Down on the Farm
WASHINGTON, DC – The Nationals Minor League report is a weekly window into the Nationals farm teams, with updated standings, league leaders, team and individual player stats, and the latest team and player news.
This Week’s Top Headline
Nationals prospects - SS Danny Espinosa (14 HR in Carolina League, played in ’09 MLB Futures Game), 1B Chris Marrero (.294, 16 HR, 70 RBI with Double-A Harrisburg and Single-A Potomac), C Derek Norris (leads WAS system with 23 HR and 78 RBI), RHP Drew Storen (2.20 ERA, 6.14/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio at 3 levels, currently with Harrisburg) and RHP Stephen Strasburg (top overall selection in ’09 Draft) – will play for the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League. Washington prospects will join farmhands from the Baltimore Orioles, Oakland Athletics, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays on the Desert Dogs roster. Additionally, Harrisburg Head Athletic Trainer Atsushi Toriida will serve as one of the trainers for the Desert Dogs. The AFL, regarded throughout professional baseball as the “finishing school” for Major League Baseball’s top prospects, begins its 18th season on Tuesday, October 13.
Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs
International League North Division
69-61, 2nd Place, 3.5 Games Back
SS Ian Desmond was recently cited in Baseball America’s Best Tools survey voted upon by league managers as possessing the Best Infield Arm in both the Triple-A International League and Double-A Eastern League. For the season, Desmond is hitting a combined .318 with 21 doubles, three triples, six homers, 26 RBI and 19 stolen bases in 83 games with Syracuse and Harrisburg. He is batting at a .333 (44-for-132) clip with nine doubles, two triples, eight RBI, 16 walks and six stolen bases in 41 games since being promoted to Syracuse on July 16. In 42 contests with Harrisburg, he collected 52 hits, including 19 of the extra-base variety (12 doubles, one triple, six home runs). Desmond was the franchise’s 3rd-round pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft.
RHP Clint Everts fired 18.1 consecutive scoreless innings over 14 appearances with Syracuse and Harrisburg from July 12-August 24. For the season, Everts is a combined 8-1 with a 1.44 ERA and a 3.2/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (64 K/20 BB) in 39 games (56.1 innings) at the top three levels of Washington’s system. In six games with Syracuse, he is 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA (2 ER/7.0 IP). In his first career action at the Double-A level, he went 3-1 with four saves and a 1.53 ERA (5 ER/29.2 IP) in 20 appearances with the Senators. Before joining Harrisburg on June 9, Everts went 3-0 with two saves and a 0.90 ERA (2 ER/20.0 IP) in 13 games with Potomac. The Cypress, TX native was the franchise’s first-round pick (5th overall) in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft.
LHP Ross Detwiler is 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA (2 ER/18.0 IP) in his last three starts. In eight Triple-A starts, Detwiler is 2-2 with a 2.97 ERA (13 ER/39.1 IP). He has struck out 34 and walked 14. Detwiler went 0-5 with a 6.40 ERA in 10 games at the Big League level with Washington before being optioned to Syracuse on July 12.
Double-A Harrisburg Senators
Eastern League Southern Division
62-66, 5th Place, 16.5 Games Back
RHP Drew Storen has fired scoreless ball in 8.0 innings of work and recorded a save in each of his six appearances since joining the Senators on August 11. Before reaching Double-A, Storen went 1-0 with two saves and a 1.80 ERA (2 ER/10.0 IP) in seven Carolina League games with Potomac. Prior to joining the P-Nats on July 19, he struck out 26 and did not walk a batter in 14.2 innings (11 games) with Single-A Hagerstown. Overall, the Stanford University product has fanned 43 and walked just seven in 32.2 combined innings (24 appearances) with Harrisburg, Potomac and Single-A Hagerstown.
21-year-old 1B Chris Marrero is hitting .393 (11-for-28) with four doubles, five RBI and six runs scored in his first eight games at the Double-A level. Marrero hit .287 (119-for-414) with 21 doubles, two triples, 16 homers, 65 RBI, 42 walks and 58 runs scored in 112 contests with Potomac. At the time of his promotion to Harrisburg, he ranked among the Carolina League leaders in hits (3rd), total bases (3rd, 192), home runs (5th), slugging percentage (5th, .464) and batting average (t-5th). Marrero was Washington’s first-round pick (15th overall) in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.
RHP Brad Meyers is a combined 9-2 with a 1.58 ERA in 21 games (20 starts) with Double-A Harrisburg and Single-A Potomac. He has allowed no more than one earned run in 17 of those contests. On Saturday at Portland (Red Sox), Meyers picked up his third win as a member of the Senators, tossing 7.0 innings of one-run ball. In six starts during his first career stint at the Double-A level, he is 3-0 with a 2.03 ERA (7 ER/31.0 IP). At the time of his promotion to Harrisburg on July 7, he was 6-2 with a Carolina League-leading 1.43 ERA (14 ER/88.1 IP) in 15 games (14 starts) with Potomac. He was selected in the 5th round of the 2007 Draft out of Loyola Marymount University (CA).
Single-A Potomac Nationals
Carolina League Northern Division
First Half: 37-30, 2nd Place, 3.0 Games Back
Second Half: 35-23, 2nd Place, 2.5 Games Back
After hitting just .219 (21-for-96) in 27 July contests, SS Danny Espinosa is batting .312 (24-for-77) in 23 games in August. Espinosa leads the Carolina League with 81 runs scored and ranks among the league leaders in walks (2nd, 68) and OBP (5th, .374). Espinosa entered the season as the Best Defensive Infielder among Nationals prospects according to Baseball America. He was selected in the 3rd round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Long Beach State University (CA).
Single-A Hagerstown Suns
South Atlantic League Northern Division
First Half: 31-36, T-6th Place, 10.5 Games Back
Second Half: 18-36, 8th Place, 19.0 Games Back
C Derek Norris leads the South Atlantic League with 215 total bases and 79 walks. His 23 home runs and .410 OBP are both tied for the league lead with Lexington’s (Astros) Brian Pellegrini. The 20-year-old paces all catchers in professional baseball in homers and RBI (78). He has reached base safely via hit (119), walk (79) or HBP (8) 194 times in 117 games (1.76 times per contest). Norris was a 2009 SAL All-Star selection and he entered the season rated as the No. 6 prospect and top overall catching prospect in Washington’s system by Baseball America.
Short-Season Single-A Vermont Lake Monsters
New York-Penn League Stedler Division
29-34, 3rd Place, 7.0 Games Back
In 17 games as a pro, LHP Evan Bronson has allowed just three earned runs in 42.1 innings (0.64 ERA). He is a perfect 4-for-4 in save opportunities. Bronson, a 2009 NY-Penn League All-Star, has recorded 31 strikeouts against just two walks (15.5/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio). He has limited opponents to a .171 batting average against along the way. The southpaw has worked 2.0 or more innings of relief in 15 of his 17 appearances. Bronson was drafted by the Nationals in the 29th round of the 2009 Draft out of Trinity College (TX).
Gulf Coast League Nationals
Gulf Coast League East Division
33-17, 2nd Place, 1.5 Games Back
Including a 5.0-inning, two-run outing on August 25 at GCL Twins, LHP Daniel Rosenbaum has won four straight decisions. In 11 games (eight starts) overall, he is 4-1 with a 1.95 ERA and a 4.2/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (38 K/9 BB). Rosenbaum was a 22nd-round selection in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.