8 Nats prospects selected for AFL

8 Nats prospects selected for AFL
August 27, 2013, 2:45 pm
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The Washington Nationals will have eight representatives in the 2013 Arizona Fall League, all playing for the Mesa Solar Sox.

Outfielder Brian Goodwin, catcher Adrian Nieto, first baseman Matt Skole and outfielder Steven Souza are the position players the Nats are sending. Sammy Solis, Matt Purke, Robert Benincasa and Richie Mirowski are the pitching prospects.

Souza will be a taxi squad player for Mesa, meaning he can only play twice a week. The Nats also announced Syracuse Chiefs hitting coach Troy Gingrich will serve as the team's hitting coach.

Goodwin, 22, heads to the AFL after an inconsistent year at Double-A Harrisburg. The 2011 first round pick is hitting .251 through 115 games with the Senators this year with ten home runs and 39 RBI. He was a standout in Arizona last fall with AFL player of the week honors in late October and the MVP award in the AFL rising stars game.

Nieto has enjoyed a strong season with the Potomac Nationals, batting .289 with a .830 OPS. The 23-year-old from Cuba has 11 home runs, 50 RBI and 51 walks through 106 games.

Skole goes to the AFL after playing just two games this season with Harrisburg. He had Tommy John surgery and a procedure on his wrist in April, keeping him out ever since. Whether the 24-year-old can even participate is a question.

Souza, also 24, gets the nod after an injury-shortened, but solid year with Harrisburg. Through 70 games in Double-A, Souza has 14 homers, 35 RBI, 50 runs and 37 walks. His .926 is best on the team.

Solis is a former second round pick of the Nats in 2010 who has made 12 starts this season for Potomac. The 25-year-old holds a 2.72 ERA through 53 total innings with 38 strikeouts and 16 walks.

Purke, 23, was taken in the third round of the 2011 MLB draft by the Nats. He's made 17 starts this season split between Potomac and the Hagerstown Suns, accruing a 4.02 ERA across 85 innings. 

Benincasa is a 22 year old relief pitcher the Nats drafted out of the 7th round in 2012. He's also split time with Potomac and Hagerstown this year, holding a 3.12 ERA through 38 total appearances. He has 62 strikeouts and 14 walks in 49 innings this season.

Mirowski, 24, was taken by the Nats in the 45th round of the 2011 MLB draft. He has pitched with both Harrisburg and Potomac this season, going 9-3 with a 1.82 ERA in 42 total games.

The Solar Sox begin their 2013 regular season on Oct. 8 at Glendale and play through Nov. 14.