AFL season ends for Nats prospects with loss in championship

The Arizona Fall League came to a close Saturday night, with several Nationals prospects in the spotlight for the developmental league's championship game. The Surprise Saguaros, who had eight Nats on a roster managed by Single-A Fredericksburg's Mario Lisson, lost the championship to the Mesa Solar Sox, who pitched a combined one-hitter during a 6-0 victory in Scottsdale. Final game results aside, the last month ... read more

Updates on Nats prospects in Arizona Fall League

The development of prospects is a vital part of any rebuilding team and the Arizona Fall League presents teams with an opportunity to send a handful of their minor league players to continue that process after the conclusions of their regular seasons. Whether they missed time due to injuries or coaches want to see them play more, the AFL is a great chance for prospects ... read more

Cavalli gives up five runs in brief Triple-A debut

The Nationals promoted Cade Cavalli to Triple-A this week because they wanted to see how their top pitching prospect would handle more experienced hitters with a better sense of the strike zone. And in his debut Saturday night for Rochester, the young right-hander got a taste of what's still in store for him before he's ready to pitch in the big leagues. Cavalli was pulled ... read more

Is September promotion in the cards for Ruiz?

Keibert Ruiz is making the Nationals take notice, but even a sizzling start at Triple-A Rochester since arriving in a trade deadline deal with the Dodgers might not be enough to earn the 23-year-old catcher a look-see in D.C. in September. Ruiz is slashing .314/.360/.614 with five home runs and 14 RBIs in 18 games since joining the Red Wings, including back-to-back two-homer games on ... read more

Top pitching prospect Cavalli getting promoted to Triple-A

The Nationals are promoting Cade Cavalli to Triple-A Rochester, bringing their top pitching prospect one step closer to the big leagues, a source familiar with the decision confirmed. Cavalli, the organization's 2020 first-round pick, made 11 starts at Double-A Harrisburg, producing a 2.79 ERA, 1.276 WHIP and 80 strikeouts in only 58 innings. At times, the right-hander dominated the competition, though he continues to have ... read more

Brady House not feeling extra pressure with rebuild

All rebuilds have a face attached to them. Usually one of a young, up and coming player - whether a high draft pick or fast-rising prospect - that signifies the hope of what's to come. The light at the end of the tunnel. The success of the future. I know Nationals manager Davey Martinez said he doesn't like the term "rebuild," but for our purposes, ... read more

Rizzo's plan for Cavalli doesn't appear to include D.C. in 2021

There may no prospect in baseball, certainly no pitching prospect, whose stock has risen around the sport this season more than Cade Cavalli. The Nationals felt all along they had something special in their 2020 first-round draft pick. Now the rest of the industry is catching on and recognizing the right-hander's immense talent and potential, which was on full display during the All-Star Futures Game ... read more

Cavalli flashes some heat in All-Star Futures Game (updated)

Double-A Harrisburg's Cade Cavalli flashed a little of the triple-digit velocity that made him a first-round pick by the Nationals in the 2020 First-Year Player Draft during a one-inning relief stint in Sunday's All-Star Futures Game at Coors Field in Denver. Relieving the Pirates' Quinn Priester to start the fifth inning with his National League team ahead 6-0, Cavalli struck out two and walked two ... read more

Cade Cavalli selected to All-Star Futures Game

One of the hottest pitchers in all of baseball resides in the Nationals farm system and is going to be in the national spotlight a couple of weeks from now during Major League Baseball's All-Star festivities, testing his talents with the best prospects the sport has to offer. Cade Cavalli has been selected to represent the organization in the 2021 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. The ... read more

Cavalli, Cronin promoted to Double-A; first All-Star votes revealed

Cade Cavalli's dominant first six weeks of professional baseball have earned the Nationals' top prospect a quick promotion to Double-A. The Nats are moving Cavalli and Matt Cronin from high Single-A Wilmington up to Harrisburg, rewarding both pitchers for their impressive starts to the minor league season, a source familiar with the promotions confirmed. Cavalli, the organization's first-round draft pick last summer, has quickly rocketed ... read more

Checking in on the Nationals farm system

The minor league season is now in full swing. Teams have played five series, each of them lasting six games (with a few postponements along the way). So we're starting to get a better sample size to evaluate players' performances. The Nationals farm system, as has been well documented, is a work in progress. But there have been signs of life in recent weeks, with ... read more

Nats add to minor league pitching depth by signing lefty Rogers

The Nationals made a small, yet not totally insignificant move Friday in an effort to replenish their minor league pitching depth. The organization signed left-hander Josh Rogers to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Rochester. The Red Wings announced the signing Friday afternoon. Rogers was released by the Orioles on Monday after four appearances (two starts) with Triple-A Norfolk. He went 0-3 ... read more

