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Nats Prospect Rankings

Baseball America today released its list of the Nationals' top 10 prospects, an intelligence report of such detail that the publication (always well-respected, and pricelessly thorough) goes on to project the team's big league lineup in 2012.

Compared with last year, when BA practically composed poetry about the Washington farm system, the outlook wasn't quite as rosy this year: "[M]any of the players from a 2007 draft rated by Baseball America as baseball's best crop that year didn't quite make the impact Washington hoped for last season," the report stated. Plus, many of Washington's best prospects haven't even played a full season of pro ball, so there isn't much immediate hope on the horizon. That said, talent is talent. Here's how BA ranks Washington's.

1. Jordan Zimmermann, rhp
2. Ross Detwiler, lhp
3. Chris Marrero, 1b
4. Michael Burgess, of
5. Jack McGeary, lhp
6. Derek Norris, c
7. Destin Hood, of
8. Adrian Nieto, c
9. J.P. Ramirez, of
10. Esmailyn Gonzalez, ss

You can read the full report here.

BA subscribers can find the full scouting reports on each prospect here.

By Chico Harlan  |  January 7, 2009; 2:54 PM ET
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RODD Detwiler is the Nats No. 2 prospect? This organization gets no respect.

Posted by: leetee1955 | January 7, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Ladson...

WASHINGTON -- Right-hander John Patterson, best known for his years with the Nationals, announced on Wednesday that he is retiring from baseball because of persistent pain in his right forearm.

Posted by: jctichen | January 7, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Brian from NFA will correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that none of our top 10 was part of the organization on Opening Day 1996.

This means two things:

1. Progress is being made.

2. The depths from whence we came are unfathomably low.

Posted by: WebberDC | January 7, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

@Uh, Harlan

Detwiler's first name is ROSS. You may want to proofread before cutting and pasting in the future.

Posted by: leetee1955 | January 7, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

@WebberDC - You are correct. No Montreal drafted/signed players in the top 10

Posted by: Brian_ | January 7, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

If you look at the turnover on pretty much any organization it is very rare for any team to have members of their top 10 drafted by their organization five or more years ago. Thus, the fact that the Nats have no players in their top 10 drafted by the Expos says little to nil about their progress. I would argue that the outlook is rather dim based on the fact that of those 10 only one of them has more then 1 ip or at bat over high A ball. This shows that the Nats drafts of 3 and 4 years ago were netting far less then was hoped.

That said, this group is fairly deep. We have more future 3, 4, 5 starters then most organizations and if a couple of them blossom well maybe we'll have a real ace at some point. The organization needs to take a hard look at its talent evaluation and development programs and if they stack up we need to see progress in the next year or two.

Posted by: VT_NatsFan | January 7, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanx for correcting Detwiler's first name. It's little errors and oversights like this that the Post does that really aggravates us Nats fans.

Posted by: leetee1955 | January 7, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't think you can classify it as "netting far less then was hoped."

The Nationals have been very aggressive in drafting high risk/reward high schoolers over their last three drafts. Since 2006, the Nationals have used the majority of their early draft picks (rounds 1-5) on high school players. Fourteen of the twenty players they've selected in that timeframe are high schoolers (they signed thirteen of them). These guys take time to develop. Keep in mind that Marrero/Willems would be finally draft-eligible if they went to college in the upcoming draft. This is not to say they are all going to develop into major league stars, more that the Nats invested in higher risk/reward drafting and the results are still to be determined.

Posted by: Brian_ | January 7, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

From SF Chronicle (via MLBTradeRumors)

"Right now, the A's are looking at mostly using Giambi as a DH and moving Jack Cust into the outfield on a regular basis, but if Daric Barton doesn't start hitting right away, Giambi could wind up with plenty of time at first. In addition, I'm hearing there is some interest in Barton around the majors, with the Nationals among those most likely to propose a deal for the second-year player."

Posted by: natbisquit | January 7, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget that John Lannan and Ryan Zimmerman were also drafted by the Nats so they should be figured into any draft analysis.

Marrero's injury hurt the system, but with pitcher-heavy drafts like the Nats have had, it takes a while for the fruit to bear. Potomac did win both halves of its season, which should inspire hope.

But the list also shows what a big hole Crow left. We should be talking about him in the same breath as J Zimmermann and Martis battling for the one of the last rotation spots, but alas...

I've also been disappointed with the lack of international free agent signings since Smiley. Wasn't that part of 'The Plan' too?

Posted by: sec307 | January 7, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I really think the scandal in the Dominican Republic hurt the Nats efforts in the Latin American market. With their GM and the head of their Dominican academy linked to an FBI investigation, I have to imagine that impacted their work there.

However, this does not excuse the fact that we have not heard their names with regards to players from Japan like Junichi Tazawa or Dayan Viciedo, a Cuba defector. Both are young enough to fit into the long term "plan" but I do not recall hearing the Nats associated with either guy

Posted by: Brian_ | January 7, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

To agree with Brian_

This team needs a general manager with VISION. Someone who can look at the big picture as to where this team should be in three to five years. That person is not Bottom Feeder Bowden, who seemingly only wants to use enough spit, bailing wire, string and bubble gum to make it through one season to the next. The concept of "The Plan" is sound, but the wrong person is in charge of executing the details. There doesn't seem to be any sense of progression as to how to to build a team. Look at the roster - there are TEN "toolsy," mostly righthanded hitting outfielders on the 40-man. JimBow in a recent story was quoted as saying how he wants more lefthanded balance to the lineup. Hello! JimBow was the one who brought in all of those OFs and now he's acting like someone else is responsible. This roster has no rhyme or reason. JimBow's "Plan" seems to be whatever works in the moment rather than building a solid foundation of young players and supplementing that group with some wizened veterans who can show the youngsters how it's done. Da Meat Loaf? Mackowiak? Clayton? Anderson? Ward? Jackson? Mostly guys who couldn't get work anywhere else. If the Lerners really want to make progress they need to jettison Bargain Basement Bowden and his fetish for ex-Reds players and get someone who is committed to building a major league team rather than constantly patching the big-league roster with retreads.

Posted by: leetee1955 | January 7, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

No, none were drafted before 1996. Gonzales was signed in mid-2006.
(Yes, Chico, it's that lousy proofreading that's making us like this. Not the 102 losses.)

Brian from NFA will correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that none of our top 10 was part of the organization on Opening Day 1996.
This means two things:
1. Progress is being made.
2. The depths from whence we came are unfathomably low.
Posted by: WebberDC | January 7, 2009 3:16 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 7, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Ye gods, another one. New post, everybody, new post!

Posted by: Scooter_ | January 7, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

what the nats should do is go out there, spend money and sign Randy Wolf, Orlando Hudson, Juan Cruz, and Adam Dunn. Move Dunn to first and trade Nick Johnson and Belliard. This would then make the team presentable next year and have a decent record. Then go into the 2010 season trade josh willingham, and sign Carl Crawford. Then have the 2010 lineup look like this:

CF: Crawford
2B: Hudson
3B: Zimm
1B: Dunn
LF: Dukes
RF: Milledge
C: Flores
SS: Guzman

And a rotation like:

SP: Randy Wolf
SP: Jordan Zimmermann
SP: Scott Olsen
SP: John Lannan
SP: Daniel Cabrera

SU: Juan Cruz
C: Joel Hanrahan

This may be a playoff team.....

Posted by: rfosterms | January 7, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

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