Nationals select contract of INF Emmanuel Burriss, place INF Anthony Rendon on 15-day DL

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by Amanda Comak

The Washington Nationals selected the contract of infielder Emmanuel Burriss from Triple-A Syracuse on Friday and placed infielder Anthony Rendon on the 15-day disabled list with a left quadriceps strain, retroactive to June 25. Outfielder Reed Johnson was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

Burriss, a Washington, D.C. native and a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in the Tenleytown neighborhood of Northwest D.C., joins the Nationals for his first Major League assignment since 2012 (San Francisco).

The 30-year-old infielder is coming off one of his finest professional seasons, posting a .300 average, .377 on-base percentage and .412 slugging percentage in 116 games for Triple-A Syracuse in 2014. In 62 games with Syracuse this season, Burriss is hitting .278 (66-for-237) with eight doubles, five triples, three home runs, 25 walks, 10 stolen bases and 21 RBI.

A versatile infielder, Burriss has Major League experience at all four infield spots (183 games at second base, 62 games at shortstop, eight games at third base and two games at first base), and has appeared in four games in the outfield as well. Over the course of his Minor League career, Burriss has primarily played shortstop (470 games) and second base (146 games).

Over parts of five Major League seasons, all with the San Francisco Giants, Burriss is a career .243 hitter with 14 doubles, one triple and one home run.

Rendon, 25, returns to the disabled list for the second time this season. The Nationals’ dynamic infielder missed the first 52 games of the season as he worked through a left knee sprain as well as a left oblique strain. Rendon is hitting .290 (20-for-69) in 18 games this season with a .375 on-base percentage. He’s clubbed five doubles, walked nine times, driven in five runs and scored nine runs.

Nationals top prospects Lucas Giolito & Trea Turner selected for 2015 Sirius/XM All-Star Futures Game

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by Kyle Brostowitz

Right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito and infielder Trea Turner have been selected to represent the Washington Nationals in the 2015 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, which will be played at 3:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, July 12th at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Giolito, 20, is considered by many, including industry experts Baseball America and MLB.com, as the top pitching prospect in all of baseball. He is the consensus top prospect in the Nationals’ organization and is ranked by MLB.com as the No. 4 prospect and by Baseball America as the No. 7 prospect overall. Giolito will participate in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game for the second consecutive season.

A first-round pick (No. 16 overall) in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, Giolito is 2-4 with a 2.71 ERA (18 ER/43.2 IP) in eight starts for the Potomac Nationals of the Single-A Carolina League. He has piled up 57 strikeouts (seventh in the Carolina League) and has allowed 51 hits against just 12 walks this season.

Giolito was named the Washington Nationals 2014 Minor League Pitcher of the Year after going 10-2 with an organizational-best 2.20 ERA in 20 starts for Single-A Hagerstown of the South Atlantic League. He led Nationals farmhands with 110 strikeouts and, following the season, was named the “Most Outstanding Pitcher” and the “Top Major League Prospect” in the South Atlantic League by MiLB.com.

Turner, 21, joined the Nationals organization on June 14, completing the Dec. 18, 2014 three-team trade in which Washington also acquired right-handed pitcher Joe Ross. In ten games since joining the Double-A Harrisburg Senators, Turner is 14-for-39 (.359) with four doubles, one triple, four RBI, four stolen bases and six runs scored.

He joined the Nationals after hitting .322 (73-for-227) with 13 doubles, three triples, five home runs, 35 RBI, 24 walks, 11 stolen bases and 31 runs scored in 58 games for San Diego’s Double-A affiliate, the San Antonio Missions. He posted a .385 on-base percentage, a .471 slugging percentage and an .856 OPS along the way. Turner’s .322 average ranked third and his .471 slugging percentage ranked tied for sixth in the Texas League at the time of the trade.

A first-round selection in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft (No. 13 overall), Turner entered the 2015 season rated as the No. 2 prospect in the Padres’ chain and the No. 65 prospect in all of baseball, according to Baseball America. The same publication cited Turner as having the “Best Strike-Zone Discipline,” and being the “Best Athlete” and “Best Defensive Infielder” in the San Diego Minor League system prior to the trade to Washington. He is currently ranked as the No. 51 prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com.

