Scouting Report: Brian Goodwin of the Washington Nationals

By | September 10, 2012 at 9:17 pm | One comment | Baseball Prospects, Scouting Reports


Brian Christopher Goodwin
Centerfield
Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals)
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 195 LBS
Born: November 2, 1990 in Rocky Mountain, North Carolina
Bats/Throws: Left/Right
MLB Player Comparison: Ray Lankford, Andy Van Slyke, Devon White, Michael Tucker

Scouting Report

Hit: 50/60
Power: 50/60
Plate Discipline: 50/55
Speed: 65/70
Fielding: 45/60
Arm Srength: 50/55

Brian Goodwin is a true five-tool athlete. He’s equipped with all of the ingredients for super-stardom– bat speed, a sweet swing, acrobatic body control and Ferrari running speed. But Goodwin truly separates himself from other flashy, toolsy prospects with his work-ethic and seemingly inherent feel for the game. He polishes his mechanics and fundamentals daily, and always strives to improve himself. He can run like a track star and make leaping catches like an NFL wide receiver, but most important, he can hit like a big leaguer. Labels like tools prospect continues to follow him around, and yes, he has the tools to garner these labels. But, unlike other five-tool players, he isn’t a raw player development project. In fact, he’s anything but.  He steps up to the plate and carries a well-coached approach in to the box. He takes a smooth, refined cut, and exercises veteran-grade pitch selectivity. He’s surprisingly polished for a twenty-two-year old kid straight out of college. For those scouts who firmly believe you can’t teach plate discipline, check-out Brian Goodwin’s track record. He’s gone from a hacker, to one of the more smart, disciplined batters in the Nats’ organization. He simply does everything well. Only one season in to his professional career, he’s already playing ball like a future big league star, and aptitude like that is rare, even in league’s jam-packed with blue-chip talent. 

Though he had a minor slip-up while playing at UNC, Goodwin’s amateur career was pretty spectacular overall. At Rocky Mountain high school (North Carolina), he established himself as top-shelf recruit with a break-out sophomore campaign before solidifying his reputation as the best high school player in the state during his two upper-class seasons. He’s always been a crowd-drawing athlete, seemingly ever since he stepped on to a playing field. Scouts and coaches already had their eye on Goodwin by his freshman season, but after growing five inches and filling out over the summer, he drew much more attention with a big sophomore performance. In ’07, Goodwin hit .356 with seven doubles, fourteen extra-base hits and he drove in 17 runs. His performance earned him 6-A All-Conference and All-Area recognition, and he helped lead the Gryphons to a 20-5 record.

Goodwin did his best work in 2008, putting together an absolutely monster season. The speedy centerfielder hit .473 and belted a state-leading 15 doubles while scoring 45 runs and swiping 21 bases. He carried the Gryphons to a 27-6 record and lead the program to its first NCHSAA championship in twenty-eight years. North Carolina’s baseball coaches association (NCBCA) named Goodwin to the 3-A All-State Team and honored him as their 2008 Player of the Year. On the National scene, Goodwin garnered a spot at the Under Armour All-American Game and even took home MVP honors at the Aflac All-American Game after driving in the game-winning run.

After establishing himself as the top high school player in North Carolina the season before, Goodwin encored with a very impressive senior performance. Brian hit .413 with thirteen extra-base hits, seventeen RBI and fifteen stolen bases in 2009, earning even more attention on the National scene, this time named a Rawlings First-Team All-American. Pro scouts fell in love with his flashy stat-lines and smooth, athletic play, following him relentlessly. However, Brian committed to play for the UNC Tar Heels, and hefty contract demands pushed him down draft boards come June. The White Sox drafted him in the 17th round and offered him big money, but he passed in favor of college.

Goodwin’s Tar Heels career wasn’t quite as good as expected. When he was on the field, he played like a top prospect, hitting .291, with a .409 on-base percentage and crushing seven homeruns and 61 RBI as a true freshman in 2010. He led the ‘Heels in RBI, triples (8) and walks (45), and was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American. Over the following summer, he played well for the Cape Cod League’s Harwich Mariners, leading his club with a .283 batting average, six extra-base hits and 18 runs scored through thirty-five games. Things soured quickly though. Outside of the foul lines, Goodwin’s wasn’t performing like a star. North Carolina suspended him prior to the ’11 season for academic difficulties and reported run-ins with the coaching staff. Deciding to push his draft-eligibility up a year, Goodwin transferred to Miami-Dade South Junior College for his final amateur season.

