Dominican teenagers showing Nationals’ depth at pitcher and catcher

The Nationals’ instructional league roster is chocked full of several prized teenage prospects from the team’s Dominican academy, including 19-year old right-handed pitcher Ivan Pineyro.

Nationals director of player development Doug Harris is pleased with what he has seen from these young players so far in camp, and credits the coaches and scouting department for working so hard to get them ready to play at this level.

Harris singled out Nationals international scouting director Johnny DiPuglia and summer league manager Sandy Martinez has major contributors to the success of the program, in particular, for the development of players such as Pineyro.

“Pineyro does not have big velocity, but he is big projection guy,” Harris said. “He can spin the ball very well and is a good strike-thrower. He is similar to what we saw in right-hander Wirkin Estevez, who is also in camp. He has really improved his status over the summer.

“Pineyro pitches to contact. He has three pitches he throws for strikes. He has really opened a lot of eyes in the organization with his work this year.”

Harris said infielders Diomedes Eusebio, Estarlin Martinez and Arialdi Peguero have all had really good summers and the Nats are excited to put them through the paces at instructional workouts.

“Eusebio and Pineyro were Dominican league All-Stars (and) both really warranted the opportunity at instructional camp,” Harris said.

At catcher, a couple of young Dominican stars will get their shot. Seventeen-year old Raudy Read and 18-year old Pedro Severino have shown the kind of promise the franchise has been looking for in their Dominican academy.

“Read has interesting catch-and-throw skills,” Harris said. “That really drew us to him. Severino is a little behind physically, but that directly correlates to his offensive consistency. When he puts together short swings on a regular basis, he can make excellent progress.

“Both are soaking up the experience of instructional camp, they are high-energy players, eager to work on their English as well. We are very interested in how they do.”

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