Right-hander Patrick Lehman, a George Washington University product, advanced very well in 2011 from Single-A Potomac to Double-A Harrisburg and now looks to cap off the season with a good run in the Arizona Fall League.
Lehman had such a quality campaign that he was selected to the Scottsdale Scorpions roster as one of the representatives from the Nationals organization.
Lehman went a combined 3-2 with a 3.08 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 42 games in 2011. He had 34 strikeouts and only four free passes while with the Senators.
Potomac Nationals and current Scottsdale pitching coach Paul Menhart calls Lehman "one of my all-time favorites."
"He wasn't a high draft pick (13th round in 2009)," Menhart said. "So to have him achieve what he did and continue to progress fires you up a little bit."
Menhart said Lehman shows the cerebral part of the game that so many good pitchers display. Many of these pitchers become major leaguers because they can take their stuff and use it to outthink hitters.
"The guys that seem to make it recognize hitters' weaknesses and exploit them. That gets them to the big leagues. Lehman has this combination."
Lehman will get a chance to pitch in the late innings, Menhart said.
"Everyone will get an opportunity to pitch in different situations," Menhart said. "We are about winning, but we are also about giving each player a fair shot. This is a showcase league and will be a great opportunity to put guys like Lehman and Rafael Martin in situations against top hitters and see how they do."
Note: Tuesday's AFL opener for Scottsdale versus Surprise was postponed.