December 9, 2019

Washington Nationals call up No. 2 prospect Trea Turner

The Washington Nationals promoted SS Trea Turner from Triple-A Syracuse and placed 1B/OF Tyler Moore on the disabled list, reportedly because he stepped on a ball during batting practice Thursday evening and sprained his ankle.

To make room on the 40-man roster, Aaron Barrett was transferred to the 60-day DL.

Turner, 22, was hitting .314/.353/.431 at Syracuse with three home runs and 15 RBIs and 14 of 16 steals in 205 plate appearances. He’s had three stops in the minors this season and is a combined .322/.370/.458 in 500 plate appearances.

Turner came to the Nats in the Steven Souza trade, along with Joe Ross, from the San Diego Padres. Up until the last two days, Turner had exclusively played shortstop as a professional. He’s played the last two days at second base in Syracuse, presumably to ensure he could be used as a utility player at the big league level for now.

It’s hard to envision where Turner will get playing time in the bigs at this point, other than pinch-hitter and pinch-runner. Ian Desmond was once a strong candidate to be benched, but he has hit .262/.331/.500 with eight homers and 21 RBIs since the All-Star break. Yunel Escobar continues to hit, and between Anthony Rendon and Danny Espinosa, second base is already pretty crowded.

Turner is athletic, fast and has good baseball instincts. His batting average is propped up by a pretty high BABiP, one that’s unsustainable at the MLB level, but his speed allows him to reach base on a high number of infield hits. He has the range and arm strength to stick at shortstop and while he might not be the second coming of Ozzie Smith, he should play MLB-average defense at the position.

With the Nats still carrying an extra pitcher, this move leaves the Nats with a bench of Jose Lobaton, Clint Robinson, Espinosa and Turner.

Pitchers Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito Take Home Weekly MiLB Awards

Reynaldo Lopez:

The Potomac Nationals announced today that RHP Reynaldo Lopez has garnered the Carolina League’s Pitcher of the Week Award for the period of August 11th – August 16th.

Lopez, in his start on August 12th at Pfitzner Stadium against the Winston-Salem Dash hurled seven shutout innings. The 6’0”, 185-pound Dominican born righty allowed only two hits to the first-place Dash, while not issuing a walk and recording a career high 11 strikeouts. Lopez was so dominant in the outing that Winston-Salem never had a man in scoring position against him and he went to a three-ball count just three times.

The San Pedro de Macoris, DR native has pitched to a tune of a 6-7 ledger in 2015 with the Nationals and an ERA of 4.22. In 18 trips to the mound, all as a starter, spanning 96.0 innings, Lopez has allowed 92 hits and 47 runs (45 earned). He’s only walked 28 hitters and recorded 89 strikeouts and opposing hitters are swinging .257 against him.

A 2012 International Free Agent Signee by the Washington Nationals, Lopez began his season in extended spring training. He made his professional debut with the Dominican Summer League Nationals in 2012, going 1-1 with a 3.37 ERA over five appearances out of the bullpen and 10.2 innings. His 2013 campaign saw him split time at two levels in the Nationals organization, making only one appearance with both Auburn and Hagerstown as a starter. Lopez pitched 5.1 innings in 2013 giving up 10 runs (all earned) in his two outings. 2014 saw Lopez turn in a bounce back campaign, recording a 7-3 record. In 16 starts, Lopez finished up with an ERA 1.08 in 83.1 innings. Opposing hitters picked up 42 against him but scored only 12 runs (ten earned) on 26 walks and 70 strikeouts.

Lopez becomes the fifth National to bring home a weekly honor in 2015 in the Carolina League. RHP Brian Rauh (4/21/15 – 4/27/15) was the first, followed by RHP Dakota Bacus (5/11/15 – 5/17/15), IF Adrian Sanchez (6/22/15 – 6/28/15) and RHP John Simms (7/20/15 – 7/26/15).

The P-Nats hauled in five weekly honors in 2014, including 1B/DH Kevin Keyes, RHP Austin Voth (two), 3B/DH Oscar Tejeda and RHP Ian Dickson, who all claimed Carolina League Player of the Week Awards a season ago.

Lucas Giolito:

The Eastern League announced today that Harrisburg Senators’ starting pitcher Lucas Giolito has been named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week for August 10th – August 18th. The right-hander is the second Senator to win a player of pitcher of the week award this season, joining LHP Richard Bleier (May 18th – 24th)

Giolito, who is a native of Santa Monica, California, made his lone start of the week on Friday night against the Bowie Baysox at Metro Bank Park and gave up just one hit over seven shutout innings to earn the win in the Senators’ 2-0 victory. He tied a career-high with 11 strikeouts and walked one batter while earning his first career Double-A win. Lucas retired the final 17 batters he faced after allowing a single with one out in the second inning.

Lucas, who is currently rated by MLB.com as the third best prospect in all of Minor League Baseball, was selected by the Washington Nationals with the 16th overall pick in first round of the 2012 draft after going 9-1 with 78 strikeouts and a 1.00 ERA over 70.1 innings during his senior season at Harvard-Westlake High School in Studio City, California.

