Over the years, the Washington Nationals organization — and before that, the Montreal Expos — have developed a reputation of having some of the best homegrown talent in the big leagues. Dating back to the days of the Expos, luminary names like Vladimir Guerrero, Jose Vidro, Cliff Floyd, Mark Grudzielanek, Cliff Lee, and Brandon Phillips have all passed through the system. While Lee and Phillips never reached the big leagues with the Expos, the ranks of former Montreal prospects becoming All-Stars are quite large.
That same tradition has carried over to Washington, D.C. Ian Desmond (one of the final prospects drafted by the old Expos franchise), Ryan Zimmerman, Anthony Rendon, Stephen Strasburg, and Bryce Harper were all drafted and developed through the farm system. While the Nationals have begun getting away from their draft-and-develop roots just a bit in recent years, the system is still relatively strong.
The Nationals have four players in the MLB top-100 entering the 2016 season. The organization is relatively thin on MLB-ready talent, but the talent that is nearly ready for the big leagues is quite good, led by the best pitching prospect in baseball, Lucas Giolito, and Trea Turner, who is on the edge of the top-10. Behind those two, the Nationals have a strong system, built with many international signings. Most of that talent is still in the lower levels, but should begin progressing to the critical Double-A level this season.
Giolito and Turner clearly head the organization’s prospect list, but which other names fall within the top-20 for the Washington Nationals?