Down on the Farm: Brian Goodwin

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Of all the names you may hear tossed around in association with the Nationals this offseason, one is of particular interest. In the midst of the potential free agent singings and the large number of returning players on the Nationals roster, few will have as much impact on the decisions made regarding the future of the Washington outfield as a young man who will not turn 22 for another couple of weeks. Perhaps you’ve already heard of Brian Goodwin, but it is safe to say that you will hear much more in the weeks, months and, hopefully, years to come.

Alex Meyer (left) and Anthony Rendon (center) with fellow 2011 draftee Brian Goodwin.

Most Nationals fans have only seen Goodwin once, as one of the two short-in-comparison draftees smiling in the shadow of Alex Meyer at a press conference at Nationals Park last summer. Goodwin is actually 6’1” and a shade under 200 pounds, a left-handed hitting, right-handed throwing outfielder with the defensive tools to project as a Major League-caliber center fielder. Goodwin began his 2012 campaign at Low-A Hagerstown before skipping a level and finishing at Double-A Harrisburg, a very advanced level for a 21 year-old position player. He swatted 26 doubles, launched 14 home runs and stole 18 bases in 100 total games, posting a combined .280/.384/.469 slash line in his first year of professional ball, showing the promise that made him the 34th overall selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

Now Goodwin is showcasing his talents in the Arizona Fall League with fellow farmhands like Anthony Rendon, the third member of that draft class photo. Goodwin blasted his team-leading third home run in just eight games for the Salt River Rafters, where he has posted an encouraging early line of .294/.368/.618 while playing against some of the premiere prospects in the game. He reached base four times in Tuesday’s game, thanks to three hits, including that third home run.

Baseball America had Goodwin ranked as the number five prospect in the Nationals system going into last winter, behind only Bryce Harper, Rendon, Brad Peacock and A.J. Cole. In fact, Aaron Fitt and the BA staff stated that Goodwin “has the tools to be an impact center fielder who hits in the top third of a big league lineup.” It was high praise for a player yet to appear in his first professional game, but he has done nothing to dissuade anyone of that projection to date.

With Harper’s ascension to the Major Leagues coupled with Peacock and Cole’s departure in the Gio Gonzalez trade, one figures Goodwin will find himself battling it out with Rendon (who missed a good portion of the 2012 season with an ankle injury) for the organization’s top prospect rank heading into next year. His continued success in the AFL would certainly help those chances, and offer him an opportunity to compete not just with the great talent in the Washington system, but the cream of the crop from around the game.

13 Comments

I just want the season to start….NOW!!!

The future sure looks bright for this organization

I watched this guy play at the University of North Carolina and he is the real deal. He runs so hard, we used to take bets on whether or not he’d lose his helmet on the base paths.

It’s funny how everyone wants to jump all over Mike Rizzo for the comment that this team will compete for another division title next year when in reality, there is a HUGE level of talent not only at the Major League level but deep into the farm system as well. Here’s just one great example of why Rizzo’s comment is dead-on accurate. I guess the haters will always be there, but a return to the playoffs next year should silence at least a few of them.

Love it!!! But Brian Goodwin will have to change his number, once he makes it to The Show, if we’re fortunate enough to keep Davey Johnson, as the Manager of the Nats. Davey Johnson has dibs on Number 24.

The talent is going to start running out as its expected that the Nats will make trades instead of free agent signings during the offseason. International scouting and signings had better be on the upswing pronto!

Our outfeild is pretty crowed already, what I want to know is who’s getting traded, sent down, or cut.

It’s not a bad problem to have. Can he play 2nd base?

If I were a betting man….I would say they are content on letting LaRouche bounce and allow Morse to move back to first base. I would love to keep things the way they are but its just a matter of time before Goodwin replaces Morse, Rendon gets an infield spot and we settle in at catcher. Either way…….I trust Rizzo with it all.

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