There is one week remaining in fall instructional league play in Viera, Fla., for the Nationals. They continue to work out and have also played a schedule against other major league instructional league teams.
Rain hampered the start of the camp last week, but low Single-A Hagerstown Suns manager Patrick Anderson, who is coaching at the facility in Viera, said they are moving along well now.
“We were able to get back on the field,” Anderson said. “We’re doing a lot of individual stuff, whatever each player needs to work on. It’s specific for that individual, whether it be defense or offense, a little bit more of that. It’s been really good. We’re able to get on the field a lot more now that the rain kind of cleared out of here. It’s been an outstanding set up.
“We’ve had a few games. This is the third game that we’ve played. The guys are full energy, have a little bit of a life in them. It’s pretty promising to say the least how these kids are playing a full season and coming down to instructional league and rocking a rolling. It’s been really productive for us. Hopefully get some experience and get these guys really where they need before they go into the off season for a big year next year.”
Nats Prospect Spotlight: Osvaldo Abreu
Osvaldo Abreu, a 21-year-old shortstop, is 6-foot and 170 lbs. out of La Romana, Dominican Republic. Abreu is a right-handed hitting infielder who played for the Dominican Summer League Nats in 2012, the Gulf Coast League Nats in 2013, short-season Single-A Auburn in 2014 and Hagerstown this past season.
For the Suns, Abreu hit .300 in his final 10 games. In 124 games he hit .274 with an on-base percentage of .357. Abreu had 35 doubles, four triples, six homers, 30 steals and 47 RBIs.
“Very good athlete,” said Anderson. “He can run, he’s got bat speed. His hands are really, really good. It was a lot of fun to be around him all year long. He just really took off and ran with it. He kind of had a little bit of a lull later on but that’s kind of expected for guys that are in their first full season.
“We are really excited about what he did this year. He stole some bases. He developed. He did a really good job. He’s a pull side type of guy swinging the bat. The bat is light in his hands. There were some balls that he struck this year that were amazing. He comes around third base one time after hitting a home run (and) he actually had a big ol’ smile on his face (because he) didn’t know what he just did.”
Anderson has worked with players like Jose Marmolejos, Wilmer Difo, Rafael Bautista and others arrived from the Dominican. The level of talent continues to expand, thanks in large part to the Nationals Dominican Academy in the country.
“So it’s exciting to be able to have those type of young latin players. (Nationals director of International Scouting) Johnny DiPuglia did a great job of pulling all of these guys in. I was fortunate to have those guys (in Hagerstown).”