Ranking the Washington Nationals’ Top 10 Prospects Heading into 2014

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Ranking the Washington Nationals’ Top 10 Prospects Heading into 2014

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Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 season was a successful one for the Washington Nationals in some respects. Unfortunately a team that went into the season looking for a World Series title, only to miss the playoffs altogether, can’t exactly be happy about it. Still, they made a run and showed some teeth at the end. That counts for something but it was clear that they needed upgrades going into the offseason to help avoid repeating their failure.

They like many clubs have signed or traded for players and even a manager from other teams in order to improve. I’m sure Matt Williams will have a huge impact as manage and the free agents and trades should improve them as well. Where however do their top prospects enter into the equation? Obviously this is a franchise that is very proud of being able to bring a player through their minor league system and watch them dominate. Are there any such players on the way?

Answers like that are rarely exact. Even their best pitching prospect ever had a few struggles over the first year or two upon reaching the majors; if you can call that level of success a struggle at all. When looking closely at the top ten prospects the Nationals have on the way through, it is clear to see that a good many of them have real potential to be impact players at the next level. To what degree they might be blocked by current or new members to the team is yet to really be determined. Feel free to leave a comment below.

David Miller is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @davidmillerrant, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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10 – Sammy Solis

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Solis is a very good looking lefty pitching prospect that put up a 3.32 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in 2013. It was good enough to move him from 13 to 10 in their rankings and could be good enough for a solid MLB look in the future if he continues to build good seasons.

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9 – Matthew Skole

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Skole is a third base prospect but doesn’t look to be headed towards a lot of third base for the big league club because of the gents they already have. His good season had him move from 11 to 9 in their rankings and has some thinking he could lean towards a first base slot in the future.

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8 – Jeff Kobernus

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Kobernus is a steady 8 in the top 10 rankings but is the top second base prospect in the organization. He isn’t exactly a slouch either. Offensively and defensively he could be a serious MLB force in the very near future.

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7 – Matt Purke

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Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Purke is a solid left hander that needs a little more time to add to his good fastball / slider arsenal. He could potentially be set for a decent bullpen look with just those two solid offerings however with the changeup mixed in now and then.

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6 – Eury Perez

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Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Perez is the bottom ranked outfielder in the top ten but he isn’t a slouch either, especially defensively. He has a great arm, good fielding presence and he has speed to burn. He isn’t going to carry a ton of power but if his hitting ability can leap forward a bit he could be a very dangerous top of the order center fielder one day.

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5 – Nathan Karns

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Karns is a very solid right hander with a promising future in the very near future if he isn’t blocked out by offseason moves. MLB debuts can be shaky at times but Karns is the real deal on the mound. It would be good to see him get some kind of look soon from the Nats.

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4 – Michael Taylor

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

There is only one outfield prospect higher on the Nats list than Taylor. He could be very near a five tool player in the next season or so if all things develop well for him. Don’t be surprised if he makes some MLB noise.

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3 – A.J. Cole

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Cole jumped one spot during the season. The right hander’s arsenal includes a fastball, curveball and changeup. He put up extremely good numbers in double-A and certainly deserves the ranking he has.

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2 – Lucas Giolito

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Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Giolito is a promising right hander for the Nats. In 11 starts at the A-level in 2013 he put up a 1.96 ERA. That is extremely good for a debut. If he backs that up with another dominating showing next season out, he could be headed towards being their number one prospect soon.

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1 – Brian Goodwin

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Goodwin might not quite have all five tools of the five tool player yet but he has the very real potential to hit that goal within the next few years. He could be someone that surpasses the ability of Span when he is MLB ready to take the outfield over in Washington.

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