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  1. 1. CJ Abrams | SS
    CJ Abrams
    Born: Oct 3, 2000
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Roswell, Ga., 2019 (1st round).
    Signed By: Tyler Stubblefield.
    Minors: .310/.360/.480 | 7 HR | 14 SB | 171 AB

    BA Grade: 60/Medium

    Track Record: Abrams long stood out as one of the best and most athletic players for his age in high school and made a big impression when he took over center field for USA Baseball's 18U National Team and made the position look easy despite never playing it before. He followed with a sensational senior spring, and the Padres were thrilled when he fell to them at the sixth overall pick in 2019. They lured him away from an Alabama commitment with a $5.2 million signing bonus, and by the end of that first pro summer, Abrams had won the Rookie-level Arizona League's MVP award after batting .401 and earned a promotion to Low-A Fort Wayne. That assignment, however, was halted after just two games due to a shoulder injury. Abrams spent 2020 at the Padres' alternate training site and made his full-season debut at Double-A San Antonio in 2021, where he got off to a hot start before fracturing his left tibia and spraining his left MCL in a collision with second baseman Eguy Rosario in late June, ending his season. Abrams recovered in time to get back on the field in instructional league but bruised his left shoulder while sliding into a base, an injury that prevented him from participating in the Arizona Fall League.

    Scouting Report: When he is on the field, Abrams stands out for all the right reasons. He has a flat, fluid swing and elite hand-eye coordination—thanks in large part to the various contraptions his dad devised during his youth—that allow him to hit any type of pitch no matter where it's located. He expanded the strike zone a bit much in his first stint at San Antonio, which is not all that surprising given that he was essentially jumping from rookie ball all the way to Double-A. At his best, he has a keen eye for the zone and takes borderline pitches like a seasoned veteran. Abrams' frame is long and lean, but he's no slap hitter. He makes loud contact off the barrel and can drive the ball out to all fields. It's not out of the question for him to develop 20-home run power as he matures. Abrams' 80-grade speed allows him to regularly beat out infield singles and will make him an elite base-stealing threat once he learns pitchers' tendencies. Defensively, Abrams has plus range at shortstop. He doesn't always show off his above-average arm, but he has a plus internal clock and tends to save his bullets for when they're needed. He has gotten more reliable at making the routine plays and will make the occasional highlight-reel play. He will likely be the Nationals answer at shortstop moving forward.

    The Future: As one of the main prospects sent to Washington in the Juan Soto, he should become a dynamic table-setter. He will likely spend a few weeks in Triple-A before making his debut in a Nationals Uniform.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 70. Power: 50. Run: 80. Fielding: 60. Arm: 55.

  2. 2. Robert Hassell | OF
    Robert Hassell
    Born: Aug 15, 2001
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 195
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Thompson's Sta., Tenn., 2020 (1).
    Signed By: Tyler Stubblefield.
    Minors: .285/.367/.436 | 10 HR | 23 SB | 351 AB

    BA Grade: 60/High

    Track Record: Hassell starred in the Little League World Series and led USA Baseball's 18U national team to a silver medal at the 2019 World Cup with a .514 batting average. The Padres drafted him eighth overall in 2020 and signed him away from a Vanderbilt commitment for $4.3 million. Hassell reported to the alternate training site after signing and got at-bats in big league spring training games in 2021 before making his official pro debut. He lived up to his reputation as a premium hitter by batting .323/.415/.482 at Low-A Lake Elsinore and received a late promotion to High-A Fort Wayne.

    Scouting Report: Hassell's loose, all-fields swing is already perfectly geared for contact. He's a consensus plus hitter who controls the strike zone, covers the entire plate and hangs in well against lefties in a way that is rare for a young lefthanded hitter. With a thin, 6-foot-2, 182-pound frame, Hassell has endured questions about his power potential for years, but he is learning to backspin the ball and pull the appropriate pitches. He's an on-base machine and a stolen base threat with his above-average speed. The Nationals hope he will crack into his power potential in time. Hassell is a natural center fielder who is light on his feet and has the above-average arm strength to play any outfield position. He plays with a chip on his shoulder and isn't afraid to voice it.

    The Future: Hassell is on the fast track and could reach Double-A as a 20-year-old in 2022. He's an all-star in the making if he unlocks his 15-20 homer potential.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 60. Power: 45. Speed: 55. Fielding: 55. Arm: 55.

  3. 3. James Wood | OF
    James Wood
    Born: Sep 17, 2002
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'7" Wt.: 240
    Signed By: John Martin.
    Minors: .317/.423/.548 | 11 HR | 18 SB | 252 AB

    BA Grade: 55/High

    Track Record: Wood grew up in Maryland before moving to Florida to hone his baseball skills at IMG Academy. Elevated strikeout totals as a senior sank his draft stock, but the Padres still viewed him as one of the biggest upside plays in the draft. They selected him in the second round, No. 62 overall, and gave him a $2.6 million signing bonus—nearly double the recommended slot amount— to lure him away from a Mississippi State commitment. Wood rewarded their faith with a standout showing in the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League in his pro debut, batting .372/.465/.535 and showing a dynamic combination of power and athleticism.

