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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (1) | 2011 (14) | 2010 (24) | 2009 (21) | 2008 (10)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [98-64] NL East
AAA: [70-74] International League – Syracuse
AA: [64-78] Eastern League – Harrisburg
A+: [64-75] Carolina League – Potomac
A: [82-55] South Atlantic League – Hagerstown
A(ss): [46-30] New York-Penn League — Auburn

Graduated Prospects
Bryce Harper (OF); Steve Lombardozzi (Util); Tyler Moore (OF)

The Run Down
A little more than a year ago, this Washington Nationals system was regarded as the best in the game.  Then a trade with Oakland sent a handful of prospects out west, their top draft pick went down with a broken ankle, and Bryce Harper graduated to the bigs.  What’s left, now, is a system that’s filled to the brim with risky, oft-injured prospects.  There is almost nothing here that I would consider safe.  Top overall prospect Anthony Rendon is an exciting, high-impact guy, but he’s yet to play a full season as a pro.  Top pitching prospect Lucas Giolito tossed only two professional innings before being shut down for Tommy John surgery.  He won’t pitch again ’til 2014.  The rest of the top ten seem to be rehabbing from their third labrum operation, or their twelfth precautionary arthroscopic elbow surgery.  This is not among baseball’s top 20 farm systems at the moment, but thankfully for Washington fans, the Nationals have a young and talented collection of talent at the big league level already.

Top Ten Prospects
1.  Anthony Rendon, 3B:
  After losing most of 2012 to a broken ankle, Rendon’s stock took a major hit.  The 22-year-old, however, returned to elite prospect status  this spring with a fantastic effort in big league camp:  .375/.412/.875 with 4 homers in 13 games.  He’ll begin 2013 at Double-A Harrisburg, but he’ll be knocking on the big club door in a hurry if he continues swinging a hot bat.  Rendon brings an elite hit tool, great on base skills, and above average power.  If he can stay healthy, he’ll be a high-impact fantasy option.  For more on him, check out this Scouting the Unknown post from last August.  ETA:  Late 2013

2.  Brian Goodwin, OF:  Goodwin will return to Double-A to start the year.  The 22-year-old features plus speed and an advanced approach to hitting.  His power right now is a tick below average, but he can certainly build on that as he settles in at the upper levels.  Goodwin is a prototype front-of-the-order bat, and he offers great defense in center.  He should provide good AVG and plenty of stolen bases in the bigs.   ETA:  2014

3.  Lucas Giolito, RHP:  Giolito hasn’t pitched since I wrote this post on him last August, and he’ll continue to not pitch in 2013 as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.  The Nats are kinda good at bringing dudes back to full strength after TJ (Strasburg, Zimmerman), so it’s reasonable to assume that Giolito’s recovery will go well.  Standing 6-6, 230, and featuring a high-end power arsenal, the 18-year-old profiles like an ace.  There’s a long way to go, though, as he won’t pitch a meaningful game until 2014.  ETA:  2017

4.  A.J. Cole, RHP:  Washington traded Cole to Oakland as part of the Gio Gonzalez deal back in December of 2011.  Then, they got him back in the three-team Michael Morse swap earlier this year.  The reacquisition was surely motivated by the slew of banged up pitching prospects in this Nationals system.  Adding Cole gives the Nats a healthy arm with front-end potential.  The 21-year-old will pitch at High-A to begin the season, but expect to see his plus-plus fastball in the upper levels at some point this year.  ETA:  2015

5.  Matt Skole, 3B:  Skole hit .291/.426/.559 with 27 homers in 554 PA between Low- and High-A in 2012.  The power is legit, and the approach is sound, but with most sources projecting the 23-year-old at first base, there’s little room for error with the bat.  Skole will need to continue to mash as he steps up to Double-A in 2013, and I believe he will.  ETA:  2014

6.  Nate Karns, RHP:  Karns returned from labrum surgery last season and proceeded to dominate A-ball:  2.17 ERA, 1.01, 11.5 K/9 in 116 IP between Low- and High-A.  At age 24, he was one of the older participants in those leagues, but the health and success over a full season is hugely encouraging.  If such production continues at Double-A, Karns will push toward the bigs quickly.  A great fastball-curveball combo will draw plenty of whiffs, adding fantasy allure.  ETA:  Late 2013

7.  Sammy Solis, RHP:  Solis lost all of 2012 to Tommy John surgery and the Nats will ease him back into action in 2013.  I’ve already touched on Washington’s recent success in rehabbing post-Tommy John arms, so there’s reason to be hopeful about Solis’s chances of returning to form.  A big frame and a nice fastball-change combo have the 24-year-old looking like an innings eating #3 starter.  ETA:  2015

