At the finish line of the race for the first team to 20 wins, Nationals pitchers had quite a wild Friday night, and none of it involved beer or cocaine. I’m looking at you, David Wells. Stephen Strasburg hit the first Nationals starting pitcher home run since 2014, and Matt Albers, everyone’s one true kid brother, recorded his first save after closing out 102 games without one. Injuries weren’t going to keep Sammy Solis and Adam Eaton from being a part of it.
Before we begin, let us pray. Dear baseball gods, please accept this sacrifice of ye fatted calf, to appease thee of any undue hubris. In Scherzer’s name, Kmen.
Last summer, the Nationals made headlines at the deadline when they acquired Mark Melancon from the Pirates in exchange for reliever Felipe Rivero and righty Taylor Hearn. Later that season, as the rest of the league turned their attention to the playoff race, the two teams came together once again to make a trade that flew under the radar of the national media. Following the return of Joe Ross from the 60-Day DL, the Nationals DFA’d infielder Chris Bostick, and eight days later were able to find a trade partner for him in Pittsburgh. In return the Nationals received a switch hitting catching prospect out of Florida by the name of Taylor Gushue. This was a trade of two struggling prospects who needed a fresh start; and in Gushue the Nationals have found intriguing upside to that has begun to show itself early in 2017.
Stephen Strasburg looks different this year. He’s ditched his wind-up and is pitching exclusively from the stretch. He’s also grown a beard. Has either made a difference?
The Nationals bullpen is a dumpster fire, but you already know that. Like any good dumpster fire, there is always going to be that other man who says “but we need to put that out, there’s treasure in there!” Well folks, you are that “other man” and that other man’s “treasure” is Jacob Turner.
A disclaimer: I am not a scout. None of the opinions expressed below reflect any assessments I have made based on any video or information a scout might utilize. What I am is an aggregator of scouting reports: I read any I can find, and what I have written below is based on my synthesis of the reports of others. Without further ado, I present to you: the Nationals prospects whose stock has risen the most this season, in no order.
“Joe wasn’t Joe.”
It seemed like a pretty classic case of manager double talk when you first looked at Dusty Baker’s quote to Jamal Collier over at MLB.com That could mean a myriad of things: It could mean Joe Ross wasn’t his normal effective self (Ron Howard Narrator Voice: He wasn’t). It could mean Joe Ross wasn’t tantalizing Nationals fans with his promise and potential (He wasn’t). It could mean Joe Ross was no longer the handsomest member of the entire organization (He wa— Shut your damn mouth, that man is still beautiful).
Throughout the first month of the 2017 MLB season, the Washington Nationals have been an offensive juggernaut. Opposing pitchers quiver in fear when they see that lineup card. But who’s the player wreaking the most havoc among other teams? Surely it’s Bryce Harper, who’s starting to heat up again and recapture his MVP form. No? Then it has to be Daniel Murphy, runner-up in the 2016 MVP race and noted consistent producer at the plate. Wow, really? Well, then it’s definitely Trea Turner, a known pest on the basepaths who’s recently caught afire atop the lineup. No again? Then who is the best hitter on the best lineup in baseball?
Welcome back to the latest in a series, in which we review the previous week in Nationals baseball and power rank the players according to their performance. This is an extremely unserious exercise; at no point should it ever be confused with actual baseball analysis. Don’t worry, I will do my best to make sure that is obvious. Without further ado: your Washington Nationals, ranked according to power.