Nats Bats Come to Life, 6-2 over the Braves

The Nats dug out of a 2-0 hole with a four-run 5th and a two-run 6th to win their second 2018 Grapefruit League game, 6-2 over the Braves.

A.J. Cole made his first start of the spring and turned in two scoreless innings, though he had runners in scoring position in both frames – giving up a walk and a single with two outs in the 1st and a one-out double in the 2nd.

Austin Voth was the first man out of the ‘pen, but was not as sharp as he was on Sunday. He was torched for both Atlanta runs on four hits in just a single inning, including back-to-back-to-back singles with one out. He walked none and struck out one.

Jose “Orange” Marmolejos, one of five Watchlist players in the starting lineup, got the line moving with leadoff double and scored three batters later on Kelvin Gutierrez (1-3, 2RBI “single.” Following a Reid Brignac walk, Spencer Kieboom drove in two with a single while Brian Goodwin capped off the binge with a RBI groundout to plate Brignac.

In the 6th, Victor Robles singled with one out and Marmolejos walked. Andrew Stevenson cashed ’em in with a two-out, two-run double to complete Washington’s scoring on the day.

Enny Romero was awarded the “W” while Bryan Harper was credited with a hold. Austin Adams struck out two while pitching a scoreless 7th.

Here’s a rundown of how the Watchlist batters fared:
   ●   Robles started in CF and went 1-for-3 with a run scored.
   ●   Marmolejos started at 1B and scored twice while going 1-for-2 with a walk.
   ●   Pedro Severino started at C and scored once while going 0-for-2.
   ●   Stevenson started in LF and was 1-for-3 with a double and two RBI.
   ●   Gutierrez started at 3B and was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
   ●   Taylor Gushue followed Severino at catcher and lined out in his only AB.
   ●   Rafael Bautista subbed for Robles in CF and reached on a throwing error in his sole PA.
   ●   Daniel Johnson took over in RF for Goodwin and struck out in the 8th.
   ●   Osvaldo Abreu pinch-ran and played for 2B Brignac and lined out in the 9th.

The Nats head to Port St. Lucie with Max Scherzer making his second start of the spring. There is no TV or radio broadcast today.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

24 thoughts on “Nats Bats Come to Life, 6-2 over the Braves”

  1. Luke is not the Jeff Todd writing for baseball rumors the same Todd who wrote for Montreal Gazette?? Expo

    1. No. The Todd of MLBTR is younger and from the DC area, UVA and Harvard Law grad who used to work as an attorney in DC. Gave up law to write for MLBTR! He’s a Nats fan and is the best MLBTR guy to ping with a Nats question during chats.

      1. I am showing my age KW. Lol!
        KW. Too soon to say that Harrisburg could see Kelvin G ,
        DJ, Abreau , Gushue ( along with Sundberg , Masters, Davidson ) in April?

          1. I’m scratching my head over the De Aza return. We just ran down the log jam in the Syracuse OF yesterday. Maybe the Nats are just doing him a favor and he has an opt-out in three weeks.

  2. Hi folks (and Jeff in particular) – long time no post. I’ve been watching the off-season, though, and tracking the prospects with my own metrics. Thought I would pipe in with my own top 50 as I have in the past, with varying degrees of welcome :). But if past is predictive, and in my world it is, more than anything, I know I have my eye on guys that get no ink here, and I’ve been ahead of the curve on a couple, – so now I will perhaps get a few to think about what to expect from them in the year to come:

    Victor Robles
    Juan Soto
    Carter Kieboom
    Daniel Johnson
    Erick Fedde

    Andrew Stevenson
    Wander Suero
    Austin Adams
    Jose Marmolejos
    Luis Garcia

    Raudy Read
    Yadiel Hernandez
    Israel Pineda
    Yasel Antuna
    Pedro Severino

    Jefry Rodriguez
    Kelvin Gutierrez
    Gabe Klobosits
    Hayden Howard
    Joan Baez

    Seth Romero
    Blake Perkins
    Alex Troop
    Spencer Kieboom
    Austin Voth

    John Simms
    Telmito Agustin
    Ricardo Mendez
    Grant Borne
    Sterling Sharp

    Jackson Tetrault
    Jakson Reetz
    Anderson Franco
    AJ Bogucki
    Jake Noll

    Tres Barrera
    Wil Crowe
    Dakota Bacus
    Jose Sanchez
    Ben Braymer

    Taylor Gushue
    Justin Connell
    Nick Raquet
    Tomas Alastre
    Weston Davis

    Brigham Hill
    Tommy Peterson
    Drew Ward
    Jorge Pantoja
    Ian Sagdal

    1. The only name that I can see that has never been on this site’s watch list is Yadira Hernandez, which is because he is too old to be a prospect. All the others are on this year’s list or have been on previous year’s lists.

    2. On quick glance, the ones who strike me that you have undervalued in their relative placements are Antuna, Romero, Crowe, and Ward. Romero still has a lot to prove makeup-wise, but talent-wise, he’s one of the top 5-7 players in the system. As for most of the rest of them, you could quibble 5-10 spots up or down, but there’s not a huge talent level difference from 15 to 50. Is that called depth, or mediocrity? I don’t know.

