/.343 with a .647 OPS in 18 games with the Red Wings.
That allowed Daniel Johnson to be promoted from Harrisburg to fill an open outfield spot on Rochester’s roster, and the Senators then had an opening for Hassell.
Infielder Yasel Antuna, the Nats’ No. 14 prospect, also joined Hassell in going from Wilmington to Harrisburg. The 22-year-old slashed .235/.372/.371 with a .743 OPS, 13 doubles, one triple, 10 home runs, 44 RBIs, 26 stolen bases and 72 walks in 99 games with the Blue Rocks.
Originally signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2016 as an infielder, Antuna has played 85 games in left field and four games in right this year, while the Nats try to find other ways to keep his bat in the lineup.
Justin Connell was transferred from Harrisburg to Wilmington to make room for Antuna.
Hassell and Antuna moving to Harrisburg, of course, opens spots in Wilmington’s outfield. The question now is if and when James Wood will get the call from low Single-A Fredericksburg.
Wood, the Nats’ No. 4 prospect, is 13-for-38 (.342) with a .901 OPS, four doubles, one homer, 10 RBIs, four walks and two stolen bases in nine games with the FredNats. The 19-year-old is slashing .338/.442/.589 with a 1.031 OPS, 11 home runs and 55 RBIs in 59 low Single-A games this year between the Nats and Padres systems.
The trickle down could continue all the way down to West Palm Beach as a promotion for Wood would open an outfield spot for No. 5 overall pick Elijah Green.
Entering today, Green is 7-for-20 (.350) with a .990 OPS in six games since joining the Rookie-level Florida Complex League.
But the Nationals may not rush their recent first-round pick, as they held 2021 first-rounder Brady House to 16 games in the FCL last year before he made his low Single-A debut to start this season.