Major League Baseball, in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America and the 30 Major League Clubs, selected the 25 players currently on each team.

Year Name Team Position
2005 Frank Diaz World OF
2006 Salomon Manriquez World C
2007 Emiliano Fruto World RHP
Collin Balester USA RHP
2008 Shairon Martis World RHP
2009 Danny Espinosa USA SS
2010 Eury Perez World OF
Danny Espinosa USA INF
2011 Bryce Harper USA OF
Brad Peacock USA RHP
2012 Alex Meyer USA RHP
2013 A.J. Cole USA RHP
Taylor Jordan USA RHP
2014 Michael A. Taylor USA OF
Lucas Giolito USA RHP
2015 Lucas Giolito USA RHP
Trea Turner USA INF

Nationals reinstate RHP Stephen Strasburg, option RHP Joe Ross to Triple-A

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by Amanda Comak

The Washington Nationals returned from rehab and reinstated right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday and optioned right-handed pitcher Joe Ross to Triple-A Syracuse. Strasburg will start for the Nationals on Tuesday night vs. Atlanta.

Strasburg returns to the Nationals after missing 21 games due to neck tightness. The right-hander, who tossed 5.0 innings in his lone rehab start, with Double-A Harrisburg vs. Richmond on June 17, allowed one earned run off four hits and six strikeouts while on rehab assignment.

Strasburg was 3-5 with a 6.55 ERA in 10 starts prior to landing on the disabled list on May 30. A career 46-35, Strasburg has posted a 3.25 ERA in 119 Major League starts.

Ross, 22, went 2-1 in three starts during the first Major League assignment of his career. The rookie right-hander followed up his MLB debut by pitching into the eighth inning in back-to-back starts. Over the course of his call-up, Ross posted a 2.66 ERA and an 11.50 strikeout-to-walk ratio (23 SO/2 BB).

Max Scherzer earns NL Player of the Week award on heels of no-hit performance

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by Kyle Brostowitz

Following his first career no-hitter on Saturday — and on the heels of 18.0 consecutive scoreless, one-hit frames — Washington Nationals right-handed pitcher Max Scherzer earned the National League Player of the Week award on Monday. Major League Baseball made the announcement on MLB Network. 
 
ScherzerAwardIGScherzer did not allow a hit while striking out ten Pittsburgh Pirates en route to the second no-hitter in Nationals history (2005-present) and the fourth no-hitter in Washington D.C. baseball history. It was the second no-hitter in Major League Baseball this season. 
 
Scherzer was perfect through 8.2 innings before hitting Pirates’ pinch hitter Jose Tabata in the left elbow. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last Major League Baseball no-hitter in which only one batter reached base, and did so on a hit-by-pitch, was thrown by Kevin Brown, June 10, 1997 at San Francisco.
 
Combining Saturday’s effort with his one-hit shutout on June 14 at Milwaukee, in which he carried a perfect game into the seventh inning, Scherzer has allowed just three baserunners (hit, walk, hit-by-pitch) while striking out 26 batters over his last two starts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Scherzer is the fifth pitcher in the Modern Era (since 1900) and the first since Jim Tobin (Boston Braves, 1944) to allow one hit or fewer in back-to-back complete games. 
This is the second Player of the Week award of Scherzer’s career. He also earned Player of the Week honors on June 24, 2013 as a member of the Detroit Tigers.
Scherzer, who took home NL Pitcher of the Month honors for May, joins Bryce Harper (May 11-17, 2015; May 18-24, 2015), Jordan Zimmermann (Sept. 22-28, 2014; June 2-8, 2014), Adam LaRoche (Sept. 1-7, 2014), Jayson Werth (June 30-July 6, 2014), Ryan Zimmerman (July 16-22, 2012; Aug. 15-21, 2011; July 30-Aug. 5, 2007), Stephen Strasburg (June 7-13, 2010), Josh Willingham (July 27-Aug. 2, 2009), Cristian Guzman (Aug. 25-31, 2008), and Nick Johnson (May 31-June 6, 2005) as honorees.

