• (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 May 31, 2009.)
The last time we checked in with the Nationals' Class-A Carolina League affiliate, the Potomac Nationals were 1.5 games behind the Carolina League's Northern Division-leading Lynchburg Hillcats. Since then, however, the P-Nats offense has struggled according to Mr. Masterson's report, as they dropped three-straight to the Kinston Indians and two of three to the Hillcats, leaving them 5.0 games out of first with three weeks remaining in the first half of the season.
Brad Meyers - Brad Meyers, 23, the Washington Nationals' 5th Round pick, 160th overall in 2007, suffered his first two losses of the season this week in his 7th and 8th starts, giving up an unearned run in 1.1 IP of a game against Kinston on Monday that was suspended because of rain and finished the following day without Meyers returning to the mound, and then surrendering a run and 4 hits in 6.2 IP on Friday night in a 1-0 loss to Lynchburg in which Meyers K'd 8 and walked 2. Meyers' 1.72 ERA after the loss the Hillcats was the lowest in the Carolina League.
Will Atwood - A 12th Round pick, 361st overall in 2008, 22-year-old Will Atwood, a 6'2'' left-hander out of Piedmont, South Carolina and the University South Carolina-Columbia earned his first W of the year in his 9th start, throwing 6.0 innings against the Lynchburg Hillcats, over which he allowed just 5 hits, 2 runs, and 1 walk with 6 K's in the P-Nats' only win this past weekend. On the year, that leaves Atwood at (1-4) with a 6.44 ERA in 43.1 IP, but Mr. Masterson, in a note included in this week's report, cautions that, "his basic stats don't tell the whole story..." because Atwood, who struggled early losing each of his first three starts, has gone (1-1) with a 3.08 ERA in 5 starts in May, and, "He's also leading the team in strikeouts with 38 K's, and he's got a 29/9 K/BB ratio in May."
(ed. note - "MLB.com's 2008 Draft Coverage has a great video look at Atwood, just scroll down on the page to pick No. 361 for the footage.")
Danny Espinosa - When the Washington Nationals selected Danny Espinosa in the 3rd Round, 87th overall in the '08 Draft (behind only RHP Aaron Crow and LF Destin Hood), MLB.com's Bill Ladson described the then-21-year-old switch-hitter as a, "slick-hitting shortstop...from the same school that produced Bobby Crosby and Troy Tulowitzki." In his first 19 games in the Nationals' system, with the Class A New York/Penn League's Vermont Lake Monsters**, Espinosa hit .328 in 19 games and 64 at bats. 47 games into his second professional season, Espinosa's hitting .259 (43 for 166) with 10 doubles, 9 HR's, 22 RBI's, 10 steals, a .385 OBP, .482 SLG and .867 OPS. In the 3 games with Lynchburg last weekend, the P-Nats' SS was 4 for 9 with 2 HR's and 3 RBI's. Note: Espinosa's 9th HR helped the aformentioned Will Atwood earn his 1st win as reported in an article at the P-Nats' offiicial site by Anthony Masterson entitled, "Atwood Shines in First Carolina League Victory".
(ed. note - "Over at the P-Nats' official site, Anthony Masterson wrote an interesting article this week entitled, 'Washington rotation is positively Potomac', in which Mr. Masterson examines the role the Potomac organization has played in the development of each of the pitchers currently in the Nationals' rotation. The best of the bunch in Mr. Masterson's opinion?:
"The hurler with the highest ceiling is Jordan Zimmermann without a doubt. Ranked as the top prospect in the Washington system by Baseball America entering 2009, Zimmermann earned an invite to spring training to cut his teeth with the big club, grabbed hold of a spot in the rotation, and never let it go as he broke camp with the Major League team as their fifth starter."
• (ed. note - "I got an email this afternoon, with an official press release from the Vermont Lake Monsters, which contained information about the agreement the Lake Monsters reached with 960 AM the ZONE to broadcast 51 games of Vermont's '09 campaign. The ZONE has a website, which is down now, but does seem to be available online. I'll let you know what I find...The Lake Monsters season begins on June 19th.")