Goodwin chose Miami-Dade South not only for its history of producing professional players, but  also for its coaching staff. The Sharks’ coach, Brian Price, went to high school with Goodwin’s mother in North Carolina. Goodwin built a strong relationship with Price, and though he only played for the school for one year, he matured and developed by leaps and bounds while under the coach’s tutelage. Goodwin worked tirelessly in the cage to hone his swing, and developed big-time raw power as a result. Just as he did in the past four seasons, he topped his club in numerous offensive stat categories, batting .367 with eight homeruns and forty runs scored.

Following his one-year stint at junior college, Goodwin re-entered the MLB draft, ranking as one of his class’s elite outfield prospects. Taken with the 34th overall pick, Goodwin was the third of three players the Nationals selected at the top of the ’11 Draft, following Rice phenom Anthony Rendon (selected 4th overall) and Kentucky gunslinger Alex Meyer (23rd). He signed too late in the summer to make his professional debut, and instead opened his career in the South Atlantic League the following Spring. 

Equipped with premium speed, a promising glove, a feel for the barrel and big league raw power, Goodwin obviously has blue-chip tools. Barely twenty-one years old though, and straight out of the ju-co circuit, the Nationals’ starting him in the South Atlantic League felt a little bit aggressive (from the outside looking in). That wasn’t the case. Goodwin didn’t end up having any trouble adjusting to more advanced pro pitchers, and started his career off with a bang, mashing a double and a homerun in his first game. A mid-April leg injury slowed him down a little bit, but he recovered quickly and caught fire by the beginning of June. All together he hit .319/.434/.537 through 58 games playing with Hagerstown. He impressed in all facets of the game, showing veteran-grade plate discipline with a 16.4% walk rate and a 1.1 BB/K ratio, premium power with a .218 ISO and the blazing wheels to swipe fifteen bags.

No doubt, Goodwin’s hot hitting and his smooth glove warranted a trip to the All-Star Futures Game. Come June, he was out-playing his peers in nearly every area of the game and ranked near the top of the Sally league in OPS, extra-base hits and stolen bases. In the end, though he was more than deserving, he wasn’t selected to any of the summer All-Star games. On the bright side, even though he was passed-over in the voting, his own organization was watching him closely.  The Nationals front office promoted him to the Eastern League in July, a nice accomplishment for a twenty-one-year-old with just one year of Division-I and one year of juco baseball under his belt prior to the season. At first, Goodwin struggled against the older, more polished Double-A competition, collecting just five his in his first sixty-one at bats (0.081 batting average). He got it together in August though, going nine for twenty-two to open the month. Overall, Goodwin managed a very successful first year in professional baseball. He hit a combined .280/.384/.469 through 100 games between the South Atlantic and Eastern Leagues this season. Leaving the organization very impressed with his growth, he’ll continue his swift ascent towards the MLB this fall, joining fellow top prospect Anthony Rendon in the AFL.

Scouting Footage

Ryan Kelley collected the below scouting footage of the Harrisburg Senators’ Brian Goodwin. Playing centerfield and leading-off for the Senators, Goodwin collected a hit in five at bats against the Bowie BaySox on August 23rd, 2012. After striking out in his first two at bats facing 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.

 

Strengths

Blessed with the ingredients for super-stardom, Goodwin represents the rare real-world example of a six-tool prospect– a player armed with the mental strength and aptitude for a long big league career to go along with big-time power, hitting tools, running speed and a plus glove and arm. Many scouts might point to his rocky stint at UNC as evidence he’s isn’t as perfect as he seems at first, but plenty of young players are unhappy with their decision to choose college over pro ball– or vice versa. He was seventeen when he made the decision to attend UNC instead of turning pro, and he’s entitled to making a mistake. The flip-side of the ordeal is that he’s already felt and handled (perceived) failure. Despite the suspension, Goodwin pressed on and put together an excellent year at Miami-Dade South. His coaches offer only glowing reports about his play and character, in both college and with the Nats, and he’s a tireless worker, spending extra hours in the cage on a daily basis. Not intimidated in the least by aggressive minor league assignments this year, he tore the cover off the ball all season, and he appears to be no more than a season away from helping in DC.

