Tyrell Godwin— #24 With a Bullet

Godwin is honing his ample skills in AAA

According to Baseball America, Tyrell Godwin is the 24th best prospect in the Nationals' system. BA had better take another look.

His batting average is .367, his OBA is .404. He is seventh in the Pacific Coast League in batting and second in hits. Eighteen games started and he has reached base safely in every one of them.

According to Baseball America, there are almost two dozen prospects in the Washington National's organization better than Tyrell Godwin. It looks from here as though he's #24 with a bullet.

He's been batting leadoff for the AAA New Orleans Zephyrs. That's a spot that been in flux for the Nationals and Expos for quite some time. The incumbent is Brad Wilkerson, who probably would be more effective batting more towards the middle of the order. During spring training Endy Chavez, recently called up to Washington due to an injury, apparently convinced Frank Robinson that he wasn't the answer there.

So is Godwin ready for prime time? Not quite, according to both himself and his manager. "He's obviously the best hitter we've had so far this year," said Zephyrs manager Tim Foli. "He's still swinging the bat great, and he's putting it all together. But there are things -- running the bases, defensively -- that he has to improve on to be the type of player he can. He's not a player who will go up there and play once in a while. He is an every-day player in the big leagues. And so we're trying to get him ready."

"You have to go out and try to continue to improve, and know that you need to improve, no matter how well you're doing," said Godwin.

Specifically, Godwin is working on getting out of the batter's box more quickly (he's obviously making some headway here as he has five infield hits so far this year), his stealing technique (he has been caught four times in 10 attempts) and his fielding, trying to get a better jump on the ball from his center field position (he has 2 errors in 50 chances).

Once the polish has been applied and buffed, Godwin could end up being something special. Foli agrees: "When he gets good enough to be consistent, then he'll be a big-leaguer making beaucoup money."

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