WASHINGTON – One of the most fulfilling parts of the job for a pitching coach in the minor leagues is to see one of his pupils work his way up to the Major Leagues.
That happened this past season for Sam Narron, who was the pitching coach for high Single-A Potomac in 2018.
That season lefty Ben Braymer was promoted from low Single-A Hagerstown of the South Atlantic League to the Carolina League.
“He came up from Hagerstown, a lot like Tim Cate” did in 2019, Narron recalls of Braymer.
“He came up half throughout the year and spent the majority of 2018 with Potomac. He just had a phenomenal year. He did a lot of things for that team; he was a starter for that team and (also) sent to the bullpen.”
Braymer was 6-3, 2.43 in 21 games with 11 starts for Potomac in 2018.
“He came out of the bullpen and was just awesome,” Narron noted. “He showed a really good fastball and really good breaking ball.”
Another pitcher for Narron on that team was Wil Crowe, who also made his MLB debut for the Nationals this past year.
After 13 starts each in 2019 for Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Fresno, Braymer was at the alternate site camp in Virginia this past summer before he was promoted to the majors.
Braymer, now 26, was drafted by the Nationals out of Auburn in the 18th round in 2016.
He made his first Major League appearance out of the bullpen on Aug. 28 at Boston and appeared in three games overall, with one start for the Nationals. He had a 1.23 ERA in 7.1 innings this year and figures to get a lot of attention at Spring Training in 2021.
“He’s done some different things. He’s typically a strike-thrower. He pounds the strike zone. I’d like to see him attack the strike zone on both sides of the plate, not just live away, so we will watch all those things,” manager Dave Martinez said last month about Braymer.