Bullpen Banter Ranks The Nats Top 10 Prospects

Top prospect lists are the filler essence of the offseason and today the folks at Bullpen Banter have released their latest estimation of the top of the Nats crop (last year’s ranking, where applicable, in parentheses):

No. Player Pos.
1. Lucas Giolito (2) RHP
2. A.J. Cole RHP
3. Brian Goodwin (3) CF
4. Jake Johansen RHP
5. Nathan Karns RHP
6. Steve Souza OF
7. Matt Skole (5) 1B/3B
8. Sammy Solis LHP
9. Michael Taylor (11) OF
10. Taylor Jordan RHP

This is the third time I’ve featured BB’s work because (A) I believe it’s important to see what folks outside our usual haunts have to say about the Nats (B) like fertilizer salesmen, they know their sh… stuff. As such, you should click through to see their commentary and check out the scouting video.

Al Skorupa (@alskor on Twitter) and Jeff Reese (@Ioffridus) maintain their position that the Nats have become a system of a few premiere prospects supplemented by bevy of projects, most of which are drawn from the collegiate ranks. This, of course, is old news to us, but bear in mind that they’re writing for a different audience, one that’s arguably more interested in the players themselves since their readers’ favorite team may actually be a composite (if you know what I mean).

Aside from including Taylor Jordan, which if you’re not using the 50IP limit is a fine selection, there aren’t a whole lot of surprises here. It does seem to me that the three “Other Prospects of Note” (Tony Renda, Brett Mooneyham, and Drew Ward) get the benefit from being scouts’ favorites, but as we saw a couple of weeks ago when I released the preliminary 2014 Watchlists, “notable” is often in the eye of the beholder.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of NationalsProspects.com. 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.

8 thoughts on “Bullpen Banter Ranks The Nats Top 10 Prospects”

  1. Maybe not any real surprises, but I’m gradually starting to get a lot more excited about the level of depth of pitching in the system. The write-up /ranking here on Jake Johansen is encouraging. It’s nice that they are still so positive on Nate Karns even after less than stellar MLB debut might have given them an excuse to drop him down, and Brett Mooneyham is also someone I’ve always been skeptical on, so nice to see him still get a mention. I think if things go well this season, and the younger guys start to get notice, it could start to look like a deeper system pretty soon (at least on the pitching side).

  2. I didn’t think that Bullpen Banter did that good a job of ranking our guys last year. (link to 2013’s list: http://bullpenbanter.com/washington-nationals-2013-top-15-prospects). I mean, they had Tony Renda #6. They had Cutter Dykstra #15 but ommitted the likes of Karns, Solis, Rosenbaum and Kobernus altogether.

    This list looks better. But even then i’ve got some issues with the post; they list Johansen as having a “low to mid” 90s fastball. How do you have a “low to mid” 90s fastball when the entire reason you’ve been drafted is because you can hit 99? They’ve got Souza listed as a right-handed pitcher. They’ve got Solis listed as a RHP. And how do you possibly have a guy who made 9 better-than-league average ERA+ starts in the majors as just your 10th best prospect, even if you think he’s somehow still eligible as a prospect?? If that’s your criteria why isn’t Tanner Roark listed as a prospect here? He did double the WAR that Jordan did inside of 6 weeks?

    Some of this is just sloppy work.

    1. Todd, your forgetting the classic line “The only thing worse than being criticized is not being talked about at all”.

    2. It should be noted that Cole Kimball could hit 98 as could Hector Nelo, though neither could throw it for a called strike without Eric Gregg umpiring. But that never stopped anybody from going on and on and on and on about his “high-90s fastball.”

      I hesitated to write more about Jordan because in my mind it’s moot, but I agree that if you’re going to consider him a prospect, he probably ought to be the third or fourth highest-ranked pitcher behind Giolito and Cole.

      1. You can’t teach velocity, right? That’s why this org stuck with Henry Rodriguez for (arguably) two seasons longer than he deserved. I mean, understood on what you’re saying but even a guy like Hector Nelo (who the team just abandoned ahead of last year’s rule-5 ML draft) is still putting up decent numbers … Kimball got hurt so we’ll just never know.

        You look no further than what St. Louis’ bullpen has been able to do lately to see the value of a power arm (or 5 of them). If Johansen washes out as a starter but can maintain upper 90s for an inning, I’ll take him as my 8th inning guy all day long.

  3. I’m not familiar with the site. I am surprised that Johansen is ranked 4th. I like his potential but 4th is high. Seems to me that this site ranked him highly because he was the Nats’ first pick last year, so therefore he must be good or something like that. He did well where he played in ’13, but he has yet to pitch a full season. Easy there.

    I agree with the author of this site, the Nats’ system has an abundance of promising arms at almost every level (AAA is kind of like a satellite bullpen, it seems). The Nats have accelerated their farm system under Rizzo and the to the point where where the big-league club is set they develop replacement-level/bench guys for the big-league club while grooming a handful of above-average potential guys (power corner IF bat: Skole; CFer: Goodwin). I like how they developed Burns and flipped him to help the big-league club now.

  4. When I saw the list, my immediate reaction was Johansen and Karns ahead of Jordan, ridiculous. Solis also, except, to be fair, there isn’t a lot of data on the lefty because of injury.

Comments are closed.