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Purke, Ray and Hague will begin season in extended spring training

A quick note I just received on some top prospects for the Nationals who will begin the season in extended spring training in Viera, Fla., as they worked to get healthy and/or build strength. Shortstop Rick Hague, who missed most of last season, continues rehabbing and gaining strength back in his shoulder while working in Florida. He is about a month away from playing time

Nationals outfield prospects Oduber, Taylor, Goodwin, Hood and more shining in camp

We have talked a lot about and previewed prospects like Bryce Harper, Eury Perez, Brian Goodwin, Destin Hood and others. Here is the latest updates on how a few of these outfield prospects are faring as the regular season quickly draws near with minor league rosters about set. Nationals outfield coordinator Tony Tarasco said the work of Hood, Michael Taylor and Randolph Oduber has been

Nationals don’t want to rush top outfield prospect Perez

Another outfielder working his way up the system is Dominican prospect Eury Perez, who hit .283 with 41 RBIs, 45 stolen bases in 119 games last season for Single-A Potomac. Now he is poised to make that next step. But let’s not put too much pressure on the kid, says Nationals outfield coordinator Tony Tarasco. After all, he is only 21 years old and is

Former Nationals president Kasten part of group that will buy Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers announced late Tuesday that the team will be purchased for a record $2.15 billion by a group that includes former NBA and Los Angeles Lakers great Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Also a part of the group is former Nationals and Atlanta Braves team president Stan Kasten. Johnson’s group won out the right to buy the Dodgers over groups led by multiple sports

Destin Hood focusing on throwing with continued positive results

We have mentioned some of the placements for Nationals prospects to begin the season: Bryce Harper and Tyler Moore in Triple-A Syracuse, Sandy Leon and Jeff Kobernus at Double-A Harrisburg, and Matt Purke and Anthony Rendon at Single-A Potomac. Another outstanding prospect that will move up from Potomac to Harrisburg this spring is outfielder Destin Hood, who had a tremendous campaign in Woodbridge, Va., last

Leon again turning heads with consistent play

There is always concern when the franchise must trade some of its best prospects at certain positions. This offseason, it was pitcher and catcher, and Derek Norris had carried the flag as the best Nationals backstop prospect for what seemed like many years. With his trade to the Oakland A’s, does that mean that the depth at catcher has dried up? Not in the least.

Moore will spend lots of time at first base this season

I have written a lot during the offseason about the Nationals working with first baseman Tyler Moore at outfield positions to improve his versatility. That is still true. Just like Michael Morse, the Nationals would love to have Moore be able to play different spots all over the field so they can get his offensive output in the majors sooner rather than later. But roster

A fan’s guide to the Nationals’ April schedule

Let’s get you ready for the first month of the season, and if you have the good fortune of seeing the Nationals on the road to begin in Chicago and New York, here is a quick primer. Every time I get an advance schedule for a local team, I always look to see what other sporting events are going on in the four major professional

Tyler Moore focused on his speed and footwork in outfield defense

Bryce Harper and Tyler Moore, the future heart of the Nationals’ order, could be side-by-side in the Triple-A outfield for a few games this season. The Nationals want Harper to play a lot of center field while at Triple-A Syracuse. That would give Harper significant experience at all three outfield positions, dating back to March 2011. Updated: A Nationals source said they anticipate Moore will

Bryce Harper is right on schedule for D.C.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that outfielder Bryce Harper was sent to Triple-A Syracuse to begin the 2012 campaign, eliminating the question of whether the Nationals’ top prospect would break camp with the system’s top team and head to D.C. in April. It is the best scenario for the 19-year-old to taste every level of the minor league system so he will be ready

Rush defense: Nationals’ Jackson focusing on stopping the run

One issue Nationals starting pitcher Edwin Jackson may want to concentrate on is how easy it was for opposing hitters to steal second base on him last season. According to “The Fielding Bible, Volume III,” Jackson struggled holding runners at first base in 2011. It is a problem that has plagued Jackson for the past few seasons. “The Fielding Bible” has formulated the term defensive

