Baseball Prospectus released their 2011 Midseason Top 50 Prospects today. Their list excluded players currently in the Major Leagues, regardless of rookie status, and also excluded June 2011 draftees.
Not surprisingly, BP’s list included Nats mega-prospect Bryce Harper at the top, but it also included Triple-A starter Brad Peacock as their No. 27 overall prospect. While Harper has surprised many with just how good he has been, the real shock of the system has been Peacock who was unranked in just about every pre-season prospect rankings.
Here’s what BP had to say about the two Nats prospects:
“1. Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals (Preseason: #1)
Somehow, just like last year at junior college, Harper has exceeded expectations that were set sky high. Whatever your idea of the best slugging prospect imaginable is, Harper is a bit better than that.
27. Brad Peacock, RHP, Nationals (Preseason: NR)
Few pitching prospects have seen their stock jump more. Peacock has shown plus-plus velocity and command with the potential to be a monster if he can upgrade the rest of his arsenal.”
The Nats Blog released a similar list this week for Nationals prospects through mid-season. We ranked the club's top two prospects as Harper and Peacock as well, however I find it a bid surprising that BP left A.J. Cole off this list. The 19-year-old was thought to have first round talent entering last year's draft, but a perceived un-signability let him slip to the fourth round where the Nats gave him a record contract.
Cole has been great in his first 10 starts in 2011, posting a 2.94 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 49 innings pitched. BP likely left him off because he is still relatively unproven, but given his stuff and his frame he genuinely projects to be a top prospect pitcher who very likely to crack this list next year.