Quick hits on some Nationals early camp players. I always get good reports on third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez. Last year, the 22-year-old hit .296 for three teams, with 23 doubles, six triples, four homers, 25 stolen bases and 56 RBIs.
“Gutierrez looks great,” said Single-A Hagerstown manager Patrick Anderson. “He’s picking up where he left off last year. He’s working on a couple of things offensively. Defense is outstanding. It looks really, really good.”
We focused on versatile Ian Sagdal recently. Anderson said Sagdal displayed a quick bat in his big league intrasquad action this month.
“Sagdal is bouncing around a little bit, playing some first, second and third base,” Anderson said. “He had a couple of hits in the intrasquads in the big league game. He jumped out there pretty quick and held his own offensively. They take some of the younger guys to those big league games and some of those guys play a little later on.”
Anderson spoke about catcher Jakson Reetz.
“I see a bunch of the catchers - I see Jakson Reetz and Tres Barrera,” Anderson said. “Jakson has worked hard and he is getting really strong. He gets after it. He’s always worked his tail off. We are excited to see what he has got this year.”
I went down the list of pitchers and will detail each of them in the next couple of blogs. Here are a few to get started:
Left-hander Tyler Watson pitched in 12 games for three teams last season. He allowed only a 1.88 ERA in nine starts for short-season Single-A Auburn.
“Tyler Watson looks really good,” Anderson said. “He is picking up where he left off last season, as has Weston Davis.”
Davis pitched in 11 games for the Doubledays. Anderson said southpaw McKenzie Mills has down a nice job of improving his strike zone accuracy.
“He looks really good,” Anderson said of Mills. “I was impressed with him. His command has gotten better. He has really developed in the last two years.”
Right-hander Sterling Sharp has a famous NFL name, but Anderson said the 21-year-old is making a name for himself with his off-speed stuff. Sharp was a 22nd-round selection in the 2016 draft.
“He has got a plus changeup and he really intrigues us as well,” Anderson said.
Sharp went 3-0 with a 3.24 ERA for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Nats.