July 17, 2019

Washington Nationals Minor League Update and Prospect Report for August 17

Here is a look around the Washington Nationals farm system.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS

AAA-INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE

Week: (4-2) Season: (54-69. 5th in IL North. 15.0 GB )

Matt Skole: Week: 5-20, 3 runs scored, 3 walks, 3 RBIs.  Season: .228/.337/.409 with 16 homers and 70 RBIs.  106 Ks and 62 BBs.

Trea Turner: Week: 7-20, 4 runs scored, 3 walks, 1 RBI.  Season: .319/.369/.456 with 8 homers and 54 RBIs.  95 Ks and 38 BBs.

HARRISBURG SENATORS 

AA EASTERN LEAGUE 

Week: (1-5) Season: (57-64. 5th in EL East. 12.5 GB)

Lucas Giolito: In his start on Friday against the Bowie Baysox, the number one prospect in the Washington Nationals organization threw 7 innings and struck out 11 only allowing 1 hit and 1 walk as he earned the win.  Season (High-A, AA): 4-6, 3.09 ERA with 109 Ks and 31 BBs in 93.1 innings pitched.

Wilmer Difo: Week: 9-24, 1 run scored, 1 home run, 1 walk, 6 RBIs.  Season:.294/.338/.414 with 4 homers and 43 RBIs.  71Ks and 18 BBs.

POTOMAC NATIONALS 

HIGH-A CAROLINA LEAGUE

Week: (4-3) Season: (55-64. 3rd in CL North. 5.5 GB)

Austen Williams: Week: In his start on Friday against the Wilmington Blue Rocks he pitched 6 innings and struck out three while allowing 3 hits and 3 walks.  Season: 12-5, 2.41 ERA with 90 Ks and 26 BBs in 115.2 innings pitched.

Grant DeBruin: Week: 10-24, 2 runs scored, 9 RBIs.  Season: .312/.364/.409 with 3 homers and 57 RBIs.  52 Ks and 29 BBs.

HAGERSTOWN SUNS

LOW-A SOUTH ATLANTIC LEAGUE

Week: (4-2) Season: (60-57. 4th in SL North. 11.0 GB)

Osvaldo Abreu: Week: 4-19, 6 runs scored, 3 home runs,3 walks, and 3 RBIs.  Season: .278/.357/.419 with 5 homers and 40 RBIs.  72 Ks and 40 BBs.

Jose Marmolejos-Diaz: Week: 10-22, 4 runs scored, 1 home run, 4 walks, and 6 RBIs.  Season: .308/.488/.844 with 10 home runs and 73 RBIs.  72 Ks and 27 BBs.

 

 

 

 

Harrisburg Senators Game 65 Review: Big Inning Key In Sens Win

SENS SIX-RUN FIFTH FUELS BIG WIN

Harrisburg (Nats AA Affiliate) sent 11 men to bat in the fifth inning and were able to push across six runs en route to a 7-6 victory over the Richmond Flying Squirrels (SF Giants AA Affiliate) Thursday night in front of 5,590 fans at Metro Bank Park.  The victory helped the Sens avoid the sweep.

After the top of the first two innings, the Flying Squirrels were able to score four runs off Harrisburg starter Matthew Spann.  Spann went three innings allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits.  He walked two and struck out three before exiting the game.  The Senators were able to get a run back in the bottom of the second in a two out rally.  With two out and none on, Pedro Severino reached first base on a throwing error by Richmond second baseman Myles Schroder.  Christopher Bostick drove Severino in with an RBI double to left field, making it a 4-1 game.  It was Bostick’s first RBI as a Senator.

Bryan Harper entered the game for the Senators in the fourth and fifth inning to begin a streak of five straight scoreless innings by the Sens bullpen.  Harper allowed just one hit in two innings with one strikeout and ended up with the win (1-1).  Paul Demny followed with two perfect innings and Gilberto Mendez pitched a perfect eight inning.

“We had a good feeling about our bullpen, even when we couldn’t put teams away the last few games.  Richmond scored four runs but it could’ve been worse but our pitching and defense came through when needed to keep this game in striking range.  Harper and Demny continued to do what they’ve been doing.  They’ve done a great job, Mendez has done a great job and we’re now in a situation where we can give these arms one inning at a time to keep them fresh.  It was a big win for us,” Harrisburg manager Brian Daubach said following the win.

The bottom of the fifth proved to be the difference for the Senators.  With one out, Cutter Dykstra got to first on a walk.  Jose Lozada, pinch hitting for Harper, singled to move Dykstra to third.  With Wilmer Difo batting, Lozada stole second, and Difo responded with an RBI single to score Dykstra.  Trea Turner followed with a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score Lozada and Difo used his speed to advance to second base and beat the throw to second.  Brian Goodwin walked and Richmond changed pitchers.  Matt Skole came up and singled to centerfield to score Difo to tie the game at 4.  A Drew Vettleson single and a throwing error by right fielder Mac Williamson sent Goodwin and Skole across the plate to give Harrisburg their first lead of the game, 6-4.  The error also sent Vettleson to second base.  After Severino walked, Bostick reached first base on a throwing error by Schroder, his second error of the game.  Vettleson scored and it was a 7-4 game.

