There has been a lot of movement in the Nationals' minor league system over the past two seasons with top prospects being traded, others realizing their potential, and even one once-traded pitching prospect coming back in another deal. But as it currently stands, the Nationals have four players deemed worthy of Jonathan Mayo's list of the league's top 100 prospects over at MLB.com.
Representing Washington are infielder Anthony Rendon who ranks 28th, outfielder Brian Goodwin at 52nd, pitcher Lucas Giolito at 74th, and the previously referenced A.J. Cole at 91st.
Rendon is ranked as the third best prospect among minor league third baseman behind Miguel Sano of the Twins and Mike Olt of the Rangers. Mayo says, basically, that as long as Rendon stays healthy then the sky is the limit.
"Rendon has everything needed to be an elite third baseman at the highest level. The only thing that's stood in his way has been injuries."
The other three Nats players in the top 100 are absent from top ten lists as Mayo goes around, position-by-position. He does, however, include one other Nats prospect in those rankings.
Mayo slots 24 year old Chris Marrero as the tenth best first base prospect in baseball even though he isn't on the top 100 list. Marrero appeared in just 53 minor league games due to injury last season after making the Nationals as a late season call-up in 2011.
For Marrero and the Nats, maybe this recognition can sort of re-ignite expectations for his future. Marerro impressed in 31 games with the Nats in 2011 after hitting .248 with ten RBI in his first major league stint. Tyler Moore has in many ways taken his role in the organization, but with the departure of Michael Morse, the Nats aren't as deep at the position. If he has a strong start in the minors this year then maybe he gets a look in the event of an injury.
Mayo's team-by-team prospect rankings are set to come out on Feb. 4 according to MLB.com.