The MLB Draft will be held tonight, with first round televised tonight on ESPN and MLB Network, and Rounds 2-5 tomorrow night on ESPN2 (because apparently a boxing match is more important) and the MLB Network. I’d encourage you to read Mr. Boss’s work to get a feel for who the Nats may select (and defer paying until 2022).
Syracuse 4 Louisville 3 – 2011
• Detwiler (W, 5-5) 6⅓ IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 4K, HR
• Balester (H, 4) 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 3K
• Antonelli 2-3, R, BB, HR, RBI
• Marrero 2-4, 2B, RBI
• Aubrey 1-3, R, HR, 2RBI
Ross Detwiler backed up a strong start last Saturday with an even stronger start yesterday. He pitched three perfect innings to start the game off. He was touched for a solo HR by Yonder Alonso, the no. 3 preseason prospect in the Reds system according to John Sickels. Detwiler struggled with control in the 7th, walking Alonso to lead off the frame and then Bert Cleven before ending his outing by striking out Daniel Dorn. Balester offered outstanding relief. He wriggled out of Detwiler’s jam by stranding two inherited runners, striking out Michael Griffin on his way to retiring all five batters he faced. Syracuse MI Matt Antonelli continues to rake; after his 2-for-3 plus a walk and a homer afternoon, he is now hitting .423/.463/.684 over his last ten games. The Nats took “Ryan” Detwiler (note the first few comments) 6th overall in the 2007 Draft and called him up to the big club that September to give him the title of the first ’07 pick to “make” the majors. After a full season at Potomac in ’08, Detwiler was rushed to the majors in ’09 again to fill in for the immortal Scott Olsen for eight starts before returning to the minors. The southpaw from Missouri would bounce back and forth from the minors to the majors in 2010 and 2011 before finally sticking with the Big Nats in 2012. The Nats eventually traded him to Texas for a pair of minor leaguers following the 2014 season. Since then, he’s pitched for Atlanta, Cleveland, Oakland, Seattle and Chicago (both) and twice for the York Revolution (2018 and 2019). The 34-y.o. was an NRI for the White Sox this past March, but appeared likely for either a release or another trip to the minors.
Harrisburg 8 Reading 2 – 2013
• Gilliam (W, 2-1) 5IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 5K
• Grace 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Souza 3-5, 3R, SB
• Head 4-5, 4R, 2B, 2HR, 4RBI
Rob Gilliam was perfect for five innings while Jared Head was a triple shy of cycle as Harrisburg pounded Reading, 8-2. Manager Matt LeCroy claimed an organizational directive of five innings or eighty pitches (whichever came first) is why the 25-year-old was lifted after just 57 pitches. By then, the offense had built a 7-0 lead, thanks to a pair of two-run HRs by Jerad Head. Steve Souza Jr. singled three times to lead the hit column as Harrisburg notched 14 hits total. Four relievers each turned in an inning to finish the game. Matt Grace was drafted in the 8th Rd. of the 2010 draft out of UCLA. The Nats tried to make a starter out of him for three seasons before returning him to his collegiate role as a reliever in 2013. He was added to the 40-man in November 2014 and, as predicted, boomeranged between the minors and majors until he ran out of options. He left the Nats via free agency this past offseason and signed with Arizona (there’s a switch) as an NRI this past November.
Potomac 5 Carolina 4 – 2014
• Brach 5IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, K
• Self (W, 3-0) 2IP, 5H, R, ER, 0BB, 3K
• Benincasa (SV, 10) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• J. Miller 3-4, R, 2RBI
• Norfork 1-3, 2R, BB, RBI
• Piwnica-Worms 1-3, BB, RBI
Potomac decided to win this one an inning early with three in the 8th and held off Carolina for a 5-4 win, reducing their magic number to clinch to four. The 6-7-8 combo of Khayyan Norfork, Will Piwnica-Worms, and Justin Miller combined for five of the P-Nats’ seven hits, including back-to-back-back RBI singles that turned a 3-2 disadvantage into a 5-3 advantage. The rally took starter Brett Brach off the hook for a loss as he gave up those three runs on seven hits and two walks over fine innings. The win went to Derek Self, though he was peppered for five hits over two innings. Robert Benincasa registered save #10 with a 1-2-3 ninth. That’s Dr. Piwnica-Worms to you. In 2012, he signed as an NDFA out of Duke University and worked his way up to Potomac before his career ended on a HBP that dropped him and bloodied him on the 4th of July in 2014. He retired later that month and went back to academia at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Hagerstown 11 Kannapolis 6 – 2012
• Hill (W, 6-4) 5IP, 9H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 2K
• Lucas 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Goodwin 3-5, 3R, RBI, BB, SB
• Burns 3-5, 3R, 2SB, OF assist at HP
• Skole 2-3, R, HR, 2RBI, BB
The Suns continued their surge, taking their seventh straight handily, 11-6 over Kannapolis. Combined with a Greensboro loss, Hagerstown trails by just 1½ games with nine to go. Taylor Hill got the win with four runs allowed on nine hits and a walk over five innings. Brian Goodwin and Billy Burns both were 3-for-5 with three runs scored, combining for three stolen bases. Burns was taken with the 32nd Rd. pick in 2011 and, um, quickly made his way to AA by August 2013 as he batted .322 for Hagerstown, .315 for Potomac, and .325 in 30G for the Sens. He also racked up a total of 125 steals in 266 games before he was traded to… wait for it… Oakland in the 2013-14 offseason. The bottle rocket would spend parts of four seasons with Oakland (2014-16) and Kansas City (2016-17) topping out with a .294/.334/.392 with 5HR and 26SBs in 2015. He’s spent the past two seasons in AAA for the Royals and Yankees, where presumably he’s lost a step or three with only 24 doubles and 24 stolen bases combined.