    Scouting Report: The son of former college basketball standout Kenny Wood, Wood is a uniquely gifted and coordinated athlete for a 6-foot-7 teenager. He generates easy plus-plus raw power from a swing that isn't as long as you'd expect from a big man. He is still prone to striking out, but after the Padres widened his stance and asked him to stand more upright in the box, his bat path flattened out and his swings and misses went down substantially. He has a chance to be an average hitter who gets to his power in games as long as he maintains his adjustments. Wood is a surprisingly smooth runner in center field. He'll remain there as long as he proves he can handle the position, but he'll likely end up in right field, where he projects to be an average defender with an average arm.

    The Future: Wood will head to Low-A Lake Elsinore in 2022. He has 30-35 home run potential and has a chance to be a prototypical middle-of-the-order threat.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 45. Power: 65. Speed: 55. Fielding: 50. Arm: 50.

  4. 4. Elijah Green | OF
    Elijah Green
    Born: Dec 4, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 225
    Minors: .333/.414/.500 | 1 HR | 1 SB | 24 AB

    BA Grade: 60/Extreme

    August Update: Green is one of the most dynamic and unique athletes scouts have seen on the baseball field in a long time. The son of 10-year NFL tight end Eric Green, Elijah's physicality would stand out on a football field and is almost unheard of on the baseball field at his age. At 6-foot-3, 214 pounds, Green has tremendous strength and power currently and would look right at home standing next to the top sluggers in baseball as an 18-year-old. His power/speed combination with his frame gives him the biggest pure upside in the 2022 draft class as a righthanded hitter with the power to drive the ball out of any ballpark, while also turning in 70-grade run times. As one scout remarked, “Guys that big and that strong aren't supposed to be running 6.5 in the 60.” Green isn't a raw hitter without a plan at the plate either. He has an impressive track record of performance as an underclassman and accessed his power regularly in games over the summer showcase circuit, with USA Baseball's 18U National Team—where he homered four times in seven games—and this spring against strong competition with IMG Academy. There is swing and miss in Green's game. He'll get caught out in front on breaking balls and he has shown whiff tendencies against velocity as well, but he should make more than enough impact to live with those whiffs. He has more than enough speed for center field now, and will likely begin his career at the position, but will need to refine his routes and reactions to stick there long term. It's uncommon to see a major league center fielder with Green's size, but he is an outlier athlete. If he does have to move to a corner he has the tools to be an above-average defender in right, with plus arm strength to profile nicely there. While other hitters in this class might top Green as a pure hitter, you won't find anyone with his combination of dynamic athleticism, power, speed and pure upside.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 70. Run: 70. Field: 55. Arm: 60.

  5. 5. Cade Cavalli | RHP
    Cade Cavalli
    Born: Aug 14, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 226
    Drafted/Signed: Oklahoma, 2020 (1st round).
    Signed By: Jerad Head
    Minors: 5-4 | 3.82 ERA | 96 SO | 36 BB | 92 IP

    BA Grade: 55/High

    Track Record: As a 2020 draftee, Cavalli's minor league debut was delayed to 2021, though he did impress at the Nationals' alternate training site in 2020 after being drafted 22nd overall out of Oklahoma. Once on the field this year, the righthander wasted no time making a statement, soaring from High-A to Triple-A over the course of the season. Importantly, after battling injuries in college, Cavalli stayed healthy all season and showed his ability to handle a heavy workload. He led the minor leagues with 157 strikeouts.

    Scouting Report: Cavalli's stuff is electric. Over the summer, rival managers in Double-A Northeast voted his the best fastball and breaking ball in the league. His fastball sits 95-97 mph and has touched as high as 100 using an easy, yet powerful delivery. He throws two distinct breaking balls, a power curveball and a slider that is cutterish at times. The latter is used effectively to get off hitters' barrels. He gets good sink on his changeup, but evaluators are less enthused about that offering. He has a sinker in his arsenal, but it's a distant fifth pitch. Don't be fooled by his big frame, either. Cavalli is a plus athlete who fields his position well. He struggled a bit in his short time at Triple-A, but the organization is working with him to get outs in the zone more often, a necessity against mature hitters.

    The Future: The Nationals couldn't have asked for much more out of Cavalli in 2021, and he looks the part of a front-of-the-rotation starter whose arrival will come sooner rather than later.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70. Curveball: 55. Slider: 60. Changeup: 55. Control: 50.

  6. 6. Brady House | SS
    Brady House
    Born: Jun 4, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 215
    Signed By: Eric Robinson
    Minors: .278/.356/.375 | 3 HR | 1 SB | 176 AB

    BA Grade: 55/Very High

    Track Record: House was ranked among the best prep prospects in the 2021 draft, and at one point was considered a possible top overall pick, thanks in large part to loud offensive tools. The Nationals selected him 11th overall and signed him for $5 million, the seventh-highest in the class and a little more than $450,000 over the pick value. House shined in the Florida Complex League after signing, hitting .322/.394/.576 and showing an exciting all-around game.

    Scouting Report: Power is House's most noteworthy tool, with some evaluators believing that he could eventually have 70-grade raw power. He also earned high marks in his debut for showing the ability to hit the ball to all fields with authority. Whether he sticks at shortstop is the biggest outstanding question with House, but he showed nothing in the FCL to suggest the Nationals should look to move him anytime soon. He's not the flashiest defender, but he makes all the routine plays look routine, has good hands, an on-time internal clock and more than enough arm for the position.

