Last month, the Arizona Fall League announced their team affiliations for the upcoming season. The prospects the Washington Nationals send to the AFL this time around were assigned to the Mesa Solar Sox who play their home games in HoHoKam Stadium in Mesa, Arizona:
2013 Mesa Solar Sox: #Angels, #Athletics, #Cubs, #Nationals, #Tigers— Arizona Fall League (@MLBazFallLeague) July 30, 2013
This afternoon, the Nationals announced the names of the prospects that will participate in the so-called "finishing school" for the game's top prospects:
OF Brian Goodwin, C Adrian Nieto, 1B Matt Skole, OF Steven Souza, LH Sammy Solis, LH Matt Purke, RH Robert Benincasa & RH Richie Mirowski— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) August 27, 2013
Syracuse (AAA) Hitting Coach, Troy Gingrich, will also serve as the Hitting Coach for the Mesa Solar Sox during the 2013 @MLBazFallLeague.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) August 27, 2013
Brian Goodwin, 22, is the Nationals' 2011 1st Round pick. In 115 games and 509 plate appearances with Double-A Harrisburg this season, Goodwin's put up a .251/.350/.403 line with 17 doubles, 10 triples, 10 HRs and 18 stolen bases in his second season with the Senators. Adrian Nieto, 23, is an '08 5th Round pick out of American Heritage HS in Florida, who has a .289/.375/.455 line with 27 doubles and 11 HRs in 106 games and 433 PAs at High-A Potomac in the Nats' system this season.
Skole, the Nationals' 2012 Minor League Player of the Year, suffered a torn UCL and had to have Tommy John surgery this season, but will apparently be healthy enough to participate in the AFL. Steven Souza, a 24-year-old, '07 3rd Round pick, has a .285/.381/.545 line, 20 doubles and 14 HRs in 70 games and 291 PAs at Double-A Harrisburg so far this year in his seventh season in the Nationals' organization.
Both Matt Purke (shoulder), a 2011 3rd Round pick, and Sammy Solis (Tommy John), a 2010 2nd Rounder, are coming off surgeries and pitching at High-A Potomac now. Purke started the 2013 campaign at Low-A Hagerstown before moving up to the Nats' Carolina League affiliate. Purke, 23, had a 2.48 ERA, a 2.54 FIP, 2.17 BB/9 and 12.72 K/9 with the Suns and has a 4.82 ERA, a 3.79 FIP, 2.89 BB/9 and 5.79 K/9 with the P-Nats. Solis, who turned 25 this month, is (2-0) in 12 games at Potomac with a 2.72 ERA, 3.16 FIP, 2.72 BB/9 and 6.45 K/9 in 53 IP. It will be his second stint in the Arizona Fall League.
RHP Robert Benincasa, 22, is a 2012 7th Round pick who started the season at Class-A Hagerstown before moving up to Potomac. In 23 games and 28 IP with the P-Nats, the right-hander is (0-4) with 15 saves, a 3.54 ERA, 2.91 FIP, 2.89 BB/9 and 10.29 K/9. Richie Mirowski, a 24-year-old, 2011 45th Round pick, is a combined (9-3) between Potomac and Harrisburg this season with a 1.82 ERA on the year.
The Arizona Fall League season starts for the Solar Sox on October 8th.