On May 2, Nationals outfielders were batting .207/.301/.423 (87 wRC+), and could best be described as Bryce Harper and the Non-Factors. Jayson Werth was batting .196, Michael Taylor was batting .185, and the recently returned Ben Revere was batting .103. I use this arbitrary end point for a simple reason - I wrote about it then, and felt that it would lead to the impressive Brian Goodwin (then hitting .327/.390/.495 at Triple-A Syracuse) getting his call to the Show. As of this writing, that has not happened.
Why is that?
Part of it has to do with Werth turning it around. The 37-year-old has hit .269/.338/.462 with 6 HR since then, and has been red hot in June. And the team does have a five game lead in the NL East, as well as the third-best run differential in all of baseball - so they probably aren't too worried overall. That being said, Taylor (.219/.252/.348 on the season) and Revere (.212/.262/.285) have yet to hit their stride, and neither has the sort of track record that instills a great deal of confident going forward. And, despite his recent hot streak, Werth remains a question mark due to his inconsistency and injury history. There is room for improvement here.
Goodwin has done his part, too. He has hit .293/.356/.456 since May 2, with 5 HR and 7 SB (1 CS) in 165 PA. He has shown no signs of slowing down, either, with an .842 OPS thus far in June. Combine that with his consistently solid defense in center, and it seems as though the Nationals have a genuine asset at Triple-A that is ready and able to shore up a weakness at the highest level - and he’s already on the 40-man roster, to boot.
To be fair, it is not as though Goodwin is a no-doubt prospect. He missed much of the 2014 season with injury, and struggled to hit at both Double-A and Triple-A over the last two seasons. His best tools are his speed and defense, which falls in-line with what the Nationals have in Revere and Taylor, and his bat has lagged a bit behind at times. However, he was a first-round pick and a top-100 prospect not too long ago, and the struggles were rooted in injuries more so than a lack of ability - and the baseline right now is incredibly low.
At this point, it seems a matter of when he gets the call, and not if - Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said as much recently. When Goodwin does get the call, he profiles as a player that can chip-in a little bit of everything for a fantasy team. Over a full season he could hit 10 to 12 home runs and steal 15 to 25 bases, while hitting near the top of the lineup.