Are we really talking about the defending World Series champions this early in the Farm Report series? We sure are. They have one of the shallowest, if not the shallowest systems in the league and that’s why winning it this past year was the last of their window with a couple of their big free agents still on the team. Mike Rizzo, the GM, might be known as a guy that can make in-season moves that work and who has been able to trade for a player or two or trade away a player or two at the right time. That being said though, his draft classes haven’t always worked out in the Nationals’ favor, and it was depleted a couple of years ago when they traded Lucas Giolito , Reynaldo López , and Dane Dunning to Chicago for Adam Eaton . Washington won the World Series they so desperately wanted, but they will have to build back up the farm system if they want to extend the window next time.


Org. Rank (100): 21

Division Rank (100): 3rd

Top-100 Prospects: 2

Org. Rank (300): 28

Division Rank (300): 5th

Top-300 Prospects: 6




DSL Nationals

Rookie Summer League

Dominican Summer League

GCL Nationals

Rookie League

Gulf Coast League

Auburn Doubledays

Short-Season A

New York-Penn League

Hagerstown Suns

Class A

South Atlantic League

Fredericksburg Nationals

Class A-Advanced

Carolina League

Harrisburg Senators


Eastern League

Fresno Grizzlies


Pacific Coast League

Top Prospects In The System

Carter Kieboom

Pos. - SS/2B  Ht/Wt - 6’2” 190 lbs.  Bats: R Throws: R Age: 22

Level - Triple-A  Drafted - 2016 (1.28)  ETA: 2020

Grades: Hit: 60 Power: 55 Run: 50 Arm: 55 Field: 55

Kieboom has been the Nationals’ top prospect for a little while now and even saw a taste of the majors last year when Trea Turner initially went down with a broken finger. That taste didn’t go well though, at either the plate or in the field, as he looked overmatched and like he was trying to move too quickly. After going back down to Triple-A Fresno, however, his bat and fielding showed up the way it was expected to as a top prospect. He slashed .303/.409/.493 with 16 homers, 79 runs, 79 RBI, and five steals. In terms of fielding, he’s been a work in progress at both second and short but will likely move to the hot corner in D.C. if they don’t replace departed Anthony Rendon on the free-agent market or in a trade. He can be an average defender at any of those places in the majors. While the first taste of the majors didn’t go well for him, that’s a far cry from what he’s capable of and ultimately he should be a .290-.300 hitter with 20-homer pop and should add 10-12 steals to his stat line regularly as well.

Luís Garcia

Pos. - SS  Ht/Wt - 6’2” 190 lbs.  Bats: L Throws: R Age: 19

Level - Double-A  Signed - July 2016  ETA: 2021

Grades: Hit: 60 Power: 40 Run: 55-60 Arm: 60 Field: 55

It feels like Garcia has been in the Washington system for forever already, and in a way, he has been having signed at 16 years old in 2016 and now being 19. He has a smooth, quick, handsy stroke from the left side of the dish which produces solid contact to all fields but doesn’t generate a ton of power. Garcia played all of 2019 in Double-A Harrisburg, slashing .257/.280/.337 with four home runs, 66 runs, 30 RBI, and 11 steals over 129 games. However, in 2018, while splitting time between Class-A and A-Advanced, he slashed more like .297/.336/.405 with seven homers, 82 runs, 53 RBI, and 12 steals in 127 games. If you’re noticing a trend, it’s that he needs to work on taking a few more walks to really make the most of his speed and hit tool. Garcia has never had higher than a 5.9-percent BB-rate in his stops so far while his K-rate is in the 15-percent range, which is great. He profiles as a guy that can play anywhere, aside from first base, in the infield and has the arm strength to make every throw while being a top-of-the-order type hitter or an eight-hole hitter depending on lineup formation. 15-20 steals with a .280-plus average is what he brings to the table from the dish ultimately.

Jackson Rutledge

Pos. - RHP  Ht/Wt - 6’8” 250 lbs.  Bats: R Throws: R Age: 20

Level - Class-A  Drafted - 2019 (1.17)  ETA: 2022

Grades: Fastball: 70 Slider: 60 Curveball: 55 Changeup: 45 Control: 45

Rutledge is the latest first-round selection for the Nationals when they took him out of San Jacinto Junior College in Texas. In the draft analysis from June, this is how he profiles Rutledge has the best all-around stuff of any arm in this draft class with velocity in the upper 90s on the fastball that stays well into his starts. The slider (60-grade) and the curveball (55-grade) are both plus-caliber breaking pitches that have depth and big-time break, however, they are often not at their best. He does offer a changeup as well but it is a distant fourth and often gets flat and stiff, not what you want from an off-speed pitch. The short arm motion, even from a guy of his height, keeps the delivery repeatable and his height allows him to get on top of hitters before release. If he can gain better control and command of his pitches and improve the changeup he can be a number-two starter in a rotation.” In his first taste of pro ball, he made it all the way to A-ball where he made six starts for Hagerstown over 27.1 innings. Overall, in 37.1 innings, he combined for a 3.13 ERA, .169 BAA, .99 WHIP, and a 39:15 K:BB ratio. He should be a fast riser in the Nationals system even for a 20-year-old as his stuff is just so good that he’ll produce good results with it right from the jump, though he still has to improve his control and not letting the pitches flatten out later into starts before he’s considered major-league ready.

Mason Denaburg

Pos. - RHP  Ht/Wt - 6’4” 195 lbs.   Bats: R Throws: R Age: 20

Level - Rookie  Drafted: 2018 (1.27)  ETA: 2022

Grades: Fastball: 60 Curveball: 60 Changeup: 50 Control: 50

The Nationals have never been afraid to take projectable young arms with some question marks attached and that’s what Denaburg was coming out of the Florida Prep ranks. He developed bicep tendonitis in his senior year that scared some teams off of him and he fell to the Nationals at the 27th pick in the first round, where they signed him to an above-slot $3 million. His best pitch right now is a hammer of a curveball that uses high spin rate to fall off the table and miss bats consistently. The fastball is the base of his arsenal and while he sits 93-95 most of the time he can rear back for more and touch 97-98 pretty easily. A third pitch is developing in the form of a changeup that should be slightly above-average when it’s fully realized, and that combination should make him a solid number three starter in the next few years. 

Andry Lara

Pos. - RHP  Ht/Wt - 6’4” 180 lbs.  Bats: R Throws: R Age: 16

Level - Unassigned  Signed - July 2019 ETA: 2024

Grades: Fastball: 60 Curveball/Slider: 50 Changeup: 55 Control: 50

Lara is the newest international acquisition for the Nationals as they went heavy after him in this most recent July signing period. He was the top-ranked pitcher in this international class and a guy who most scouts believe has a shot to be a front-line starter when fully developed. Lara is just 16 years old and has a long road ahead of him but he’s got the stuff you want to see already with a 92-94 mph fastball that has great life, as you’d expect on a two-seamer, and backs that up with a power breaking ball that morphs from a curve to a slider occasionally. He also has a good feel for a changeup already and has nice fade and depth to it. The frame is there to be a frontline starter with more weight and muscle being added and if he becomes that for this system, the $1.25 million signing will have paid off and in a few years the depth will look better than it is right now.

Prospects To Watch For