April 17, 2014

Washington Nationals 2014 Top 25 Prospects: No. 2 Brian Goodwin

In this series, District Sports Page has provide detailed scouting reports on our list of Top 25 Washington Nationals prospects. You can find our overview with the entire list here. We will now move into even further detailed reports for our Top 10.

Here’s our scouting reports on prospects Nos. 21-15, prospects Nos. 16-20 and Nos. 11-16.

And so far in the Top 10:

No. 10 Eury Perez
No. 9 Jake Johansen
No. 8 Sammy Solis
No. 7 Michael Taylor
No. 6 Zach Walters
No. 5 Steven Souza
No. 4 Drew Ward
No. 3 A.J. Cole

Now without further ado, here is prospect No. 2, outfielder Brian Goodwin.

2. Brian Goodwin
Bats: Left, Throws: Right
Height: 6′ 0″, Weight: 200 lb.
Born: November 2, 1990 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, US (Age 23)
Draft: First Round (34th overall), 2011

Hitting Ability Raw Power Power Frequency Plate Discipline Speed Base Running Fielding Range Arm Strength Arm Accuracy Overall Future Potential
45/60 50/50 40/50 55/60 70/70 45/55 45/55 55/60 60/60 50/55 All-Star

Goodwin is fresh off another outstanding stint in the Arizona Fall League. After wrapping 11 extra-base hits in his first stint after the 2012 season (fifth best on the circuit), Goodwin hit an impressive .296/.333/.444 this past winter. He’s now solidly established himself as one of the Nationals organization’s elite prospects, though his luke-warm performance during the regular season has prevented him from earning similar consideration when measured against the top players from other organizations. Goodwin though, deserves more acclaim for his talent. He has the tools and the baseball acumen to be an All-Star, and a closer look suggests he’s right on the path to realize that potential.

The Nationals snagged Goodwin in the supplemental first-round of the 2012 draft, and handed him a whopping $3 million bonus, one of the highest in the franchise’s rich history of wallet-busting drafts. After hitting a robust .324/.438/.542 and pushing his way up double-A Harrisburg in his first summer, and at the ripe old age of 21, he’s since stalled a bit. He hit a much more modest .223/.306/.373 there to end 2012, before improving to a productive-though-uninspiring .252/.355/.407 last year.

While his numbers aren’t what you’d expect from a premium prospect just yet, consider this: Goodwin only turned 23 in November, and 2013 was only his first full, healthy season in pro baseball. He plays in the large-park, power-sapping Eastern League where the average player is two years his elder, and still managed to post an above-average 115 wRC+. There’s plenty to like about Goodwin’s potential, and there’s plenty of reason to believe he’s on his way to stardom.

Goodwin hasn’t been overmatched. He did belt 11 triples and 40 total extra-base hits in 122 games and post an impressive .355 on-base percentage last year against some of the best pitching in the minors. His .355 OBP and .155 ISO are actually in the top 10 percent for his age in AA, and should become even more impressive considering the difficulty Harrisburg‘s ballpark — along with the rest of the Eastern League’s parks — pose to young hitters.

The majority of Goodwin’s trouble lays in his work against left-handers. Goodwin posted a .624 OPS vs southpaws in 2013, and has a .686 mark in his career while mashing to a tune of .822 against righties (.850 career). Those numbers shouldn’t be too startling, as many young left-handed hitters struggle with large platoon splits, and lefties in general tend to have larger splits. Goodwin has barely faced two full seasons of pro left-handed pitching, so there’s plenty of reason to believe that he’ll tighten it up with more experience. And even if he doesn’t, he still has the hitting prowess and on-base skills to be a quality everyday player.

Goodwin is essentially a six-tool player, with everything plus solid plate discipline. His clean, fluid left-handed swing looks graceful in the box, and he generates plus bat-speed seemingly effortlessly. He’s lightning quick with the bat, able to read and barrel premium stuff inside. When he’s seeing the ball, he can wait and still hit the ball the other way with authority, though he’s very prone to pulling-off same-side breaking stuff.

