MLB.com released its Top 100 Prospects list last week. Four Washington Nationals' prospects made the list, led by third baseman Anthony Rendon (28th). The Nats' 2011 1st Round pick suffered an ankle injury early in his first pro season, but managed to put up a .233/.363/.489 line with eight doubles, four triples and six home runs in 43 games and 160 plate appearances in 2012. After Rendon, MLB.com's scouts had outfielder Brian Goodwin ranked 52nd, RHP Lucas Giolito ranked 74th and reacquired right-hander A.J. Cole ranked 91st overall. John Sickels at Minor League Ball.com had the Nationals, as an organization, ranked 25th overall when he released his organizational rankings late last week:
"Graduations and trades have quickly weakened the talent down on the farm over the last year, but Mike Rizzo and company should be able to recharge quickly and the major league roster is young and strong."
Mr. Sickels noted that after Rendon and Goodwin at the top of the Nats' prospect list they have "Considerable raw material for a pitching staff," and after that, "They are banking a lot on injured pitchers recovering well." ESPN.com's Keith Law released his own organizational rankings this morning. The Nationals landed 21st overall on Mr. Law's list with the ESPN analyst praising the top five prospects in the organization, but noting that there's a "bottomless crevasse" that follows the top five.
In Baseball America's Top 10 Prospect list for 2013, which was published before the Nats got A.J. Cole back from the A's, the top 10 is filled out by the likes of 1B Matt Skole (no.4; Nats' 2012 Minor League Player of the Year), RHP Nathan Karns (no.5; the Nats' 2012 Minor League Pitcher of the Year), RHP Christian Garcia (no.6), OF Eury Perez (no.7), LHP Sammy Solis (no.8 and recovering from Tommy John), LHP Matt Purke (no.9; shoulder surgery) and SS Zach Walters (no.10; no injuries).
MLB.com released their Washington Nationals' Top 20 Prospects list this morning. After the already-released top four (Rendon, Goodwin, Giolito and Cole), MLB.com's scouts have 21-year-old, '09 6th Round pick Michael Taylor, who had a .242/.318/.362 line with 33 doubles, two triples and three home runs in 109 games and 431 plate appearances at High-A Potomac in 2012, ranked 5th overall in the Nats' system. Taylor is described in the MLB.com profile as a good baserunner and a strong defensive center fielder with "tremendous raw tools" who the Nationals still believe, "can develop into a solid big leaguer."
After Taylor, 22-year-old, '08 2nd Round pick OF Destin Hood (no.8) and 21-year-old, 2010 12th Round pick LHP Robbie Ray (no.10) are the other Nats' prospects to crack MLB.com's Top 10 who didn't appear on Baseball America's list. Hood, who was left unprotected and was not selected in the 2012 Rule 5 Draft, finished his 5th minor league season with a .245/.301/.344 line, 20 doubles, three triples and three home runs in 94 games and 389 PAs at Double-A Harrisburg. Ray, made 21 starts (22 appearances) at High-A Potomac in 2012, and went (4-12) with a 6.56 ERA, 49 walks (4.17 K/9) and 86 Ks (7.32 K/9) in 105.2 IP.
• You can check out the rest of MLB.com's Top 20 Nationals' prospects list HERE.