A pair of the top pitching prospects in the Nationals organization are hoping to make a nice jump this season. Left-handers Sammy Solis and Matt Purke have had a similar track recently as they return from injury to pitch well.
Solis returned to pitch early in the season for High Single-A Potomac. He pitched in some crucial elimination games for the P-Nats and for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League with success.
“Both pitchers are very important to the organization,” said Nationals director of player development Mark Scialabba recently. “Sammy obviously coming off Tommy John surgery, finishing up, getting the innings under his belt, is important. But then again showing the consistency from outing to outing, having success is always a plus when you are at the level he is at in the development process.
“It was very encouraging. We are looking forward to seeing him in spring training. He continues to refine his pitches. We certainly feel he could be knocking on the door at some point.”
Purke was able to pitch well in the Arizona Fall League, garnering three wins without allowing a run in his first three starts.
“Matthew is another player that we slowly, gradually returned to play after an injury,” Scialabba said. “He had a series of, I think, three or four dominant outings, he became pitcher of the week, he was outstanding. He learned to make some adjustments. It is a tough league. A lot of good hitters in that league, obviously.
“It was good to see both pitchers to finish the year healthy and continue to find their pitches. They are both pitchers that have the ability to impact our club down the road.”
In the outfield, Brian Goodwin is looking to have a big season after playing well in the Arizona Fall League. Goodwin is coming off of a .252 and 121-strikeout season, but Scialabba said an in season adjustment helped Goodwin finish strong.
“Brian is a player with five tools,” Scialabba said. “He has the potential to have all five tools at the major league level. He is patient. With that comes the opportunity to go deeper into counts. Last year, he was a little too patient early on. As the year went on he had to adjust his approach a little bit and he made those adjustments. He started to show improvements. He had a good fall league. I think he finished up well.
“We continue to see him blossom into a better hitter next year and I think there will be some good competition (in the outfield) as well.”