Goodwin gets on-base with the best of them, and has the hit tool to continue to post high on-base percentages in the big leagues. His weakness against off-speed and willingness to work deep counts will always result in high strikeout totals, but he’s a tough out and shows the big league plate discipline to set the table. He also has solid home-run power, showing it off to his pull-side and sending premium heat out of big ballparks. His swing generates plenty of backspin and loft, and he hits far more line drives and hard fly balls than most players with his speed. His homerun power will always come to his pull-side, but he laces line-drives to all field and can punish pitches on the outside.

Goodwin has clocked sub 6.5-second sixty-yard dash times, which equates to elite-level speed. He’s not an effective base stealer yet, but his wheels, along with a solid arm and great body control, make him a quality center fielder. His defensive chops are lesser than fellow Nats outfield prospect Michael Taylor’s, but he’s a more polished all-around player and is the likelier pick as the Nationals center fielder of the future. On the basepaths, his wheels have an extra gear and he’s very smooth rounding the bases. He’s adept at going first-to-third and first-to-home, and he’s adept at stretching his own hits in the gap for the extra base. Similar to Denard Span and Bernie Williams, he should be a very valuable baserunner and fielder despite not having the stolen base totals that other guys with top-of-the-scale speed have. His defensive value is shaping up along the same lines. He’s not quite instinctual enough in either department to dominate, but he should almost certainly provide above-average value in both categories.

Goodwin’s five-tool package still gives him sky-high potential. But potential is potential. He’ll have to figure out left-handed pitching and commit himself to his pitch selection as well as his baserunning and fielding reads to reach his star-level ceiling. That’s not to say he’s not an already solid, polished player though. For a long time, the general feeling is that he can do more if he can put in the extra hours.

Goodwin is a possible all-star and Washington’s center fielder of the future. He’s right at the doorstep of the big leagues, and if he can take that final step forward at the plate, he’ll be a supremely valuable Ray Lankford-type center fielder with .350+ OBP’s, 15-20 homers and plenty of extra-base hits annually, to package with reliable defense.

Washington Nationals Top 25 Prospects Overview

For the Washington Nationals, the flip-side of  a decade-long losing streak is their extraordinarily talented, affordable roster. Their poor records came at the perfect time, just as baseball scouting was expanding and implementing new analytics methods to assess performance, and the big league draft was still unfettered by a hard-slotting system. As a result, their savvy front office accumulated a bevy of high draft picks and used them to rake in a gluttonous share of the baseball’s best athletes.

The Nationals were able to heist the franchise talents of Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Lucas Giolito, Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman, along with a bounty of other blue-chip prospects. The injection of young, affordable star-power led them to put together the franchise’s best stretch over the past three years, and they managed to snap a 31-year playoff drought in 2012.

Despite a step back in Major League production in 2013, the Nationals are still looking stronger than ever heading into the 2014 season. Healthy and more polished versions of Strasburg and Harper lead a stacked 25-man roster that is looking almost unbeatable following the addition of Doug Fister and the maturation of Anthony Rendon.

The franchise’s farm system isn’t what it was a couple of years ago. Naturally, promoting so many stud prospects to the Major Leagues and competing with homegrown talent comes with a price. Over the past few seasons, the club’s farm system has graduated starting pitchers Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Ross Detwiler, Taylor Jordan and Tanner Roark, gifted relievers like Storen,  Stammen and Ian Krol (now with the Tigers), as well as a long list of position players that includes Harper, Zimmerman, Rendon, Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Wilson Ramos and Derek Norris (with the Athletics). Two thirds of their projected opening day roster is comprised of homegrown players, or former prospects that spent their final seasons in the Nationals farm system.

Additionally, the cost of winning has dropped the club’s annual draft slot to the back of the line, and has forced the front office to play for the short term. They’ve traded away blue-chip prospects like Alex Meyer, Derek Norris and Robert Ray for short-run contributions, and have also parted ways with sure-fire contributors like Nate Karns, Tommy Milone, David Freitas and Steve Lombardozzi.

So, the Nationals don’t have the prospect starpower they normally do. A couple of years ago, they had the best system in the minors. Now, though they’re still strong, they’ve faded to the middle of the pack.

