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Max Scherzer named NL Player of the Week

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by Amanda Comak

Following a week in which he carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning and then turned in perhaps the most dominant no-hit performance in Major League history as an encore, Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer was named the National League Player of the Week on Monday. Major League Baseball made the announcement on MLB Network.

In his final start of the 2015 season, Scherzer held the New York Mets hitless in a 2-0 victory on Saturday night, striking out 17 and allowing just one baserunner — on an error by third baseman Yunel Escobar. Scherzer, who also no-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 20 at Nationals Park, became just the sixth pitcher in Major League history to throw two no-hitters in the same season, and just the fifth to throw two in the same regular season.

He is the first, however, to throw two no-hitters in the same season without walking a single batter in either contest. Hall-of-Famer Pud Galvin threw no-hitters in 1880 and 1884 in which he did not issue a single walk.

While Scherzer joined Johnny Vander Meer (1938), Allie Reynolds (1951), Virgil Trucks (1952) and Nolan Ryan (1973) as the only pitchers ever to throw two no-hitters in the same regular season (and including Roy Halladay (2010) if you add the postseason), he is the first to throw no-hitters against two postseason-bound teams in the same season.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Scherzer’s 17 strikeouts (a career high, besting his 16-strikeout performance at Milwaukee on June 14) tied Nolan Ryan for the MLB record for strikeouts in a no-hitter – a record that had stood alone since Ryan struck out 17 Detroit Tigers on July 15, 1973. On Saturday night, Scherzer appeared to grow stronger as the finish line neared, striking out a franchise record (Nationals/Expos) nine consecutive batters from the sixth inning to the ninth inning.

And all of that came on the heels of 7.1 innings of no-hit ball in his penultimate start of the season, an eight-inning performance vs. the Cincinnati Reds on Sept. 28. All told, the final week of Scherzer’s 2015 season featured a 2-0 record and a 0.53 ERA (1 ER/17.0 IP), two hits, three walks and 27 strikeouts.

After Scherzer’s tremendous performances, the Nationals are the first team since the 1960-1961 Milwaukee Braves to throw three no-hitters in a 162-game span (Jordan Zimmermann, Game No. 162, 2014; Scherzer Games No. 69 & 161, 2015).

This is the third Player of the Week award of Scherzer’s career after he earned the honor earlier this season (June 15-21, 2015), when he threw his first no-hitter. He had previously taken home the award on June 24, 2013 as a member of the Detroit Tigers.

As an organization, Scherzer is the Nationals’ 18th weekly honoree. He adds to the haul from Bryce Harper (May 4-10, May 11-17, & Sept. 14-20, 2015), Stephen Strasburg (Sept. 14-20, 2015 & June 7-13, 2010), 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), Josh Willingham (July 27-Aug. 2, 2009), Cristian Guzman (Aug. 25-31, 2008), and Nick Johnson (May 31-June 6, 2005) as honorees.

Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg named co-NL Players of the Week

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by Amanda Comak

Following a week filled with dominance by both players, Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper and right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg were named co-National League Players of the Week on Monday.

Harper – who currently leads the National League in several categories, including: batting average (.343), on-base percentage (.470), slugging percentage (.674), home runs (41), OPS (1.143), OPS+ (206), runs scored (116), and WAR (9.6) – had quite a week at the plate. In seven games, Harper hit .519 (14-for-27) with a .576 on-base percentage and a 1.111 slugging percentage. He clubbed five home runs and one double, walked five times, drove in 10 runs and scored 12 times as the Nationals went 6-1. Harper struck out just three times in his 33 plate appearances from Sept. 14-20.

During this stretch, Harper became just the second player in Nationals history to tally 40 or more home runs in a season, joining only Alfonso Soriano (46, 2006).

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Harper’s 96 career home runs are the fourth-most for any player in Major League history before his 23rd birthday, joining only Mel Ott (115), Eddie Mathews (112), and Tony Conigliaro (104). At 22 years, 335 days old, Harper also became the sixth-youngest player in MLB history to hit 40 home runs in a season, again joining Ott (1929: 20 years, 203 days) and Mathews, (1953: 21 years, 316 days), as well as Johnny Bench (1970: 22 years, 249 days), Joe DiMaggio (1937: 22 years, 285 days), and Juan Gonzalez (1992: 22 years, 331 days).

Strasburg, who joined right-hander Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers in franchise history to post back-to-back 13-plus strikeout games with his performances on Sept. 9 and Sept. 15, set a Nationals record (2005-present) by tallying 37 strikeouts in his past three starts – the most for any Nationals pitcher in a three-start stretch.

The right-hander went 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA, allowing just one earned run over 15 innings in two outstanding performances at Philadelphia (9/15) and vs. Miami (9/20). Strasburg struck out 24 batters last week and walked just two, holding opponents to a .135 average, .167 on-base percentage and .192 slugging percentage.