    The Future: As a player who just turned 18 in June, House has a lengthy climb in front of him. But it also would be impossible for the organization not to be enthused by what they saw in 2021. Testing himself at Low-A is due up next season.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 65. Speed: 50. Fielding: 55. Arm: 55.

  7. 7. Cristhian Vaquero | OF
    Cristhian Vaquero
    Born: Sep 13, 2004
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 180

    BA Grade: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: Vaquero was a young player on the rise in the Cuban junior leagues before he left the country to sign with a major league club. When the 2021-22 international signing period opened on Jan. 15, the Nationals poured nearly all of their bonus pool money into signing Vaquero for $4.925 million, the highest bonus of any player in his international class.

    Scouting Report: With a sleek, athletic frame, Vaquero is a dynamic, premium position talent. He's an explosive player with a quick first step in center field, then takes long, gliding strides to cover plenty of ground with well above-average speed. With a plus arm and the ability to track the ball well off the bat, Vaquero has the potential to develop into a plus defender. At the plate, Vaquero is an aggressive hitter who hunts fastballs, and while some scouts were split on Vaquero's pure hitting ability, he has the strength projection to grow into above-average power. While a lot of teams saw Vaquero early on while he was strictly hitting lefthanded, he became a switch-hitter before signing and will continue that with the Nationals.

    The Future: Vaquero is far from the big leagues, but he quickly becomes one of the most exciting players in the lower levels of Washington's farm system. He will likely start his career in the Dominican Summer League.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 45. Power: 55. Speed: 70. Fielding: 60. Arm: 60.

  8. 8. Jarlin Susana | RHP
    Jarlin Susana
    Born: Mar 23, 2004
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'6" Wt.: 235
    Minors: 0-0 | 2.59 ERA | 48 SO | 13 BB | 32 IP

    BA Grade: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: Once the pandemic hit, Major League Baseball shut down international scouting until September 2020. When that happened, Susana emerged showing electric stuff for a 16-year-old, running his fastball up to 96 mph. Susana would have been eligible to sign on Jan. 15, 2021, but with teams having committed most of their bonus pool money for that signing period already, Susana opted to wait another year to sign with the Padres on Jan. 15, 2022.

    Scouting Report: Once a long, lean pitcher, Susana has bulked up to 6-foot-6, 235 pounds and added more velocity, with a chance to reach triple digits. He now sits around 93-96 mph, touching 98 mph. Susana throws two breaking balls, the best of which is a power slider around 86-88 mph with sharp bite and is a potential plus pitch. His slider and curveball shape can blend together at times, but he shows feel for his curveball and rounds out his repertoire with an 86-89 mph changeup that has sink and fade.

    The Future: Susana is still years away from the big leagues with plenty of risk, but has the raw stuff that stacks up well among the top 18-year-old high school seniors eligible for the 2022 draft. He should make his pro debut in 2022 in the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball 70. Slider 55. Changeup 45. Control 45.

  9. 9. Jackson Rutledge | RHP
    Jackson Rutledge
    Born: Apr 1, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'8" Wt.: 250
    Drafted/Signed: San Jacinto (Texas) JC, 2019 (1st round).
    Signed By: Brandon Larson
    Minors: 6-6 | 4.99 ERA | 81 SO | 23 BB | 80 IP

    BA Grade: 50/Very High

    Track Record: Leading with a fastball that touched triple digits, Rutledge was dominant in his one season at San Jacinto, along the way becoming the rare junior college player to be named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award. That performance was enough for the Nationals to draft him 17th overall in 2019. After an excellent debut season in 2019, Rutledge earned some time at the alternate training site in 2020, but he took a step back last season, thanks at least in part to shoulder tightness early in the season and recurring blisters later in the year.

    Scouting Report: Rutledge has a striking 6-foot-8, 245-pound frame on the mound and a mean fastball to match. The pitch is not only a high-90s offering that touches triple digits, but it features good cut and carry. His best secondary pitch is a slider that is at times a wipeout pitch. Currently, he's working on learning how to manipulate his slider to better throw it in the strike zone and to give him a couple of different versions of the pitch. An average curveball and changeup give Rutledge a traditional starter's repertoire, but concerns about consistency have made some wonder if his future is as a high-leverage reliever.

    The Future: As recently as 2020 instructional league, some rival evaluators saw Rutledge as not far off from Cade Cavalli in the prospect pecking order, but Cavalli continued to take off in 2021 while Rutledge faltered. Still, the latter's stuff is some of the best in the system, and having a healthy 2022 season would go a long way toward getting him back on track.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70. Curveball: 50. Slider: 60. Changeup: 50. Control: 45.

  10. 10. Jeremy De La Rosa | OF
    Jeremy De La Rosa
    Born: Jan 16, 2002
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 160
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2018.
    Signed By: Modesto Ulloa.
    Minors: .287/.365/.453 | 11 HR | 36 SB | 369 AB

    BA Grade: 50/Extreme

    Track Record:: The Nationals signed de la Rosa for $300,000 in 2018 and started him stateside in the Gulf Coast League rather than Dominican Summer League. They continued to push him aggressively by making him part of the 60-man player pool in 2020 and having him compete at the alternate training site. He struggled in his first full minor league season with Fredericksburg, with a .595 OPS and a nearly 40% strikeout rate.

