Here is the Nationals' minor league report for the week, courtesy of PR man and minor league maven Bill Gluvna. Read on for your usual dose of punny goodness and farm system updates.
One quick minor-league note: I was talking to minor league operations director Mark Scialabba the other day, and he made a particular point of how well the team at Single-A Vermont is playing. The Nationals' short-season team leads their division by a game in the New York/Penn League. Scialabba said catcher David Freitas is playing particularly well there. You can read more about him, and numerous other minor leaguers, below.
NOTHING MINOR ABOUT IT: With 20 home runs and 21 stolen bases, SS Danny Espinosa is one of only 2 players in professional baseball to have already reached the 20-20 mark in 2010...Arizona's Chris Young (20 homers, 24 stolen bases) is the other...on Tuesday, the 23-year-old Espinosa was cited as having the Best Infield Arm in the Double-A Eastern League according to Baseball America's annual Best Tools survey voted upon by league managers...the Long Beach State University product spent the majority of the season with Harrisburg in the EL before earning an August 6 promotion to Syracuse...since moving to the Triple-A level, Espinosa is batting .316 (6-for-19) with 2 home runs, 4 RBI and 4 runs scored...in 99 games at Double-A with the Senators, he hit .264 (102-for-386) with 16 doubles, 18 homers, 54 RBI and 20 stolen bases...Espinosa, a switch hitter, entered the 2010 campaign as the Nationals' No. 5 prospect according to Baseball America.
Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs
International League North Division
60-57, 3rd Place, 9.0 Games Behind
MR. WILSON: C Wilson Ramos is batting .286 (10-for-35) with one double, one triple, one homer and 5 RBI in 9 games with Syracuse since being acquired from Minnesota in exchange for RHP Matt Capps and cash considerations, July 29...in 61 combined games at catcher with Triple-A Rochester (Twins) and Syracuse, Ramos has gunned down 22 of 44 (50%) would-be basestealers.
THE JOSHUA TREE: RHP Josh Wilkie, who played collegiately at nearby George Washington University, has allowed just 6 earned runs over 31.2 innings (1.70 ERA) in 26 appearances (one start) beginning June 1...Wilkie, 26, owns a 1.88 ERA in 44 appearances (one start) overall...in 57.1 innings of work, he has allowed just one home run, fanned 45 (7.0 K's per 9.0 innings) and has posted a .225 BAA.
GET OUT OF MY DREAMS, GET INTO MY CARR!: RHP Adam Carr is a combined 6-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 42 appearances with Syracuse and Harrisburg...Carr has posted a 0.93 ERA (1 ER/9.2 IP) and recorded 3 saves in 9 appearances since joining the Chiefs from Harrisburg, July 26...in 36 appearances with Harrisburg, he posted a 3.04 ERA (17 ER/50.1 IP)and recorded 48 strikeouts in 50.1 innings pitched (8.58 strikeouts per 9.0 innings)...Washington selected Carr with its 18th-round pick in the 2006 Draft.
Double-A Harrisburg Senators
Eastern League Western Division
61-55, 3rd Place, 5.5 Games Behind
HE'S CHUCK JAMES AND HE'S A SUPER FREAK, SUPER FREAK!: LHP Chuck James is 8-0 with a minuscule 0.93 ERA in 16 games (2 starts)...he's offered scoreless relief in 14 of 16 appearances...James has earned the win in each of his last 3 games and in 5 of his last 6 appearances...with 43 strikeouts and just 4 walks in 38.2 innings, James has posted a 10.75 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 9.4 strikeouts per 9.0 innings...James signed with Washington as a minor-league free agent prior to the 2010 season.
DON'T MISS CHRIS: 1B Chris Marrero is batting .326 (76-for-233) with 17 doubles, 6 homers, 35 RBI and a .407 OBP in 64 games beginning June 1...the right-handed hitting slugger has reached base safely via hit (76), walk (26) or HBP (4) 106 times (1.65 times per contest) during that stretch...in 115 games overall, Marrero is batting .292 with 24 doubles, 14 home runs and 64 RBI...the 22-year-old was the Nationals' top selection (15th overall) in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.
