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Washington Nationals Top 20 Prospects

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Ryan Zimmerman

WASHINGTON NATIONALS TOP 20 PROSPECTS LIST

  1. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Grade A
  2. Kory Casto, 3B, Grade B-
  3. Bill Bray, LHP, B-
  4. Larry Broadway, 1B, C+
  5. Brendan Harris, 2B, C+
  6. Collin Balester, RHP, C+ (raise grade from C in the book)
  7. Mike Hinckley, LHP, C+
  8. Justin Maxwell, OF, C+
  9. Clint Everts, RHP, C+
  10. Daryl Thompson, RHP, C+
  11. Josh Whitesell, 1B, C+
  12. Jason Bergmann, RHP, C+
  13. Frank Diaz, OF, C+
  14. Francisco Plasencia, OF, C+
  15. Ian Desmond, SS, C
  16. Brandon Watson, OF, C
  17. John Michael Howell, OF, C
  18. Marco Estrada, RHP, C
  19. Edgardo Baez, OF, C
  20. Francisco Guzman, OF, C
Very depressing, the polar opposite of the Arizona system.

Zimmerman is a stud, of course, but after him there are no sure bets. Casto can hit but will need to find another position with Zim ahead of him. Bray should be a decent bullpen guy but not an impact player. Larry Broadway is a Jay Gibbons/Brian Daubach type. Harris is ready but needs a place to play, and could be an ideal utility guy in a Tony Graffanino mode. Both Broadway and Harris could be Grade B- guys instead of C+; it's borderline.

I'm raising Collin Balester from Grade C to Grade C+, due to very positive scouting reports as well as positive intuition.

Mike Hinckley has to prove he is healthy. He was one of the top LHP prospects in the game heading into 2005, but his season was disastrous. Clint Everts, on the other hand, could see his grade increase this year now that Tommy John is receeding in the distance.

Scouts praise infielder Ian Desmond for his athleticism and tools, but I want to see some performance out of him.