We’re going onto week three of the minor league baseball season and these are the qualified stat leaders throughout the Washington Nationals system. A little light on power throughout the system in the colder weather, but heavy on the hits.
On top is Luis García, who leads in nearly every category leaving some people puzzled about why the 21-year-old is still in the minors behind a struggling Alcides Escobar. The answer; García is in Rochester to improve his defense at shortstop, and it does need work from the product we saw in spring training. Tres Barrera has also put up gaudy numbers thus far, but missed the qualification by a game or two.
What can you say about Brady House so far. He has torn up Low-A, and his stats only strengthen the argument that he’s an offensive standout, however he does have three errors at shortstop (two coming on throws). Like his error last night on a throw he should not have made, this is what his MiLB time is for: to learn. House’s FredNats teammate, Rodney Theophile, has thrown nine innings over two starts without giving up a run. He’s an under-the-radar starting pitcher who is still only 22-year-old.
In Double-A Harrisburg, Cole Henry has made two starts, only 6.0 innings, but no runs given up yet. His WHIP is a scant 0.67 and his K Rate is 1.17 per inning. On the top prospects lists of Nats’ pitchers it is Cade Cavalli, then a pick ’em of Henry and Andry Lara and Joan Adon. While Adon is learning on the MLB fields, Lara, like Henry, is being brought up with short stints to protect his arm. Lara has looked great in Low-A Fredericksburg. The 19-year-old has a 2.57 ERA over 7.0 innings and has a 4.5:1 K/BB rate and a 1.14 WHIP.
Fredericksburg Nationals’ 1B/DH Leandro Emiliani was named the Carolina League Player of the Week for the week of April 11-17, the league announced this afternoon. Emiliani, a 22-year-old from San Antero, Colombia, had a big week at the plate, going 6-for-12 (.500) with three doubles, a triple, and a two-run home run in three games against the Carolina Mudcats. He also drove in four runs in the series and racked up 14 total bases.
Other standouts in the system, Matt Cronin, Zach Brzykcy, and Yoander Rivero all missed the AB/IP requirements, but have produced in their opportunities. Yasel Antuna is not top-3 in any stats mentioned, but is having an exceptional start to the season and batting .308 with a gaudy .457 OBP.
We have talked mostly about the youngsters, and don’t forget the older guys. Erasmo Ramirez, 31, has a 12:1 K/BB ratio and a 0.71 WHIP. He’s been working on his sinker and getting swing and miss movement and groundballs. He also has not allowed a run in his 7.0 innings of work. Nick Banks, Jake Noll, and Josh Palacios are pounding the ball for Rochester. Banks is batting .368 with a .968 OPS, Noll has a .915 OPS, and Palacios who is 26 years old and arrived on Saturday is 4-8, 2 home runs, and 7 RBIs with an 1.850 OPS in his two game career in the Nats system. Palacios was hitting bombs for Toronto too and would lead the Nats system with 4 HRs if you include season totals. His .238 batting average with Buffalo this year kind of tells you who he really might be.
You could easily add names to this like Bryan Caceres, Peyton Glavine, Dustin Saenz, and others, and certainly some of them will make the paragraphs throughout the season with more details on what they are doing well. Whatever is in the water in the Nats minor league system — drink away. The De Jon Watson era is off to a great start.