As we lead up to both the start of the 2008 season and our “Diamond Cutter” top 100 prospects list, I will be taking a look at the top five prospects from every single Major League team. Each team will have its top five prospects along with a brief scouting report on each player that I have pulled from my scouting notes. Today I finish up the NL East with the Washington Nationals and their vastly improved Minor League system. As always, let me know how you feel about the rankings in the comments section below or via email.
1.) Chris Marrero, OF: The Nationals have a very special hitter topping their list with Marrerro. Marrero can to all fields both for average and for power with his long, upward pushing swing. He also has a great eye at the plate which will make for a nice OBP and force pitchers to pitch to him. Look for him to be an impact player in a few years.
2.) Ross Detwiler, LHP: Though only drafted in 2007 (and pitching one MLB inning last year), look for Detwiler to be part of this club in 2008. He has four great pitches with a two-seam (with nice movement) and four-seam fastball, a nasty curve, and a plus change. He could make his fastballs plus pitches if he tinkers with his delivery a little and doesn’t throw so much across his body in his motion. He will be leading this staff before too long.
3.) Michael Burgess, OF: Another big bat is in Washington’s future with Burgess. The future corner outfielder has tremendous bat speed and hand-eye coordination. This coupled with his incredible raw power potential has the Nationals excited. Good defensively with a very strong arm that will fit in nicely in right field.
4.) Collin Balester, RHP: For Balester to be an effective Major League pitcher, he will need to secure a reliable third pitch. Right now he has a low-90′s fastball and a very good late-breaking curveball. If he can work out the kinks in his change and make it viable option on the mound, he should be a good middle of the rotation pitcher for Washington.
5.) Justin Maxwell, OF: Rounding out the top five is Maxwell who has made a name for himself with his speed and solid glove. Maxwell also continues to improve at the plate where he still doesn’t make great contact but has shown some nice raw power potential for Washington. While he won’t probably make any runs at any batting titles, his defense and speed should help secure him a spot in the Majors.
Catch my column “Twins Killings” every day only on the Most Valuable Network.