The Potomac Nationals are coming off a tremendous season that saw them win both halves of the Carolina League Northern Division season and appear in the Mills Cup Championship final series.
Most of those prospects from 2013 will now move on to Double-A Harrisburg. That will mean that new high Single-A manager Tripp Keister will have most of his roster from low Single-A Hagerstown to follow suit and join him in Woodbridge, Va.
Here is my educated guess as to who will be on the field for the P-Nats this season:
Catcher - Pedro Severino
First Base - Shawn Pleffner
Second Base - Tony Renda
Shortstop - Stephen Perez
Third Base - Mike McQuillan or John Wooten, Khayyan Norfork
Outfielders - left to right -- Isaac Ballou, Narciso Mesa, Brandon Miller
Wooten is a corner player, left field or third base. He arrives with the Nationals organization from the Oakland A’s organization in the trade that sent reliever Fernando Abad to the left coast.
McQuillan can also play the corner spot, whether it be left field or third base.
Mesa had surgery to repair a stress fracture in his shin from last season. The surgery he had to undergo was similar to what Louisville basketball star Kevin Ware (broken leg) suffered in the Elite Eight last season.
If Mesa is healthy, he would likely be in the outfield for Potomac.
There also are infielders Adrian Sanchez and Kevin Keyes, amongst others, to consider for valuable roles.
Pitchers - Possibilities include Brett Mooneyham, Matt Purke, Pedro Encarnacion, Kylin Turnbull, Christian Meza, Dakota Bacus, Austin Voth, Jake Johansen, even Lucas Giolito could be in the mix later in the season.
Keister will be joined by pitching coach Franklin Bravo and hitting coach Brian Rupp, so the team will feel comfortable if most of the roster advances to work with the same coaching staff they had in Hagerstown.
Double-A Harrisburg will be stocked with talent as well. Hagerstown will also have its share of starting pitching with Giolito and Johansen, not to mention a possible first arrival of the Dominican talent influx. We will look into those rosters more as spring training arrives.