WASHINGTON - The first season with a new park in Fredericksburg was a success off the field, while the team lost its first 15 games.
The low Single-A team of the Nationals had a sellout crowd 37 times out of 57 home dates.
There was a crowd of 4,429 fans on hand Sunday as the team ended the year with a 6-2 win over state foe Lynchburg.
And fans of the minor league team were treated to a game with several top prospects, as well as the sons of former Major League players.
That included infielder Jake Boone and Darren Baker, the latter who was drafted in the 10th round by the Nationals this summer out of college at Division I California. Baker began his pro career playing for Richmond native and rookie manager Jake Lowery in the Florida Complex League, then he was promoted to Fredericksburg. His father Dusty, of course, is a Major League outfielder, the former skipper of the Nationals, and the current manager of the Houston Astros.
Darren Baker is making quite a first impression in his FredNats debut... pic.twitter.com/Yt6vnlCfsy— Fredericksburg Nationals (@FXBGNats) August 26, 2021
“I have seen him in Florida and briefly in Fredericksburg,” Mark Scialabba, assistant general manager, player development, told Federal Baseball last week about Darren. “He has done a really good job.”
The younger Baker hit .318 in 18 games at Single-A after going 6-for-15 in four games in Florida. One of his catches at second base with Fredericksburg got a lot of attention on social media.
“He has a lot of passion and plays with a lot of energy,” said Scialabba, a Division III player at Williams in New England. “He is a pro in everything he does. He has that sort of energy, he has fun while he plays the game.”
Most of the draft picks from the class of 2021, including Baker, Scialabba confirmed, will be in West Palm Beach as the Nationals begin Instructional League in Florida on Wednesday.
Boone is the son of Bret Boone, a former infielder in the big leagues. He hit .229 with Fredericksburg in 63 games, with 23 RBIs.