Looking out at the field Saturday night you got to witness the future of the Nationals. You also got to witness the first fruit of a Nationals’ system rebuilt by the likes of general manager Mike Rizzo and staff over the past few seasons.
There was a lot of home grown talent on the field for first pitch against the New York Mets.
Left-hander Tommy Milone was making his major league debut. He was on the mound. Shortstop Ian Desmond and second baseman Danny Espinosa were a tandem built from experience at Triple-A Syracuse. Top draft pick Ryan Zimmerman stood close to the third base bag.
Right fielder Roger Bernadina and catcher Jesus Flores spent most of the season with the Chiefs. And then at first base was Chris Marrero, called up last week to make his major league debut.
A lot of youth on the field and there are many more guys who are waiting for their chance to get called up to the show as early as Monday.
Brad Peacock? Stephen Lombardozzi? Manager Davey Johnson has mentioned their names many times as well as potential September call ups.
Desmond said he got caught up in the moment a little too as he looked around the field and saw a lot of familiar faces from his days in the minor leagues as the Nationals built and rebuilt their system.
“I came in this organization when it was supposedly barren,” Desmond said. “They said the Nationals organization wasn’t producing prospects. When I was out there I actually thought to myself, ‘I can’t wait for the rest of the guys to come up.’ The staff they have down there getting these guys ready, that is the product you are going to see from here on out.”
“As far as Triple-A, Double-A, and all the way down to the Gulf Coast league I know that our coaching staff is preparing guys to be in the major leagues, developing guys that have the heart to not shy away from the situation.”