One of the laziest knocks against the Rays and their recent success centered around their consistent access to top draft picks because of their consistently terrible play. While that line of think short changes the excellent work of Andrew Freidman, Chuck LaMar everyone in the Rays brain trust, there is an element of truth at play. It is the marriage of good management and high draft picks which ensures the Rays a constant wave of talent throughout their stacked minor league system, resulting in the best young team in baseball time and again.
The Nationals might not be as astutely run from a baseball sense but it might not matter. The Nationals are so flush with incredible talent that no manner of mismanagement will stop them.
Baseball America released their top 10 Nationals prospect list today and wow, is it a sight to behold.
As BA’s Jim Callis stated when he tweeted out the link to a related article, the Nationals look to have picked up the best player in three consecutive drafts. Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper were no-brainers at number one but Callis and the Baseball America team feels the Nats grabbing Anthony Rendon at number six could be the steal of the draft.
The Nats didn’t stop there in 2011. They splashed even more cash on subsequent draft picks Alex Meyer, Brian Goodwin, and Matt Purke. The class of 2011 joins a top-heavy system in which much of the food is on the proverbial table. That table could potentially overflow is the Nationals are able to land highly touted Cuban machine Yoenis Cespedes. The Nats are reportedly one of 47 major league teams vying for the Pig Butcher of Havana’s services.
BA’s projected 2015 lineup presents potential headaches for the established NL East powerhouses from top to bottom. Starting with catcher Wilson Ramos (stolen from the Twins) to Ryan Zimmerman and breakout slugger Michael Morse and 2011 ROY contender Danny Espinosa, the Nats infield could be one of the best in the game. An outfield of whatever’s left of Jayson Werth (a patient slugger who should bounce back and age reasonably well) and ascendant Christ-figure Bryce Harper should inspire fear in the aging Phillies rotation.
The new front office is aggressive in the draft and seems willing to spend money to plug other holes. Judging by the strength of their top 10 prospects, there won’t be too many holes to fill on the big league roster for long.