Matt Williams talks baseball's offseason with Brian Mitchell
MLB.com released their list of the top 100 prospects in Major League Baseball ahead of the 2014 season late Thursday night, and included are two Nationals pitchers.
Right-hander Lucas Giolito, 19, comes in at 44th overall as he enters his first full season back from Tommy John surgery. And A.J. Cole, a 22-year-old starter, placed 69th. The rankings were compiled by draft expert Jonathan Mayo.
Both pitchers improved their standing from the year before as Giolito was 70th and Cole 81st. Giolito returned from surgery to make just 11 starts in 2013, but was excellent with a 1.96 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings. Cole had an inconsistent season, but finished strong with a 2.18 ERA in seven starts at Double-A Harrisburg.
The Nationals did, however, see outfield prospect Brian Goodwin fall off the list. Goodwin placed 66th overall last season and is now nowhere in the rankings.
Goodwin hit for just .252 last season, but held a .355 on-base percentage, hit 11 triples and scored 82 runs. He would like to see the average go up, but by no means did he have a bad year in 2013. Goodwin was also a standout in the Arizona Fall League for the second consecutive year.
Two former Nationals also appear on this year's list. Former pitching prospects Alex Meyer and Robbie Ray - both traded by the Nats - rank 28th and 97th, respectively. Meyer went to the Twins in the deal that brought Denard Span to Washington and Ray was sent to Detroit in a package for Doug Fister.
For MLB.com's full top 100 prospects list click here.