Goodwin’s raw speed scores a legitimate 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale. He can burn 6.45 to 6.55 60-yard dash times consistently, using a fluid, long-legged stride to build-up to top-of-the-line speed gracefully and swiftly. He’s high wasted, and on the basepaths, his long legs play better from first-to-third than they do stealing bases, but he’s still more than quick enough to mature in to a 30+ stolen base threat in the MLB. Baserunning instincts and reading pitchers are probably two of the more raw facets of his game, but nonetheless, he displayed the wheels and the smarts to snag eighteen bags in twenty-five attempts last year. Like a track star, his legs are long, strong and his body control and coordination are evident in his fluid stride and smooth acceleration from gear to gear. He knows how to push-off the bases and kick-it in to his top-gear while rounding. Though he’s not aggressive just yet, his legs are perfect for combining with his power and adding extra-bases. In the outfield, his stride and body control play perfectly, and he covers a Major League radius, gliding to both gaps and showing great glove extension and control at top speed. He makes quick reads off contact, and shows very nice reaction speed. Moving well over either shoulder, he can make wide receiver catches, and he plays the wall like a pro.

Hitting and Swing

In the batter’s box, Goodwin is far more advanced that many pre-draft reports had suggested he would be in his first full season. In their own appraisal, BaseballAmerica.com wrote that Goodwin arrived at instructional league with an upper-body, metal bad swing. Spending his off-season hours rigorously working in the cage, he quieted his doubters. His previous coach, Brian Price, had already helped Brian clean up his swing. Though he didn’t have Price around to work with anymore, Brian continued where he left-off and used the tutelage of his new Nationals coaches to help improve his game. Re-working his mechanics with the great baseball minds of Mark Harris, Brian Daubach, Luis Ordaz, Eric Fox and Marlon Anderson last winter, Goodwin transformed his handsy high school swing in to a firm, sharp cut that better utilized his premium raw power.

The aspects of hitting that separate Brian from other young sluggers are his phenomenal hands and balance. Brian steps up to the plate with a slightly open front foot, and with his feet spread just-beyond shoulder width. Knees bent just over his shoe laces, with his weight sitting back slightly, he crouches and creates a tighter strikezone for pitchers to work with while also optimizing is balance. While no longer relying on them for pop, his swing still revolves around his strong, fluid hands. He draws power from his rock-solid trunk and uses his big, bone-crusher paws to guide the barrel to the ball and whip it across the plate. Goodwin pins his hands back to his arm-pit, in good hitting position during his set-up, allowing him to load and react quicker, and smoother than most hitters. When the pitcher is moving-through his wind-up, he takes a short, controlled toe-tap and cocks the bat-handle back to the read-to-fire position. As he finishes his stride, he keeps his hands back, aligning his head directly over his back foot. This launch position allows him to explode to the baseball by employing his core and legs seemlessly. Like his teammate, Anthony Rendon, he shows great hand-hip separation, cocking his hands back as his front foot strides forward. This loading mechanism lengthens his strong abdominal muscles, preparing them to fire with an explosive, quick motion. His hips don’t drift in the least, and he stays closed on inside pitches, helping him to capitalize on his perfect balance to create a stronger, firmer swing. His ability, to staying over his back leg longer, also creates a sharp hand-path and a swing arc that natural meets the sweet-spot and creates loft. Even when he does fall in to old bad habits, things like a drifting front hip or an open-toe that hurt him in college and high school, he manages to minimize his mistakes. Simply put, he has the staying back part of hitting knocked.

Goodwin shows some the best hands in the business. A pure baseball athlete, he accelerates the bat head directly to the baseball, with a sharp, short path. After he loads his hips and core, cocking his hands back and completing his toe-tap, he fires his hands to ball in a lightning-fast, sling-shot motion. He rotates his hips, and uses his powerful trunk to whip the barrel through the strikezone,  pulling the handle toward his belt buckle and showing the power-V with his elbows just after contact. His head stays quiet throughout his swing, and though his leading toe often opens up a little bit early, causing him to pull more pitches than he should, he still enjoys great plate coverage. His vicious bat speed and lightning quick, smooth hands are straight out of Anthony Rendon‘s book. His hands display the textbook, cock ‘n fire pendulum motion, allowing him to square-up more pitches more often. His hitter’s hands already produce first-rate stat-lines, and he’s already a pro at mashing premium velocity without sacrificing his bat-control and ability to adjust off-speed.

