Rick Ankiel Is Also Excited About Up And Coming Nationals

Yesterday we heard from Jonny Gomes who indicated that he wanted to be back with the Washington Nationals next season because “everybody knows” they are going to be winners next year. Today, fellow outfielder Rick Ankiel echoed Gomes’ statements to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson, indicating that he too wanted to return to the breakout-potential Nats:

“I would like to comeback. It was a lot of fun,” Ankiel said. “I think more than anything, as a player who has been around, you want to win and this organization is definitely going in that direction. Looking at what they have coming and what this team can be, it would be a lot of fun.”

Both Ankiel’s and Gomes’ comments should be taken with a grain of salt, because, well, of course they want the Nationals to bring them back next year. Neither player had a season in which they would consider themselves a lock to make another team’s MLB roster in 2012, so they would likely say a similar comment on any team they may have finished the season for. Nevertheless, in the past when we heard similar comments from veteran players who had found a home in Washington, they said their listed reasons for staying were often about the great Washington D.C. atmosphere, and not about the true potential of the club.

Here’s a look at the potential pipeline that has so many in and out of Washington excited:

MLB Players Likely To Take A Big Step Next Season:

Danny Espinosa, Wilson Ramos, Ross Detwiler, Stephen Strasburg

MLB Players Who Underperformed In 2011, That Should Bounce Back in 2012:

Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche

Minor Leaguers Ready To Make The Jump Next Year

Tommy Milone – 24 years old: 12-6, 3.22 ERA, 9.4 K/9 (AAA)
Brad Peacock – 23 years old: 15-3, 2.39 ERA, 10.9 K/9 (AA/AAA)
Chris Marrero – 22 years old: .300/.375/.449, 14 HR, 69 RBI (AAA)
Steve Lombardozzi -23 years old: .310/.354/.408, 46 R (AAA)

Impact Minor Leaguers Just A Few Years Away

Bryce Harper – 18 years old: .297/.392/.501, 17 HR, 58 RBI (A/AA)
A.J. Cole – 19 years old: 4-7, .404 ERA, 10.9 K/9 (A)
Sammy Solis – 23 years old: 6-2, 2.72 ERA, 8.5 K/9 (A+)
Robbie Ray – 19 years old: 2-3, 3.13 ERA, 9.6 K/9 (A)
Destin Hood – 21 years old: .276/.364/.445, 13 HR, 21 SB (A+)
Derek Norris – 22 years old: .210/.367/.446, 20 HR, 46 RBI (AA)
Anthony Rendon – 21 years old: Has yet to play
Alex Meyer – 21 years old: Has yet to play
Brian Goodwin – 21 years old: Has yet to play