Cavalli's pro career off to a rousing start in Wilmington

If you're in need of a little pick-me-up following Wednesday night's extra-inning loss to the Phillies, here's one that might do the trick: Cade Cavalli's professional career is off to a fantastic start. The Nationals' 2020 first-round pick authored another impressive outing Wednesday for high Single-A Wilmington, tossing five scoreless innings while striking out eight during an eventual 1-0 win over Jersey Shore. Cavalli surrendered ... read more

Rounding up the first week of the minor league season

The first week of the minor league season is complete, and for the first time in two years, we actually have some box scores and stats to pore through and get a sense of the state of the Nationals farm system. The Nats' four full-season affiliates are off to a rough start record-wise, but there have been some notable individual performances so far. Let's run ... read more

How call-ups and rehab assignments will work in 2021

Throughout their 60-game season last summer and the first month of this season, when the Nationals needed to add a player to their big league roster they simply sent word to their alternate training site in Fredericksburg and waited for the player to make the short drive up Interstate 95 to Nationals Park. It was, under the circumstances, the safest way to make transactions while ... read more

Minor league rosters set on eve of long-awaited opening day

It's been an astounding 20 months since official Minor League Baseball games were last played, an interminable length of time for prospects, staff members, and fans in communities large and small across America to wait since the end of the 2019 season. Suffice it to say, there are a lot of eager folks right now on the eve of a long-awaited 2021 opening day. "It's ... read more

Nats ready to transition from alternate site to minor leagues

When they needed to make a transaction prior to Friday's game to open up a spot on the active roster for Jon Lester, the Nationals elected to option right-hander Steven Fuentes. That wasn't terribly surprising; the 23-year-old prospect hadn't appeared in a game after getting called up 10 days earlier, and the organization wants to make sure he gets back into a typical, five-day routine ... read more

Pitching prospect Denaburg has Tommy John surgery

Mason Denaburg, the Nationals' 2018 first-round draft pick and eighth-ranked prospect, will miss the season after recently undergoing Tommy John surgery, a club official confirmed. It's another tough blow for the oft-injured Denaburg, who since he was selected 27th in the country out of Merritt Island (Fla.) High School three years ago has thrown only 20 1/3 professional innings due to arm troubles. The 21-year-old ... read more

Romero and Braymer stretching out as starters

The Nationals have been very clear about how they will utilize their top pitching prospects. Guys like Jackson Rutledge and Cade Cavalli project to be front-line starters, and general manager Mike Rizzo has confirmed that's the path the organization has set them on. But the futures of some mid-level prospects aren't as certain. Guys like Seth Romero and Ben Braymer have pitched both as starters ... read more

Report: Nationals eyeing Cuban Vaquero on international front

When the new international signing period begins, likely in January, the Nationals are expected to make a big splash to sign one of the top outfielders in the class. Baseball America reports the Nationals are expected to use most of their pool money on Cuban outfielder Cristian Vaquero, a 16-year-old left-handed hitter. "Vaquero is a dynamic center fielder with plus speed, a strong arm and ... read more

Spring training expectations set for Rutledge and Cavalli

Reporting to the first day of spring training as rookies must feel a lot like a freshman arriving on campus for the first day of high school. But instead of being surrounded by jocks, cliques and faculty, you're stepping into a clubhouse full of world champions, a World Series MVP, a Cy Young Award winner and All-Stars. OK, so in a sense, still jocks. But ... read more

Nationals set minor league coaching staffs

Now that Major League Baseball has announced minor league affiliations and schedules for the 2021 season, the Nationals took care of one remaining piece of unfinished business Friday afternoon, announcing their minor league coaching staffs for the upcoming campaign. Matt LeCroy will move up a level to manage Triple-A Rochester after spending the 2016-19 seasons as the skipper at Double-A Harrisburg. In his 13th season ... read more

Minor league schedules announced by Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball this morning announced the schedules for the 2021 Minor League Baseball season, the final step in a year's worth of tinkering that saw MLB assume operations for all of its clubs' farm teams. The Rochester Red Wings, the Nationals' new Triple-A affiliate, will begin play on Tuesday, April 6 at Buffalo, the first of six straight road games against the Bisons. Rochester ... read more

Cavalli cracks's top 100 prospects list

Some - maybe not much, but some - was made a little over a week ago when the Nationals did not have a single prospect land in Baseball America's top 100 prospects list. They were the only major league team to not have at least one prospect ranked by the publication. But on Thursday night, another highly regarded source for baseball prospect news came out ... read more

