Solis, Cole and Ray set to make pro debuts

Three top pitching prospects from the Nationals 2010 draft crop will make their professional debuts this week.

Sammy Solis, A.J. Cole and Rob Ray have impressed Nationals pitching coordinator Spin Williams as they embark on their first game appearances since spring time.

University of San Diego left-hander Sammy Solis will start tonight for Hagerstown and get two innings.

Solis, picked in the second round and standing 6 foot 5 inches and weighing 225 pounds, is a “big body lefty who has a good feel for pitching,” says Williams.

“We will give him a couple of starts in Hagerstown to get his feet wet. We will take our time with him, that is why he is throwing just two innings tonight. I am pleased with his overall body strength and arm action.”

Right-hander Cole, a fourth-rounder, will throw one inning tomorrow night for Vermont.

Williams says, “Cole hasn’t thrown in a game since spring. We want to get him acclimated and get his arm in good shape.”

Left-hander Ray, a 12-th round selection, will get one inning for Vermont Friday.

Williams says Ray, “threw a good sideline this week and we are pleased with where he is at.”

Solis pitched very well at San Diego, while Cole had a scholarship to Miami and Ray a full ride at Arkansas.

For the franchise to secure such sought after talent, Williams says, “it shows the Nationals commitment to finding and then drafting upper echelon players. Getting these three pitchers shows the organization has made a big commitment to its scouting and player development.”

“We have three kids with high mental aptitude and an ability to blend in. Usually kids are overwhelmed when they arrive in the pros. Our scouts did a very good job of finding superior talent. I am impressed with the mental makeup of all three pitchers.”

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