The Single-A Potomac Nationals announced their roster for the 2012 season, highlighted by the No. 6 overall selection, third baseman Anthony Rendon.
"I love this group of guys," Rendon said. "You got a lot of great players here. I grew up playing with a lot of these guys and also in college. They tore us up when we played them. I just know what they can do and when they come out here it is going to be even better."
In years past, the P-Nats had been heavy with pitchers, but this season seems to favor the offense, and the opportunity is there to score a lot of runs, according to new manager Brian Rupp.
"Offensively, we are looking pretty good, but time will tell," Rupp said. "When they are getting this level under their belt, some guys might get off to slow starts. We will be behind them and helping them all the way. Our pitching staff has some guys that can do some things. You put it all together and you got a real good mix right now."
As we reported here earlier in the week, the infielders will be Justin Bloxom, Blake Kelso, Sean Nicol, Rendon, Adrian Sanchez (who had a great run from second base Tuesday and a safe outside right slide at home plate for the Nationals' fifth run in their 8-7 loss versus Boston Red Sox) and Francisco Soriano.
The outfielders are Michael Taylor, Kevin Keyes, Wade Moore, Randolph Oduber and veteran Chris Curran. The catchers are David Freitas and James Skelton. Skelton reached Triple-A last season in the Cincinnati Reds organization.
Former Hagerstown Suns hitting coach and major leaguer Marlon Anderson followed many of these prospects from Hagerstown, Md., to work in Woodbridge, Va., this summer.
The pitching staff, under the direction of pitching coach Chris Michalak, has five southpaws: Paul Applebee, Ryan Demmin, Matt Grace, Bobby Hansen and Josh Smoker.
The right-handers are Wilson Eusebio, Trevor Holder, Neil Holland, Adam Olbrychowski, Cameron Selik, Matt Swynenburg, Kyle Winters and Rob Wort.
The disabled list is also intriguing with some big names mending, especially left-handers Matt Purke and Robbie Ray, shortstop Rick Hague and second baseman Zach Walters. Also catchers Sam Palace and Beau Seabury, infielder Steven Souza who showed his big bat last season and outfielder J.R. Higley.