Baseball Prospectus ranks Nats' top prospects

Baseball Prospectus ranks Nats' top prospects
January 24, 2012, 6:10 pm

In acquiring Gio Gonzalez from the Oakland A's last month, the Nationals got themselves a young, front-line starting pitcher who should help the club win both now and down the road. But that trade also stripped the Nationals' farm system of four top prospects: catcher Derek Norris, right-handers Brad Peacock and A.J. Cole and left-hander Tommy Milone.

So what's left in the Nationals' minor-league pipeline? Actually, according to Baseball Prospectus, there is still a decent amount of talent, especially coming out of last summer's draft.

Kevin Goldstein, one of the foremost authorities on the minor leagues, unveiled his new Nationals Top 20 prospects list today on Baseball Prospectus' site. The two names at the top are no surprise: outfielder Bryce Harper and third baseman Anthony Rendon. The organization's last two No. 1 draft picks are head-and-shoulders above everyone else in the group and rate as "five-star prospects" according to Goldstein.

Goldstein rated only one player as a "four-star prospect," left-hander Matt Purke (the highly touted third-round pick in last year's draft. Seven others rated as "three-star prospects": outfielder Brian Goodwin, right-hander Alex Meyer, outfielder Destin Hood, outfielder Michael Taylor, infielder Steve Lombardozzi and left-handers Robbie Ray and Sammy Solis.

Here's the full top 20...

1. Bryce Harper, OF
2. Anthony Rendon, 3B
3. Matt Purke, LHP
4. Brian Goodwin, OF
5. Alex Meyer, RHP
6. Destin Hood, OF
7. Michael Taylor, OF
8. Steve Lombardozzi, IF
9. Robbie Ray, LHP
10. Sammy Solis, LHP
11. Tyler Moore, 1B
12. Chris Marrero, 1B
13. Eury Perez, OF
14. Zach Walters, SS
15. Taylor Jordan, RHP
16. Josh Smoker, LHP
17. Jason Martinson, SS
18. Matt Skole, 3B
19. Sandy Leon, C
20. David Freitas, C