The Nationals selected outfielder Brian Goodwin from Miami-Dade Junior College with one of their three first-round selections. His combination of speed and skill was a perfect match for the Nationals’ seemingly never-ending quest for a lead-off center fielder of the future.
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said on draft night that they felt the 6-foot, 195-lb., Goodwin had a “huge upside.”
Goodwin batted .382 (60-for-157) with 11 doubles, two triples, eight home runs, 37 RBIs and 42 runs scored in 47 games in 2011. The left-handed-hitting Goodwin was named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Team while with the North Carolina Tar Heels in 2010.
And as recently as May, Goodwin was seriously considering transferring back to Division I and playing out his collegiate career with South Carolina.
“I was still in that situation where if the Nationals treated me fairly and everything went the way we wanted it to go it wasn’t going to be a tough decision,” he said.
That decision was made easy after the Nationals reportedly offered Goodwin a $3 million signing bonus. And what kind of an outfielder are the Nationals getting for that kind of loot? The type that uses his 6.4 60-yard dash speed to track down every ball hit.
“I love to attack the ball in the outfield, throwing runners out, making diving plays, anything that has you into the game,” Goodwin said. “You don’t get as much action in the outfield, so when you do you have to go after it 100 percent.”
Goodwin was wearing a Nationals jersey No. 24 at his introduction because it was the number he has worn since high school and because he always loved watching Ken Griffey Jr. play.
Griffey played 2,145 games as a center fielder over 22 seasons. Agent Scott Boras asked what kind of a center fielder Goodwin could be. He said, “Michael Bourn.”
That would be exactly what the Nationals would like a player like Goodwin to project. He certainly has the tools, but even Goodwin won’t get ahead of himself.
“I don’t really know where I will end up in a few years. I just want to go out, compete every day, play hard and let the cards fall where they may,” Goodwin said.
With the way the Nationals were able to sign all five of their top draft picks in 2011, they certainly are well on their way to having a full house.