“We put some good at-bats together and fed off each other.  Once one guy got a hit, it kind of opened up the gates for everyone else.  We put together five or six good at-bats in a row and really put the pressure on them and we got some big hits tonight,” said Matt Skole.

Things got shaky in the top of the ninth inning as Harrisburg was trying to close out the game.  An error started off the inning and an RBI triple followed two batters later off Senators reliever Sam Runion.  Runion kept it a 7-5 game by striking out the next batter, but a dropped popup allowed Richmond to bring the game to within one run.  However, Runion induced a flyout to end the game.

HERO: Wilmer Difo, Matt Skole, and Drew Vettleson each contributing RBI singles in the big fifth inning for Harrisburg.

GOAT: Richmond starting pitcher Tyler Beede, second baseman Myles Schroder and right field Mac Williamson.  Entering the fifth inning with a 4-1 lead and only giving up one run and one hit, Beede struggled to retire the Senators as he gave up 4 runs (4 earned), two hits and two walks in the inning.  Two errors by Schroder resulted in two runs and Williamson’s error throw to third base in the fifth inning gave the Senators the lead for good and changed the momentum of the game.

SENS NOTES:

– Wilmer Difo was the only Senator with multiple hits in the game (2).

– The promotion at the game was the Cowboy Monkey rodeo.  Didn’t even know that was such a thing but it was funny and interesting.

NEXT UP: The Senators begin a nine-game, eight-day road trip, beginning in Altoona tonight at 7:00 p.m.  Richard Blier (4-2, 3.46 ERA) vs. Matt Benedict (2-2, 5.46 ERA).

Washington Nationals recall Wilmer Difo, place Werth on DL

The Washington Nationals placed OF Jayson Werth on the 15-day DL with a left wrist “contusion” and recalled 2B/SS Wilmer Difo from Double-A Harrisburg for his Major League debut, thus starting the clock on Difo’s MLB service time.

Difo is clearly one of the Nats best hitting prospects. He was a fairly unheard of minor league player until last season when he exploded for Low-A Hagerstown, hitting .315/.360/.470 with 14 home runs, tripling his three-year minor league career total in one season, and 49 stolen bases.

So far this year, the 23-year-old hit .320/.386/.533 in 83 plate appearances for High-A Potomac, earning him a promotion to Harrisburg, where he slashed .308./339/.500 in 56 plate appearances over 14 games.

Difo’s bona fides are solid. He more than held his own in spring training with the big league club and has passed every test the Nats have thrown at him thus far. Plus, he’s a switch-hitter, which helps in late-innings matchups.

It’s just curious that with Werth going down, he’s the choice for the promotion. Werth is exclusively and outfielder — the team’s starting left fielder. That job will go to Michael Taylor for the time being. Difo is exclusively an infielder — 282 games at short, 94 at second and 13 at third in his six minor league seasons.

The Nats passed on OF Matt den Dekker, who is on the 40-man roster, to recall Difo, who along with Dan Uggla are backup infielders for the Nats now. This means, the team’s current backup outfielders become Tyler Moore and Clint Robinson, neither of whom should keep a glove in their lockers.

I suppose the theory is that between Taylor, Denard Span and Bryce Harper, there’s no need to keep a defensive outfielder on the bench, as all three are more than capable and would never be replaced defensively. Moore or Robinson could complete a game in the case of an injury and a move could be made to recall den Dekker or someone else should another outfielder go on the DL.

Still, at 23 you’d think the Nats would want Difo playing everyday somewhere, not sitting on the bench at the Major League level, available for pinch-running and pinch-hitting.

As for Werth, x-rays and MRIs didn’t reveal any fractures in his surgically repaired left wrist, so he must be experiencing a lot of soreness in the wrist after getting hit the other day. Hopefully that’s the case and a couple of weeks off for Werth allows the soreness and swelling to dissipate and he can get back into the lineup.

 

Washington Nationals Game 11 Review: Nats top Phils on strength of Harper and Espinosa homers.

The Washington Nationals made it three straight wins, picking up a 7-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on an overcast and occasionally rainy Friday night in Washington. Max Scherzer made short work of the Philadelphia offense, and Bryce Harper and Danny Espinosa each went yard as the Nats topped a divisional foe.

Max Scherzer took it to a depleted Philly lineup tonight, making quick work of their order. Through eight, Scherzer threw 100 pitches, scattered five hits, and struck out nine. The Phillies’ only run came in the third, as an Odubel Herrera double to right field became a triple as Harper tried to leap for it in vain. Herrera would come around on a grounder from Freddy Galvis on the next pitch. Had Harper played the ball off the carom, it’s entirely possible Herrera never would have scored.

