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Washington Nationals Top 10 Minor League Prospects Update

Each month this season, we'll catch up with the Washington Nationals' top prospects in the system.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Statistics as of April 30 courtesy of Ages listed are "season age," meaning age they'll be at end of season.

1. Lucas Giolito (age 21): Universally hailed as the top right-handed starter prospect and one of the top overall prospects in the game, Giolito has all the stuff: 94-98 mph fastball with good tailing action, plus curve, workable changeup and good command. As a Tommy John survivor, Nats still careful managing his workload. Assigned to AA-Harrisburg, so far he's only thrown 15 2/3 innings in four starts. He's given up five earned runs (2.87 ERA) in that time, but 10 runs overall. He's also walked 10 batters (none intentional) against 13 Ks. He's given up 19 hits, but no home runs. With the Nats' rotation solid right now, absolutely no reason to think about rushing him before he's 100 percent knocking the door down.

2. Trea Turner (age 22): Turner has knocked the door down, kicked it in, rebuilt it, and kicked it in again. The speedy Turner, acquired along with starter Joe Ross in a three-team deal last season in exchange for over-age outfield prospect Steven Souza Jr., has picked up where he left off last season, excelling at the plate. In 93 plate appearances for AAA-Syracuse, he's slashing .317/.387/.463 with two homers, nine RBIs and seven stolen bases (0 CS). Turner has nothing left to prove in the minor leagues at the plate, the Nats are just waiting until they can secure the extra year of control on the back end before bringing him back up. Curious that the Nats have not had him playing much 2B for the Chiefs -- just two games worth.

3. Victor Robles (age 19): A breakout prospect in the New York-Penn League last summer, Robles has picked it right back up in Low-A Hagerstown and he doesn't turn 19 until next week. In 100 plate appearances for the red-hot Suns, Robles is slashing .351/.474/.545 with two homers, 13 RBIs and 11 steals (5 CS) out of the leadoff spot. Robles has nine walks against 11 Ks, much better than his 8 BB/21 K rate for Auburn last summer. Has plus-plus speed and contact rate; plate discipline and exhibition of a little more pop are the last hurdles between prospect and elite prospect status. Scouts drool over this guy, and it's easy to see why.

4. Reynaldo Lopez (age 22): Mid-90s fastball that can hit 100 at times, power curve, improving changeup, control is ahead of his command at this point -- he's around the plate always but has trouble making his "out" pitch. He's walked only eight against 19 Ks in 22 innings at AA-Harrisburg but he's getting hit -- 21 of them, including five homers -- to the tune of a 4.91 ERA in four starts. Would expect him to spend most -- if not all -- of the season at Double-A refining his craft. Has huge upside as end-of-game reliever if he ends up struggling as a starter.

5. A.J. Cole (age 24): The twice-traded Cole had a miserable MLB debut last year (14 hits, 11 runs in 9 1/3 innings) but looked better down the stretch for Syracuse. Unfortunately, that hasn't carried over yet this year for the Chiefs. Cole has given up 21 hits, eight walks and 11 runs (10 earned) in 17 2/3 innings over four starts -- a 5.09 ERA. His strikeout rate is down to 6.6 per nine innings and the walk rate is 4.1. He dropped off all "Top 100" prospects lists this year and he's in real danger of losing prospect status altogether at age 24 if he doesn't get it going quickly. Likely to get transitioned to the pen in an effort to reinvigorate his status. He's got a big league arm but results aren't matching stuff.

6. Erick Fedde (age 22): Former first round pick made 14 starts last season in return from Tommy John. Off to slow start for High-A Potomac (1-2, 4.91 ERA, four homers allowed in 22 innings over four starts). Peripherals look good though, with 11.5 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9. He's got a heavy sinker, decent slider and working on a changeup with a projectable frame (6-foot-4, 180) and he's an excellent athlete and really good fielder. This season is about logging innings in first full year out of TJ.