The Nationals savvy amateur scouting, particularly out West, has helped Mike Rizzo maintain a competitive farm system in spite of the organizations determination to put a winning roster on the field annually.

The farm system lacks balance. It doesn’t have a stand-out prospect at the upper levels at the moment, and the losses of Nate Karns, Alex Meyer and Robbie Ray have depleted a lot of their pitching depth.  Their lack of left-handedness was also exacerbated by the Doug Fister trade, which sent the extremely underrated Robbie Ray to Detroit along with Ian Krol–who’s poised to be an elite-level left-handed setup man. To get a southpaw in the bullpen finally — a void that killed their bullpen effectiveness last year as opposing managers were able to stack their lineups with lefty sluggers — the front office had to deal Billy Burns to Oakland for Jerry Blevins. While Burns isn’t a star, the little speedster looks like a superb fourth outfielder and pinch runner.

On the bright side, the lower levels of the system do sport many of the game’s most gifted athletes. 2013 first-round pick Lucas Giolito, now recovered from Tommy John surgery, is an elite-level arm when healthy, and has the stuff, intangibles and command to be an ace in a few years. Brian Goodwin, Harrisburg’s center fielder in 2013, has gotten stuck in double-A over the past two years after rising quickly through single-A ball. Though Goodwin’s five-tool profile pretty much makes him a sure bet to be a valuable player in the MLB.

The Nats didn’t have a first-round pick last June, but still made the most of their resources by grabbing a pair of high-ceiling stars from cowboy country. Former Dallas Baptist right-hander Jake Johansen largely flew under the radar in college, but his mid 90′s fastball and NFL tight end frame bless him with intriguing upside. And farmboy Drew Ward, taken in the third round last year, profiles as a left-handed version of Nolan Arenado.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll post detailed scouting reports on the players that made District Sports Page’s list of Top 25 Prospects in the Nationals organization. Below, though, are the names of the Nats’ top prospects to watch this season.

Top 25 Prospects

1. Lucas Giolito, RHP

13. Blake Treinen, RHP

2. Brian Goodwin, OF

14. Austin Voth, RHP

Robert Ray, LHP

15. Jefry Rodriguez, RHP

3. AJ Cole, RHP

16. Tony Renda, 2B

Nate Karns, RHP

17. Felipe Rivero, LHP

4. Drew Ward, 3B

18. Christian Garcia, RHP

5. Steven Souza, OF

19. Sandy Leon, C

6. Zach Walters, SS

20. Drew Vettleson, OF

7. Michael Taylor, OF

Adrian Nieto, C, 

8. Sammy Solis, LHP

21. Cody Gunter, 3B

9. Jake Johansen, RHP

22. Nick Pivetta, RHP

10. Eury Perez, OF

23. Rafael Bautista, OF

11. Matt Skole, 3B

24. Brett Mooneyham, LHP

12. Matt Purke, LHP

25. Pedro Severino, C

Billy Burns, OF 

Honorable Mention: Dixon Anderson, Aaron Barrett, Cutter Dykstra, Randy Encarnacion, David Napoli, Travis Ott, Raudy Read, Danny Rosenbaum, Hector Silvestre, Maximo Valerio

________________________

Ryan Kelley is a Contributor to District Sports Page. He’s a web application developer by day and an aspiring sports journalist living in the D.C. area. He has lived in Washington since graduating from The George Washington University and has past experience working within Minor League Baseball and for Team USA. He is founder of BaseballNewsHound.com, and specializes in scouting prospects playing in leagues on the East Coast and in the Mid-Atlantic region. A life-long ballplayer himself, he enjoys hitting home runs with his writing and scouting reports. You can follow him on Twitter @BBNewsHound and @Ryan_S_Kelley.

Washington Nationals Spring Training 2014 Preview, Part II: The Outfield

Jayson Werth high-fives Bryce Harper after gunning out Greg Dobbs in the ninth inning. - Miami Marlins v. Washington Nationals, 9/7/2012. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Health and self-preservation are key for the Nats outfield this season. (Stock photo Sept. 2012, Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

As a whole, the Washington Nationals return mostly intact from the teams that won 98 games in 2012 and 86 games in 2013. This is a veteran team with high aspirations of competing in the World Series. I hardly think rookie manager Matt Williams will boldly proclaim “World Series or Bust” as his predecessor did, but the implications are there.

