Washington Nationals: AFL Week In Review - Bryce Harper, Derek Norris, Sammy Solis And Pat Lehman In Action.

The Scottsdale Scorpions are in Phoenix Municipal Stadium this afternoon to take on the Phoenix Desert Dogs in AFL action. (pic from 2009 © Ed Chigliak.)

The Scottsdale Scorpions play their fourth game this afternoon in Phoenix Municipal Stadium where they'll meet the Phoenix Desert Dogs at 12:35 MST, 3:35 pm in the East. Through three games, the Scorpions, with a roster composed of prospects from the Washington Nationals, San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Angels and Boston Red Sox' organizations, are 1-2, with the Nats' prospects who've seen action so far: Derek Norris 1 for 7, 1 RBI; Bryce Harper 0 for 8, 2 K's; Zach Walters 1 for 3, off to a slow start offensively....in 3 games, so...

Pat Lehman, a 24-year-old right-handed Fair Lawn, NJ-native drafted in the 13th Round of the '09 Draft by the Nats, was the first Nationals' prospect to pitch in the Arizona Fall League, retiring Tampa Bay Rays' 2011 1st Round pick Mikie Mahtook for the final out of the seventh inning of the Scorpions game against the Surprise Saguaros on Wednesday night after Scottsdale's AFL opener had been postponed by rain on Tuesday. On Thursday afternoon, the Nats' 2010 2nd Round pick Sammy Solis made his first start for the Scorpions. 

Solis, 23, who split his 2011 season between Class-A Hagerstown and High-A Potomac, made six appearances in the Arizona Fall League last fall after just 4.0 IP in the Nats' system following his selection in the 2nd Round behind only Bryce Harper in the Nats' 2010 Draft Class. In 6 AFL games in 2010, 5 of them starts, Solis, the 51st pick of the '10 Draft, gave up 22 hits, 3 HR's, 7 walks and 13 R, 10 ER while recording 12 K's in 23.2 IP.

MASNSports.com's Byron Kerr, in an article entitled, "Solis will work on breaking pitches in first AFL start", reported before Solis' start on Thursday that the left-hander would be tasked with working on his secondary pitches this Fall.

Solis threw 53 pitches, 30 for strikes in his first start, surrendering two hits, three walks and one run in 3.0 IP. Hernan Perez, a 20-year-old infielder in the Tigers' system, singled off Solis to start the bottom of the first and scored from third three batters later after a groundout and back-to-back one-out walks. Solis threw 25 of his 53 pitches in the first, settling down in the second for a 16-pitch inning in which he allowed only a two-out walk, and a 12-pitch third in which he gave up a two-out single. Solis' Line: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 53 P, 30 S, 4/2 GO/FO. MLB.com Gameday.

Derek Norris and Pat Lehman were the only Nats' prospects in action Friday night, with Norris, the 22-year-old Nationals' backstop DH'ing and going 1 for 4 with an RBI single in a 7-3 Scorpions' win over the Desert Dogs. Lehman pitched in the top of the ninth, throwing a scoreless inning in which he gave up a single, hit a D-Dog hitter and issued a two-out walk before striking out the final batter of the game after a 30-pitch frame.

Zach Walters is batting second and playing third in this afternoon's game against Phoenix, which is just getting underway as I type this. Bryce Harper's hitting fifth and playing right and Derek Norris is behind the plate, batting sixth against the Desert Dogs and 24-year-old NY Yankees' right-hander David Phelps. More from this game later tonight. Here's the Gameday link if you want to follow along...

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