The Nationals Have Found Their Future Shortstop In MLBbro CJ Abrams

The Nationals Have Found Their Future Shortstop In MLBbro CJ Abrams

The Washington Nationals recently let go of their superstar Juan Soto, but they gained a potential superstar in shortstop C.J. Abrams. Before joining the Nationals, Abrams appeared in 46 games with the San Diego Padres and hit .232 with two home runs and 11 RBI. Washington recently called up Abrams from the minors and he made his debut on Monday against the Chicago Cubs.

Although he went hitless in four at-bats, it was good to see Abrams suit up for his new team. This could be the start of something really good for the Nationals.

 

Abrams was the No. 1 prospect in the Nationals farm system and was ranked No. 4 in the league in ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel’s latest rankings. When you think of Black shortstops in the game today, who pops up into your mind? Maybe Tim Anderson and possibly Marcus Semien, who also plays second base for the most part.

But other than that, there aren’t many true Black shortstops out there. It won’t be long until Abrams is on that elite list of shortstops.

The ceiling is high for the 21-year-old. He is a skilled athlete, and his baseball IQ is on another level. Granted he is young, so he’s going to go through some growing pains, but he’s the type of player that will only get better from his mistakes. Nationals starting pitcher Josiah Gray took the mound on Monday and was stoked to have Abrams playing behind him.

“It’s super exciting,” Gray said in an article by The Washington Post. “For me personally, it gives me a little extra edge to go out there and sort of dream on the future. Like, these are the guys that can be your teammates for years to come.”

The more experience Abrams gets, the better he’s going to become as a player. Keep in mind, before Monday, he only appeared in 160 professional games.

 

 

Nationals manager Dave Martinez is excited for the future of the organization and Abrams can help lead the way in attributing to that success.

“This is what we talked about moving forward, some of our youth, and now we’re getting to see some of that here,” Martinez said. “And that definitely excites me a lot … watching these guys all play together and grow together. It’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s going to be some work, a lot of work. But it’s going to be fun.”

Abrams’ journey is going to be a special one. It will be a lot of fun watching our MLBbro develop into a superstar. As long as he trusts the process and continues to put the work in, he’s going to put himself in a good position to be successful.

The 2022 Trade Deadline Came And Went; Here’s What That Meant For Some MLBbros Around The League

The 2022 Trade Deadline Came And Went; Here’s What That Meant For Some MLBbros Around The League

Some of the moves made at this year’s trade deadline will turn out to mean nothing, while others may be the difference between winning a division crown or scrapping for a wild card spot. It’s still too early to determine winners/losers, but let’s take a look at who on paper made the best moves.

 

San Diego Padres

No team in the major leagues made more noise at the deadline than the San Diego Padres, something that has rang true the last several trade deadlines. The Padres understand that in order to knock off a juggernaut like the Los Angeles Dodgers, you have to stockpile talent in a similar fashion.

Acquiring a generational talent like Juan Soto along with a lights out closer in Josh Hader would be enough for most squads, but the Padres wanted more. Along with Soto, San Diego scooped up switch hitting first baseman Josh Bell. On Tuesday we spoke about how Bell could find himself on a playoff contender after the break, and here we are.

Two of our young MLB bros were a part of this deal, as shortstop C.J. Abrams and outfielder James Wood will make their way to Washington to join starting pitcher Josiah Gray as a part of the Nationals core of young talent.

 

 

New York Yankees

Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have done the bulk of the heavy lifting for the Bronx Bombers this year, even with Stanton’s recent trip to the IL. Brian Cashman may have slipped up this offseason when he didn’t extend Judge, but he was on point at the deadline.

The Yankees acquired starter Frankie Montas, relievers Lou Trivino and Scott Efforts along with former Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi from KC and look poised to make a World Series Run. Every pitcher the Yanks traded for is under team control, which means that if they can resign Judge in the offseason there will be plenty of help in every aspect already with the team.

It’s officially the World Series or bust in the Bronx, a feeling they haven’t had in awhile.

 

Minnesota Twins

The Twins are trying to hold off both Cleveland and Chicago, so standing pat simply wasn’t an option for Byron Buxton’s squad. The Twins acquired one of the best closers in the game this season when they plucked Jorge Lopez from the Orioles, and then added even more pitching by acquiring Cincinnati starter Tyler Mahle before the deadline passed.

Buxton and the Twins will have their hands full down to close the season, but the fact that Minnesota was the most active team in the division should give them plenty of confidence headed into the home stretch.

 

 

Houston Astros

After losing the World Series AND superstar shortstop Carlos Correa, there were some around baseball who wondered just what Dusty Baker’s ballclub would look like going forward. Fast forward to the midpoint of the season and Baker’s boys look poised at another World Series run.