If the team overachieved in ’12 and underachieved last season, what is the logical progression for 2014? If the ’12 and ‘13 results had been flipped, I think everyone would be riding the Nats as an odd-on favorite this season. They may be anyway.

With a rotation as solid No. 1 through No. 4 as any in baseball, a deep bullpen, an infield full of silver sluggers and a versatile outfield led by a burgeoning superstar, the Washington Nationals seem poised to make noise this season on a national level.

For the next two weeks, District Sports Page will preview the Washington Nationals 2014 season. This week, we’ll do profiles of the players on the 40-man roster and significant non-roster invitees, players that have a chance to make an impact on the Nats roster this season.

Here’s the schedule:

Monday: The Infield
Tuesday: The Outfield
Wednesday: The Catchers
Thursday: The Rotation
Friday: The Bullpen

In week two, we’ll profile the manager and front office, reveal our Top-25 minor leaguers and prospects, examine the “big picture” the Nats this season, and do a little statistical analysis and projecting.

Josie’s on a vacation far away…

THE OUTFIELD

Jayson Werth, RF: Werth was a stealth candidate for MVP last season, and actually ended up 13th on the postseason award ballot. The .318/.398/.532 line he posted at age 34 had everything to do with that. Werth enjoyed one of his finest seasons in the bigs, despite missing 33 games due to injury, which has to be expected from the guy at this point in his career. There’s no way he’ll every live up to the immense contract he signed to come to D.C., but when he’s been in the lineup the past two seasons he’s outdone what could have reasonably been expected of him. How long does that production continue? His defense is already slipping greatly and he has four more seasons to his contract, so it becomes an important question as Werth enters the twilight of his solid career.

Denard Span, CF: Trivia: He’s the only player in Major League history by the name of Denard. Or Span. Anyway, Span rescued his season with a torrid seven weeks at the end of the season, which was along the lines of what GM Mike Rizzo expected when he traded pitching prospect Alex Meyer to the Twins for him. Span bottomed out on Aug. 16 at .258/.310/.353, nowhere near what’s necessary in the top spot in the batting order. For the next 39 games, he hit .338/.375/.459, instrumental in the Nats late resurgence. It was too little, too late to save the Nats playoff aspirations, but the Nats have to get more near his career line (.283/.351/.387) on a more consistent basis to make this offense work.

Bryce Harper, LF: Bam Bam put up a .274/.368/.486 line his sophomore season at the age of 20. That’s at once hard to comprehend and easy to overlook. He’s doing remarkable things at such an early age. Unfortunately, he’s his own worst enemy right now with his “balls to the wall” approach at defense. At some point, self-preservation has to take hold. No manager or coach wants to tell Harper to slow down, but he needs to stay on the field – and healthy – to fulfill his promise. After crashing into the wall at Dodgers Stadium in May, he played all season on a knee that required surgery at the conclusion of the season, under the radar while many weren’t paying attention to baseball. He needs to figure out lefties (.214/.327/.321/ in 158 PAs) and breaking balls, but the talent is there. He just needs to stay on the field.

Nate McLouth, OF: Last season was the first time since 2009 McLouth played more than 90 games at the Major League level. His resurgence for the Orioles is nothing short of astounding, considering the trajectory his career was taking. In ’10 and ’11 with Atlanta he hit .190 and .228 with 10 homers combined. His first 34 games with Pittsburgh in ’12 were no better: .140/.210/.175, leading to his release. He rediscovered himself in Baltimore, hitting .26/.342/.435 and .258/.329/.399 the past two years. Now 32, McLouth will see plenty of at bats with the injury-prone Nats outfield and as a late inning pinch-hitter. By default, he becomes the leader of the Goon Squad.

