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Lucas Giolito And A.J. Cole Rep Nationals On Minor League Ball's End Of Season Top 75 Rankings

Minor League Ball's John Sickels posted his End of the Season list of the Top 75 Prospects in baseball this afternoon and two Washington Nationals' prospects cracked the list. Lucas Giolito and A.J. Cole both made it and moved up from previous rankings...

Washington Nationals' prospect Lucas Giolito pitching for the Auburn Doubledays earlier this season.
Washington Nationals' prospect Lucas Giolito pitching for the Auburn Doubledays earlier this season.
Photo © Jeremy Houghtaling

Baseball America's John Manuel noted on Twitter this week that there was some good news for Washington Nationals fans depressed by the Nats being mathematically eliminated from postseason contention.

Giolito, 19, the Nationals' 2012 1st Round pick, made Baseball America's list of the Gulf Coast League's Top 20 prospects after posting a 2.78 ERA and a 2.34 FIP in 22 2/3 IP for the Nats' GCL affiliate in which he walked 10 (3.97 BB/9) and struck out 25 (9.93 K/9). Giolito then moved up to the Nationals' NY/Penn League affiliate, where he had a 0.64 ERA, a 3.41 FIP, four walks and 14 Ks (9.00 K/9) in three starts and 14 IP to end his first season back on the mound following Tommy John surgery.

Minor League Ball's John Sickels had Giolito as the Nationals' highest-ranked prospect when he released his Top 75 Prospects End of the Season list today, with the right-hander landing 31st overall, up from 104th overall on Mr. Sickels' preseason rankings and 52nd on the mid-summer update in July:

31. Lucas Giolito, RHP, Washington Nationals. Pre-season 104, July 52. Looks recovered from Tommy John, could end up slotting higher when analysis is complete.

Also making Minor League Ball's Top 75 was right-hander A.J. Cole, the Nationals' 21-year-old, 2010 4th Round pick who was traded to Oakland last winter in the Gio Gonzalez trade and reacquired this past January in the Michael Morse deal with the Athletics and Seattle Mariners.

"Especially with the trade of Alex Meyer to obtain Denard Span, we felt that A.J. Cole kind of replaces his spot in our minor league system." - Mike Rizzo on Denard Span deal in January

When Rizzo brought Cole back, he told reporters this winter that he thought the 6'4'' righty would replace what the organization lost by dealing top pitching prospect Alex Meyer to Minnesota in order to get Denard Span from the Twins.

68) A.J. Cole, RHP, Washington Nationals. Pre-season 89, July 69. Good season with strong finish in Double-A.

Cole pitched at High-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg in 2013, with a 4.25 ERA, a 3.54 FIP, 23 walks (2.13 BB/9) and 102 Ks (9.43 K/9) in 18 starts and 97 1/3 IP with the P-Nats and a 2.18 ERA, a 2.56 FIP, 10 walks (1.99 BB/9) and 49 Ks (9.73 K/9) with the Senators. Cole was named the Nationals' representative to the All-Star Futures Game this July as a replacement for right-hander Taylor Jordan, who'd been called up to the majors after he was selected. Cole lands 68th on Minor League Ball's Mr. Sickels' list, moving up a spot from 69th on the mid-season list and 89 on the preseason rankings.

• Check out the entire list over at Minor League Ball: