Wrapping up Nats in AFL, including Garcia, Banks and Sharp in title game

MLB.com recently ranked the top 25 prospects who played in the Arizona Fall League.

Surprise Saguaros shortstop Luis Garcia was ranked No. 15. He is the Nationals’ No. 2 prospect behind Carter Kieboom and ranked No. 91 overall.

“Garcia scuffled in Double-A this season as a 19-year-old but looked better in the Fall League,” wrote MLB.com. “Though he has yet to tap into his solid raw power, the rest of his tools all could be at least above average once he’s fully developed.”

Surprise lost the AFL championship game to Salt River 5-1 on Oct. 26. Nats farmhand Sterling Sharp took the loss, allowing five runs in the fourth inning, including a Jerar Encarnacion grand slam.

Nationals prospects had three of the four Surprise hits in the title match. Garcia went 2-for-4 with the club’s only RBI, scoring Bubba Thompson from third with a single in the third inning. Right fielder Nick Banks went 1-for-3.

Luis-Garcia-Futures-Game-sidebar.jpgGarcia, 19, slashed .276/.345/.382 with four doubles, two triples, two stolen bases and six RBIs in 20 games. He hit .257 for Double-A Harrisburg in 129 games, with 22 doubles, four triples, four homers and 30 RBIs. He struck out 86 times and would like to improve on his .280 OBP.

Banks, 24, was the Carolina League All-Star Game MVP in June. He slashed .250/.295/.464 for Surprise over 16 games, with three doubles, two stolen bases, three homers and eight RBIs.

Despite allowing the big hit in the final, right-hander Sharp, 24, was on point in the AFL, posting a 2-1 record with a 1.50 ERA, and striking out 24 in 24 innings. He allowed only four earned runs in six starts. Sharp posted a 0.93 ERA versus left-handed batters.

Catcher Jakson Reetz, 23, slashed .333/.455/.519 in eight games. Left fielder Cole Freeman, 25, hit .233/.306/.256 with a double and five RBIs in 15 games.

Banks, Freeman and Reetz all appeared in the Carolina League All-Star game as well as the AFL championship game.

Right-hander Jacob Condra-Bogan, 25, pitched in six games for Surprise, allowing no runs in seven innings of work, posting three saves. Right-hander Andrew Lee, 26, posted a 1.38 ERA in nine games, striking out 12 and allowing only two walks in 13 innings.

Left-hander Nick Raquet, 23, got hit a bit in AFL work, but gained valuable experience as he prepares for next season. Raquet had to pitch out the bullpen in Arizona, posting an 8.49 ERA in nine games. He started 25 games for high Single-A Potomac, going 11-9 during the regular season with a 4.07 ERA.

It’s about time Lee gets a shot at major league spring training. He was 0-1 with a 2.56 ERA in 100 games at Harrisburg. I expect to see a lot from these prospects in West Palm Beach come spring training.

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