The Arizona Fall League season has come to an end, with the Mesa Solar Sox, the team featuring eight Nationals prospects, falling to the Surprise Saguaros 2-0 in yesterday’s championship game.
Nats outfield prospect Steven Souza went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts and one of Mesa’s five hits, and outfielder Brian Goodwin went 0-for-1 in a pinch-hitting role.
None of the Nats’ four pitching prospects on Mesa’s roster saw action during the championship game.
For a full rundown of how the Nats’ prospects fared out in Arizona, check out my blog from yesterday.
Meanwhile, down in Venezuela, a few other Nats prospects are getting in some more extended action during winter ball.
Infielder Zach Walters, who hit 29 home runs at Triple-A Syracuse this season and got his first taste of the big leagues down the stretch as a September call-up, has appeared in 15 games for Bravos de Margarita of the Venezuealan league, and has hit .240/.321/.440 with three homers and six RBIs in 50 at-bats.
Outfielder Corey Brown has appeared in just nine games for Margarita, but has hit .296/.472/.407 with three doubles and five RBIs.
Left-hander Danny Rosenbaum, who was a Rule 5 pick of the Rockies last winter and posted a 3.87 ERA at Syracuse this year, has gone 2-2 with a 4.28 ERA in 27 1/3 innings for Margarita, with 15 strikeouts, eight walks and three home runs allowed.
Walters had told me on the final day of the major league regular season that he only was scheduled to play half of the winter ball season, a schedule that he was pleased with. Walters played a full season of winter ball in Puerto Rico last year, and told me that he felt a bit worn down going into spring training in February.
A full minor league season followed by suiting up for 34 games for Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente can do that to a guy, I guess.
Walters’ winter slate won’t be as full this year, however, and he’ll be able to go into spring training in a few months not only a bit fresher, but also ready to compete for a possible spot on the Nats’ bench. The chances of that happening aren’t good, with Walters having gotten just eight major league at-bats to this point in his career, but if he puts together a strong spring, he could have a shot to crack the Nats’ opening day roster as a reserve infielder and backup shortstop.
Plus, if the Nats are looking for more pop off the bench next season, Walters would certainly help provide it.
Brown will enter spring training again competing for a spot on the back-end of the Nats’ roster as a reserve left-handed-hitting outfielder with some pop. Injuries set Brown back a bit this year, but if he can stay healthy, he could have a shot at breaking camp with the Nats in 2014.
If he makes it through the Rule 5 Draft this winter, Rosenbaum is likely ticketed for the rotation at Syracuse again this season. On the surface, the 26-year-old left-hander put up some solid numbers in the minors this season and gets a lot of ground balls, but he doesn’t miss many bats and puts far too many runners on base to be considered for a big league roster spot at this point.
Rosenbaum had a 1.48 WHIP at Syracuse this season (167 hits and 67 walks in 158 1/3 innings) and has worked to a 1.61 WHIP thus far in his winter ball season.
Meanwhile, former Nats farmhand Carlos Rivero, who became a minor league free agent a couple of weeks ago, is tearing it up down in Venezuela. The infielder has hit .319/.387/.628 with a team-leading seven homers and 22 RBIs.