All grades are EXTREMELY PRELIMINARY and subject to change. Don’t get too worried about exact rankings at this point, especially once you get out of the top 10. Grade C+/C guys are pretty interchangeable depending on what you are looking for.
1) Jordan Zimmerman, RHP, Grade B+: I liked this guy in college, and I think he is significantly underrated on a national basis.
2) Michael Burgess, OF, Grade B+: Power, youth, power, youth. Strikeouts are a concern. Maybe a Grade B?
3) Chris Marrero, 1B, Grade B: I will cut him some slack due to age/league and injury.
4) Ross Detwiler, LHP, Grade B-: Numbers at
5) Garrett Mock, RHP, Grade B-: Another guy underrated, love the K/IP rate in the majors, needs better control.
6) Jack McGeary, LHP, Grade B-: High ceiling, a long way from the majors, maybe a C+?
7) Justin Maxwell, OF, Grade C+: Love the tools, skills are developing, but can’t stay healthy and already 25.
8) Esmailyn Gonzalez, SS, Grade C+: Need to see at higher levels, but made progress this year.
9) Destin Hood, OF, Grade C+: Great tools, not much performance data at this point.
10) Shairon Martis, RHP, Grade C+: Quite young, held his own at advanced levels, but not beloved by scouts.
11) Rogerarvin Bernadina, OF, Grade C+: An ideal fourth outfielder, finally put his tools to use.
12) Adrian Nieto, C, Grade C+: Need more performance data, could be a steal in the fifth round.
13) Derek Norris, C, Grade C+: Power, walks, throwing arm, need some full season data, but very promising sleeper. Could rank as high as 8 depending on emphasis.
14) Colton Willems, RHP, Grade C+: Would like to see a higher strikeout rate, grade will drop if that doesn’t improve.
15) Josh Smoker, LHP, Grade C+: Would rank higher if healthy. This grade is generous.
16) Marvin Lowrance, OF, Grade C+: For some reason I like this guy. Nice power.
17) Paul Demny, RHP, Grade C+: Another guy who is a long way away, but has upside.
18) J.P. Ramirez, OF, Grade C+: Quick bat, but questions about power potential. Could rank much higher next year.
19) Tyler Clippard, RHP, Grade C: A forgotten man, but still an outside shot at being a useful pitcher.
20) Ian Desmond, SS, Grade C: Good tools, can field, probably won’t hit enough.
Others include: Adrian Alaniz, Will Atwood, Mike Daniel, Leonard Davis, Danny Espinosa, Marco Estrada, Graham Hicks, J.R. Higley, Mike Hinckley, Marcus Jones, Stephen King, Luke Montz, Yunior Novoa, and Brad Peacock.
If there is someone else that you really think should be included, make your case. I always miss someone. Space is limited and some of the players above will probably get cut if I have to add someone else.
The system isn’t as bad as I first thought, but they have a big mass of C+/C type guys. Complaints about exact placement on the list from positions 8-20 don’t mean much at this point, as it all depends on what you are trying to emphasize and a lot of these grades are not final. I really struggled with grades for Detwiler, McGeary, and Maxwell. Feel free to weigh in.
SYSTEM IN BRIEF:
The Nationals system is not as bad as you think it is, but it isn’t very good, either. They have a lot of depth in C+ style prospects, but lack impact talents beyond the top few, and even guys like
Reports on these guys and over 1,000 others can be found in the 2009 Baseball Prospect Book. Pre-order for January 31st shipping now!