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á After years of neglect and abuse, the Washington NationalsÆ farm system is beginning to look like, well, a farm system again. When the Montreal Expos moved here in the fall of 2004, the farm system was completely bare; all of the best playersùCliff Lee, Brandon Phillips, Grady Sizemore, Jason Bayùhad been traded by then general manager Omar Minaya. Of that class of 2004ùthose having never played in the majorsùnot a single player has made it to the major leagues as a productive full-time player. Just two, shortstop Ian Desmond and pitcher Colin Balester, might one day become credible major leaguers. The Philadelphia Phillies, on the other hand, had 10 players in 2004 that are today quality major leaguers: Ryan Howard, Placido Polanco, Vincente Padilla, Pat Burrell, Gavin Floyd, Ryan ...

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Article written by Farid Rushdi

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