By Brian Skinnell on March 14, 2014
We’re about a month into Spring Training, which means now is the time to do some evaluations. Here are the top seven prospects so far this spring for the Washington Nationals. (NOTE: stats acquired prior to Friday’s game.)
In third trip to Spring Training with the Nationals, Steven Souza Jr. has done well. He’s 7-for-25 with three doubles, one homer and two RBI. He’s drawn a pair of walks and stolen as many bases. He’ll head back to the minors, but not without a solid performance in Spring Training.
Second baseman Will Rhymes has been quietly making things happen in his eighth Spring Training trip. Rhymes is 8-for-20 with three RBI, four walks and two steals.
The Nationals’ bullpen is pretty well set aside from a couple spots, but Aaron Barrett has been making quite a case for a future position. In seven innings of work spanning six outings, he’s given up just four hits while striking out five. He won’t be in MLB this year, but he’s shown potential for the future.
Adam LaRoche better be looking over his shoulder. While Brock Peterson has already made his MLB debut, it was very brief, so that’s why he’s on this list. The first baseman’s numbers have been than LaRoche’s this spring. He’s 7-for-18 with a double, homer and six RBI. With LaRoche in his contract year, could Peterson perform well now and in the minors to take the spot at season’s end?
Matt Skole has had a solid spring. He was among those first cut, but that came as no surprise since he missed all of last season due to an injury. Skole is 5-for-15 with three doubles, a homer and five RBI. His .733 average is second only to Walters (minimum four at bats). He may not make his way to the big leagues this year, but he’s a future power hitter for Washington.
Not surprisingly, A.J. Cole has had a very successful first trip to Spring Training with the Nationals. In 6.2 innings spanning three appearances, he’s given up just five hits while striking out seven. Cole likely won’t see Nationals Park for another two years, but his spring has certainly been encouraging for the future.
Zach Walters brought his big bat with him to Spring Training. He’s 9-for-19 with two doubles, a triple, homer and five RBI. Keep an eye on him. He just might make the Nationals’ Opening Day bench.
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