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The Nats Have Set Themselves Up For a Winning Future Under The Strength Of Their Farm

Brian Goodwin

Brian Goodwin

With perpetual prospect Brian Goodwin finally in the majors and Pitcher Erick Fedde just recently promoted to AA, I figured this would be a good time to venture down to the farm. The Nats’ minor league system is in a lot better shape than it could have been if Rizzo traded for Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, or even Will Smith. While we might feel more comfortable with Chapman’s blistering fastball and 2 Ks an inning come October, the margins between Chapman and Melancon’s production is tiny if it even exists at all and the minor league capital that was spared is tremendous.

Unfortunately, Brian Goodwin, who played in his first MLB game on the 6th, probably won’t be much more than a 4th outfielder for Washington at this point. Since he was drafted in 2011, Goodwin has been mentioned among the Nationals’ top prospects and while his career probably won’t be as great as we thought it would be back in 2013 when he was a top 100 prospect, I’m glad to see him finally get his shot and, with a nice combination of power and speed, he should find success as a backup outfielder.

feddeErick Fedde, is another guy who’s been in the news recently. His name was tossed around a lot during the trade deadline and he just got the call to AA Harrisburg. Fedde was one of the top pitching prospects in the 2014 draft but fell to the Nats due to his need for Tommy John. He has been nothing short of incredible in his 10 most recent minor league outings – his ERA is a tiny 0.68 and he’s struck out more than a batter an inning. Fedde is another legitimate pitching prospect to add to the team’s already-enviable depth.

We all know about Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez at this point and we will definitely see both again in DC before the end of the year. I’ve mentioned it before with Lopez but I’d be very happy if one or both of these guys made the postseason roster as hard-throwing and potentially dominant relievers with the ability to toss a few innings if need be.

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roblesVictor Robles, the 6-tool outfield prospect that has just dominated since he burst onto the scene last season, is quickly cementing himself as my favorite prospect ever. It wasn’t a mistake when I called Robles a 6-tool player because he gets hit by the pitch so frequently that it really is a unique ‘tool.’ Robles has been hit 29 times already this year and now has 63 HBP vs 57 walks in his minor league career. For some comparison, Ichiro has been hit 52 times in between his 3000 hits. I can’t wait til Robles reaches Washington even if I am a little afraid that eventually one of the pitches that hits him will injure him. At this point, Robles is adjusting to hi-A and, through 19 games, only has a .341 OBP (his career on-base is .410) – not too bad for a 19 year old facing off against competition that is, on average, three and a half years older than he is.

Another guy that we should keep an eye on is Max Schrock, a Single-A SS that has hit .330 with 22 swiped bags over 107 games this year. None of the Nationals’ top draft picks (Carter Kieboom, Dane Dunning, and Sheldon Neuse) have had enough opportunities to stand out yet.

By protecting the farm and not trading everyone away for rentals, the Nats have set themselves up for a bright future to go with the already established guys in the big leagues. The future is bright in DC.