The Top 10 Position Players

Compiling these was an interesting exercise this time around. The turnout was a little lighter, which is probably my fault for waiting so late on Friday to make a call for submissions, but I think there’s enough here to go on and make a post.

The No. 1 guy was unanimous: Anthony Rendon. Like fans of Gus Johnson, this was a no-brainer.

Our No. 2 was pretty close, too: Brian Goodwin was named on all the submissions and was #2 on all the ballots but one.

After that, things get fuzzy. No. 3 (Matt Skole) was significantly ahead of No. 4 (Eury Perez) in terms of weighting (74-53) but was left off one ballot. Perez was omitted from two. Leon, the No. 5 guy, was omitted from four.

In some ways, it’s a microcosm of the system itself: Most folks can agree on the top few, but after that, it’s a free-for-all. That’s why I decided to post now versus waiting one more day (well, that, and years of research that shows that sometimes you can cut through the noise by taking advantage of how slow it can be on a Sunday).

Without further ado, here’s the list:

1. Anthony Rendon
2. Brian Goodwin
3. Matt Skole
4. Eury Perez
5. Sandy Leon
6. Jason Martinson
7. Zach Walters
8. Chris Marrero
9. Corey Brown
10. Tony Renda

Others receiving votes: Michael Taylor, Estarlin Martinez, Destin Hood, Ricky Hague, Jeff Kobernus, Brandon Miller, Wander Ramos, Erik Komatsu, Steve Souza, Carlos Rivero, Spencer Kieboom, Jhonatan Solano

The list certainly tilts towards the upper minors, with the exception of Renda. A lot folks gave props to players on the verge — Nos. 7-9 in particular, Komatsu, Rivero, and Solano in the “Others” — but injuries were punished severely (Kobernus, Hood) and defense, aside from catcher, didn’t seem to carry much weight (Taylor, Hague).

Unlike last year, there really aren’t any surprises about who missed the cut. Renda gets the benefit of the “new car smell,” while [troll]Taylor suffers from the gap between the offseason hype and the in-season performance, regardless of his age.[/troll]

Next up: The pitchers, which should be especially fun now that the best prospect without a sling in his wardrobe has been traded.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

13 thoughts on “The Top 10 Position Players”

  1. That’s pretty weak overall, isn’t it? I don’t see that much after the top two that helps elevate the system in upcoming rankings. I suppose that is how it is supposed to work when the previous farmhands helped get you to the most wins in baseball, either through advancement or trades. Rizzo will have to really prove himself now by finding the hidden gems later in each draft round.


    1. I think a lot of folks obsess WAY TOO MUCH about where their team’s system ranks in relation to other organizations. The White Sox, for example, are never really well regarded, but they seem to be able to produce enough players for the parent club contend, albeit in a very weak division.

      Also, rankings are fickle: Wasn’t that long ago that Kansas City was considered the very best, but has that translated into a winning club at the MLB level? Nope. Not yet.

      It’s been a leit motif in the comments that we keep reading about how good the scouting & development is, but as the system is exhausted of its picks from “the dark time,” and the Nats are picking in the last 10 spots in each round instead of the first 10, that we’ll *really* see if that’s true.

      1. Good comment, Luke. Coupled with the ability to search out nuggets at the lower rounds is the developement side of the organization, especially at the lower levels. That’s where the rubber meets the road.

      2. I would agree with the last paragraph if Jordan Zimmermann wasn’t a 2nd round pick and the Gio trade wasn’t made with 4 players drafted in 4th (Cole, Norris), 10th (Milone), and 41st (Peacock) rounds.

        In addition Espinosa (3rd round) and Moore (16th round) also have potential to be impact players.

        On a lesser scale there’s guys like Stammen (12th round) and Lombardozzi (19th round) who are quality players.

        Then you got the trade acquisitions like Morse, Ramos, and Clippard where they gave up basically nothing to get those guys.

        So I think it’s a real stretch to say the team is somehow a product of “drafting high” when the bulk of it was not acquired in that fashion.

        1. So I think it’s a real stretch to say the team is somehow a product of “drafting high” when the bulk of it was not acquired in that fashion.
          Actually, the real stretch is making that inference.

          Rankings are often a result of drafting high and/or spending big. The former is no longer applicable, thanks to the parent club being a playoff contender; the latter, because of the new CBA. The last graf refers to the simple fact that the foreseeable future, the Nats will not be drafting high; therefore, any homegrown players will not be subject the knee-jerk response of “well, he was a high draft pick.” (I specifically referred to this in the third-to-last graf here).

          1. Sorry if that comes off as hyperdefensive — if you also drill down to the link in that “State of the Nats Farm” — you’ll see that I made the same argument when analyzing the Rays during their WS run in ’08.

  2. Here was my list FWIW

    1. Anthony Rendon
    2. Brian Goodwin
    3. Matt Skole
    4. Eury Perez
    5. Jeff Kobernus
    6. Zach Walters
    7. Michael Taylor
    8. Billy Burns
    9. Destin Hood
    10. Jason Martinson

  3. No mention of .322 avg, 38sb, 1st year switch hitting Billy Burns. He will continue to disprove skeptics year after year. Speed in center and great glove.

    1. Burns got virtual ink here long before the MSM caught wind. However, I’m not surprised that he got no votes prior to the post — a lot of folks aren’t keen on his archetype, even if he does draw walks, because he’s not a HR hitter.

  4. Luke,

    I do give you credit for mentioning Billy on several occasions over this past year as he had success at Hagerstown. Speed guys with high OBP’s are just not as sexy as the long ball but have helped a lot of teams win over the years.

    1. he’s a lot like Lombo in that he will have to prove it at each level. If he continues then there will be a place somewhere, albeit in a reserve role at first.

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