September 23, 2014

Washington Nationals Minor League Update and Prospect Report for June 17

SYRACUSE CHIEFS
AAA-INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE
Week: (1-4, 2 PPD) Season: (27-40, 6th in IL North, 12.5 GB)

Danny Espinosa, 2B: The Nats injured second baseman is on a rehab stint with the Chiefs. He’s gone 2-for-9 this week with no extra base hits, four Ks and two walks.

Tyler Moore, OF/1B: Since being sent down by the Nats, Moore has continued his season-long struggles. He went 3-for-19 this week but making his few hits count with a double, homer and seven RBIs. He has struck out five times and has not drawn a walk. Season: .158/.182/.368 with one home run and 7 RBIs.

Corey Brown, OF: The left-handed hitting outfielder went 2-for-18 this week with two doubles and three RBIs and a whopping six strikeouts against two walks. Season: .250/.319/.528 with 10 HRs and 28 RBIs.

Eury Perez, OF: Perez went 6-for-21 this week with two multi-hit games, a home run and two stolen bases. He struck out three times and walked once. Season: .315/.338/.438 with four homers, 12 RBIs and 11 SBs.

Zach Walters, SS: Walters was named International League Batter of the Week as he picked it up this week average-wise after a miserable two-month start to the season. He went 11-for-19 with three doubles, three homers and seven RBIs with one K and no BBs. Season: .233/.265/.482 with 14 HRs and 32 RBIs.

Erik Davis, RHP: In his first appearance since being sent down, Davis got hammered Sunday pitching in relief. He gave up four earned runs on one hit and three walks, giving up a grand slam in the top of the 10th inning in Syracuse’s 8-4 loss to Toledo. Season: 1-3, 7 SVs, 4.21 with 30 Ks and 11 BBs in 25 2/3 innings.

Christian Garcia, RHP: On rehab from the big club, Garcia has made two appearances but has been shut down again with soreness in his shoulder after being out all season with a partially torn tendon in his right forearm. In three innings, Garcia has allowed one earned run on two hits and two walks, striking out four.

Danny Rosenbaum, LHP: Rosenbaum was lit up in his one start this week against Toledo, though he didn’t factor in the decision. In four innings, he allowed four earned runs on nine hits and three walks, striking out two. Season: 5-3, 3.75 in 13 starts with 41 Ks and 33 BBs in 72.0 IP.

HARRISBURG SENATORS
AA-EASTERN LEAGUE
Week: (5-1), Season (37-32, T-1 in IL West)

Brian Goodwin, OF: Goodwin went 5-for-21 this week with a triple and three RBIs. He struck out seven times and walked once. Season: .240/.346/.374 with four homers, 16 RIs and 13 SBs (8 CS).

Destin Hood, OF: Hood had a five-game hitting streak this weeks, going 7-for-20 with two doubles and an RBI. He struck out twice and walked once. Season: .249/.292/.373 with four homers, 28 RBIs and 4 SBs.

Sandy Leon, C: Leon went 5-for-15 with two doubles and an RBI this week. The switch-hitting catcher struck out twice and walked three times. Season: .235/.338/.350.

Taylor Jordan, RHP: The 24-year-old tall righty continued his breakout season, throwing a complete-game shutout Wednesday over Richmond. He allowed five hits and a walk to go along with his 11 Ks. Season (AA & AAA): 7-1, 0.93 with 68 Ks and 12 BBs in 77 1/3 IP.

POTOMAC NATIONALS
HIGH-A CAROLINA LEAGUE
Week: (6-1), Season: (42-27, 1st in CL North)

Michael Taylor, OF: Taylor had a five-game hitting streak this week, going 6-for-22 with a homer and three RBIs. He had 9 Ks and a BB and stole four bases. Season: .255/.337/.408 with six homers and 41 RBIs.

Billy Burns, OF: The speedster went 7-for-222 with an RBI, nine runs scored and six stolen bases. Season: .299/.428/.358 with no homers, 15 RBIs, 49 runs and 36 SBs.

Randolph Oduber, OF: Oduber went 5-for-22 with a double, four RBIs and a steal. He struck out seven times and drew two walks. Season: .251/.317/.377 with three homers, 28 RBIs and seven SBs (6 CS).

A.J. Cole, RHP: Cole was dominant in his start this week against Frederick. He allowed no runs on four hits and two walks over seven innings, striking out 10 in the process to earn the win. Season: 4-2, 4.16 with 82 Ks and 18 BBs in 71 1/3 innings over 13 starts.

Robbie Ray, LHP: The lefty made two starts this week on diametrically opposite ends of the spectrum. Tuesday he won, allowing one earned run on just two hits, though he gave up four walks. He struck out seven over seven innings. Sunday he had a rough go of it against Frederick. He gave up six earned runs on six hits (including three homers) and two walks, striking out five. Season: 5-2, 2.22 with 88 Ks and 33 BBs in 69 innings over 13 starts.

Sammy Solis, LHP: The big lefty was put on the seven-day disabled list with “general shoulder soreness”. Solis missed all of 2012 due to Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. Season: 0-0, 3.38 with nine Ks and five BBs in 16 innings over four starts.

