Stock Up, Stock Down for Nationals' Top 10 Prospects for Week of May 27

Robert WoodCorrespondent IJune 3, 2013

Stock Up, Stock Down for Nationals' Top 10 Prospects for Week of May 27

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    The Washington Nationals had a rough week.

    Washington lost three of four to its regional rivals, the Baltimore Orioles, in an interleague home-and-home series before losing two of three to their divisional rivals, the Atlanta Braves.

    The Nats are now 28-29 and in second place in the NL East standings, seven games behind the first-place Braves.

    The Nationals' farm system provided some positive developments, however. This past week saw the 2013 debut of a prized Nationals' pitching prospect. Meanwhile, in an intriguing but not entirely unforeseen maneuver, a prominent Nationals' position player was promoted in an effort to learn a new position. 

    Here is the stock report for the Nationals' top 10 prospects for the week of May 27-June 2 with evaluations for each prospect depending on their performances for the week.

     

    Note: Top Prospects according to MLB.com's 2012 Prospect Watch. All statistics updated through June 2 courtesy of MiLB.com unless otherwise noted.

    *No. 4 Prospect SP Lucas Giolito (rehab from Tommy John surgery) will not be included on the prospect report until he plays in 2013.

    *No. 11 Prospect 3B Matt Skole (seven-day DL) will not be included on the prospect report until he returns to lineup.

No. 12 Prospect: SS Zach Walters, Triple-A Syracuse

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    2013 Stats:

    .211 AVG, .241 OBP, .440 SLG, 11 2B, 11 HR, 25 RBI, 25 R

    Overview:

    Zach Walters was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks during the 2011 season in exchange for Jason Marquis. Since joining the Nationals' organization, Walters has made rapid progress through the ranks. He jumped two levels in 2012 alone.

    Now 23 years old, the switch-hitting Walters has some serious pop in his bat. He is one of the reasons the Nationals have organizational depth in the middle infield.

    Last Week's Stats:

    5-for-26, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 4 R

    Stock:

    Even

No. 10 Prospect: SP Robbie Ray, Single-A Advanced Potomac

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    2013 Stats:

    11 GS, 3-2, 2.60 ERA, 28 BB, 74 K, 55.1 IP

    Overview:

    The 21-year-old Robbie Ray is already in his third season as a professional after being drafted by the Nationals straight out of high school in the 2010 draft. Ray began playing the past two seasons at a higher level than the previous years, but he struggled at Potomac in 2012, going 4-12 with a 6.56 ERA.

    The Tennessee native is back with the P-Nats this season, and pitching much better. His outings are lasting longer and he has improved upon both his strikeout-to-walk ratio and opponents' batting averages.

    Last Week's Stats:

    1 GS, 0-0, 3.00 ERA, 3 BB, 7 K, 3.0 IP

    Stock:

    Even

No. 9 Prospect: RF Destin Hood, Double-a Harrisburg

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    2013 Stats:

    .241 AVG, .292 OBP, .352 SLG, 9 2B, 3 HR, 23 RBI, 31 R, 4 SB, 2 CS

    Overview:

    The 23-year-old Destin Hood was drafted out of high school by the Nationals in the second round of the 2008 Draft. Since then, he has gradually progressed through the Nationals' farm system. With three center field prospects among Washington's top 10 prospects, the athletic Hood has instead found his niche as a corner outfielder.

    Hood has been very streaky this season for the Harrisburg Senators. Case in point: Hood did well during the week of May 20, as documented in last week's edition of the Nationals' prospect report, but the Alabama native still struggles to find consistency at the plate.

    Last Week's Stats:

    2-for-23, 2 RBI, 1 R

    Stock:

    Down

No. 8 Prospect: SP Matt Purke, Single-a Hagerstown

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    2013 Stats:

    1 GS, 0-0, 4.50 ERA, 0 BB, 6 K, 4.0 IP

    Overview:

    The Washington Nationals envisioned Matt Purke as a starter when they selected him out of TCU in the third round of the 2011 MLB draft.

    However, the lefty has been severely hampered by injuries. As a result, Purke has made only four starts in his professional career. One of those came last week in Purke's first start of the 2013 season. For Purke and the Nationals, that is good news.

    Last Week's Stats:

    1 GS, 0-0, 4.50 ERA, 0 BB, 6 K, 4.0 IP

    Stock:

    Up

No. 7 Prospect: CF Eury Perez, Triple-A Syracuse

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    2013 Stats:

    .308 AVG, .325 OBP, .423 SLG, 7 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 21 R, 8 SB, 4 CS

    Overview:

    Dominican-born Eury Perez was signed by the Nationals as an international free agent in 2007 right before his 17th birthday. Despite toiling in the Nationals' system for parts of seven seasons, he's still only 23 years old.

