MLB.com updated their list of the Washington Nationals' top prospects after the trade with Minnesota that sent top pitching prospect Alex Meyer to the Twins in return for Denard Span. 2011 1st Round pick Anthony Rendon topped MLB.com's list with fellow '11 1st Round pick Brian Goodwin no.2 and 2012 1st Round pick Lucas Giolito third in the organization. Fangraphs.com and writer Marc Hulet released their Top 10 Nationals prospects earlier this month, giving Goodwin the top spot in the Nats' system with Rendon no.2 and Giolito no.3. Now Baseball America has released their own Top 10 Nationals' prospects list this morning. There's agreement amongst all three writers about the top three prospects. BA's Aaron Fitt has Rendon first, however, followed by Giolito and Goodwin...
- Anthony Rendon - 3B
- Lucas Giolito - RHP
- Brian Goodwin - CF
- Matt Skole - 3B
- Nate Karns - RHP
- Christian Garcia - RHP
- Eury Perez - CF
- Sammy Solis - LHP
- Matt Purke - LHP
- Zack Walters - SS
Rendon, who also earns BA's nod as the Best Hitter for Average and Best Defensive Infielder is also recognized as having the Best Strike Zone Discipline amongst hitting prospects in the Nats' organization. The 22-year-old 2011 1st Round pick suffered a partial fracture of his ankle which limited him to 43 games and 160 PAs in his first pro season, posting a .233/.363/.489 line with eight doubles, four triples and six home runs combined at four stops in the Nats' system between the Gulf Coast League, New York/Penn League, Class-A Carolina League and Double-A Eastern League. Rendon then went to the Arizona Fall League where he hit 10 doubles and one triple, stole six bases and put up a .338/.436/.494 line over 22 games and 94 PAs to earn recognition as a member of the AFL's Top Prospect team.
Lucas Giolito, 18, was the 16th overall pick in the 2012 Draft out of Harvard-Westlake high school in California. The Nationals picked the prep school pitcher in spite of concerns about an elbow injury he suffered during his senior year in high school. Giolito continued to rehab after he was drafted and made just one start in the Gulf Coast League before he did suffer a not-unexpected tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow which required Tommy John surgery. The right-hander still earned the distinction of being named the top pitching prospect on MLB's, Fangraphs.com's and now BA's lists of Nats' prospects. Baseball America also recognized Giolito for having the Best Fastball and Best Curve amongst pitchers in the organization.
Brian Goodwin, 22, was the 34th overall pick in the 2011 Draft. The outfielder out of North Carolina and Miami Dade College put up a .280/.384/.469 line over 100 games and 452 PAs split between Class-A Hagerstown and Double-A Harrisburg during which the left-handed hitting, right-handed throwing potential leadoff man hit 26 doubles and 14 HRs. Goodwin too went to the Arizona Fall League where he put up a .238/.340/.475 line with six doubles, two triples and three home runs in 20 games and 80 at bats.
Matt Skole (no.4 on BA's list) and Nate Karns (no.5) were the Nationals' Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively, in 2012. Christian Garcia (no.6) dominated in the minors in 2012 and earned a call up to the majors where he almost immediately became one of Nats' manager Davey Johnson's favorite relievers. Eury Perez (no.7), a 22-year-old outfielder, had a .314/.344/.361 line in 127 games and 569 PAs between the GCL Nats, Double-A Senators and Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs, earning a September call-up. Sammy Solis (no.8, Tommy John) and Matt Purke (no.9, shoulder) both had surgery last season. Zack Walters (no.10), 23, was acquired by the Nationals in a July '11 trade with Arizona, had a .266/.302/.418 line at three stops in the Nats' system in 2012, hitting 23 doubles, five triples and 12 HRs in his first full season in the organization.