Baseball America polled major and minor league managers from every level of baseball for their yearly list of the players with the Best Tools in Baseball for 2013. Bryce Harper, the Nats' 20-year-old, 2010 no.1 overall pick finished second on the list of the "Most Exciting" players in the National League, behind only the Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew McCutchen. Nationals' set-up man Tyler Clippard, who gave up the game-winning home run to the Atlanta Braves' Justin Upton on the pitch last night, is listed as having the third-Best changeup in the NL behind the Phillies' Cole Hamels and the Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ru. Nationals' starter Jordan Zimmermann's recognized for having the third-Best Control amongst National League starters, with the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright and the Phillies' Cliff Lee finishing first and second, respectively on the list.
Nats' first baseman Adam LaRoche gets the nod as the NL's Best Defensive first baseman. Ian Desmond's second on the list of the National League's Best Defensive Shortstops, behind the Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki and ahead of the Braves' Andrelton Simmons. 70-year-old Nationals' manager Davey Johnson, the 2012 NL Manager of the Year, is third on BA's list of the National League's Best Managers, behind the Giants' Bruce Bochy and the Pirates' Clint Hurdle.
As might be expected, the Nationals don't have anyone on the list of Triple-A players with the Best Tools, though BA only includes the winner in each of those categories. At the Double-A level, 25-year-old, 2010 9th Round pick Aaron Barrett of the Harrisburg Senators is listed as the Best Reliever in the Eastern League. Barrett, in his first year with the Senators, is (1-1) with 20 saves, a 2.11 ERA, 13 walks (2.74 BB/9) and 57 Ks (12.02 K/9) in 42 2/3 IP so far in 2013. Barrett's teammate, 2011 1st Round pick Brian Goodwin is named the Best Defensive Outfielder in the Eastern League by Double-A managers.
Carolina League skippers named High-A Potomac outfielder and 23-year-old, Nats' 2011 32nd Round pick Billy Burns the Best and Fastest Baserunner. Taylor Hill, the Nats' 24-year-old 2011 6th Round pick, has already moved up and made eight starts at Double-A, but he's recognized for having the Best Control in the Carolina League where he walked 11 batters (1.17 BB/9) in 84 1/3 IP with the P-Nats. 22-year-old '09 6th Round pick Michael Taylor, who's in his second year in the Carolina League, is named the Best Defensive Outfielder.
No love for the Nats' prospects in the South Atlantic League.
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