Hot or Not: Week of Sept. 6-12

This is a weekly feature that will briefly recap the week that was in the Nationals' farm system, highlighting some prospects who produced at a high level and some who struggled. It's important to note that Minor League stats often do not paint a full picture of individual performance. This is just a snapshot of a small sample size.





HOT


LHP Tim Cate (Harrisburg): Cate's season has been the Minor League mirror image of Patrick Corbin. They're both talented lefties who rely on a plus-plus breaking pitch to pair with a middling fastball. They've both had nightmare seasons. The organization needs both of them to figure it out next year. And both have cobbled together consecutive encouraging outings. Cate was fantastic on Saturday vs. Bowie, going six innings, allowing zero earned runs on only three hits, with nine punchouts and one walk.


(7) RHP Cole Henry (Wilmington): With No. 1 Nats prospect Cade Cavalli's ascension into the ranks of the elite, fellow 2020 Nats draftee Henry is quietly putting together a dominant first professional season. The problem is, he missed 2 1/2 months in the middle of the season due to an elbow injury, causing him to fall off the radar for a long stretch. But the numbers are eye-popping at High-A Wilmington this season: 1.89 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 12.8 K/9, 2.6 BB/9. Only two homers allowed in 38 innings. His most recent start came on Friday, when he posted his fourth consecutive scoreless outing, punching out seven with no walks over five innings vs. Aberdeen. He's a more developed pitcher than either Cavalli or No. 4 prospect Jackson Rutledge and has top-100 overall prospect potential if he can stay on the bump.


(3) SS Brady House (FCL): House, the Nats' first-round Draft pick in 2021, has thrashed his first taste of professional pitching in the Florida Complex League. House added his fourth homer last week and went 5-for-16 with as many walks as strikeouts.


(9) SS Armando Cruz (DSL): One of the top international prospects of the 2020 class, Cruz is a defensive dynamo who has struggled with the bat in the Dominican Summer League. But that's starting to change. He hit safely each game last week and went 9-for-21 in total.


(19) LHP Evan Lee (Wilmington): Lee, a two-way player at Arkansas the Nats took a flyer on in 2018 hoping to develop him into a reliever, has blossomed as a starting pitcher the second half of this season. He made two starts last week, with one standing out from the other. On Tuesday, the southpaw allowed one run over five innings with nine strikeouts and one walk. Facing the same Aberdeen lineup on Sunday, Lee was solid if not spectacular, allowing three runs on five hits over five innings, with four strikeouts and four walks.


NOT


(12) OF Donovan Casey (Rochester): One of four players acquired in the Max Scherzer-Trea Turner deal, Casey was fantastic in the Nats' organization after the trade, moving quickly from Harrisburg to Rochester. However, he has struggled mightily since being moved off center field via Victor Robles' demotion. It's hard to say if the position change has anything to do with it, but last week Casey went 1-for-20 with nine strikeouts and only one walk. He did continue to excel defensively with his cannon arm.


(20) 1B Branden Boissiere (Fredericksburg): It has not been a good introduction to pro ball for Boissiere, the Nats' third-round pick this year. He went 4-for-21 last week with no extra-base hits or walks. Overall, he has a minuscule .460 OPS with only two extra-base hits in his pro debut.


C Jakson Reetz (Harrisburg): Reetz went from making his Major League debut to tumbling down the organizational pecking order at catcher with the acquisitions of Keibert Ruiz, Riley Adams and Drew Millas. No way to know if the two are related, but his struggles continue. He went 4-for-17 with eight strikeouts and only one walk last week.



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