April 18, 2014

Scouting Report and Background on Taylor Jordan, the Washington Nationals New Fifth Starter

On Friday, the Nationals officially announced RHP Taylor Jordan will make his Major League debut, and start for them on Saturday against the New York Mets. Jordan takes the place of Dan Haren in the rotation, and was cleared a spot on the roster after the front office outrighted Ryan Perry to the minors and then optioned Chris Marrero.

Coming into 2013, Jordan was a relative unknown in the Nationals prospect world, barely breaking my top 30 for 2013. So, if you don’t know much about him, don’t worry, you’re not in the minority. Here’s a brief background and scouting report on the 24-year-old righty…

As an amateur player, Jordan played under former state coach of the year Chuck Goldfarb at Merritt Island High School. The Merritt Mustangs are well known for two things primarily: (1) their dominance at the class 5A level during the late 90′s and early 2000′s; (2) and as the alma mater of former phenom and current Pirates manager Clint Hurtle.

Merritt Island is located in Brevard County, which also happens to be the home of the Nationals’ spring complex. So, when Jordan posted dominant numbers as a senior for the Mustangs, the Nationals were able to get plenty of good looks at him. During the 2006-2007 season, while leading Merritt Island to a 22-2 record and a district title, Jordan went 12-1 with a microscopic 0.94 ERA and struck out 94 batters in 74.1 innings.

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Washington Nationals Minor League Update for the Week of 5/5/13

Welcome back to District Sports Page’s weekly Minor League Update. Throughout the regular season we will continue to post up-to-date stats and brief scouting reports on the hottest and coldest prospects in the Nationals’ minor league system. We also will track the progress of top-rated players in this columb, and give injury and suspension updates.

Here are some of the system’s notable performances from the first week of May:

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Washington Nationals Minor League Update for the Week of 4/28/13

Welcome back to District Sports Page’s weekly Minor League Update. Throughout the regular season we will continue to post up-to-date stats and brief scouting reports on the hottest and coldest prospects in the Nationals’ minor league system. We also will track the progress of top-rated players, and give injury and suspension updates.

With April coming to a close, the Nationals’ organization is looking pretty strong from top to bottom. The big club is off to a decent 13-12 start. But more importantly, they’re looking strong and equipped to perform at a high level for the duration of the season. Their key players are all healthy, and their crop of young stars continues to move forward at a healthy pace.

Bryce Harper not only appears to have avoided (knock on wood) a slumping sophomore season, but he looks to be putting it all together even earlier than anyone could have hoped. The same goes for their young rotation, which is firing on all cylinders. And while Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos are sitting on the DL with minor injuries, the Nats used their system to overcome their temporary absence quite effectively. Luckily though, both players are on their way back anyway.

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Washington Nationals Minor League Update for the Week of 4/21/13

Welcome back to District Sports Page’s weekly Minor League Update. Throughout the regular season we will continue to post up-to-date stats and brief scouting reports on the hottest and coldest prospects in the Nationals’ minor league system. We also will track the progress of top-rated players, and give injury and suspension updates.

So far this season, the Nationals’ minor league system has continued to be one of the most productive and exciting in pro baseball. Flashy young stars like Brian Goodwin and Anthony Rendon are off to loud starts, while an arms race of young pitchers has torn-through opposing lineups, resulting in heaps of strikeouts.

Things got even more interesting on Saturday though. The Nationals announced that they had promoted Rendon, who is widely considered one of the premier prospects in minors, to Washington to make his highly anticipated MLB debut. While the former  Dick Howser Award winner was originally slated to spend at least the first few months of the regular season in the minors at double-A Harrisburg, Ryan Zimmerman’s recent injury and Rendon’s hot-hitting apparently forced the front office’s hand. Regardless, this is yet another exciting development in a system full of exciting developments. Rendon follows a long line of homegrown stars on the Nats big-league roster, graduating after the likes of Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Ian Desmond, Jordan Zimmermann, Drew Storen, Bryce Harper and others.

