AFL GameThread: Nationals' Prospects In Action On MLB Network

Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Matt Skole and Adrian Nieto are in the lineup for the Arizona Fall League's Mesa Solar Sox tonight as the Washington Nationals' prospects take on the Salt River Rafters in AFL action which is being broadcast live on the MLB Network at 9:00 PM EDT.

Washington Nationals fans missed a chance to see 23-year-old prospect Matt Purke pitch by a day. Purke was on the mound in Arizona on Monday. Top outfield prospect Brian Goodwin was in the lineup.

Tonight, it's third baseman Matt Skole and catcher Adrian Nieto as the only Nats' prospects in the lineup for the Mesa Solar Sox in a game that's being broadcast on the MLB Network at 9:00 pm EDT. The Arizona Fall League is helping Major League Baseball try out their new replay rules in tonight's game and the rest of those that will be on television this week.

"Our rehab guys and our medical staff will do a great job with him and we're looking for big things for him next season." - Mike Rizzo on Matt Skole/Tommy John surgery

Matt Skole, 24, is a 2011 5th Round pick out of Georgia Tech who was named the Nationals' Minor League Player of the Year in 2012 after a .291/426/.559, 28 double, 27 HR season spent at Class-A Hagerstown (101 G, 448 PAs) and High-A Potomac (18 G, 76 PAs).

Two games into his 2013 campaign, however, Skole suffered a torn UCL in his right elbow and a microfracture in his wrist on a defensive play at first base which ended his third season in the Nats' system before it really got started.

Skole returned to the field in time to take part in the AFL. So far this fall, Skole is 6 for 35 (.171/.396/.457) with a double, three home runs, 13 walks and 10 Ks. Skole's playing third and batting fifth for the Solar Sox tonight.

Joining him in the lineup is 23-year-old Nats' backstop prospect Adrian Nieto, who's catching and batting eighth at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, AZ. Through eight games, Nieto is 8 for 28 with a double, triple, five walks and eight Ks. The '08 5th Round pick had a .285/.373/.449 line in 110 games and 452 plate appearances with the High-A Potomac Nationals this season. Nieto will be catching Chicago Cubs' 24-year-old prospect Dallas Beeler to start tonight's game.

Skole and Nieto will be facing 23-year-old St. Louis Cardinals' prospect Sam Gaviglio.

Mesa Solar Sox vs Salt River Rafters: 9:00 pm EDT on the MLB Network.

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