Things really seemed to click for Brian Goodwin following the 2015 season, when he batted .316 in 154 plate appearances over 35 games in the Venezuelan Winter League. He then followed that up with a strong campaign back in the states, slashing .280/.349/.438 in 492 plate appearances over 119 games with Triple-A Syracuse before earning a promotion to the big leagues in the fall, where he batted .286 in 44 plate appearances. That batting average can essentially be thrown out altogether, as it was accompanied by a .429 BABIP and 31.8 percent strikeout rate. Additionally, he had been a below league-average hitter at Triple-A in 2014 (92 wRC+) and at Double-A in 2015 (81 wRC+), so the fact that he finally succeeded against upper-level minor league pitching last season may have had more to do with his age (25) than anything else. He will compete with Michael Taylor and Chris Heisey for a bench role, and is likely to open 2017 back at Triple-A.
Goodwin will compete for a bench spot with the Nationals in spring training, but will likely begin the season back at Triple-A Syracuse. The 26-year-old restored some of his prospect luster last season, hitting .280/.349/.438 with 14 home runs and 15 steals in 119 Triple-A games, but a crowded outfield picture in Washington makes Goodwin a long shot to break camp on the 25-man roster. Neither Jayson Werth nor Bryce Harper is exactly an iron man, though, so look for Goodwin to be the first outfielder called up if injuries create an opening during the regular season.
Goodwin went 1-for-2 with a triple and two RBI in the Nationals' blowout loss at the hands of the Diamondbacks on Monday. Goodwin earned the start in right field with Bryce Harper out of the lineup and responded with his first career triple. The 25-year-old is hitting .389 in September and could see a fair number of at-bats the final week as the Nationals try to get healthy for the playoffs.
Goodwin was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Friday. While Goodwin can play all three outfield spots and turned in strong numbers at Syracuse in his age-25 season (.280/.349/.438), there simply is not a clear path to regular at-bats with the major league team. Chances are, he will be used primarily as a pinch-hitter and late-game defensive replacement.
The Nationals optioned Goodwin to Triple-A Syracuse on Thursday, CSN's Mark Zuckerman reports. Goodwin held his own in his first stint at the big-league level, going 4-for-16 (.250) with two RBI over seven games, but he will head back to Syracuse for now with Ryan Zimmerman on the verge of returning. There's a good chance Goodwin rejoins the Nationals when rosters expand in September.
Goodwin is out of the lineup Sunday against the Braves, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports. Goodwin was originally penciled in to start in right field, but he'll be back on the bench Sunday due to the return of Bryce Harper (neck). The Nationals will presumably keep Goodwin around in case Harper suffers a setback, but for now, look for his playing time to be drastically reduced. He had started three straight in right field leading up to Sunday.