8.  Matt Purke, RHP:  Another guy recovering from surgery — shoulder surgery, in this case, but not the scary labrum kind; this was a more routine procedure.  In any case, Washington is hoping the operation helps Purke rediscover his plus-plus fastball, a pitch that had been regressing in recent years.  If he can get back on track, he looks like a mid-rotation guy with a nice fastball-slider combo, and big whiff potential.  ETA:  2015

9.  Christian Garcia, RHP:  After two Tommy John surgeries, Garcia finally put together a healthy season in 2012.  As a relief arm, the fantasy intrigue isn’t enormous, although there is some potential for late innings work given his plus-plus fastball.  But the Nationals haven’t yet given up on Garcia as a starter, so there’s still a glimmer of high-impact upside.  More arm troubles this spring have set him back once again, but the current injury doesn’t appear too serious.  Garcia should help the Nats in some capacity this season.  ETA:  2013

10.  Eury Perez, OF:  Outstanding speed is Perez’s best attribute, and it carried him to Washington for a short stint last season.  He’ll need to spend some more time improving his approach at the Triple-A level before he returns to the bigs, though.  As it stands, he’s not well suited to get on base often at the highest level.  With a below average hit tool, he’ll need to tone down the aggressiveness, work counts, and reach base, where his best tool can thrive.  ETA:  2013

34 Responses

  1. TheNewGuy says:
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    Wow someones up early today, nice work man. Suprised to hear the timetable on Rendins so advanced, will be interesting to see where they play himnif he gets a lateseason call up.

    Anyway been waiting to ask you, little fun game. Can you give me upside comps on these prospects? So who are the best players they could become. I’ll start out with a couple of my guys:

    Profar (Castro with a higher on-base?)
    Dahl
    A Bradley

    Thanks man.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Nah, it’s an automated posting schedule. Definitely not up early this morning. Anyway…

      Profar –> Imagine a hybrid between Castro & Tulo… Castrulo
      Dahl –> Lefty Braun, but he’s a long way away…
      Bradley –> think Waino, but a few inches shorter.

  2. Cheese says:
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    Is there a gallery of all the minor league previews? I find it tough to have to keep searching every time! Thanks!

  3. Pefacommish says:
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    After his incredible spring, is it possible that Puig has jumped above almost everyone? I’ve got the #1 pick in an NL keeper league and I’m thinking of taking him over D’Arnaud. Crazy?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Wouldn’t take him over D’Arnaud. Guys like Fernandez, Cole, Wheeler, Taveras, Miller, Taillon, Baez already taken? … I’d go with one of those over D’Arnaud & Puig if avail

      • Scott Evans

        Scott Evans says:
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        Also, Christian Yelich… Consider him too

        • Pefacommish says:
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          @Scott Evans: All those guys were taken last year. Fernandez made ODR. It’s D’Arnaud, Puig, Soler.

  4. Word on the street is that Jose Fernandez – SP, getting the call in Miami. Apparently, Henderson Alvarez to the 15 day DL.

    In jumping in!

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      As should everyone! Fernandez is a top 3 pitching prospect & this is very exciting news. Thanks for the heads up!

      • @Scott Evans:

        yup…Miami GM saying he’s throwing him 150-170 IP max all at major league level. Eovaldi and Alvarez both out 1 month to start season. Little surprised its J. Fernandez and not Jacob Turner that gets the call, but Fernandez is a top 5 SP prospect, so Im excited as well. Got a major league ready arm and physique to boot. Sexy shiiiit.

  5. joe bob says:
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    Grey has Puig over D’Arnaud. Just kayin’!

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I think he’s ok with my disagreeing.

      • joe bob says:
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        Only now that you guys don’t agree I’m conflicted again. I was all ready to take Puig over D’Arnaud. All the guys you mentioned above are gone in my keeper league. Was thinking I’d take the outfielder over the catcher. Thanks for your thoughts.

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          I say D’Arnaud over Puig, without any insight as to your internal depth chart. If you really need OF, a case could be made for Puig. I like Soler over Puig, if he’s available, btw…

          • joe bob says:
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            Yes, thanks Scott. I had Soler ranked above Puig as well. Then this Spring we see Puig the beast. I’ve already got B Ham and Yellich on my farm. Maybe I go back to taking D’Arnaud with that first pick. Can you project D’Arnaud for 2013 and 2014 for me?

