Nats prospect Cole Henry way ahead of game as 2021 approaches

Here is an update on the Nationals’ 2020 second-round draft selection, right-hander Cole Henry. The 6-foot-4, 211-lb., Henry was LSU’s No. 1 starter in the most recent abbreviated season. He is rated as the Nats No. 4 overall prospect on MLBPipeline.com. Although the Tigers were only able to get four weekends of play in due to the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, Henry still managed to go ... read more

Doubles can turn into homers as minor leaguers move to majors

One way to track the potential of a young star becoming a power hitter in the major leagues is to monitor doubles hit through their minor league career. Let’s start with a couple of elite players - Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon - and their minor league statistics. Turner spent 69 games in the minors in 2014 and hit 16 doubles, which is one double ... read more

Is a good BABIP important in getting to the World Series?

I had a chance to catch up with current George Washington University and former big league coach Gregg Ritchie prior to the GW women’s basketball game in D.C. on Wednesday night, and we talked about how important balls in play are to overall success for major league teams. Ritchie played in the Rangers organization in 1995 and was the Pirates’ hitting coach from 2011-2012. He ... read more

More from Sam Clay on the numbers of baseball

Here is more insight from pitcher Sam Clay from last week’s Zoom call on the psychology of baseball. The free agent left-hander was signed by the Nats on Nov. 18 to a major league contract after spending his entire minor league career in the Twins organization. He had been a free agent for only 16 days before the Nationals snatched him up. Clay boasts an ... read more

Winter ball updates on Robles and Barrera, plus other notes

Center fielder Victor Robles is hitting well in the first week of Dominican Winter League play, slashing .316 with a .908 OPS. He has one homer, two RBIs and only three strikeouts in 19 at-bats over five games for Aguilas Cibaenas. Emilio Bonifacio is hitting .300 in three games and Wilmer Difo is hitting .250 over five games. Right-hander Paolo Espino did not allow a ... read more

Nats reportedly interested in Kris Bryant and DJ LeMahieu

The Nationals are working the phones, speaking with big-time free agents and well-known players, in an attempt to upgrade their offense for a team that ended up in last place in the abbreviated 2020 campaign. In back-to-back tweets Friday, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported the Nats are interested in trading for All-Star third baseman Kris Bryant and finding a way to sign touted free agent ... read more

Report: Nats in Rochester on 10-year deal, but Richmond still in play

Two and a half years ago, the Nationals agreed to a two-year deal to have their Triple-A team play out of Fresno, Calif., after they lost their affiliation deal with Syracuse to the Mets. But now the Nationals have agreed to move to Rochester, N.Y., for what is reported to be a long-term affiliation. Kevin Reichard, founder and publisher of the Ballpark Digest, appearing on ... read more

Nats moving Triple-A affiliate to Rochester (updated)

The Nationals will play Triple-A baseball in Rochester, N.Y., in 2021, a club source has confirmed. The Nats’ contract with the Fresno Grizzlies of the Pacific Coast League expired after last season. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Nats ended up playing only 140 games affiliated with Fresno. There is no confirmation how long the Nats’ contract is with Rochester. The Nats had a two-year ... read more