Prospects in basically any sport are unpredictable. Even a sure thing isn’t always a sure thing.
But baseball can be more unpredictable than any other sport, which is why the next few years will feature plenty of bated breath for Washington Nationals fans.
The Nats on Tuesday agreed to send Juan Soto, a generational talent, and Josh Bell to San Diego for five highly-rated prospects. Outfielders Robert Hassell III and James Wood (the Padres’ Nos. 1 and 3 prospects), as well as righty pitcher Jarlin Susana (No. 14) went in the trade, as did C.J. Abrams and MacKenzie Gore.
Abrams and Gore both have logged enough big league time to no longer be considered prospects in the eye of MLB pipeline. However, Abrams was No. 1 and Gore was No. 3 in San Diego’s system last season.
So, obviously, there’s a lot of potential, although very little of it has been witnessed at the big league level. MLB Draft and prospect expert for MLB.com, Jim Callis, gave his 10,000-foot view of the deal from the Nats standpoint on 106.7 The Fan’s “Grant and Danny”.
“I think in terms of getting the most you were going to get for Soto, and Josh Bell was in the trade, they got five really, really high-ceilinged prospects here," Callis said. "Like I said, Hassell, maybe the floor stands out a little bit more, but we're talking ceiling here. You could have frontline starter MacKenzie Gore, you could have a theoretically .300 hitter and stolen base champ in CJ Abrams who plays up the middle.
“I just put 30-30 (potential) on James Wood. Ceiling for Robert Hassell, he’s another .300 hitter with 20 home runs who plays up the middle. And Susana, he’s 18 and he’s throwing 99. There’s an awful lot of ceiling there.”
Again, potential doesn’t mean a whole lot to the fan, especially after their team traded a megastar. But the early returns on Gore in the majors is promising, and the Nationals’ farm has been so poorly stocked that the slew of quality additions should at least give hope that brighter days are ahead for the Nationals.