One pitcher we should keep an eye on this winter is right-hander Jhonatan German. The 23-year-old pitched well for the low Single-A Hagerstown Suns to end the season. German went 2-1 with a 2.95 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings for the Suns from July 14 to Sept. 2.
Nationals pitching coordinator Paul Menhart saw a big improvement this season from where German was in 2017, when he wasn’t throwing strikes as consistently.
“One other guy, he had a wonderful season, Jhonatan German,” Menhart said. “He’s got an opportunity to pitch this winter as well, but his season was a pleasant surprise with his ability to throw the ball over the plate with more consistency than the previous years than anybody else.
“It was quite impressive from everybody’s standpoint how this kid went from almost hitting the bull to misses that were miniscule. The gap was that drastic.”
German could very well elevate and begin 2019 with high Single-A Potomac. He is 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, out of Bani, Dominican Republic. German was signed to a minor league contract July 16, 2015.
* Nationals rookie outfielder Juan Soto celebrated his 20th birthday yesterday with family and friends in Dominican Republic. Soto will play for a Major League Baseball all-star team Nov. 8-12 in Japan. The Nats will decide after the Japan tour whether Soto will play winter ball for Licey in the Dominican Winter League.
* It is interesting to see that the New York Mets’ search for a general manager is down to a pair of candidates: agent Brodie Van Wagenen and Rays senior vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom.
The 44-year-old Van Wagenen is part of the leadership that runs the CAA’s baseball division. Even more interesting is that Van Wagenen represents Mets players Jacob deGrom, Yoenis Céspedes, Noah Syndergaard, Brandon Nimmo and Tim Tebow, as well as Nationals, including Ryan Zimmerman. If Van Wagenen gets the Mets GM gig, he would relinquish his agent duties.