Nationals reinstate RHP Doug Fister, option RHP Taylor Hill

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by Amanda Comak

​The Washington Nationals returned from rehab and reinstated right-handed pitcher Doug Fister on Thursday, and optioned right-handed pitcher Taylor Hill to Triple-A Syracuse.

Fister, who will start Thursday night vs. Tampa Bay at Nationals Park, rejoins the Nationals after missing 29 games with right forearm tightness. The 31-year-old was 0-1 with a 0.93 ERA (1 ER/9.2 IP), no walks and 10 strikeouts in two rehab starts that spanned Triple-A and Double-A.

After leading the Nationals’ starting staff with 16 wins and a 2.41 ERA in 2014, Fister went 2-2 with a 4.31 ERA in seven starts this season before being placed on the disabled list on May 15. Despite missing the past month, Fister’s 2.71 ERA since the 2014 All-Star break ranks eighth in the National League and his 10 wins in that time span are tied for 10th.

Hill, 26, posted a 3.75 ERA in six appearances (12.0 IP) out of the Nationals’ bullpen. Four of Hill’s six appearances were multi-inning outings.

Nationals acquire INF Trea Turner

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by Kyle Brostowitz

The Washington Nationals acquired infielder Trea Turner from the San Diego Padres on Sunday, completing the Dec. 18, 2014 three-team trade in which Washington acquired right-handed pitcher Joe Ross and a Player to be Named from the Padres. In exchange, the Nationals sent outfielder Steven Souza Jr. and Minor League left-handed pitcher Travis Ott to the Tampa Bay Rays. President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcements.

Turner, 21, joins the Nationals after hitting .322 (73-for-227) with 13 doubles, three triples, five home runs, 35 RBI, 24 walks, 11 stolen bases and 31 runs scored in 58 games for San Diego’s Double-A affiliate, the San Antonio Missions. He posted a .385 on-base percentage, a .471 slugging percentage and an .856 OPS along the way. His .322 average ranked third and his .471 slugging percentage tied for sixth in the Texas League at the time of the trade. Turner was a non-roster invitee to the Padres 2015 Major League Spring Training, appearing in seven games for San Diego.

“We’re happy to complete this trade and add an exceptional talent to our fold,” Rizzo said. “From the outset, this was a complex deal, but we thought it was one that would better our organization for the present as well as the long term. That’s always our goal. We look forward to getting Trea into our Minor League system.”

A first-round selection in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft (13th overall), Turner entered the 2015 season rated as the No. 2 prospect in the Padres’ chain and the No. 65 prospect in all of baseball, according to Baseball America. In 127 Minor League games, Turner has posted a .322 average, a .397 on-base percentage and a .458 slugging percentage. He boasts advanced speed and base running ability. According to Baseball America, Turner had the “Best Strike-Zone Discipline,” and was the “Best Athlete” and “Best Defensive Infielder” in the San Diego Minor League system prior to the trade to Washington.

In his first professional season, Turner began the 2014 campaign with Short-Season Single-A Eugene before being promoted to Single-A Fort Wayne after 23 games. He was named the Padres’ Minor League Defensive Player of the Year, an Organizational All-Star by MLB.com and the No. 2 prospect in the Midwest League by Baseball America after committing just four errors in 248 total chances (.984 fielding percentage) in 50 games at shortstop between the two levels. At the plate, in 69 games (19 as DH), he hit .323 (90-for-279) with 16 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 24 RBI, 35 walks, 23 stolen bases and 45 runs scored after joining the organization following the 2014 draft.

Turner attended North Carolina State University and is a native of Lake Worth, FL. Following his junior collegiate season, he was named first-team All-ACC, second-team All-American by Perfect Game and a third-team All-American by Baseball America. He led NCAA Division 1 with 55 stolen bases as a freshman in 2012 and was a key cog in North Carolina State’s journey to the 2013 College World Series.

