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Washington Nationals Top Three Prospects To Watch

The Washington Nationals now have two prospects ranked in MLB.com’s Top 100. Which three should you watch throughout the season?

Since winning the World Series in 2019, the Washington Nationals have been on a downward spiral. The Nationals went 26-34 during the COVID season of 2020 and had a record of 65-97, good for last place in the National League East in 2021.

The Nats have also had a below-average Minor League system the last few years. The Nationals Minor League system was 30th out of 30 teams in the minor league rankings in2021 and did not have one prospect ranked as one of the top 100 minor league players in baseball.

This season according to MLB.com, the Nationals have moved up three spots to number 27 and now have two players ranked on the list of the top 100 prospects in baseball.

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Here are my top three prospects to watch in Washington this season.

Keibert Ruiz / Catcher

Keibert Ruiz is the number one prospect in the Nationals organization. Ruiz was acquired from the Dodgers in the Max Scherzer deal this past summer.

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Ruiz was signed by the Dodgers out of Venezuela in 2014 and made his MLB debut in 2020. After the trade to Washington last summer, Ruiz played in 23 games with the Nationals. He hit .284 with two homers and 14 RBIs in 81 at-bats.

Defensively, Ruiz has a good arm but needs to work on throwing runners out on a more consistent basis. Ruiz is known for his defense, but his offense with the Nationals was a surprise. Ruiz is the number 19 prospect in baseball. He will report to training camp as the number one catcher on the major league roster.

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Cade Cavalli / Pitcher

A first-round pick of the Nationals out of Oklahoma in 2020, Cavalli began the 2021 season pitching in Class A. He finished the season at AAA. Cavalli breezed through Class A and AA before running into some control problems at the AAA level.

He struck out 151 batters between Class A and Class AA with an ERA of 2.25. Cavalli pitched just over 24 innings at the AAA level with a 7.30 ERA.

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Cavalli has good size at 6”4” and a mid 90’s fastball. He has also hit close to triple digits on the radar gun, while mixing in a curveball from time to time.

Cavalli will have every opportunity to make the Nationals roster once training camp opens. If Cavalli does not make the opening day roster, it will not be long before he is part of the Nationals rotation sometime this season.

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Josiah Gra/ Pitcher

Gray was one of the other pieces in the Maz Scherzer trade with the Dodgers, bringing the 6’1” right-hander to Washington.

One of the top 50 prospects in Baseball, Gray made 12 starts with Washington and struggled at times. He posted a 5.30 ERA with 62 strikeouts in 61 innings.

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Gray has a fastball that tops out at 95 MPH and will also mix in a changeup.

He will be a crucial piece of the Nationals rotation in 2022. After a shoulder injury in 2021 stunted his opportunity with the Dodgers, Gray has set a goal to throw 200 innings in 2022.

The future is bright in Washington, with these three prospects ready to help the Nationals get back to respectability.

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The Nationals also have 18-year-old shortstop Brady House and right-hander Jackson Rutledge waiting for their call up to the big league club.

Look for the Nationals to be contenders for a playoff spot sooner rather than later with an influx of talent arriving from the minor leagues.

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