Checking in on the Nats' top prospects


While the Nationals enjoy Thursday’s off-day (and hopefully use it to break out of their offensive slump), let’s take a long overdue look at some of the top prospects down on the farm and not just the ones you know we’re going to talk about …

“You talk about the players, everybody talks about the one guy, but we got quite a few,” said manager Davey Martinez.

A Nats minor leaguer received some recognition over the past week, with Andrew Pinckney being named Eastern League Player of the Week on Monday.

“Pinckney won Player of the Week, which is awesome,” said Martinez. “Nobody talks about him, but he's a pretty good player.”

A fourth-round pick last year out of the University of Alabama, Pinckney slashed .429/.478/.905 with five extra-base hits and seven RBIs last week with Double-A Harrisburg. He’s slashing .279/.327/.396 with a .723 OPS, seven doubles, one triple, three homers, 19 RBIs and 11 stolen bases in 38 games with the Senators.

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Which prospects missed out on big league camp invites?

Elijah Green Fredericksburg

The Nationals took one step closer to the start of spring training yesterday by announcing the first round of non-roster invitations to major league camp.

The first batch of invites includes top prospects Dylan Crews (No. 1 in Nats system per Baseball America), James Wood (No. 2), Brady House (No. 3), Robert Hassell III (No. 7), Trey Lipscomb (No. 16) and Darren Baker (No. 28), all of whom will be attending their first big league spring training.

Other non-roster players invited yesterday include outfielder Travis Blankenhorn, first baseman Lewin Diaz, left-hander Joe La Sorsa, catcher Brady Lindsly and first baseman/outfielder Juan Yepez.

Two weeks from today, Nationals pitchers and catchers will hold their first workout to start the 2024 campaign at the team’s facility in West Palm Beach. Six days later the first full-squad workout will take place.

As general manager Mike Rizzo looks to fill out the roster before the team convenes in a few weeks, which top prospects just missed out on a major league camp invite?

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Pinckney adds another experienced college bat and outfield depth to Nats system

Andrew Pinckney Wilmington


Age on opening day 2024: 23

How acquired: Drafted in fourth round in 2023 from University of Alabama

Ranking: No. 19 per MLB Pipeline, NR per Baseball America

MLB ETA: 2026
* Projected by MLB Pipeline

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Source: Crews to Harrisburg, Morales and Pinckney to Wilmington

Dylan Crews Fredericksburg

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – As they showcase themselves before a national audience for the first time this season, the Nationals are moving their top picks from this summer’s draft a step closer to the big league stage, including a big jump for their No. 1 prospect.

The Nats are promoting outfielder Dylan Crews to Double-A Harrisburg, a source familiar with the decision confirmed, after the No. 2 overall pick dominated at Single-A Fredericksburg in his professional debut.

Crews hit a robust .351 with five homers, 24 RBIs and a 1.073 OPS in only 13 games with Fredericksburg, proving more than capable of competing at that level only months after he led LSU to the College World Series title.

The fact the Nationals are bumping Crews up to Double-A, skipping the High-A level altogether, underscores how advanced they believe he is, not to mention how soon they believe the 21-year-old could be big league ready.

Crews will join a Harrisburg lineup already loaded with top prospects, including outfielders James Wood and Robert Hassell III and third baseman Brady House.

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Recapping Nats' second day of MLB Draft

MLB Draft 2023 generic

The Nationals made eight picks between the third and 10th rounds of the MLB Draft yesterday. They’ll conclude this year’s draft with 10 picks this afternoon, spearheaded by vice president of scouting Kris Kline and assistant director of amateur scouting Mark Baca.

Of their first 10 selections, the Nationals have selected two outfielders, four infielders, one catcher, two right-handers and one left-hander. Righty Travis Sykora, the third-rounder, was the only pick out of high school, with the other nine coming out of college.

“I think we did a super job,” Kline said on a Zoom call with reporters after the 10th round last night. “Everybody in there making our pool money work to the best of our ability and that kind of translated into three first-round picks at the top of our draft. So it was a good day. Good first two days for us. So pretty good.”

Because of the high number of college players and even with the lone high schooler, the Nationals feel confident they will sign all 10 of their picks from the first two days: “Yeah, we feel confident we'll have that all taken care of,” Kline said.

A lot has already been written about the No. 2 overall selection and No. 40 pick Yohandy Morales, both of whom are two of the next top Nats prospects.

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Draft tracker: Nats kick off Day 2 of 2023 MLB Draft (final update)

Nats 2023 Draft generic

The 2023 MLB Draft continues with Rounds 3-10 this afternoon and the Nationals are set to kick everything off with the first pick of the third round, 71st overall.

The Nationals, of course, lost to the Pirates for the No. 1 overall pick in the inaugural MLB Draft Lottery despite having the worst record in the majors last year by five games. But the draft’s subsequent 19 rounds revert back to the traditional order of worst-to-first, meaning they will have the first pick in each remaining round.

With the No. 2 overall pick last night, the Nationals selected Louisiana State University outfielder Dylan Crews, widely considered to be one of best prospects – if not the best prospect - in this year’s draft as the Golden Spikes Award winner.

“He's got a great skill set,” general manager Mike Rizzo said. “I think he's a guy that's going to fit right in here and be one of the leaders of the core group of guys that's going to be part of the next group of championships that we have here."

To start the second round, the Nats selected University of Miami (Fla.) third baseman Yohandy Morales with the 40th overall selection. The Nationals were surprised the 6-foot-4, 225-pounder was available to them that late, as he was ranked as MLB Pipeline’s 20th best draft prospect.

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