August 2, 2015

Giolito, Turner star in MLB Futures Game

One of the best parts of the MLB All-Star festivities in the Futures Game the Sunday before the All-Star break. This year, tow of the Washington Nationals top prospects — pitcher Lucas Giolito and shortstop Trea Turner — participated in the event and impressed, as they have throughout their minor league careers.

Giolito and Turner are both listed among Baseball America’s Mid-season Top 50 prospects, with Giolito the top pitcher and No. 2 overall and Turner at No. 9.

Giolito started for the U.S. team and pitched two innings, allowing two singles and no walks while striking out one. Turner came on for J.P. Crawford at shortstop and went 2 for 2 with a two-run double in the U.S.’s five-run sixth inning.

Giolito, 20, was the Nats first round pick (16th overall) in the 2012 Amateur Draft. He made one appearance in the Gulf Coast League that year before undergoing Tommy John surgery. He returned in late 2013 and made 11 appearances between the GCL and short-season Auburn, posting a 2-1 record with a  1.96 ERA and 9.6 K/9.

In 2014 for Low-A Hagerstown, Giolito went 10-2 with a 2.20 ERA in 20 starts with a 10.1 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9. So far this season for High-A Potomac he’s 3-4 in 11 games (nine starts) with a 2.76 ERA, 11.7 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9.

Turner, 22, came to the Nats — along with Joe Ross — from the San Diego Padres in the Steven Souza, Jr. trade this off-season. He was the “player to be named later” and joined the Nats in June once he was eligible to be traded (ed. note: players are not eligible to be traded until one year past their draft date.).

Turner hit .323/.406/.448 between Low and High A last season in the Padres organization and so far this season he’s hit .318/.368/.472 with seven homers and 17 steals between Double-A and Triple-A.

Giolito will more than likely start next season in minors but could very well factor in the Nats plans in the big leagues later in the summer. Turner should compete for a roster spot in spring training depending on how the Nats shake out their middle infield situation.

Washington Nationals minor league affiliate rosters announced

The Washington Nationals minor league affiliates all announced their season opening rosters and while there weren’t any real surprises about where players were set to begin the season, a couple of notable omissions stood out.

Top pitching prospects Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez were not assigned to an affiliate right out of camp. Rather, the two presumably will stay behind in Viera, Florida, at the Nats training facilities to participate in extended spring training before being assigned to a team.

Both, presumably, will be eventually assigned to High-A Potomac when they are assigned to an affiliate.

Wilmer Difo, No. 7 on Baseball America’s list of top prospects in the Nats organization, was assigned to the P-Nats, along with 3B Drew Ward (8) and RHP Nick Pivetta (10).

RHP Joe Ross (5), one of the players acquired in the Steven Souza Jr trade over the offseason, will start at AA Harrisburg, with RHP Austin Voth (11) and catcher Pedro Severino (12).

A.J. Cole, Taylor Jordan and Taylor Hill will highlight Syracuse’s starting rotation, with lefties Matt Grace and Rich Hill in the bullpen.

Catcher Raudy Reed, the Nats No. 22 ranked prospect, starts out in Low-A Hagerstown.

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