ESPN.com's Keith Law released his rankings of all 30 farm systems in the majors today (ed. note - "INSIDER ONLY, sorry.) Washington jumped from no.21 in baseball on last year's list to 18th overall on this year's edition of his Top 30 organizational rankings.
Law's opinion of the Nats' talent hasn't changed. Last year, Law wrote that he liked the Nationals' top five prospects, but noted that, "...there's a bottomless crevasse somewhere not far after that."
New post for Insiders - my annual ranking of all 30 MLB farm systems: http://t.co/ppv4xKmk6h— keithlaw (@keithlaw) January 28, 2014
This time around he notes that the depth has increased though most of the top talent has already graduated to the majors and only Lucas Giolito remains among the Top 50 prospects. "Their list's caliber drops off quickly after six or seven names," Law writes. Baseball America's Aaron Fitt expressed sentiments similar to Law's when he wrote earlier this winter that, "After sending numerous young stars to the big leagues in recent years, Washington’s farm system has been left somewhat depleted."
FBB's Coverage of NatsFest:
MLB.com had Giolito, the Nats' 19-year-old, 2012 1st Round pick, ranked 44th overall on this year's list of the Top 100 Prospects with their scouts writing that if he can stay healthy as he returns from Tommy John surgery, "...Giolito has as much potential as any pitcher in the Minor Leagues."
A.J. Cole, 22, was the only other Nationals' prospect to crack MLB.com's Top 100, landing at no.69 following a bounce-back year at High-A and and Double-A in the Washington's system after he was reacquired by the Nats in the Michael Morse deal last winter.
Baseball Prospectus had three Nationals' prospects on their Top 101 Prospects list when it was published yesterday with Giolito landing 13th overall, Cole at no.53 and 2011 1st Round pick Brian Goodwin ranked 86th overall.
Law's Top 100 Prospects list is scheduled for publication tomorrow. We know Giolito's in his Top 50. Last winter, the Nationals had five prospects in Law's Top 100 with Anthony Rendon at no.28, Brian Goodwin at no.44, Giolito at no.77, A.J. Cole at no.89 and Nathan Karns at no.99. Rendon and Karns debuted in the majors in 2013.
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