Difo making noise for Hagerstown after focused offseason training

Low Single-A Hagerstown second baseman Wilmer Difo continues to prove he can hit and get on base. Through 20 games, the 6-foot ,175-lb. Dominican switch-hitter is hitting .315. In 89 at-bats, Difo has 28 hits, 12 runs, seven doubles, two triples, nine stolen bases (caught stealing once) and 15 RBIs.

Difo has a .351 on-base percentage for the Suns. Through Thursday, Difo had five multi-hit efforts in his last nine games. Difo has hit in the clutch, as well, batting .390 with runners on base and .370 with runners in scoring position.

Nationals assistant general manager and vice president of player development Doug Harris said Difo rates high in several categories.

"He is a well-above average runner," Harris said. "Difo is an above-average defender. He has got an above-average arm. He has got strength.

"Pound for pound, he is one of the strongest players in our system. He is not going to be a power guy, but he has a chance to be a guy that drives the baseball, hits some doubles and triples. He is an interesting kid."

Harris said Difo has always shown he has the tools to play. But since early in the offseason, Difo has ramped up his focus to an elite level, beginning with the strength and conditioning program last November.

"Really, going back to the instructional league last year into the strength and conditioning camp, he has just really gone about his business really well," Harris said. "Looks like he has turned corner a little bit. He is extremely athletic and has a tool set that you just go, 'Wow, don't let that one sneak by you.' "

No way. If he can continue his steady pace, Difo will make a lot of noise this summer on the Nationals farm.

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