Nats to send eight players to Arizona Fall League, rosters announced

The Nationals will send eight players to the Arizona Fall League in 2013 to suit up for the Mesa Solar Sox.

Brian Goodwin, Matt Skole, Adrian Nieto and Steven Souza (taxi squad) are the position players invited.

Pitchers include starters Sammy Solis and Matt Purke, plus relievers Robert Benincasa and Richie Mirowski.

Solis, Purke and Benincasa are from high Single-A Potomac, exemplifying the extensive depth the team has demonstrated all year, leading to an 80-plus win season and a playoff berth. Nieto caught for all these pitchers in Woodbridge, which will be a welcome sight in Mesa.

Goodwin, Skole, Souza and Mirowski all are from Double-A Harrisburg.

The Arizona Fall League rosters were announced today.

Here is a capsule breakdown of each Nats prospect suiting up for the Solar Sox:

CF Brian Goodwin - .251, 10 homers, 18 stolen bases, 39 RBIs, returns to the AFL. Goodwin was named the MVP of the AFL Rising Stars All-Star game last season.

3B/1B Matt Skole - 27 homers and 104 RBIs last season, 2012 Nationals minor league Player of the Year, has missed almost the entire season recovering from Tommy John surgery for an injury suffered at the beginning of the season. Skole will play third base and first base in the AFL.

C Adrian Nieto - .289, 11 homers, 50 RBIs, has always been considered a top catching prospect in the system, and has really been accelerating his status the last two seasons. Now he gets a big chance to play against the best prospects in the AFL.

RF Steven Souza - .285, 20 doubles, one triple, 14 homers, 35 RBIs, taxi squad, which usually means Wednesday and Saturday games. Has come on to become one of the best power hitters in the system and has turned around his career the last 18 months. Shoulder issues have slowed his season at times this year. Has all the tools to make a big jump next season. This could be the stage for a showcase.

LHP Sammy Solis - 2-0, 2.72 ERA, is from Arizona, always feels right at home in the Grand Canyon state. Returning from Tommy John surgery, has this opportunity to get some more starts against top-flight competition.

LHP Matt Purke - 5-4, 4.02 ERA between Hagerstown and Potomac, another southpaw the Nationals have high hopes for and a good chance for him to extend his season after returning from shoulder surgery last offseason.

RHP Robert Benincasa - 0-4, 3.54 ERA, 15 saves in 23 games, has established himself with solid numbers for high Single-A Potomac. Really has come on strong this season.

RHP Richie Mirowski - 8-3, 1.50 ERA, 6 saves, 32 games with P-Nats; 1-0, 2.76 ERA, 10 games with Harrisburg. Another reliever who has had a solid season who will be given an outstanding opportunity to go against the best prospects from other teams.

The Nationals’ own Troy Gingrich will be the Mesa hitting coach. The season begins on Oct. 8.

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