October 24, 2014

Nationals send eight to Arizona Fall League

The Washington Nationals announced today the organization is sending eight players to participate in this year’s Arizona Fall League, the post-season showcase for MLB’s best young talent.

All eight players, plus one coach (hitting coach Tony Gingrich), will be members of the Mesa Solar Sox, who begin play Oct. 8.

Position players: OF Brian Goodwin, 1B Matt Skole, C Adrian Nieto and OF Steven Souza (taxi squad).

Pitchers: Sammy Solis and Matt Purke (starters), Rboert Benincasa and Richie Mirowski (relievers).

Goodwin, Skole, Souza and Mirowski all played with AA Harrisburg this season. Solis, Purke and Benincasa are rostered at High-A Potomac.

Goodwin, 22, was the 34th overall pick of the 2011 Amateur Draft and will make his second appearance at the AFL. He’s hitting .251/.350/.403 with 10 homers and 18 SBs this season in 115 games with Harrisburg.

Skole, 24, hit 27 homers in 2012 but has missed most of the season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery on his left elbow, an injury sustained in a freak accident fielding a ball at first base. Nieto, 23, was lauded as a good handler of pitches when drafted by the Nats, but faced a 50-game PED suspension in 2011 which slowed his development. He’s hitting .289/.375/.455 with 11 homers in 106 games this season. Souza, 24, has struggled with shoulder issues his entire minor league career, but has put together a solid season in AA, hitting .285/.381/.545 in 70 games.

Solis, 25, is in his first season back from Tommy John surgery and is 2-0 with a 2.72 ERA and 1.226 WHIP in 12 games in High-A. He was the Nats second round pick in 2010. Purke, 23, has put up with lingering shoulder troubles from an injury in college, but has started 11 games for the P-Nats and has gone 5-4 with a 4.82 ERA and 1.429 WHIP. Benincasa, 22, has 15 saves in 23 games for Potomac and strikes out 10.3 per nine innings. Mirowski, 24, was 8-3 with six saves in 32 games with the P-Nats and 1-0 with a 2.73 ERA in 10 games with Harrisburg.

Trio of Washington Nationals Prospects in Arizona Fall League

The 2012 AFL Rising Stars Game featuring Potomac Nationals 3B Anthony Rendon and RHP Aaron Barrett will air on Saturday night, November 3rd at 8:00pm EST on MLB Network, MLB.com, and Sirius/XM Radio.

Anthony Rendon – Winston-Salem Dash v. Potomac Nationals, 8/12/2012. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Brian Goodwin on deck during spring training 2012 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

PAIR OF P-NATS PROSPECTS TO SHINE IN ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE’S RISING STARS GAME
P-Nats 3B Anthony Rendon and RHP Aaron Barrett set for national stage in the desert

Woodbridge, VA—Perhaps the most efficient barometer in determining the playing career projections of Major League Baseball’s most esteemed prospects is the nationally televised Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game. Since the annual blue chip showdown was initiated for baseball’s most polished prospects in 2006, a whopping 72.6 percent of the contest’s participants graduated to The Show. With almost three out of four prospects within this supreme talent pool accruing time in MLB, the 2012 AFL Rising Stars Game certainly provides a glimpse of the bright big league futures for the desert’s cream of the crop.

A pair of Potomac Nationals standouts and three Washington Nationals farmhands in all, who wear the uniform of the AFL’s Salt River Rafters, are set to make appearances on Saturday night in a ballgame that will definitely radiate the ambiance of a souped-up all-star prospect classic. Third baseman Anthony Rendon (1st Rd, No. 6 Overall, 2011), right-handed pitcher Aaron Barrett (9th Rd, 2010), and outfielder Brian Goodwin (Supplemental 1st Rd, No. 34 Overall, 2011) were chosen to compete by invitation only in the all-star game wrapped in an all-star league.

Among the best of the best, Rendon, 22, and Barrett, 24, both spent time with Potomac during the 2012 season, while Goodwin made the springboard jump from Class-A Hagerstown to Double-A Harrisburg. Amidst an injury plagued season, Rendon played well in limited action hitting .333 to complement five extra base hits and 17 total bases in just nine games with the P-Nats. Barrett was lights out in relief for the Potomac bullpen as he maintained a 1.06 ERA in 11 appearances, striking out 21 batters in 17.0 IP, and earning one save. Goodwin, who celebrates his 22nd birthday on the eve of the Rising Stars Game, hit .280 in 100 games over two Minor League levels, collecting 107 hits, 26 doubles, 14 home runs, 52 runs batted in, and 18 stolen bases in 25 attempts.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS AFL RISING STARS (stats as of 11/2/12)

RHP Aaron Barrett: NR, 3.38 ERA, 7 G, 8.0 IP, 1 BB, 7 SO, 2.00 GO/AO

OF Brian Goodwin: .268 BA, 14 G, 15 H, 11 R, 4 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 4 RBI, .931 OPS

3B Anthony Rendon: .275 BA, 14 G, 14 H, 8 R, 5 2B, 6 RBI, 19 TB, 3 SB, .367 OBP

2012 AFL Rising Stars Game will air on Saturday night, November 2nd at 8:00pm EST on MLB Network, MLB.com, and Sirius/XM Radio.

2012 AFL Rising Stars weigh in on the biggest star:
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20121102&content_id=40150518&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

To follow 2012 stats for the Salt River Rafters of the AFL head here:
http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?t=t_ibp&sid=l119&cid=527

ABOUT THE ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE
There are six teams in the Arizona Fall League: the Scottsdale Scorpions, Mesa Solar Sox, Salt City Rafters, Phoenix Desert Dogs, Peoria Javelinas and Surprise Saguaros. These club names were picked by Major League Baseball as reflective of the Southwestern desert traditions in the state.

The teams are broken into two divisions, East and West. Each Major League Baseball team sends six top prospects to the Arizona Fall League, 180 players in all. The games are played in the Spring Training stadiums used by the Giants, Mariners, Padres, Cubs, A’s, Royals, Rangers, D-backs and Rockies.

How good are the players in the Arizona Fall League? The 2011 All-Star Game in Arizona featured 41 AFL alums, including both starting pitchers — Roy Halladay and Jered Weaver.

Each August, Major League clubs hold a position draft to determine the players who will go to Arizona. Most are Double-A and Triple-A Minor League players. Each club can opt to send one player considered a Class A player.

Renew your P-Nats season tickets at Pfitzner Stadium for only $50 per seat. Five-game Pick ‘em Packs start at just $55 per seat. Sponsorship opportunities for the ‘13 season are now available. Plan your corporate outing now in preparation for next season as the P-Nats offer discounted group rates and all-inclusive picnic options. Visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com or call the ticket office at 703-590-2311 for more!

Washington Nationals Arizona Fall League recruits: Prospects, intriguing older players and head-scratchers

The Washington Nationals will once again be sending some top prospects and high draft picks to the Arizona Fall League. This year, however, they are also sending a couple of intriguing players with a little more experience and a couple of head-scratchers. They also plan to send one more as yet unnamed position player according to MASNSports.com’s Byron Kerr. But one player that won’t be going is top pitching prospect Alex Meyer, who was shut down last week after reaching his innings limit for the season in his first year of pro ball. [Read more...]

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