5 Nationals on Keith Law’s Top 100 Prospects List

February 5, 2013

ESPN’s prospect guru Keith Law listed his Top 100 Minor League prospects today, and 5 Nats made the list. For a shallow farm system (ranked 21st by Law), the fact that there are so many high end guys is good, and a little surprising. So let’s see who he put here, and why:

#17 Anthony Rendon

This one isn’t too surprising, most places list Rendon as the team’s best prospect. The fact that he’s top 20 in the minors is nice, and he would be higher for certain if he wasn’t so damn fragile. But Law like his swing and his ability to hit for doubles, even if he doesn’t see him as a big HR guy. Rendon is 22, and hit .233/.363./.489 throughout the minors last year, finishing up in AA. He dominated the other leagues, but wasn’t great in AA, so he’ll start 2013 in Harrisburg.

#44 Brian Goodwin

Goodwin has been moving up prospect lists over the last few seasons, but to be a top 50 prospect… that’s impressive. Heck, he wasn’t even on Law’s list last year. Goodwin was highly regarded back in college but several factors caused him to slip out of the first round, and out of elite prospect status. Law says he has “plus-plus speed, quick bat, and surprising power” and using the Mike Cameron comparison (speed, defense, power… and strikeouts) that we’ve already seen for Goodwin. Goodwin is 22 and hit .280/.384/.469 in A+ and AA last year. Like Rendon, he wasn’t so spectacular in AA to force the Nats to promote him, so expect him in Harrisburg this spring as well. Road trip, anyone?

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Nats in Keith Law’s Top 100

January 27, 2011

Keith Law released his Top 100 prospects list today, and three Nationals made the cut: Bryce Harper (#2), Derek Norris (#33) and Wilson Ramos (#95). You probably know a bit about each one of them, but here are a few of the comments Law made that I found most interesting.

Bryce Harper

Harper’s calling card is the absurd leverage in his swing, generating that enormous raw power even out to centerfield

Harper is still learning to play the outfield after catching for most of his academic career, but he has the plus arm for right field and is probably fast enough to handle center if the Nationals wanted to challenge him

Harper has MVP upside, but his race to the majors will be timed by sliders and curveballs

Derek Norris

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Nats Top 11 Prospects

November 24, 2010

Baseball Prospectus has released their Top 11 prospects for the Nationals, for 2011, and once again they managed to have a couple of 5 star guys (in 2009 they didn’t have a single one)

Five-Star Prospects
1. Bryce Harper, OF
2. Derek Norris, C
Four-Star Prospects
3. Danny Espinosa, SS/2B
4. A.J. Cole, RHP
Three-Star Prospects
5. Sammy Solis, LHP
6. Wilson Ramos, C
7. Michael Burgess, OF
8. Robbie Ray, LHP
Two-Star Prospects
9. Eury Perez, OF
10. Tyler Moore, 1B
11. Rick Hague, SS

Then they get into the review of each guy – which you can’t see. I’m not going to reproduce everything they say there, because I would like that website to keep making money and continue producing great stuff, so you can buy a subscription for that. But a few highlights for each guy, just because you may not have even heard of some of them.

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A Little Signing Day Recap

August 19, 2010

Finally back in town, I was following the team from afar. I noticed that almost all of the attention in the area was focused on the signing of Bryce Harper, which was important. There was focus on what guys in the clubhouse said about him as well, which was probably less important. And yes, the most important thing was getting him signed. But there were some other significant signings, including guys like AJ Cole and Sammy Solis. These were not just late round signings, they are guys that people project to be major league quality starters.

AJ Cole

According to ESPN, “Cole is one of the most projectable pitchers of the top high school arms in this year’s draft, flashing 96 or 97 in some outings this spring, but offering the potential of more consistent plus velocity and a better breaking ball down the road.” MLB.com puts his fastball lower, around 92-94, and notes the strength of his power slurve. ESPN also notes that, “If you want a projection arm in the first round, he’s probably the top such arm in this draft, but you’ll have to buy him away from a strong commitment to Miami.” MLB.com projected that he’d be one of the first high school pitchers drafted. So he is basically one of the best high school pitchers (Keith Law ranked him #25 overall) and the Nats paid to get him to stay. Cole was a 4th rounder, available so late because people didn’t think they could sign him. The Nats did end up giving him a record amount for a 4th round pick – $2M.

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