Washington Nationals' Prospect Brian Goodwin Makes Headlines In AFL Rising Stars Game

Greg Fiume

2011 1st Round pick Brian Goodwin made headlines when he hit a home run and a double in last night's AFL Rising Stars Game to lead the AFL East to a 9-4 win in the showcase of the top talent in the Arizona Fall League.

The Washington Nationals' 2011 1st Round pick Anthony Rendon was 0 for 1 in his one AFL Rising Stars Game at bat after taking over at third for AFL East teammate and LA Angels' prospect Kaleb Cowart. Nats' right-hander Aaron Barrett gave up a single and a run (after he was lifted) and recorded a strikeout in 0.1 IP. It was Rendon's fellow 2011 1st Round pick Brian Goodwin that got the headlines, however, as the 22-year-old outfielder went 2 for 5 with a double and a home run in the AFL East's 9-4 win over the AFL West squad in Saturday night's showcase of the top prospects in the Arizona Fall League.

Goodwin, taken with the Nationals' third 1st Round pick in 2011, 34th overall, homered in his first at bat, taking a 2-1 fastball from Minnesota Twins' pitching prospect Kyle Gibson to right field for a leadoff blast in the bottom of the first inning of last night's game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick where Goodwin's been playing home games in the AFL for the Salt River Rafters. The former UNC and Miami Dade College outfielder who split his first pro season between Class-A Hagerstown and Double-A Harrisburg struck out the second time up and was robbed of an extra base hit by Cincinnati Reds' base-stealing sensation Billy Hamilton, who made a diving play in center in the bottom of the fourth inning of what was then a 2-2 game.

The East scored a run in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead, but the AFL West took rallied in the top of the fifth, scoring the one run charged to Barrett and another off Chicago Cubs' prospect Tony Zych to go up 4-3 before the AFL East responded with a six-run bottom of the inning which saw Goodwin double in a run and score the ninth run in what ended up a 9-4 win for the East.

Goodwin and Billy Hamilton (who went 1 for 3 w/ 2 stolen bases last night and stole an absurd 155 bases between High-A and Double-A in the Reds' system this season) made the headline of MLB.com's post game article with Jonathan Mayo writing that the two center fielders and leadoff men, "... had their skills on display as 5,713 fans came to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick," in what ended up being a bit of a battle between the two prospects.

"'I'm trying to one-up him,'" Goodwin told MLB.com's Mr. Mayo, "He does what he does. And he can do it all. I wanted to try to come up ahead of him. It's good, fun competition.'" After putting up a .324/.438/.542 line with 18 doubles and nine home runs in 58 games and 266 PAs for the Class-A Hagerstown Suns this season, Goodwin jumped to Double-A Harrisburg where he struggled a bit offensively, posting a .223/.306/.373 line over the final 42 games and 186 PAs of his first pro season. Goodwin finished the year with a combined .280/.384/.469 line, 26 doubles and 14 HRs in 100 games and 452 plate appearances.

So far in Arizona Fall League action, the top outfield prospect in the Nats' system and 67th prospect overall in MLB.com's latest Top 100 Prospect list has posted a .268/.359/.571 line with four doubles, two triples and three home runs for the Rafters.

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