Potomac Nationals Weekly Update:
• (ed. note - "Anthony Masterson, (Broadcast/Media Assistant with the Class-A Carolina League's Potomac Nationals), is back with "an audio recap of the P-Nats' week" for the week ending June 15, 2009.)
Stephen King - Baseball America's Aaron Fitt had Stephen King ranked as the Washington Nationals' 9th best prospect in the January 2007 edition of Mr. Fitt's, "Top 10 Prospects: Washington Nationals", which was the first list put out after the Nationals selected King with the 91st pick in the 3rd Round of the 2006 draft, but when the 2007 year-ending edition of Mr. Fitt's list was published on November 7, 2007 King had been bumped off the list by a bumper crop of pitchers though he did still appear in Mr. Fitt's "Projected 2011 Lineup" where King was penciled in at second with Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond and Chris Marrero at third, short and first, in that order.
After hitting .284 with 21 doubles, 6 HR's and 33 RBI's in 87 games with the Class-A Hagerstown Suns in early 2008, King hit just .214 in 19 games after joining the High-A Carolina League's Potomac Nationals. King started his '09 campaign with the P-Nats by hitting in 17 of his first 66 at bats, with 3 doubles, 2 HR's and 8 RBI's in April before a .119 May, which saw King collect just 1 double, 1 HR and 4 RBI's on 8 hits in 18 games and 67 at bats. In June of '09, however, Stephen King's found his swing, hitting in 20 of 60 AB's so far with 5 doubles, 3 HR's, 11 RBI's, 7 SB's, a .359 OBP, (up from .268 in May), a .567 June SLG, (up from .179) and a .926 OPS, (up from .447). That leaves King hitting .233 with 9 doubles, 1 triple, 6 HR's and 23 RBI's in 55 games in '09, and he's hit in 9 of the last 10 games, with a .333 AVG since being moved to the leadoff spot in the P-Nats' lineup last week.
Will Atwood - A left-handed starter selected out of the University of South Carolina with the Washington Nationals' 12th Round pick in 2008, Atwood was (2-1) with a 2.41 ERA and 60 K's in his first 12 starts and 52.1 IP with the Vermont Lake Monsters in 2008. After going (0-3) with an 11.35 ERA in his first 4 starts and 17.0 IP, Atwood began to turn things around in May, going (1-1) with a 3.08 ERA In 5 starts and 26.1 IP in which Atwood struck out 29 batters. Mr. Masterson described Atwood's arsenal in a note included with this week's audio clip, writing that Atwood's been dominant recently, "mixing his sweeping curveball and diving changeup with a good, 4-seam tailing fastball." Atwood leads the P-Nats in K's with 56 and he's walked just 17 in 61.0 IP in '09.
Update: Atwood started against the Wilmington Blue Rocks Wednesday night in the P-Nats' home, Pfitzner Stadium, and he left the game with a 5-2 lead after 5.2 IP over which he struck out 5, walking no one and giving up 5 hits, 2 runs, only 1 of them earned. But the lead was lost in the 8th when reliever Jesse Estrada gave up a leadoff triple and an RBI groundout to tie it before the Blue Rocks scored 2 to take a 7-5 win.