Scott Hairston, Corner OF: Hairston is the right-handed hitting Ying to McLouth’s Yang. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work on paper. But Hairston’s overall numbers last year (.191/.237/.414) and age (34) – not to mention his paltry .214/.259/.484 against LHPs, who he’s supposed to “mash” – signal the end is rapidly approaching the once versatile and useful player. It’s true, all 10 of Hairston’s homers last season came against lefties, but as his slash line indicates, it was literally all or nothing for Hairston. 10 of his 27 hits in 140 plate appearances against LHPs were home runs. Against righties? .097/.147/.276. Can this actually be the Nats primary right-handed bat off the bench? With a walk rate of 5 percent and contact rate of 72 percent, this a guy whose skills aren’t declining, they’ve just about evaporated.

Jeff Kobernus, Corner OF: Kobernus made his MLB debut last year at the age of 25, past prospect status. His tryout lasted 36 PAs and resulted in a .167/.306/.267 slash as he played all three outfield positions. Small sample caveats abound, as the converted second baseman held his own in Syracuse, hitting .318/.366/.388, all minor league career highs. You like to see a player whose numbers rise as he goes up the ladder. He’s had 40+ steals each of the past three seasons in the minors and folks love his work ethic. But there’s not a lot of room in the bigs for a right-handed hitting speedster without obvious elite skills and no pop, especially in the outfield.

Eury Perez, CF: Did you see the last sentence I wrote about Kobernus? It applies even more toward Perez. His stolen base numbers have plummeted as he’s risen through the ranks, from 64 to 51 to 23. He’s always made good contact, as his lifetime .305 average will attest to. But there’s no power, less willingness to walk, and he’s only an average defender despite his speed – though he has a decent arm. Perez is destined for pinch runner/Quad-A status.

Steven Souza, Corner OF: Souza was a third round pick in 2007 out of high school, so he’s been in the system for-e-ver, toiling first in anonymity, then infamously due to his PED suspension in 2010. But Souza has blossomed a little bit the past two seasons and put himself back on the radar of the big club. He has an interesting pop/speed combo (15 homers, 20 SBs in 323 PAs for Harrisburg in ’13) with good plate discipline (.396 OBP) and had a nice appearance in the Arizona Fall League in October. The 25-year-old could have a chance to impact the big roster yet.

Brian Goodwin, CF: Goodwin is the heir apparent to the center field position at Nats Park. The 34th overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft, Goodwin has an impressive arsenal of tools. He possess elite plate discipline, something that might actually hurt his counting numbers in the minor leagues, as he simply won’t expand his strike zone for inferior pitchers. When he does swing, he has a nice blend of pop to go along with squaring up on the ball. Goodwin is a fine defender in center, though his arm isn’t the greatest, and he’s still learning to use his speed on the bases (just 19 of 30 last season). He struggled at the start of last season in Double-A, but picked up as the season went on. There’s plenty of time for the 23-year old as Span plays in his walk year this season (barring Nats picking up Span’s $9M option for ’15).

Michael Taylor, OF: Scouts have been drooling over Taylor’s athleticism since being drafted in the sixth round of the ’09 draft. Unfortunately for Taylor, he’s never really been able to translate all that athletic ability into production on the baseball field. He’s still young (23 in March), so he’s got time to “put it together”, but in over 1600 minor league at bats, Taylor owns a .249/.319/.399 slash. He repeated High-A last season and tore it up on the base paths (51 of 60 on steals) and his slash went up a little bit across the board. Double-A this year will tell the story of whether he’s a baseball player or athlete.

Nationals send eight to Arizona Fall League

The Washington Nationals announced today the organization is sending eight players to participate in this year’s Arizona Fall League, the post-season showcase for MLB’s best young talent.

All eight players, plus one coach (hitting coach Tony Gingrich), will be members of the Mesa Solar Sox, who begin play Oct. 8.

Position players: OF Brian Goodwin, 1B Matt Skole, C Adrian Nieto and OF Steven Souza (taxi squad).

Pitchers: Sammy Solis and Matt Purke (starters), Rboert Benincasa and Richie Mirowski (relievers).

Goodwin, Skole, Souza and Mirowski all played with AA Harrisburg this season. Solis, Purke and Benincasa are rostered at High-A Potomac.

Goodwin, 22, was the 34th overall pick of the 2011 Amateur Draft and will make his second appearance at the AFL. He’s hitting .251/.350/.403 with 10 homers and 18 SBs this season in 115 games with Harrisburg.

