July 29, 2014

Washington Nationals Minor League and Prospect Report for Week Ending June 8th

Another week of baseball is in the books. Here are some names making headlines in the Washington Nationals’ organization.

Syracuse Chiefs, AAA International League, 36-27 

Taylor Hill (SP): In a very uncharacteristic-like performance, Hill gave up four earned runs on 14 hits Sunday afternoon en route to his second loss of the season (8-2). Don’t expect to see that often, however, as it’s just the second time in 12 starts that he’s given up more than seven hits.

Zach Walters (SS): Walters has bounced between the majors and triple-A, but he’s off to a quiet start this June for the Chiefs. In 32 at-bats, he has just six hits (.188 average) including a triple and a home run. That’s a far cry from the .381 average he posted in May.

Jhonatan Solano (C): The former backup catcher for the Washington Nationals, Solano has picked up a hit in each of his five games this June, including a 2-for-3 performance on Sunday afternoon. Already this month, he has two homers and five RBI.

Harrisburg Senators, AA Eastern League, 23-38

Brad Meyers (SP): The fifth-round pick of the Nationals in the 2007 draft, Meyers was released on Sunday afternoon. In his seven years in the organization, he never got higher than triple-A (16 starts in 2011), and was struggling with a 1-4 record and 7.16 ERA this year. In recent years, he also struggled with shoulder and back injuries.

A.J. Cole (SP): On Saturday, Cole made his first start of June and it was strong. He pitched five scoreless innings allow just two hits and striking out seven. His ERA dropped to 2.30 and he picked up his fifth win of the season in the process.

Matt Grace (Closer): In 3.2 innings of work this June, Grace has yet to give up a base runner while also picking up two saves. You have to go all the way back to May 27th to find the last outing in which he gave up an earned run. On Sunday, he picked up a two-inning save which dropped his season ERA to 1.07.

Potomac Nationals, High-Class A Carolina League, 34-28

Gio Gonzalez (SP): On June 6, Gonzalez made his first rehab start for Potomac and was a bit rusty. In 65 pitches spanning 3.2 innings, he gave up seven hits, eight earned runs and four four-pitch walks. He was once thought to make a start for Washington against San Francisco on June 11th, but it remains to be seen their plan for him after his poor start.

Stephen Perez (SS): This June, Perez is batting .280 (7-for-25) with two doubles and three stolen bases. In their three-game home series this past weekend, he went 5-for-10 with two RBI and four runs scored.

John Simms (SP): This past Saturday, Simms put together his best performance of the year on the mound for Potomac. He pitched seven strong innings in which he gave up just two hits, one earned run and struck out 14 batters. He picked up his first win on the season in his eighth start for Potomac.

Hagerstown Suns, Low-Class A South Atlantic League, 41-22

Lucas Giolito (SP): Last week, we pondered on when Giolito would pitch again. This week, he took the mound on June 3 for his first start since May 11th. He looked strong in his three-innings of work. The first-round draft pick struck out five while giving up three hits and no runs.

Jeff Kobernus (OF): Kobernus is currently a rehab assignment (fractured left hand) with the Suns and doing well. In four games, he’s batting .308 (4-for-13) with a homer and two RBI. The speedster is also 2-for-3 on stolen base attempts.

Spencer Kieboom (C): In the first week of June, Kieboom is off to a solid start. He’s batting .286 (8-for-28) with four doubles and three RBI. The catcher is currently on a five-game hitting streak going back to June 3.

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Brian Skinnell is a sports writer born and raised in the Washington, D.C.-metro area. He’s had work published on Yahoo Sports and Rant Sports, and has made several radio show appearances across the country to discuss his works. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+!

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