|Original Published Date: April 21, 2014|
|Updated: June 10, 2014|
The Nationals arguably have the best team on paper in the National League. They have one of the best young positional talents in the league in Bryce Harper as well as one of the best pitching talents in Stephen Strasburg. They have quality at most positions and depth on the big league roster. While not stacked in the upper minors with impact players, there are players that can help supplement the big league club.
1. Next in Line Infield Prospects
- Emmanuel Burriss (SS, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
- Matt Skole (1B/3B, Double-A) – Fantasy relevance: Medium
Notes: The Nationals Triple-A team is primarily used as the big league taxi squad and consequently there are few impact infield players in particular. Matt Skole has plus power but lost the entire 2013 season recovering from Tommy John Surgery. He’s struggled early in the season with an alarming strikeout rate in Double-A. While the likelihood of seeing him in Washington this year is low, he could be used as trade bait as the deadline approaches.
2. Next in Line Outfield Prospects
- Steven Souza (OF, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Medium
- Brian Goodwin (OF, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Medium
- Michael Taylor (OF, Double-A) – Fantasy relevance: Medium
Notes: There is talent in the upper-minors in the outfield. Steven Souza has already gotten a glimpse this year of the Major League clubhouse and Brian Goodwin could be next. Souza has been a late bloomer but has plus power and speed and can really play. If he gets the chance, he could be a significant fantasy contributor. Unfortunately, it’s looking less likely this will happen despite hitting .371 in 151 at-bats in Triple-A. Goodwin has been on many Top 100 Prospect List and while he hasn’t delivered on his immense tools, 20/20 potential is there. He’ll also needs an injury to get the chance and could be behind Souza for playing time. Michael Taylor might have the loudest tools of the three but still struggles to make consistent contact. If he can shortens up his swing, he has first division talent upside.
3. Next in Line Pitching Prospects
- Taylor Hill (RHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
- A.J. Cole (RHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Medium
Notes: Taylor Hill is listed at 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds and is a presence on the mound. His arsenal is average with his fastball sitting 88-90 MPH with a solid slider and change-up. All of his pitches do play-up because of his plus command. He’s likely the next guy up if the Nationals need a starter and should be considered for deeper fantasy leagues. A.J. Cole has more upside than Hill but lacks the secondary pitches to excel at the highest level. The fastball is there as is the fastball command but the secondary pitches lag behind. If he figures that out, you could see him in Washington later this summer. If he never develops above average secondary pitches, he could move into the pen and be a late inning option down the road.
4. Next in Line Relief Prospects
- Christian Garcia (RHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low