by Cam Ellis
It's an interesting time to be a minor leaguer.
A month and a half into the year, there's finally starting to be more player movement throughout the minors. Players who have proven themselves at their current levels are in line for a promotion, and vice-versa for those who have underwhelmed.
What's in store for the Nats top young guys? To the prospects!
Triple A - Syracuse
Trea Turner - SS: Speaking of being called up. After a quick "slump" for Turner, the shortstop is back to destroying the baseball, hitting safely in his last eight games. He's hitting .322 with an .860 OPS, so it's safe to say he's figured out Triple-A, if that was ever really an issue for him. See you soon, DC
A.J. Cole - RHP: It was a mixed bag for Cole this week, which at this point is better than most of his season prior. He allowed three runs on eight hits over five innings, but struck out seven and only walked one. He's allowed 38 hits in 31 innings and has a ERA over 5, so all that talk of promotions probably doesn't apply to Cole.
Austin Voth - RHP: Voth got slapped around in his last start, allowing three runs on nine hits while striking out five and walking one. He's still been the best starter in Syracuse by a sizeable margine. Considering his strong season versus Giolito's poor start, is it crazy to think Voth gets the call first should a spot open?
Double A - Harrisburg
Lucas Giolito - RHP: Well, it wasn't terrible! The good news: no runs on only three hits over five innings. The bad news: five walks over five innings. Not sure anyone expected Giolito to struggle at Double-A as much as he has.
Reynaldo Lopez - RHP: Lopez turned in his best start of the year yesterday, going six innings while allowing one run on four hits and striking out nine. Lopez has fallen into a pattern of coming out strong one start and underwhelming the next, so it'll be interesting to see if he can establish some consistency.
Wilmer Difo - SS/2B: He's alive! Difo has hit .325 over the last 10, including four multi-hit games. The hot streak has his average raised to .244, which still isn't great but hey it's a lot better than hitting .202, where he was hovering for the first month of the season.
High A - Potomac
Eric Fedde - RHP: Five innings, seven runs, five hits. Fedde has allowed at least two runs in every start this season and owns a 6.62 ERA. He's allowed 40 hits in 34 innings and given up five home runs. As it's been said here before, it's all about innings for Fedde... but yikes.
Andrew Stevenson - OF: For all the disappointment that the notable pitching prospects have supplied so far, the Nationals' hitting prospects have done the exact opposite. There have been some pleasant surprises this season, none moreso than Andrew Stevenson. He's hitting .333 over his last 10 games and has seven doubles and five triples on the year. He only has two walks on the season, which needs to change.
Low A - Hagerstown
Victor Robles - OF: Although he's slumping a bit over the last 10 games (.250 avg) he's still the best hitter in Hagerstown by a longshot. The K% is still high, but then again so is the .930 OPS. Keep an eye on his promotion as well.