Washington Nationals' Prospect Watch...Arizona Fall and Dominican Winter Leagues and Beyond...PLUS - The BIG ? Of The Day For DC Fans...

AFL UPDATE...

11/17/08 Phoenix Desert Dogs at Peoria...

This past Monday night in Arizona, the Peoria Saguaros welcomed the Phoenix Desert Dogs to the Peoria Sports Complex for what ended up being a tightly contested 4-3 Peoria win when nine innings were completed, and a blown save by DC prospect Zechry Zinicola had become his second win when Saguaros' and St. Louis' outfielder Shane Robinson hit a walk-off single after a leadoff walk, an error on a bunt and a previous single had loaded the bases with no outs and the game tied...

Zinicola, (2-0, 7.36 ERA), allowed 3 hits, a run and a walk in 1.0 inning pitched, giving up two singles a double and a sac fly to score the tying run. Washington prospects Leonard Davis, Bill Rhinehart and Ian Desmond all started for Peoria Monday, in left, at first and at short, respectively, and the three future-Nationals combined to go 4 for 11 in the 3,4,5 spots of the Saguaros' order with Davis and Desmond each doubling, and Rhinehart finishing 2 for 4 with 2 RBI's. 

11/18/08 Peoria Saguaros at Phoenix...

Boy these DC kids can hit, Leonard Davis, Bill Rhinehart and Ian Desmond collect a combined 7 hits in 13 at bats in Tuesday's 14-8 Peoria win over Phoenix, with Davis going 2 for 5 with 2 runs scored, a double, a HR, (his 4th), 2 RBI's, and a .342 AVG after the game, Rhinehart 3 for 5 with 2 doubles, (his 9th and 10th of the fall), 2 RBI's and a .318 AVG, and Desmond hits his 4th triple, walks twice, scores three times and ends the day 2 for 3 batting .266...'07 1st Round pick, 6th overall by DC, Ross Detwiler took the mound in the fifth inning Tuesday and threw a scoreless frame in spite of allowing two hits. 

11/19/08...SHOWDOWN IN Peoria...The Mesa Solar Sox vs Peoria's Saguaros...

The darn Mesa Solar Sox not only beat Peoria today, and not only with an eighth-inning grand slam comeback 7-4 Solar Sox' win, they also took sole possesion of first place with their 8th straight win, and took a 4-3 lead in the fall series against Peoria, knocking the Saguaros out of contention for the AFL Championship, with the dreaded Solar Sox now going on to face AFL National Division champs, the same Phoenix Desert Dogs Peoria just whipped, in the Championship game this Saturday, according to MLB.com writer Danny Wild's game recap entitled, "Slayden, Mesa headed to championship"...

The Nationals' prospects did their part to try to get Peoria into the title game, but the Saguaros' came up short in spite of Bill Rhinehart's 2 for 4 performance, which saw hit him his 11th double and 4th HR of the fall for 2 RBI's (his 27th and 28th) and a .326 AVG on the Fall with one game to play. Leonard Davis went 1 for 4 with a double, (his 6th) and a run scored, for a .338 AVG as a Saguaro, and only Ian Desmond came up hitless, 0 for 3 with a K and a .258 AVG to end the day. 

On the mound, Peoria threw six pitchers at the Solar Sox, even getting 5.0 innings of relief work out of Cory VanAllen, who strikes out 6 and (let's hope) ends the AFL season with a (2-1) record and a 5.84 ERA after 8 games, 7 starts and 24.2 innings pitched for Peoria, in which he ended up allowing 34 hits, 16 ER, 3 HR's, and 6 walks with 30 K's notched... 

-- (ed. note - "Final Arizona Fall League Stats Tomorrow...")

Josh Willingham vs The NL East...

The Hammer vs...

Atlanta - 47 G, 33 for 141, .234 AVG, 8 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR's, 20 RBI's, .355 OBP, .348 SLG, .703 OPS.

New York - 50 G, 47 for 165, .285 AVG, 9 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR's, 34 RBI's, .382 OBP, .533 SLG, .916 OPS.

Philadelphia - 48 G, 37 for 148, .250 AVG, 10 2B, 2 3B, 9 HR's 28 RBI's, .333 ONP, .527 SLG, .860 OPS. 

Washington - 54 G, 65 for 198, .328 AVG, 13 2B, 2 3B, 13 HR's, 33 RBI's, .404 OBP, .611 SLG, 1.015 OPS...

(ed. note - "No wonder DC liked the Hammer...")

The Federalbaseball.com BIG ? of the Day...

I've noticed it recently in the comments on Nationals Journal, and even in the FANPOST here at federalbaseball.com by dasox313 entitled, "5 Priorities for Nats"...What did I notice, you ask? Well even if you didn't...Apparently not every Nationals' fan is on board with the idea that Jesus Flores is the future of catching in DC? This comes as a complete surprise to me, as someone who, like I told, dasox, was upset that DC had even signed Paul Lo Duca last winter, when I thought Jesus Flores was ready to start for Washington from the beginning... 

I asked My Brother Scout, Braves' Fan and Source For All Things Baseball what he thought of Flores..."I haven't watched him enough to judge, but my amateur psychologist take on Flores as an embodiment of the plight of the young ballplayer...? I'd check how many double plays he hit into, cause he seems like he'd be prone to DP's, he's always been trying to earn a spot, batting low in the order, so that might result in a low OBP if he's not seeing anything good, and now he's probably "the man" in DC, so he can relax and play instead of trying to pass other catchers on the depth chart, so you just might get to see him at his best now, this season..."

Flores' '08 stats - 90 G, 77 for 301, .256 AVG, 18 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR's, 59 RBI's, 296 OBP, .402 SLG, .698 OPS, 7 GDP. 

I'll Pay A Fine In DC Blogger Kangaroo Court For This, But...

...Somehow, Jesus "WWJD" Flores' participation in winter ball escaped my attention until I noticed his name in a post by Kristen at We've Got Heart entitled, "Winter League Updates: Maxwell's power surge", last week, which caught up with the Nationals' catcher in the Venezuelan Winter League...

As of today, Flores' #'s with Navegantes del Magallanes:

Jesus Flores - 11 G, 11 for 42, .262 AVG, 3 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI's, .319 OBP, .405 SLG, .724 OPS. 

So, The BIG ?...Is Jesus Flores the Man Behind The Plate For DC's Nationals?

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