Though Rendon’s promotion has grabbed the attention of the Nats faithful, the club has plenty of other thrilling minor-league storylines. Here are a few of them–hot off the presses:

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Washington Nationals Prospect Preview and Scouting Report: Brian Goodwin

Brian Goodwin
Center Field
Bats/Throws: Left/Right
Height/Weight: 6’1″/200lbs
Comparable MLB Players: Ray Lankford, Grady SizemoreAndy Van Slyke, Michael Tucker

 Present  Future
 Hitting Ability  4  6
 Raw Power  5  6
 Power Frequency  4  6
 Plate Discipline  5  6
 Running Speed  7  7
 Baserunning  4  5
 Arm Strength  6  6
 Arm Accuracy  3  5
 Fielding  4  5
 Range  6  7
 Overall  5  6

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Washington Nationals Prospect Anthony Rendon Reportedly Promoted to Harrisburg

Anthony Rendon batted third and played DH for the Potomac Nationals on Monday night going 2-for-4 with a run in his last game in Woodbridge. According to sources, Rendon has been promoted and heading to Double-A Harrisburg.

Rendon, 22, was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2011 draft. He missed most of the season rehabbing an ankle injury sustained very early in the season and only played eight games for Potomac Nationals.

Here are Anthony Rendon photos in a P-Nats uniform from Sunday when he was ejected in the fourth inning for arguing his called strikes.

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

NATS/SENATORS: Chien-Ming Wang to Make Rehab Start in Harrisburg on Friday

Chien-Ming Wang

Chien-Ming Wang pitching at Nationals Park (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Wang Slated to Start Game One of the Doubleheader Friday

Washington Nationals’ right handed pitcher Chien-Ming Wang is joining the Senators on a major league rehab and is expected to start game one of the doubleheader on Friday with the Richmond Flying Squirrels at Metro Bank Park. Wang was slated to pitch for the Senators in a rehab start earlier this year but didn’t due to the wet playing surface. He twice pitched for the Senators in rehab games last year.

Wang will become the seventh Washington Nationals’ player to appear for the Senators while on a rehab assignment this season.

Former Detroit Tiger RH Ryan Perry starts game two for the Senators. The doubleheader begins at 6:00 p.m. on Friday night. Both games Friday are scheduled for seven-innings with a 25 minute break between games.

Friday night is a 40” Flatscreen and Fireworks Friday night with nine 40” Flatscreen Televisions being given away once per inning for the first nine innings.

The Senators and Richmond Flying Squirrels play a five-game in four-day series beginning Thursday at 7:00 p.m. The other games are Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets for Senators’ games are available on game days 10:00 a.m. until the end of the game, and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until the end of the game. Box office hours on non-game days are Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tickets are available via telephone during the same hours as the box office hours. Tickets are also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, online at www.senatorsbaseball.com.

NATS/SENATORS: Six Harrisburg Senators named to Western Division All-Star Team

Hector Nelo Named to Western Division All-Star Team

The Harrisburg Senators, in conjunction with the Eastern League and the Reading Phillies, are pleased to announce that Senators’ reliever Hector Nelo has been added to the Western Division All-Star Roster and will participate in the 2012 Baseballtown All-Star Classic on July 11 in Reading. Previously, the Harrisburg Senators had five players named to the Western Division All-Star Team in the 2012 Baseballtown All-Star Classic on July 11 at First Energy Stadium in Reading. The Harrisburg Senators representatives for the game are Pitchers Danny Rosenbaum and Kevin Pucetas were selected along with infielder Jeff Kobernus and outfielders Eury Perez and Chris Rahl.

Hector Nelo is 1-2 with a 1.53 ERA in 24 games this year with a team leading eight saves in nine tries. He was signed by the Nationals as a minor league free agent on April 2, 2011. Last year, he led the Nationals minor leagues with 18 saves while pitching with Potomac. He was originally selected in the 15th round of the 2007 draft by the Texas Rangers. He has struck out at least two batters in 15 of his 24 games this season. He replaces Senators’ starter Danny Rosenbaum who is unavailable to pitch in the game. Nelo is the sixth Senator named to the Western Division All-Star team. He joins Kevin Pucetas, Danny Rosenbaum, Jeff Kobernus, Eury Perez and Chris Rahl, who were all named to the team on Thursday evening.

Danny Rosenbaum (7-4, 2.76) is sixth in the Eastern League with a 2.76 ERA. He had tossed two nine-inning complete games this year on 4/18 vs. Altoona and 5/5 at Binghamton. He was the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week for the week ending April 22. He was a South Atlantic League All-Star in 2010. The Washington Nationals selected the 25-year-old in the 22nd round of the 2009 draft.

Kevin Pucetas (6-2, 2.63) is fifth in the Eastern League in ERA. He started the season in the bullpen but moved into the rotation on June 3. As a starter, he is 4-1 with a 3.69 ERA. He was a Pacific Coast League Mid-Season All-Star in 2009. In 2008, he was a Baseball America Class A All-Star, and was also selected to play in the Futures Game. This is his first time in AA having played the past three seasons in AAA. The Nationals signed the 27-year-old as a minor league free agent on March 28, 2012.