7. Wilmer Difo (age 24): In 2014, Difo put up a .315/.260/.470 slash with 14 homers and 49 steals at Low-A Hagerstown and jumped over a lot of folks on the Nats' prospects list. Generously listed at 5-foot-11, the intriguing mix of pop and speed from the middle infield drew raves. He never really got in a groove last year (.296/.325/.412 between A+-AA) but still stole 30 bases and was caught only twice. He even got a cup of coffee with the big team, albeit briefly and without much playing time. This year, struggling mightily second time around at Harrisburg. He's slashing .194/.310/.236 with six steals (0 CS) and just three extra-base hits, all doubles, in 84 plate appearances.

8. Anderson Franco (age 18): Has yet to make 2016 debut, most likely slated for short-season A Auburn in the New York-Penn league. Hit .269/.346/.389 with four homers, 21 walks, 28 strikeouts in 193 at-bats between GCL and NY-P. At 6-foot-3, 190 lbs , he should grow into the frame and some scouts think he'll develop 20-homer power, already drawing comparisons to the Phillies' Maikel Franco (no relation).

9. Austin Voth (age 23): Voth (6-foot-2, 215) is a bit of a sleeper prospect, an unheralded fifth round pick in 2013 out of the Pacific Northwest -- he went to high school and college in Washington state. All he's ever done in the minors though is succeed, and he's back at it again this year at Syracuse: 1-1, 1.57 ERA, 0.913 WHIP, 10.2 K/9, 1.2 BB/9. The last two stats top anything he's done previously. In the past, he's had trouble maintaining velocity, to the point that some scouts disagreed with where his true velocity sat. But if the spike in K rate isn't a fluke and he's figured that out, his stock will rise dramatically. Has three good pitches and a good approach.

10. Andrew Stevenson (age 22): The Nats' second round pick last season out of LSU, he slashed .308/.363/.379 with 23 steals in 30 chances for three low levels in 239 plate appearances after signing, reaching Hagerstown. He was assigned to Potomac at the start this year, and is hitting .341/.432/.476 with 10 of 14 steals in 97 PAs. Has walked 13 times against 10 Ks. Will probably move up to Harrisburg at the All-Star break. Has no power to speak of, which will hurt his prospect status a bit, but he's an excellent fielder and runner with elite contact skills.


OF Brian Goodwin (25, AAA): 77 PA, .343/.429/.463, 0 HR, 9 RBI, 2 of 2 SB, 10 BB/21 K.
C Pedro Severino (22, AAA): 47 PA, .244/.255/.267, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB/6 K.
RHP Trevor Gott (23, AAA): 13.1 IP, 2-1, 2.70 ERA, 1.575 WHIP, 5.4 BB/9, 4.0 K/9.
MI Chris Bostick (23, AA): 69 PA, .261/.316/.362, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 of 4 SB, 6 BB/10 K.
OF Rafael Bautista (23, AA): 64 PA, .281/.434/.313, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 10 of 11 SB, 16 BB, 8 K.
C Spencer Kieboom (25, AA): 49 PA, .286/.345/.429, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 4 BB/9 K.
2B Osvaldo Abreu (21,  A+): 102 PA, .287/.376/.437, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 7 of 8 SB, 11 BB/21 K.
1B Jose Marmolejos-Dias (23, A+): 100 PA, .272/.410/.469, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 18 BB/23 K.
3B Drew Ward (21, A+): 96 PAs, .310/.396/.560, 5 HR, 16 RBI, 11 BB/24 K.
3B Kelvin Gutierrez (21, A-): 101 PA, .326/.386/.438, 0 HR, 12 RBI, 3 of 4 SB, 10 BB/16 K.
SS Max Schrock (21, A-): 99 PA, .353/.434/.447, 0 HR, 12 RBI, 9 of 9 SB, 12 BB/8 K.
C Jakson Reetz (20, A-): 52 PA, .158/.385/.211, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 9 BB/11 K.
RHP Andrew Lee (22, A-): 25 IP, 1-0, 2.16 ERA, 1.040 WHIP, 1.8 BB/9, 6.8 K/9.
RHP Jefry Rodriguez (22, A-): 19.1 IP, 2-1, 2.33 ERA, 1.034 WHIP, 2.3 BB/9, 10.7 K/9.
RHP Mariano Rivera (22, A-): 13 IP, 3-0, 0.69 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 4.2 BB/9, 4.2 K/9.