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Federal Reserve: Lucas Giolito On The Road To Nationals Stardom

As the season winds down, top pitching prospect Lucas Giolito is only getting stronger. On Tuesday night at Richmond (San Francisco Giants), the right-hander had one of his best starts yet for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators, as he struck out eight batters over 6 2/3 innings pitched, while surrendering just one walk and allowing two runs on five hits.

Though he received the loss, Giolito continued his recent hot streak, as he has now allowed just four runs (three earned) in 18 2/3 innings over his past three starts. Within that span, he has struck out 24 and walked five, slashing his ERA at Harrisburg from 5.94 to 3.57. Continue reading…

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Federal Reserve: Joe Ross Is No Longer A Prospect, He’s The Real Deal

His early exit on Tuesday night left Washington Nationals starter Joe Ross just short of a career milestone. Had the right-hander gone another one-third of an inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers, his innings total on the season would have risen to 50—a number that would make 2015 his official rookie season, effectively ending his prospect status.

When he arrived in December’s three-team trade that also netted Trea Turner, Ross looked like a good pickup—in fact, he ranked sixth on TNB’s Top-10 Prospect List—but he faced the same problem as every other hurler in the farm system: With a stacked rotation, he was seemingly blocked from the majors for at least a full season. Continue reading…

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Federal Reserve: July Hitter And Pitcher Of The Month

The month of July was highlighted by several standout performances from the Washington Nationals’ best prospects. That made for a tough call on the Hitter and Pitcher of the Month awards, but the close races have been decided. Nabbing the offensive honors is an outfielder with a soaring stock, with the pitching prize going to a hurler who continues to post solid numbers at one of the system’s highest levels. Continue reading…

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Federal Reserve: Young Pitchers The Nats Shouldn’t Trade

Over the past few seasons, the Washington Nationals’ pitching depth has become gradually deeper and has emerged as the farm system’s strength. That depth undoubtedly triggered Monday’s trade, in which the Nationals sent Double A right-hander Nick Pivetta to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Jonathan Papelbon.

Some of my views on Pivetta were mentioned by our own Andrew Flax in his analysis of the trade, but to go into more detail, the Nationals did not give up small change to get Papelbon. If Pivetta harnesses the curveball he began throwing this season, he should have the right mix of pitches and the durability to become an effective middle-of-the-rotation starter. Continue reading…

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Federal Reserve: Three Minor-League Breakout Stars

Over the span of this season, several Washington Nationals minor leaguers have boosted their prospect status. While some have emerged from nowhere to burst onto the prospect radar, others have taken it a step further by making strong cases for inclusion among the 10 best players in the system.

Today on the Federal Reserve, three of these breakout stars will be profiled. The trio includes a current big leaguer, a rising star at one of the system’s lowest levels, and a starter who is emerging as one of the best players in the 2014 draft class. Continue reading…

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Federal Reserve: Nationals Sign 2015 Draft Picks

The deadline to sign picks from the 2015 First-Year Player Draft passed on Friday with very little drama for the Washington Nationals. Every player chosen within the first 13 rounds agreed to a deal and though a few players received heavier bonuses than expected, the Nationals came in under their bonus pool.

Some of these players, especially those who signed within days of their selection, were covered here a few weeks ago in our short season preview. In the time since that story was posted, the Auburn Doubledays have added several notable players from this year’s draft class, including outfielders Andrew Stevenson and Rhett Wiseman, as well as second baseman Max Schrock. Continue reading…

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Federal Reserve: Checking In On The Top Ten Prospects

How are some of the Washington Nationals’ best prospects faring this season? The Federal Reserve provides the answer with an update on the players who made TNB’s Top-10 Prospect List.

Quite a few things have changed since the list was published back in January. Moving from 10-1, here is a short update on how each players is performing.

Continue reading…

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Federal Reserve: June Hitter And Pitcher Of The Month

To month of June is an important one in Minor League Baseball. Full-season leagues hit their halfway points while the short season circuits begin. To recap that month in the Washington Nationals’ farm system, the Federal Reserve hands out its Hitter and Pitcher of the Month honors.

This month’s winning hitter is quietly putting together one of the best offensive seasons in the organization. The top hurler, meanwhile, continues to flash the potential that makes him one of baseball’s best pitching prospects. Continue reading…

United States pitcher Erick Fedde (33) winds up during the second inning of an exhibition baseball game against Cuba in Cary, N.C., Monday, July 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Federal Reserve: Examining Nats’ Short-Season Rosters

Over the last year, the coverage on the Federal Reserve has typically focused on prospects on the Washington Nationals’ full-season affiliates, and for a reason. Full-season players not only are closer to the majors, but also typically have more experience than their short season counterparts and offer more certainty by playing over a larger sample size.

This year, though, the Short-Season A Auburn Doubledays and the Gulf Coast League (GCL) Nationals deserve a closer look, thanks to an infusion of recent draft picks and intriguing prospects on both rosters. Continue reading…