The Washington Nationals had four prospects on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospect list when it was released Tuesday night. 2011 1st Round pick Anthony Rendon was the highest-ranked member of the Nats' organization, landing 28th overall after he had a .233/.363/.489 line with eight doubles, four triples and six home runs in 43 games and 160 plate appearances in 2012. Rendon's likely to start his second pro season at Double-A, after playing 21 games with the Nationals' affiliate in Harrisburg, PA at the end of the summer.
An ankle injury suffered in his second game with the High-A Potomac Nationals cost the Nats' 2011 1st Round pick important at bats, but Rendon was one of the best hitters available in the year he was drafted by the Nationals and he continues to impress. As MLB.com's scouts put it tonight in the third baseman's profile, "Rendon has everything needed to be an elite third baseman at the highest level." If he can stay healthy. Rendon was ranked 33rd overall on MLB.com's list in 2011.
Next up for the Nationals on the MLB.com's Top 100 Prospect list was Rendon's fellow 2011 1st Round pick, Brian Goodwin, the 22-year-old, 34th overall pick in that year's draft who spent time at High and Double-A in the Nationals' system in 2012, putting up a .324/.438/.542 line with 18 doubles and nine home runs in 58 games and 266 plate appearances with the Potomac Nationals before moving up to Harrisburg, where he had a .223/.306/.373 line with eight doubles and five home runs in 42 games and 186 PAs.
The top-ranked outfielder in the Nats' organization ended up 52nd overall on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list. In MLB.com's profile tonight, their scouts say, "The center fielder is a premium athlete who profiles as a top-of-the-order catalyst." Goodwin was ranked 67th overall last winter.
• Nats' GM Mike Rizzo on Brian Goodwin on the night of the 2011 Draft: "He's got surprising pop in his bat, he's a plus plus runner, plus plus defensive player, we think he can hit at the top of the order and lead off."
2012 1st Round pick Lucas Giolito was the highest-ranked Nationals' pitching prospect on MLB.com's list. The 6'6'', 225 lb, 18-year-old right-hander made just one start for the Nats' rookie level affiliate in the Gulf Coast League before the ulnar collateral ligament he injured in his senior year at Harvard-Westlake HS in California tore. "'We knew when we drafted him this was an issue,'" Rizzo told reporters including CSNWashington.com's Mark Zuckerman after the team learned Giolito would have surgery, "'And, you know, we were comfortable with the fact that [the] worst-case scenario was Tommy John surgery, and we'll see where that's headed.'" After just one pro start and surgery on his elbow, Giolito was ranked 74th on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospect list.
• From MLB.com's Profile On Lucas Giolito: "His command is much better than it is for most power-armed high schoolers and he gets high marks for his mound presence and makeup."
After a 2012 season in the Oakland A's system that saw A.J. Cole go (6-10) in 27 starts between High and Low-A in the Athletics' system with 29 walks (1.95 BB/9) and 133 Ks (8.96 K/9) in 133.2 innings on the mound, the 21-year-old, 2010 4th Round pick was traded back to the Nationals a year after he was dealt to Oakland in the trade that brought Gio Gonzalez to the nation's capital. Cole was ranked 90th overall last winter. The 6'4'' right-hander moved down one spot this time around, landing 91st overall on MLB.com's 2013 list. "He still has the big arm that made him a big-time prospect in the 2010 Draft," MLB.com's scouts write in their profile, "delivering fastballs that touch 96 mph with good movement."
• Nats' GM Mike Rizzo on A.J. Cole after reacquiring the right-hander: "His delivery wandered a little bit throughout the season. He righted the ship when they sent him to the Midwest League and dominated that league as a 20-year-old, so we feel that he's on course."