(ed. note - "Anthony Masterson, (a Broadcast/Media Assistant with the Class-A Carolina League's Potomac Nationals), records, "an audio recap of the P-Nats' week" each Monday which he's agreed to share with the Federal Baseball.com readers...")
Chris Marrero - I mentioned P-Nats' first baseman Chris Marrero's game-winning grand slam against Kinston in last week's P-Nats report, but the player considered the 3rd best prospect in the Nationals' organization, according to Baseball America's most recent analysis, didn't stop there, Marrero finished the four-game set with the Kinston Indians (CLE), 8 for 16, with 2 HR's, 6 RBI's and a .301 '09 AVG, to help the P-Nats take 3 of the 4 tightly-contested one-run games the teams played.
Marrero, the Nationals' 1st Round pick, 15th overall in 2006, continued to hit in the P-Nats' next series at home in Pfitzner Stadium against the Carolina League's Northern Division's 1st place Lynchburg Hillcats (PITT), going 4 for 12 in 3 games with another HR, Marrero's 6th in 41 games, and 6 more RBI's, to leave the 20-year-old hitting .304 with a .351 OBP, .481 SLG, .832 OPS, 8 doubles, 1 triple, 6 HR's and 28 RBI's after 41 games and 158 AB's.
(ed. note - "Mr. Masterson also reported Monday, in an email, that Marrero's production last week earned him the distinction of being named the "Carolina League's Player of the Week.")
Jeff Mandel - Selected in the 19th Round, 580th overall in the 2007 Draft, Nationals' pitching prospect Jeff Mandel, a 24-year-old right-hander out of Houston, Texas and Baylor University, was able to win one game in each of last week's series, as the beneficiary of Marrero's grand slam in last Tuesday's 4-3 P-Nats' win over Kinston, and the main reason the P-Nats were able to salvage one of three in the series with Lynchburg, as Mandel threw 6.0 scoreless innings against the 1st place Hillcats, who were held to just 2 hits, as Mandel walked 2 and K'd 6 on the way to his sixth-straight win.
The six scoreless innings against Lynchburg lowered Mandel's ERA to 2.20 on the season, good for the 2nd best ERA in the Carolina League. Mandel's 6 wins are also second best, and he's got the only CG/SO in the Carolina League this year. Mandel's pitched the second most innings and posted the league's second best WHIP, at 1.02 after 8 starts and 49.0 IP.
The Lynchburg Hillcats, in spite of Marrero's work with the bat and Mandel's efforts on the mound, were able to take 2 of 3 this weekend, and after Monday's P-Nats/Indians game was suspended because of bad weather, the Hillcats held a 1.5 game lead over Potomac in the Carolina League's Northern Divison. The P-Nats will now play a double-header with Kinston Tuesday before finishing off the three-game series Wednesday and taking on the Hillcats again this weekend in Lynchburg.
P-Nats' catcher Sean Rooney, 23, an 8th Round pick, 241st overall in 2006, has at least one hit in 9 of his last 10 games, and after finishing 4 for 6 with 2 doubles and an RBI in two games against Lynchburg, Rooney has raised his average to .308 on the year, with 9 doubles, (6 in the last 10 games), 4 HR's, 17 RBI's, a .375 OBP, .577 SLG and a P-Nats' team best .952 OPS.