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Washington Nationals Top 20 2016 PRE-SEASON prospects in review

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Moving forward with our summer prospect reviews, we turn to the Washington Nationals system.

Remember, THIS IS THE PRE-SEASON LIST.

THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST

THESE ARE PRE-SEASON GRADES

WE WILL DISCUSS CURRENT EVENTS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION.

This list was originally published February 23, 2016

1) Lucas Giolito, RHP, Grade A: He's been very decent but not consistently dominant this year; 3.31 ERA in 90 innings between High-A, Double-A, Triple-A; 88/40 K/BB; made three MLB starts with 4.91 ERA, 5/9 K/BB; there's little question about the stuff but his command remains just inconsistent enough to cause problems against the most advanced competition. Upside remains among the highest in the game and he's not far off, but I can understand why they may be willing to trade him.

2) Trea Turner, SS, Grade A-:
I love this guy; .302/.370/.471 in Triple-A, .312/.396/.494 in the majors, 32 steals in 34 attempts on the season, strong defense; just gets better and better.

3) Victor Robles, OF, Grade B/B+
:  Hitting .289/.390/.436 between Low-A and High-A at age 19, 28 steals, 23/50 BB/K in 305 at-bats, on disabled list since July 25th; not much to argue with at age 19, still raw in some phases of the game but young, toolsy, should get to his power more often in time.

4) Reynaldo Lopez, RHP, Grade B:
2.90 ERA in 96 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, 116/31 K/BB, 82 hits; got beat up in two MLB starts but obviously deserving of more chances; do you think it possible he might end up better than Giolito?

5) A.J. Cole, RHP, Grade B:
21 starts for Triple-A Syracuse, 4.30 ERA in 117 innings, 99/35 K/BB; similar to past seasons, continues to throw strikes and dominate at times but with just enough blow-up games to hamper his ERA. Stock stagnant or down a bit, needs to take a step forward here or get traded.

6) Erick Fedde, RHP, Grade B/B-:
Pitching in High-A, 2.85 ERA in 92 innings, 95/19 K/BB; obviously fully recovered from Tommy John surgery and ready for more difficult competition. Has a 29/3 K/BB in his last four starts. Reports positive, everything looks good, promote him!

7) Wilmer Difo, INF, Grade B-:
Hitting .255/.320/.343 in Double-A with 26 steals, 33 walks, 55 whiffs in 376 at-bats; 6-for-16 in seven major league games; hasn't shown much power against more advanced pitching but speed stands out and he's cut down on strikeouts compared to last year.

8) Anderson Franco, 3B, Grade B-
: Age 18, hit .269/.346/.389 with four homers, 21 walks, 28 strikeouts in 193 at-bats between GCL and NY-P in 2015; got off to a late start this year and has just 12 games in the GCL, hitting .286/.306/.343. Sample too small to be meaningful but retains considerable upside.

9) Austin Voth, RHP, Grade B-
: Another solid year from sleeper prospect gone mainstream, with 3.45 ERA in 123 innings in Triple-A, 101/40 K/BB; fourth starter potential and ready for a major league trial.

10) Andrew Stevenson, OF, Grade B-/C+:
Age 22, second round pick out of LSU hit .304/.359/.418 in High-A but just .232/.259/.323 after promotion to Double-A; 27 steals combined; fast, good defense, lack of power an issue against better pitching but has time to adjust.

11) Osvaldo Abreu, INF, Grade C+: Hitting .232/.317/.316 with 17 steals, 46 walks, 94 strikeouts in 392 at-bats in High-A; disappointing season not building on successful 2015; has improved with the glove but needs to hit a lot more than this. Age 22, so he's neither young nor old for the level.

12) Rafael Bautista, OF, Grade C+
: Hitting .271/.338/.322 with 42 steals, 38 walks, 69 strikeouts in 428 at-bats in Double-A; no power but uses speed very effectively on the bases and in the outfield; projects as fourth outfielder unless power blossoms. 

13) Chris Bostick, INF-OF, Grade C+:
Hit .290/.366/.462 in Double-A but just .220/.275/.323 after moving up to Triple-A; has pop, infield defense has improved but needs more time to work out the kinks against advanced pitching.

14) Pedro Severino, C, Grade C+:
Hitting .259/.307/.324 in Triple-A, 3-for-8 in three major league games; strong defender but not hitting much against advanced pitching; young enough at age 23 for that to change eventually.

15) Max Schrock, 2B, Grade C+
: Age 21, 13th round pick from South Carolina in 2015, having an excellent year at .330/.376/.459 between High-A and Double-A with no slippage in production after promotion; 15 steals, excellent at making contact and shows gap power; steady glovework; stock up.

16) Rhett Wiseman, OF, Grade C+
: Age 22, third round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2015 hitting .250/.323/.398 in Low-A; disappointing so far for a guy with tools who played well in college; should be better than this in the Sally League.

17) Raudy Read, C, Grade C+/C:
Hitting .248/.309/.374 in High-A; tools to be a good defender but is still working to cut down on passed balls; bat seems stagnant. 

18) Abel De Los Santos, RHP, Grade C+/C:
Claimed on waivers by Cincinnati Reds in mid-July; 2.80 ERA with 52/25 K/BB in 45 innings between Double-A and Triple-A; good arm, command remains erratic.

19) Koda Glover, RHP, Grade C+/C:
2.39 ERA in 53 innings between High-A, Double-A, Triple-A; 60/14 K/BB, just 39 hits, appeared briefly in majors and will return; rapid rise for 2015 eighth round pick due to sharp command and improved velocity since getting into pro ball; could be a closer eventually.

20) Andrew Lee, RHP, Grade C+/C: Made 11 starts in Low-A before going on DL with undisclosed injury in June; 3.71 ERA in 51 innings with 46/18 K/BB; 11th round pick in 2015 from Tennessee could be Voth-type if healthy.

OTHERS OF NOTE: Telmito Agustin, OF; Michael Brady, RHP; Brian Goodwin, OF; Kelvin Gutierrez, 3B; Taylor Hearn, LHP (I like him a lot, may end up C+), Spencer Kieboom, C; Nick Lee, LHP; Edwin Lora, SS; Jose Marmolejos-Diaz, 1B; Blake Perkins, OF; Jakson Reetz, ; Jefry Rodriguez, RHP; Matt Skole, 1B-3B; Juan Soto, OF; Drew Ward, 3B; Tyler Watson, LHP; Austen Williams, RHP

Discuss current happenings in the Nationals system and ask questions in the comments thread.