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  1. 1. James Wood | OF
    James Wood
    Born: Sep 17, 2002
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'7" Wt.: 240
    Signed By: John Martin.
    Minors: .313/.420/.536 | 12 HR | 20 SB | 291 AB

    Track Record: Wood moved away from his hometown in Maryland to attend Florida's IMG Academy and gain greater exposure on the baseball diamond. A standout in basketball as well as baseball, Wood used his first summer on the showcase circuit to his advantage and emerged as one of the most physically impressive players in the 2021 draft class. Despite Wood's elevated strikeout totals his senior spring, the Padres saw his plus-plus raw power and huge upside and drafted him 62nd overall in the second round and signed him for an above-slot $2.6 million to sway him from a Mississippi State commitment. The gamble paid off immediately as Wood emerged as one of the best prospects in the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League after signing. He continued to impress in his full-season debut with Low-A Lake Elsinore in 2022, hitting .337 with 30 extra-base hits in 50 games despite going on the injured list twice with right wrist soreness. The Nationals acquired Wood, along with shortstop CJ Abrams, outfielder Robert Hassell III, lefthander MacKenzie Gore and righthander Jarlin Susana, in the eight-player trade that sent Juan Soto to San Diego. Wood continued to impress in 21 games with Low-A Fredericksburg to close out the season.

    Scouting Report: There is no questioning Wood's athletic ability. His father is Kenny Wood, a former college basketball standout at Richmond, and James was a gifted basketball player before shifting to baseball full-time. At 6-foot-7, 240 pounds, Wood's athleticism and plus-plus raw power flows easily. He hits enormous home runs to all fields and has the strength, leverage and bat speed to demolish any pitch. He catches up to mid-90s velocity with ease and has the balance and pitch recognition to identify and stay back on secondary stuff. There are still questions surrounding Wood's high strikeout numbers, but a widened stance and learning to be less aggressive in early counts has helped. Wood's aggressiveness is still a work in progress, but he is improving. Due to his height, he has a longer bat path than most other players. He makes consistent contact in all parts of the zone despite his long levers and should continue to develop as a contact hitter with his widened stance. Wood is a smooth runner with above-average speed in center field and has a chance to stick there. He still has room to fill out and will likely move to one of the corners, where he will be a slightly above-average defender with an above-average arm.

    The Future: Wood has a chance to be a game-changing power hitter in the middle of the Nationals' order for years to come. If he can stick with the adjustments made to his stance and flatten out his bat path, he has the upside to hit 30-35 home runs. He will open 2023 at High-A Wilmington and has a chance to reach Washington by 2024.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 55. Power: 65. Speed: 55. Fielding: 50. 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: .273/.357/.407 | 11 HR | 24 SB | 450 AB

    Track Record: Hassell is no stranger to the world stage. He represented South Nashville at the 2014 Little League World Series and went on to shine with USA Baseball's 18U national team. The Padres signed Hassell for a below-slot $4.3 million after drafting him eighth overall in 2020. Hassell was invited to big league spring training in 2021 before making his pro debut at Low-A. He reached High-A Fort Wayne that season and began 2022 at the level. He was named to the Futures Game before becoming a key prospect in the blockbuster trade that sent Juan Soto to the Padres and Hassell plus four other young talents to the Nationals. He spent two weeks with the Nationals' High-A Wilmington affiliate before moving to Double-A Harrisburg on Aug. 16 and then the Arizona Fall League in October. Hassell's AFL time was limited to two games when he broke the hamate bone in his right hand. He is expected to be back for spring training.

    Scouting Report: A plus hitter with advanced ball-to-bat skills, Hassell immediately proved why he was dubbed one of the best pure hitters in his draft class. He has an ability to control the zone and sees lefthanders well, in a way that is rare for a young lefthanded hitter. While Hassell doesn't project for more than fringe-average power, his ability to hit for average and get on base makes him a candidate to hit at the top of a batting order. He is an on-base machine with above-average speed and an affinity for stealing bases. His above-average arm gives him the ability to play any outfield position, but has a chance to stay in center field, where he has spent the majority of his minor league career.

    The Future: If Hassell can unlock his 15-20 homer upside, the Nationals are looking at a possible all-star. He heads back to Double-A in 2023 and should see time at Triple-A and possibly Washington.