    Scouting Report: De la Rosa has a well-rounded set of tools. He's a plus runner underway, a good athlete, a potential future plus defender in the outfield, even if that future ends up at a corner, and is an intriguing offensive player. There is confidence that he will be at least an average hitter, as he has a preternatural ability to get in a good hitting position and hit the ball on a line with authority, but evaluators are more mixed on his power. He shows plus raw power in spurts, with some assuming a solid hit tool will help him continue to unlock that power as he matures and others unsure that he'll ever have better than below-average power in-game.

    The Future: The Nationals were aggressive in moving de la Rosa early, but he's still a raw prospect. He simply needs to keep compiling at-bats in large numbers.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 50. Speed: 60. Fielding: 60. Arm: 45.

  11. 11. Cole Henry | RHP
    Cole Henry
    Born: Jul 15, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 214
    Drafted/Signed: Louisiana State, 2020 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Brandon Larson
    Minors: 1-0 | 1.71 ERA | 34 SO | 11 BB | 32 IP

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: In two years at Louisiana State, Henry had a 3.61 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 77.1 innings. As a draft-eligible sophomore, the righthander was selected in the second round at the end of the 2020 season. He debuted in 2021 and was excellent for High-A Wilmington. He missed some time in the middle of the season with elbow soreness, but upon returning, he finished the season as strong as he started.

    Scouting Report: Henry has a power repertoire, including both a four-seam and two-seam fastball that run into the mid 90s, with the four-seam fastball touching the high 90s. His changeup, which features good armside life, is currently his best secondary pitch and tunnels well with his fastball. But his curveball, a short breaker that has been an inconsistent offering for him, tightened up over the course of the season and shows signs of being a plus pitch down the line. In addition to his considerable stuff, Henry goes right after hitters, pitching with moxie and little fear. There is some reliever risk with Henry, because some rival evaluators make note of his reliever arm action.

    The Future: The organization is thrilled with where Henry is after he came back from injury strong. A healthy 2022 season will be key in his development, as it will presumably give him a chance to handle a heavier workload than he has to this point of his career.

    Scouting Grades
    Fastball: 60. Curveball: 50. Changeup: 55. Control: 50.

  12. 12. Andry Lara | RHP
    Andry Lara
    Born: Jan 6, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 235
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2019.
    Signed By: Ronald Morillo
    Minors: 2-7 | 6.05 ERA | 83 SO | 38 BB | 81 IP

    BA Grade: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: Lara signed for $1.25 million as the top player in the Nationals' 2019 international class, meaning he had the misfortune of having his debut delayed due to the pandemic. After spending 2020 sequestered in a hotel and the team facility in West Palm Beach, Fla., and then battling through struggles at instructional league late in the year, Lara finally debuted in the Florida Complex League in 2021, pitching well enough to earn a promotion to Low-A Fredericksburg near the end of the season.

    Scouting Report: Lara has a smooth, classically beautiful delivery, clean arm action, a physical frame and the stuff to match. He gets good extension on a fastball that has made a recent velocity jump into the mid 90s. His breaking ball is a potential plus pitch down the line, and he flashes a changeup that also projects to be a usable pitch. Given his youth, it's no surprise that Lara is still tapping into his strength, but at the same time, he is given high marks for preternaturally good feel to pitch and for being a leader by example.

    The Future: Lara may be seen as a long way away from the big leagues given his age, and that's true from the standpoint that next season will be his first crack at a full-season league, but he possesses traits that suggest he could move through the system quickly. He has the upside to be a front-end starting pitcher if he continues to progress.

  13. 13. Gerardo Carrillo | RHP
    Gerardo Carrillo
    Born: Sep 3, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: Mexico, 2016.
    Signed By: Mike Brito/Roman Barinas/Juvenal Soto (Dodgers)
    Minors: 0-0 | 6.61 ERA | 15 SO | 8 BB | 17 IP

    BA Grade: 50/Very High

    Track Record: Carrillo's velocity made a big jump after he grew three inches and put on 25 pounds soon after signing in 2016, but his quest since then has been to harness his stuff. Formerly buried fairly deep in a loaded Dodgers organization, Carrillo immediately became one of the Nationals' top pitching prospects after coming over in the deal that sent Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to Los Angeles.

    Scouting Report: A very good athlete with a lightning-quick arm, Carrillo can pitch east to west with electric stuff. He leads with a fastball that sits 94-97 mph and has touched 99 with massive sink and run. He generates that velocity with relative ease and can hold it deep into his outings. His fastball pairs well with his best secondary pitch, a short, firm slider/cutter hybrid going the other direction in the high 80s to low 90s. He also works with a slurvy curveball and a changeup that are clearly behind the fastball and slider. Below-average command continues to be a nagging issue for Carrillo, and that limits his upside, but there's hope that improvements still to come in repeating his mechanics and optimizing pitch usage could raise his profile as a potential starter.

    The Future: The command issues that persist for Carrillo as he works his way closer to the big leagues make a future in the bullpen increasingly likely. As a member of the Nationals' 40-man roster and with his fantastic stuff, that future might not be that far away.

    Scouting Grades
    Fastball: 65. Curveball: 45. Slider: 60. Changeup: 50. Control: 30.

  14. 14. Yasel Antuna | OF
    Yasel Antuna
    Born: Oct 26, 1999
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2016.
    Signed By: Pablo Arias
    Minors: .233/.371/.366 | 10 HR | 27 SB | 339 AB

    BA Grade: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: Signed for $3.85 million out of the Dominican Republic in 2016, Antuna had not played much in 2019 or 2020 thanks to injuries and the pandemic, save for a very impressive stint at the alternate training site in 2020. That rust showed in a 4-for-67 start at High-A Wilmington in 2021, but a late-season push in which he hit .315 in July and August helped him finish strong and get back on track. As much as anything else, it was valuable for Antuna to get through a full season healthy and productive.

    Scouting Report: Antuna has one of the most exciting offensive profiles in the Nationals' system. A switch-hitter who is seen as being better from the left side, his bat speed and repeatable swing from both sides help him hit the ball to all fields with authority. A couple of adjustments during the season in 2021, including getting his lower half more involved in his swing and switching from a two-handed finish to a higher one-handed finish are viewed as helping him work back from the extended slump early in the season. He's a plus athlete, but there have always been questions about his viability as a shortstop. To that end, the organization is currently working with him on transitioning to the outfield corners.

    The Future: Antuna was always destined to be a bat-first prospect, but a move to the outfield provides clarity on his profile. As long as he hits, he will continue to move. Double-A is his next stop.

  15. 15. Armando Cruz | SS
    Armando Cruz
    Born: Jan 16, 2004
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 160
    Signed By: Modesto Ulloa/Ricky Vasquez.
    Minors: .295/.332/.389 | 2 HR | 6 SB | 190 AB

    BA Grade: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: One of the highest-profile international players available in the 2020-21 signing class, Cruz inked a $3.9 million deal with the Nationals one day before his 17th birthday, giving him the largest bonus awarded to a 16-year-old in the class. Cruz got his feet wet in the Dominican Summer League over the summer.

    Scouting Report: Cruz is a high-end defensive player who had international scouts raving about his ability prior to his signing. He has great hands, extremely quick feet and a smooth transfer to his plus arm, which helps him make the flashy play look routine. He charges the ball well using speed that has improved from below-average to slightly above-average in recent years. Though he can dazzle with some of the tricks he can pull fielding the ball in practice, it's not just physical tools that make him a top-of-the-scale defensive shortstop. He also gets fast reads off the bat and is an instinctive player. Offensively, he's very much a work in progress, but the Nationals like his natural bat-to-ball skills and saw improvement at the plate as the summer wore on. He'll undoubtedly add some strength as he matures, but power is not likely to be a part of his game in the end.

    The Future: Cruz's defensive prowess is such that evaluators project him to be a plus defender, with a ceiling as one of the elite defensive shortstops in baseball. That will be his ticket through the Nationals' system, with his offensive value being the icing on the cake should he come into his own in that regard.

  16. 16. Aldo Ramirez | RHP
    Aldo Ramirez
    Born: May 6, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: Mexico, 2018.
    Signed By: Sotero Torres/Eddie Romero/Todd Claus.

    BA Grade: 40/Medium

    Track Record: Ramirez signed with the Red Sox out of the Mexican League for $550,000 in 2018. He continued to pitch well against more mature competition, first in the Dominican Summer League in 2018 and later in the New York-Penn League in 2019. After starting 2021 off strong at Low-A Salem, Ramirez was sidelined with elbow tendonitis in June and was traded to Washington in exchange for Kyle Schwarber in July. After the trade, he made just a handful of appearances in the Florida Complex League.

    Scouting Report: Ramirez has always stood out for the way his stuff plays up due to his good fastball command and feel for his secondary pitches. In recent years, his stuff has ticked up, however, with his fastball now touching 98, all while maintaining feel for a potential plus curveball with impressive movement and depth and a potential average changeup. His numbers in the FCL after the trade weren't pretty, but some in the organization point to Ramirez perhaps trying to do too much in an effort to make a good first impression.

    The Future: Being healthy through a full season workload at Low-A or High-A will be a good next step. If Ramirez can continue his mastery of the finer points of pitching while his stuff ticks up, a future as a back-of-the-rotation starter is in play.

  17. 17. Matt Cronin | LHP
    Matt Cronin
    Born: Sep 20, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 195
    Drafted/Signed: Arkansas, 2019 (4th round).
    Signed By: Jerad Head.
    Minors: 3-1 | 2.84 ERA | 43 SO | 17 BB | 38 IP

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: Cronin put up a 2.77 ERA in 64 relief appearances for powerhouse Arkansas over three college seasons before being drafted in the fourth round in 2019. He dominated in his debut in 2019 in Low-A, and after spending time at the alternate training site in 2020, picked up where he left off in 2021 with mostly dominant outings in the FCL and in High-A, which earned him a promotion to Double-A Harrisburg. He took some lumps and battled his command in his first look at Double-A, but still managed 18 strikeouts in 11.1 innings.

