Nationals' Top 50 Prospects: #21-25

CapitolDugout.com continues its unveiling of the 2006 Off-Season Top 50 Nationals' Prospects list with a look at prospects #21-25. This is part six of our ten part series that will take us from prospect #50 all the way to #1. Now, let's take a closer look at prospects 21-25.

25. John Lannan - Lefties with quality stuff are always in high demand and John Lannan is one of those coveted southpaws. Although his numbers may not look fantastic at first glance, most of his teammates and coaches agree that he pitched much better than those statistics suggest. With Savannah, Lannan went 6-8 with a 4.76 ERA in 138 innings of work. He also struck out 114 while walking 54. The 6-foot-5 hurler has a fastball that sits around 90-92 MPH and topped out around 93 MPH in 2006. Washington believes that he still has room to add more velocity, and with a solid curveball and changeup to go along with that fastball, the former Siena College standout could have the upside of number two starter at the big league level. Look for him to be a fixture in the Potomac rotation in 2007.

24. Frank Diaz - Few hitters were as consistent for the 2006 Harrisburg Senators as their center fielder, Frank Diaz. His final line of statistics were merely pedestrian, but he remained a constant force for Washington's Double-A affiliate throughout the season. The 23-year-old batted .257 in 2006, while slugging 9 home runs and driving in 50. But, he did have his lowest stolen base total of his professional career, swiping just 5 bases. He continued to prove that he has the chance to be a well above average defensive center field, flashing a plus arm and fantastic range. That alone could carry him to a solid big league career, and if his bat continues to catch up to his defense, he could have a chance to start. He probably performed well enough to earn a promotion to Triple-A to open next season.

23. Stephen Englund - Out of all the position player prospects in the Nationals' farm system, there may not be a better pure athlete or a player with as much upside as Stephen Englund. The only question is if he can reach that sky high potential. In his first taste of pro ball, Washington's 2006 second round draft pick had a rough go of it, batting just .183 with 1 home run and 12 RBI. The numbers do not seem to worry the Nationals however, and they believe that his tools will eventually prevail. One thing he did show in the GCL was the ability to play center field and play it well. He showed off a strong arm, plus speed, and good range. If he can eventually learn to make consistent contact, Englund can be a complete player. The Nationals' may have him repeat a level next year or he may also begin the year in Vermont.

22. Craig Stammen - The Nationals picked the 6-foot-4, 200 pound Stammen in the 12th round of the 2005 draft. He impressed the Washington by compiling a 3.58 ERA in 113 innings with Savannah this season, while striking out 93 hitters and walking only 29. His performance earned him an early August promotion to Carolina League affiliate Potomac, where he finished the 2006 season as a member of the P-Nats starting staff. He commands his fastball extremely well and has made vast improvements to his changeup. Along with his slider and curveball, he has a very deep repertoire. Washington believes that Stammen could move up the organizational ladder rather quickly from this point. All signs point to Craig breaking camp with Potomac with a chance for a promotion to Double-A if he starts out well.

21. Mike Hinckley - No other prospect on this entire top 50 list fell further than former number one, Mike Hinckley. Coming off a rough 2005 season, the 24-year-old southpaw had an even tougher time in 2006. With Potomac, Mike went 6-8 with an ugly 5.52 ERA in 148 1/3 innings pitched. Washington had hopes that he would eventually turn around his season, but that just never happened. It is quite possible that he may be removed from the Nationals' 40-man roster this off-season.

Capitol Dugout Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n25. John Lannan - Lefties with quality stuff are always in high demand and John Lannan is one of those coveted southpaws. Although his numbers may not look fantastic at first glance, most of his teammates and coaches agree that he pitched much better than those statistics suggest. With Savannah, Lannan went 6-8 with a 4.76 ERA in 138 innings of work. He also struck out 114 while walking 54. The 6-foot-5 hurler has a fastball that sits around 90-92 MPH and topped out around 93 MPH in 2006. Washington believes that he still has room to add more velocity, and with a solid curveball and changeup to go along with that fastball, the former Siena College standout could have the upside of number two starter at the big league level. Look for him to be a fixture in the Potomac rotation in 2007.\r\n

\r\n24. Frank Diaz - Few hitters were as consistent for the 2006 Harrisburg Senators as their center fielder, Frank Diaz. His final line of statistics were merely pedestrian, but he remained a constant force for Washington's Double-A affiliate throughout the season. The 23-year-old batted .257 in 2006, while slugging 9 home runs and driving in 50. But, he did have his lowest stolen base total of his professional career, swiping just 5 bases. He continued to prove that he has the chance to be a well above average defensive center field, flashing a plus arm and fantastic range. That alone could carry him to a solid big league career, and if his bat continues to catch up to his defense, he could have a chance to start. He probably performed well enough to earn a promotion to Triple-A to open next season.\r\n