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

  3. 3. Elijah Green | OF
    Elijah Green
    Born: Dec 4, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 225
    Minors: .302/.404/.535 | 2 HR | 1 SB | 43 AB

    Track Record: Green is one of the most dynamic athletes scouts have seen in years. As an underclassman in 2020, he jumped on the map during the summer showcase circuit. After an impressive stint with USA Baseball's 18U National Team and senior season with IMG Academy, he left no question that he was one of the top prospects in the 2022 draft. The Nationals drafted him fifth overall and signed him for $6.5 million, right at slot value for the pick. Green mashed in the Rookie-level Florida Complex League, hitting .302/.404/.535 in 12 games. His .939 OPS was highest among those 18-and-under who batted at least 50 times. Green proved he can do just about everything at an elite level, with strength and power that rival some top MLB sluggers.

    Scouting Report: The son of NFL tight end Eric Green, Elijah's physicality is rarely seen on the baseball field at his age. The righthanded hitter has already accessed his power at 18 years old. Green has shown the ability to drive the ball to all fields and out of just about any ballpark. He has shown some swing-and-miss--he struck out 40% of the time in the FCL--and has struggled against higher velocity. Not only has Green shown plus-plus power, but he also shows elite speed. He's able to steal bases and cover a ton of ground in center field. It's uncommon to see an MLB center fielder with Green's size, but he is an outlier athlete. He has a plus arm and has a chance to be an above-average defender.

    The Future: Green has rare tools and athleticism and a lot of upside to reach. The biggest question mark surrounding him is his feel to hit and contact ability. His 45% swinging-strike rate was well above the average in the swing-happy FCL. Green should make more than enough impact to live with those whiffs, but a full season in 2023 will make that assessment much more clear.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 50. Power: 70. Speed: 70. Fielding: 55. Arm: 60

  4. 4. 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: 6-4 | 3.71 ERA | 104 SO | 39 BB | 97 IP

    Track Record: After leading the minor leagues with 157 strikeouts in 2021 while reaching Triple-A in his pro debut, it seemed like Cavalli was almost MLB ready. The Nationals wanted their 2020 first-round pick to work on his changeup before he made his debut. Cavalli spent nearly the entire 2022 season with Triple-A Rochester before making his MLB debut on Aug. 26. Despite being knocked around by the Reds, he showed flashes of promise. His secondary pitches looked much better and his fastball was exactly as advertised. Cavalli made one start before being shut down with shoulder inflammation. He is expected to be ready to go for spring training.

    Scouting Report: Cavalli has a four-pitch mix headlined by a four-seam fastball that averages 96 mph and tops out at 99-100 mph. Velocity has never been a question for the physical righthander, but his fastball has played down dating back to college because of a lack of deception or standout movement or spin. In 2022, Cavalli began relying more on his promising secondaries. His go-to breaking ball is a hard, mid-80s hammer curveball with 12-to-6 shape. He throws the pitch for strikes less frequently than a firm, upper-80s slider, but the curveball is the better swing-and-miss pitch. Both breaking pitches flash plus. Cavalli worked hard to improve a firm, upper-80s changeup, and his ability to consistently command that pitch could help keep hitters off his fastball. Cavalli can be a solid strike-thrower, but he'll need to find a solid balance of aggression and precision with how he attacks the strike zone.

    The Future: The Nationals will rely on Cavalli to join a rebuilding rotation. If he can get outs in the zone, the organization can say that one piece of the rebuilding puzzle is in place.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70. Curveball: 65. Slider: 55. Changeup: 55. Control: 50

  5. 5. 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

    Track Record: When the Nationals drafted House 11th overall in 2021, they were getting what many believed was one of the top high school prospects. House had loud offensive tools, led by explosive raw power that some scouts projected to double-plus grades. House made frequent quality contact in the Rookie-level Florida Complex League after signing for $5 million. His second season did not go as planned. Assigned to Low-A Fredericksburg in 2022, House hit .303/.386/.420 with three home runs through his first 30 games. He made almost no impact after that--.228 with no homers--while dealing with a back injury and a bout with Covid. The Nationals shut House down for the remainder of the season in early June and expect him to be ready for minor league spring training in 2023.

    Scouting Report: The loudest tool in House's set is his raw power. He looks and acts the part of a large slugger, standing in at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds. House has shown an ability to hit to all fields with authority since his debut, but he struggled hitting high velocity in 2022. He looked very raw at the plate at times, which calls into question his hitting ability, but the Nationals aren't panicking. House has a strong ability to recognize pitches and has a good feel for the zone. House was a 50/50 bet to stick at shortstop even before the Nationals traded for CJ Abrams. House has sure hands and a good internal clock that compensates for ordinary range. His plus arm will fit at third base if he slides over.

