The first of three doubles Joey Meneses hit last night, in a 3 for 5 game the Nationals lost, 10-6, extended a hit streak which has now stretched to nine-straight games, over which Washington’s 30-year-old rookie 1B/OF has gone 14 for 36 (.388 AVG) with six doubles, a home run, a walk, HBP, and six runs scored.
As the club mentioned in their Post-Game Notes, he now has 30 hits, “... through his first 23 games,” which, “... are the most by any rookie through his first 23 games in Nationals’ history (2005-pres.), ahead of Anthony Rendon (27 in 2013).”
Rendon was a 23-year-old rookie that season, a 2011 1st Round pick, who debuted two years after the Nationals picked him sixth overall in the draft.
Meneses debuted in the majors after 10 seasons in the minors and playing internationally. It is clear he’s making the most of his opportunity, and his manager loves it.
“His approach has been really good,” Martinez said after last night’s loss.
“He studies pitchers. He has a plan when he goes up there to hit it, but he stays on the ball, doesn’t try to do a whole lot, but he gets his swing off every pitch, so it’s good to see.”
Asked if he’s seen anything like the run Meneses has gone on from player in his 30s finally getting a shot, Martinez admitted he couldn’t think of a comp.
“The one thing for me is that he’s going out there and playing with a lot of energy,” Martinez said, “... and playing with a lot of confidence, this is his opportunity and he’s taking full advantage of it, and for me that’s great to see, that a guy who’s put that much effort and time in playing this game finally gets a chance to play up here and continues to do what he did in the minor leagues is awesome.”
Meneses has also contributed on defense, including a running, lunging catch in corner out in right for out No. 3 in the top of the ninth last night, which has been a pleasant surprise to his manager.
“Look, he played first base for the most part, and they said he was pretty good at first base,” Martinez told reporters, “but he told me he’s played a lot of outfield in Winter League, and he’s played it well, and that really surprised me how well he moves out there, but he also positions himself well. He sits with [1B/OF Coach Eric Young, Jr.] and understands where to play each hitter, and like I said, he’s surprised me by how good he goes after the ball, his jumps, and the way he gets behind the ball to throw, it’s been good.”
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR THE 2ND OF 3 WITH THE A’S: