Nationals' Prospect Steven Souza Goes 2 for 3 In 7-3 Solar Sox' Win In Arizona Fall League

Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Steven Souza was given a second chance after walking away from the Washington Nationals' organization at one point in his career, and the '07 3rd Round pick has taken advantage of the opportunity to put together two strong seasons in the Nats' system.

The Washington Nationals selected infielder-turned-outfielder Steven Souza out of Cascade High School in Everett, Washington in the 3rd Round of the 2007 Draft. After a few rough campaigns at Low-A in the organization, a 50-game PED suspension in 2010 and a contentious end to his season in 2011 which saw him walk away from the High-A Potomac Nationals after an argument with manager Matt LeCroy, Souza returned to the organization and in 2012 put together a combined .297/.366/.572 line with 22 doubles and 23 HRs in 97 games and 400 ABs between Hagerstown and Potomac.

"I was a young kid looking for a quick fix when I was tired," Souza said. "In that moment, it was a bad choice." - Steven Souza on PED suspension to MLB.com's Bill Ladson

A strong season in 2012 was followed by an impressive Spring Training on the minor league side. "Steven Souza has been very, very impressive this spring, in all phases,'" Nationals' Director of Player Development Doug Harris told the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore this Spring. "'He’s swung the bat well. He’s defended well. He’s a very athletic kid.'" Harris said he thought Souza had "turned a corner" and "figured things out," calling him a "five-tool guy," when he spoke to the WaPost reporter.

This past season in 77 games with Double-A Harrisburg as a 24-year-old, the 6'3'', 220 lb outfielder, who missed time on the DL with a shoulder injury, had a .300/.396/.557 line with 23 doubles and 15 HRs in 323 plate appearances. Souza then learned that his 2013 season would continue when he was selected to appear in the Arizona Fall League. After two games, including a 2 for 3 night on Friday in Arizona, Souza's 3 for 8 with a double, three RBIs and five stolen bases so far in AFL action.

Souza singled in a run in his first at bat and doubled in two the second time up as the Mesa Solar Sox got out to a 5-0 lead early in what ended up a 7-3 win over the Surprise Saguaros in Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Arizona.

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