AFL Baseball Opens Today
The Arizona Fall League kicks off their 2013 schedule today. The AFL is usually reserved for the top prospects within major league baseball teams. The Nats have sent eight if their top prospects to join the prospects from the Angels, As, Tigers and Cubs on the Mesa Solar Sox. The Nats prospects int he AFL are:
P Robert Benincasa: Benincasa was the 7th round pick of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Nationals. He was drafted as a reliever and the Nats have high expectation for Benincasa as a future closer or setup man. He split his 2013 season between Hagerstown and Potomac. Combine don’t he season, Benincasa was 0-5 with 27 saves and an ERA of 3.00. In 51 total innings, he recorded 64 strikeouts compared to just 14 walks. After his promotion to Potomac, he recorded 17 saves and a 3.30 ERA at High A.
P Richie Mirowski: Mirowski had an outstanding season for the Nationals, one of the best in the system. He split his season between Potomac and Harrisburg. Coming out of the bullpen on the season, Mirowski led all reliever in the Nats system with an impressive 10-3 record. He also recorded 7 saves on an impressive ERA of just 1.83. Mirowski pitched a combined 68 innings and yielded only 14 runs. He fanned 88 batters compared to just 15 walks. After being promoted to AA Harrisburg, Mirowski went 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA. He only issued 4 walks over 20.2 innings while fanning 29 batters.
P Matt Purke: Purke was selected in the 3rd round of the 2011 MLB Draft. Pukre was highly touted for several years, having been a 1st round, 14th overall pick of the Texas Rangers in 2007, but choosing to forego the draft for college. Purke spent a split season between Hagerstown and Potomac in which he posted a 6-4 record with a 3.80 ERA. In 90 total innings, Purke allowed 25 walks and fanned 82 batters. Opposing batters hit .267 off Purke. Purke was 5-3 with a 4.43 ERA at Potomac.
P Sammy Solis: Coming off Tommy John surgery, the 2nd round pick of the 2010 MLB Draft, spent his season in Potomac. Solis appeared in 14 games, making 13 starts. He posted a 2-1 record with a 3.32 ERA. In 59.2 total innings, Solis issued 19 walks and fanned 43.
C Adrian Nieto: Nieto had a fine offensive season for the Potomac Nationals. In 100 games, Nieto was among the system leaders with 29 doubles and a .373 on base percentage. Overall, Nieto batted .285 with 29 doubles, 1 triple, and 11 homers. He crossed the plate 68 times and drive in 53 runs. He finished with a .449 slugging percentage.
3B Matt Skole: Skole only played in one game last season, missing the entire season due to Tommy John surgery. Skole catapulted to the top of the Nats prospect list after batting .290 with 27 home runs and 104 RBI in 2012.
CF Brian Goodwin: Good win was chosen int he first round of the 2011 MLB Draft and was drafted to be a someday starting center fielder. He has excellent speed and excellent defensive skills. He spent his entire season at AA Harrisburg and batted .252 in 122 games. Goodwin had 19 doubles, a system leading 11 triples, and 10 homers. Goodwin had an impressive 82 runs scored, stole 19 bases, and drove in 40 runs. He posted a .355 on base percentage and a .40 slugging percentage.
OF Steve Souza: Souza spent part of the season injured. He ended up playing 77 games at Harrisburg and batted .300 with 23 doubles, 1 triple, and 15 home runs. He scored 54 runs, stole 28 bases, and drove in 44 runs. He posted a system high .557 slugging percentage.