In part-time play for the Mesa Solar Sox this fall, 24-year-old Washington Nationals' 2007 3rd Round pick Steven Souza, Jr. finished 15 for 42 (.357/.426/.476) with two doubles, a home run, five walks, 11 Ks and 10 stolen bases for the AFL East Division Champs. The strong run in the Arizona Fall League as part of the Sox' taxi squad followed a 2013 season, his seventh in the Nats' system, which saw Souza put a .300/.396/.557 line with 23 doubles and 15 HRs in 77 games and 323 PAs for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators.
Souza told MLB.com's Mike Feigen this week that playing twice a week this fall has been a good learning experience.
"'Playing on the taxi squad has taught me a lot about coming off the bench,'" Souza told the MLB.com reporter. "'You have to take advantage of every opportunity.'" While he was competing in Arizona, the Nationals made the decision to place Souza on the Nats' 40-Man roster to protect him from selection in next month's Rule 5 Draft. The 6'2', 220 lb right-handed hitting and throwing outfielder will be in Spring Training with the Nationals for the first time next year. He has one more game to play before that, however.
Souza is the only Nationals' prospect in the starting lineup for the Mesa Solar Sox this afternoon when they take on the Surprise Saguaros in the AFL Championship Game live from Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale, Arizona. The game gets underway at 3:00 PM EST (1:00 PM MST in AZ). The MLB Network is broadcasting the game live, giving Nationals fans an opportunity to get a good look at Souza. Can Souza help the Solar Sox lock up the AFL Championship?
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