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2022 Washington Nationals Top MLB Prospects



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Just as in 2019 and 2020, the Nationals got off to a slow start in 2021. A 10-12 record in April came before an 11-17 record in May, eventually leading to the team sputtering into the all-star break at 42-47.

But unlike 2019, when a slow start led to a torrid run through the back half of the season and a World Series title, and 2020, when a 60-game season meant there was no time for the Nationals to make up ground, the sluggish start to 2021 pushed the club into a role as a seller at the trade deadline.

In addition to flipping players who were on one-year deals signed the previous offseason like Kyle Schwarber, Brad Hand and Jon Lester, the Nationals dealt franchise cornerstones Max Scherzer and Trea Turner in an effort to kick off the rebuilding process. In all, the Nationals traded eight veterans on July 29 and 30 to get back 12 young players, which provided a much-needed infusion of talent for its minor league system.

The upshot of those moves was not just that the Nationals immediately shifted into rebuilding mode and finished the 2021 season 65-97, but also that the next contending team for the organization might not be as far away as you would assume for a team that just traded away many of its most productive players and finished 23.5 games back in the division.

Players like Keibert Ruiz, Josiah Gray, Riley Adams, Mason Thompson and Lane Thomas acquired in deadline deals have already made debuts in Washington, and others aren’t far behind. The early evidence is also very promising in regards to the top picks in the last couple of drafts, including 2020 first-round pick Cade Cavalli, 2020 second-round pick Cole Henry and 2021 first-round pick Brady House. And in Juan Soto, of course, the Nationals still have a generational talent on the big league roster to build around.

There are likely to be growing pains for the Nationals in the immediate term, but the young talent collected via trade and coming up through the system seems to suggest that the valley for the club won’t be as deep as it has been for other rebuilding organizations on the way back to the peak.

We'll be chatting the Nationals farm system at 2 p.m. ET. You can submit your questions ahead of time here.

Here's how we project their lineup in 2025, with their 2025 ages in parentheses.

PROJECTED 2025 LINEUP

Catcher: Keibert Ruiz (26)
First Base: Josh Bell (32)
Second Base: Luis Garcia (25)
Third Base: Carter Kieboom (27)
Shortstop: Brady House (21)
Left Field: Lane Thomas (29)
Center Field: Victor Robles (28)
Right Field: Juan Soto (26)
Designated Hitter: Yasel Antuna

No. 1 Starter: Cade Cavalli (26)
No. 2 Starter: Josiah Gray (27)
No. 3 Starter: Stephen Strasburg (37)
No. 4 Starter: Cole Henry (26)
No. 5 Starter: Joan Adon (26)
Closer: Gerardo Carrillo (26)

Listed below are the prospects with the best tools within the organization. To go directly to Washington's Top 10, click here.

BEST TOOLS

Best Hitter for Average: Yasel Antuna
Best Power Hitter: Brady House
Best Strike-Zone Discipline: Drew Millas
Fastest Baserunner: Jordy Barley
Best Athlete: Donovan Casey
Best Fastball: Cade Cavalli
Best Curveball: Tim Cate
Best Slider: Cade Cavalli
Best Changeup: Steven Fuentes
Best Control: Tim Cate
Best Defensive Catcher: Tres Barrera
Best Defensive Infielder: Jackson Cluff
Best Infield Arm: Jackson Cluff
Best Defensive Outfielder: Cody Wilson
Best Outfield Arm: Daniel Marte

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Washington Nationals 2021 MLB Draft Report Card

Top performers from the Nationals 2021 draft class, sleepers to know & more.

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