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AFL Update: MLB.com On Nationals' Prospects Brian Goodwin And Matt Purke

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MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis took a look at Brian Goodwin and Matt Purke in a recent video segment on the prospects participating in the Arizona Fall League. Goodwin was 1 for 3 in AFL action today. Purke is scheduled to make his fourth start of the fall on Tuesday...

Allan Henry-US PRESSWIRE

In a recent interview included as part of MLB.com's Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo's look at two of the Washington Nationals' prospects currently participating in the Arizona Fall League, 22-year-old outfielder Brian Goodwin talks about his goal of "refining" his game in his second AFL stint.

"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." - Mike Rizzo on Brian Goodwin, June '06

After the Nationals made Goodwin the 34th pick of the 2011 Draft, he split the 2012 campaign between Low-A Hagerstown and Double-A Harrisburg, where he finished his first pro campaign with a stretch of 42 games and 186 plate appearances for the Senators, over which he had eight doubles, five home runs and a .252/.355/.407 line. Goodwin went to Arizona last fall and put up a .238/.340/.475 line with six doubles, two triples and three home runs in 20 games.

The Nationals' top-ranked outfield prospect after his first pro season, according to Baseball America, returned to Double-A in 2013 and posted a .252/.355/.407 line over 122 games and 533 plate appearances in which he hit 19 doubles, 11 triples and 10 HRs. Goodwin was again selected to participate in AFL action. This time around, he told MLB.com's Mr. Mayo, "... it's just a lot of refining. I've been playing a lot of baseball this season and figuring some stuff out a little bit and now I think I'm trying to just hone in on refining my craft a little bit more."


Goodwin, according to Mr. Mayo, "has the ability" to lead off and play center in the majors in the future. "He's not just a guy on top of the order who will get on base and steal bases, but I think he's going to have a little more power than your sort of, general, run-of-the-mill leadoff hitter."

After going 1 for 3 with a single and a sacrifice bunt in Monday night's 3-2 Mesa Solar Sox' loss to the Salt River Rafters, Goodwin is 14 for 46 (.304/.347/.348) with two doubles, two walks and 12 Ks in 11 AFL games. Fellow Nats' prospect, and 2012 Nationals' Minor League Player of the Year, Matt Skole was the Solar Sox' third baseman on Monday. Skole was 0 for 3 with a walk in the loss.

In nine games in Arizona, Skole's now 5 for 28 with a double, two home runs, 11 walks and seven Ks.

MLB.com's Jim Callis talks about Matt Purke in the video, explaining that the goal in the Arizona Fall League is to get the left-hander, "... fully healthy and trying to get him back to where he was coming out of high school, where he was as a freshman at TCU, because if they do that, you're talking about a guy that has a frontline arm." The Nationals' 23-year-old, 2011 3rd Round pick, who had surgery last fall to clear up the shoulder issues which started in college, is (2-0) with three hits, three walks and one unearned run allowed in three starts and 12 IP so far this fall in which he's struck out 12 batters. If he stays on schedule, Purke will make his fourth AFL start tomorrow.

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