What (who) are the notables? Good question. This category has become kind of a catch-all, in part designed to address the “what about __________?” comments. It’s best not to over-think it: These are guys who have something going for them that merits some sort of acknowledgement.
About the only “rule” that I have is that a player can’t be listed as a notable in consecutive years — either you play your way back into a regular category, or you fall off the watchlist entirely. Some guys have, most haven’t.
Without further ado…
The recent acquisition of Yunel Escobar has affected both Kobernus and the next guy on this list, as now they’re that much more likely to spend 2015 in Syracuse. But he is on the 40-man roster, can play multiple positions, and has an option left.
When this list was drawn up, Dykstra seemed one or two injuries away from getting the call. After a career year in 2013, Dykstra made the jump to AA and held his own and would seem likely to at least get to AAA before turning 26 in late June.
Believe it or not, Benincasa led the Nationals minors with 18 saves — 11 coming at Potomac, seven with Harrisburg, where save opportunities were few and far between. He figures to return to City Island in ’15 but it’s not a lock that he’ll be the Sens closer.
Self also split time between High-A and AA in 2014, posting a line of 1.69/2.54/0.90 at the former and 3.38/5.05/1.43 at the latter. He did very well in the AFL, which is generally a hitter’s league, going 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA in 15IP.
Pleffner might ordinarily have been listed as a 1B, a position that has been very thin for the Nats since Tyler Moore and Chris Marrero have moved on, but his advanced age (25) keeps him here instead of there.
Likewise, Turnbull is an old-for-the-level pitcher who’d be an afterthought were he not lefthanded in an organization that’s bereft of them. He finished the regular season very strong, including a masterful 5⅓-inning relief outing in Game 4 of the Mills Cup series.
Johansen, the top pick for the Nationals in 2013, blew through the NYPL (1.06/2.67/0.94 in 42⅓ IP) but has struggled to master the Low-A level. In 31 appearances, he’s averaged 4.9 BB/9IP while striking out 7.9 per despite throwing mid-90s heat.