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Winter League Baseball...Nationals' Prospects In The AFL and DWL...

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AFL UPDATE...

The Peoria Saguaros' put a hurtin' on the Mesa Solar Sox Monday night, taking a 13-2 decision to claim 1st place, a game ahead of the Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League's American Division, a lead which the Saguaros held for exactly twenty-four hours, before losing 10-1 to Mesa to drop back into a tie with both teams 12-6...

Bill Rhinehart and Ian Desmond were the only DC fielders to play Monday in the Saguaros' 13-2 win, with the Nationals' prospects combining for 5 hits in 8 at bats with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 6 RBI's and 3 runs scored. Rhinehart, starting at first for Peoria, was 2 for 5 with 2 doubles, 3 RBI's and a .244 AVG after 12 games in which he's now collected 4 doubles, 2 HR's and 12 RBI's. Desmond, the Saguaros' shortstop, raised his AFL average to .282 after going 3 for 3 with 2 walks, 1 double, 1 triple and 3 RBI's. Washington's right-handed reliever Adam Carr threw a scoreless frame for Peoria as the only DC pitching prospect to appear in the win, holding the Solar Sox hitless and using 9 pitches, (6 strikes) to get through a flawless frame and lower his Fall ERA to 1.23, allowing just 7 hits, 1 ER and 1 walk while striking out 5.

Another Nationals' prospect, lefty Cory VanAllen was on the losing end Tuesday night, getting absolutely shelled in 2.2 innings of work in which he surrendered 8 hits, 1 HR and 7 ER's, walking one and K'ing 5 before leaving the game with a bloated 11.17 ERA in AFL play. Righty reliever Zechry Zinicola completed a scoreless frame in the ninth for the Saguaros, to lower his ERA to 1.93 after 9.1 Fall innings pitched, over which he's allowed 7 hits, 1 HR, 2 ER and 1 walk with 6 K's. The DC prospects' bats were quiet Tuesday with Bill Rhinehart 1 for 4, and Ian Desmond 0 for 4 with 2 K's as the Saguaros lost 10-1 to leave themselves tied with the Solar Sox atop th AFL's American division.

Bonifacio vs Hernandez...Prelude To A Spring Battle...

When last we checked in on the Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League, they were 3-6 and fourth overall in the DWL standings, but since then, Licey's won two to improve to 5-6...though they're still in fourth place...

Sunday night the Azucareros del Este(Sugar Bowls? Really? Is something lost in translation?)...fell to the Tigres 11-3, with Licey's leadoff hitter, DC prospect Emilio Bonifacio going 1 for 4 with a walk and 3 runs for a .270 AVG so far this Winter. Anderson Hernandez, Bonifacio's teammate in Licey and Washington, was 2 for 4 with a walk, a double, 1 RBI and 2 runs to raise his DWL AVG to .409 after 11 games.

Tuesday night the Tigres scored runs in each of their first four innings and added two more in the sixth for a 9-6 win over the Estrellas de Oriente. Bonifacio was 1 for 3 with 2 runs, 1 walk and 2 K's for a .275 ERA this winter with Licey. Anderson Hernandez was 2 for 5 with 1 run, 1 triple (AH's 3rd triple this winter), and 2 RBI's to end the game with a .408 AVG, 5 doubles, 3 triples, 9 RBI's and 2 steals.

LINKS: MLB.com's Bill Ladson...

...has an interview with Ryan Zimmerman entitled, "Q&A with slugger Ryan Zimmerman".