A couple of pitchers who came over in late-season trades could be difference-makers again this year in the Nats system. Both spent time with high Single-A Potomac.
Right-hander Jacob Condra-Bogan, 24, finished the season on a surge, allowing only two earned runs his final 10 appearances. He joined Potomac in late July, coming over from Wilmington in the trade that sent Brian Goodwin to the Royals.
Condra-Bogan can throw 99 mph and is also pursuing a master’s degree in preparation for the time after his professional baseball career is over. He made two saves and struck out 13, walking only two, down the stretch. Condra-Bogan went 2-1 with a 1.23 ERA in his final 10 games last season.
Right-hander Jhon Romero, 24, arrived in the trade that sent right-hander Brandon Kintzler to the Chicago Cubs. Romero pitched in four games for the P-Nats before being called up to Double-A Harrisburg. He allowed no runs on just two hits in those four appearances.
He pitched for the Senators from Aug. 13 to Aug. 30, making six appearances. In his first three games he allowed no runs. In his last three games he gave up five earned runs in 3 1/3 innings.
Potomac manager Tripp Keister got to see both pitchers for a bit at the high Single-A level.
“We got Condra-Bogan. He had stuff that was similar to those guys. He came over from Wilmington. He is fastball, slider and he’s mid to upper 90’s mph too,” Keister said. “He hadn’t pitched a lot, so we got that arm too. Your configuration of your bullpen is a little different when you lose some guys.
“We got Jhon Romero and Jacob Condra-Bogan. These guys got good arms. The Romero kid from Myrtle Beach, we had just faced him. He was really good. He wanted the ball. He was tough to face. Then ‘Hey, we got him! All right!’ I remember the guys in the clubhouse were like ‘Yes! That’s great! We just faced him’. He only stayed a couple days with us and then he was up in Harrisburg.”
Romero has already tasted Double-A. If Condra-Bogan continues on his favorable track, he will get his chance this summer. Both are hurlers to keep an eye on as spring training ramps up in a couple of weeks.