The Nationals at one point had the highest rated farm system in all of baseball, but a lot can change in a year. Baseball America released their top 50 prospect rankings on Thursday and not a single Nationals' player is on the list.
The Nationals' farm system of course took a hit when they traded four of their top young players to the Oakland Athletics for Gio Gonzalez. They also saw their standing suffer when their top prospect Bryce Harper, the top rated prospect overall last July, was called up to the big leagues for good.
But not having a top 50 prospect is a little unsettling when looking towards the future. The Nationals would like to restock their minor league teams and it may just be time that they need. They have drafted several players in recent years who project as top prospects, they just haven't shown enough to be included on the list quite yet.
2011 first round picks Anthony Rendon and Alex Meyer could be in the next top 50 list for instance. Rendon has been hurt this season after being picked sixth overall and Meyer has pitched well enough to be picked for the Futures Game, but only at the Single-A level. Left-hander Matt Purke is also expected to move fast through the minor leagues but has had a slow start to his professional career.
The big league Nationals aren't hurting for young talent at the moment as the team possesses one of the best young rosters in the majors. But as their young draft picks develop, don't be surprised to see a few future Nats on these lists in the future.