Nationals recall OF Matt den Dekker, place 1B Ryan Zimmerman on DL

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by Amanda Comak

​The Washington Nationals recalled outfielder Matt den Dekker from Triple-A Syracuse on Thursday and placed first baseman Ryan Zimmerman on the 15-day disabled list with left foot plantar fasciitis.

den Dekker, 27, joins the Nationals for the third time this season. A member of the Nationals’ Opening Day roster, den Dekker appeared in four games for the Major League team, going 0-for-2 in two at-bats off the bench. He was also added last week as the 26th man for the nightcap in the Nationals’ doubleheader split with Toronto, but he did not appear in the game.

In 47 games for Triple-A Syracuse this season den Dekker has hit .234 (41-for-175) with seven doubles, two home runs, 20 RBI, 16 walks and eight stolen bases.

Acquired from the New York Mets on March 30 in exchange for left-handed pitcher Jerry Blevins, den Dekker is a career .236 hitter with a .322 on-base percentage. He’s hit 12 doubles, one home run and 11 stolen bases in 84 Major League games (212 at-bats).

Zimmerman, 30, is hitting .209 with a .265 on-base percentage and a .346 slugging percentage through 56 games this season. He’s clubbed 12 doubles, one triple, five home runs, and driven in 34 runs.

Nationals acquire RHP David Carpenter from New York Yankees

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by Amanda Comak

​The Washington Nationals added another veteran arm to their bullpen on Thursday, acquiring right-handed pitcher David Carpenter from the New York Yankees in exchange for Minor League infielder Tony Renda. Additionally, outfielder Nate McLouth was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

Carpenter, 29, joins the Nationals in his fifth Major League season, coming to Washington after stops with Houston, Toronto, Atlanta and the New York Yankees. The veteran reliever has appeared in 210 games over the past four-plus seasons, working to an 11-11 record with a 3.73 ERA.

No stranger to the National League East, Carpenter was 10-5 with a 2.63 ERA in two seasons (2013, 2014; 121 games) with the Braves. During his time in Atlanta, Carpenter posted a 10.0 strikeouts-per-nine-innings mark, and over the course of his career (885 batters), Carpenter has worked to a 26.2 percent swing-and-miss rate.

Acquired by the Yankees from Atlanta this past January, along with Chasen Shreve, in exchange for left-hander Manny Banuelos, Carpenter appeared in 22 games for New York this season (18.2 IP) and worked to a 4.82 ERA. He was designated for assignment by the Yankees on June 3.

Renda, 24, was a second-round selection of the Nationals’ in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. The right-handed-hitting second baseman entered the season as the organization’s No. 12 prospect, per Baseball America.

A 2014 Carolina League All-Star and Arizona Fall League Fall Star, as well as the inaugural recipient (2013) of the Nationals’ “Bob Boone Award”, Renda was hitting .267 with a .333 on-base percentage with Double-A Harrisburg at the time of the trade.

Nationals select eight players on second day of MLB’s 2015 Draft

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by Kyle Brostowitz

The Washington Nationals selected eight players on the second day of Major League Baseball’s 2015 First-Year Player Draft.

Assistant General Manager & Vice President of Scouting Operations Kris Kline said the Nationals are always focused on taking the best player available in the draft.

“Once we got past the first group there, we tried to focus on some pitching. We got two or three quality left-handed arms,” Kline said. “We are always trying to take the best player available and obviously money is a factor at this point and we have to be careful with that, and that’s kind of how it played out this year. We’re very excited about it through.”

The Nationals kicked off the action by selecting outfielder Rhett Wiseman (Vanderbilt University) with their third-round pick (103rd overall).  During the regular season, Wiseman ranked among Southeastern Conference hitters in runs scored (2nd, 66), total bases (4th, 149), walks (T6th, 39), home runs (T6th, 14) slugging percentage (8th, .567), hits (9th 83) and triples (10th, 4). His .318 batting average ranks second on the club and his 14 home runs are tied for second.

