Here are the Nationals' Top 30 prospects

March 4th, 2024

There will be a ton of celebrating when Mr. Crews goes to Washington. And Mr. Wood and Mr. House and …

The Nationals have been in a rebuilding cycle since trading Juan Soto at the 2022 Deadline, but given the quality and proximity of their top prospects, the club could be turning the final corner on that process quite soon.

The newly released MLB Pipeline Nationals Top 30 ranking is highlighted by three Top 50 overall prospects -- Dylan Crews (No. 7), James Wood (No. 14) and Brady House (No. 48) -- and all three could reach the Majors by this summer.

The second overall pick in last year’s Draft, Crews rounded out a stellar career at LSU as a Golden Spikes Award winner and national champion last summer, slashing .426/.567/.713 for the SEC powerhouse along the way. He’ll have healthy competition for Washington’s future center-field spot with Wood, whose power is already grabbing Spring Training headlines across the league. It’s legit plus-plus pop for the 6-foot-6 slugger, and he adds plus speed to boot, though Double-A strikeout concerns provided some red flags in 2023. House -- a large talent in his own right at 6-foot-4 -- bounced back from a 2022 back issue to hit .312 with 12 homers in 88 games across three levels, ending at Double-A. He’ll be back in the upper Minors for his age-21 season.

Behind them, No. 4 prospect Cade Cavalli showed tremendous velocity and good secondaries to reach the Majors in 2022 before needing Tommy John surgery last spring. He’s expected to be back in The Show this summer following rehab. The Nats didn’t think No. 5 prospect Yohandy Morales would be available with their second-round pick last year and were overjoyed to add his plus power and arm strength to the pipeline.

The deepest group by far is the outfield corps; alongside Crews and Wood, Elijah Green (No. 6), Daylen Lile (No. 7), Robert Hassell III (No. 8) and Cristhian Vaquero (No. 9) give the Nats six Top 10 prospects on the grass.

Here’s a look at the Nationals’ top prospects:
1. Dylan Crews, OF (MLB No. 7)
2. James Wood, OF (MLB No. 14)
3. Brady House, 3B (MLB No. 48)
4. Cade Cavalli, RHP
5. Yohandy Morales, 3B
Complete Top 30 list »

Biggest jump/fall

Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2023 preseason list to the 2024 preseason list:

Jump: Jacob Young, OF (2023: NR | 2024: 18)
In a system loaded up with outfielders, the 2021 seventh-rounder worked his way to the Majors with a .305/.376/.418 line and 39 steals over 112 games between Double-A and Triple-A. He prioritizes contact in the box, and even though that means a ton of grounders, his plus-plus speed is able to test infield defenses regularly. While more high-ceiling types are knocking on Washington’s door, Young could be a serviceable speed-glove option off the bench for the long-term.

Fall: TJ White, 1B (2023: 10 | 2024: 30)
The pitcher-friendly confines at High-A Wilmington can make it a difficult place to evaluate hitters, but even so, White -- a 6-foot-2 switch-hitting slugger with at least plus raw power -- managed just a .170/.277/.279 line with six homers in 77 games for the Blue Rocks. Struggles with barrel control led to a high 36.5 percent strikeout rate too, taking the park factors out of the equation. The 2021 fifth-rounder is still only entering his age-20 season and can make adjustments in a return to the South Atlantic League. But considering he’s a full-time first baseman now, he simply must hit.

Top 30s

Best tools

Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.

Hit: 70 -- Dylan Crews
Power: 70 -- James Wood
Run: 70 -- Jacob Young (Nasim Nuñez, Elijah Green, Christian Vaquero)
Arm: 65 -- Nasim Nuñez
Defense: 70 -- Nasim Nuñez
Fastball: 70 -- Jarlin Susana (Cade Cavalli, Travis Sykora, Zach Brzykcy)
Curveball: 60 -- Cade Cavalli
Slider: 60 -- Jarlin Susana
Changeup: 70 -- DJ Herz
Control: 55 -- Dustin Saenz (Jake Bennett)

How they were built
Draft: 17 | International: 5 | Trade: 6 | NDFA: 1 | Rule 5: 1

Breakdown by ETA
2024: 14 | 2025: 7 | 2026: 5 | 2027: 2 | 2029: 2

Breakdown by position
C: 2 | 1B: 0 | 2B: 1 | 3B: 2 | SS: 3 | INF: 1 | OF: 11 | RHP: 6 | LHP: 4