Goodwin is a complete hitter, equipped with contact skills, plate discipline, bat speed and wrist strength. He has the ingredients to hit for average as well as power– possibly enough to hit 25-30 homeruns a year in the MLB during his prime seasons. He repeats his swing with machine-like consistency, and his fluidity, balance and smooth weight transfer help him employ his entire body in his cut, relying on his hands only to guide the bat to the baseball. As a result, he’s already taking his plus raw power in to games, bashing fourteen homeruns and forty-two extra-base hits through 100 games last year. His cut is so low-maintenance yet so strong. Watching him face-off against Bowie in August, a team that boasts top prospect Jonathan Schoop, helped emphasize how much farther along Goodwin’s bat is than most prospects his age. Schoop, a similarly-sized batter with a similar amount of bat-speed would struggle to loft the ball, often flailing at outside pitches and topping hard stuff on the inner-half. On the other hand, Goodwin would step-up the plate, take a few pitches and then mash a screaming liner to right-center. No knock on Schoop, BNH rated has him one of the game’s elite middle infield prospects for the past two years, but watching the two prospects in the box really helped illustrate just how special a hitter Goodwin is. The barrel of Goodwin’s bat finds the sweet-spot so smoothly, and lifts the ball on a line-drive path nearly everytime he makes contact. 

During games, Goodwin’s power shows up to his pull-side, mostly to right and centerfield, and that’s where he’s most comfortable hitting. He can take pitches on the outer-half the other way, but his approach and swing mechanics are geared towards punishing the 2/3 of the plate closer to him (most power hitters). He’s darn good at covering the inner-half, and never misses a pitch there– no matter how fast and how nasty. His short hand-path and his knack for staying inside the ball helps minimize the hole in his swing on the near-edge of the plate. His discipline is remarkably advanced for his age already, and his ability to lay-off tough pitches and react to off-speed helps maximize his power as well. When he’s right, he rarely swings without finding the barrel, and his premium swing-speed is so sharp and direct that he help launches line-drives with absurd consistency.

Plate Discipline

Though he’s very prone to strikeouts (89 in 382 at bats last year), Goodwin’s high walk totals (61 BB last season) will more than make up for it. Also, when he puts the ball in play, he gets a hit far more often than most prospects. His power, selectivity and feel for the barrel creates screaming line-drive exit velocity consistently. Even when he puts the ball on the ground, the extra oomph is difficult for fielders handle. He hustles and his speed allows him to leg-out extra-base hits as well as infield singles. He’s no lead-off hitter, boasting middle-of-the-order power, but he offers that type of speed and on-base skills.

Goodwin knows how to take a walk and he works the count like a veteran. He’s a bit of a guess hitter, but he seems to guess right the vast majority of the time. He adjusts to off-speed smoothly, and his vision and hands are so sharp, that he can already handle same-side breaking stuff. Despite his power and bat speed, his bat control is solid. He sweeps the bat across the plate, and will still drive the ball on the outer-half by utilizing strong extension. He probably falls short of a future .300 hitter, but there’s no doubt that he could hit a quality .270-.290, while driving 20+ homeruns and 40+ doubles. He’s unselfish and though he’s focused on power, his veteran-grade approach and patience is ideal for the big leagues and will help him maintain above-average on-base percentages as he moves up the latter.

Fielding

In the field, Goodwin is already a solid with the glove, and his arm grades at least average. Playing in the same organization as defensive wizards Eury Perez and Michael Taylor makes it difficult for many scouts to give him an honest look, but make no mistake, he’s a very good centerfielder. Goodwin’s speed shows up more in the outfield than it does on the basepaths at the moment, and he’s used to covering a Major League outfield in Harrisburg (Metro Bank Park). He tracks fly balls in to both gaps well, and though his angles and hips could still use more work, he can pretty much make all of the plays demanded of a MLB centerfielder already. He moves well over his shoulder, and makes catches on the dead-run. Like his hitting, he’s doesn’t play hero baseball, and won’t give-up extra bases with ill-advised dives. He has soft hands, always gets under the baseball and he makes catches from all angles. He doesn’t have a cannon, but his arm is strong enough for a corner spot, and his throws are accurate and have good carry.  Coming out of high school, many scouting reports even graded his arm as a future plus, and rated-it as one of the best among outfielders in his draft class.

