WASHINGTON — Brian Goodwin received the call of a lifetime last week, learning he’d earned his first promotion to Major League Baseball.
“I found out last night and, I don’t know, I just kind of blacked out from there once I heard it,” Goodwin said in his introduction to D.C. media. “I was just excited. Everything I ever dreamed of. Everything I ever worked for. Just to hear that news, I don’t know. It was unreal.”
Goodwin hit .284 with 11 home runs, 25 doubles and recorded 62 RBI in 401 at-bats at Class-AAA Syracuse this season, something of a breakout year for the Nationals’ first-round pick in 2011.
Nats GM Mike Rizzo glowed about Goodwin back in May, saying he would help the Nats at some point in the future, although he wouldn’t give a definitive timeline. “Probably as soon as this year,” he said.
Skeptics took that as Rizzo positioning Goodwin to be dangled as trade bait, but with Goodwin staying put past the Aug. 1 deadline, that proved not to be the case. Prohibiting his track to the majors was health, but his his breakout season realigned his fortune and made him a viable option for Washington down the home stretch of the season.
Coming into Friday, Goodwin was one-for-six at the plate in his first big league action, earning his first hit in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s 7-4 win over the Indians.
Rizzo again spoke highly of Goodwin during his weekly 106.7 The Fan appearance with The Sports Junkies on Wednesday.
Burke & Herbert Bank Fan Question of the Week: What can we expect from Brian Goodwin, who got his first call-up to the majors last week after being drafted 34th overall in 2011? — Erick in Nags Head
“Goody, he’s a four-tool player,” Rizzo said. “He really has good speed, good defensive abilities at three outfield spots, had an extremely effective season this year in Triple-A. Earned the right to get to the big leagues. He’s a guy that can run, put the bat on the ball and really help us on both sides, offensively and defensively. He can run. He’ll steal you a base. He’s a good all-around player.”
Goodwin earned his second big-league hit — and his first professional RBI — during his third at-bat of Friday’s game, on a sharply lined single which forced a difficult throw by Braves second baseman Jace Peterson. Daniel Murphy scored from third, making the score 7-4 Braves.