    Scouting Report: There's little ambiguity about Cronin's profile as he moves through the system. He's a reliever, and a good one at that. He works with a high-spin fastball that reaches the mid 90s and a 12-to-6 curveball that has good depth and late break. Both pitches show plus potential. He'll also use a split changeup, but it's a third offering at this point. Cronin has a back-end bullpen mentality and isn't afraid to go after hitters. Some rival evaluators see Cronin as being a Sean Doolittle type of reliever at the big league level.

    The Future: Cronin fits the archetype of the fast-moving college reliever, and with his move all the way up to Double-A in 2021, his big league debut is not that far off in the distance.

  18. 18. Daylen Lile | OF
    Daylen Lile
    Born: Nov 30, 2002
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 195
    Signed By: Brian Cleary.

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: Few high school hitters in the 2021 draft class had a long-term track record of hitting at a high level like Lile's. That earned him a place on the high school All-America team in 2021 and a second-round selection by the Nationals, who were excited to add his polished bat to the system. He signed for $1.75 million, or $169,800 over the pick value. He spent his first season in the Florida Complex League, where he was primarily limited to DH duty due to an arm injury.

    Scouting Report: Lile has a quiet setup at the plate with very little pre-pitch movement. His swing is easy and repeatable, and he leans on his hands to spray line drives to all fields. With a relatively light frame at present, some evaluators are dubious of his future power projection, but internally, there is hope power will come along later. Some evaluators see Lile as a potential center fielder down the line, but more likely, he ends up in left field thanks to fringy arm strength and average speed.

    The Future: Because he doesn't project to add much value defensively and power may never be part of his game, Lile is going to have to hit, hit and hit some more, as he did all throughout his prep days, in order to move up the ladder.5

  19. 19. Tim Cate | LHP
    Tim Cate
    Born: Sep 30, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: Connecticut, 2018 (2nd round).
    Signed By: John Malone.
    Minors: 4-6 | 4.50 ERA | 72 SO | 26 BB | 82 IP

    BA Grade: 45/Extreme

    Track Record: Connecticut's career strikeout leader, Cate was selected in the second round in 2018. He had a big year in 2019, winning the Nationals' minor league pitcher of the year. He spent time at the alternate training site in 2020 before stumbling at Double-A Harrisburg in 2021.

    Scouting Report: Cate does a lot of things well to be effective despite being undersized and having something less than electric stuff across the board. He has an easy delivery, he moves the ball around the zone well and he can locate. His curveball is the one current plus pitch in his arsenal, and it's a true hammer. His changeup shows signs of being a future above-average offering, but he was inconsistent with it in 2021. His fastball has fringy velocity in the high 80s and low 90s, but his ability to cut and sink it helps move it off barrels. Cate is capable of plus-plus command, and the reality is that he needs it, because he gets hit more than most when he misses spots, as was the case in Harrisburg.

    The Future: There's likely a place in the big leagues at some point for Cate just based on his durability, pitchability, moxie and his ability to use his curveball as a weapon at will.

  20. 20. Sammy Infante | SS
    Sammy Infante
    Born: Jun 22, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 175
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Miami, 2020 (2nd round supplemental).
    Signed By: Alex Morales.
    Minors: .210/.289/.410 | 16 HR | 14 SB | 334 AB

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: One of the top shortstops in the 2020 high school class, Infante was drafted 71st overall and signed for an over-slot $1 million bonus to buy him out of his college commitment to Miami. Later that summer, he worked at the Nationals' alternate training site. He got his first taste of the minor leagues in the Florida Complex League in 2021.

    Scouting Report: Infante struggled in his debut season as he learned what it takes to be a pro and the level of consistency that it requires to be successful. His maturity and level-headedness, which were repeatedly mentioned as among his strongest attributes during the draft process and at the alternate site, no doubt helped him push through. He embraced playing second base in the FCL in deference to his teammate Brady House, but he has the strong fundamentals, soft hands and strong arm needed to at least earn a shot to stick at shortstop. Moving forward, Infante will have to cut down on the whiffs, but there is confidence he can be at least an average hitter with occasional power.

    The Future: Given that he will be two years removed the draft, the 2022 season will be big for Infante to take strides forward, even understanding that he's still a long way from the big leagues.

  21. 21. Mitchell Parker | LHP
    Mitchell Parker
    Born: Sep 27, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 195
    Signed By: Jimmy Gonzales.
    Minors: 6-2 | 2.69 ERA | 102 SO | 55 BB | 84 IP

    BA Grade: 45/Extreme

    Track Record: A $100,000 signing as a fifth-round pick in 2020, Parker was productive out of the gate in his debut season in 2021. He had a 4.08 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 57.1 innings in Low-A before earning a promotion to High-A, where his 5.89 ERA doesn't fully reflect how effective he was.

    Scouting Report: Parker has a varied repertoire that could help him stick as a starter, even without plus stuff across the board. With a delivery that could use some refinement, his fastball typically sits in the low 90s with elite carry, and he maintains that velocity well into his starts. He also features a low-80s splitter that one rival evaluator described as having “crazy” movement similar to that of a cutter, a changeup with plus sink and a mid-70s curveball with good depth that is better against left-handed hitters than right-handed hitters. None of those pitches are elite, but all have average or better potential. Parker has also proven to be a good competitor in his starts.

