Instructional prospect updates: Keyes, Hood, Perez, Goodwin

While in Hagerstown to see Stephen Strasburg rehab, one of the outfield stories that really caught my eye was the power displayed by Kevin Keyes.

Keyes is continuing his season at the Nationals’ instructional camp in Florida. Single-A Potomac Nationals hitting coach Mark Harris is one of the many coaches at instructs and likes what he sees from the former Texas Longhorn.

“I think he opened some eyes with his production,” Harris said. “A lot of coaches are anxious to see how he will do at the next level. Keyes has shown power to all fields. He has proved that he can hit at (Single-A) Hagerstown. It is nice to have his kind of power in the organization. If he works hard he may have a chance to play at Potomac (next season).”

Harris said the Carolina League is a pitching league, so it is tough for power hitters to maintain their numbers throughout the entire season because you play each team 20 times. “They get an idea of what the hitter is going to do, what he can do.

“That is why it is so impressive how guys like Destin Hood and Eury Perez were able to stay consistent throughout the season.”

Harris said he was excited to see what first-round draft pick Brian Goodwin was going to be able to do. “He is making strides at the plate,” Harris said. “Goodwin is a junior college guy with pretty raw tools. This is his first time with this much structure to his day-to-day baseball activities. It will take a little time. He has never played much using a wood bat. But he has the speed, 4.0 (seconds) to first base.”

One likely scenario would be Goodwin at Hagerstown or Potomac, Keyes at Potomac, with Hood and Perez advancing to Harrisburg to start 2012.

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