After 30 posts and some 300 prospects, we’ve reached the end of the minor league preview series for the year of our Lord Grey 2019. Our final preview is the Washington Nationals. This system isn’t all that strong, but it’s top heavy with two top 50 specs (one in the top ten) and a youngster who should rise quickly. The offseason prospect journey from the Astros to the Nats has been long and full of scotch. Good luck in your drafts and I’ll see you Wednesday for the beginning of our regular season prospect content.
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1. Victor Robles, OF | Age: 21 | ETA: 2019
Robles is the redraft darling of this system with around 60 MLB at bats already under his belt and a projected starting job in center field for the Nats. Steamer is projecting .275 with 12 homers and 25 steals, so we’re looking at a player who is going to make an impact in fantasy from day one. I think a decent comp for his ceiling is the good version of Carlos Gomez. Slight issue in his lineup position (projected 9th) but that’s picking nits. Grey’s 2019 Outlook
2. Carter Kieboom, SS | Age: 21 | ETA: 2020
Kieboom is a plus-hit/plus-power shortstop who split time between High-A and Double-A in 2018. His numbers dipped in the more advanced league, but he still hit .260 with five homers. He’ll likely start this year at AA again with a chance to reach the majors next season – perhaps at a different position. 15-20 homers is a realistic power ceiling and he won’t sell out for it…meaning decent averages as well.
3. Luis Garcia, 2B/SS | Age: 18 | ETA: 2021
Garcia has a lot of upside, but he’s pretty young. One of the best things about 2018 was how consistent he was with the jump from A-ball to High-A. He basically hit .298 with four homers and a 15% strikeout rate at each level. My guess is he’ll return to High-A this summer and reach Double-A by the end of the year, at which point he’ll still be just 19 years old. This one could be special.
4. Mason Denaburg, RHP | Age: 19 | ETA: 2022
Denaburg was the Nats first round selection in 2018. He’s a righty with a plus fastball and curve. The heater sits in the low/mid 90s and he has decent enough control to remain a starter. I think the ceiling tops out at a 2/3 rather than an ace, but we haven’t seen him in pro ball yet either.
5. Yasel Antuna, 3B | Age: 19 | ETA: 2021
Antuna has at least average pop and speed, but a below average hit tool and lost development time for Tommy John surgery makes him a risky prospect to own in shallower formats. He hit six homers and stole eight bags in the Sally in 2018, but that came with a .220 average a strikeout rate north of 21%. Nothing crazy, just needs to tune the approach and stay healthy to end up in more than a utility/bench role.
6. Jeremy De La Rosa, OF | Age: 17 | ETA: 2023
I used to have a tier called Long Shot Lolitas for guys like De La Rosa. So far away, so young, so many unknowns. All the tools currently grade as average or better, and the Nats have hit on Soto and Robles, so there’s reason to be optimistic De La Rosa can follow a similar path. We should see him in pro ball for the first time this summer.
7. Tim Cate, LHP | Age: 21 | ETA: 2021
Cate’s fastball is upper 80s / low 90s, so he’s going to have to finesse the hell out of his pitches to really make it as a starter, and even then it’s most likely in the back end of a rotation. It’s possible he makes it work though, because the curve is a double-plus pitch that could induce whiffs. Cate threw just 50 innings in 2018, but struck out 45 and walked under three per nine. Deep league dyno flyer.
8. Wil Crowe, RHP | Age: 24 | ETA: 2020
Crowe has four pitches in his arsenal, all of which are average or better. He’s likely a back end starter, but the fantasy upside is limited because he has less strikeout potential than Cate, even with a better fastball.
9. Telmito Agustin, OF | Age: 22 | ETA: 2020
Agustin is most likely a fourth outfielder in the bigs, but he has average tools and made some nice improvements to his approach last season. He increased his walk percentage about 3% and decreased his strikeout percentage about 5% in his second go at High-A. I don’t think the Nats will push him aggressively, but he could (should) be in Double-A this year.
10. Seth Romero, LHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2021
Romero had Tommy John Surgery in 2018, so we won’t see him again until 2020. He has a plus fastball and slider, which could play better in relief than as a starter. Lots of risk but with weaker systems like this there aren’t a ton of options for interesting flyers.