    The Future: As long as Parker performs like he did in 2021, expect him to move. Without any setbacks, Double-A in 2022 should be in his sights.

  22. 22. Evan Lee | LHP
    Evan Lee
    Born: Jun 18, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 200
    Signed By: Ed Gustafson
    Minors: 0-3 | 3.60 ERA | 37 SO | 15 BB | 30 IP

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: A 15th-round pick out of Arkansas as a draft-eligible sophomore in 2018, Lee has already wildly exceeded his draft position with his performance in the Nationals' system. He excelled in the New York-Penn League in 2019, mostly as a reliever, putting up 2.65 ERA in 34 innings, and followed that up as a starter by striking out 104 batters in 77 innings in High-A in 2021.

    Scouting Report: Lee gets good extension on a fastball that primarily sat 91-93 mph last season but has touched the mid 90s in the past. He also features a potential plus curveball with an 11-to-5 shape that is a real put-away pitch at times, a slider that has cutter-type action and a changeup that subtracts nearly 10 mph off his fastball velocity. Of the four, evaluators are least enthused with the changeup at present.

    The Future: Lee began his time in the system in the bullpen, and perhaps that's where he ends up if his fastball and curveball end up being his only two better-than-average pitches. He excelled as a starter in 2021, however, likely earning himself the chance to continue in that role for now.

  23. 23. Israel Pineda | C
    Israel Pineda
    Born: Apr 3, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 190
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2016.
    Signed By: German Robles.
    Minors: .260/.321/.458 | 13 HR | 2 SB | 308 AB

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: Originally a $450,000 signing out of Venezuela in 2016, Pineda impressed in his first two seasons in the system before taking a step back in his first full season in Low-A in 2019. After spending time at the alternate training site and instructional league in 2020, he spent 2021 at High-A, where he hit just .208 but showed off his power with 14 home runs.

    Scouting Report: Offensively, Pineda has a quick swing and impressive raw power, but he has an active setup and appears fidgety at times in the box, as if he's tinkering with his setup in real time. His plate discipline and knowledge of the strike zone is still a work in progress. Defensively, his mobility is sufficient but not exemplary, and he has a strong arm, which has helped him put up caught stealing rates of 40% or better in each of his minor league seasons.

    The Future: Pineda has taken a step back since he was named a New York-Penn League all-star in 2018 as a young player in the league. He has loud tools that give him an intriguing ceiling, but there's refinement to be made for him to reach it.

  24. 24. Jackson Cluff | SS
    Jackson Cluff
    Born: Dec 3, 1996
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: Brigham Young, 2019 (6th round).
    Signed By: Mitch Sokol.
    Minors: .187/.277/.296 | 5 HR | 6 SB | 284 AB

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: Cluff had just one year, 2019, as a starter at Brigham Young, as he spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons on his Mormon mission, but it was strong enough for him to be selected in the sixth round that year. The Nationals have been aggressive with Cluff. He began at Low-A in 2019, spent time at the alternate training site in 2020 and skipped High-A to spend much of the 2021 season at Double-A Harrisburg.

    Scouting Report: Cluff is a player whose intangibles stand out. The organization raves about his makeup. From a skill standpoint, Cluff is an advanced defender with a strong arm who can handle second base or shortstop. Offensively, he has an aggressive approach at the plate, looking for his pitch early in counts. He uses all fields, he has some pop but isn't a masher, and while he's not a burner, he's a willing base stealer. His performance at the plate in the Arizona Fall League this year turned heads as well.

    The Future: After some growing pains in Harrisburg, Cluff started to get comfortable, only to have injuries slow him. A repeat of that level is likely. His maturity and defense give him a high floor as a utility infielder.

  25. 25. Donovan Casey | OF
    Donovan Casey
    Born: Feb 23, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 190
    Signed By: Rich DeLucia (Dodgers).
    Minors: .215/.280/.356 | 6 HR | 6 SB | 233 AB

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: A 20th-round draft pick out of Boston College in 2017, Casey has already provided outstanding pick value by riding a well-rounded skill set all the way to the upper levels of the minors. After hitting well in a repeat trip to Double-A Tulsa early in 2021, Casey was dealt to Washington as part of the Max Scherzer and Trea Turner blockbuster.

    Scouting Report: After not hitting for much power at Boston College despite having above-average raw power, Casey has had no such problem hitting for power in the minor leagues. He has holes in his swing, which has at times led to a high strikeout rate, peaking at nearly 40% at Triple-A Rochester last season. He's an outstanding defender with a rifle for an arm, excellent athleticism and good speed. While in Tulsa, opposing managers in Double-A Central voted him the best defensive outfielder and best outfield arm in the league.

    The Future: By getting out of a loaded Dodgers system, the path to the big leagues, and regular playing time, has opened up a bit for Casey. He'll be 26 on opening day next season, but he's been productive at every stop so far and he provides tremendous defensive value. A big league debut in 2022 is on the table.

