Wilson Ramos and Danny Espinosa get the call
It is the first day of September and that means one thing in the baseball world: September call-ups. The Nats recalled Wilson Ramos and selected the contract of Danny Espinosa–two players the Nats are hoping to be instrumental in their long term plans. Teams are allowed to add any player on the 40-man roster to the active roster–essentially raising the limit from 25 to 40 player but don’t expect the Nationals to add an additional 15 players, maybe five or six.
The 23-year-old Ramos is the prized catching prospect the Nats acquired from Minnesota on July 29 in exchange for NL All-Star closer Matt Capps. This is his second stint with the Nats. He debuted with Washington on August 19 at Atlanta when fellow catcher Wil Nieves was placed on the Temporary Leave List. Ramos is batting .258 (8-for-31) with one RBI in eight Big League contests with Minnesota (seven games) and Washington (one) this season.
Ramos hit .258 with 17 doubles, eight home runs and 38 RBI in 91 Triple-A games this season, including a .329 mark with three home runs and eight RBI in 19 August contests with Syracuse.
Espinosa won’t get the start tonight in Miami but it is only time before we get a glimpse of the possible double play combo of the future: Espinosa and Ian Desmond. Espinosa made the transition from shortstop to second base when he was called up to Triple-A Syracuse last month. Espinosa has always stood out because of his defense, with good range, sure hands and an above-average arm. At California State University-Long Beach as a freshman, he beat out All-Star Evan Longoria for the shortstop position. And Cal State-Long Beach or Shortstop U has a reputation for producing shortstop prospects: Bobby Crosby, Troy Tulowitzki and Evan Longoria (now a third baseman).
He is a switch-hitter who can drive the ball from both sides and hits for power. The 23-year-old focused on his approach at the plate in the Arizona Fall League in 2009 and it paid off. He worked with Hitting Coach Brian McArn (Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics) to strengthen his approach at the plate and help him get his foot down early.
In 123 combined games with Syracuse (24 games) and Harrisburg (99), Espinosa hit .268 with 18 doubles, 22 home runs, 69 RBI, 41 walks and 25 stolen bases this season at the Minor League level. On August 8, Espinosa became the second player in professional baseball to earn 20-homer, 20-stolen base status this season. There are currently five professional 20-20 players, including Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez (29 home runs, 20 stolen bags) and Arizona’s Chris Young (22, 26).