    The Future: House's back injury is a giant mitigating factor when it comes to explaining his low exit velocities in his first full season. A full, healthy season should give House the reps to address the hit tool concerns and regain his power.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 50. Power: 65. Speed: 50. Fielding: 55. Arm: 60

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

    Track Record: The Nationals went all-in on Vaquero, signing him for $4.925 million in January 2021 when the international signing period opened. The switch-hitting Cuban outfielder received the highest bonus of any player in his signing class. The Nationals saw Vaquero as the best position player available that year, with talent well beyond his age. He was a young rising star in the Cuban junior leagues before starting his professional career in the Dominican Summer League in 2022.

    Scouting Report: Vaquero has a high ceiling. He's an explosive player with a quick first step in center field. He then takes long, gliding strides to cover plenty of ground with well above-average speed. His plus arm and double-plus speed indicate that could stick in center. Vaquero has plenty of time to develop and gain experience at the plate to quiet concerns about his pure hitting ability. He had a reputation as an aggressive hitter while in Cuba, but he showed good feel for the barrel in the DSL with a strikeout rate just south of 18% and a healthy walk rate of 15%. He needs to hit the ball in the air more frequently as he matures to reach his above-average power potential. He is a natural lefthanded hitter who taught himself to bat righthanded shortly before signing with Washington. He will continue to switch-hit in pro ball, but will need to prove that he can be just as aggressive and powerful on his right side.

    The Future: If Vaquero continues to advance, the Nationals may have found their greatest international prospect since at least Luis Garcia and possibly since Juan Soto and Victor Robles arrived in the late 2010s. At age 18 in 2023, Vaquero is still very young and is far from the big leagues, but he is ready to be tested in the Florida Complex League.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 50. Power: 55. Speed: 70. Fielding: 55. Arm: 60

  7. 7. Jarlin Susana | RHP
    Jarlin Susana
    Born: Mar 23, 2004
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'6" Wt.: 235
    Minors: 0-0 | 2.40 ERA | 66 SO | 20 BB | 45 IP

    Track Record: Susana used the Covid shutdown in 2020 to define himself as a pitcher. When international scouting resumed, he emerged with a fastball that touched 96 mph and he was thus regarded as one of the top pitching prospects in the 2021 international class. With most 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. San Diego sent him directly to the Arizona Complex League in 2022 as an 18-year-old. In just eight appearances, he showed enough promise to become a key piece in the blockbuster that sent Juan Soto to San Diego and Susana plus four other young talents to the Nationals. Washington promoted Susana to Low-A Fredericksburg on Aug. 24 and he struck out 13 batters in 10.1 innings.

    Scouting Report: The 6-foot-6, 235-pound Susana added muscle that has immediately manifested into power behind his fastball. He sits 97-98 mph and has reached 103 mph more than once. He throws an average rate of strikes but doesn't get whiffs commensurate with his velocity. Susana's best pitch is a high-80s power slider that could be plus. It's his top swing-and-miss pitch, more for velocity than wicked movement. His slider and curveball can blend together at times, but the latter is starting to improve. His arsenal rounds out with an 86-89 mph changeup that has sink and fade. While power clearly isn't an issue for the young righthander, command of his extra-large frame and power stuff can be.

    The Future: While Susana is still years away from reaching the major leagues, he is trending in that direction. With multiple potential plus pitches and a power arsenal, the key will be controlled repetition. He will have the time to develop with Low-A Fredericksburg in 2023.

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

  8. 8. 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: .280/.358/.436 | 11 HR | 39 SB | 397 AB

    Track Record: De La Rosa was not a highly touted prospect when the Nationals signed him out of the Dominican Republic in 2018. However, the organization started and maintained an aggressive approach. De La Rosa jumped straight to Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in 2019 to make his pro debut as a 17-year-old. He then joined the Nationals' 60-player pool at the alternate training site in 2020 when the pandemic shut down the sport. De La Rosa struggled in his first full season at Low-A Fredericksburg in 2021, owing to a 34% strikeout rate. One of the Nationals' favorite qualities in De La Rosa is his resilience. The young hitter continued to work and make adjustments, all without ever showing he was disappointed in his slow start.

