New faces among Nats' Top 20 Prospects
Kobernus cracks list at No. 10; Goodwin, Giolito part of trio on MLB.com's Top 100
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals know how to build a farm system. As a matter of fact, 11 players from the current big league roster came through their Minor League system.
Two of them -- infielder Anthony Rendon and right-hander Taylor Jordan -- were Washington's top prospects to start the season. Here is how the system fared during this season:
Rendon and Jordan are integral players for the Nationals. Ranked as Washington's top prospect entering the 2013 season by MLB.com, Rendon is the team's everyday second baseman and has had his moments with the bat. Manager Davey Johnson loves the way Rendon sprays the ball all over the field.
Ranked as the eighth-best prospect in the organization, Jordan went a combined 9-1 with a 1.00 ERA in 14 starts between Class A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg. It earned Jordan a spot in the Nationals' rotation. He has pitched better than his record has indicated; it doesn't help that the team hasn't scored many runs for him or played solid defense behind him.
The 12th-ranked prospect to start the season, first baseman Chris Marrero has been a part of professional baseball since 2006 but has had only two brief stints in the Major Leagues. Injuries have been a factor as to why he hasn't found a permanent home in the big leagues.
Ranked No. 17 in the organization to start the season, outfielder Brandon Miller slumped badly during his second year in professional baseball. He is considered a run producer, but he strikes out too much.
Shortstop Jason Martinson, the 19th-ranked prospect during the preseason, is having a better season this year than he did last year. But he needs to cut down on the strikeouts.
Left-hander Kylin Turnbull, formerly No. 20, hasn't made any progress this year. He has an ERA over 6.00 and is currently playing for Hagerstown.
The 10th-ranked prospect in the organization, infielder Jeff Kobernus had a short stint in the big leagues this year but wasn't given much of a chance. Although he is listed as an infielder, his home appears to be in the outfield whenever he comes back to Washington. Kobernus is currently with Triple-A Syracuse, where he is having a productive season.
The Nationals continue to stockpile quality catchers, and Pedro Severino is one of them. He has caught 42 percent of would-be basestealers, and he is decent with the bat, hitting close to .260 for Class A Hagerstown.
Could Aaron Barrett be the Nationals' future closer? He already has 20 saves and has a 1.80 ERA for Harrisburg this season. No wonder he is considered the 17th-best prospect in the organization.
Part of a three-team trade that sent outfielder Michael Morse to the Mariners, right-hander Blake Treinen -- ranked No. 18 -- has a 3.72 ERA for Double-A Harrisburg and has averaged six strikeouts per game.
Rounding out the list at No. 20, Tony Renda is a scrappy guy. He makes good contact and is not a bad defender at second base.
nationals' top prospects
Jordan rose from No. 16 in the preseason to the eighth-best prospect in the organization. It helped that he was dominant with Potomac and Harrisburg.
On the other hand, outfielder Destin Hood fell from No. 8 to No. 19. He continues to have problems making contact and hasn't shown much power since 2011.
Top 100 representation
Outfielder Brian Goodwin and right-handers Lucas Giolito and A.J. Cole are on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list. Goodwin is considered Washington's center fielder of the future. Giolito has recovered from Tommy John surgery and is pitching for the Gulf Coast Nationals. Cole pitched in the Futures Game earlier this month and picked up a save.
To start the season, the Nationals' organization ranked 13th in MLB.com's prospect rankings, in terms of "prospect points," which are points assigned to clubs based on their representatives on the Top 100 list, with 100 points going to the team with the No. 1 prospect, 99 to the team with No. 2, and so on.
At midseason, the team stood at No. 24. It doesn't help that a lot of the players -- such as Rendon, Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg -- are already in the big leagues.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.