Nats system surprisingly deep in MI talent

All of a sudden, the Nationals’ organizational up-the-middle cupboard is not so bare. Offseason deals to acquire Trea Turner and Chris Bostick as well as the development of Wilmer Difo and Stephen Perez have provided the Nats with a good amount of depth, giving Mike Rizzo the ability to attempt to shore up the bullpen by trading 2B Tony Renda for RHP David Carpenter.

Obviously Trea Turner is the source of much excitement, with a .327/.382/.477 triple slash in AA this year (mostly for San Antonio of the Padres’ organization). He’s heading to Syracuse now, and could be in the big leagues sooner rather than later.
Wilmer Difo is hitting a pedestrian .288/.312/.371 in 138 PA at AA Harrisburg, but got a cup of coffee in the big leagues and is at a respectable .297/.336/.425 triple slash across 226 PA in all levels.
Chris Bostick was half of the return from the Ross Detwiler deal, and he’s at a solid .269/.333/.392 triple slash in 300 PA between high-A Potomac and AA Harrisburg, with 4 HR and 17 steals. The 22 year old has flashed more power in the past, but it’s impressive to see him steal this many bases.
Stephen Perez had a breakout season in 2014 and fared pretty well in Potomac this year, but a 7 for 54 stint in Harrisburg has thrown off his overall line. He’s at .222/.335/.296 across 264 PA for both levels, with a more than solid 14.0% BB% and 16.2% K%. He’s just getting killed by the BABIP monsters.
A little bit further down the pipeline, Osvaldo Abreu is succeeding in his first go-around in full-season ball, hitting .271/.355/.436 as a 21 year old in Hagerstown, with 17 steals and 25 extra base hits in 64 games.

There are also a handful of non-prospect types that could be decent stopgaps if the Nationals need someone for only a few weeks and don’t want to throw off anyone’s development schedule by calling them up and sitting them on the bench.
Chris Nelson isn’t a prospect at 29 years old, and he’s struggled to a .191/.241/.279 triple slash in 145 PA for three different organization’s AAA teams this year. That being said, he’s a career .279/.342/.438 minor league hitter with 282 games of MLB experience under his belt (mostly for the Rockies).
Emmanuel Burriss is also too old to be considered a prospect at 30, but he’s hitting .278/.354/.392 this year and could fill in adequately as a bench player if a Nats infielder suffered a short-term injury. *EDIT* - this was written before news that Rendon was hitting the DL, with Burriss as the replacement. You can direct hate tweets to @seanhoganvt
Jason Martinson, a 5th round pick in 2010 out of Texas State University, is hitting .243/.306/.408 for AAA Syracuse. His age (26) and overall batting profile (.242 career average, career 27.7% K%) make him more of a suspect than a prospect, but he has averaged 16.75 HR and 24 SB per season over the last four years, with 9 HR and 6 SB through his first 69 games this year.
Cutter Dykstra has been a disappointment this year, hitting .192/.335/.231 in 222 PA for Harrisburg and Syracuse. The soon to be 26 year old is still walking at a 16.7% rate while striking out at a disappointing but not terrible 23.4% clip but appears to be making poor contact, with an .025 ISO and .264 BABIP.
Of these names, only Turner and Difo are true prospect types, but middle infielders are notoriously fickle as prospects, so it’s nice to see the Nationals with both quality and a bit of quantity to back it up.

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