Baseball America published its rankings of the Nationals’ top 10 prospects, a report gushing with optimism about the state of their farm system. “With a once-barren farm system now bursting with talent,” Baseball American’s Aaron Fitt writes, “the franchise’s future seems even brighter.”
The player at the top of Baseball America’s list comes as no surprise – it’s 2010 first overall pick Bryce Harper, who could challenge to make the Nationals’ roster out of spring training. (That’s still unlikely, but there are some in the Nationals’ organization who are open to it.)
The eye-popping thing about the Nationals’ top 10 list is the affect this year’s draft had on it. The Nationals’ first four picks – Anthony Rendon, Alex Meyer, Brian Goodwin and Matt Purke – all made the top seven. Agent Scott Boras, who represents Rendon, Meyer and Goodwin, has said the Nationals selected three players who could have been the top overall pick next year. Baseball America believes Rendon, the sixth overall pick, is the best prospect to come out of the 2011 draft.
How much did this year’s draft improve the perception of the Nationals’ farm system? Derek Norris, who last year was considered one of the top 100 overall prospects in baseball, is now ranked the No. 9 Nationals prospect.
The Baseball America article has all kinds of other facts, ranking the best individual tools in Washington’s system and projecting a 2015 lineup. Here’s the top 10 list:
1. Bryce Harper, OF
2. Anthony Rendon, 3B
3. Brad Peacock, RHP
4. A.J. Cole, RHP
5. Brian Goodwin, OF
6. Alex Meyer, RHO
7. Matt Purke, LHP
8. Sammy Solis, LF
9. Derek Norris, C
10. Steve Lombardozzi, IF