Skole, 24, hit 27 homers in 2012 but has missed most of the season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery on his left elbow, an injury sustained in a freak accident fielding a ball at first base. Nieto, 23, was lauded as a good handler of pitches when drafted by the Nats, but faced a 50-game PED suspension in 2011 which slowed his development. He’s hitting .289/.375/.455 with 11 homers in 106 games this season. Souza, 24, has struggled with shoulder issues his entire minor league career, but has put together a solid season in AA, hitting .285/.381/.545 in 70 games.

Solis, 25, is in his first season back from Tommy John surgery and is 2-0 with a 2.72 ERA and 1.226 WHIP in 12 games in High-A. He was the Nats second round pick in 2010. Purke, 23, has put up with lingering shoulder troubles from an injury in college, but has started 11 games for the P-Nats and has gone 5-4 with a 4.82 ERA and 1.429 WHIP. Benincasa, 22, has 15 saves in 23 games for Potomac and strikes out 10.3 per nine innings. Mirowski, 24, was 8-3 with six saves in 32 games with the P-Nats and 1-0 with a 2.73 ERA in 10 games with Harrisburg.

Washington Nationals Minor League Update for the Week of 4/21/13

Welcome back to District Sports Page’s weekly Minor League Update. Throughout the regular season we will continue to post up-to-date stats and brief scouting reports on the hottest and coldest prospects in the Nationals’ minor league system. We also will track the progress of top-rated players, and give injury and suspension updates.

So far this season, the Nationals’ minor league system has continued to be one of the most productive and exciting in pro baseball. Flashy young stars like Brian Goodwin and Anthony Rendon are off to loud starts, while an arms race of young pitchers has torn-through opposing lineups, resulting in heaps of strikeouts.

Things got even more interesting on Saturday though. The Nationals announced that they had promoted Rendon, who is widely considered one of the premier prospects in minors, to Washington to make his highly anticipated MLB debut. While the former  Dick Howser Award winner was originally slated to spend at least the first few months of the regular season in the minors at double-A Harrisburg, Ryan Zimmerman’s recent injury and Rendon’s hot-hitting apparently forced the front office’s hand. Regardless, this is yet another exciting development in a system full of exciting developments. Rendon follows a long line of homegrown stars on the Nats big-league roster, graduating after the likes of Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Ian Desmond, Jordan Zimmermann, Drew Storen, Bryce Harper and others.

Though Rendon’s promotion has grabbed the attention of the Nats faithful, the club has plenty of other thrilling minor-league storylines. Here are a few of them–hot off the presses:

[Read more...]

Washington Nationals Minor League Update for the Week of 4/14/13

With full-season teams now in to the second-week of their 2013 campaigns, clubs are starting to get a feel for their minor-league talent. Many re-buidling big league teams are preparing to call-up their top prospects in just a couple of more weeks, when arbitration rules will fall in their favor. Contending clubs like the Nationals are less inclined to make front-page moves so early in the season, but they too are keeping an eye on their young’ins. They’re trying to get a read on what these players are worth in preparation for a mid-season trade, and they’re definitely looking for someone who can contribute in the event they need to to patch a hole internally.

The Nationals, who are now 8-5 with their win over the Marlins on Monday night, are very comfortable with their Major League roster. Outside of a few bullpen/bench tweaks they might be preparing to make–like adding an effective left-handed relief pitcher for instance–they probably aren’t going to replace one of their veteran big leaguers with any of their prized prospects just yet. Of course, things will change quickly if one of their stars suffers a serious injury.

As Mike Rizzo proved last season with Bryce Harper, he isn’t afraid to call-up one of his young stars when the club needs a boost. There’s an outside shot that top prospects like Anthony Rendon and Brian Goodwin could be in the Majors by mid-summer, while other promising minor leaguers like Danny Rosenbaum, Christian Garcia, Eury Perez and Zach Walters could contribute earlier.

Two weeks in to the 2013 season, here are some of the notable performances from the Washington Nationals minor league system:

[Read more...]

