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Lucas Giolito tops Nats top prospects list

Nov 8, 2013, 2:30 PM EST

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

Baseball America has rolled out its offseason lists of the top prospects in each organization and their choices for the Nationals reflect the recent development of young starting pitchers. The Nats had seen their system depleted either by trades or injuries, but now they have a restocked stable of power arms.

Lucas Giolito tops the list with A.J. Cole right behind him. Then places Brian Goodwin and Matt Skole, the franchise’s top position player prospects.

Here is BA’s list:

1. Lucas Giolito – RHP
2. A.J. Cole – RHP
3. Brian Goodwin – OF
4. Matt Skole – 1B/3B
5. Robbie Ray – LHP
6. Sammy Solis – LHP
7. Michael Taylor – OF
8. Jake Johansen – RHP
9. Nate Karns – RHP
10. Steven Souza – OF

Giolito stands out as the top prospect for the Nationals because he returned from Tommy John surgery just this past season. He was the team’s first round selection in 2012 and was drafted with injury concerns. To see him bounce back so quickly and still maintain the respect as a top prospect has to be encouraging for the Nats.

Cole ranking number two is also a big sign of respect. The 21-year-old has long been touted as a high ceiling player, but up until this season had never really produced consistently on the field.

Cole even struggled early this past season at Single-A Potomac with a 4.25 ERA through 18 starts. But Baseball America must have put a lot of stock into how he finished the year, going 4-2 with a  2.18 ERA at Double-A Harrisburg. Maybe Cole is finally realizing his potential as the prospect that the organization has long said he could be.

The two lefty pitchers for the Nats on the list, Robby Ray at fifth and Sammy Solis at sixth, could represent the next closest to be ready for the majors. Giolito still has a long ways to go and Cole will likely need to show some more in Double-A before getting the call, but both Ray and Solis could realistically be knocking on the door by midseason.

Ray is 22 and will start next year at least as high as Harrisburg, and could find his way to Syracuse shortly. Solis, on the other hand, has only reached high-A before – largely due to injury – but he’s 25 and a former second round pick. The Nats may want to see what they have in him sooner than later.

Also rounding out the list for the Nats’ top ten is 2013 first round pick Jake Johansen, as well as Steven Souza who was just added to the 40-man roster.

For Baseball America’s full breakdown of their list, as well as they rankings for the best individual skills in the organization, click here.

  1. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    Matt Purke???

    • Jason - Nov 8, 2013 at 2:52 PM

      Fitt said he had him right after 10. I think the list was written before his strong Fall League.

    • shawndc04 - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      I think they’re worried about arm problems with Purke.

    • David Proctor - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:26 PM

      He’s not very highly regarded anymore. Keith Law said he now thinks Purke’s ceiling is as a lefty reliever.

  2. trochlis318 - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    wonder if Jordan would have topped the list if available to put on this list, he wasn’t even in our top ten last year was he?

    • Melissa - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      Jordan would have been 3rd. He’s between AJ Cole and Brian Goodwin on the top under-25 list, and it was confirmed in the chat.

  3. Doc - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Robbie Ray needs to be put in the mix for Lefty Reliever.

    Also, with respect to previous blog on FA bench strength, none of the best available players are going to want to sign with NL teams, given the opportunity to DH in the AL.

    • David Proctor - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:48 PM

      Chavez is one of the best options (as he was last season) and he signed with the D’Backs last year. And he was coming from an AL team in the Yankees.

  4. David Proctor - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    All this talk about us trading for a Price or Scherzer…why not a Kyle Lohse? The Brewers are supposedly shopping him and look at his last 3 years. He’s averaged 200 innings per year and has an ERA of 3.19 during that time. 3.89, 2.86, 3.35. He’s not an “ace” really, but he would be FAR cheaper. He also has a pretty team friendly deal. He has 2 years and 22 mil coming to him.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:25 PM

      You’re killing me. When Rizzo could’ve had him last year as a FA, I thought that was the great move and most didn’t agree with me. Now you are suggesting a trade for him?

      Just think if the Nats had Lohse vs Haren. Uhh, PLAYOFFS!

      • David Proctor - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        Well Lohse wanted a ton of money and more years. He didn’t end up getting it, but he also didn’t sign until Spring Training. The Nats couldn’t wait that long. I think if they knew he would sign for 3 years / 33 mil, they would have done it.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:14 PM

        They were looking for 3 and 4 year deals and Boras screwed up. The market wasn’t there but as I wrote last winter 3 years at $40 million wasn’t a bad deal and probably they would have taken that on Feb 1.

        Rizzo took a risk on Haren and it didn’t pay off. High risk/high reward at $13 mill a year in hindsight doesn’t look to good versus a bird in the hand vs 2 in the bush.

  5. David Proctor - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    I know very little about Robbie Ray, but I was just looking up his numbers and he really seems like Gio. Both lefties, doesn’t allow many hits, walks a lot of people, strikes out a ton of people. I’ll be interested in following his development moving forward.





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