Like most great front offices, the Astros braintrust saw this and decided to stockpile more weapons as we head into the playoff push. They acquired Trey Mancini from the forever rebuilding Baltimore Orioles and Christian Vazquez from the Red Sox, two players who project to contribute immediately for the Stros.

 

MLBbro Josh Bell Traded To Loaded San Diego Padres | Nats Quietly Secure Two Future MLBbro Stars In Blockbuster

MLBbro Josh Bell Traded To Loaded San Diego Padres | Nats Quietly Secure Two Future MLBbro Stars In Blockbuster

The days of forecasting, guessing and debating about player movement finally ended at the trading deadline on Tuesday as the deal between the Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres stole the headlines and news cycle.

It was no surprise to anyone that Juan Soto was on his way out of Washington after turning down a massive 15-year, $440 million offer from the Nationals. It wasn’t a question of when Soto was leaving as opposed to where he was going. With the Padres having a cache of young talent to offer the Nats, that was the tipping point to make the deal.

The deal, which has not yet been totally finalized at the time of publication, is as follows:

The San Diego Padres receive:

Outfielder Juan Soto and first baseman Josh Bell

The Washington Nationals receive:

Left-handed pitcher, Mackenzie Gore and outfielder, Robert Hassell III, Shortstop C.J. Abrams and Outfielder, James Wood. One more player to be named later. 

 

 

While Juan Soto is the undisputed headliner that was no surprise, it is a mild surprise that our MLBbro, Josh Bell was added in the deal even though we had monitored possible moves for over a month. MLBro.com had San Diego on the radar as one of Bell’s possible destinations.

MLBbro.com:

“The Padres realize that the Dodgers have no issues opening up the bankbook to get the best players on the market no matter the cost. Josh Bell can add some offensive power to compete with their loaded division rivals.”
“Like the Dodgers, the Padres have a quality first baseman in Eric Hosmer, but they need help in the DH spot”.

Speaking of Eric Hosmer, he is the reason that the deal is not officially complete yet. He rejected the trade with his no trade clause and either has to sign off on the deal or a third team has to be a part of the deal. Most recent reports have him waiving his no-trade clause and going to the Red Sox in a deal. 

 

 

Josh Bell Is The X-Factor

The undisputed jewel for right now in this deal is our MLBbro, Josh Bell. While Soto has put 21 balls in the seats with 46 RBI, he is hitting .an uncharacteristic 246 for the season, which makes Bell’s short-term contributions all the more impressive this season.

Our MLBbro is hitting a career high .301 with 14 homers and 57 RBI. The former 2019 All-Star has produced 127 dingers with 454 RBI over his career. The Padres may have collected the best hitter in the open market in a virtual steal. A change in mechanics and mindset this year allows him to be a better opposite field hitter while cutting down strikeouts.  

 

Now while San Diego’s odds of winning a World Series has shot through the roof, the Nationals sit at the bottom of the MLB standings and have officially started a total rebuild, having lost four of their last five games. That doesn’t mean Washington did not accomplish their short-term goal of getting young talent to develop.

Two MLBbro prospects are arriving in Washington by the names of C.J. Abrams and James Wood.

C.J. Abrams:

Abrams was San Diego’s top prospect and was ranked sixth in the MiLB rankings in 2021. After spending time in the Double A affiliate San Antonio Missions last year, he was called up this season and has impressed many with his defense and his willingness to use the entire field at the plate.

 

 

Our 21-year-old MLBbro has hitting slashes of .231/.280/.322 in 134 plate appearances. This small sample size should not be used as an indictment of his budding potential. The Nationals are very well known for their player development and Abrams should flourish with more opportunities on the field to finish the season.

James Wood:

This analysis is basically the minor league prospect version of the Juan Soto/Juan Bell analysis above. While C.J. Abrams is the coveted acquisition with unbridled potential, James Wood could be the diamond in the rough that could become a star in the future. Even though James is in the Single A ranks, he is tearing up the league with a hitting slash of .337/.453/.601 with 10 homers. This includes a three homer, seven steal stretch in 21 games after returning from a wrist injury. 

Wood is a 6-foot-7 tower weighing 240 pounds with power, athleticism and speed that the Nationals front office can sell to its fanbase with comparisons to a famous player in New York named Aaron Judge.

 

 

He’s also the son of former University of Richmond basketball standout Kenny Wood.

UR Hall of Famer Wood (1990-93), who was a 6-foot-5 forward, scored 1,427 points to go with 717 rebounds. James Wood lived with his family in Olney, Md., and attended St. John’s College High School in Washington.

Projections have the talented Wood ready for the big leagues in 2025, but don’t underestimate the selling point of this MLBbro. With Washington’s record and offensive fire sale trading away their two best contributors, the franchise may have a lot of explaining to do on what their plans are for the future.