Washington Nationals 2024 International Review


Last season was a difficult one in the Dominican Summer League for the Nationals. They were middle of the pack in terms of runs allowed, but their young lineup ranked last in runs scored and finished 11-39, worst in the 50-team league.

Things should start to be better in 2024, especially with the addition of two seven-figure signings, including one of the most exciting offensive threats from the 2024 class.

Top Of The Class

The centerpiece of the Nationals’ class was Victor Hurtado, whose $2.7 million bonus was the sixth-highest for an international signing in 2024 and tied with Adolfo Sanchez of the Reds for the most for an outfielder. Hurtado, a 17-year-old from the Dominican Republic, stands out for his size, easy lefty swing and power upside.

He’s 6-foot-3, 175 pounds with long arms and a smooth stroke. He has quick hands and he uses them well at the plate, generating leverage and loft to drive the ball well from left-center over to his pull side. He’s flashing home run power already in games and has a ton of space left to add good weight, so there’s a combination of hitting ability and potential 25-plus home run power that’s exciting. A fringe-average runner with an average arm, Hurtado has been nursing a knee injury, so he isn’t back to playing the outfield quite yet, though he projects as a corner outfielder whose value will mostly come from what he does in the batter’s box. 

The second seven-figure signing this year for the Nationals, 17-year-old Dominican shortstop Angel Feliz, got $1.8 million. He’s already a physical 6-foot-3, 190 pounds and looks like he’s going to pack on even more size, giving him a chance to be a power-hitting infielder. The scouts who were highest on Feliz liked his righthanded hitting ability and knack to barrel fastballs, though others thought he had a tendency to overswing and get long, leading to holes that better pitching will test.

Feliz has grown big enough to where a move to third base seems likely, but he moves well enough for his size that he should continue to get a chance to develop at shortstop, though his first-step quickness and range might be stretched thin there. An average runner underway, Feliz has the hands for the dirt, an above-average arm that fits on the left side of infield and is adept at charging the slow roller. 

Names To Know

Eddy Marmolejos, 3B, Dominican Republic: The Nationals signed Marmolejos for $300,000, landing a 17-year-old righthanded hitter with big bat speed and the ability to hammer a fastball. Marmolejos (6 feet, 175 pounds) didn’t have a ton of game experience as an amateur, so he’s still learning some of the basics, but he has shown barrel awareness in games and stands out most for his power potential. He’s a third baseman who could also potentially get time at second base. 

Jhoan Thomas, RHP, Dominican Republic: Signed for $200,000, Tomas has good arm strength for 17, running his fastball up to 94 mph with sink. He’s 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, so there’s projection for him to be throwing even harder once he packs on more weight. Thomas throws a slider and changeup, but it’s the potential for a huge fastball that stands out the most as he learns to land his stuff in the zone more often. 

Angel Requena, SS, Venezuela: Requena, 16, signed for $140,000. He’s 6-foot-1 with a third base look between his body type and tools, showing the potential to hit for power from the right side and a strong arm. 

Anyel Manzueta, RHP, Dominican Republic: Manzueta’s raw stuff requires a deeper projection, but at 6-foot-7, 185 pounds, there’s a lot to project on physically. Signed for $100,000 at 17, Manzueta has been up to 88 mph but with the capacity for a lot more velocity to come as he fills out his extremely tall, lanky frame. For a skinny 6-foot-7 teenager, Manzueta does an impressive job of syncing up his long limbs to repeat his delivery and throw strikes with his fastball and mid-70s curveball that’s ahead of his changeup. 

Sleeper Watch

The Nationals added one of the hardest throwing pitchers anyone signed in 2024 with 6-foot-3 Venezuelan righthander Darrel Lunar, who got $12,500. He turned 18 in February, so he was previously eligible to sign, and he has a fastball that has been up to 98 mph. Whether he’s a starter or reliever long term will depend how much more polish he can add around his power fastball, but his athleticism should help him make adjustments, with a slider ahead of his changeup. 

Alejandro Rivera, an 18-year-old Venezuelan lefthander signed for $20,000, should be one of the better strike-throwers on their Dominican Summer League staff this year. He was a previously eligible pitcher who is 6-foot-1, 190 pounds with a fastball up to 90 mph from an easy delivery with feel for a curveball. Franniel Reynoso, a 17-year-old Dominican righthander signed for $70,000, is another good strike-thrower for his age, touching 92 mph with the makings of a solid slider/changeup mix in his secondaries.

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