Gore sharp in final spring tune-up as big leaguers win Futures Game (Lipscomb to minors camp)

gore pitches blue

It was a fun day on South Capitol Street, as the Nationals played the first-ever “On Deck: Nationals Futures Game” for their final exhibition outing before starting the regular season Thursday in Cincinnati.

The Nationals’ major leaguers were set to play a team full of the organization’s top prospects, many of whom spent the majority of spring training in big league camp. There were smiles all around this morning as the youngsters prepped for the game in the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park, while the major league team got settled into the home locker room with bags packed for tomorrow’s early morning flight to Cincy.

But once the game started, the niceties between organizational teammates disappeared for the next 2 hours and 35 minutes as the major league team flexed its muscles while dominating the Futures Team 13-1 in front of an announced paid crowd of 10,294 at Nats Park.

“It was good,” said major league manager Davey Martinez. “We had some good at-bats. I thought we played really well. The key was to get some at-bats, see some pitches. We had a day off yesterday, but I saw some really good things. And the young kids, they stood up there and they weren't afraid. The guys that we had, they swung the bats well. Our kids got up there and they got their swings. So it was a good day.”

MacKenzie Gore set the tone early in his final tune-up before taking the ball Monday for the Nats’ home opener against the Pirates. Facing top prospects Robert Hassell III, Dylan Crews, James Wood and Trey Lipscomb, the left-hander recorded three strikeouts in the first frame while only surrendering an opposite-field double to Wood.

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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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Longosz on what excites him about Nats' farm system

Hassell Wood Crews Harrisburg

Last month, the Nationals promoted longtime front office staffer Eddie Longosz to vice president and assistant general manager of player development and administration after spending the last 13 years in the club’s scouting department, most recently as the director of scouting operations for the last eight.

Before the promotion, Longosz, a D.C. native, assisted general manager Mike Rizzo on all aspects of the organization's amateur, professional and international scouting operations.

That means he is now in charge of developing the players in the Nats’ farm system that he helped scout and draft.

The upper echelon of the farm system is now loaded, especially with position players, thanks to high draft picks, numerous trades and impressive international signings over the last three years, all with Longosz’s input.

At the top of the board is top prospect Dylan Crews, this year’s No. 2 overall draft pick, reigning national champion from LSU and Golden Spikes Award winner. The other recent first-round picks include third baseman and No. 3 prospect Brady House (No. 11 overall pick in 2021) and outfielder and No. 5 prospect Elijah Green (No. 5 overall pick in 2022).

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Flame-throwing Susana still developing raw skills

Jarlin Susana Fredericksburg


Age on opening day 2024: 20

How acquired: Traded with MacKenzie Gore, CJ Abrams, James Wood, Robert Hassell III and Luke Voit from Padres for Juan Soto and Josh Bell in August 2022; originally signed as international free agent by Padres from Dominican Republic, January 2022

Ranking: No. 12 per MLB Pipeline, No. 10 per Baseball America

MLB ETA: 2025
* Projected by MLB Pipeline

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Prospects at instructional league visited Nats in Miami


As the major league regular season enters its last week, the lower level of the minor leagues have already wrapped up their 2022 campaigns.

In the Nationals system, only Triple-A Rochester is still playing games with their season finale coming tomorrow afternoon. Double-A Harrisburg, High-A Wilmington, Single-A Fredericksburg and the Rookie-level Florida Complex League are done playing games and now see some of their top players come together for the instructional league camp at the Nationals’ facility in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Robert Hassell III, Elijah Green, James Wood, Jarlin Susana and Jackson Rutledge are among some of the top prospects taking part in instructs. A lot of the future faces of this franchise are all together for their first camp since many of them came to the franchise via this summer’s draft and trade deadline moves.

Just an hour away in West Palm, the group of players made a trip down to visit the Nationals over the weekend in Miami. General manager Mike Rizzo, director of player development De Jon Watson and manager Davey Martinez were among some of the heads in the organization to address the young players.

“Yeah, I spoke to them all and I talked to them for a little while,” Martinez said. “It was good to actually get in front of them and see some of those guys. Some of the guys I've seen before but congratulate them for being there. I mean, when you get to instructional league, it's kind of like the guys are handpicked to be there and get some more instruction. And I told them to keep working hard and kind of be the cream of the crop, really. And keep working. I mean, the door's wide open right now for you guys and we're looking at players and keep pushing. Be the best and keep putting up the numbers and have fun.”

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New prospect rankings reflect Nats’ revamped farm system


After the Nationals lost their seventh of their last eight games yesterday, it would seem now is a good time to look at some recent prospect rankings.

We’ll be doing this a lot over the coming months and even seasons, so be sure to stay tuned.

The Nationals revamped their farm system and entered a full rebuild after trading their best players at back-to-back trade deadlines and signed 19 of their 20 picks in last month’s MLB Draft.

And national publications are taking notice of the new prospects in the Nats’ minor league system.

Baseball America released their updated prospect rankings earlier this week, the top 30 for each major league club and the top 100 overall.

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Green homers in pro debut, Susana strikes out four in Nats farm debut

elijah green

Try not to get too excited, but it's hard not to take notice of some impressive debuts for a couple of the newest Nationals prospects.

Elijah Green homered in his professional debut and Jarlin Susana struck out four in his Nats farm debut at the Rookie-level Florida Complex League this afternoon.

Green, the No. 5 overall pick in last month’s MLB Draft, sent the second pitch of his second at-bat over the left-field wall of one of the back fields at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Fla.

The right-handed hitter with a 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame at the age of 18 was scouted as a five-tool player with tremendous upside heading into the draft. On the 20-80 grading scale, he already is rated with 60 power and 70 speed.

Green played center field and hit third for the FCL Nationals. He struck out looking on three pitches in his first at-bat (at least according to the MiLB.com box score) and finished 1-for-4 with the home run and three strikeouts in his first professional game.

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Martinez intrigued by new young talent in Nats system

abrams padres

PHILADELPHIA – It’s a demanding job being a major league manager. All the pressure in the world lies on your shoulders. You don’t get enough credit when you win and you get all of the blame when you lose.

For eight to nine months of the year, Davey Martinez has to worry about the 26 players he has on the Nationals’ active roster. He often even has to worry about the guys that make up the 40-man roster and some of the players in the upper levels of the minor league system.

Needless to say, this is a busy time of year for Martinez. He has his plate totally full.

But even he can’t help himself in checking out the new young prospects the Nationals received in the Juan Soto-Josh Bell trade with the Padres on Tuesday. Three of the five prospects – outfielder James Wood at low Single-A Fredericksburg, outfielder Robert Hassell III at high Single-A Wilmington and shortstop C.J. Abrams at Triple-A Rochester – made their organizational debuts over the last couple of days. And Martinez was impressed with what he saw.

“Yeah, as I said before, I got 26 guys here that I worry about,” Martinez said before Saturday’s game against the Phillies. “But it's good to see that these young guys are doing well. We got some guys, I check up on all our guys. We got some guys down there that are having really good years, and that's really, really good to see.”

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