Nats rank ninth in ESPN's list of top farm systems

The Nationals might have graduated a number of their top prospects to the major leagues in recent years (see: Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon), but they still have one of the more talented minor league systems in baseball, according to one analyst.'s Keith Law ranks the Nats ninth in his list of the top farm systems, and places six Nats minor leaguers on his list of the top 100 prospects in baseball entering the 2015 season.

Because the Nats have seen a number of their highly regarded prospects join the big league club in recent years, their farm system has dropped a bit in many of these yearly rankings put out by ESPN, Baseball America, and others. But Law is still high on the talent the Nats possess at the minor league level, and says that he's impressed with what the Nats have added to their farm system within the last year.

trea-turner-usa-sidebar.jpgOn that front, Law singles out the drafting of UNLV right-hander Erick Fedde with last year's first-round pick and the acquisition of two minor leaguers who he has ranked in his top-100 prospects - right-hander Joe Ross and infielder Trea Turner - who came to the Nats in the three-team trade that saw Steven Souza Jr. head to the Rays.

Turner will not officially become a part of the Nats system until July, as he's not eligible to be traded until then. For now, he'll remain the player to be named in the Souza deal.

Law also notes that because the Nats have so few holes at the major league level that they haven't had to trade away many of their top prospects in order to supplement the big club. Only two of the Nats' top 10 prospects from last year - Souza and Nathan Karns - have been involved in trades. Both are now property of the Rays.

Starting with Lucas Giolito, who Law has ranked as the top pitching prospect in the game, Law has six Nats on his top 100 prospects list.

Here's how he ranks them:

* No. 8 RHP Lucas Giolito
* No. 63 RHP Joe Ross
* No. 71 CF Michael A. Taylor
* No. 75 RHP Reynaldo Lopez
* No. 88 SS Trea Turner
* No. 98 RHP A.J. Cole

Giolito clearly leads the pack in terms of ceiling and raw ability, but Law (as well as many other prospect evaluators) also see a good bit of talent in the Nats farm system behind the big right-hander.

It will be interesting to see how this group progresses in 2015.

With that, I'll pass you all off to Chris Johnson, who will be taking over the Nats web coverage on starting tomorrow.

Thanks for reading and interacting with me on this blog over the last three years, everyone. It's been a blast and I truly do appreciate all of you taking time out of your day to be a part of this little community.

I'll still be around as the third member of our MASN Nationals broadcast team, and if you happen to run into me at the park, please be sure to say hi.

Take care.

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