HAGERSTOWN SUNS
LOW-A SOUTH ATLANTIC LEAGUE
Week: (5-3, 1 PPD), Season: (38-29, T-1 in SALLY North)

Tony Renda, 2B: Week: 7-for-29 with a double. 6 Ks and 4 BBs. Season: .291/.355/.415 with one homer, 27 RBIs and 13 SB (2 CS).

Brandon Miller, OF: Week: 8-for-29 with four doubles, one homer and eight RBIs. Season: .253/.310/.510 with 13 homers and 42 RBIs, 85 Ks and 17 BBs.

Matt Purke, LHP: Two starts this week for Purke as he continues to build up arm strength. Tuesday: 4 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 8 K, 2 HRs. Sunday: 4 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 2 K.

Robert Benincasa, RHP: 2 1/3 IP with a save in three games. Struck out five and no walks, hits or runs. Season: 0-1, 2.57 with 10 saves, 30 Ks and 5 BBs.

NATS TOP PROSPECTS FOR 2013

1. Anthony Rendon, 3B/2B – MLB

Rendon, 23, was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2011 draft and is a natural hitter with lightning quick wrists and developing doubles power to both gaps. He’s a potential Gold Glove caliber defensive player at third base and is learning to play second base at the Major League level to good reviews thus far.

2. Brian Goodwin, OF — AA

A 22-year-old center fielder, Goodwin was the 34th overall pick in the 2011 draft out of Miami Dade South CC. Possessing good power, speed and plate discipline, Goodwin is a capable defender in center and would be above average in left field if he ends up there. Went .280/.384/.469 between Hagerstown and Harrisburg in 2012.

3. A.J. Cole, RHP — HI-A

Returned to the Nats in the Michael Morse deal, Cole (6’4″, 180) is a 21-year-old right hander that profiles as a mid-rotation starter with the potential for All-Star stuff. He’s got a huge fastball (96-MPH) with good movement, a slurvy curveball that can be league average and good feel for his changeup at an early age.

4. Lucas Giolito, LHP — A, INJ

Giolito was seen as the top high school arm in his draft class and ended up with the Nats with the 16th overall pick in 2012 due to injury concerns as he missed his senior year of high school with a sprained UCL. The giant righty (6’6″, 230) made one two inning appearance last season for the Nats Gulf Coast team before being shut down and eventually had Tommy John surgery to repair his elbow in August. He boasts a plus fastball in the upper 90s, a power curve and a solid change-up.

5. Matt Skole, 3B/1B — AA, INJ

Skole was a 5th Round pick in 2011 and all he’s done since signing with the Nats out of Georgia Tech is mash the baseball. In 119 games between Hagerstown and Potomac last year the 6’4″, 220 left-handed batter hit 27 homers and drove in 104, hitting .291/.426/.559. Slated for Harrisburg this year, he injured his left elbow in a freak collision which required Tommy John surgery and is out for the season.

6. Nate Karns, RHP — AA

Another big (6’3″, 230) right handed starter, Karns has a nice fastball and good command over his other pitches, but none really profile as plus pitches at the big league level. He’s a shoulder injury survivor (torn labrum in 2011) so it’s easy to root for him, but the former 12th round pick probably has a ceiling at the back of a rotation or in the pen. But he’s got a big league arm.

7. Sammy Solis, LHP – HI-A

The massive (6’5, 230) 24-year old left-hander was the Nats 2nd round pick in the 2010 draft, with a projection for a quick path to the Majors out of U. of San Diego, but Tommy John surgery delayed his path after the 10 starts in 2011. Owns a 3.75 K/BB ratio in 23 minor league starts.

8. Matt Purke, LHP — LO-A

Purke, 22, was the Nats 3rd round pick in 2011 out of TCU, where is final season was limited by bursitis in his left shoulder, which resulted in his drop in the draft. National Freshman of the year, he was drafted and thought he had a deal with the Rangers but the deal was disallowed due to the Rangers ownership questions at the time. He’s possesses and above-average fastball and slider and has shown feel for the changeup.

9. Chris Marrero, 1B — MLB

It’s easy to forget Marrero is only 24. The often-injured right-handed first baseman is a natural hitter with gap power with impressive plate discipline. A capable defender at first base, he might not put up big home run totals in the Major Leagues, but his hit tool (.286/.353/.456 career MiLB) is real.

10. Eury Perez, OF — AAA

Signed as am undrafted free agent in 2007, Perez’ best tool is his off-the-chart speed. He’s stolen over 160 bases in three-plus seasons in the minors. He’s a smart runner and puts good use to his speed in center field, where he’s proven to be capable with the possibility of spectacular. Unlike many speedsters, though, Perez also has a plus arm. Perez is a slap-hitter at the plate and his career MiLB OBP is just a few ticks over his batting average, so plate discipline is an issue and question as he moves up the ladder.

11. Tony Renda, 2B — LO-A
12. Robbie Ray, LHP – HI-A
13. Zach Walters, SS — AAA
14. Destin Hood, OF — AA
15. Michael Taylor, OF — HI-A
16. Jeff Kobernus, OF/2B — MLB
17. Taylor Jordan, RHP – AA
18. Brandon Miller, OF — LO-A
19. Sandy Leon, C — AA
20. Erik Davis, RHP — AAA

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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