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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…

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Federal Reserve: The Arrival Of Trea Turner

After several months in limbo, Trea Turner finally made his debut in the Washington Nationals’ system on Tuesday. The shortstop prospect—a first-round pick by the San Diego Padres last year, whom the Nationals acquired as a player to be named later in December—was assigned to Harrisburg, where he has played two games thus far.

Getting Turner, along with right-handed starter Joe Ross, from the Padres should work out for the Nationals in the long run. As Ross emerges at the major league level, Turner immediately becomes one of the best position players in the farm system. Along with excellent speed, he features a compact line drive stroke that not only allows him to hit to all fields, but occasionally leverage power to the left side of the field. On defense, he should rate as an at least above average shortstop. Continue reading…

Caption: Mariano Rivera Jr. pitches for Iona in 2015. Credit: Iona Athletics

Federal Reserve: The Nationals 2015 Draft Class

Wednesday afternoon marked the conclusion of the 2015 MLB Draft. With 40 players selected, the Washington Nationals put together an interesting class. While it lacks a high-upside talent like Lucas Giolito or Erick Fedde, this crop of players could hold some promise.

It began on Monday with second-round selection Andrew Stevenson—a speedy outfielder with excellent defensive potential and an improving plate approach. Among the eight players drafted on Tuesday included third-round pick Rhett Wiseman, an outfielder out of Vanderbilt, and fourth-rounder Mariano Rivera, a right-handed starter from Iona College. Continue reading…

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Federal Reserve: May Hitter And Pitcher Of The Month

The first two months of the minor league season have featured some surprising performances from a few lesser-known prospects in the Washington Nationals’ farm system. In the latest Federal Reserve, two players with rising stocks claim the monthly awards for May. The Hitter of the Month is flashing an intriguing combination of power and speed, while the Pitcher of the Month is delivering on the promise he has always shown. Continue reading…