Baseball America posted their list of the Washington Nationals' 2014 Top 10 Prospects online this afternoon. Last year's no.1 prospect in the Nationals' organization made his MLB debut with Washington three weeks into the 2013 campaign.
Anthony Rendon ended up moving over to second base and taking over for Danny Espinosa when he was called up for the second time this past season. With the Nats' 2011 1st Round pick graduating from the "prospect" list, 2012 1st Round pick Lucas Giolito sits atop of this year's list after returning from Tommy John surgery to put together an impressive campaign in the Gulf Coast and New York/Penn Leagues.
In 11 starts between the GCL Nats and Auburn Doubledays, the Nationals' 18-going-on-19-year-old, 6'6'' right-hander posted a 1.96 ERA with 14 walks (3.44 BB/9) and 39 Ks (9.57 K/9) in 36 2/3 IP. Giolito also takes two of the "Best Tools" categories as well, with Baseball America saying he has the Best Fastball and Best Curveball in the organization.
• Here's Baseball America's 2014 List of the Nationals' Top 10 Prospects:
- Lucas Giolito - RHP
- A.J. Cole - RHP
- Brian Goodwin - OF
- Matt Skole - 1B/3B
- Robbie Ray - LHP
- Sammy Solis - LHP
- Michael Taylor - OF
- Jake Johansen - RHP
- Nate Karns - RHP
- Steven Souza - OF
"Righthander Lucas Giolito had Tommy John surgery shortly after signing for a $2.9 million bonus as the 16th pick," Baseball America's Aaron Fitt writes, "but he returned to action in 2013 and showed the kind of dazzling stuff that gives him a Strasburg-esque ceiling."
A.J. Cole, 21, who was no.4 on BA's list in 2011 and no.3 on the Oakland Athletics' Top 10 last November, moves up to no.2 on the Nats' list this year after he was reacquired by the Nationals. Cole struggled at High-A with the Athletics, but impressed at High-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg in the Nats' system this season. In 25 starts (18 w/ Potomac, seven at Harrisburg), the 2010 4th Round pick posted a (10-5) record with a 3.60 ERA, 33 walks (2.08 BB/9) and 151 Ks (9.53 K/9) over 142 2/3 IP.
Brian Goodwin and Matt Skole remained the top outfielder and infielder, respectively, for the second straight season with Skole named the Best Power Hitter in the organization in spite of losing a season's worth of at bats to Tommy John surgery on his right (non-throwing) elbow.
Jake Johansen, the Nats' top pick in the 2013 Draft, made BA's Top 10 Prospect list after pitching at Auburn and Low-A Hagerstown in his first pro season. Matt Purke, 23, had shoulder surgery in November of 2012, but returned to the mound this season and is currently pitching in the Arizona Fall League, but he dropped off the Top 10 list.
Any surprises for you on the latest Baseball America list?
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