Second baseman Chris Bostick is ninth in OPS with 1.500 to begin the first week of Arizona Fall League play. He is fourth in slugging at 1.125.
It is a small sample size, but Bostick has crushed two homers and has gone 3-for-8 in two games. He has scored four runs, has four RBIs and has stolen two bases.
This hot-hitting run and display of power is a carryover from the end of the season for Bostick, Nationals director of player development Mark Scialabba told me.
“Chris Bostick had a really nice second half, started to show more consistency at the plate and made strides with his technique on the defensive side, as well at second base,” Scialabba said. “He is a very diligent, hard worker who is looking to make an impact in the Arizona Fall League. He’s an athletic and versatile defender with plus speed that can play both positions up the middle and can play in the outfield, as well. He has a quick bat with power potential and his approach is continuing to evolve.”
A lot of players in the past have used AFL play as a springboard to spring training (pun intended). If Bostick can play well and show well against baseball’s best prospects, it is not out of the realm of possibility he could get a spring training invite to major league camp.
The Nationals traded left-hander Ross Detwiler to the Texas Rangers for Bostick and right-hander Abel De Los Santos last December. De Los Santos is also playing for Salt River this fall.
Nationals right-handed prospect Wirkin Estevez has been added to the Salt River pitching staff. The 6-foot-1, 170-lb. Dominican hurler had been highly regarded in the Nationals system, but had a 9.18 ERA in only five appearances in 2014 and has never played above low Single-A Hagerstown.
Similar to Bostick, Estevez will now get a chance to work with Rafters pitching coaches Marc Valdes and Larry Pardo, and face top competition, plus his first game action in more than a year.
The 23-year-old Estevez had Tommy John surgery in 2012 and was once ranked the 29th best prospect in Nationals system by Baseball America. His fastball back then was reportedly in the 92-96 mph range. Estevez will be a taxi squad pitcher and pitch minimal innings.
Salt River plays host to the Surprise Saguaros today at 3:35 p.m. Eastern time. Right-hander Jeremy Gabryszswki, a Blue Jays prospect, makes his initial AFL start.