\r\n23. Stephen Englund - Out of all the position player prospects in the Nationals' farm system, there may not be a better pure athlete or a player with as much upside as Stephen Englund. The only question is if he can reach that sky high potential. In his first taste of pro ball, Washington's 2006 second round draft pick had a rough go of it, batting just .183 with 1 home run and 12 RBI. The numbers do not seem to worry the Nationals however, and they believe that his tools will eventually prevail. One thing he did show in the GCL was the ability to play center field and play it well. He showed off a strong arm, plus speed, and good range. If he can eventually learn to make consistent contact, Englund can be a complete player. The Nationals' may have him repeat a level next year or he may also begin the year in Vermont.\r\n

\r\n22. Craig Stammen - The Nationals picked the 6-foot-4, 200 pound Stammen in the 12th round of the 2005 draft. He impressed the Washington by compiling a 3.58 ERA in 113 innings with Savannah this season, while striking out 93 hitters and walking only 29. His performance earned him an early August promotion to Carolina League affiliate Potomac, where he finished the 2006 season as a member of the P-Nats starting staff. He commands his fastball extremely well and has made vast improvements to his changeup. Along with his slider and curveball, he has a very deep repertoire. Washington believes that Stammen could move up the organizational ladder rather quickly from this point. All signs point to Craig breaking camp with Potomac with a chance for a promotion to Double-A if he starts out well.\r\n

\r\n21. Mike Hinckley - No other prospect on this entire top 50 list fell further than former number one, Mike Hinckley. Coming off a rough 2005 season, the 24-year-old southpaw had an even tougher time in 2006. With Potomac, Mike went 6-8 with an ugly 5.52 ERA in 148 1/3 innings pitched. Washington had hopes that he would eventually turn around his season, but that just never happened. It is quite possible that he may be removed from the Nationals' 40-man roster this off-season.","mobileBody":" \r\n25. John Lannan - Lefties with quality stuff are always in high demand and John Lannan is one of those coveted southpaws. Although his numbers may not look fantastic at first glance, most of his teammates and coaches agree that he pitched much better than those statistics suggest. With Savannah, Lannan went 6-8 with a 4.76 ERA in 138 innings of work. He also struck out 114 while walking 54. The 6-foot-5 hurler has a fastball that sits around 90-92 MPH and topped out around 93 MPH in 2006. Washington believes that he still has room to add more velocity, and with a solid curveball and changeup to go along with that fastball, the former Siena College standout could have the upside of number two starter at the big league level. Look for him to be a fixture in the Potomac rotation in 2007.\r\n

\r\n24. Frank Diaz - Few hitters were as consistent for the 2006 Harrisburg Senators as their center fielder, Frank Diaz. His final line of statistics were merely pedestrian, but he remained a constant force for Washington's Double-A affiliate throughout the season. The 23-year-old batted .257 in 2006, while slugging 9 home runs and driving in 50. But, he did have his lowest stolen base total of his professional career, swiping just 5 bases. He continued to prove that he has the chance to be a well above average defensive center field, flashing a plus arm and fantastic range. That alone could carry him to a solid big league career, and if his bat continues to catch up to his defense, he could have a chance to start. He probably performed well enough to earn a promotion to Triple-A to open next season.\r\n

\r\n23. Stephen Englund - Out of all the position player prospects in the Nationals' farm system, there may not be a better pure athlete or a player with as much upside as Stephen Englund. The only question is if he can reach that sky high potential. In his first taste of pro ball, Washington's 2006 second round draft pick had a rough go of it, batting just .183 with 1 home run and 12 RBI. The numbers do not seem to worry the Nationals however, and they believe that his tools will eventually prevail. One thing he did show in the GCL was the ability to play center field and play it well. He showed off a strong arm, plus speed, and good range. If he can eventually learn to make consistent contact, Englund can be a complete player. The Nationals' may have him repeat a level next year or he may also begin the year in Vermont.\r\n

\r\n22. Craig Stammen - The Nationals picked the 6-foot-4, 200 pound Stammen in the 12th round of the 2005 draft. He impressed the Washington by compiling a 3.58 ERA in 113 innings with Savannah this season, while striking out 93 hitters and walking only 29. His performance earned him an early August promotion to Carolina League affiliate Potomac, where he finished the 2006 season as a member of the P-Nats starting staff. He commands his fastball extremely well and has made vast improvements to his changeup. Along with his slider and curveball, he has a very deep repertoire. Washington believes that Stammen could move up the organizational ladder rather quickly from this point. All signs point to Craig breaking camp with Potomac with a chance for a promotion to Double-A if he starts out well.\r\n

\r\n21. Mike Hinckley - No other prospect on this entire top 50 list fell further than former number one, Mike Hinckley. Coming off a rough 2005 season, the 24-year-old southpaw had an even tougher time in 2006. With Potomac, Mike went 6-8 with an ugly 5.52 ERA in 148 1/3 innings pitched. Washington had hopes that he would eventually turn around his season, but that just never happened. 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