Photo from Armando Cruz (R) with Cristian Vaquero (L); February 2020, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic at Ágora Mall
Centerfielder Cristian Vaquero has established himself as one of the top international amateur prospects for the Class of 2021. Today, Baseball America broke the news that the 16 year old has been rumored and tied to a commitment to the Washington Nationals, but this cannot become official until the next international free agent signing period which is expected in July or it could be pushed back to January as we saw happened during the 2020 season.
“The Nationals paid the top bonus for a 16-year-old international prospect in the 2020-21 signing class, when they spent most of their bonus pool money on Dominican shortstop Armando Cruz. In the next signing period, it looks like they’re going to invest most of their pool space into one player again, this time with Vaquero the headliner,” Baseball America wrote.
Also, it appears Vaquero has committed to the Boras Agency for representation if you trust social media posts as he was previously tied to the Republik Sports agency. His updated social media posts seem to confirm both choices as he is seen wearing a Boras shirt in his most recent photo on Instagram, as well as several photos in Nats gear.
Ben Badler, Senior Writer for Baseball America, released his 2021-22 International Big Board today, which currently lists Vaquero as BA’s No. 1 prospect in terms of projected bonuses.
Originally from Havana, Cuba, Vaquero eventually made his way to the Dominican Republic in order further develop his baseball skills. Vaquero trains under the guidance of the Javier Rodriguez Academy outside of Santo Domingo Este. Continue reading
Keep in mind that the entire Spring Training schedule for the Washington Nationals will be played in Palm Beach County and nearby Port St. Lucie. The Nats will play 15 of 24 games in their home park with three of them technically as visitors against the Astros due to the fact that they share the stadium. Today’s game has the Nats listed as the home team against those Astros. The last time they met in this ballpark there was trashcan banging and signage that was confiscated due to the Astros cheating scandal.
The starters for today’s game is really more akin to being “openers” since pitch counts generally are limited to 25-35 pitches during the first starts of Spring Training. It will be Austin Voth for the Nats and RHP Nivaldo Rodriguez for the Astros. Continue reading
Photo of the front gates of Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter by Sol Tucker for TalkNats.com
Two months ago it did not look like Spring Training games were going to be played in the month of February, and with a few tweaks we get the start to a 24-game Grapefruit League kickoff for Opening Day. The Nats travel the 14-miles up I-95 which is also great for Nationals fans to make the short drive up the road to see the team in another venue, and today they get to see Erick Fedde on the mound. For the Cardinals, they give right-handed Jack Flaherty the start who was already named the Cards’ opening day pitcher. Continue reading
It looks like Josh Harrison could be the most valuable guy on the bench unless there is an acquisition that takes place. With a righty outfield bat needed to give Kyle Schwarber some days off, it looks like Josh Harrison would be the guy. There does not seem to be a lefty on the bench to give Carter Kieboom and Starlin Castro some days off. Continue reading
Photo from the Nationals for the media
If you went by professional experience versus MLB success, Sam Clay might be a shoo-in for this Washington Nationals bullpen for Opening Day. He had not surrendered an earned run off of a home run in his entire career as a relief pitcher. If his shortstop Jordan Gore doesn’t boot a ball then Clay gets through that 7th inning without giving up that home run in August 2018. Maybe it was a frustration pitch to Jason Morozowski. But it was an important reminder to a sinkerballer that your infielders occasionally boot balls. After an error, stay with the plan — and get your 3-outs without giving up any runs. Continue reading
Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats
The Washington Nationals had a 75.6 percent loss probability when Juan Soto stepped up to the plate against Josh Hader in the 8th inning of the Wild Card game on October 1, 2019. An outfield single could tie the game, a long double could put the team ahead, and a grand slam would be a dagger. An out would probably end the Nationals season. Soto flipped the script to an 87.3 percent win probability for his team when he hit a single that was coupled with an error to score three runs and give his team a lead. Continue reading
Pitching coach Jim Hickey talks with one of his top prospects; Photo provided by the Nationals to the media
To have an eight-man bullpen that can eat innings as well as close-out games is a luxury in baseball. We have seen the years when Washington Nationals’ managers of the past have been reluctant to pull a starting pitcher because they feared handing the ball to the bullpen. This season projects to be a season that manager Dave Martinez can err on the side of caution and have a quicker hook to pull a starter. Continue reading
If you are a good picker, sports betting is such a fun way of earning money while enjoying the game. Legalized gambling has opened in Virginia and Washington, D.C. via apps. In the playoffs or championship games in many sports such as baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer, each sport’s wager is one of the highlights, and is most anticipated by the casual and expert bettors. Continue reading
Photo by Andrew Lang for TalkNats
When the Nationals traded for Trea Turner as the PTBNL from the Padres, the team landed a key part of their World Series championship season of 2019, and a cornerstone piece of the Nats’ future. How far that future goes is anyone’s guess as the team only controls Turner for this season and 2022 unless a contract extension happens. Continue reading
Photo from Perfect Game
In 2018, Jeremy Jeffress was on the All-Star team the year the game was played in Nationals Park. It was his only All-Star selection, and it was perfect given that he grew up near Richmond, Virginia. In section 129, there was the Jeffress family sitting in Row TT cheering on Jeremy who threw a scoreless 5th inning. In that same game was Max Scherzer, Patrick Corbin, Jon Lester, Brad Hand, Yan Gomes, and Kyle Schwarber who dazzled in the Home Run Derby. At that point in time, only Scherzer donned a Nationals jersey.
Today, the Nationals signed Jeffress to a minor league deal pending a physical. The deal includes guaranteed money of $1.25 million and an invite to spring training camp per reports, and a total of $2.5 million if he makes the MLB squad. Continue reading