All in all, Goodwin is the complete package, and that applies at the plate as well as in the field. The Nationals are deep in centerfield talent, with Bryce Harper, Roger Bernadina, Eury Perez, Michael Taylor all offering above-average glove work at the position. But Goodwin is arguably the best fit for the job. He’s smoother than Harper and Bernadina, his bat profiles better on an everyday basis than Perez’s does, and he’s more polished than Taylor. Again, the guy just does everything well. After doing a fine job patrolling center in Hagerstown, he exceeded expectations in Harrisburg’s expansive outfield. Playing the outfield like a field general, he was reliable and looked well-prepared for a big league job. He made just four errors all year and racked-up six assists, even throwing-out speedster Gary Brown at one point, who was caught tagging-up from third base.

Weaknesses

Well-coached and hard working, Goodwin is advanced, especially for a first-year five-tool guy. However, there still plenty of things for him to work on. At the plate, his approach can get him in to trouble against more advanced arms. His pitch recognition shows his age a little bit, and he’s very prone to taking hittable pitches and swinging at balls when he’s guessing. He does his best to play psychic and get in to the opposing pitcher’s head, but against veterans in the big leagues, that’s not a winning formula. Guess-hitting works against two-pitch kids in the low minors, but not against smarter Major League arms, with precise control and deep repertoires. His two-strike approach could use a little bit of honing as well. He’s so focused on the inside of the plate, that it will affect his reach. He doesn’t foul off a lot of pitches, and though he works the count, he could stand to extend more of his at bats.

Goodwin’s swing leaves him prone to whiffing on the outer-half. Same-side lefties in the MLB are a far cry from the ones he’s faced in double-A, and he’ll have to learn to handle same-side off-speed stuff breaking away from him better. Right now, he’ll take a pitch or pull them up the middle, but that approach won’t necessarily work against a Eric O’Flaherty or even a Mark Buerhle. He as some oppo power, but he’s not very comfortable driving outside pitches the other way. Of course, with his premium swing and plate coverage, he won’t ever need to use left field  a whole lot, but it would be nice.

Goodwin’s top of the scale speed plays slower (less fast) in games. On the bases, he’s not aggressive or confident enough to swipe a lot of bags or extend his doubles in to triples– and frankly there’s nothing wrong with trading flashy stats for efficiency. Managers generally don’t love guys that risk outs to pad stats. But, in order for him to become a real base-stealing threat in the MLB, he’ll have to polish his instincts and jumps. He gets thrown-out or picked-off more than he should, usually due to late-starts to his run and indecision. In centerfield, his hips are a little stiff, and his fly-ball routes can get a little bit circular when he’s moving toward the wall, toward either field.

Stats

With only one professional season under his belt, Goodwin doesn’t have a large enough sample of data to really make any strong conclusions. Still, his performance is very promising nonetheless. He spent the majority of last season playing in the South Atlantic League, where the average batter is a little bit older than him, about twenty-two years old he won’t turn twenty-two until November). After overcoming a minor leg injury in April, he proceeded to tear apart the SAL pitchers, to the tune of a .319/.434/.537 line and a .442 weighted on base average (.334 and .343 were the SAL and Eastern League means). His .971 OPS was more than 250 points and 35% higher than the league-average mark. Hitting in the middle of the league’s second most potent lineup (behind the Asheville Tourists), Goodwin did everything a hitter can do to contribute to his team. He hit the ball hard consistently, posting a herculean .218 ISO and a .351 BABIP. Though he did strikeout 14% of the time, he walked in a very disciplined 16.2% of his at bats. His .434 on-base percentage was exactly 100 points above the league mean of .334.

Following a promotion to the Eastern League in mid-July, Goodwin slumped a little bit. He hit .170/.316/.340 through thirteen July games with Harrisburg. Facing more older, more experienced pitchers, his BB/K rate dropped from 1.11 to 0.36 and his BABIP fell to .288, suggesting he was chasing bad pitches and falling victim to a little bit of bad luck as well. Though he put together a solid August, posting a .252 batting average and slugging .402 that month, his combined season-line fell from .319/.434/.537 to a less spectacular .280/.384/.469. 

