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.