    Scouting Report: De La Rosa's hard work paid off in a big way in a return to Fredericksburg in 2022. He hit .315/.394/.505 with 10 home runs and 26 stolen bases in 69 games before going up to High-A Wilmington on July 12. A hand injury sapped his power and ended his season on Aug. 27. He had hamate surgery shortly after. De La Rosa has proven to be a capable hitter and well-rounded prospect. The lefthanded hitter is able to get in a good hitting position and has flashed plus raw power. Scouts were impressed with his improved approach in 2022. He cut his strikeout rate to around 26% and showed better pitch selection, with a willingness to use the entire field. As long as he doesn't sell out for power, De La Rosa has a chance to be a tough out with on-base skills and a chance for solid-average power production. He's an above-average runner and an above-average to plus center fielder.

    The Future: The Nationals were enthused by De La Rosa's turnaround season. He still has plenty to prove at High-A, but 2022 was a step in the right direction.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 50. Power: 55. Speed: 60. Fielding: 55. Arm: 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: 8-6 | 4.90 ERA | 99 SO | 29 BB | 98 IP

    Track Record: Injuries and battling back are common themes in Rutledge's story. He started his career at Arkansas and suffered a torn hip labrum. He transferred to San Jacinto (Texas) JC in 2019, and the Nationals drafted him 17th overall that spring. Rutledge reached Low-A in his pro debut but suffered a setback at the alternate training site in 2020, with shoulder and blister issues limiting him. He pitched to a 7.68 ERA in 36.1 innings across three lower levels in 2021, adding concern to his ability to be consistent. He responded with a dominant 2022 season at Low-A Fredericksburg, striking out 99 in 97.1 innings. He ended the season on a high note by delivering eight shutout innings in Game 1 of the Carolina League semifinals.

    Scouting Report: At 6-foot-8, Rutledge can be an intimidating figure on the mound, and he has a fastball to match. He throws both four-seam and two-seam fastballs, with both versions of his heater sitting 94-95 mph and touching 97-98. His four-seam has modest carry, and he looks more like a sinker/slider pitcher after inducing ground balls about half the time in 2022. Rutledge's best secondary is an 82-87 mph slider that generated whiffs at a 47% clip and has earned plus grades. He also throws a firm changeup in the upper 80s. Previously a below-average strike-thrower, Rutledge walked just 6.9% of batters with Low-A Fredericksburg in 2022, though scouts wonder about timing issues that stem from a super compact arm action and his ability to sync up his release and foot strike.

    The Future: The Nationals were impressed with the improvements that Rutledge showed in 2022 and believe he still has a chance to be a back-of-the-rotation starter. Still, he has not pitched above High-A as he enters his age-24 season. The 2023 season will be more of a test.

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

  10. 10. TJ White | OF
    TJ White
    Born: Jul 23, 2003
    Bats: S Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 210
    Minors: .258/.353/.432 | 11 HR | 8 SB | 329 AB

    Track Record: White did not turn 18 until two weeks after the 2021 draft, making him one of the youngest players in the class. The Nationals liked his power upside and signed him for an over-slot $400,000 in the fifth round. The powerful switch-hitter impressed in the Florida Complex League, hitting four homers and slugging .547 in 15 games. White adapted well to Low-A Fredericksburg in 2022, putting up a .784 OPS that ranked fifth-best among qualified Carolina League teenagers.

    Scouting Report: White did a nice job making adjustments in 2022. His goal was to improve his defensive work in the outfield and also put up better in-game power numbers. Scouts have praised White's swing from both sides of the plate. Most of his power in 2022 came as a lefthanded hitter, with 10 of his 11 home runs coming from that side. White has a solid batting eye, as evidenced by a 11.5% walk rate and respectable chase rate, and has the ability to recognize and punish mistakes from opposing pitchers. White is a good runner, but he has been described as 'crude' in the outfield and is regarded as a bat-first player who will need to hit enough for teams to live with his defense. After spending time at both outfield corners in 2021, White played exclusively left field in 2022. He could improve his defense with more reps and better route-running. If he doesn't, he faces a potential move to first base. White has two pro seasons under his belt and is still a teenager, so he has plenty of time for refinement.

    The Future: The organization believes White will improve as he gains experience. He has improved his defense and has gotten better at controlling the strike zone. He has youth on his side as he heads to High-A Wilmington in 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 50. Power: 60. Speed: 40. Fielding: 45. Arm: 45

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