Minor League Opening Day Roster Analysis: Washington Nationals

Org Rank Name DOB Position Assigned Team
1 Anthony Rendon 6/6/1990 3b Harrisburg Senators (AA)
2 *Lucas Giolito 7/14/1994 rhp Disabled List
3 Brian Goodwin 11/2/1990 of Harrisburg Senators (AA)
4 A.J. Cole 1/5/92 rhp Potomac Nationals (HiA)
5 Matt Skole 7/30/1989 3b Harrisburg Senators (AA)
6 Nate Karns 11/25/1987 rhp Harrisburg Senators (AA)
7 *Christian Garcia 8/24/1985 rhp Washington Nationals
8 Eury Perez 5/30/1990 of Syracuse Chiefs (AAA)
9 *Sammy Solis 8/10/88 lhp Disabled List
10 *Matt Purke 7/17/1990 lhp Hagerstown Suns (LoA)
* Disabled list

nationals-900x635HE’S WHERE? Most of Washington’s top prospects have ended up right where you would have expected them to start the season. You might have looked for lefthander Brett Mooneyham, last year’s third-round pick out of Stanford, to open at high Class A Potomac rather than low Class A Hagerstown, but based on his limited workload in college and the work he needs on his mechanics, the lower level probably makes more sense.

WHO’S MISSING: Four of the organization’s top 10 prospects open on the sidelines because of arm injuries. Righthander Lucas Giolito, the No. 2 prospect, had Tommy John surgery last August and may not see action at all this season. Lefthander Sammy Solis (No. 9) had Tommy John last spring and is expected to return to action by June 1. Lefthander Matt Purke (No. 10) had surgery last August to relieve bursitis and clean out scar tissue in his shoulder. He has been throwing bullpens in spring training but is on the Hagerstown disabled list to open the season. He’s expected to return to game action in May. Righthander Christian Garcia (No. 7) is recovering from forearm pain and has to get stretched out down in extended spring training.

GO SEE: Double-A Harrisburg. The Nationals’ top four healthy prospects are all in Harrisburg, highlighted by No. 1 prospect Anthony Rendon, who made a strong impression in major league spring training before getting optioned to minor league camp. Rendon is a natural third baseman, but the Nationals played him all over the infield this spring and plan to continue that at Harrisburg. No. 4 prospect Matt Skole, the organization’s best power prospect, will primarily play first base after spending more time at third in the past. No. 3 prospect Brian Goodwin highlights the outfield, while No. 5 prospect Nate Karns leads the pitching staff. It’s the righthander’s first season with no restrictions following shoulder surgery in 2010.