Bryce Harper once again made waves in the first with a crushing blast. With Escobar (single) and Desmond (hit by pitch) aboard in the first, Harper would absolutely crush a ball to dead center field over the 400-foot sign. Danny Espinosa would join the party in the 4th with a blast to right center just next to where Harper hit his homer in the first.

The Nationals weren’t content at 4-1, and pressed hard into the Phillies’ bullpen in the seventh inning. Ian Desmond would get things going with an infield single (ruled an error) that he was able to beat out on the basepaths. With two out, the Phillies saw a chance to get Harper with a lefty, and brought in Jake Diekman. Harper, whose career approach against lefties would best be considered a struggle, showed some of the discipline and focus we’ve seen in his early season, and drew a critical walk. Ryan Zimmerman would lace one down the right field line to score both Desmond and Harper, and Wilson Ramos would drive a run in with a well-hit ball that just caught Chase Utley off-balance, and he’d throw it away to let Zimmerman score.

Yunel Escobar would leave the game after running out a grounder in the fourth. The ball was hit deep into the pocket at short, and Escobar was hustling up the line to beat the throw. As he reached the bag at first, he came up short, putting his hand along his inner thigh at the groin. After being attended to by trainers, he left the game. Dan Uggla took over at second, with Danny Espinosa moving to third.

The Nationals have moved to 5-6, just 2.5 games back of the division-leading Mets.

GOAT – Sorry, no goat tonight. While Ian Desmond’s 7th error was less than pleasing, his 3-for-4 night at the plate, reaching on an error and a hit-by-pitch, I can’t give him the goat for this one.

HERO – Let’s give this one to Ryan Zimmmerman for a combination of incredible defense and a 2-run double in the 7th to put this one away. His diving plays today saved runs for the Nats, and his late double put the game out of reach.

NATS NOTES

  • Felipe Rivero made his MLB debut for the Nats in the 9th, going 1 full, with a strikeout, and giving up three hits and a run.
  • Matt Williams’ 100th win was last night, and he was the fifth fastest to the century mark. Congratulations, Matt!
  • Depending on the results of Yunel Escobar’s examination, the Nats may need to call up another infielder tomorrow, and the only one on the 40-man roster is Wilmer Difo. Could it be Difomas? Difo Day? Difotacular? One of those. Could be.

Washington Nationals minor league affiliate rosters announced

The Washington Nationals minor league affiliates all announced their season opening rosters and while there weren’t any real surprises about where players were set to begin the season, a couple of notable omissions stood out.

Top pitching prospects Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez were not assigned to an affiliate right out of camp. Rather, the two presumably will stay behind in Viera, Florida, at the Nats training facilities to participate in extended spring training before being assigned to a team.

Both, presumably, will be eventually assigned to High-A Potomac when they are assigned to an affiliate.

Wilmer Difo, No. 7 on Baseball America’s list of top prospects in the Nats organization, was assigned to the P-Nats, along with 3B Drew Ward (8) and RHP Nick Pivetta (10).

RHP Joe Ross (5), one of the players acquired in the Steven Souza Jr trade over the offseason, will start at AA Harrisburg, with RHP Austin Voth (11) and catcher Pedro Severino (12).

A.J. Cole, Taylor Jordan and Taylor Hill will highlight Syracuse’s starting rotation, with lefties Matt Grace and Rich Hill in the bullpen.

Catcher Raudy Reed, the Nats No. 22 ranked prospect, starts out in Low-A Hagerstown.

Washington Nationals Spring Training: Nats tame Tigers 9-2

The Washington Nationals roughed up David Price for four runs in two innings and beat the Detroit Tigers 9-2 on Wednesday in Viera, Florida.

Jordan Zimmermann went 2 2/3 innings, throwing 33 of his 47 pitches for strikes. He gave up one earned run on two hits, did not walk a batter and struck out four. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Honor Steven Souza Jr., Lucas Giolito and Wilmer Difo

While Wednesday evening brought with it thunderstorms severe enough to postpone the Washington Nationals game against the New York Mets, the team did announce that several of it’s top minor leaguers would be recognized prior to Thursday’s game.

Every year since 2005, the Nationals have handed out Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year awards. Starting in 2013, the Bob Boone Award was added to be given to the player that showed outstanding professionalism throughout the season. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Minor League Team-by-Team Awards

As the regular season comes to a close for minor league, District Sports Page now takes a look around the Washington Nationals’ organization and reflects a year that was in minor league baseball. (NOTE: These are not “official” awards. They have been selected by the writer.) [Read more…]

Washington Nationals’ Lucas Giolito, Wilmer Difo Win End of Year Awards

On Thursday afternoon, the South Atlantic League announced its 2014 Annual All-Star Team, as well as league MVP, Most Outstanding Pitcher and Most Outstanding MLB Prospect. A pair of Hagerstown Suns, Lucas Giolito and Wilmer Difo, took home several of those awards. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Minor League and Prospect Report for Week Ending June 15th

Another week of minor league baseball is in the books. Here are some names around the Washington Nationals’ organization that are making headlines. Notice that the Auburn Doubledays have begun their schedule. [Read more…]

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