As the Washington Nationals head down to Spring Training in Viera, Fla., they bring with them a slew of talented young prospects waiting to make a splash. Expect outfielder Brian Goodwin to create some buzz.
A first-round draft pick the Nationals in 2011 MLB June Amateur Draft, Goodwin was sent straight to single-A Hagerstown to get to work in the minor league system. Before completing one season in Hagerstown, he was elevated to double-A Harrisburg. In 2013, he spent the entire year in the Senators’ outfield.
Last season he finished with a slash line of .252/.355/.407 with 40 RBI, 19 doubles and 11 triples. If speed kills, then Goodwin is a lethal weapon as he stole 19 bases on 30 attempts. If new manager Matt Williams wants to be more aggressive on the base paths, then Goodwin is his kind of player.
However, Goodwin will be going against the newly signed Nate McLouth, Tyler Moore and Scott Hairston for a spot on the Nationals’ bench. While he’s a good player with plenty of promise, I don’t expect him to make the Opening Day roster. Washington has power in Moore, a good pinch-hitter in Hairston and McLouth is expected to become the fourth outfielder.
I do expect Goodwin to perform well in Spring Training, though. It will be his first trip to Viera and one filled with plenty of anticipation. In the Arizona Fall League, Goodwin was among the best outfielders there. In 81 at bats, he hit .296 with an on-base percentage of .333 with three stolen bases.
While Washington is pretty well set with their roster at the major league level, Spring Training will certainly give them a good look at some future talent. For Brian Goodwin, he’s a future outfielder for the Nationals, and Mike Rizzo will get a real good look at his talent this spring.