  26. 26. Roismar Quintana | OF
    Roismar Quintana
    Born: Feb 6, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 190
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2019.
    Signed By: Ronald Morillo.
    Minors: .315/.367/.481 | 5 HR | 3 SB | 162 AB

    BA Grade: 45/Extreme

    Track Record: Quintana signed with the Nationals for $820,000 in 2019, and although his debut was delayed by the pandemic, he impressed in instructional league late in 2020. He got on the field in 2021 in the Florida Complex League, but a hamstring injury kept him out of action from early July to early September. He ended up with just 13 at-bats for the season, but he managed three extra-base hits in that small window, two doubles and a home run.

    Scouting Report: Quintana's bat stands out. He has good feel to hit, keeps his barrel in the zone for a long time, and in a testament to the way he has developed his body since signing, plus raw power to all fields from a sturdy frame. He has impressive plate discipline for a player of his age, but at times he's too passive at the plate for a player of his strength. Defensively, Quintana is likely a corner outfielder in the future.

    The Future: Health is paramount for Quintana as he goes into the 2022 season after he missed time at instructs in 2020 and just about all of the 2021 season. In a small sample, he's shown to be one of the most exciting young hitters in the system, but he just hasn't had many chances yet.

  27. 27. Drew Millas | C
    Drew Millas
    Born: Jan 15, 1998
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 205
    Drafted/Signed: Missouri State, 2019 (7th round).
    Signed By: Steve Abney.
    Minors: .225/.350/.359 | 5 HR | 8 SB | 231 AB

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: Millas' professional career was delayed two seasons, first by a UCL injury and a blood clotting issue after he was drafted in 2019 and later by the pandemic. He finally took the field and was productive at High-A in 2021. He came to Washington in the trade that sent Yan Gomes and Josh Harrison to Oakland in July.

    Scouting Report: Defense is Millas' calling card. An excellent athlete behind the plate, he receives the ball well, is nimble in getting down to block the ball, has an easy plus arm and plays the position with energy. He's athletic and toolsy enough, in fact, that some evaluators see him as a possible fit as a utility player who could also play second and third base. He was productive offensively in 2021, and he has good bat-to-ball skills and excellent plate discipline, but his bat is light in general. He posts below-average exit velocities, and when batting from the left side, he has noticeable length in his load.

    The Future: As an athletic, defense-minded catcher who also takes good at-bats, Millas has a fairly high floor that should help him progress through the system fairly quickly. How well he develops into someone who can impact the baseball would seem to hold the key to unlocking a higher ceiling.

  28. 28. Tres Barrera | C
    Tres Barrera
    Born: Sep 15, 1994
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 215
    Drafted/Signed: Texas, 2016 (6th round).
    Signed By: Tyler Wilt.
    Minors: .256/.342/.439 | 7 HR | 0 SB | 164 AB

    BA Grade: 45/Extreme

    Track Record: Barrera moved steadily through the Nationals' system, eventually breaking through to the big leagues in 2019. He likely would have graduated from prospect status by now had he not been suspended for 80 games after a positive test for Oral Turinabol, which cost him the 2020 season. That particular drug is controversial in MLB, because Barrera and others who have tested positive for it maintain their innocence and suggest that there are flaws in the testing for it. He returned to Washington in 2021, hitting .264/.374/.385 in 91 at-bats.

    Scouting Report: Barrera checks all the boxes of a solid all-around defensive catcher. He receives well, has a quick release with a strong arm and works well with his pitching staff. He's also a very good athlete. He's not a middle-of-the-order bat, but he hit fairly well in the big leagues in 2021 and he's performed at every stop along the way thanks to sound mechanics and good plate discipline.

    The Future: Barrera has proven himself as a solid backup catcher in MLB, and he has nothing left to prove in the minors. With Keibert Ruiz and Riley Adams both in the organization and on the roster, however, he will have to fight to stay in the big leagues with Washington.

  29. 29. TJ White | OF
    TJ White
    Born: Jul 23, 2003
    Bats: S Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 210
    Minors: .238/.330/.404 | 7 HR | 5 SB | 265 AB

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: The Nationals selected White in the fifth round of the 2021 draft for $400,000 to sway his commitment from Indiana. As a 17-year-old high school senior in 2021, White had a successful debut in the Florida Complex League. He displayed power from both sides of the plate and finished Rookie ball with four homers, 12 RBIs and an OPS of .903.

    Scouting Report: White has played both corner outfield spots thus far, starting to make improvements in the field. However, where he really shines is at the plate. He's shown off 65-grade in-game power from both sides of the plate with good on-base skills. The biggest concern surrounding White's performance at the plate is his swings and misses.

    The Future: With more development and time, the Nationals believe White can be a corner outfielder who contributes to the middle of the lineup in a big way.

  30. 30. Jake Irvin | RHP
    Jake Irvin
    Born: Feb 18, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'6" Wt.: 225
    Drafted/Signed: Oklahoma, 2018 (4th round).
    Signed By: Ed Gustafson.
    Minors: 0-4 | 3.50 ERA | 79 SO | 21 BB | 80 IP

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Midseason Update: Irvin missed the entire 2021 season recovering from Tommy John surgery. Prior to that, he ranked as the No. 23 prospect in the Nationals organization. He returned to the mound in Double-A this season and seems to be settling back in. The big question mark around his return was if he could get back to his pre-surgery form. The velocity on his fastball is sitting right around 95 mph, which is on par with his ability before his injury. His power curveball and improving changeup are encouraging signs for the righthander.

View Players 11-30

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