During his season-best eight-inning performance at Philadelphia, Strasburg tied his career high with 14 strikeouts and limited the Phillies to one hit. He generated swings-and-misses on 30 of 55 swings, a 55 percent swing-and-miss rate – the highest by a pitcher in any start of at least 100 pitches in the past 10 seasons.

This is the third Player of the Week award of Harper’s career, following back-to-back honors in May (May 4-10, 11-17), the second of Strasburg’s career (also June 7-13, 2010), and the 16th and 17th such honors for the Nationals organization.

They join Max Scherzer (June 15-21, 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), 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 2B Dan Uggla, select the contract of C Pedro Severino, and recall LHP Sammy Solis

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by Amanda Comak

The Washington Nationals returned from rehab and reinstated second baseman Dan Uggla, selected the contract of catcher Pedro Severino from Double-A Harrisburg, and recalled left-handed pitcher Sammy Solis from Triple-A Syracuse. Additionally, right-handed pitcher David Carpenter (right shoulder inflammation) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

Uggla, 35, returns to the Nationals after missing 22 games due to back spasms. The veteran second baseman played in seven games on rehab assignment, making stops with Single-A Hagerstown, Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg. Uggla hit .217 (5-for-23) with one double, one home run, two walks, six RBI and five runs scored.

In 56 games with the Nationals this season, 34 of them off the bench, Uggla is hitting .191/.294/.291 with four doubles, two triples, one home run, 16 walks and 14 RBI. In his last 87 Major League plate appearances, Uggla is 17-for-74 with two doubles, two triples, a home run, 13 RBI and 12 walks. His lone longball this season, a three-run shot in the ninth inning at Atlanta on April 28, completed the Nationals’ record-setting comeback victory over the Braves.

Severino, an exceptional defensive catcher, joins the Nationals for the first Major League assignment of his career. Signed by the Nationals at the age of 17, the Dominican Republic native entered the 2015 season considered the “Best Defensive Catcher” in the Nationals’ minor league system, according to Baseball America. Severino has thrown out 38 percent of attempted base stealers over the course of 331 minor league games.

The 22-year-old catcher, who was a non-roster invitee to the Nationals Major League Spring Training this year, was hitting .249 with 13 doubles, five home runs, 19 walks, and 34 RBI in 90 games with Double-A Harrisburg at the time of his promotion.

Joining the Nationals’ bullpen for the fourth time this season, Solis returns to the Major Leagues after having posted a 2.03 ERA in nine games at the Triple-A level. The left-hander is 0-3 with a 4.39 ERA in 20 Minor League games this season across Double-A and Triple-A, and is 1-1 with a 5.54 ERA in 10 Major League games.

Solis, 27, returned to the minors after his third MLB stint on July 30 and allowed just three earned runs in 13.1 innings. He earned two saves while holding opponents to a .178 average against during his time with the Syracuse Chiefs.

Nationals recall INF Wilmer Difo and reinstate RHP Aaron Barrett

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by Amanda Comak

The Washington Nationals recalled infielder Wilmer Difo from Double-A Harrisburg, and returned from rehab and reinstated right-handed pitcher Aaron Barrett from the 15-day disabled list on Friday. Center fielder Denard Span was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 7, with back tightness and right-handed pitcher Jordan Zimmermann was placed on the paternity list.

Difo, 23, joins the Nationals for the third time this season. Most recently recalled on June 28 as the 26th-man for Washington’s doubleheader at Philadelphia, Difo has appeared in six games at the Major League level in 2015. He collected his first Major League hit in his first MLB at-bat, May 19 vs. New York Yankees.

Difo entered 2015 rated by Baseball America as the No. 7 prospect in Washington’s chain and was cited as the “Best Defensive Infielder” in the Nationals’ Minor League system by the same publication. In 63 games between Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg this season, Difo is hitting .296 (74-for-250) with 19 doubles, one triple, three home runs, 32 RBI, 14 walks, 14 stolen bases and 34 runs scored.

Barrett, 27, returns to the Nationals after missing 24 games with a right bicep strain. The right-hander did not allow a run and surrendered just three hits in 3.0 IP over four rehab games with Single-A Potomac. Before his injury, Barrett was 3-2 with a 5.06 ERA in 30 games out of the Nationals’ bullpen.

Since his Major League debut on Opening Day in 2014, Barrett’s 11.18 strikeout-to-walk ratio is the 15th-best mark among National League relievers.

Span, 31, ranks 10th in the National League in batting average at .304 through 59 games this season. He’s collected 15 doubles, five home runs, 22 RBI, 24 walks and 37 runs scored while going 11-for-11 in stolen base attempts.

Zimmermann, 29, is 7-5 with a 3.05 ERA this season. The two-time All-Star has been particularly strong of late, allowing just one earned run in his previous three starts, a 0.40 ERA (1 ER/22.2 IP). Zimmermann and his wife, Mandy, are expecting their second child.

