Washington Nationals' infielder Danny Espinosa got the hard part over with first last night when the Leones de Ponce infielder hit for the cycle in a Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico game against the Gigantes de Carolina. The Nats' 23-year-old '08 3rd Round pick led off the bottom of the first with his second Winter League HR in his first at bat to get the Leones out to an early 1-0 lead. In the third, Espinosa tripled, driving in his second run of the night, then scored on a passed ball two outs later. A walk in his third at bat in the fourth inning was followed by a one-out RBI double in the sixth that left the former Long Beach State University infielder a single away from the cycle. With two down in the seventh, Espinosa got the hit he needed, an RBI infield single according to MLB.com's Daren Smith's article on Espinosa's achievement entitled, "Leones' Espinosa hits for the cycle".
In 17 games and 71 at bats in the Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico, Espinosa, (who put up a .268/.337/.464 slash line in two stops in the Nats' system in 2010, with a .214/.277/.447 slash line in the Majors after he made his debut on September 1st), has 22 hits, 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 HR's, 8 RBI's, 5 walks, 22 K's and 7 stolen bases for the Leones de Ponce. Earlier in the day on Tuesday, Espinosa was named to the Topps' Double-A All Star Team, which recognizes the, "...best performances in all Minor League Baseball classifications," according to an MiLB.com report on the awards entitled, "Three Naturals lead Double-A All-Stars." Here's MiLB.com's write-up on Espinosa:
"Danny Espinosa, 23, of Santa Ana, Calif., hit .262 with 18 homers and 54 RBIs in 99 games for the Harrisburg Senators. The shortstop had 101 hits and 20 stolen bases, before being promoted in early August to Triple-A. The Washington Nationals drafted him in the third round in 2008 out of Long Beach State (CA) University. Espinosa was named the shortstop on last year's Topps Class A All-Star team."
• Box Score: Leones 10, Gigantes 2.