Pineda gained valuable experience in Fredericksburg over summer

One of the well regarded backstops in the Nationals organization is Israel Pineda, ranked No. 12 on the Nats top 30 prospects list from Nationals catching coordinator Michael Barrett said the 20-year-old out of Maracray, Venezuela, gained valuable experience by getting a taste of working with big leaguers at the club's alternate site over the 2020 summer season. "Pineda had an opportunity to go ... read more

Thurman runs down Nats young outfield prospects

Here is our final installment on the young outfield corps for the Nationals, guys that are making some noise at the lower levels. Most of these prospects got to work out and play games during instructional league in West Palm Beach, Fla., back in October. One well regarded outfielder who did not get to participate but is certainly worth notice is 17-year-old Roismar Quintana from ... read more

Barrett: Catchers at instructs made "incredible" progress

Here is an update on the catchers at instructional league. Nationals catching coordinator Michael Barrett, who caught in the major leagues for 12 seasons, coached up and worked with the young backstops as they participated in the October camp. Here is a rundown of the catchers in camp and current ages: Geraldi Diaz, 20 Mason Doolittle, 22 Brady Lindsly, 22 Ivan Murzi, 19 Wilmer Perez, ... read more

Highly touted shortstop among Nats' 10 international signings

Today is the first day for international free agent signings across Major League Baseball. The Nationals made big news by signing the No. 5 prospect in 16-year-old shortstop Armando Cruz for $3.9 million. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the usual July 2 signing date was delayed until Jan. 15. In all, the Nats announced 10 signings. The list includes five pitchers, three outfielders and two ... read more

Nats keep eye on Venezuela for top-flight prospects

If you study the 2020 Nationals instructional league roster, you will notice a good amount of talent drawn from Venezuela. Of the 65 players on the roster, 16 are from Venezuela. Here is a list of those Nats prospects in attendance at the October camp in West Palm Beach, Fla., along with their top 30 prospect ranking, according to Pitchers RHP Tomas Alastre RHP ... read more

Nats' minor league pitching depth still a position of strength

The Nationals system is strong from a pitching standpoint, even with the recent trade of prospects Wil Crowe and Eddy Yean to the Pirates. The Nats' top 10 prospects were all pitchers prior to the move that acquired All-Star first baseman Josh Bell, so now it is top eight, according to Prospects Jackson Rutledge, Cade Cavalli and Cole Henry are the top three. All ... read more

How Nats prepare young outfielders for what they will see in games

Here is a list of the young outfielders (and their ages) that were in attendance at Nationals instructional league workouts in October: Andry Arias, 20Gage Canning, 23Justin Connell, 21 Jeremy De La Rosa, 18 Braian Fernandez, 21 Jorge Hurtado, 20 Daniel Marte, 18 Ricardo Mendez, 20 Roismar Quintana, 17 Jake Randa, 22 Cody Wilson, 24 Outfield/baserunning coordinator Gary Thurman worked with these players on the ... read more

De La Rosa stepped into leadership role at instructional league

The Nationals are building outfield talent at the lower levels of their organization. The club boasts a good amount of quality prospects that are a couple of years away from making an impact at the major league level. The highest-rated of these outfielders is Jeremy De La Rosa, who is No. 13 on the list of Nats prospects. The 18-year-old played 26 games with ... read more

Report: Nats finalize minor league managerial appointments

The Nationals have set their minor league managers for 2021, according to published reports. At Triple-A Rochester, Matt LeCroy returns to the dugout, moving up from Double-A Harrisburg. Moving to the Senators to manage is Tripp Keister. At high Single-A Wilmington is Tommy Shields. Mario Lisson takes over as manager for low Single-A Fredericksburg. Since 2008, LeCroy, 45, has managed in the Nats system at ... read more

Notes on Mendoza, Cluff and Snyder from alternate site

Here is more perspective on the advancement of third baseman/first baseman Drew Mendoza, who finally got his shot to participate in workouts and games in Fredericksburg, Va., in the summer. The No. 11 Nationals prospect joined other top 20 Nationals prospects, according to director of player development Mark Scialabba. "We got him to the alternate site start of September. Along with shortstop Jackson Cluff (No. ... read more

Tim Cate "made big strides" over summer as he prepares for 2021

Here is a quick update on left-hander Tim Cate. The 2018 second-rounder is rated as the No. 8 overall Nationals prospect, according to Nats pitching coordinator Brad Holman said Cate is not afraid to go after hitters and he believes this will help him as his career moves along. Cate went 7-4 with 3.31 ERA in 13 starts in 2019, striking out 66 over ... read more

