Baseball America’s Top 10 Washington Nationals Prospects for 2013

The Washington Nationals have used prospects from their highly-rated farm system to acquire talent, which has made some big tweaks to the top prospects lists from several organizations. Not to mention neither Stephen Strasburg nor Bryce Harper are on that list for the first time in four seasons.

Here are the Nationals' top 10 prospects according to Baseball America:

  1. Anthony Rendon – 3B
  2. Lucas Giolito – RHP
  3. Brian Goodwin – OF
  4. Matt Skole – 3B
  5. Nathan Karns – RHP
  6. Christian Garcia – RHP
  7. Eury Perez – OF
  8. Sammy Solis – LHP
  9. Matt Purke – LHP
  10. Zach Walters – SS

Just a few key points to point out about this list:

  • Third Base Firewall: Ryan Zimmerman has a hold on first base for the forseeable future, so both Rendon and Skole will have to find another way to make the Nationals' big league roster. This could involve moving Zimmerman to first base, but that seems unlikely at this point. Rendon is often discussed as a future MLB second baseman, and his solid 2012 after getting healthy backs up that idea. Skole was the organizational player of the year in 2012, but it's hard to see him finding a way to the MLB level with the Nats.
  • Call Up Turned Prospect: Christian Garcia had an incredible 2012, both in the minors and majors. What makes it even more impressive? He had two Tommy John surgeries before he turned 25 years old. For most pitchers, that's a career ender. Garcia's resilience paid off. Not only was he on the postseason roster for the NLDS after his September call up, he's going to be stretched out as a starter this offseason. 
  • Righty Studs: Lucas Giolito is the 18 year old with an elbow injury that no one wanted, so the Nats drafted him 16th in the 2012 draft. Before his injuries popped up, he was widely regarded as the number one overall pick. Meanwhile, Nathan Karns was named the organizational pitcher of the year in 2012.
  • Lefty Starters: Sammy Solis is recovering from his own Tommy John surgery, but he should be ready for spring training. He could be a huge piece for the Nats down the road, especially if some of the higher prospects don't pan out or get traded for other talent. Meanwhile, Matt Purke, one of the Nats most risky draft picks, had shoulder surgery in October. Purke could easily slot into the top of the Nats' rotation if he ever gets healthy. But that is now a huge, huge "if."

BA's projected 2016 lineup shows why the Nats were built as they were by Mike Rizzo. It could mean significant success for a number of years. This obviously assumes no trades or roster moves, but it's fun to look at. Even in four years, this team would be fairly young and full of matured talent. Even Jayson Werth, the $126 million man, can't find a way into this lineup.

C: Wilson Ramos

1B: Ryan Zimmerman

2B: Danny Espinosa

3B: Anthony Rendon

SS: Ian Desmond

LF: Brian Goodwin

CF: Denard Span

RF: Bryce Harper

#1 Starter: Stephen Strasburg

#2 Starter: Lucas Giolito

#3 Starter: Gio Gonzalez

#4 Starter: Jordan Zimmermann

#5 Starter: Ross Detwiler

Closer: Drew Storen

Joe Drugan

About Joe Drugan

Joe is the Managing Editor of The Nats Blog and host of the Nats Talk On The Go podcast. He's been blogging about the Nationals since 2010 and with The Nats Blog since 2011.