Jeff Kobernus is second in the league in stolen bases with 28. He’s currently batting .272 with a home run and 12 runs batted in. He enters the 2012 season as the 20th ranked prospect in the Nationals organization according to Baseball America. He was a Baseball America High Class A All-Star last year. He was a Carolina League Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star in 2011. The 24-year-old was a 2nd round selection in the 2009 draft by the Washington Nationals.

Eury Perez is tied for 3rd in the Eastern League in stolen bases with 21. After starting the season slowly, since May 1 Perez is batting .343 with 17 runs scored, 18 runs batted in, and is 16 for 18 in stolen base attempts. He is the 22nd ranked prospect in the Nationals organization according to Baseball America and he received an invite to major league spring training this year. He participated in the 2010 XM All-Star Futures Game for the World Team. The 22-year-old was signed as a non-drafted free agent on April 13, 2007.

Chris Rahl is hitting .295 with six home runs and 33 runs batted in, both good for second on the club. He is second on the Senators with eight multi-rbi games. This is the third time in his career he has been a mid-season All-Star previously being selected as a Southern League Mid-Season All-Star in 2009 and a California League Mid-Season All-Star in 2006. The 28-year-old was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 19, 2011 for cash considerations.

Washington Nationals Minor League and Prospect Report for week ending June 10

Syracuse Chiefs, AAA International League (31-33, 5th in North Division)

Corey Brown: After his cup of coffee with the big club last month, Brown went right back to mashing AAA pitching. In his last ten games, Brown isn’t making much contact (.216/256) but is making it count when he does, slugging .595 over that period with four homers, two doubles and nine RBIs. His overall numbers sparkle (.284/.377/.586, 16 homers, 11 doubles, four triples and 39 RBIs).

Mark Teahen: The MLB veteran is plugging away in minors and quietly putting up a very good season for the Chiefs. He was hot again over the last ten days, hitting .342/.350/.421. For the year, Teahen is hitting .293/.347/.404 with just one home run, but 41 RBIs.

John Lannan: The exiled soft-tossing lefty for a while looked like he’d turned a corner on his season, issuing two straight one earned run performances, the latter on June 5 a complete game four-hitter where he struck out six and walked just one. But Sunday, Lannan got lit up again, allowing five earned runs on nine hits in a loss to Lehigh Valley.

Harrisburg Senators, AA Eastern League (33-29, 2nd in West Division)

Jesus Valdez: The 27-year old isn’t really a prospect, but he continued a very strong AA campaign the last ten days, hitting .293/.341/.512 for the Senators with two homers and six RBIs, most of which came in a two-homer, three-RBI games on June 5 against Binghampton.

Eury Perez: Perez has gotten hot, going .381/.413/.452 since May 31, though he’s only attempted one stolen base and was caught. The speedster had five RBIs over the span and scored four runs. For the season, Perez is hitting .288/.323/.329 and is 17-for-24 in steals.

Destin Hood: Has not played since May 24 with a wrist “issue,” according to manager Matt Lecroy.

Jeff Kobernus: Has not played since May 23 with a thumb injury.

Daniel Rosenbaum: Rosenbaum had a string of six games where he allowed one earned run total from April 18 – May 17. Since that point he’s been, well, human. His latest two outings were a two earned run, five-hit, three walk performance June 2 against New Britain (where he earned his sixth win of the season) and June 7 when he allowed three earned (four total) on eight hits and no walks, striking out seven in a loss to Binghampton.

Paul Demny: Demny has struggled recently, allowing at least three earned runs in each of his last four starts while failing to get past the sixth inning,. In his latest start, he managed just four innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits and four walks.

Potomac Nationals, High-A Carolina League (29-34, 2nd in Northern Division)

David Freitas: Freitas was named starting catcher in the Carolina/California Leagues All-Star Game to be held June 19. It is the third straight season Freitas has been named to an all-star game, having played in the NY-Penn League All-Star game in 2010 and South Atlantic League game last season. For the season, the 23-year old is hitting 0282/.386/.397 with three homers and 22 RBIs.

Chris Marrero: The first baseman has been playing in Potomac on a rehab assignment from the torn hamstring he suffered during the off-season. In four games for the P-Nats and two games for Hagerstown, Marrero is hitting .412/.474/.706 with a homer and four RBIs.