Brian Goodwin’s wOBA Trend vs. League Averag wOBA

Goodwin posted a phenomenal weighted on-base average (wOBAthis season between Hagerstown and Harrisburg. For those unfamiliar with wOBA, it’s on a similar scale to on-base percentage and it combines power and on-base percentage more fairly than OPS does– which simply adds slugging percentage and on-base percentage together. Anyway, Goodwin posted fantastic wOBA figures, hitting with power and getting on base at a ridiculous rate. He started off hot, and after a leg injury kept him off the field for much of April, he recovered and caught fire in the middle of May. His season wOBA peaked on May 18th, at a whopping .744. During his stay in the Sally league, he consistently sat above the league average figure of .334 . At the time of his promotion to the Eastern League, his .441 wOBA was 32% higher than the SAL mean and 27% higher than that of his teammates. His stint with the Senators wasn’t quite as bright, as his wOBA  and other numbers trended on a steep slop downward, but he managed to finish the season at a still well above-average .387 mark.

 

Brian Goodwin ISO Trend vs. League Average ISO

Goodwin carries his premium bat speed and strength in to games, driving pitches with plus power to center and right field. During his first professional season, Brian hit the ball hard consistently, and his isolated power (SLG-BA) rated above league and team average numbers for the entire season. After posting a mammoth .218 ISO in the SAL, 73% better than the league average of .126, he managed to maintain his impressive power against much tougher competition in the Eastern League, putting together a .151 ISO there (.132 league average). His homerun stroke disappeared temporarily following his stint on the DL in April, with his ISO bottoming-out at .147 on June 14th. However, his power returned quickly, and by July he was mashing once again. He ended the season with a combined .469 slugging and a .189 ISO, both well-above average.

Summary

Sent to Hagerstown Suns to begin the Spring, Goodwin 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 drew criticism 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.

The Nationals plan to develop Goodwin in centerfield, and though he’s a step behind Eury Perez, he’s a much more complete player. The Nats’ other top centerfield prospect, Michael Taylor, is better defensively, but he’s much further from making an impact in the Major Leagues. After tearing apart the low minors last Spring, Goodwin held his own at double-A to end his first pro season, and he appears to be poised to make a big league debut some time later next year. Washington suddenly has a pretty crowded outfield, with Werth, Harper, Morse, Bernadina and Tyler Moore all vying for regular at bats. Goodwin is potentially a better outfielder than any of those other names, and could push Bryce Harper to a corner spot pretty soon. There’s no need to rush him, but Washington wants to keep him working this winter, and they’re sending him to play in the AFL with some of their other top prospects.

At the plate, Goodwin has the swing and power to hit .280 and fill his batting average with twenty plus homeruns and a bounty of extra-base hits annually. He’ll always strikeout, but his plate discipline will allow him to keep his on-base percentage at an above-average mark, possibly pushing .360 when he’s in his prime. Blessed with top-of-the-scale speed and a quality left-handed bat, he profiles as a Ray Lankford or an Andy Van Slyke type player in the Major Leagues– an all-around contributor and an occasional All-Star.

Scouting Report: Brian Goodwin of the Washington Nationals / Baseball News Hound by Ryan Kelley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives CC BY-NC-ND

About the Author

Ryan Kelley

Founder and Executive Editor of BaseballNewsHound.com. Ryan is a graduate of the George Washington University, with a degree in economics. His acclaimed thesis on Major League Baseball's Labor Market is in the running for an excellence award in economics. A young economist working in Washington D.C., Ryan has extensive experience working in professional baseball. In the past, he's worked in player development, for the United States Olympic Committee and in scouting. Ryan's resume also includes jobs in journalism, social media marketing, government as well in non-profit legal services. However, sports and sportswriting are his two passions, and he strives to incorporate his unconventional career experience and academic expertise in his work at BaseballNewsHound.com. Born and raised in Connecticut, Ryan currently resides in Arlington Virginia, just outside of DC. A former amateur baseball and football player, Ryan loves both sports.

2012 MLB Competitive Balance Draft Lottery Results / Baseball News Hound by Ryan Kelley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives CC BY-NC-ND