Nationals early camp prospect capsule: Joe Ross and Abel de los Santos

The two newest pitchers acquired in trades in the offseason debuted for the Nationals in their early camp roster game against the Astros on Thursday.

Nationals minor league pitching coordinator Paul Menhart said that right-handed starter Joe Ross and right-hander Abel de los Santos “threw very well” and had “impressive first outings” yesterday in their organizational debuts. Nats director of player development Mark Scialabba also confirmed the pair “pounded the strike zone and were impressive.”

RHP Joe Ross
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 205 lbs.
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Age: 21
Birthplace: Berkeley, CA
2014 clubs: Lake Elsinore, San Antonio
Acquired: Three-team trade with Padres and Rays involving outfielder Steven Souza Jr.

Menhart previewed Ross this week and likes what he sees from the 21-year-old from Berkeley, Calif., whose brother, Tyson Ross, was his teammate with the Padres prior to the winter trade with the Nationals.

“He is extremely professional,” Menhart said. “Good body control, good athlete across the board. Fields his position. He can bunt. Coming from San Diego he’s had that opportunity to do that for another National League team.

Having an older brother in the majors certainly appears to have benefited the younger Ross and he steps to mound with the look of a pitcher who has done this before.

“First impression, he looks like a guy that has a lot of confidence,” Menhart said. “Not afraid to throw the ball over the plate. Got an average plus fastball, very tight, average slider and an average changeup. His body type and as athletic as he is, he fits the mold of a starting pitcher.”

RHP Abel de los Santos
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 180 lbs.
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Age: 22
Birthplace: Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
2014 clubs: Myrtle Beach, Hickory
Acquired: Trade with Rangers for left-hander Ross Detwiler

“Very impressed,” Menhart said of de los Santos. “Very impressed with his arm speed and stuff across the board. Not any games yet (down here). Looking at his numbers, it looks like he is not afraid to throw the ball over the plate. This is what we preached. He has got some good stuff.

“He will throw a fastball, slider and changeup. I think his out pitch is his breaking ball. He can throw that fastball, with what I see early, with some pretty good feel.”

This is a good start for the two pitchers, who provide another influx of new talent brought to the Nationals via trades. It will be interesting to watch their development this month in the early camp schedule and then see where Ross and de los Santos begin when minor league play starts in April.

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