            • Scott Evans

              Scott Evans says:
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              Sorry for delay on this — easter stuff w/ family… Anyway. For this season, I have d’arnaud at 260/320/410 with 15ish homers in 400 or so PA. For next year, 275/335/440, 25 HR. I think he has rare makeup for a catcher & I don’t anticipate the usual slower learning curve for guys behind the dish…

  6. Public Enemy#1 says:
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    Take the leap of faith on Jose Fernandez? I’d have to drop Rob Brantly in a 12-team, two-catcher NFBC league where the best available, semi-desirable C’s are Jason Castro and Wellington Castillo. My other catchers are SPerez and Iannetta. I have a decent starting staff of Price, Wainwright, Peavy, Estrada, Miller, Maholm, Gee, and McCarthy.
    I’d have to make a free agent bid on Fernandez today from my $1,000 FAAB. I’m torn, and while I know it’s a long shot, I don’t want to miss out on what could be the pitching version of Trout/Harper. And yes…as I read that previous line back it looks insane to me!

    • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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      @Public Enemy#1: Might be tough doing that in a money league. He could get a few starts and get sent back down. It is tough to say. In a free league getting him is easier to do. In a redraft money league I don’t think he is worth the risk.

      • @Wallpaper Paterson:

        i play in a very competitive, big $ league, 14 teams, mixed- redraft. 30 man rosters, so wire is thin — and i’m jumping in head first. risky – sure. but, kid is pretty legit.

        • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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          @El Burro’s amigo: Dropping Brantly for Fernandez would be fine considering the other Cs you own.

          I just added Fernandez in a money keeper league, but in my redraft leagues I have not done it yet and may not.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I think you need to be bidding here, but given your situation, I don’t think you need to blow out your FAAB. Some dude in your league who doesn’t have a primo staff will end up dropping a few hundo on him & I imagine that’s too rich for what you’re willing to spend. Throw out a bid you’re comfortable with & maybe you’ll get lucky.

  7. anarchy burger says:
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    who do we like better??? maurer sea or wily peralta mil? 5×5 12 teamer. i need a starter…..

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I like Peralta for the upside.

  8. Anthony says:
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    @Scott Evans: Would you grab Jose Fernandez ? Standard 5×5 12 gm h2h league

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Yeah, he’s definitely worth the gamble.

  9. TheNewGuy says:
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    Crazy news on Jose Fernandez. Gotta try a draft him late tonight right?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Absolutely. Lots of hype today, so if you really want him, be prepared to reach one or two rounds earlier…

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @Scott Evans: couple of rounds before the end then? Kids only 20, dont wanna be going crazy here.

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          I’m saying that if you really want him, I think you’ll have to reach. But you seem to have a reasonable outlook here, so I trust that you won’t go crazy…

  10. TheNewGuy says:
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    So did my H2H draft last night. How did I do!

    05 Matt Kemp, LAD OF
    20 Stephen Strasburg, Wsh SP
    29 Adam Jones, Bal OF
    44 Ryan Zimmerman, Wsh 3B
    53 R.A. Dickey, Tor SP
    68 Aaron Hill, Ari 2B
    77 Austin Jackson, Det OF
    92 Ike Davis, NYM 1B
    101 Hanley Ramirez*, LAD 3B
    116 Paul Konerko, CWS 1B
    125 Jeff Samardzija, ChC SP
    140 Jason Motte*, StL RP
    149 Matt Harvey, NYM SP
    164 Tom Wilhelmsen, Sea RP
    173 Mike Minor, Atl SP
    188 Kenley Jansen, LAD RP
    197 Shelby Miller, StL RP
    212 Brian McCann*, Atl C
    221 Domonic Brown, Phi OF
    236 Jose Fernandez, Mia SP
    245 Alfonso Soriano, ChC OF
    260 A.J. Pierzynski, Tex C
    269 Josh Rutledge, Col SS
    284 Al Alburquerque, Det RP

    Drafted a few DL guys in Hanley etc, may have gone a little overboard but that was my plan, so I could get them back part way through so I have them for the playoffs. Like the team?

    • TheNewGuy says:
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      @TheNewGuy: @TheNewGuy: Oh and its no MI or CI spot in this league, and 4 OF not 5 (12 teamer).

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I like almost everything. I’m thinking Dickey regresses, but it doesn’t seem like you reached for him, so that’s ok. Motte’s situation keeps looking worse, so maybe try to scoop Rosenthal… my guess is that he’s the man if Motte misses significant time. Fernandez @ 236 is fine. And I like Konerko as a safe fallback in case Davis scuffles for the first half like he did last year. Good balance. Well done.

  11. TheNewGuy says:
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    @Scott Evans:
    Thanks man. Thats the best review Ive had of one of my drafts in ages, better than what Grey gave me also!

    Liked getting Zimm, Jones, Paulie and Shelby who id targeted, and made the splash on a rare true ace in Strasburg. Likin my team for this year.

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