Selected by the Nationals, 24th overall the 2011 MLB Draft, centerfielder Brian Goodwin is a true five-tool athlete. Equipped with premium speed, a promising glove, a feel for the barrel and big league raw power, Goodwin is blessed with the ingredients for super-stardom. He started his pro career with a bang last Spring, tearing apart the South Atlantic League to the tune of a .324 batting average and a whopping twenty-eight extra-base hits in his first 216 pro at bats. His hot bat earned him a promotion to the Eastern League this summer, and though he posted much more modest numbers with the Harrisburg Senators, his season’s line was still very impressive. Overall, Goodwin hit .280/.384/.469 in 100 games this season, and stole eighteen bases in twenty-five attempts.
Coming out of Miami Dade South Junior College, Goodwin was criticized for an upper-body, metal bat swing. Many scouts grumbled that his hitting potential was overrated last winter, but Goodwin has quickly silenced his doubters. Not only is his batting eye and plate discipline more advanced than the Nationals could have ever hoped for, but he’s transformed his swing in to an efficient, vicious cut, built for both contact and power. Boasting extraordinary body control and coordination, Goodwin uses his lower-half to generate bat speed, and his strong hands to guide the bat to the baseball. He takes a short, compact stroke, and whips the bat through the zone with his hips, rotating his shoulders around a tight axis. His hands follow a clean and direct path to the baseball, and he’s adept at staying-inside heat on the inner-half.
Able to catch-up to premium heat and wait on off-speed stuff, Goodwin already shows the makings of a complete hitter. He drives pitches up the middle and to his pulls side with great back-spin and loft already, and he seemingly makes loud contact every time he his bat touches the baseball. He finds the barrel consistently, and hits line drives in all directions. He’s very balanced at the plate, keeping his hands back and loading his core after he finishes his stride– showing great hand-hip separation. Hitting with a firm back leg, Brian keeps his head centered over his right knee as he sweeps the bat across the plate, optimizing his bat-speed and swing power. His pitch recognition is still developing and he’s a guess hitter at present, but his bat control and plate coverage should help him cap his strikeout totals reasonably as he adds more experience. Particularly for a guy with Ferrari foot-speed, he has tremendous raw power, and could hit 20 homeruns annually once he develops and matures in to a big leaguer.
Ryan Kelley collected the below scouting footage of Goodwin at the Harrisburg Senators vs. Bowie BaySox game on 8/23/12. After striking out in his first two at bats facing BaySox pitcher Mike Wright, Goodwin makes hard contact in his next thee. He laces two line-drives to centerfield off of Wright and then Clay Schrader before smacking a single off of lefty Chris Petrini. Also included is some footage of Goodwin running the bases.
A full scouting report on Goodwin will be posted later this week. For now, check out our new report on Anthony Rendon.