Nationals

Indiana moves back into No. 1 in AP poll

Indiana moves back into No. 1 in AP poll

For the fifth straight week there is a new No. 1 in The Associated Press' college basketball poll. This time it's Indiana.

The Hoosiers, the preseason No. 1 who held the top spot for the first five weeks of the regular season, moved up two spots Monday, following their weekend win over No. 1 Michigan and No. 2 Kansas' loss to Oklahoma State.

Duke started the current streak of new No. 1s and was followed by Louisville, Duke again, Michigan and Indiana. The last time there were five straight new No. 1s was the last five polls of 2008-09 when it was Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Connecticut again, North Carolina and Louisville.

The Hoosiers received 58 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel while Florida, which jumped two spots to second, got the other seven.

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Dexter Fowler jumps, stretches out, robs Nationals of three runs

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Dexter Fowler jumps, stretches out, robs Nationals of three runs

The Nationals trailed the Cardinals 5-1 in the top of the eighth on Wednesday in St. Louis. 

But after Anthony Rendon walked and Howie Kendrick singled, Asdrubal Cabrera stepped to the plate with one out and a chance to cut St. Louis' lead to one run. 

With a 3-2 count, Cabrera roped an 82 mph slider to right field, and Nationals fans had a moment to rejoice as the ball's trajectory was clearly that of a home run. 

Enter: Dexter Fowler. 

The Cardinals' right fielder made a quick dash to the wall and leapt, stretching his 6-foot-5 frame to rob Cabrera of the possible three-run longball. 

And thus, Washington headed to the bottom of the inning still trailing 5-1, in serious need of a ninth-inning rally. 

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Carter Kieboom rises, Luis Garcia Falls: Looking at the final MLB Pipeline Top 100 Prospect rankings

Carter Kieboom rises, Luis Garcia Falls: Looking at the final MLB Pipeline Top 100 Prospect rankings

As the Major League Baseball season winds down, the Nationals find themselves in the thick of a tight National League wild card race.

As October approaches, Anthony Rendon, Juan Soto, and Max Scherzer look to reverse that Nats' playoff woes in the first season of Washington's post-Bryce Harper era. This should be fun.

But let's skip all of that and look to the future.

As exciting as the Nats' current core is, the team has several young players on the way. Every season, MLB.com publishes its Pipeline Top 100 Prospect rankings.

With the final rankings for 2019 just released, here's a look at the Nationals' top prospects.

Way back in the spring, the Nationals entered the season with three top 100 prospects. Outfielder Victor Robles at No. 4, middle infielder Carter Kieboom at No. 25, and infielder Luis Garcia at No. 75. With Robles exhausting his status as a prospect, the Nats are left with just two top 100 prospects.

Carter Kieboom (No. 21)

Kieboom made his major league debut in April after Trea Turner went down with a broken finger. In just big league 11 games, Kieboom hit a measly .128 but showed off his immense power with two home runs.

But have no fear, because Kieboom went off for a .333/.409/.493 slash line with 79 runs, 79 RBI and 16 home runs over 109 Triple-A games. Kieboom's success in the minor leagues this season helped him rise four spots to No. 21 in the Top 100 rankings.

The Nationals draft Kieboom in the first round of the 2016 MLB Draft, and he has shot through the Nats system since. Look for Kieboom to continue being one of the best hitters in the minors.

Luis Garcia (No. 92)

Falling almost 20 spots in the rankings is certainly a bad look, and a .302/.330/.387 slash line does not exactly offer much of a defense for the Nats' young infielder. 

The upside? Garcia is only 19 years old.

Playing in Double-A at 19 years old is not easy, so expect to see Garcia begin to climb these rankings next season. His strong defensive play in the middle infield will keep him in the Double-A lineups, and his hitting is bound to improve after hitting .297 in A ball.

Garcia primarily plays short, so with Turner and Kieboom in front of him Garcia will have plenty of time to develop. Garcia also has some pretty high aspirations.

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