[ed. note - “With interest in the Washington Nationals’ farm system at a high level, Federal Baseball has begun a series featuring the top 30 prospects in the system as of late last season, according to Baseball America. We will start with No. 30 and work our way to the top over the next few weeks, with one prospect highlighted each weekday.”]
WASHINGTON – Kyle Schwarber was hitting home runs in the playoffs in October for the Boston Red Sox, just as he had earlier in the year for the Washington Nationals.
Meanwhile, the player that was traded for Schwarber could probably walk down the street in the Navy Yard neighborhood and not even be recognized.
Aldo Ramirez was 20 and had made eight starts for low Single-A Lowell when he was dealt by Boston to Washington.
Signed out of Mexico for $550,000 in April of 2018, the 6’0, 191-pound righty was ranked the No. 25 prospect in the Red Sox’ system by Baseball America and No. 19 by MLB.com’s Pipeline scouts prior to the trade, with their write-up on the pitcher noting he was thought to be the, “... most advanced young pitcher in the Boston system at the time of the trade.”
Ramirez pitched 30 innings last year for Lowell and was limited to just four games, and two starts, in the Florida Complex League with the Nationals after the deal.
His manager in Florida was Richmond native Jake Lowery, the catcher of the year in 2011 while in college at James Madison.
Lowery ended his playing career with Double-A Harrisburg in the Washington system in 2019.
Ramirez is among the new slew of products who came into the farm system of Washington since late July.
With all of those trades, the Nationals went from No. 30 to No. 23 in the rankings of the farm systems by Baseball America, a leader in the industry.
There are plenty of changes coming to player development among coaches and staff as well.
Randy Knorr and Bob Henley, part of the Major League coaching staff in 2021, according to reports, are slated to be in player development next season. Knorr has been a minor league manager at several levels in the Washington system.
And The Washington Post reported on Nov. 15 that De Jon Watson will be the new director of player development for the Nationals.
He will take over for Mark Scialabba, a former Division III baseball standout who will get a promotion, according to The Washington Post in an interview with general manager Mike Rizzo in early November.