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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 the 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 11 big league 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 drafted 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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Trea Turner undergoes surgery to finally fix his broken index finger

Trea Turner undergoes surgery to finally fix his broken index finger

Trea Turner finally found the time to have his finger fixed.

A Saturday Instagram post showed Turner holding up his heavily wrapped right hand and held the caption: "Only took 7 months to get this finger fixed but now my ring will fit better! 🏆 Thank you to Dr. Carlson and all the staff at @hspecialsurgery for taking care of me! World class job by everyone! Forever thankful!"

"Can’t wait to start hitting with 10 fingers..."

Turner did not play from April 3 to May 17 after fracturing a knuckle on his right index finger when he turned to bunt, and a pitch from Philadelphia starter Zach Eflin struck his finger.

Turner's absence was among several enormous blows to the Nationals' health early in the season. His replacements -- Wilmer Difo and prospect Carter Kieboom -- both played poorly. Turner finished his shortened season as a 2.4-WAR player. Difo and Kieboom combined for -2.1 WAR in limited duty. The swing from Turner to his replacements became a massive hole and coincided with the Nationals bumbling through April and May.

When Turner returned, he still was not healed. He swung with nine fingers on the bat. Often, it flew out of his hands at the end of the swing when he first began to play again. He was never able to bend the finger enough so the tip touched the palm of his hand. Turner also went to great length not to discuss his situation through the year.

There was no immediate timeline for Turner's recovery process available Saturday.

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College GameDay sign takes dig at Astros amid sign-stealing scandal

College GameDay sign takes dig at Astros amid sign-stealing scandal

The College GameDay crew is in Waco, Texas, this weekend to set the stage for the highly touted Big 12 matchup between Baylor and Oklahoma that kicks off Saturday night at 7: 30 p.m.

Baylor fans were out in full force for the live broadcast, holding countless signs that took shots at the Sooners. But one fan went outside the college football realm for their inspiration.

The Astros are facing widespread scrutiny as a result of a report that detailed allegations claiming they used high-powered cameras to steal opposing pitchers’ signs during the 2017 season, when they went on to win the World Series.

Houston can’t do much to defend itself until MLB concludes its investigation, so for now it just has to take jabs left and right from all corners of the sports world.

And apparently, even from Waco.

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