Washington Nationals: A look at Some of the Top Prospects

The Washington Nationals are in a frenzy once again for the second straight. They currently sit in fourth place in the NL East standings with a 24-32 record and Washington sits nine games back of the Philadelphia Phillies for first place in the division.

They lost outfielder Bryce Harper to the Philadelphia Phillies in the offseason and the Nationals have not been the same. Washington will need to rely on its farm system in the near future to get back to the playoffs. They could very well trade a couple of players at the trade deadline to bulk up the farm system like third baseman Anthony Rendon, first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, and they could trade closer Sean Doolittle if a team needs a closer.

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Who are some of the top prospects in the Nationals farm system?

Carter Kieboom

The top prospect in their farm system is shortstop Carter Kieboom. He is currently playing in Triple-A with the Fresno Grizzlies. Kieboom has already played in some major league games this season even though he wasn’t projected to reach the majors until next season. His batting average so far this season is .128 with two home runs and two RBI’s. Carter Kieboom’s on-base percentage is .209. Trea Turner is the shortstop of the now and of the future. When Anthony Rendon gets traded, it is quite possible. Kieboom will move over to third base. His batting average so far this season is .331 with eight home runs and 34 RBI’s, along with three stolen bases. Kieboom’s on-base percentage is .440. He was the 28th overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. Carter Kieboom is 21 years old.

Luis Garcia

The second best prospect in the Washington Nationals farm system is infielder Luis Garcia. He is currently playing in Double-A with the Harrisburg Senators. His father reached the major leagues in 1999 with the Detroit Tigers. Garcia’s batting average so far this season is .217 with zero home runs and nine RBI’s, along with three stolen bases. His on-base percentage so far this season is .251. Luis Garcia has a lot of work to do as a hitter, but he is a tremendous fielder and base runner. Garcia is only 19 years old. He is projected to reach the majors in 2021.

Wil Crowe

The fourth best prospect in Washington’s farm system is right-handed pitcher Wil Crowe. He is currently pitching in Double-A and Crowe could potentially be an ace in the near future. Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg are getting older and they won’t be relied upon as the top two starting pitchers forever. Wil Crowe’s record so far this season is 5-3 with a 3.30 ERA. In 57.1 innings pitched, he has given up 51 hits and 22 runs. Crowe has walked 17 batters and has struck out 52. He is 24 years old and he is projected to reach the majors sometime next season. Wil Crowe was a second-round pick in 2017. He has a very good arsenal of pitches.

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Tim Cate

The fifth-best prospect in the Nationals farm system is left-handed pitcher Tim Cate. He is currently playing in Single-A with the Hagerstown Suns. Cate’s record so far this season is 4-3 with a 2.56 ERA. In 56.1 innings pitched, he has given up 46 hits and 21 runs. Tim Cate has walked 12 batters and has struck out 58. He was a second-round pick in the MLB Draft last season. Washington hopes he develops into a quality starter. Cate has a 12-6 curveball that dips really strong and he has a fastball that reaches the low to mid-90s. Tim Cate will add more velocity to his fastball as he progresses through the minors. He also has a quality changeup. Cate is 21 years old and he is projected to reach the majors in 2021. Tim Cate has the potential to be a third or a fourth starter in the majors.

Israel Pineda

The seventh best prospect in their farm system is catcher, Israel Pineda. He is projected to reach the majors in 2022 and Pineda is only 19 years old. He will most likely be the starting catcher for years to come considering the fact they are very old at the position. Israel Pineda is currently playing in Single-A. His batting average so far this season is .210 with three home runs and 15 RBI’s, along with one stolen base. Pineda’s on-base percentage is .288. He has the potential to be a solid two-way catcher.

Sterling Sharp

The eighth best prospect in the Washington Nationals farm system is right-handed pitcher Sterling Sharp. When people think of this name, they will immediately think of the Sterling Sharpe that played in the NFL and had a Hall of Fame career. In fact, Sharp was a 22nd round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. He is 24 years old and is projected to reach the majors sometime next season. Sharp is currently on the seven-day disabled list and he is currently playing in Double-A. In 49.2 innings pitched, Sterling Sharp has given up 56 hits and 23 runs. He has also walked 14 batters and has struck out 45. Sharp has a good pitch arsenal but his ceiling is more of being a fourth starter, fifth starter, or mid-reliever.

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Gage Canning

The ninth best prospect in Washington’s farm system is outfielder Gage Canning. Washington already has Victor Robles and Juan Soto in the outfielder and they both have promising futures. Canning also has a promising future in baseball and that outfield could be a potential problem for years to come. Gage Canning was a fifth-round pick in the MLB Draft last summer. He started the year in Single-A with the Hagerstown Suns, but Canning is now in Advanced-A with the Potomac Nationals.

He is 22 years old and is projected to reach the majors in 2021. His batting average in the minors so far this season is .235 with two home runs and 18 RBI’s, along with 11 stolen bases. Canning’s on-base percentage is .286. He is a fundamentally sound baseball player and that is what teams look for because some players sometimes forget about the little intangibles in baseball. Gage Canning bats from the left side of the plate and he is more of a contact hitter than a power hitter, but Canning still has the potential to develop some power into his swing.

Telmito Agustin

The 10th best prospect in the Nationals farm system is outfielder Telmito Agustin. He is currently playing in High-A and Agustin is projected to reach the majors sometime next season. He is 22 years old. Telmito Agustin has the potential to be a starting outfielder in the majors, but there could potentially be a log jam and it could be a problem for him to get play time. Realistically, he may be no better than a third or a fourth outfielder. His batting average in the minors so far this season is .230 with two home runs and 18 RBI’s, along with five stolen bases. Agustin’s on-base percentage is .297. He also bats from the left side of the plate.

For more information on prospects in the Washington Nationals farm system, visit MLB.com and search top prospects.

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