Washington Nationals Minor League Update and Prospect Report for August 17

Here is a look around the Washington Nationals farm system.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS

AAA-INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE

Week: (4-2) Season: (54-69. 5th in IL North. 15.0 GB )

Matt Skole: Week: 5-20, 3 runs scored, 3 walks, 3 RBIs.  Season: .228/.337/.409 with 16 homers and 70 RBIs.  106 Ks and 62 BBs.

Trea Turner: Week: 7-20, 4 runs scored, 3 walks, 1 RBI.  Season: .319/.369/.456 with 8 homers and 54 RBIs.  95 Ks and 38 BBs.

HARRISBURG SENATORS 

AA EASTERN LEAGUE 

Week: (1-5) Season: (57-64. 5th in EL East. 12.5 GB)

Lucas Giolito: In his start on Friday against the Bowie Baysox, the number one prospect in the Washington Nationals organization threw 7 innings and struck out 11 only allowing 1 hit and 1 walk as he earned the win.  Season (High-A, AA): 4-6, 3.09 ERA with 109 Ks and 31 BBs in 93.1 innings pitched.

Wilmer Difo: Week: 9-24, 1 run scored, 1 home run, 1 walk, 6 RBIs.  Season:.294/.338/.414 with 4 homers and 43 RBIs.  71Ks and 18 BBs.

POTOMAC NATIONALS 

HIGH-A CAROLINA LEAGUE

Week: (4-3) Season: (55-64. 3rd in CL North. 5.5 GB)

Austen Williams: Week: In his start on Friday against the Wilmington Blue Rocks he pitched 6 innings and struck out three while allowing 3 hits and 3 walks.  Season: 12-5, 2.41 ERA with 90 Ks and 26 BBs in 115.2 innings pitched.

Grant DeBruin: Week: 10-24, 2 runs scored, 9 RBIs.  Season: .312/.364/.409 with 3 homers and 57 RBIs.  52 Ks and 29 BBs.

HAGERSTOWN SUNS

LOW-A SOUTH ATLANTIC LEAGUE

Week: (4-2) Season: (60-57. 4th in SL North. 11.0 GB)

Osvaldo Abreu: Week: 4-19, 6 runs scored, 3 home runs,3 walks, and 3 RBIs.  Season: .278/.357/.419 with 5 homers and 40 RBIs.  72 Ks and 40 BBs.

Jose Marmolejos-Diaz: Week: 10-22, 4 runs scored, 1 home run, 4 walks, and 6 RBIs.  Season: .308/.488/.844 with 10 home runs and 73 RBIs.  72 Ks and 27 BBs.

 

 

 

 

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.

Washington Nationals acquire Trea Turner, Joe Ross from Padres; send Steven Souza to Rays

According to multiple sources, the Washington Nationals completed a three-way deal with the San Diego Padres and the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Nats will acquire SS Trea Turner and RHP Joe Ross from San Diego and sent OF Steven Souza, Jr. and LHP Travis Ott to Tampa. Tampa sent Wil Myers and others to San Diego.

Turner and Ross are both former first round picks and were on the Padres Top 10 Prospect List.

Since Turner was drafted this past summer, he will have to be included in the deal as a “player to be named later” and will most likely play in extended spring training next season until the deal can be consummated.

Turner, 21, was the 13th overall pick by the Padres in last summer’s amateur draft. He hit .323/.406/.448 with four home runs and 23 steals in 27 opportunities between low- and high-A last year in 321 plate appearances. He grades out with 80 speed according to MLB scouts with the defensive ability to stick at shortstop.

Ross, 21, was the 25th overall pick in the 2011 draft by the Padres. In 62 minor league appearances (60 starts) he’s 15-18 with a 3.90 ERA, 1.308 WHIP, 7.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9. His strikeout numbers took a tick up last season moving from low- to high-A and he made four appearances in AA at the end of last season. According to one report, Ross features a plus fastball in the low 90’s with heavy life, a slider that projects as above average, and a changeup that is still mostly a show-me pitch.

Souza, 26 on opening day, enjoyed his career last season in Syracuse, hitting .350/.432/.590 with 18 home runs in 407 plate appearances. He will forever be remembered by Nats fans for making the spectacular diving catch to save Jordan Zimmermann’s no-hitter on the last day of the 2014 season.

Ott, 19, is a former 25th round pick in the 2013 draft. He’s 4-4 with a 3.96 ERA, 1.310 WHIP, 6.8 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 23 appearances, mostly in rookie league and short-season A ball. He’s a soft-tossing lefty with limited MLB upside.

This trade, as with last season’s deal for Doug Fister, is a bona fide and clear win for Nats GM Mike Rizzo. He moved an older prospect and a fringe at best lefty for two of the Padres top minor league prospects, both legitimate MLB talents. Turner obviously becomes the Nats best middle infield prospect, providing strong insurance if the Nats can’t — or won’t — re-sign Ian Desmond to a long-term contract. Ross is added to an already crowded stable of hard-throwing right-handed starters in the Nats minor league system.

Souza was clearly a fan favorite for his catch and power potential, but he had no place in the Nats outfield and, frankly, has limited MLB potential. He owns a long swing and is not a quality defender, despite his tremendous diving catch. The Nats got two of the three best players in this 11-player deal and didn’t give up the third. The Nats got better for the future without giving up any of the present.

Win-win for Rizzo and the Nats.

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