So what's it like to see a game or two in the Florida Instructional League?
With web traffic being what it is, I’m republishing TBRfan’s comments on the games she saw in Florida so more folks can see this first-person, eyes-on-the-ground account…
Hello all— got to watch the instructs game vs. Detroit today…
Oduber had an interesting fielding day in center, seemingly misjudging balls. But in his defense, the sun was wicked bad and two of the hits were tailing away. He really reminds me of Justin Maxwell.
Bryce Harper looks to me like the real deal. Didn’t have many balls hit to him, but his arm is strong and accurate. Played good backup defense to Oduber. He had a monstrous home run hit over the right field wall that probably carried 400+ feet. The right fielder just turned and watched.
J.P. Ramirez had a steady fielding game. Souza had his typical error-prone game. I just don’t know what the Nats see in him. Adrian Sanchez made some super plays at second. Catching was a platoon of Norris and… Can’t remember the name. Both catchers threw the ball well and tossed out runners at second and third.
As for batting… The team was shut down by the Detroit first round pitching prospect [Jacob Turner]. But my Lord: He was throwing smoke. None of the Nats came close to hitting that guy. He’ll be in the bigs for sure. Amazing pop of his pitches in the glove and incredible command.
The Nats “lost” 3-2 I am pretty sure. No scoreboard at all. Just the way I like it.
A few comments about yesterdays game: The score was actually tied 3-3 and it was a no hitter until the 7th for the Nats. After talking to a fan at today’s game that was at Lakeland last night, he had heard that Harper’s home run was one of the longest they had seen there in years and most agreed it was 430+ feet. The pitcher for Detroit was named Jacob Turner. Be looking for him in the majors. Now for today’s game, against the Astros…
Today didn’t treat the Nats that well and they lost by 8-3 or something close to that. Catching was a platoon of Flores and Leon. Flores looks really svelte… he’s been working out a lot. Both catchers had a good game behind the plate. Lombardozzi was at second and had a super game. At third was King. The not-so-funniest play of the game came in the top of the first. Grace was pitching and getting mildly rocked. A routine fly ball was hit to center and Eury Perez. And don’t you know? He dropped it, half-assing the catch with one hand. He was immediately pulled from the game and sent to a side field where he shagged fly balls from the machine for the remainder of the game. The coaches did not allow him back on the bench. The entire game all you could hear was Eury yelling “I got it” three times before he’d catch the ball. After that, I was impressed with the Nats coaching staff for making him an example.
Bryce Harper had a so-so game. Nothing real spectacular of note. Was steady in the field.
Pitching was Grace, Estevez, Navarro, Jenkins, Smoker, Morris. Grace was hit relatively easily by the Astros kids. Navarro wasn’t much better. Jenkins was pulled after only ⅔ inning and don’t know why. I was sitting next to three Nats pitchers and they didn’t really express any concern when he came out. Smoker was good except for a mammoth home run to left center. Now, A.J. Morris had it working…. good pitching and good command. The man behind me agreed that his stuff is good enough to get to the Nats next year.