Reichard: Nats players will love the hospitality of Rochester

The Nationals announced their minor league affiliate invitations for 2021 on Wednesday, and the list did not include the Hagerstown Suns, signaling the end of a 13-year relationship. Kevin Reichard, the editor and publisher of Ballpark Digest, believes Suns owner Bruce Quinn might consider becoming an independent-league team going forward. "I don't know what Bruce is going to do, quite honestly," Reichard said. "He's got ... read more

Nats announce 2021 minor league affiliate invitations

The Nationals made it official today, inviting four organizations to become minor league affiliates in Major League Baseball's new player development structure. The affiliates are the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings, Double-A Harrisburg Senators, high Single-A Wilmington Blue Rocks and low Single-A Fredericksburg Nationals. The invites have not yet been formally accepted, but Wilmington already officially accepted the invitation on Twitter and the other three affiliates ... read more

Cavalli and Powell show eagerness to learn during summer workouts

Here are a couple of updates on a pair of top five draft picks for the Nationals in right-handers Cade Cavalli and Holden Powell. Cavalli was the Nats' top selection in this summer's First-Year Player Draft out of Oklahoma. He is listed on the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Nationals roster heading into 2021. Nats pitching coordinator Brad Holman said Cavalli played two positions in college ... read more

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 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

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

Hitting updates on Antuna, Wilson and Pineda

Here are more capsules on a few of the Nationals' prospects and how they did this summer at the recently wrapped up instructional league, coming from Nats hitting coordinator Troy Gingrich. The Nats' No. 12 prospect is infielder Yasel Antuna, who begins play in the Dominican winter league starting tomorrow. He is listed as playing third base and shortstop. Gingrich said there was a good ... read more

Cornell watched Harper to help refine swing

One of the Nationals' nine free agent signings last summer was Zach Cornell out of Southeastern University. The left-handed hitting outfielder was Baseball America's Preseason NAIA Player of the Year entering the 2020 season. In 27 games at Southeastern prior to the coronavirus shutdown, he hit .519 (56-for-108) with 12 doubles, two triples, 10 home runs, 12 walks, 44 RBIs and 43 runs scored. Cornell, ... read more

Uncertainty abounds in minor league reorganization

There is so much uncertainty surrounding the 2021 season, even as the calendar creeps forward and pitchers and catchers are due to report for spring training in three months. And the uncertainty extends well beyond the major league season. If anything, there's even more uncertainty at this moment about the state of Minor League Baseball in 2021. As you probably know by now, Major League ... read more

Updates on catchers Pineda and Reetz

Here are updates on a couple of backstops the Nationals have high hopes for heading into 2021. Assistant general manager of player development Mark Scialabba said Israel Pineda has gotten a lot of notice for his power stroke, while 2014 third-round selection Jakson Reetz showed solid progress in 2019 and into the alternate training site this summer. Israel Pineda, 20 5-foot-11, 190 lbs.Bats: Right Throws: ... read more

Updates on young outfielders Quintana, Marte and De La Rosa

Here is a rundown of some of the outfielders that got in significant work during fall instructional league, which wrapped up last week in West Palm Beach, Fla. Nationals assistant general manager of player development Mark Scialabba detailed the play of three outfielders from the roster that worked out in October at the spring training facility. "There is really a group of three young Latin ... read more

Scialabba on progress of draft picks and free agents

Here are updates on how some of the Nationals draft class looked at instructional league workouts, which concluded last week in West Palm Beach, Fla. The players the Nats drafted in 2020 - right-handers Cade Cavalli, Holden Powell and Cole Henry, left-hander Mitchell Parker, infielder Sammy Infante and catcher Brady Lindsly - participated in instructional league during the month of October. Several 2020 undrafted free ... read more

Scialabba on instructional league, Cavalli's progress

The Nationals wrapped up their fall instructional league camp last week in West Palm Beach, Fla. Sixty-five players and more than 30 coaches, coordinators and training staff took part in the five-week workout. Assistant general manager of player development Mark Scialabba spoke about how the camp worked: "It was a great camp. Obviously, very thankful that we had support from ownership to allow us to ... read more

Updates on Rutledge and Denaburg's progress from Florida

Here are a couple of updates on a pair of former Nationals first-round selections in Jackson Rutledge and Mason Denaburg. Both attended instructional league for the last month. Rutledge, 21, was the Nats' top pick in 2019 and has appeared in 10 games. The right-hander loves to employ analytics to study his stuff, but Nats minor league pitching coordinator Brad Holman said he concentrated on ... read more

Teenagers Tomlin and Infante learning what it takes to succeed at pro level

Fall instructional league workouts are completed for 2020. Now these Nationals prospects head home or get ready to play winter ball. It was interesting to hear updates on how the first professional experience was for a pair of teenagers. Infielders Quade Tomlin and Sammy Infante got their first taste of pro ball for the last month at the Nats spring training facility in West Palm ... read more