Washington Nationals invite top prospects to 2024 Major League Spring Training

January 30th, 2024

Highlighted by several of the organization’s top prospects, the Washington Nationals announced the following invitations to 2024 Major League Spring Training on Tuesday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Top prospects including outfielders Dylan Crews, Robert Hassell III and James Wood, as well as infielders Darren Baker, Brady House and Trey Lipscomb will each take part in their first Major League Spring Training. Outfielder Travis Blankenhorn, first basemen Lewin Diaz, Left-handed pitcher Joe La Sorsa, catcher Brady Lindsly and first baseman/outfielder Juan Yepez have also been invited to Major League Spring Training.

Crews, 22, is Washington’s top prospect and the No. 6 prospect in baseball, according to Baseball America. He will take part in his first Major League Spring Training after being selected No. 2 overall in the 2023 First-Year Player Draft. One of the most accomplished players in the history of college baseball, Crews enters the season as the “Best Hitter for Average” in Washington’s system, per Baseball America. He hit .292 with nine doubles, five homers, 29 RBI, 14 walks, four stolen bases and 26 runs scored in 35 games between the FCL Nationals, Single-A Fredericksburg and Double-A Harrisburg in his first professional season in 2023.

Hassell III, 22, is entering his second full season in Washington’s organization after being acquired at the 2022 Trade Deadline. He is the No. 7 prospect in the organization, according to Baseball America. Hassell III appeared in a career-high 121 games between Single-A Fredericksburg and Double-A Harrisburg in 2023, hitting .221 with a .324 on-base percentage, 16 doubles, two triples, nine homers, 41 RBI, 68 walks, 15 stolen bases and 66 runs scored along the way.

Wood, 21, is the No 2. prospect in the organization and the No. 11 prospect in baseball, according to Baseball America. Washington’s 2022 and 2023 Minor League Hitter of the Year, Wood led the organization in home runs (26), RBI (91) and slugging percentage (.520) and ranked second in OPS (.873), doubles (28) and triples (8) in 2023. He was selected to represent the Nationals in the 2023 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on the way to setting career marks in nearly every offensive category in 121 games between High-A Wilmington and Double-A Harrisburg. According to Baseball America, he is the “Best Power Hitter” and the “Best Defensive Outfielder” in Washington’s Minor League system.

Baker, 24, ranked among Nationals Minor Leaguers in average (3rd, .280), hits (4th, 118), triples (T6th, 4), on-base percentage (10th, .348), OPS (10th, .692) and stolen bases (10th, 21) in 2023. Primarily a second baseman, Baker also saw action in left field (32 G) and center field (1 G) last season. He is entering his fourth professional season after being selected in the 10th round of the 2021 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of California – Berkeley.

House, 20, is Washington’s No. 3 prospect and the No. 55 prospect in baseball, according to Baseball America. He led Washington’s system in average (.312) and ranked in slugging percentage (3rd, .497), OPS (3rd, .862), on-base percentage (4th, .365), extra-base hits (6th, 36), home runs (T6th, 12), hits (7th, 106) and doubles (T8th, 21). Washington’s first round pick (No. 11) in the 2021 First-Year Player Draft, House boasts the “Best Infield Arm” in the organization, according to Baseball America.

Lipscomb, 23, was Washington’s 2023 Minor League Defensive Player of the Year and the winner of the Rawlings Minor League Gold Glove Award for third basemen. He led Nationals Minor Leaguers with 139 hits and 29 doubles while ranking fourth in average (.272), home runs (14) and RBI (72) in his first full professional season. Lipscomb was selected in the third round of the 2022 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Tennessee. He is rated by Baseball America as the No. 16 prospect in Washington’s system.

Blankenhorn, 27, returns for his second season with the Nationals. In 2023, he ranked in Washington’s system in OPS (1st, .877), slugging (2nd, .517), extra-base hits (2nd, 52), home runs (2nd, 23), RBI (3rd, 75), doubles (3rd, 27) and total bases (3rd, 203). Blankenhorn had his contract selected on Sept. 1 and went 1-for-2 with two walks and a home run that night against the Miami Marlins.

Diaz, 27, has hit 56 home runs and a .479 slugging percentage in 274 Minor League games since 2021. He spent the entire 2023 season with Triple-A Norfolk in Baltimore’s system where he ranked among Orioles Minor Leaguers in average (7th, .268), on-base percentage (7th, .362), OPS (7th, .804), walks (8th, 60) and slugging percentage (10th, .442).

La Sorsa, 25, was claimed off waivers by the Nationals on June 8 and went on to appear in 23 games across five Major League stints in Washington. He went 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA, 25 strikeouts and just six walks in 28.1 innings pitched and did not allow an extra-base hit to a left-handed batter while with the Nationals.

Lindsly, 25, embarks on his second Major League Spring Training after receiving a non-roster invitation in 2023. He appeared in 62 games between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Rochester in 2023, hitting .234 with six doubles, six home runs, 33 RBI, 30 walks, four stolen bases and 27 runs scored.

Yepez, 25, joins the organization after spending the previous six seasons in the St. Louis Cardinals system. He appeared in 104 Major League games across the last two seasons, hitting. 240 with 14 doubles, 14 homers, 32 RBI, 20 walks and 32 runs scored. He capped the 2023 season leading Minor League Baseball with 43 RBI from Aug. 1 through the end of the season.