Matt Williams mic'd up
Two years removed from having the highest rated farm system in baseball, the Nationals are slowly climbing their way back up. Trades for MLB-ready players involving their top prospects have depleted their stock a bit, but that is slowly changing.
Take Baseball Prospectus' organizational rankings which tanks the Nationals as the 18th best farm system in baseball. That's up from 23rd just a year ago, and BP writer Jason Parks sees it getting even better.
Baseball Prospectus ranks the organizations, highlights the top prospects, and then gives a prognosis for the future. They see the Nats' minor league talent pool trending up.
Here is what Parks writes:
"Up. Giolito could emerge as the top pitching prospect in the game, and with toolsy positional talent and projectable arms, the system as a whole could jump into the top half in the game."
Lucas Giolito being considered one of the game's top prospects is becoming a popular opinion among some of the more respected voices in MLB talent evaluation. Writers are perhaps apprehensive to put him near the top of any list because his sample size is so small, but nearly everyone adds that he could be among the very best talents in the minors come the end of this season.
Giolito should start at Hagerstown this year and pitch with an eventual innings limit. We likely won't see the 19-year-old in Washington until some time late next season.
This year the Nats could, however, call up several of their top prospects. Some names to watch would be Matt Skole, Brian Goodwin and Sammy Solis.
For Baseball Prospectus full rankings of all 30 farm systems, click here.