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Washington Nationals: Minor Leagues - The Week That Was Down on the Farm

Reliever Collin Balester earned HOT status this week for his work with Triple-A Syracuse. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Reliever Collin Balester earned HOT status this week for his work with Triple-A Syracuse. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Performance of the Week

Even "baseball purists" who rarely have any use for statistics notice when a prized prospect is batting only .143 even after a full month of the season. Especially when that player is rated #2 by Baseball America for the entire Nationals' organization. But that's exactly how Derek Norris got out of the gate to begin his Double-A campaign. Slowly...very slowly.

Since then though, the catcher from Kansas has made adjustments and has elevated his average over 80 points and leads the team in on-base percentage due to his plate discipline and patience. A shining example of his recent success was this past Saturday night's game against the Bowie Baysox when Norris reached base all four times he came to the plate including his sixth home run of the season, a single, and two walks. Norris also scored three times in the Senators' 8-3 victory over the Baysox and called a great game as he coaxed one of Shairon Martis' best starts of the season (six shutout innings) out of him.

All of this adds up to Derek Norris taking home our Performance of the Week.

By the Numbers

Syracuse Chiefs (3-3, 22-27 overall)

Hot: RP Collin Balester 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K
: OF Jesus Valdez .364 (8-22), 5 R, 2 RBI
Hot: RP Ryan Mattheus 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 K
Not: OF Gregor Blanco .083 (1-12), 2 R, 4 K, 1 HR
Not: SS Chris McConnell .125 (2-16), 3 R, 3 K

Harrisburg Senators (8-0, 29-20 overall)

Hot: 1B Tyler Moore .400 (10-25), 6 R, 6 RBI, 3 HR
Hot: SP Brad Peacock 13.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 16K
Hot: RP Jimmy Barthmaier 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K
Hot: OF/1B Bill Rhinehart .333 (6-18). 6 R, 6 RBI, 5 BB, 2 HR
Not: RP Cory VanAllen 1.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 2 HR
Not: IF Alex Valdez .133 (2-15), 2 R, 4 K

Potomac Nationals (0-7, 18-33 overall)

Hot: 2B Jeff Kobernus .375 (9-24), 4 R, 3 SB
Not: SP Trevor Holder 1.2 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 2 BB
Not: SP Mitchell Clegg 1.2 IP, 5 H, 8 R (5 ER), 3 BB, 1 K
Not: RP Dean Weaver 3.2 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 2 HR
Not: C Sandy Leon .091 (1-11), 1 R, 0 RBI, 4 K

Hagerstown Suns (4-4, 32-20 overall)

HotSP Robbie Ray 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 4 K
Hot: RP Chris Manno 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 10 K
Hot: 1B Brett Newsome .428 (9-21), 4 R, 4 RBI
OF Kevin Keyes .045 (1-22), 1 RBI, 4 K
Not: RP Sam Brown 3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR

DSL Nationals (1-2, 1-2 overall)

Hot: SS Wilmer Difo .375 (3-8), 3 R, 1 RBI, 5 BB, 4 SB
Hot: SP Gregory Baez 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K
Hot: OF Bryan Mejia .273 (3-11), 1 R, 2 RBI, 3 2B
Not: RP Emmanuel De La Cruz 0.1 IP, 0 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 HBP, 3 BB
Not: C Raudy Read .083 (1-11), 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

Diamond Debuts

SP Sammy Solis (HAG) - The tall southpaw made his debut on Monday night in Kannapolis against the Intimidators and threw very well as he only allowed one hit through four innings and touched 95 mph on the gun. Solis tired in the fifth and his line ended with three runs on four hits over 4.2 innings pitched with seven strikeouts.

RP Atahualpa Severino (SYR) - Severino has made two relief appearances for the Chiefs since Sunday and has combined for 2.2 scoreless innings allowing only two singles.

RP Zech Zinicola (HAR) - Zinicola has been shaking the rust off since returning to Harrisburg from XST in Florida as he pitched in two game for three innings. He has allowed one run of his own on four hits and struck out two during his time on the mound.