Keith Law released his Top 100 prospects list today, and three Nationals made the cut: Bryce Harper (#2), Derek Norris (#33) and Wilson Ramos (#95). You probably know a bit about each one of them, but here are a few of the comments Law made that I found most interesting.
Harper’s calling card is the absurd leverage in his swing, generating that enormous raw power even out to centerfield
Harper is still learning to play the outfield after catching for most of his academic career, but he has the plus arm for right field and is probably fast enough to handle center if the Nationals wanted to challenge him
Harper has MVP upside, but his race to the majors will be timed by sliders and curveballs
Norris has gotten something of a bad rep as a catcher… [but] Norris is fine behind the plate and won’t have to move unless he gets hurt. He has an above-average arm with a quick enough release, and he’s agile enough to block balls and be at least an average receiver
He’s always had outstanding plate discipline, and he pairs that with a sound swing with excellent rotation and upper-body strength that should produce above-average or better power down the road
Ramos is an outstanding throwing catcher… His receiving is average and he needs work on game-calling
At the plate, he has strong hands and excellent hand-eye coordination with average power but needs to improve his patience
Catchers are scarce, and with Ramos showing two above-average tools (hit and arm) and average or slightly better power, he should be at least a solid regular if he can play 120 or so games a year
Keith Law also had a chat today, and I asked about A.J. Cole, who didn’t make the top 100 but was #4 on his Nats ranking. I asked what Cole’s ceiling was as a starter (#1 guy? #2?). Law’s response was succinct:
Could be a #1 if he wants to be.
Of course, I’m sure A.J. Cole would like to be considered an ace. What Law means is that he’s got the stuff for it, I presume, and with the proper work, with things falling in to place, he could be one. And then, let’s dream and say he arrives in DC by the end of 2013, you’ve got two aces and Jordan Zimmermann, it’s a pretty impressive rotation without even looking beyond the #3 spot.