Harper’s throwing adjustment keying seamless position switch

Nationals outfield coordinator Tony Tarasco has worked with Bryce Harper from Day One on getting the No. 1 prospect to make a smooth transition from his early days in high school and college as a catcher to his time now as a professional outfielder. “His progress has taken huge leaps,” Tarasco said. “It is pretty impressive considering that he has only played outfield for about

“The Fielding Bible” lists Nats’ Ankiel as best outfield arm

The Nationals’ outfield defense was a major reason the team finished only one game under .500 in 2011. Their defense, with arms such as Rick Ankiel, Jayson Werth, Michael Morse and quite possibly top prospect Bryce Harper patrolling the warning track this season, could take a step forward again as the franchise seeks its first playoff berth since 1981. Looking back at last year’s defensive

Goodwin, Harper lead discussion of Nationals’ top outfield prospects

The outfield depth of the Nationals’ system has certainly been fortified over the last few seasons through draft and free agent acquisition, especially with the inclusion of former catcher and No. 1 prospect Bryce Harper moving to a corner outfield position in his first season. But also garnering major attention has been former University of North Carolina and the 34th overall selection in 2011, outfielder

Nationals’ pitching camp demonstrating “championship atmosphere”

The names of the Nationals front-line pitchers in 2012 spring training certainly grab your attention: guys like Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez, Edwin Jackson, Chien Ming-Wang, John Lannan, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen. Then there are what I like to call the glue guys. The pitchers that may not get the big headlines, but will be crucial to the overall success of this staff

Brett Carroll looking to make big impression with Nationals

Outfielder Brett Carroll has bounced around a lot the last couple of seasons, so he is thrilled with the chance to impress on one team this spring training and work to secure a spot on the Nationals’ 25-man roster. “The last four years I have been up and down in that fourth outfield role,” the 29-year old Carroll said. “It has been a great experience,

Nationals’ Rosenbaum focusing on fastball start of camp

Single-A Potomac Nationals Player of the Year Danny Rosenbaum is getting a lot of attention as spring training moves along and with good reason. The Xavier Musketeer southpaw put up top numbers in the Nationals’ system in 2011, going a combined 9-6 with a 2.52 ERA in 26 games (25 starts) and 171 1/3 innings, striking out 135 and walking 52. Rosenbaum told me in

Nationals’ top pick Rendon out to prove he can stay healthy

Top pick Anthony Rendon, a third baseman, is completely healthy and thrilled to be in his first spring training with the Washington Nationals. “It is really exciting,” Rendon said. “First game, I want to take a step back and soak it all in. (It is special) looking around at all these guys I watched them on TV the last couple years, and now I am

Triple-A Syracuse announces 13-game spring training schedule

The Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs have officially announced their 2012 spring training 13-game schedule. All home games begin at 1 p.m. and will be played at the Nationals’ Viera, Fla., training camp complex. Here is a rundown of the complete schedule: March 15 at Oklahoma City Kissimmee, Fla. March 16 vs. Oklahoma City Viera, Fla. March 18 vs. Toledo Viera, Fla. March 19 at Gwinnett Lake

Reliever Rafael Martin looking to show he belongs in first big league camp

Right-handed reliever Rafael Martin is looking to get off on the right foot in his first big league camp as he will get a chance to pitch in Friday’s exhibition against Georgetown University. Double-A Harrisburg Senators pitching coach Paul Menhart has coached the San Fernando, Calif., native for quite some time now in the system and could tell the 27-year-old reliever was desperate to make

Power hitter Tyler Moore becoming versatile asset Nationals envisioned

Double-A Harrisburg first baseman Tyler Moore is coming off another 31 home run season, something you don’t see very often. Moore has been the most consistent long ball hitter in the Nationals’ system the last two seasons, totaling an incredible 62 round trippers and 201 RBIs. National Web sites have taken notice. Moore has been named back to back MiLB.com Nationals Organization Player of the

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