Omaha, NE - JUNE 24:  Rhett Wiseman #8 of the Vanderbilt Commodores singles against the Virginia Cavaliers in the first inning during game two of the College World Series Championship Series on June 24, 2014 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska.  (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

Omaha, NE – JUNE 24: Rhett Wiseman #8 of the Vanderbilt Commodores singles against the Virginia Cavaliers in the first inning during game two of the College World Series Championship Series on June 24, 2014 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

In the fourth round, the Nationals selected right-handed pitcher Mariano Rivera Jr., the son of former Major League great Mariano Rivera. Rivera Jr. went 5-7 with a team-leading 2.65 ERA (25 ER/85.0 IP) in 14 games (14 starts) for Iona College. He was named 2015 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Pitcher of the Year after leading the league with 113 strikeouts and posting a 1.81 ERA in conference play.

“I really like this kid and our scout John Malzone, he tracked him a lot this year,” said Washington’s National Crosschecker, Jeff Zona. “He sits mid-90s with his fastball with a power 80 mile per hour curveball. It was very impressive. He was one of my favorites and I think we got a good one.”

rivera

As expected, Rivera Jr., has garnered much attention for being the son of one of the greatest closers in Major League Baseball history. “As scouts, anytime we go watch a kid that has Major League bloodlines – you look at the Boone family – there is something to be said for that,” Kline said. “It is a positive thing and the fact that Mariano’s kid is as good as he is right now, I’m sure his father had a lot to do with that. He has the genes. He’s not a tall kid, but he’s got big shoulders, long arms, big hands and that really helps as far as the durability for that size. His stuff is above average to well above average at times.”

The Nationals selected lefthander Taylor Hearn out of Oklahoma Baptist University with their fifth round pick. Hearn went 9-0 with a 3.50 ERA in 15 games/13 starts in 2015. He struck out 71 batters in 64.1 innings pitched. His nine wins ranked tied for third in the Sooner Athletic Conference and his 71 strikeouts were good for tenth.

In the sixth round, the Nationals selected the 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Pitcher of the Year, Matt Crownover, a left-handed pitcher out of Clemson (SC) University. He led the ACC in wins (10), ranked second in ERA (1.82), and was third in strikeouts (108).

On Crownover, Kline said: “He ended up being the ACC Pitcher of the Year and his numbers for his career are outstanding. In the end, as a professional, you’re probably looking at a four or five starter or possibly a bullpen guy that can fill multiple roles. The stuff is good – up to 92 mph – with solid secondary stuff. He really knows how to pitch.”

The Nationals selected Nicholls (LA) State University left-handed pitcher Grant Borne with their seventh round pick. Borne led the Southland Conference with a 1.39 ERA and ranked fourth in the league in strikeouts (93). He went 6-5 in 15 starts.

In the eighth round, the Nationals selected Oklahoma State reliever Koda Glover. The right-handed Glover posted a 1.90 ERA (5 ER/23.2 IP) in 23 appearances out of the bullpen in 2015. He struck out 28 against just seven walks.

Washington selected the Big Ten Conference Player of the Year, University of Illinois first baseman David Kerian in the ninth round. At the time of the announcement, Kerian led the Big Ten in average (.383), home runs (13), slugging percentage (.661) & on-base percentage (.467).

Kline on Kerian: “He’s a switch hitter with an advanced approach to hitting, and area scout Steve Arnieri spent a lot of hours with this kid. Steve was really excited about this kid. He ended up being the Big Ten Player of the Year.”

In the tenth and final round of the day, the Nationals selected Taylor Guilbeau out of the University of Alabama. Guilbeau went 3-6 wth a 3.69 ERA in 15 starts during his senior season at Alabama.

Over the first two days of the three-day Draft, the Nationals have selected a total of ten players: two right-handed pitchers, four left-handed pitchers, three outfielders and one infielder. Of Washington’s ten selections, one came from the high school ranks and nine from four-year universities.

 

Nationals select a pair of outfielders on first day of 2015 Draft

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by Kyle Brostowitz

The Washington Nationals selected collegiate outfielder Andrew Stevenson (Louisiana State University) with the 58th-overall pick, and outfielder Blake Perkins (Verrado High School) with the 69th-overall pick in the 2015 First Year Player Draft on Monday night.

Andrew Stevenson – OF – Louisiana State University

The speedy 6-foot, 184-pound junior is considered one of the top defensive center fielders in the Nation and one of the best hitters in one of the best baseball conferences in the country, the Southeastern Conference (SEC). He was selected in the second round as compensation for the Nationals not signing their 2014 second round pick.