    He has made significant progress in recent months. Last season, he was promoted three times, including his first MLB call-up in September. The speedster was also called up to the Nationals earlier this season.

    Last Week's Stats:

    7-for-30, 1 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R, 1 SB, 2 CS

    Stock:

    Even

No. 6 Prospect: CF Michael Taylor, Single-a Advanced Potomac

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    2013 Stats:

    .255 AVG, .346 OBP, .402 SLG, 16 2B, 4 HR, 33 RBI, 32 R, 18 SB, 3 CS

    Overview:

    When a sixth-round selection like Michael Taylor is so quickly rated as an organization's sixth-best prospect, he has to be considered a steal. After his larcenous selection in 2009 by Washington straight out of high school, the Florida native has taken his time working through the Nationals' system.

    At 6'4", 205 pounds, Taylor is big for a center fielder, but he is fast and has become an excellent base stealer. On top of all that, Taylor can hit for power.

    Last Week's Stats:

    6-for-23, 3 2B, 4 RBI, 8 R, 4 SB, 0 CS

    Stock:

    Up

No. 5 Prospect: 1B Chris Marrero, Triple-a Syracuse

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    2013 Stats:

    .308 AVG, .354 OBP, .518 SLG, 9 2B, 10 HR, 42 RBI, 24 R

    Overview:

    Chris Marrero is ranked 10th among MLB.com's top 10 first base prospects, but he has dealt with major injuries in his professional career after being selected out of high school by the Nats in the first round of the 2006 draft. 

    The 24-year-old is healthy this season, however, and it shows. Marrero has been tearing the cover off the ball for the Syracuse Chiefs, ranking eighth in the International League in hits with 60, and fourth in RBI with 42.

    Last Week's Stats:

    8-for-23, 3 2B, 6 RBI, 3 R

    Stock:

    Up

No. 3 Prospect: SP AJ Cole, Single-A Advanced Potomac

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    2013 Stats:

    10 GS, 1-2, 4.75 ERA, 14 BB, 53 K, 53.0 IP

    Overview:

    AJ Cole was originally drafted by the Nationals in 2010 before being traded to the Oakland Athletics in 2011 in the deal that netted Washington Gio Gonzalez. Cole split his time between Single-A and Single-A Advanced last season before being traded back to Washington in the three-team Michael Morse deal.

    The knock against Cole within the Oakland system was how much he struggled when he moved up to Single-A Advanced last season. He was 0-7 with a 7.82 ERA in eight starts at Stockton after going 6-3 with a 2.07 ERA in 19 starts at Single-A Burlington. So far this season for Potomac, Cole has already shown improvement at the Single-A Advanced level.

    Last Week's Stats:

    1 GS, 0-0, 3.00 ERA, 0 BB, 4 K, 6.0 IP

    Stock:

    Up

No. 2 Prospect: CF Brian Goodwin, Double-A Harrisburg

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    2013 Stats:

    .239 AVG, .349 OBP, .381 SLG, 7 2B, 6 3B, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 38 R, 12 SB, 8 CS

    Overview:

    The Nationals' prized center field prospect was drafted in the first round of the 2011 draft out of junior college after logging some time as a North Carolina Tar Heel. Brian Goodwin made his professional debut at Single-A Hagerstown in 2012, then bypassed Single-A Advanced Potomac, being promoted to Double-A Harrisburg midway through the season.

    His progress has slowed since then. Goodwin struggled at Harrisburg last year and his offensive numbers are just about the same in Harrisburg this season in a comparable number of games and at-bats.

    Last Week's Stats:

    4-for-27, 1 3B, 3 R, 3 SB, 0 CS

    Stock:

    Down

No. 1 Prospect: 3B Anthony Rendon, Triple-A Syracuse

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    2013 Stats:

    .320 AVG, .466 OBP, .598 SLG, 12 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 24 RBI, 19 R

    Overview:

    This has been an eventful 2013 season for the 26th player on MLB.com's top 100 prospects for 2013. Anthony Rendon began the season at Double-A Harrisburg before making his MLB debut with the Nationals on April 21 as a stop-gap measure to deal with Ryan Zimmerman's trip to the 15-day DL. Rendon returned to Harrisburg on May 3, only to be promoted to Triple-A Syracuse on June 1.

    What's more, he is being asked to learn a new position at Syracuse. While with the Chiefs, Rendon will split his time between second base and his normal spot at third base.

    With the ongoing struggles of Danny Espinosa, second base may be Rendon's first option for a permanent place in the Nationals lineup, according to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post.

    Last Week's Stats:

    2-for-6, 1 2B, 2 R

    Stock:

    Even