Justin Bloxom: The 24-year old third baseman has been on fire, hitting .323/.417/.742 with four homers and seven RBIs in his last 10 games. He leads the P-Nats with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs this season.

Michael Taylor: Hyped this off-season about having all the tools necessary to someday compete for the Nats center field job, Taylor has struggled to put it together in High-A this season. His season line of .236/.333/.352 (no homers, 23 RBIs and 10-for-17 SB attempts) doesn’t show the promise his athletic ability might indicate. Over the last ten games, Taylor is 6-for-30 (.200) with two RBIs and two stolen bases.

Robbie Ray: Ray put together a couple of stellar outings in the past week. On June 3 he went eight innings shutout innings, allowing just two hits and one walk, striking out nine in a win against Lynchburg. Five days later, he went five innings, allowing one earned run on three hits (but four walks), striking out six in a win over Salem.

Hagerstown Suns, Low-A South Atlantic League (38-24, 2nd in Northern Division)

 The Slugging Suns had four players named to the South Atlantic League All-Star Game. Infielder Matt Skole, catcher Adrian Nieto, outfielder Caleb Ramsey and pitcher Aaron Barrett, along with skipper Brian Daubach, will represent the Suns and the Washington Nationals at the game, to be played June 19.

Matt Skole: Skole is having a monster year at the plate, hitting .294/.442/.544 with 13 home runs and 56 RBIs. Over his past ten games, the left-handed hitting third baseman hit .229/.372/.429 with two homers and six RBIs.

Caleb Ramsey: A 23-year old outfielder, Ramsey is hitting .298/.365/.439 with five homers and 35 RBIs for the Suns.

Adrian Nieto: A fifth round pick in the 2008 draft, Nieto is hitting .259/.331/.403 with four homers and 25 RBIs this season.

Aaron Barrett: Barrett, the ninth round pick of the 2010 draft, has seven saves with 37 strikeouts against just nine walks in 23 2/3 innings this season with a 3.42 ERA.

Washington Nationals Minor League Scoreboard for May 28

Compiled from press releases from Washington Nationals minor league affiliates

Syracuse Chiefs, AAA International League

The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, dropped their series opener to the Louisville Bats, 4-3, on Monday afternoon. All seven runs in the game were scored in the first three innings, with Louisville’s bullpen tossing six scoreless frames to shut down the Chiefs’ offense.Syracuse (23-28) struck early, scoring two runs within the game’s first three batters against Bats right-hander Wirfin Obispo. After Josh Johnson singled to begin the game, left fielder Jim Negrych laced a triple to right field, his first three-base hit of the season, to score Johnson. First baseman Mark Teahen followed with a groundout to first base, plating Negrych for a 2-0 lead.

But it didn’t take long for Louisville (17-35) to retaliate against Chiefs right-hander Mitch Atkins. Kristopher Negron singled to lead off the game, and left fielder Felix Perez followed with a run-scoring double to center field. Perez was thrown out at third trying for a triple, negating the initial rally, but the Bats quickly put Atkins in trouble once more. Neftali Soto and Daniel Dorn each reached on hard-hit infield singles, and a Cody Puckett groundout advanced the runners to second and third. With two outs, third baseman Willie Harris doubled to right field, scoring both runners for a 3-2 Louisville advantage.

In the bottom of the second inning, Negron added to the lead with a solo home run to left field. The center fielder’s fifth home run of the season doubled the lead to 4-2.

The Chiefs got a run back in the third inning thanks to the middle of their order. Teahen doubled with one out, and two batters later, Xavier Paul drove him in with a run-scoring single. The inning would be Obispo’s last, after allowing five hits and three runs.

However, three Bats relievers would combine to shut the Chiefs out after the third inning. Scott Carroll tossed three innings to bridge the gap until the seventh inning. Nick Christiani then entered to record the next eight outs, but Carlos Rivero’s two-out pinch-hit double in the ninth ended the right-hander’s night. Jordan Smith then entered for the Bats and retired Johnson on a groundout, sealing the Louisville victory.

The Chiefs and Bats will resume their series Tuesday morning with an 11:05 start time. Syracuse left-hander Zach Duke and Louisville left-hander Jeff Francis are the scheduled starters. 

Harrisburg Senators, AA Eastern League 
Monday evening the Harrisburg Senators dropped the series-finale against the Reading Phillies 8-0. Reading’s high-powered offense was put on display throughout the game as the R-Phils pounded out 15 hits, with 12 coming against previously unbeaten Harrisburg starter Danny Rosenbaum.

