I did not see minor league baseball's Nats top 20
posted elsewhere. Sickels has since come out with his top 50 hitter / top 50 pitcher list, but I don't have a subscription. He think there is a big gap between the top 4 (Stras / Norris / Storen / Espinosa) and the rest. Subsequently, he's downgraded Kobernus to a C+ from a B-
A few quotes
2) Derek Norris, C, Grade B+: Somewhere on the Mickey Tettleton/Mike Napoli spectrum: high walks, lots of power, defense should be good enough, might not hit for average.
8 ) Justin Maxwell, OF, Grade C+: What you see is what you get: power, walks, speed, low batting average. Can they look past that and appreciate his secondary skills?
9) Ian Desmond, SS, Grade C+: I think he made some legitimate improvements, but not as much as the raw numbers indicate. BABIP probably unsustainable, and he needs to tighten his defense.
10) Bradley Meyers, RHP, Grade C+: One of several strike-throwing types with limited upside but good pitchability.
13) Eury Perez, OF, Grade C+: Need data from higher levels, but could be a Juan Pierre type. I don't mean that as an insult.
The Nationals system has an amazing talent in Strasburg, and I'm also very high on Norris, Storen, and Espinosa. After that, it fades quickly. Hitters like Marrero, Burgess, Maxwell, Desmond, Hood, and Perez all have significant unanswered questions. All could be very good players, all could fail. There are several low-ceiling arms who could contribute in the majors soon (Meyers, Thompson, Estrada, Mandel, Wilkie, Garate), and there is also a group of live arms who have problems that need addressing.