Goodwin and Bautista to play winter league ball

Double-A Harrisburg center fielder Brian Goodwin will play winter ball for Margarita in the Venezuelan Winter League, according to a club source.

Goodwin played in 114 games last season for the Senators. The 24-year-old has five tools and is looking to become more consistent at the plate. Goodwin hit .226 in 472 plate appearances this season with 17 doubles, four triples, eight homers, 15 stolen bases and 46 RBIs.

Goodwin-Batting-Red-Spring.jpgHe walked 38 times, but had 93 strikeouts. He hit .219 with Triple-A Syracuse in 2014. He also was the Most Valuable Player in the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game in 2012. He played for Salt River in 2012 and Mesa in 2013.

The Nationals have always been high on his tools, especially his speed and defensive skills. This opportunity to play in Venezuela will give Goodwin more at-bats against a lot of different pitchers that he may not have seen at Double-A this summer. The repetitive at-bats will help get more and more opportunities to help his swing and see different kinds of pitches in an attempt to improve his offense.

Besides Pedro Severino, outfielder Rafael Bautista has also been confirmed as a winter league participant.

A 22-year-old center fielder, Bautista will play for Escogido in the Dominican Republic. Severino will play for Aguilas.

Bautista .272 in 52 games for high Single-A Potomac with seven doubles, two triples, 23 stolen bases and eight RBIs. He has hit .299/.361/.377 in his minor league career.

His speed is very good. In an Aug. 9 game, with Bautista on second base, the pitcher threw a pitch home, and the catcher caught it and threw it back to the pitcher. Incredibly, the catcher didn’t move, the pitcher didn’t flinch. They let Bautista swipe third without a throw, without even acknowledging his presence.

Maybe they should start paying attention. Or maybe he’s so good, it’s not worth the throw. This season, he swiped 26 total bases and was caught only four times, a .867 stolen base percentage.

We will get updates on Bautista this winter and see how he does. There is also a chance more Nationals prospects will play winter ball. When we get those names, we will pass them along.

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