With the game scoreless into the fourth, Cesar Hernandez singled and one batter later scored when Sebastian Valle homered for the second time in the series. Reading then loaded the bases and plated one more in the inning on a sacrifice fly by Troy Hanzawa.

Reading added three more in the fifth to take a commanding 6-0 lead. They tacked on single runs in the seventh and eighth innings for the final margin.

Reading starting pitcher David Buchanan pitched a complete-game shut-out, as he was scattered seven hits. Buchanan faced just one more than the minimum through the first six innings, and strike out five while walking just one.

Harrisburg was led offensively by Stephen King and Jesus Valdez. King had a single and double, while Valdez had a pair of singles. Valdez has now hit safely in seven consecutive games.

The Senators continue the seven-game homestand Tuesday evening as they welcome the Portland Sea Dogs for their lone trip to City Island in 2012. Portland sends RH Billy Buckner (3-2, 3.28), while the Sens send RH Ryan Tatusko the hill for his second straight spot start.

Potomac Nationals, High-A Eastern League

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans defeated the Potomac Nationals 3-2 in front of a crowd 4,214 on Memorial Day at Pfitzner Stadium. Cody Buckel tossed six innings for the Pelicans striking out nine earning the victory.

Myrtle Beach started the scoring in the second off of Potomac starter Robbie Ray. Vinny DiFazio doubled then scored on a two-out single by Jake Skole to give the Pelicans a 1-0 lead.

The Pelicans scored again in the fourth. Tomas Telis led off reaching on a throwing error by Zach Walters. Christian Villanueva singled in Telis on a line drive to left and the Pelicans led 2-0.

Again Myrtle got on the board thanks to defensive miscues by the P-Nats. In the top of the seventh, DiFazio hit a double to right that Randolph Oduber lost in the sky. DiFazio then scored on a wild pitch extending the Pelican lead to 3-0. The day ended in the seventh for Ray who gave up three runs with just two earned and struck out two. It was the first time into the seventh for Ray in his professional career.

The Pelicans starter Cody Buckel had no problems with the Nationals. He tossed six innings striking out nine and yielding just three hits while walking one. Buckel struck out nine over six scoreless for the second time against the P-Nats in three starters.

Potomac did finally score in the eighth off of Myrtle Beach reliever Ben Henry. Justin Bloxom led off the inning with a single. Then Adrian Sanchez hit a triple off the right field wall scoring Bloxom to bring the P-Nats within 3-1. But with no out, Randolph Oduber struck out. The next batter Blake Kelso hit into a 1-5 double play lining a ball back to the pitcher Henry who threw out Sanchez who was caught off of third base.

The Nationals last chance was in the ninth inning against Jimmy Reyes of Myrtle Beach. JP Ramirez led off the inning with a double. He would score on a one-out infield single by David Freitas to bring Potomac within 3-2 of Myrtle Beach. Freitas was pinch ran for by Francisco Soriano. With Zach Walters batting, Soriano was caught stealing 1-3-6 on a pick off move by Reyes for the second out of the inning. Walters struck out to end the contest and Reyes earned his second save of the season. Buckel (4-2) lowered his ERA to a Carolina League leading 1.19. Ray (1-2) tossed a quality start but took his first home loss of the season.

Washington 1B/OF Michael Morse comes to the Pfitz tomorrow to start a rehab assignment with Potomac. The Nationals face off with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans for a 7:05 PM start.

Hagerstown Suns, Low-A South Atlantic League

The Hagerstown Suns (30-20) handed the Greensboro Grasshoppers (36-15) just their fifth home loss of the season in a 9-7 at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday night.

Suns starting pitcher Alex Meyer (3-3) earned the win by allowing just one run over five innings. Colin Bates delivered three scoreless out of the bullpen before lefty Bobby Lucas was hit four six runs (four earned) in the ninth inning. Aaron Barrett came on to record the final two outs of the game and secure his sixth save of the season, second in as many nights.

Left fielder Billy Burns went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, while Jason Martinson doubled and drove in a pair of runs. Third baseman Matt Skole hit his team-leading 11th home run of the season.

Grasshoppers starting pitcher Charlie Lowell (3-2) suffered the loss, allowing seven runs on nine hits in five innings. Shortstop Ryan Goetz went 2-for-5 with a grand slam, his first homer of the season.

The Suns will play game two of the series with Greensboro on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. when RHP Taylor Hill (4-3) makes the start for the Suns against Greensboro’s RHP Jose Urena (3-3).

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