Nationals RHP Max Scherzer named to 2015 NL All-Star team

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by Amanda Comak

Washington Nationals right-handed pitcher Max Scherzer was named to the 2015 National League All-Star team on Monday night. Scherzer joins right fielder Bryce Harper, who was announced Sunday as a fan-elected starter, as the Nationals’ selections to the National League squad. The 2015 AL and NL All-Star rosters were unveiled during the “Esurance All-Star Selection Show” on ESPN on Monday night.

Washington NationalsScherzer, who has now received three consecutive All-Star nods, is 9-6 with a 1.82 ERA in 16 starts thus far this year. The right-hander earned his first National League honor via player vote.

“We are thrilled that Max and Bryce will be representing our team at this year’s All-Star Game in Cincinnati,” said Nationals Managing Principal Owner Theodore N. Lerner. “The performance of both of these players during the first half of this season has not only contributed directly and significantly to our team’s success, but it has been historic in nature as well.

“We are so fortunate to get to watch both of these talented players on a nightly basis, and we are honored to call them ours. We can’t wait to see them get the credit they so richly deserve on a stage with so many of baseball’s brightest talents.”

Scherzer joined the Nationals this past offseason, signing as a free agent on January 21, and the 2013 American League Cy Young Award winner has had quite a memorable start to his career in a Nationals uniform. Scherzer threw the second no-hitter in Nationals history (2005-present) on June 20 vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates, carrying a perfect game into the ninth inning before pinch hitter Jose Tabata was hit with a pitch on his left elbow with two outs in the frame.

The no-hitter was one of three consecutive games in which Scherzer took a perfect game into at least the sixth inning, including his start ahead of June 20 (June 14 at Milwaukee) and the one that followed (June 26 at Philadelphia). Combining his no-hitter with his complete-game, one-hit shutout at Milwaukee, Scherzer became the fifth pitcher in the Modern Era, and the first since Jim Tobin (Boston Braves, 1944) to allow one hit or fewer in back-to-back complete games.

All told, Scherzer faced 54 batters between hits allowed (7th inn. at MIL on 6/14 – 6th inn. at PHI on 6/26), and opponents were 0-for-52 in that stretch (BB, HBP). Scherzer also ran his personal consecutive scoreless innings streak to 24.0 during that three-start stretch. He completed his third game of the season on Thursday night in Atlanta, despite suffering the loss.

Twice named the National League pitcher of the Month (May and June), Scherzer was also the National League Player of the Week for June 15-21.

The 2015 All-Star Game will be played at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday, July 14th. The 86th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries.

Max Scherzer named NL Pitcher of the Month for June

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by Amanda Comak

Following a month that featured his first career no-hitter and in the midst of one of the most dominant stretches in Major League history, Nationals right-handed pitcher Max Scherzer was named the National League Pitcher of the Month for June on Thursday.

Washington NationalsScherzer, 30, is the first Nationals (2005-present) pitcher ever to earn the honor in back-to-back months, as well as the first Washington pitcher to take home the award twice in one season.

The Nationals’ right-hander was 3-2 with a 2.33 ERA over the course of the month, but after allowing four earned runs in each his first two June starts, Scherzer carried a perfect game into at least the sixth inning in all of his final three outings.

Scherzer threw the second no-hitter in Nationals history (2005-present) on June 20 vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates at Nationals Park, and that feat only came after 8.2 perfect innings were interrupted when a slider hit pinch hitter Jose Tabata on the left elbow. That bit of history happened one start after Scherzer allowed just one hit and struck out 16 in a shutout over the Milwaukee Brewers on June 14.

Scherzer became the fifth pitcher in the Modern Era, and the first since Jim Tobin (Boston Braves, 1944), to allow one hit or fewer in back-to-back complete games (6/14 at MIL; 6/20 vs. PIT). All told, Scherzer faced 54 batters between hits allowed (7th inn. at MIL on 6/14 – 6th inn. at PHI on 6/26). Opponents were 0-for-52 in that stretch (BB, HBP) and Scherzer went 24.0 consecutive innings without surrendering a single run.

The month also included Scherzer’s 100th career victory, making him the third pitcher to notch that milestone while in a Nationals uniform. He joined Livan Hernandez (5/9/05 vs. ARI) and Jason Marquis (5/10/11 vs. ATL).

Scherzer is the first National League pitcher to take home back-to-back Pitcher of the Month awards this season, and the first since Los Angeles’ Clayton Kershaw did so in June and July, 2014. Houston’s Dallas Keuchel got the nod in the American League in April and May this year.

Since the award’s inception in 1968, 19 National League pitchers have secured back-to-back awards, including September of one year and April of the next, and just 17 have done it in the same season.

The only other pitcher in franchise history to win this award in back-to-back months was Jeff Fassero, who earned the distinction with the Montreal Expos in June and July of 1996.

This is the ninth time a Nationals player has been honored with a monthly award. Scherzer and Bryce Harper swept the awards in the month of May and they joined Chad Cordero (June, 2005), Stephen Strasburg (April, 2012), Gio Gonzalez (May, 2012), Jordan Zimmermann (July, 2012) and Jayson Werth (July 2013, July 2014) 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 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 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 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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