      Who is missing? If you’re going to list several of the older guys, then Bautista is as good or better than a good number here (and I say this as someone who isn’t particularly high on Bautista). Ditto for Adrian Sanchez. Among younger players, I’m particularly interested in Eric Senior and Nelson Galindez.

      1. Kw. Mediocrity ? Fast is how you explain guys like Hunter Jones
        In chi Sox chain putting up numbers to being a clever signing for AA. Things change in a New York minute

    3. Gil good call on Howard being ahead of Seth Romero . Howard and Barnett pushing for POTNATS bullpen. Hags welcoming Raquet , Romero and other lefty loonies loogie relievers.
      Hand could be a real babe in the farm

    4. Mendez might be one of the most impressive names in list considering he was GCL tablesetter for playoff run @ such a young age .
      Gotta love SS Sunday. Let’s see how the kids play !

    5. Gil Esthay called over with a bunch for tiger game .
      Jeff Ames finally signed his minor league contract. ? Logan Darnell walked away from his ??

    1. The kids being called over to sit with
      40 man guys just hit blue chip in Garcia and Big Tuna. Interesting if they are so beloved that brass entrusts Patrick Anderson to tutor them for a cup of hags coffee until Auburn kicks off season .

  3. Thanks all – and a few comments:

    Noll – I can’t get excited yet about a player who is in his full year out of college, is bat first, who struggles at A+ after a full four years in college.
    Esthay – Did well at Auburn, but not exactly dominant, and as a college graduate should do well at Auburn, not dynamic power although an outfielder.
    Freeman – The Nats have had enough draft busts at the fourth round level that I can’t rank a guy who hasn’t played yet just because he’s been drafted in the 4th round. After all, Rhett Wisemann was a big game performer drafted in the third round and well…
    Hernandez – I am not married to the orthodoxy of semantics. Rather, i’m referring to a sense of whether a person has a chance to help at the major leagues, and at what level of contribution
    Antuna – Impressive bat, but let’s see if he can find a position. If he is destined for the OF because of his glove, then let’s wait until his power shows up. I can’t rank a person high based on his bonus.
    Senior – Great on paper, so why couldn;t he, despite his pedigree, break into regular time in the GCL?
    Romero – Let’s see him produce something. He was uneven at Auburn, despite being a college product. That’s not the end of the world, but I’m more impressed by a track record than a draft ranking.
    Crowe – See above. He was drafted #2 based on velocity and number of pitches, but hardly dominated at low levels. Let’s see him pitch like a top prospect.
    Ward – Is about one step from prospect oblivion.
    Bautista – Has demonstrated to me that he will never make it in the major leagues. He’s destined to be a 4th OF at Syracuse if Hernandez gets the opportunity he deserves there.

    Whether folks are underrated here or whether I have overrated them is what makes this fun. I put it here as a placeholder to see how folks place at year’s beginning and going forward. Of course there are those I have ranked here who are not otherwise mentioned. The biggest positive story of the disappointing 2017 minor leagues, in my opinion, was the performance of not two but FIVE Dominican bonus babies, all of whom held their own. As you can see, I put Pineda here high, as a catcher who not only showed he could hit at age 17, but with 43%CS.

    I’m also one of those folks who clearly values Adams and Suero more than others. Adams can strike folks out and Suero knows how to use what he has. I took note of how Baez really had some excellent outings later in the year after faltering badly, and interpreted that the light has come on for him. Count me in as a believer in Stevenson. He adjusts his game and has lots of skills and is a winner with intangibles. He may not play for the Nationals, but he will play and play for a while.

    Jeff – what do I see? I will go to spring training in a couple of weeks, so maybe I’ll see some of you down there 3/18-24. Other than that, I see Rizzo waiting patiently on certain dominoes while the team develops a chemistry with Martinez. The Nationals obviously have a coming dilemma with four dynamic outfielders, insofar as I am among those who see Taylor as having a rising trajectory. They can’t trade Eaton, they won’t trade Robles, and so if they consider moving Taylor, they can’t do it with an undervalued market until well into the season when injuries strike. But if they lose Harper, Robles may prove to a team asset that offsets that loss more than anyone ever imagined.

    I’m excited to see an aggressive lineup stealing bases this year. And like others, I’m on an Arietta watch. The others hold no interest. You?

    1. “I can’t rank a person high based on his bonus.” – a.k.a the J.P. Ramirez Rule
      “The Nats have had enough draft busts at the fourth round level…” – Yikes: since the CBA changed how rounds 4-10 work: Brandon Miller, Nick Pivetta, Robbie Dickey, Rivera3, Nick Banks

      FWIW, my inclusion of Freeman is mostly an indictment of how the position is thinner than a Trump nominee’s resume.

    2. Gil, what I find very ironic : Dave Martinez is on hand for the possible
      Final curtain call for Harper in DC and he was on hand to help Buck Rodgers reboot the Post Dawson Expos.

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