“We’re adding to our already-fertile stable of athletes,” said Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo. “Stevenson is a guy that is a plus-plus runner. We have him at a 70-80 (on a 20-80 scale) as far a speed goes. He’s got ability to steal bases. He’s a terrific defensive center fielder. We think he’s got the ability to be a leadoff type of guy in the future and a guy who adds to our athleticism and speed part of the game.”

Stevenson was named First-Team All-SEC following the 2015 season after ranking near the top of the league in batting average (6th, .356), hits (T6th, 84), triples (T6th, 5) runs scored (T9th, 53), and stolen bases (3rd, 26). A three-year starter in center field, Stevenson excels defensively and is a two-time (2014, 2015) SEC All-Defensive Team selection.

A native of Youngsville, La., Stevenson led LSU in hitting (.356) and on-base percentage (.407). He also recorded 12 doubles, five triples, one homer, 21 RBI, 16 walks, 26 stolen bases and 53 runs scored in 59 games for the Tigers. Stevenson will continue to play this weekend as the Tigers have advanced to the 2015 College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

“We’ve always liked him,” said Nationals Assistant General Manager & Vice President of Scouting Operations Kris Kline. “He does have the ability to center the baseball. He has good hand-eye coordination. He’s actually had more success with a wood bat, and that showed up in the Cape Cod League. He’s always had a very good feel to hit and the other tools — we love the athletic ability and we see him as an every day center fielder in the big leagues.”

Prior to the 2015 season, Stevenson was named a 2015 Preseason All-American by Perfect Game.

As a sophomore in 2014, Stevenson led LSU and ranked eighth in the SEC in hitting (.335) while recording seven doubles, five triples, 32 RBI, 14 walks, nine stolen bases and 41 runs scored in 61 games (59 starts). He earned SEC Academic Honor Roll and 2014 SEC All-Defensive Team honors following the season.

Following his sophomore season, Stevenson helped the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox to the 2014 Cape Cod League title. He hit .327 with nine doubles, one triple, one homer, 16 RBI, 21 stolen bases and 30 runs scored en route to being named a 2014 Cape Cod League All-Star.

Stewart is a graduate of St. Thomas More High School in Lafayette, LA where he was named a 2012 Louisville Slugger High School All American and a Baseball America Third-Team All American. He also earned All-District and All-Acadiana honors as a wide receiver on the school’s football team.

Blake Perkins – OF – Verrado (AZ) High School

The 6-foot, 180 pound righty hit .461 (41-for-89) with eight doubles, eight triples, seven home runs, 35 RBI, 23 walks and 51 runs scored in just 29 games during his senior season at Verrado High School in Buckeye, Ariz. He posted a .583 on-base percentage, a .966 slugging percentage and a 1.549 OPS while striking out just 16 times. Perkins was selected with Washington’s second round pick.

“We’re going to give him the chance to switch hit,” said Kline. “He’s been doing that since he was a freshman in high school but never really took it into the game. He did it at the (pre-draft) workout for us and it was loose. (Nationals Hitting Coach) Rick Schu liked it a lot, so that makes him a little more versatile.”

Perkins was named a 2015 Honorable Mention All-American and a West Region First Team by Perfect Game and was selected to the Arizona Republic All-Arizona Team for the second consecutive season.

“I think the biggest thing about Blake is the athleticism and the passion and fire that burns on the field with him,” said Mark Baca, the Nationals’ Scouting Supervisor. “He’s got tremendous tools and is a really, really good athlete. The switch hitting obviously helps him with his speed. He’s a highlight reel. He’s a really good athlete and will progress well in this system.

Following the 2014 season, Perkins earned Division 2 First-Team All-State honors in the state of Arizona and was selected to the All-Arizona Team by the Arizona Republic after hitting .551 (49-for-89) with nine doubles, three homers, 10 home runs, 30 walks and 60 runs scored in 30 games.

The 2015 First-Year Player Draft will continue on Tuesday, June 9th at 1:00 pm ET.

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