Single-A Potomac Nationals
Carolina League Northern Division
First Half - 31-39, 3rd Place, 10.0 Games Behind
Second Half - 25-18, First Place, 2.0 Games Ahead
MOORE COWBELL: On Monday, Potomac 1B Tyler Moore was named MiLB.com Single-A Carolina League Batter of the Week for the 3rd time in 4 weeks...during the period of August 2-8, Moore went 12-for-28 (.429) with 4 doubles, 4 homers, 11 RBI and 9 runs scored...Moore's 37 doubles are tied for 3rd in all of minor league baseball, while his 60 extra-base hits rank 4th in MiLB...Moore, Washington's 16th-round pick from the 2008 Draft, leads the Carolina League in homers (21), doubles (37) and RBI (85), and ranks 2nd in slugging (.501).
START ME UP: In 5 games (4 starts) dating to July 19, RHP Adrian Alaniz is 2-0 with one save and a 1.31 ERA (4 ER/27.1 IP)...in 21 appearances (9 starts) overall, Alaniz is 6-3 with one save a 2.40 ERA...he's posted a 3.95 strikeout-to-walk ratio (83 SO/21 BB) and a .224 BAA...Alaniz was selected by the Nationals in the 8th round (250th overall) of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.
Single-A Hagerstown Suns
South Atlantic League Northern Division
First Half - 36-34, 3rd Place, 6.0 Games Behind
Second Half - 17-28, 7th Place, 10.5 Games Behind
JUSTIFIED: 1B Justin Bloxom continues to be one of the SAL's best offensive players, as he ranks among the top 10 South Atlantic League batters in batting average (3rd, .309), hits (3rd, 129), total bases (4th, 199), RBI (6th, 70) and doubles (t-7th, 29)...he's posted 35 multi-hit games, including 11 3-hit efforts...the 22-year-old Kansas State University product was Washington's 11th-round pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.
AND THE AWARD GOES TO...: 20-year-old OF J.P. Ramirez was named MiLB.com Single-A South Atlantic League Batter of the Week for the period of August 2-8...during the award-winning week, he went 13-for-28 (.464) with one double, 4 homers, 9 RBI and 12 runs scored in 7 games...Ramirez is batting .293 with 25 doubles, 4 triples, 14 homers and 59 RBI in 107 games this season...the left-handed hitting slugger was selected in the 15th round of the 2008 Draft.
Short-Season Single-A Vermont Lake Monsters
New York-Penn League Stedler Division
27-23, 1st Place, 1.0 Game Ahead
DAVE & BUSTER'S: C/DH David Freitas ranks among New York-Penn League hitters in hitting (2nd, .340), doubles (t-2nd, 15), on-base percentage (t-2nd, .426), OPS (5th, .946), slugging percentage (6th, .520) and RBI (9th, 30)...earlier this season, Freitas hit safely in a Vermont team-record 21 straight games...the 21-year-old was selected in the 15th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Hawaii.
BLAKE IS LIVELY: INF Blake Kelso, selected in the 10th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, has hit safely in 30 of 38 games as a pro...he is batting .322 with 7 doubles, one triple, 16 RBI and 17 runs scored.
Gulf Coast League Nationals
Gulf Coast League East Division
12-26, 5th Place, 11.0 Games Behind
HANDY RANDY: OF Randolph Oduber leads the GCL in batting (.369), slugging (.583) and OPS (1.014)...he also ranks among the top 5 hitters in OBP (3rd, .431) and RBI (t-5th, 24)...Oduber has hit safely in 21 of 26 games this season...he was selected in the 32nd round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Western Oklahoma State Junior College.
TYLER MADE: RHP Tyler Hanks is 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA (3 ER/13.0 IP) in his last 3 appearances (1 start)...Hanks, a teammate of 2010 top overall selection Bryce Harper at the College of Southern Nevada, is 4-0 with a 1.78 ERA in 7 games (3 starts) as professional...Hanks was selected in the 17th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.