Baseball America’s top Nats prospects - No. 3: Brad Peacock

In 2011, right-hander Brad Peacock had one of the best overall seasons of any minor league pitcher in the Nationals’ short history.

Peacock went an incredible 15-3 with a 2.39 ERA in 23 starts in the minor leagues. In 146 2/3 innings, Peacock fanned 177 batters.

Then in September, Peacock continued his dominance with the Nationals, going 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA in three games with two starts. He allowed a single run in 12 innings of work.

Baseball America has watched Peacock steadily climb the ranks of their Nationals’ top 10 prospects and national writer Aaron Fitt has the Floridian locked in as Washington’s No. 3 prospect this off season.

Fitt said Peacock is shining example of the Nationals’ evolving minor league system that found a prospect, was patient with him and now is bearing the fruit.

“(Peacock) is a great, fundamental success story for this organization,” Fitt said. “He is a guy who made himself a prospect. He has been on the radar, they liked him out of junior college. He is a converted shortstop and an athletic guy. He has got an electric arm and he really put it all together this year.

“It is a combination of great scouting to find this guy. To draft this guy, follow him and then sign him. It was great development too, because they were patient with him. It took him a long time to put it all together. If you look at his career numbers before this season, his ERA was in the high 4s at best every year. And this year it just clicked for him.”

Fitt said Peacock cracked the top 10 in 2010, but the right-hander made a huge step this season to get a chance in the big leagues. Will he make the team out of spring training? He has as good a shot as any in the system.

“He was No. 10 on our list last season,” Fitt said. “And then it just happened for him and he is there. It is a guy that you could see in the rotation maybe this year. He could get the chance to compete for that.

“(Peacock) has got the makings of a being a really solid, big league starter. His fastball is firm and sometimes explosive. The breaking ball is a plus pitch most of the time and the changeup has come a long way. It is a great package.”

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