The depth just keeps on coming for the Washington Nationals, and the Arizona Fall League provided an example of the future pitching excellence that the Nationals currently have. Pitchers Sammy Solis and Matt Purke put together two of the best seasons in fall baseball this year, and outfielder Brian Goodwin had a solid season as well.
On the mound, Solis and Purke were sound. In seven starts, Solis went 5-2 with a 2.17 ERA. The left-hander struck out 29 batters while walking just seven over 29 innings of work. Purke pitched just as well, going 3-1 in six starts with a 3.91 ERA. He struck out 17 batters while walking just nine over 23 innings of work. Both pitchers were ranked inside the top-15 among Nationals prospects by MLB.com.
In the outfield, Goodwin was among one of the best in fall league baseball. He bat .296 with two home runs and 12 RBIs in 81 at bats. He stole three bases on four attempts and finished with an on-base percentage of .333. Entering 2013, Goodwin was ranked second among Nationals prospects.
All three of these players are athletes that the Nationals have been high on since they acquired them. Solis and Purke are two up-and-coming arms, but have both missed time with injuries to their throwing arms. Even still, they got a huge vote of confidence when former manager Davey Johnson said they were both good enough to be pitching double-A this past season. Goodwin has been on a steady rise as well. He’s got great speed and can cover plenty of ground in the outfield.
Any one of these players could find their way into MLB by the end of the 2014 season. By 2015, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Goodwin will end up replacing Denard Span at center field. If there’s one thing that the Nationals have endless amounts of, it’s depth at the minor league level, and the Arizona Fall League uncovered a couple more gems.