Washington Nationals Prospect Preview and Scouting Report: Brian Goodwin

Brian Goodwin
Center Field
Bats/Throws: Left/Right
Height/Weight: 6’1″/200lbs
Comparable MLB Players: Ray Lankford, Grady SizemoreAndy Van Slyke, Michael Tucker

 Present  Future
 Hitting Ability  4  6
 Raw Power  5  6
 Power Frequency  4  6
 Plate Discipline  5  6
 Running Speed  7  7
 Baserunning  4  5
 Arm Strength  6  6
 Arm Accuracy  3  5
 Fielding  4  5
 Range  6  7
 Overall  5  6

[Read more...]

World Series or Bust–Washington Nationals 2013 Roundtable Part V: Prospect Watch

With opening day right around the corner, each day until then District Sports Page’s Nats staff will take a look at one of the biggest issues concerning your 2013 Washington Nationals. We borrowed a quote for the title of the series from Nats manager Davey Johnson’s Spring Training proclamation that he expects a “World Series or Bust” in Natstown this season.

We’ve also invited the other credentialed blogs to chip in with their answers. Then on Opening Day, look for the results to the DC Chapter of the Internet Baseball Writers Association Preseason Survey, where we polled The Natosphere on various topics related to the Nats, as we have for the last several seasons.

Participants:

Dave Nichols, Editor-in-Chief, District Sports Page
Alyssa Wolice, Staff Writer, District Sports Page
Ted Starkey, Contributor to DSP, author and Editor at SBNation.com
Ryan Kelley, DSP Prospects Writer and founder of BaseballNewshound.com
Patrick Reddington, Editor, Federal Baseball
Joe Drugan, Managing Editor, The Nats Blog
Tom Bridge, Editor, WeLoveDC.com

Part I: Grading the Offseason
Part II: What do you expect from Bryce Harper?
Part III: What aspect of the Nats has you most excited for the coming season?

Part IV: What aspect of the Nats has you most concerned?

Part V: Which prospect are you most looking forward to following this summer? [Read more...]

Washington Nationals Prospects Rendon, Giolito, Goodwin on Baseball America’s Top 100

Baseball America released the 2013 edition of their popular annual Top 100 Prospects List today. Three Washington Nationals prospects, Anthony Rendon (No. 30), Lucas Giolito (No. 67) and Brian Goodwin (No. 70) ranked.

Fourteen organizations had more prospects on the list, with the Cardinals, Marlins and Twins leading the way with six each. Behind the Marlins, the Nationals were second among NL East division clubs. The Mets had three prospects listed, while the Braves and Phillies had two a piece.

All three of the Nats that ranked were first-round draft picks.The club took Lucas Giolito with the 16th overall pick last June. The year before, Rendon and Goodwin were selected sixth and 34th overall. The Nats actually drafted Alex Meyer (No. 59) between them, at 23rd overall, but traded him to the Twins for Denard Span this offseason.

Along with Trevor Rosenthal (No. 39), Brian Goodwin was one of two included prospects selected out of junior college.

In their “Top 100: Best Tools” article, which names the prospects with the most impressive skills, BA rated Lucas Giolito as having the third-best fastball among the Top 100, and the second-best curveball. That’s high praise for the eighteen-year-old kid; especially considering the Nats only drafted him out of high school last June, and he threw just two innings in his Aug. 14th professional debut before leaving with a sprained elbow.

[Read more...]

Washington Nationals 2013 Season Preview: The Outfield

This week, District Sports Page will take a look at the players that should comprise the 2013 roster of the Washington Nationals. Following a record-setting season last year that saw the Nats finish first in the N.L. East and advance to the playoffs for the first time since the relocation, GM Mike Rizzo has tweaked the roster a bit and expectations have never been higher for the organization, which is expected to be a legitimate World Series contender this season.

On Monday we broke down Nationals’ starters and Tuesday we evaluated the bullpen. Today, we provide a glimpse at Davey Johnson’s outfield.

PROJECTED OPENING DAY OUTFIELD: LF – Bryce Harper, CF – Denard Span, RF – Jayson Werth; Bench: Roger Bernadina, Tyler Moore. First callups: Corey Brown, Eury Perez [Read more...]

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